Region: Yarra Valley
First Glance: cool climate, understated, medium-weight
Yeringberg is one of the oldest and finest producers in the Yarra Valley, and the de Pury family have been growing grapes and fruit, as well as raising lamb and cattle, on their Coldstream hill since 1863. Today the estate is lead by the talented, and thoroughly down to earth, Sandra de Pury. The operation is remarkably old fashioned, with a hands on effort in the vineyard and a low-tech approach in the cellar, under the old wooden winery building. These are some of the most honest, detailed and delightfully under-stated wines coming out of the valley.
The fruit for the estate Chardonnay is fully crushed and destemmed with several hours skin contact, to extract extra phenolic flavour compounds, and add a smidge of texture on the palate. Mainly barrel fermented, and aged in 25% new hogshead barrels. Only 25% of the wine has gone through malolactic conversion, meaning that a great deal of the life-giving malic acid (think sharper 'green apple' like acid) is retained, ensuring great precision and freshness, and only a moderate dimension of creaminess, in the final wine.
The Best Cellars view:
The Chardonnay at Yeringberg is old-school, in the most charming of ways. That is not to say it is over-oaked or heavy - quite the opposite. Everything is superbly balanced, with aromas of moderately ripe fruit, nutty nuances, a hint of yeasty complexity and a bit of well-judged sweet oak spice on the nose. On the palate, this is firmly medium-bodied, and displays great depth of flavour without going overboard. Lively acidity and a little chalky texture on the palate, act as a great scaffold that holds everything in place. A wine to drink now with some aeration, or to lay down for 5 - 10 years.