Hoddles Creek Estate Syberia Chardonnay 2018

Hoddles Creek Estate Syberia Chardonnay 2018

Sale price$62.95
Yarra Valley, Victoria, Australia

Style: White Wine

Variety: Chardonnay

Closure: Screwcap

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Hoddles Creek Estate Syberia Chardonnay 2018

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, usually ready in 2-4 days

Burke Road
Camberwell VIC 3124

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Producer: Hoddles Creek Estate

Country: Australia

Region: Yarra Valley

Vintage: 2018

Critic Score: 96

Alcohol: 12.7%

Size: 750 ml

Drink by: 2032

A sensational chardonnay with an assured future - Huon Hooke

Led by winemaking guru Franco D'Anna, the team at Hoddles Creek produce wonderful chardonnay year in, year out that seriously overdeliver at the price-point. The wines are made from fruit grown on their family vineyard in the Upper Yarra Valley.

The Syberia Chardonnay is a single-block wine, sourced from a steep, 10-acre block at the highest point on the Hoddles Creek property. It's a very low-yielding plot, with 1.3 tonnes per acre considered an average yield. The row orientation is East-West so it doesn't see a lot of direct sunlight on bunches. The wine is whole bunch pressed straight to cask, no fining and zero filtration. From the day the vines were planted, Syberia has always been a special block.

"A very refined and elegant chardonnay that is so tightly wound. It has fleshed out a little in bottle and has a very seamless feel. Everything is melded. The aromas and flavors are in the lemon, grapefruit and white-peach realm with some gently minerally accents below. The palate has such intense and impressive drive and really hinges around a range of citrus flavors, from lemon to grapefruit, tangelo and kumquat. Stunning!"  Nick Stock

"Syberia is quite a unique site. First planted in 2006, a ten acre block entirely to Chardonnay. It has 5 different clones in the block which were picked out from source blocks on our existing property. It is different to all the other blocks as the rows for this block run East-West rather than North-South. So instead of having morning and afternoon sun hitting the bunch zone, the sun is always overhead of the canopy. This leads to less direct sunlight on the bunches and enables us to pick the fruit at lower sugar levels with the same amount of ripeness.

I won't bore you with all the winemaking details as it is pretty straightforward. The fruit is picked early in the morning, whole bunch pressed to tank. It's left to settle overnight in tank and decanted into barrel. Only the vineyard dust is left at the bottom of the tank as we want to take all the solids. It's left in barrel until November, when it is assembled and bottled. It spends almost two years in bottle before it is released."  Franco D'Anna, Winemaker

"Fortuitously, in 1960, the D'Anna family had purchased a steeply forested 25ha property which in 1997 they set about planting. Almost overnight, glorious pinot noirs and chardonnays started to flow at prices that were irresistible – and still are."  James Halliday

Expert reviews

"Bright, light straw-yellow hue. The bouquet is reserved, shy and youthful, with notes of smoky sulfides, lightly-toasted nuts and a trace of honey, the palate tense and reserved, ultra-refined and poised, yet intense and long, with a core of sweet fruit and undoubted concentration. Lemon, traces of grapefruit, super-fine flavour of intensity seamless texture and long persistence. A sensational chardonnay with an assured future. Drink: 2020–2032."  Huon Hooke, The Real Review - 96 points

"Green olives, preserved lemon, aniseed, roast chicken, lime and maybe green melon rind, though distinctly non-fruity, you'd have to say. It's smooth and glossy, but flinty and firm, a pithy bitterness running through it, which cinches it in so nicely, and a finish that grips and runs very long. It's not your average Chardonnay, which is why it's so good. Tasted: May 20; Alcohol: 12.7%; Closure: Screwcap; Drink: 2021 - 2028+."  Gary walsh, The Wine Front - 96 points

"A very refined and elegant chardonnay that is so tightly wound. It has fleshed out a little in bottle and has a very seamless feel. Everything is melded. The aromas and flavors are in the lemon, grapefruit and white-peach realm with some gently minerally accents below. The palate has such intense and impressive drive and really hinges around a range of citrus flavors, from lemon to grapefruit, tangelo and kumquat. Stunning!"  Nick Stock, JamesSuckling.com – 96 points

"From an east-facing contoured vineyard that catches all the morning sun, and none of the scorching afternoon blaze. Perfectly ripened white stone fruit, with a quick squeeze of grapefruit juice. Whole-bunch pressed to barrel for fermentation and maturation, yet the fruit retains the limelight. Fantastic length. An outstanding success in a challenging vintage. Drink by 2028."  James Halliday, Halliday Wine Companion - 95 points

"I love the wafting citrus fruit with hints of flint and nuts. Good fruit-weight and density. Ripe spicy grapefruit flavours. Long and satisfying."  Toni Paterson, The Real Review - 95 points

Franco D'Anna

Hoddles Creek Estate

In 1960 Tony and Bruno D'Anna purchased their future vineyard in the upper reaches of the Yarra Valley at Hoddles Creek, chosen due to the presence of a small creek which provided a natural water supply. Ironically the property was bought completely without vineyards in mind – merely to grow vegetables and run some cattle – and well before the potential of the Yarra Valley as a wine region had re-emerged after a long hiatus. 

