Wheeler Yarra Valley Willowlake Chardonnay 2021


Upper Yarra Valley Chardonnay from the highly esteemed Willowlake Vineyard (Gladysdale), a gentle north-facing slope grown on grey volcanic soils. Handpicked in late February; fruit was gently pressed to tank to settle for 24 hours. Following a light racking, juice is naturally fermented in close to 100% neutral French barriques. Rested on fine lees for 9 months with bâtonnage. MLF in some barrels. No additions beyond sulfur. Unfined/Unfiltered/Vegan.’

The Willowlake turns up the class a little bit more compared to the Electric Lines and is another fine vintage of perhaps my favourite Wheeler wine. It’s fragrant from the moment you unscrew the cap, with aromas that fill up the room. The first delightful scent is that of white flowers, followed by lemon, peach and some fresh honeysuckle. There’s a touch of creaminess, plus some nuts and smoke. The palate is splendid, with mellifluousness (try saying that after a few glasses) and vibrant fruit, plus heaps of acid to make it lively and fresh. While this is a great drop with some food, it’s a pleasure just sipping it slowly of an evening.