Yabby Lake Vineyard, Mornington Peninsula, Chardonnay 2005, White wine from Australia

7 points

Having never been to Australia, and not knowing very much about wines from there, it is always a real pleasure to be introduced to special or unique Australian wines. My Australian friend Grant Hill  recently presented me with a 2005 Chardonnay from Yabby Lake Vineyard, which is on the Mornington Peninsula. This is more or less 40 km north of Melbourne. If you like, you can find detailed information about the climate, soil and other wine-making factors of this area on Yabby Lake Vineyard’s website: http://www.yabbylake.com/

We have all tried Australian Chardonnays; you would likely associate them with rather creamy and heavy white wines – closer to the taste of Californian than French, for instance. Yabby Lake Vineyard’s Chardonnay offers you a totally different taste experience. It’s exotic. Sifting through all my ideas of the composition of tastes in this wine, I concluded that it somehow tastes of pretzel and white chocolate. This is obviously a weird description, although I always believe there are rudimentary elements that describe something quite close to the tasting-reality.

This wine is light, elegant, somewhat reticent, and simply very delicious. Often these Australian Chardonnays seem rather heavy and, as I said, creamy; this one is really the opposite. No oak, no barrique – but it has a very special character – some herbal and grassy aromas, along with fruity flavors of nectarine, mandarin orange, and even some melon, but also grapefruit. Considering the age of the wine it is also astonishing how alluringly fresh it is! And due to its unique flavors, you’re better off not cooling this wine too severely, but rather exploring its depth at around 11 degrees celsius.


According to Grant Hill, this is a boutique winery. Apart from Chardonnay, they also produce Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir and of course Syrah, the most dominant type in Australia. Of the 2005 Chardonnay, only 3000 bottles were produced, so you can understand that this is a craftsman’s sort of winery. Small, but excellent.

13319810_1256023941092306_7615458196804163637_nI love the name: Yabby Lake! And! You can find resident kangaroos – in the middle of the winery! This might somehow be another explanation for this rare and very good wine!

(pictures of kangoroos were taken from the FB page of the vinery)

Please see also other wine reviews of Australian wine: d´Arenberg, The Dead Arm, Shiraz, 2005 and Bin No 0, Best’s Great Western, Shiraz, 1990