Wantirna Estate Chardonnay Yarra Valley Isabella 2009

Winemaker's Notes:

The Chardonnay vines are grown on an east facing, gentle slope allowing early morning and late afternoon sunshine. This aspect is perfect to grow top quality chardonnay grapes. Today the average age of the vines is over 40 years, which adds to the complexity of the fruit. The Chardonnay grapes are hand harvested early in the day and then pressed in an air bag press. The juice is then chilled, settled and inoculated with yeast before being transferred to a cool underground cellar for fermentation in new, one and two year old French oak barrels. The wine is left to age on the yeast lees with regular lees stirring to increase the texture of the wine. After around 11 months, the wine is fined and sent to bottle. The Isabella Chardonnay trademark is its elegance and rounded middle palate texture. With time in bottle the fruit flavours develop into complex nuts and toast character with a succulent yet tight finish.

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Wantirna Estate:
Wantirna Estate Vineyard is not far from the centre of Melbourne, in the state of Victoria. Whilst the region had been a thriving grape growing region in the mid 1800’s, by the end of the 1930’s, all the vineyards had been turned over to pasture because of the economic depression. The 1963 planting of Wantirna Estate Vineyard was the first of the new generation vineyards. The impetus for th... Read more
Wantirna Estate Vineyard is not far from the centre of Melbourne, in the state of Victoria. Whilst the region had been a thriving grape growing region in the mid 1800’s, by the end of the 1930’s, all the vineyards had been turned over to pasture because of the economic depression. The 1963 planting of Wantirna Estate Vineyard was the first of the new generation vineyards. The impetus for this vineyard began back in 1956 when Reg Egan married Bertina Curcio whose mother was English but whose father was Italian. Wine and food were important in the Curcio household. Reg and Bertina became fascinated by the history of wine in Victoria, Lilydale in particular, and resolved to replant the Yarra Valley. The first grapes were planted on the present 10 acre vineyard in Bushy Park Lane, Wantirna South in 1963 and the first vintage was made in 1968. Wantirna Estate Vineyard is a small family run affair of only 10 acres in size. The early vine plantings included all sorts of varieties as an experiment as to the varieties that may do well. Varieites such as– Shiraz, Grenache, Pedro Ximenez, Riesling, Dolcetto and so the list goes on. By the 1970’s the vineyard was consolidated, growing Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot. Much of the Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot plantings are 40 years old, with the average age of the remaining vines over 25 years old. Today the day to day jobs are split between Reg and Bertina Egan and their daughter Maryann Egan. To ensure total control on the quality of the grapes used for the wines, all the grapes are Estate grown. This allows the winemakers to manage the vineyard in a meticulous fashion and it means that the little, yet the all-important jobs are done. Like hand thinning the foliage if the canopy needs a little more sunshine or tasting the grapes on a daily basis to ensure that the grapes are harvested at exactly the ultimate moment. For quality wine Maryann and Reg think that doing all the little jobs, rather than just focussing on the big, obvious ones, can make all the difference between good and outstanding wine. As the grapes are all grown on the property, so too are all the wines made at Wantirna Estate. This means that there is very little time between harvesting the grapes and processing them. So that maximum quality is retained throughout the initial winemaking stages. In terms of winemaking processes, things are kept pretty simple and traditional, with of course, an eye on the scientific side of winemaking. The vineyards are rarely watered and crop levels are kept below two tonnes to the acre. So the wines truly reflect the soil and climate of the vineyard, as well as the winemakers' interpretation on fine and elegant wines. Read less

Member Reviews for Wantirna Estate Chardonnay Yarra Valley Isabella

Add your review
Snooth User: markebo
83792661
3.50 5
08/03/2011

Three and a half glasses



The Chardonnay vines are grown on an east facing, gentle slope allowing early morning and late afternoon sunshine. This aspect is perfect to grow top quality chardonnay grapes. Today the average age of the vines is over 40 years, which adds to the complexity of the fruit. The Chardonnay grapes are hand harvested early in the day and then pressed in an air bag press. The juice is then chilled, settled and inoculated with yeast before being transferred to a cool underground cellar for fermentation in new, one and two year old French oak barrels. The wine is left to age on the yeast lees with regular lees stirring to increase the texture of the wine. After around 11 months, the wine is fined and sent to bottle. The Isabella Chardonnay trademark is its elegance and rounded middle palate texture. With time in bottle the fruit flavours develop into complex nuts and toast character with a succulent yet tight finish.

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