Category Archives: Chardonnay

Feb 02 2015

Penfolds Yattarna Chardonnay 2012 makes list of top 50 Australian Wines

Posted on February 02, 2015 | By

Penfolds Yattarna Chardonnay 2012 was one of four Penfolds wines to make the Top 50 Australian wines of 2014, a list recently put together by wine critic Nick Stock for (Tasting Report: Nick’s 50 Best Australian Wines of 2014, 5 February 2015,

The 2010 Penfolds Grange took the number one spot, the Penfolds St Henri 2010 came in fifth, the Penfolds Bin 707 Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 came in seventh and the Yattarna 2012 occupied 12th place. For chardonnay, Yattarna’s ranking was only eclipsed by the Oakridge Yarra Valley 864 Willowlake Block 6 Chardonnay 2012 in 8th place and the Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay Margaret River 2010 in 9th place.

Stock remarked that the 2012 Penfolds Yattarna Chardonnay “has finally fulfilled its potential with the 2012 release,” stating that it “possesses the kind of weight, purity, class, structure and carefully constructed complexity that sets the world’s greatest chardonnay wines apart from the merely good.” (Nick’s Blog: Penfolds 2010 Grange and 2012 Yattarna, 9 October 2014,

“Finally fulfilled its potential” no doubt refers to the fact in the mid 1990s Penfolds set a bold ambition to create a white wine of the same standard as its world famous Penfolds Grange!

Yattarna is an Aboriginal word that means ‘little by little,’ a name that certainly seems appropriate for a wine that has stylistically evolved over the years.

Like Penfolds Grange, Yattarna is a multi region blend. In more recent vintages fruit has been primarily sourced from the primarily cooler climates of Tasmania and Victoria, with the goal of creating a style of chardonnay that is crisper, tighter and more elegant than the oaky, buttery style in vogue when the inaugural 1995 vintage was first released in 1998.

The 2012 vintage was matured for eight months … Read the rest

Feb 02 2015

Should we look to New Zealand for the World’s Best Chardonnays?

Posted on February 02, 2015 | By

I’m sure the team at New Zealand’s Martinborough Vineyards were thrilled when their Martinborough Vineyard Chardonnay 2012 was recently named “Top wine of the Tasting” in Decanter’s Magazine’s blind tasting of “The best Chardonnays in the world (outside Burgundy).” It topped a very competitive field  – 80 of the finest chardonnays from Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa and the USA. The Best Chardonnays in the world (outside Burgundy) by Stephen Brook, Decanter Magazine, March 2015

New Zealand has a long established reputation for world class pinot noir, but chardonnay is starting to steal the limelight.

Interestingly, some of the best chardonnay in New Zealand can be found off the beaten track, so to speak. The Wine Advocate’s Lisa Perrotti-Brown recently raved about the Brajkovich family’s Kumeu River chardonnays, remarking that they “continue to be amongst a handful of the very best, world-class Chardonnays coming out of New Zealand, demonstrating great finesse and terroir expression as well as ageing potential.” (New Zealand: The Others by Lisa Perrotti-Brown, 30 December 2014)

One of New Zealand’s oldest wineries, Kumeu River is situated north of Auckland, about as far away as you can get from the two big wine making wine regions of Marlborough and Central Otago on the South Island.

Waikari or North Canterbury (as it’s formally known) on the South Island is New Zealand’s newest and most remote wine region. It is another area with a unique terroir that is proving ideal for growing chardonnay.

Waikari’s Bell Hill Chardonnay 2011, for example, was one of 10 wines voted “Outstanding” by the Decanter Magazine’s blind tasting panel. Perotti-Brown believes that for “anyone looking to try the very best that New Zealand has to offer – wines that sit shoulder to shoulder with some of the best examples … Read the rest

Feb 02 2015

Decanter Magazine names Australia’s Top 4 Chardonnays

Posted on February 02, 2015 | By

Decanter Magazine recently conducted a blind tasting to come up with a list of the “Best Chardonnays in the world (outside Burgundy).” Nominated for consideration by top wine critics were the finest chardonnays from Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa and the USA. 80 wines in total were tasted. (The Best Chardonnays in the world (outside Burgundy) by Stephen Brook, Decanter Magazine, March 2015)

While the Martinborough Vineyard Chardonnay 2012 from New Zealand was crowned “Wine of the Tasting,” four Australian wines made it into the top 10 list of “Outstanding Wines” (South Africa came in second with three wines on the list):

By Farr Chardonnay, Geelong, Victoria 2012

De Bortoli & Shelmerdine, PHI, Lusatia Park Vineyard, Yarra Valley, Victoria 2007

Giaconda Estate Vineyard Chardonnay, Beechworth, Victoria 2011

Leeuwin Estate Art Series Margaret River, Western Australia 2010


De Bortoli Phi ChardonnayThe Decanter tasting panel of Stephen Brook, Jasper Morris MW and Steven Spurrier thought that “about half  of the wines couldn’t have been Burgundy, but half quite easily could have.’

In fact, at a blind tasting in Australia, Brook confidently placed the Leeuwin Estate Art Series Margaret River 2010 as a Burgundy!  He describes it as “a magnificent, limpid, complex Chardonnay, with broad shoulders but rarely showing excessive oak or heft.”

Certainly top winemakers like By Farr’s Gary Farr are drawn twwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaao the Burgundian style of making chardonnay. Wines, which at their best, are hailed for their complexity, nuance, finesse and ageability.

The By Farr Chardonnay 2012 is an example of a wine rich in flavour yet elegant andGiaconda Estate Chardonnay refined. Brook describes it having a “full and somewhat exotic style yet [with] tension and complexity.”

The grapes for this wine are grown on the same vineyard as the pinot noir used for the acclaimed By Farr Sangreal Read the rest