July Wines of the Month: Yabby Lake Single Vineyard Chardonnay 2010 & Chapel Hill Bush Vine Grenache 2011

This month’s summery recommendations underline the impact of place (Mornington Peninsula) and vintage (2011) in Australia.

Mornington Peninsula’s cooling maritime influences combined with winemaker Tom Carson’s early picked style conspire to produce among Australia’s tautest, most lipsmacking of Chardonnays. Meanwhile, in 2011 McLaren Vale producer Chapel Hill’s peppery, perfumed uber-digestible Grenache has been a positive outcome of this tricky, cool, wet vintage. Here are my notes on the wines:

Yabby Lake Single Vineyard Chardonnay 2010 (Mornington Peninsula)

Yabby Lake Chardonnay NV Large
A tight nose of flint/cordite and cracked, roast hazelnuts forecasts the savoury, taut palate which follows. A firm, citric backbone of bright, zingy lemon and green pineapple provides great line and reverberating length. This is an exciting, energetic wine. £27.20 at Hedonism.

Chapel Hill Bush Vine Grenache 2011 (McLaren Vale)


Grenache is sometimes dubbed warm climate Pinot Noir Down Under and this is a fine example of the genre. Its floral, peppery nose and bright red fruits are very much down to the vintage and, says winemaker Michael Fragos, old vine fruit additionally lends a charge of spice. Both nose and palate show plenty of lift – fragrant white pepper and muskier turkish delight. With not a scintilla of confection to its sleek, well-defined red fruits it’s a finely honed immensely food-friendly wine. £20.25 at Elwood Wines.

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