Wine Advocate 92 points - The style of Yattarna has evolved significantly since its first release into today’s elegant, medium bodied style that is very tight-knit in youth and built to age. The 2009 Penfolds Yattarna Chardonnay is a multi-regional blend with about 47% of the fruit coming from Derwent Valley (Tasmania), 3% from the Adelaide Hills and the rest from Henty (Victoria) - all cooler climate areas. It was barrel-fermented and matured for nine months in French oak barriques, 40% new and 60% 1 year. At this youthful stage it offers delicate aromas of ripe peaches, green mango and under-ripe pineapple with hints of toasted almonds, cedar, crostini and baker’s yeast. The medium bodied palate has a good core of mouth-filling stone fruit and toasty flavors with a beautiful silkiness to the texture and a long zesty finish that lends a lingering minerally / chalky character. Approachable now, it should drink best 2013 to 2018+. (May 2012)
Wine Spectator 92 points - Tangy, focused, spicy and refreshing, with a line of acidity making the wine mouthwatering underneath flavors of lime, grapefruit and green apple. Tightly wound, this has the intensity to expand its flavor profile with cellaring. Drink now through 2021.—H.S. (Dec 19 2012)
Yattarna derives from an Indigenous word meaning ‘;little by little’ or ‘gradually’. This utterly unmistakable Australian name, which evokes associations with organic momentum and vintage-by-vintage effort, captures the true essence and culture of Penfolds’ winemaking philosophy.
The first vintage, released in 1995, was the impressive result of an intensive research project across state borders, to find the distinguished vineyard sites capable of yielding that rare and exquisite fruit quality, necessary for a truly great Australian chardonnay.
Ever since, the evolution of Yattarna has become one of Penfolds’ most fascinating stories and nearly two decades of dedicated research, blending and refinement is now producing a revelational release each vintage.
Modern day Yattarna has become even finer, more elegant and focused, with ageing potential of up to a decade in strong vintages.
Yattarna is redefining Australian chardonnay at a time when premium Australian chardonnay has never been better.
|Rabbit, candied lemon peel, pumpkin ’tears’, bacon, coffee and coriander seed
A classic Italian veal recipe - Vitello tonnato
|Australia’s winemaking history of less than two hundred years is brief by European measures though, like Europe, punctuated by periods of extreme success and difficult times. From the earliest winemaking days Penfolds has figured prominently and few would argue the importance of Penfolds’ influence on Australia’s winemaking psyche.
Without the influence of Penfolds the modern Australian wine industry would look very different indeed. Sitting comfortably outside of fad and fashion, Penfolds has taken Australian wine to the world on a grand stage and forged a reputation for quality that is without peer.
Penfolds’ reputation for making wines of provenance and cellaring potential might suggest a mantle of tradition and formality is the preferred attire of a company with so much history to defend. But to label Penfolds as simply an established and conventional winemaker, would be to confuse tradition with consideration and to overlook the innovative spirit that has driven Penfolds since its foundation, and continues to find expression in modern times.
If there is anything traditional about Penfolds, it is the practice of constantly reviewing the wines it already does well, and continuously evolving and refining styles as vineyards mature and access to ever older and more varied vineyard sites improves.