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The Best of the Best 2003: International White Wines - 1999 Penfolds Yattarna Chardonnay

Anthony Dias Blue

When the legendary Max Schubert first created the experimental Penfolds Grange Hermitage in the 1950s, he was reviled by both the press and wine industry. Schubert persevered, and the wine, now known simply as Grange, became the brightest star in the Australian firmament. Penfolds decided in the mid-1990s to create a white wine that could stand alongside Grange. The resulting Yattarna Chardonnay—if not yet as venerable as its red sibling—is an exceptional white wine.

Yattarna is 100-percent Chardonnay but, following Penfolds’ customary policy, the grapes are sourced from three different regions: Fleurieu, Piccadilly, and the Adelaide Hills. Smooth and elegant with showy fruit and tangy flavors, the 1999 Penfolds Yattarna Chardonnay is complex and yet seamlessly pure and simple—a rich and layered version of the New World Australian style.

Southcorp, 707.256.2664; $65

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