Lambert Wines Yarra Valley Nebbiolo 2022


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Region: Yarra Valley
Grapes: Nebbiolo
First Glance: Fine, Detailed, Textural, Red Fruited

The Wine:
Lambert’s Nebbiolo block sits halfway up Denton’s northwestern slope, catching all available sunshine. There are six acres planted to a patchwork of six clones; Mat 3 accounts for half the acreage, with the balance comprising K6, Mat 9, Mat 10, 230 and 111. The soils here (granitic sand over granite bedrock) provide a unique terroir for the Yarra and Nebbiolo, and—along with the climate and organic farming—gives this wine much of its brightness, fresh red fruit, floral perfume and fine tannins.

Wild fermented without temperature control, 2022 spent 18 days on skins with frequent plunging and foot stomping. The wine was pressed to Slavonian and French oak foudres for 18 months before being bottled without fining or filtration. The clonal mix came in at 40% Mat 3—which Luke explains brings the power from its small berries and bunches—and 30% K6, which adds floral prettiness, with the balance a mix of the other four clones. 

From a year that Luke puts up there with 2012, 2015 and 2017―universally considered the finest of the last decade-plus―the new release offers everything we love in a Lambert Nebbiolo: the prettiness, the pulse-raising perfume, the refined structure, teasing depth and lingering finish. “I’m just trying to make something beautiful. Beauty is what Nebbiolo is all about. Pinot and Nebbiolo do beauty like no other,” Lambert told us towards the start of his journey. “That’s the journey I’m on, searching for perfume, serious refinement and beauty.” While Luke’s journey is nowhere near its end, his 2022 release strongly suggests he has found what he was looking for all those years ago.