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Launched in 1998 with the 1995 vintage, Yattarna is the result of one of the most comprehensive, focused and highly publicised wine development projects ever conducted in Australia. The aspiration and independence of mind across generations of Penfolds winemakers inspired the ambition to create a white wine that would set the standard for ultrafine Australian chardonnay. Selectively sourcing only the very best chardonnay fruit from cool-climate regions, coupled with sensitive winemaking, the style continues to evolve. Yattarna reflects Penfolds patience and continued commitment to its original goal, its very name being drawn from the Aboriginal language, meaning ‘little by little, gradually’. Each vintage provides the opportunity to further raise the quality bar.
"From Tasmania and the Adelaide Hills, matured for 8 months in French barriques (65% new). A perfect example of the original aim of finding a white wine partner to Grange. Power and stealth are an unlikely combination, but endeavouring to unpick the multitude of flavours isn't useful. The heart of this great chardonnay is its balance, and the extreme length built on its bracing acidity."
"Light to medium yellow colour, with a superbly intense, fruit-driven aroma; lots of toasted nut flavours, oak derived, and very complex. A hint of pineapple. It needs time as the oak is quite apparent on the day. Richness with finesse, and generosity with restraint. Long, long carry. A very good Yattarna. (8 months in 65% new barriques; full malolactic fermentation)"
"Eight months in French oak, 65% new. Vineyard sources in Tasmania and the Adelaide Hills. Voluminous chardonnay. Strikingly rich, sweet of fruit, powerful to start and powerful to close. You see figs and honeysuckle, stonefruits and juicy pears. There’s a suggestion of creaminess, of white chocolate, but it never quite lands, it’s just there, a voice on your shoulder. It’s a masterful wine; it eschews fashion; it just is. From the first sip it sweeps you along. So beautifully groomed."
Nashi pear and white peach fruits prevail, with stylish yet omnipresent French oak (pencil shavings/oak filings) playing a significant (supporting) role. Nothing too showy, nothing singular. Complete.
Many fruits, yet the most apparent (pear, red Gala apple and white fig), sitting atop a foundation of supportive oak; ever so sensitive, deferential.
Toasted oats and brandy snap complexities conveyed via a fine, linear and long acid backbone.
A mouth-coating film of fruit and racy acidity unfolds across palate, affording great length, contributing lingering tactile impressions.
Download Tasting Notes (PDF
Home to the oldest vines in the country, and no less than 18 wine growing regions, South Australia accounts for almost 50% of Australia’s wine production. The Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Langhorne Creek and Coonawarra are well known for their world class reds, with Adelaide Hills, Clare Valley and Eden Valley praised for their exceptional Chardonnay and Riesling.
Autumn and winter rainfall were above the longterm averages in the Adelaide Hills. Rain stopped abruptly in early August with nothing more than light and infrequent showers observed throughout spring. In Tasmania, moderate spring rainfall and settled conditions led to good average yields across the region, with only isolated incidences of frost. A significant rainfall event in the Adelaide Hills in early January revitalised vineyards and gave vines a much needed boost throughout veraison. Mild days coupled with cool nights in Tasmania and the Adelaide Hills provided consistent conditions, resulting in high acid retention with even and steady sugar accumulation over the ripening phase. Harvest across most vineyards in the Adelaide Hills was compressed with the majority of the vineyards picked by the end of March.
Key to the success of Penfolds has been a lineage of visionary winemakers. There have only ever been four Chief Winemakers at the helm of Penfolds – Max Schubert, Don Ditter, John Duval and Peter Gago, each a custodian of a rich winemaking tradition that goes back for more than 170 years.
Our current Penfolds winemaking team has more than 100 years between them as Penfolds winemakers. They are constantly refining and improving their work, whilst honouring the winemaking techniques of their predecessors.