Wine Advocate 94 points - Aged in 64% new oak with 95% of the fruit sourced from Tasmania, the 2011 Yattarna Chardonnay is a little closed with subtle apple and white peach aromas accentuated by touches of lemon peel and cream, plus a whiff of struck match. Light to medium-bodied, the palate has a fantastic, satiny texture that is concentrated though remains very tight and crisp at this stage. It finishes long. Drink 2015 to 2020+. (Feb 2014)
Wine Spectator 93 points - Sleek, vibrant, expressive and complex, layering grapefruit, pineapple and spice notes with hints of wax and tobacco. The finish lingers elegantly. Drink now through 2020.—H.S. (Jun 25 2014)
Yattarna derives from an Indigenous word meaning 8216;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.