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Luke Lambert Chardonnay 2022

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    Luke Lambert is fast establishing himself as an icon in the Victorian wine industry and his eponymously named Syrah and Chardonnay are some of the finest examples of cool climate winemaking in the country. With fruit sourced from one of the coldest parts of the Yarra Valley Luke is using traditional techniques to craft a wine of rare refinement, quality and balance.

    In an unassuming shed near this small town in the center of the Yarra Valley, just northeast of Melbourne, Luke Lambert makes gorgeous, minerally chardonnays and perfumed, savory syrahs under the Luke Lambert label. The wines are fresh and energetic… They are the sorts of wines I love to drink — pure and unpretentious but with character and depth. -  Eric Asimov, The New York Times

    The 2022 was sourced from a plot of clone 95 Chardonnay at the top of the east-facing slope in the Denton Vineyard. The granitic soils are much skinnier here than further down the slope where the fruit for the Crudo Chardonnay comes from (clone P58). Clone 95 ripens earlier and to a higher degree than P58, and the vines, canopy and berries are smaller, meaning tight viticultural control is required to ensure sun exposure is managed and picking dates are nailed on. The granitic nature of the Denton soil is felt most acutely in the Chardonnay wines, contributing, in Luke’s words, “phenolic and mineral tension alongside stone fruit and river stone flavours”. 

    The winemaking follows Lambert’s typical approach: whole-bunch pressing; wild-yeast fermentation; old 2,000-litre foudre; no temperature control; zero fining or filtration; minimal sulphur and plentiful lees stirring for six to eight months (Luke asserts that “Australian Chardonnay made without lees can speak too much of the sun”).

    A delight to just smell, let alone drink, the stony Denton soils shine through scents of ripe citrus fruits and white flowers. Texturally too, it is simply gorgeous, with compact, chalky weight aligned to lithe acidity, a whisper of grip and pent-up energy. Poised, driven and sustained, it’s Yarra Valley Chardonnay at the peak of its powers.

    The Finer Details
    Style - White Wine
    Varietal - Chardonnay
    Country - Australia
    Region - Yarra Valley, Victoria
    Vintage - 2022
    Bottle Size - 750ml
    ABV - 12%