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Penfolds Yattarna Chardonnay 2021

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    Penfolds has a rich history dating back to 1844 when Dr. Christopher and Mary Penfold arrived in Australia with a vine cutting and a bold vision. They purchased 500 acres of land in South Australia and began producing tonics, brandies, and fortified wines made from grapes and Australian sunshine. Christopher's planting of vines and his philosophies continue to influence Penfolds to this day. Mary Penfold, the unsung chief of Penfolds, played a significant role in the winery's experimentations, growth and winemaking philosophies. Max Schubert became the company's first Chief Winemaker in 1948 and created the long-lasting Penfolds Grange in the 1950s. The tradition of 'bin wines' began in 1959 with Kalimna Bin 28 becoming the first official Penfolds Bin number wine. Penfolds continues to innovate, with the release of the rare 2004 Kalimna Block Cabernet Sauvignon in 2012 and the 170th anniversary celebration in 2014. Today, Penfolds remains one of Australia's most famed and respected winemakers, driven by generations of visionaries and innovators who strive for excellence in winemaking.

    The release of Penfolds Yattarna Chardonnay marked a new chapter in the winery's story after 144 winemaking trials. The inaugural 1995 vintage was arguably the most talked-about and early anticipated white wine in Australian history, earning the nickname "White Grange" and reaching the front pages of the country's national newspapers. This elegant style epitomizes the finesse, restraint and character of modern Australian chardonnay. The winery's attention to detail in the winemaking process has resulted in a wine that is both complex and refined. The Yattarna Chardonnay is best enjoyed within a three to 12 year time frame, as the wines benefit from some bottle age.

    Penfolds Yattarna Chardonnay 2021 is a masterfully crafted wine, matured for nine months in French oak barriques, 70% of which were new. The 2021 vintage was a welcome return to normal yields and weather patterns after the two previous vintages were affected by extreme weather conditions. Tasmania and Tumbarumba enjoyed good winter rainfall and warm conditions in spring, while the Adelaide Hills had a drier lead into spring, with good conditions for flowering, ensuring good fruit-set. This wine has a pale straw color with green hues, a beautiful sight that invites a sip. The complexity of the wine's aromatics takes some time to fully unfurl, allowing time to savor the experience. The first impression is a trip to a Parisian fromagerie, with very ripe Brie de Meaux, lavosh and cumquat jam. There is a hint of baking spice, derived from the French oak maturation, with freshly baked almond croissant notes that set the mouth watering. A barrel ferment struck match note is evident, practically a signature of modern Yattarna. There is a minerality reminiscent of razorfish or mussel shells, suggesting a salinity that is very enticing. On the palate, Penfolds Yattarna Chardonnay 2021 delivers what the aromatics promise. It has a level of complexity that places it among the finest ever made. The prominent citrus flavor is led by pink grapefruit, ably backed up by lemon curd, with a crème brûlée-like richness holding court. The texture is incredibly fine, with the flavors of just-roasted hazelnuts and salted cashews. Fresh nougat makes a cameo appearance, embedded with pistachio nuts and wrapped in glutinous rice paper, boosted by black sesame paste baked in a Japanese milk bun. The finish is incredibly long, with the core of fruit going on and on, braced by beautifully composed acidity. Penfolds Yattarna Chardonnay 2021 is a wine that captivates and delights, making every sip savored. It is serviceable now but will continue to develop its flavor profile until 2045, making it an indispensable addition to any wine collection.

    Pale colour. Sublime grapefruit, white peach, pear, hunt grilled nut aromas with fresh quartz/flinty notes. Beautifully balanced wine with pure grapefruit, white peach flavours, fine al dente textures, hint yeasty / waxy notes, superb mid palate volume and underlying grilled nut, marzipan notes, Finishes chalky and minerally with ample grapefruit notes. All the elements are in perfect balance. A wonderful Yattarna with superb fruit definition, complexity, richness and mineral length. Should last at least 20 years. 100% of the blend is aged for eight months in new (86%) and seasoned one-year-old (14%) oak. - Andrew Caillard MW, 99 Points. 

    The Finer Details
    Style - White Wine
    Varietal - Chardonnay
    Country - Australia
    Region - Tasmania, Adelaide Hills
    Vintage - 2021
    Bottle Size - 750ml
    ABV - 13%