Luke Lambert Nebbiolo Yarra Valley 2017

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Luke Lambert Nebbiolo Yarra Valley 2017
Country Australia
Region Victoria
Appellation/Sub-Region Yarra Valley
Grapes Nebbiolo
Vineyard/Cellar Practices Organically Grown, Vegan

Nebbiolo is a famous grape, not only because of the magnificent wines made from that varietal in Barolo and Barbaresco, but also because of how difficult it is to grow. It requires a long growing season, and its thin skin leaves it susceptible to damage from fungus and climatic conditions. It is therefore a very happy accident to find that nebbiolo thrives in southeastern Australia: in particular in the Yarra Valley in the State of Victoria. Those finicky vines are also lucky (as are we, wine drinkers!) to have Luke Lambert’s devout belief in their potential. His chardonnays display beautiful minerality—and his syrahs beautiful aromatics—but Lambert’s main interest is nebbiolo. Thus far his wines have come from others’ vineyards, in particular Denton’s View Hill vineyard, east of Yarra Glen. But when Lambert’s own six-acre “Sparkletown” plot (named by Lambert’s nine-year-old daughter, Olive) is operational, nebbiolo will be his sole focus. If this 2017 vintage is any indication of what is to come, Piedmontese aficionados have a bright future. Eric Asimov of The New York Times called it “the truest, most honest expression of nebbiolo that I’ve had from outside northern Italy.” After 20 days of skin contact, it sees 20 months in old foudres and is bottled without fining or filtration. Everything is in balance: floral aromatics, dark fruit, earthy minerality, and just enough tannin. Organically grown.