Mt Mary and Wantirna New Release Tasting 2019

You don't need too many fingers to count the number of 'cult' wineries of the 1970s and early 1980s that are still in the hands of their original owners. Fewer still are actually performing better today than ever before. Wantirna Estate is one such winery and its modern success is a culmination of experience, the introduction of fresh ideas and a proven ability to learn. JEREMY OLIVER

[Wantirna] its star shines brighter than that of any of the 174 wineries in the Yarra Valley. JAMES HALLIDAY

Superbly refined, elegant and intense Cabernets and usually outstanding and long-lived Pinot Noirs fully justify Mount Mary's exalted reputation. The determination of the family to continue the business is simply wonderful. JAMES HALLIDAY, The Wine Companion

Mount Mary is one of the great wineries of Australia, and has been for decades, but I'm pretty certain in the view that it is in the form of its life. The Mount Mary wines have never looked better. CAMPBELL MATTINSON, The Wine Front

The wines from Wantirna Estate and Mt Mary are unwavering classics. Even in the face of an industry influenced by so many changing trends, cycles and constantly shifting consumer demands these two estates continue to represent the zenith of the Australian fine wine and have so for decades. The Egan and Middleton family continue to defy those trends, sticking true to their game and philosophy, solely dictated by the season and commitment to producing wines they feel represent not only where they are but who they are.

The first vines of Wantirna were planted in the 1960's, before Melbourne suburbia enveloped the estate, creating an oasis of sorts. There the Egan's have been committed to crafting small batch, quality driven wines that hold fruit definition just as highly as structure and elegance. These are beautiful expressions of Yarra Chardonnay, Pinot and Cabernet which speak highly of a sense of place and showcase the family's commitment to producing world-class wines. Now days Reg works closely with his extremely capable daughter Maryann, tweaking and improving an already refined and impeccable recipe. The current release come from two superb vintages for Wantirna. 2017, a much more classic vintage with an 'easier' road to quality and 2018 which turned out superb results for the producers working closely with the vines looking for quality.

Sam Middleton took over winemaking duties form his father in 2011 and is the third-generation winemaker from the Middleton family. The talented young winemaker effortlessly carries on a legacy from one of Australia's most highly regarded producers. While Mount Mary has continued to take great steps forward, they have stayed true to the vision of Dr John, whose son David oversees the business. Sam has not only been fortunate to inherit the mantle as winemaker and custodian of rthis rich winemaking heritage but also three generations of understanding and knowledge from this special piece of dirt, the culmination of which in 2017 as turned out some of the best wines we have seen.

Despite this 'changing of the guard' and generational shift Wantirna and Mt Mary continue to produce consistently impeccable quality each year and continuously set a very high bar for their contemporaries across the country. What changes have been made they have been made have only improved the wines without fundamentally altering what makes them such classics. There is no doubt that they are in the very best of hands.