Sarah Heller MW is Asia-Pacific's youngest Master of Wine. Sarah is not only a wine expert of the finest hour, but also a visual artist. Her Visual Tasting Notes are a unique project; an extraordinary rendition of a wine description.
You need to read these visual tasting notes from top to bottom. The outline of the picture reflects the 'shape' of the wine. All other tasting components have been incorporated into the artwork as well, such as aromas, colours, acids and tannins.
This is how her visual art describes Penfolds Yattarna 2012: “very fine, light, and lucent on the entry with lemongrass, quinine, yuzu and lime. The dainty body glides smoothly over the palate with attractive slip, feeling almost weightless but with intense, resonant flavour. Richness develops on the back but without ever acquiring any heaviness. Beautiful pure, saline finish.”
About the winery
Penfolds is not only one of Australia's oldest wineries, but also one of the most iconic. In 1844, Englishman Christopher Rawson Penfold decided to emigrate to South Australia with his wife Mary Penfold and set up a winery there. As a doctor, Christopher believed in the medicinal effect of wine, and this gave him the idea to establish the winery. So, the couple brought vines from France along with them to plant on their newly acquired Magill Estate. Initially, production consisted mainly of sweet and fortified wines, but the portfolio soon expanded to include red and white wines. Within a few years’ time, Penfolds became the most important winery of that time.
Some 100 years later, Max Schubert became the first Chief Winemaker at Penfolds. In this capacity, he made several important developments. Max initiated the famous Grange and Bin cuvées, for example. His precision and craftsmanship took Penfolds to an even higher level and he brought the winery worldwide prominence. Max's hard work earned him the title 'Man of the Year' by Decanter Magazine in 1988. And that's not all, the 1955 Penfolds Grange is even listed as a National Heritage wine! We can safely say that Penfolds is an extraordinary winery.
The idea for Yattarna originated in the 1990s. After more than 140 different attempts with various winemaking techniques, Penfolds was finally satisfied with the result. 1995 is the very first Yattarna vintage that was released in 1998.
This cuvée is made from 100% Chardonnay, using only the best cool-climate plots. 90% of the fruit comes from Tasmania, supplemented with some bunches from Henty and the Adelaide Hills. After fermentation and malolactic conversion, the wine is aged for 8 months in wooden barrels, of which 45% consists of new French oak. The wine has fantastic aging potential and can easily be kept in your cellar for 15 years. Yattarna is also called the Montrachet of Australia. Say no more…