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Tom's 2018 Cellar Selection

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2018 Christmas Cellar Pack 

Each year, winemaker Tom Carson selects six wines - primarily from our museum cellar – that represent exceptional drinking this holiday season.  Drawing on several classic vintages, spanning a decade, this very special cellar pack has been chosen to mark a special milestone in Yabby Lake’s history – 20 years since the first vine was planted in 1998. 

Read on for more information about the wines themselves, and some of the wonderful accolades they have enjoyed. 


2011 Single Vineyard Chardonnay

The team is loving this wine at the moment, tightly coiled upon release, it has unfurled over the ensuing years to show its exceptional character.  

As many will know, 2011 was a difficult year across Victoria, La Nina struck with intensity and conditions were cool and wet. But here at Yabby Lake, the star of the vintage was without doubt the Chardonnay - intense, mineral and tightly coiled, it is now beginning to show it’s best. 

James Halliday:

95 points “…all about intensity and purity, the fruit expression almost painful in its precision, drawing saliva from the mouth on the aftertaste. The utmost care has been taken not to allow oak to act as more than a medium.”


2012 Block 1 Chardonnay

2012 was as close to perfect a season as a vigneron could hope for. Mild, warm and steady weather throughout the entire season, slow and steady ripening and fruit of incredible intensity and balance.  We have three wines in this year’s pack from this exceptional vintage (see Single Vineyard Pinot Noir and Cuvée Nina further below) 

We recently showed the Block 1 Chardonnay to trade and journalists in London (September 2018), and were thrilled with the response:


Tina Gellie, Decanter Magazine: 

“If you get the chance to taste the 2012 Block 1, don't pass it by – it's one of Australia's finest Chardonnays.”


Sarah Ahmed, The Detective: 

“I first tasted this wine in 2014, remarking on its imposing structure and “bottled electricity” ageing potential.   In scintillating form when Tom Carson showed it at last month’s Mornington Peninsula masterclass, Yabby Lake Block 1 Chardonnay 2012 is thoroughly living up to its promise.  Made from 100% Mendoza or Gin Gin clone, which is grown on the lowest, coolest part of the vineyard with the heaviest clay, its energy is evident from the off.  A tangy, zingy, tightly-wound nose shows lemon zest and pith, which follow through on the attack.  Yellow peach, savoury lees, nutty oak and subtle struck match lift build resolutely, as it opens up.  With a chewy, palpable sense of dry extract, it has terrific palate presence. A lingering, slow burn finish – perfumed, still building – suggests this wine is just hitting its stride.  Superb complexity, structure and length.  12.5%”


2012 Single Vineyard Pinot Noir 

Another cracking wine from this perfect season - the year that produced the Block 1 Pinot Noir, historic winner of the Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy. 

James Halliday:

97 points.  “Outstanding purple-crimson colour; the fragrant bouquet has an exuberant display of plum and red cherry, the palate moving into another gear, retaining the fruit, but adding savoury complexity that invests it with quite exceptional length. Exemplary viticulture (Keith Harris) and winemaking (Tom Carson) at work.”


2012 Cuvée Nina traditional method sparkling

From a classic vintage on the Mornington Peninsula, this wine shows great delicacy and finesse.  A fine, dry aperitif style, the extended time of four years on lees imparts wonderful complexity and texture.  Pure and with incredible line and length, the wine has a poised, lingering finish.  

The perfect wine to kick off holiday celebrations. 


2017 Block 6 Pinot Noir

The new release 2017 Block 6 Pinot Noir is dark fruited and nuanced with fragrance and spice. The wine is long, penetrating and energetic.  2017 is a classically proportioned vintage which is drinking beautifully today, but will also reward careful cellaring.  Decant it for Christmas lunch and enjoy it with roast pork and spiced fruit condiments. 

James Halliday: 

97 points. “D4V2 clone, hand-sorted, destemmed into French oak open fermenters, 4 days cold soak, wild-fermented, 17 days on skins, matured for 11 months in French puncheons. Can't get away from the iron fist in a velvet glove first up. Dark cherry and plum fruit are riddled with spices, the texture and balance perfect, juicy fruits both a present and future bank for Bitcoin miners - it's equally magical.”


2008 Heathcote Estate Block A Shiraz

Now 10 years old, this wonderful wine is certainly living up to its promise.  Not long after its release at a ‘Winewise’ tasting of the entire Heathcote region, this 2008 vintage Block A was awarded the highest points.  More reviews below: 


Nick Stock, 95 points: “A more modern, savoury and detailed take on top-end Heathcote Shiraz.” 


Robert Parker, 93 points: “Full bodied with plenty of mouth-filling berry and cherry fruit, it is superbly structured with crisp acid and a firm level of very fine-grained tannins. The finish is long and minty. Approachable now, it has the stuffing to develop and cellar to 2020+.” 


If you have further questions regarding specific wines in this line up, please contact our winemaking team via admin@yabbylake.com 



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