This is part of the Tyrrell's 'Sacred Sites' series - an exciting range of wines that explores the myriad different vineyards dotted throughout the Hunter.
This comes from the Hunter Valley Distillery (HVD ) site, which was planted in 1908, making it one of the oldest Chardonnay producing blocks in the world. It's a special wine, normally only available to Tyrrell's members or through their Cellar Door.
Plenty of struck match on the nose, with white stonefruit character, and whispers of vanillin oak. The palate is nutty and complex, with grapefruit acidity driving through to a savoury, almost saline finish. This is good Chardy, and will certainly reward those with the patience to cellar it.
The 1908 block at the HVD Vineyard was hand picked and basket pressed, with the juice cold settled for four days before fermentation began in stainless steel tanks. The fermenting juice was then transferred to French oak barriques, 30% of which were new.
The wine is balanced between primary Chardonnay fruit flavours and secondary flavours derived from the minimal solids ferment and extended yeast lees contact, resulting in this wine's texture and mouth feel.
Tyrrell's is an iconic Hunter Valley winery renowned for producing some of Australia’s greatest wines. Tyrrell's was established by English immigrant, Edward Tyrrell in 1858 at the foot of New South Wales’ striking Brokenback Range. Today, Tyrrell's is headed up by 4th generation winemaker, Bruce Tyrrell, with the 5th generation hot on his heels! Tyrrell's produces a broad array of wine varieties and styles, ranging from the inexpensive to the luxurious. They have championed the Semillon variety, with their flagship, of course, being the world-renowned Vat 1. They strive to create wines of individual character, flavour and integrity. Since 1971, Tyrrell’s has been awarded over 5,000 trophies and medals and in 2010 was named “Winery of the Year” in James Halliday’s Australian Wine Companion. With the fifth generation, Chris, Jane and John, involved in the business, Tyrrell’s will continue to remain family owned with the simple philosophy of producing high quality wine that people love to drink.
JAMES HALLIDAY - HALLIDAY'S WINE COMPANION
The vines were planted in 1908, hand-picked, crushed and basket-pressed. This is the oldest single vineyard chardonnay in Australia, and very likely the world. The intensity of the wine catches you by surprise with a saline underlay to the white peach flavours. Stands second to Vat 47 in my opinion.
HUON HOOKE - THE REAL REVIEW
The colour is light and the bouquet very shy and restrained, with little fruit showing, just a touch of reduction. The wine is lean and tight, restrained and somewhat in its shell. It could repay a little more time. It is tight with latent intensity, and seems to have the makings of a very good chardonnay.
GARY WALSH - THE WINE FRONT
Even as a youngster, a pretty savoury and briny style. Quiet in fruit, some volume in oyster shell and sour yoghourt complexity. Cedar and nuts, pear and apple, firm acidity, solid length, but more on acid than fruit weight. Hard one to call so young. I *think* it will get there. 92+ Points
TONI PATERSON MW - THE REAL REVIEW
Abundant freshness with pristine lemon and grapefruit flavours. The wine is in a primary stage, but the bones are magnificent. It will evolve more complexity with time in the bottle, but it has lovely freshness, brightness and texture right now