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Part of the Port Philip zone which surrounds Melbourne, the Yarra Valley is located an hour outside Melbourne and is one of the most important fine wine growing regions in Australia. The Yarra Valley’s viticultural history extends back to 1838 when the Ryrie Brothers planted the first vineyards at what is now Yering Station, with the first vintage produced in 1845 by the legendary James Dardel. In 1863 Hubert de Castella established St Huberts Vineyards and Guillaume de Pury established Yeringberg, bringing the total area under vine to 430 acres. This trend continued with the establishment of Yeringa with David Mitchell planting vineyards at Stringybark Creek increasing the area under vine to 1000 acres. This period of growth was followed by a series of poor vintages and tough economic conditions which saw vineyard production completely cease by 1937.
The Yarra Valley’s modern renaissance began when Reg Egan planted Wantirna Estate in 1963 and was followed in the late 1960s and early 1970s by Mount Mary, Yeringberg, Yarra Yering, St Huberts, Seville Estate, Yarra Burn, Chateaux Yeringa (now de Bortoli) and others, From the this period through to the late 1990’s investment and expansion continued, with the majority of wineries small, quality conscious, boutique producers of top quality wine which fetched appropriate prices. The latter period of the 1990’s saw large scale corporate investment, with Moet & Chandon establishing Domaine Chandon alongside acquisitions by Mildara Blass, McWilliams, Hardys and others.
The Yarra Valley is a diverse and cool climate region with a lower average growing temperature than both Bordeaux and Burgundy, the principle white variety is Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, while the red varieties that the region is renowned for are Cabernet Sauvignon (with associated Bordeaux varieties of Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc) which helped put the Yarra Valley on the map followed by Pinot Noir which arrived en masse in the 1980s and followed more recently by Shiraz (which is sometimes blended with Viognier). Both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are also cultivated as sparkling base. Interestingly, vineyards planted in the cool, upper Yarra Valley for the production of sparkling wine are now being used for table wines. Whether it’s global warming or just that recent vintages have been warmer, there is little doubt that the Upper Yarra including places such as Hoddles Creek and other sub-districts such as Woori Yallock have really come into their own over the last 5-10 years.
Chardonnay styles vary across winemakers and site, with a distinctive aromatic profile of melon and fig in warmer sites and white peach and grapefruit from cooler vineyards. Both styles are characterised by good acidity. Outstanding producers include Oakridge, Toolangi, Coldstream Hills, de Bortoli, Giant Steps, Mac Forbes and Hoddles Creek. The Yarra Valley is one of the first Australian regions to establish Pinot Noir of high regard, with notes of plum, cherry and strawberry and a characteristic underlying sappy acidity and fine soft tannins. Outstanding producers include de Bortoli, Coldstream Hills, Giant Steps and Mount Mary and Wedgetail. Yarra Valley Cabernet is almost always blended with traditional Bordeaux varieties and is characterised as a medium bodied wine, elegant, with notes of cassis, hay, tobacco leaf, fine silky tannins and remarkable longevity. Outstanding producers include Mount Mary, Yarra Yarra, Yeringberg, Wantirna Estate. Shiraz is less prevalent in the Yarra Valley and highly dependent on vineyard location favouring warmer growing conditions. Increasingly producers are following the Northern Rhone Cote Rotie blend by adding small quantities of Viognier for added colour and aromatic lift. Classic Yarra Valley Shiraz is almost always of a cool climate style with notes of pepper, black cherry and spice with fine silky tannins. Outstanding producers include Yering Station, de Bortoli, Jamsheed, Yarra Yarra and recently Serrat.
The Oxford Companion to Wine, (ed) Jancis Robinson
James Hallidays Wine Atlas of Australian, James Halliday
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Martingale Estate Pinot Noir 2021Located in the heart of the Yarra Valley in the sub-region of Gruyere, Martingale is a first-generation family run vineyard and now wine label. While still supplying some of the Yarra's finest labels with high quality fruit they have now decided to make a small amount of wine under their own label.
