“There’s no comparison,” Luke says, “there’s never been a Crudo release like this”. Luke Lambert is not one to indulge in hyperbole, nor is he overstating the quality in bottle. The 2022 Crudo release sets a new high-water mark for this label, one that Lambert aims to maintain. This is neither happenstance nor luck. Firstly, last year Luke stopped all consultancy winemaking work to dedicate his focus solely to Lambert Wines. Secondly, there is now a singular source of fruit from a vineyard also operating on another level, farmed to the same high standards that Luke and his partner Rosalind employ at their own site in the Yea Valley. Luke has been making wine from the granite-rich Denton Vineyard for over 10 years. About four years ago, the farming modus operandi at this unique site was overhauled and the ensuing years have seen dramatic viticultural investment. Focused on improving soil health through under-vine cultivation and the elimination of herbicides, Denton’s progressive and time-consuming intervention is already paying great dividends; the soils are healthy, alive and rich in organic matter, resulting in the kind of pristine, balanced fruit that would have been a pipe dream even a few years ago. The musician in Luke comes out when describing the marked effect these changes have had on quality and style. “The Crudo wines have always had lots of treble, now they have bass”. Loosely translated as: the wines can now count on more depth and structure to accompany their charm and perfume. Although poor flowering affected the Yarra’s flagship variety of Pinot Noir in 2022, the Crudo grapes—Chardonnay and Shiraz—sailed through relatively unscathed. Ideal summer conditions—with sufficient moisture and soft sunlight—helped create a perfect storm for quality, with definition and vibrancy there for all to taste. And, while the tariff has nominally increased, the rise is more than absorbed by the quality in the bottle.