Salo Yarra Valley Chardonnay 2018

  • Salo is the side-project of Young Winemaker of the Year nominee Dave Mackintosh and Steve Flamsteed, Head Winemaker of one of the most awarded wineries in the Yarra Valley, Giant Steps.
  • Over the last 6 years they have made Salo from a single block of Chardonnay
  • grown on the deep red volcanic soils in the upper Yarra.
  • 1 or more bottles
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  • Gary Walsh
    94 points

Editors notes

Salo is the side-project of Young Winemaker of the Year nominee Dave Mackintosh and Steve Flamsteed, Head Winemaker of one of the most awarded wineries in the Yarra Valley, Giant Steps.

Over the last 6 years they have made Salo from a single block of Chardonnay grown on the deep red volcanic soils in the upper Yarra. These vines are now 18 years of age and each year, they seem to deliver a little more elegance and concentration into the wine.

Fruit was hand-picked on the 3rd March, chilled in the cold room overnight and then whole bunch pressed to a tank high in the winery. The small tank is then rummaged and run by gravity down to 500 L (1 new one, the rest older) Puncheons with full juice solids. Wild fermentation finished in mid-April and a few of the puncheons then went through a spontaneous malo, which has added a lovely creaminess and length to the mouthfeel. It’s quite a different vintage (and wine) to the 2017. There is a lovely freshness and energy to this wine – really delicious as a new release, but we think with good cellaring this wine will develop some lovely complexity over the next 5 -10 years. 245 cases made.


Tasting Profile

  • Light (Light)
    Full (Full)
  • Low Tannin (Low Tannin)
    Tannic (Tannic)
  • Sweet (Sweet)
    Dry (Dry)
  • Low Acidity (Low Acidity)
    High Acidity (High Acidity)
  • Aroma
    • Apple
    • Lemon
    • Nectarine
  • Palate
    • Apple
    • Cream
    • Peach

Food Pairings

  • Cheese
  • Fish
  • Poultry

Critic Scores & reviews

  • Gary Walsh

    "Quite different to the 2017, as I recall. Roast chicken, sushi, very umami, a little smoke, alongside lemon curd, citrus and pear. Fleshy, savoury, some flint and grapefruit acid cut, also caramel and brine, not a fruity wine at all, but one with a distinct personality all the same. It softly persists. It’s pretty much ready to go now, to my way of thinking, and offers a slightly dirty and different expression of Yarra Valley Chardonnay."

Other vintages

Love this wine? Here's a list of other vintages we have in stock if you'd like to try them as well.

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The Australian wine industry is the fourth-largest exporter in the world, exporting 760 million litres to countries such as the UK, France, Italy and Spain. It has been one of the most successful 'New World' wine producing countries. It has done this by formally exporting and marketing its wines as a whole, through Wine Australia. There is also a significant domestic market for Australian wines, with Australians consuming nearly 500 million litres of wine per year. The wine industry is a significant contributor to the Australian economy through production, employment, export and tourism.

Wine regions are in almost all the states with Victoria having 21 regions! Read more about key wine regions such as Margaret River, Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Eden Valley, Clare Valley, Hunter Valley, Yarra Valley and local to New South Wales, Cowra, Southern Highlands and Mudgee.


The wine region of Victoria has the highest number of grapevines than any other state in Australia. It is home to over 600 wineries and well-known regions such as Yarra Valley, Heathcote, and Rutherglen. Victoria is situated in the southeastern corner of Australia where due to the location, the climate has a cool maritime influence and is known for its outstanding Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, along with producing Australia’s most famed dessert Muscat and Topaque wines.

There are a number of different terroir levels throughout the wine region of Victoria which leads to the production of different ranges of wines. In the southern region of Victoria, the vines are regulated by the cool winds of the Bass Strait. Central Victoria consists of mostly flat terrain that tends to be drier and warmer than the rest of Victoria, which results in more fruit concentrated wines. It may be surprising to note that Victoria is the third most productive wine region in Australia, seeing as it does not have as many areas suitable for viticulture, which has resulted in the cellar door culture of Victoria being concentrated with smaller, but more personal boutique wineries.

Yarra Valley

The Yarra Valley is a wine region known for producing outstanding Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The region has become a leading wine tourism destination, popular for weekend trips as it is located only an hour’s drive northeast of Melbourne.

The cool climate region has some of the oldest soils in the world, and produces terrific Chardonnays in the leaner, acid-driven style. Long gone are the days of excessively oaked and oily Chardonnays. Superb Pinot Noir is cultivated with tremendous results. Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc and even Sparkling wines of premium quality are also worth seeking out.

Yarra Valley is the oldest wine region in Victoria with the first vines planted in 1838 at Yering Station. Reg Egan founded the iconic Wantirna Estate in 1963, followed by Dr Bailey Carrodus in 1969 who founded equally lauded Yarra Yering in the foot of the Warramate Hills. Nowadays a fleet of new world wine makers and growers are making sure Yarra Valley stays at the forefront of Victorian wine production. Key wineries to look out for are Mayer, William Downie and Macforbes.

The region in 2009 suffered in the Black Saturday fires, with an estimated 25% of all production was impacted.

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About the brand Salo Wines

Salo generally refers to dirty and a little uncouth. For winemakers Dave Mackintosh and Steve Flamsteed, however, it is a term of endearment. Their aim is to use intuitive winemaking on premium parcels of fruit to make gritty, textured, natural wines. Salo Wines is a winery on the rise, and Dave is certainly a force to be reckoned with; he has his own wine label Arfion, was nominated for Young Gun Winemaker of the year and has achieved the rare winemaker feat of producing a son on only the second attempt. Kudos.

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