The mofo guide to | Yarra Valley chardonnay

Nick Baum
By Nick Baum
19 days ago
4 min read

The Yarra Valley continues to prove itself as home to world class chardonnay and pinot noir - and unlike other premium regions (looking at you, Burgundy), you'll find seriously delicious drops at prices that make sense any night of the week. Here’s a 1-0-1 on Yarra Valley chardonnay - what, where and when it’s best, and why we love it too.


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What’s great about Yarra Valley chardonnay

After the reviled “anything but chardonnay era” of big, buttery and flabby chards, winemakers in the Yarra Valley were at the vanguard of the more modern styles we know and can’t get enough of today. Here you’ll find a more restrained use of oak, MLF and lower alcohol - and typically more fine boned, textural focus on site expression and fruit purity. Everything that the Yarra Valley does superbly well.


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What to expect with a Yarra Valley chardonnay

As the Yarra Valley is a cool climate (for the most part) you’ll find these sitting more towards that citrus end of the chardy scale, ranging through to stone fruit in warmer sites, underpinned by a clean, mineral finish. Restraint is generally the order of the day here - oak is used here and there to bring that classic body, vanilla and toast - and MLF is used here and there too, imparting those more gentle, buttery notes, without going too far overboard. You’ll also find chardonnay employed in Yarra Valley bubbles too - Chandon being a notable presence making traditional method champagne-style sparkling wine in the Valley as a blend with Yarra Valley pinot, or by itself as a blanc de blanc.


What temperature should I serve Yarra Valley chardonnay at?

We’ll defer you to the bottle in your hand to answer this one mofo - for sparkling non-vintage champagne-style or sparkling blanc des blancs Yarra Valley chardonnay you’d want your wine to be well chilled (6-8°C - overnight in the fridge); for still Yarra Valley chardonnay you’ll be looking at 10-12 °C (chilled, a couple of hours in the fridge). But you know how you like your favourite wine - our advice is that it’s better to overchill and let the wine come up in temperature, rather than resort to the crime of diluting your wine with ice.


What foods pair with Yarra Valley chardonnay?

Yarra Valley chardonnay is a fantastically versatile food wine, and can be there for both your lighter bites and slightly heartier fare too. We’d be inclined to look for dishes with a bit more depth to match the body - a classic herby roast chook, grilled salmon with roast potatoes, or an asparagus & lemon pasta. Like we said though, it’s versatile and can swing either way - it’s not too heavy for a classic caesar salad, but also has that structure to match up with bigger proteins, like roast pork tenderloin. Proceed deliciously.


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When should I be drinking Yarra Valley chardonnay?

For us Yarra Valley chardonnay (like its cousin pinot noir) is a real all-occasions-all-seasons kind of wine. The pure fruit expression that winemakers in the Yarra Valley are famed for is perfect for those spring/summer barbecues on deck, though there’s still that richness of body that’s well suited for the crisp autumn and winter months. Welcome at the table with a whole heap of foods, it’ll also bring the sparkle to any celebration if that’s your kind of thing too. What’s not to love about that?


Keen to see our latest picks from the Yarra Valley? Browse the range here.

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