An open and inviting nose with hints if underbrush and red fruits to the fore. Vibrant cherry, raspberry and a sprinkle of black fruits pull you in. There is a lovely ease and caress on the palate here that is off-set with hint of savoury oak and that Yarra underbrush poking its head through again. Not too heavy, not too light, just right. Looking forward to some more releases from Martingale, that is for sure.
2021Pinot noirAustralia506$22.00 As low as $19.80
Oakridge LVS Willow Lake Pinot Noir 2018 375ml
Willowlake seems to be fertile ground for a collection of interesting pinot noir expressions from the Yarra Valley. I remember fondly tasting bench samples of Willowlake at Oakridge with Dave Bicknell – standouts in youth. Have missed a few years of doing that, during or just after harvest.
This feels pure and fresh, unadorned and vibrant in its fruit character. Just on the cusp of an attractive sour-sweetness, malty oak layered low, just a quirk and small chink in the pulse of this delicious and enticing wine. Silky, glossy texture, bright fruit, shiny and crisp, red cherry, a subtle Chinese five spice note, minerally pucker to finish and a web of fine tannins guiding. A standout in the Oakridge 2018 pinot pack. MIKE BENNIE, The Wine Front2018Pinot noirAustralia506$25.00 As low as $22.50
Lone Star Creek Vineyard Yarra Valley Pinot Noir 2020Inoculated and aged 10 months in French barriques, 25% new. It seems reds, pinot noir particularly, come loaded with acid and a lighter frame this vintage. This is simply made but it's a little beauty. A core of tangy juicy fruit, super fragrant and so juicy with shy tannins. A light red to enjoy in its youth. Spot-on. JANE FAULKNER, James Halliday’s Wine Companion2020Pinot noirAustralia506$26.00 As low as $23.40
Wanderer Pinot Noir 2021Fragrant and spicy, little hints of wet earth, a waft of incense, a touch of sweet red fruit leaves a lingering impression that kisses the lips. Understated but beautifully well composed. Damn good. Super fine network of tannins just kind of ease in to the picture at the end leaving a sappy impression. Man Yarra Pinot has come a long long way in recent years and this man’s family have been a part of that progression. This is a super smart choice for the savvy buyer, delicious right now but the stuffing is there to give it the necessary framework so that it should be really lovely over a handful of years. There is a lot more to this wine than its pale colour suggests. Sneaky little number that really captured my attention. Nice work. ROSCOE2021Pinot noirAustralia506$43.00 As low as $38.70
Applecross Pinot Noir 2018The Applecross wines are always lovely… it has to be said, in the overall scheme, they represent outstanding value. These are wines to latch onto.
This 2018 Pinot is dry and twiggy but the fruit is there, all juicy and jaunty, with cranberry aspects in with the red cherry, and a sheet of spice-studded tannin extending from the mid-palate onwards. There's a touch of Aussie Bush Spice to the highlights here but the shadows are alive with complex flavour. This is one of those lighter styles of pinot that the Yarra does so well. Yes. This is good. CAMPBELL MATTINSON, The Wine Front
Once again this is a ripper. I love the Chard but it is really hard to go past this. Fragrant, spicy, red fruited and enticing. I love the sense of appeal here, it's a Pinot I want to smell and taste as it unfurls in the glass. It's graceful and poised in its buoyant delivery of almost juicy, red berry fruit that is tinged by faint elements of spice and underbrush all encompassed with super fine, filigreed tannins that stop it from wandering in to the realms of quaffable, which is a shame really, the wine is so pleasurable now that I just want to drink it with abandon but there is a serious aspect to it that keeps me intrigued and focused. Wonderful. Gorgeous stuff. ROSCOE
2018Pinot noirAustralia506$50.00 As low as $45.00
Applecross Pinot Noir 2019A light garnet hue, beguiling and belying the flavours here. A whiff of autumnal scents from damp leaves to wood mushrooms and a scattering of Middle Eastern spices. There's freshness throughout but there's certainly structure, though no new oak encumbering. It has a neat, sinewy streak, with tannins stretching across the palate, ending with a tangy chinotto, blood orange flavour and a bright acid line. Mouth-watering. (95) JANE FAULKNER, James Halliday’s Wine Companion2019Pinot noirAustralia506$53.00 As low as $47.70
