Luke Lambert

Luke Lambert takes inspiration from his experience making wine in Piemonte and Australia yet firmly believes that "...the shape of a wine should be governed by what soil you’re on, the aspect, the amount of sunshine and rain." In other words, “place” dictates the personality of the wine. Lambert’s source vineyards (in poor, rocky and elevated pockets of the Yarra Valley) are therefore managed in order to bring out their unique geographic signature in the final wines. All Luke Lambert wines are handpicked and of single-vineyard origin. These are wines made as if the industrial revolution (in wine) was a figment of collective imagination. Luke’s methodology includes wild ferments without the aid of temperature control, hand plunging, long macerations (with plenty of whole-bunch for the Syrahs), basket-pressing, gravity rather than pumping, old oak, and no fining or filtration. Lambert’s belief that "the best wines have always been made by feel and are always sourced from unique and interesting vineyards that have natural balance and grow grapes full of character..." comes through strongly in the remarkable complexity and placeness of these wines.

Yarra Valley Chardonnay

This is the second release of Chardonnay that comes from the Tibooburra Vineyard, in the Upper Yarra. The very poor soil (black volcanic topsoil over yellow clay with a smattering of granite throughout), high altitude and exposure to high winds make this an extreme low fertility site. The winemaking includes wild yeast fermentation, oxidative handling, lots of battonage, no temperature control and zero fining or filtration. The wine spends 11 months in 29 year old French foudre.

Price: Fl $380
Yarra Valley Nebbiolo

The lion's share of the fruit for this release (60%) comes from vines rooted in the highland Jansz vineyard at St Andrews. This site is extremely rocky and enjoys crisp, continental nights. These difficult growing conditions ensure low crops of small, intensely flavored bunches and berries, which gift plenty of firm but fine Nebbiolo tannins, and a darker fruit profile to the blend. Some 40% of the fruit also comes from the Denton vineyard (a northwest facing slope of granitic sand over heavy granite boulders) and this contributes the perfume and floral lift. The wine was fermented using wild yeast and held on skins for 40 days before pressing and maturation in 30 year old, large format oak barrels for 18 months. It was bottled without fining or filtration.

Price: Fl $660
Yarra Valley Syrah

The 100% Syrah comes from what might be the coolest microclimate of the Yarra, the south-west sloping, Tibooburra Vineyard in the south-eastern corner of the Valley whose soil is predominately black volcanic topsoil over yellow clay with a smattering of granite throughout. This vineyard is extremely low yield, and the resulting wine experienced wild fermentation and spent 11 months in 29 year old French foudre. According to Luke this wine marks a slight departure from previous vintages, "The big difference was the weather leading up to harvest, 2013 was a warmer year with plenty of sunshine so the wine carries a bit more fruit muscle and weight, more red fruited than the 2012. We still managed to pick early enough to hold onto lots of fresh acidity and the wine will build pepper and spice as it goes along."


Stephen Tanzer - 93 pts

Price: Fl $520