Yarra Yering Tasting with Sarah Offer

In September 2008, founder Bailey Carrodus died, and in April ’09 Yarra Yering was on the market. It was Bailey Carrodus’s clear wish and expectation that any purchaser would continue to manage the vineyard and winery, and hence the wine style, in much the same way as he had done for the previous 40 years. Its acquisition in June ’09 by a small group of investment bankers has fulfilled that wish. The low-yielding, unirrigated vineyards have always produced wines of extraordinary depth and intensity. Dry Red No. 1 is a cabernet blend; Dry Red No. 2 is a shiraz blend; Dry Red No. 3 is a blend of touriga nacional, tinta cao, tinta roriz, tinta amarela, alvarelhao and souzao; Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are not hidden behind delphic numbers; Underhill Shiraz (planted in 1973) is from an adjacent vineyard purchased by Yarra Yering over a decade ago. Sarah Crowe, who had carved out a remarkable reputation as a winemaker in the Hunter Valley in a relatively short time, was appointed winemaker in the wake of Paul Bridgeman’s departure to Levantine Hill after the ’13 vintage. She has made red wines of the highest imaginable quality from her first vintage, and to the delight of many, myself included, has offered all the wines with screwcaps. For good measure, she introduced the ’14 Light Dry Red Pinot Shiraz as a foretaste of that vintage, and an affirmation of the exceptional talent recognised by her being named Winemaker of the Year in the Wine Companion 2017. JAMES HALLIDAY

A relatively long spiel from James here, but it is very hard to summarize the importance and indeed the brilliant quality of these wines and remain brief. After the tragic loss of the founder, Bailey Carrodus in 2008 and the subsequent sale of the estate in 2009 I think it is fair to say that long term fans of Yarra Yering were a little nervous. Unsure what changes the new owners were going to implement and what direction they would take the wines we all had only to wait and see. They quickly made it clear that they were not interested in deviating from the blueprint left by Bailey and immediately sought to hire someone capable for seeing the wines were given all the care required. Initially that was Paul Bridgeman, who moved on after a few years.

Following his time there Sarah Crowe took over, moving down from the Hunter. In a very short period of time she has stamped her mark on the place, not so much by altering anything but more by carefully ensuring these wines lived up to their potential. Recent releases made under her guidance have proven that her appointment here was ideal as the wines have never been better, a very big call but a justified one and the results speak for themselves.

We are very excited to welcome Sarah back to the Prince for a few guided tastings of the highly anticipated new releases. The 2015s have been welcomed with unanimous praise and this should prove to be a tasting of Yarra Yering that no one should miss.

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