It was not until the nineties, when interest in small wineries exploded around the country, that the D'Annas made the logical leap to plant vines at Hoddles Creek. Mario Marson, who was viticulturalist and winemaker at Yarra icon Mount Mary, assisted in the planting of traditional varieties such as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir with the surprise addition of Pinot Blanc, which has turned out to be one of the star wines.  With their now highly successful Boccacio Cellars wine business behind them, all the pieces were in place to return to serious winemaking and again follow in the steps of their forefathers. 

For Tony's son, Franco D'Anna, the path into the family business was almost a foregone conclusion. On finishing a commerce degree at the University of Melbourne he moved straight into a buying role for Boccacio Cellars but never quite settled. "I did this for a few years but never loved it. I went out to the vineyard to help out after planting and never left. I loved being outside, not enclosed within four walls and working flexible hours. On the vineyard I'll start work at 5am and then go play golf in the afternoon. What's not to love about being a farmer?" 

But Franco still lacked the technical knowledge and he knew it. So Franco went back to university – this time studying Applied Wine Science – which was followed by vintages with James Halliday at Coldstream Hills as well as overseas in Burgundy, Sicily and Piedmont. What those experiences have given him, combined with a lifetime surrounded by wine, is a unique take on classic Yarra Valley styles which centers on fruit quality. "Without good fruit it's impossible to make good wine. I have four staff members, and we spend 90 percent of our time in the vineyard." 

Winemaking is also relatively natural and in true Italian style concentrates as much on mouthfeel and structure as the more traditional Australian flavour-oriented wines. "We are lucky enough to grow grapes in an area where additions aren't really necessary. We don't add acid, enzymes, filter so there isn't much manipulation in the winery." And what stands out is that these winemaking philosophies are imprinted on each and every wine under the Hoddles Creek and Wickham Road labels which are unique, characterful and savoury expressions of the modern Yarra style. They are also delicious and generally made to age.

The above text was taken from an article by Angus Hughson published in Winepilot

About the winery

Hoddles Creek WineryHoddles Creek Estate was established in 1997 when the D'Anna family decided to establish a vineyard on the property that has been in the family since 1960. The vineyard sits astride Gembrook Road and adjacent to Hoddles Creek. Its steeply sloping blocks prohibit mechanical harvesting, with both vineyards being hand pruned and harvested.

Initially, 8 hectares of pinot noir and chardonnay were planted to the steepest slopes on the vineyard. More pinot noir and chardonnay, plus some pinot blanc followed in 2001, with cabernet sauvignon, pinot gris and sauvignon blanc coming later still. Franco, whose twin brother, Anthony, takes the reins at the store and for their prolific wine importing arm, Mondo Imports, first worked onsite in 1998, and it skewed him away from a career employing his commerce degree (Melbourne University) to retraining as a viticulturist at Charles Sturt.

The first commercial vintage at Hoddles Creek was in 2003, in their just-completed bespoke winery. All the wines, which are single vineyard, estate grown, are made in the 300 tonne winery. The split-level winery has a barrel store located three meters underground. Mario Marson (ex-Mount Mary, now Vinea Marson) steadied the course in the early days, but it was not long before Franco was in full charge, with the mandate to make the best wines he possibly could.

Hoddles Creek produce two tiers of wine, their Estate range and their flagship '1er' (or Premier Cru) range with fruit from certain blocks that excel year after year. Along with the established range, Franco has started bottling single block wines as he starts to see distinct micro-site variation with the vines hitting meaningful maturity. In the vanguard of these bottlings is a chardonnay from the coolest, most elevated and steepest blocks, 'Syberia'.

Hoddles Creek's mission is to produce terroir driven Yarra Valley wines of the highest possible quality sourced from impeccably farmed old vines with a focus on balance, complexity, concentration and ageability. They also lay a serious claim to being one of the best value producers in Australia.

In addition to the wines of their Yarra Valley vineyard, Hoddles Creek also produce an entry level range under the Wickhams Road label. Fruit is sourced from vineyards in Gippsland, Yarra Valley, King Valley and Yea. Hoddles Creek have become as well known for their dazzlingly economical Wickhams Road range as for their premium bottlings, as they are perennially the best-value chardonnay and pinot noir in the market.

Sections of the above text are taken from an article on Franco d'Anna that appeared in Young Gun of Wine

Wine region map of Victoria


Victoria is home to more than 800 wineries across 21 wine regions. The regions are Alpine Valley, Beechworth, Bendigo, Geelong, Gippsland, Glenrowan, Goulburn Valley, Grampians, Heathcote, Henty, King Valley, Macedon Ranges, Mornington Peninsula, Murray Darling, Pyrenees, Rutherglen, Strathbogie Ranges, Sunbury, Swan Hill, Upper Goulburn and Yarra Valley.

Victoria's first vines were planted at Yering in the Yarra Valley in 1838. By 1868 over 3,000 acres had been planted in Victoria, establishing Victoria as the premier wine State of the day. Today, the original vineyards planted at Best's Wines are among the oldest and rarest pre-phylloxera plantings in the world.

Victoria's climate varies from hot and dry in the north to cool in the south and each wine region specialises in different varietals. For example, Rutherglen in the north is famous for its opulent Muscats and Topaque and bold reds, while the many cooler climate regions near Melbourne produce world class Chardonnay and pinot Noir. Victoria is truly a wine lover's playground.