DML VIN Yarra Valley Pinot Noir 2021Strawberry, a little spice, almond, kind of pretty, with a flicker of mint and light cedar oak. It’s light to medium-bodied, delicate and lacy, a subtle hazelnut flavour, fine grained emery board tannin, very fresh, again the spiced strawberry and a minty blood orange, but pure finish of excellent length. Lovely wine with a ‘mineral’ character, and a certain cool charm. GARY WALSH, Wine Front2020Pinot noirAustralia506Special Price $54.00 Regular Price $60.00 As low as $51.00
Stefano Lubiana Brut Rose 2015
More product information will be added here soon! In the meantime, if you do have any questions at all about this product or others in our store, you can contact us by phone or email. Our friendly and experienced team are always happy to assist - we love drinking, selling, talking about and being in and around wine!2015Pinot noirAustralia383$57.00 As low as $51.30
Toolangi Estate Block E Pinot Noir 2019
Sourced from 17 year old vines, 60% whole bunch, and 30% new oak. Kaspar Hermann at the controls now. Ambitious pricing, perhaps.
Plenty of spice, strawberry, blood orange, brown bread and sort of demerara sugar thing happening too. It’s medium-bodied, ripe strawberry and spice, a sappy and stalky coolness, fresh acidity, fine emery tannin, and good crunch and energy on the finish, along with some sugar dusted rhubarb. Good wine, perhaps not the deepest and most complex of Pinot Noir, but nice to drink. GARY WALSH, The Wine Front2019Pinot noirAustralia506$85.00 As low as $76.50
August Premium Six Pack 2022 - Premium Pinot's
We know you love pinot and we have put together a brilliant little pack from Australia, New Zealand and even Burgundy.
These are some our favourite producers all in this one great box with a great showing of local legends from the Mornington and Yarra Valley as well as one of New Zealand's benchmarks bottlings. Round that out with a couple of soft and supple, ready-to-go Burgundies and this is the perfect pack to take a dip into.
Australia represents strong in this months pack. From the Mornington Peninsula two heroes of the region are on show with the Kooyong Estate pinot noir 2019 and the latest release of the Yabby Lake Single pinot noir 2021. The Kooyong was a hit when last we tried and was one of the better estate releases from Kooyong with wonderful energy and sumptuous fruit while the Yabby is on fire! A brilliant bottling here with vibrant red fruits and subtle complexity that goes and goes.
Up to the Yarra Valley and we have the ever-consistent Oakridge wines. A combo of stellar vineyards with the Willow Lake and one of Australia's greats, Dave Bicknell. A one-two combo of concentrated sweet fruits, fine tannins and layers of complexity that unfurl slowly over time in bottle or in the glass. He can do wrong!
Over the ditch, to New Zealand we have the countries benchmark bottling with Ata Rangi 2019. We always wonder how this wine can get better but the team at Ata seems to take it up a notch every year. The 2019 has all the depth of fruit you expect but with a little extra lift and vibe. Normally we would say wait a bit for this wine but in half bottle this baby is hitting a sweet spot you just don't want to miss out.
To close we have two wonderful Burgundies. The first is another PWS favourite in the Phillipe Collotte Marsannay. This satellite village is now hot property as prices soar in Burgundy proper but you might have trouble getting in now as Collotte have snapped up a lot of the great terroir. There Tete a Tete is all you could want with lithe tannins etched into a core of sweet fruit and savoury spice.
The Tollot Beaut is a blend of three cuvees from three sides of the village and is a forward and generously styled pinot. All the mellow fruit of this southern appellation with foresty notes and supple spice it's a spot-on example of great Burgundy from this somewhat overlooked appellation.$222.00 Regular Price $262.00