Penfolds Yattarna Chardonnay 1995

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Yet another vintage acquisition for me here in California, I was pretty darn excited to open this 14 year old chardonnay with a reputation as being one of the best in Australia.

The colour on this beauty was a deep yellow with browning qualities that showed a bit of age. Luckily the nose was still very expressive with wood, nuts, metal and minerals suggesting something quite dense and layered. I have to admit, however, that as much as I liked this wine I was somewhat less impressed with the palate, which seemed to have a bit too much oak compared to recent vintages of Yattarna. Nonetheless, this was bright and citrus happy with some nice spice qualities from the oak. I also got some really unique fruits like perhaps some exotic melon aromas (winter melon?).

The textured smoothness on this wine was also extremely impressive and perhaps the best part of the wine. The other critique I have besides perhaps a touch too much oak (this is by no means driven by oak), is the lack of complexity in the flavour profile, which really was in the end predominantly lemon and lime with a touch of pineapple. The 2003 version of this wine I tasted a while ago had much more of a minerally element and greater brightness and precision. Nonetheless, this shows how well Yattarna holds up to some long term aging.

Very Good+ to Excellent
$59 at Benchmark Wines


  1. Edward
    May 5, 2009


    A great find, but I wonder if a few years late. I think this is also the first vintage of the so called ‘white Grange’, so also very historic.

  2. Shea
    May 5, 2009

    I could see this being a few years too late. I think you are right about this being the first vintage, though. There is a little card that came with the wine saying it was released in 1998. Fruit source from Adelaide hills and McLaren vale. 100% malolactic.

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