Luke Lambert crafts the kind of wine that we feel certain his vineyards would want him to make; deep, wholesome and “far in”.
It’s been almost a decade since Lambert’s daring, handcrafted and joyously aromatic wines first made their way down from the Valley and on to the lists and shelves of Melbourne’s finest wine establishments (and a few of Sydney’s). Since that time we have notched up our fair share of Luke’s artisanal fare – plenty of that perfumed, floral and ferrous Syrah as well as that mind blowing Nebbiolo of his (which is now reaching extraordinary heights). All the while we have admired the remarkable quality and character of these wines. So when the opportunity came recently to have Luke join our books, we did not hesitate.
Lambert is obviously inspired by his experience making wine in Piemonte and Australia yet firmly believes that “…the shape of a wine should be governed by what soil you’re on, the aspect, the amount of sunshine and rain.” In other words, the personality of a wine will be dictated by its “place”. Lambert’s source vineyards (in poor, rocky and elevated pockets of the Yarra Valley) are therefore managed in order to bring out their unique geographic signature in the final wines.
All Luke Lambert wines are handpicked and of single-vineyard origin. They are wildly perfumed with moderate alcohol, fresh acidities, powdery tannins, and limited oak influence. These are wines made as if the industrial revolution (in wine) was a figment of our collective imagination. Luke’s methodology includes wild ferments without the aid of temperature control, hand plunging, long macerations (with plenty of whole-bunch for the Syrahs), basket-pressing, gravity rather than pumping, old oak, and no fining or filtration. Lambert’s belief that “..the best wines have always been made by feel and are always sourced from unique and interesting vineyards that have natural balance and grow grapes full of character…” comes through strongly in the remarkable complexity and placeness of these wines. There is no doubt that when it comes to what John Livingston-Learmonth terms STGT (Soil To Glass Transfer), Luke Lambert is one of our most exciting home-grown talents.