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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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Toolangi Pauls Lane Pinot Noir 2019I believe this is Kasparrrrr Hermann’s first vintage at the helm of Toolangi, who’s ex of Mount Mary and a partner in Onnanon. It’s 20% whole bunch and 20% new oak. The old 80/20 rule, eh. It was bottled just over a month ago (at time of review).
Wheatgerm, spice, smoked hazelnut, red fruits. It’s spicy and gentle, kind of squishy feel in the mouth, light grip of emery tannin, poached strawberry and the like, with a solid but slightly diffuse finish. The makings are good. I’d expect it needs a little more time in bottle GARY WALSH, The Wine Front2019Pinot noirAustralia506$46.00 As low as $41.40
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
Riorret The Lusatia Park Vineyard Pinot Noir 2019
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 noirAustralia506$50.00 As low as $45.00
Denton Pinot Noir 2019
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!2019Pinot noirAustralia506$51.00 As low as $45.90
Dappled Champs de Cerises Single Vineyard Pinot Noir 2020
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!2020Pinot noirAustralia506$51.00 As low as $45.90
La Maison de Ong Lantern Pinot Noir 20182018Pinot noirAustralia506
Luna Martinborough Blue Rock Pinot Noir 2018
A relatively new label, the foundations of Luna Estate are two excellent vineyard sites – Eclipse, on the famed Martinborough Terraces, and Blue Rock, on Dry River Road, south of the Martinborough village. Martinborough is a region which excites us as New Zealand’s best for complex and varietal Pinot Noir, also raising excellent Chardonnay and Pinot Gris.
Luna’s ethos is sustainable vineyard practices, and as minimal handling in the winery as possible, under the guidance of chief winemaker Joel Watson, whose previous work has included several vintages with the highly esteemed Curly Flat in Victoria’s Macedon Ranges.
Presently with 25 hectares producing, a significant replanting program to bring 80% of production to Pinot Noir will eventually see the estate sitting around 44 hectares between the two sites. The single vineyard wines show the sites’ contrasts beautifully. PWS
Dried rose and orange peel, a bit of truffle and spice, cherry and strawberry. Medium-bodied, fine chalky grip, all the strawberries dusted with spice lends a bit of prettiness, though there’s bass here too, the finish autumnal, savoury and spicy. It’s sure of itself, and will likely roll out with more time in bottle. GARY WALSH, The Wine Front2018Pinot noirNew Zealand435
Luna Martinborough Eclipse Pinot Noir 2018Dark cherry, ginger snap biscuits, earth and potpourri. A bit of throb and depth here, plenty of spice and damp earth, succulence of dark cherry and cranberry crunch, tannin wide-grained and sure, assertive finish with a bit of the old ‘mineral’ feel as it goes. Very good. GARY WALSH, The Wine Front2018Pinot noirNew Zealand435
DML VIN Yarra Valley Pinot Noir 20202020Pinot noirAustralia506$60.00 As low as $54.00
Wanderer Upper Yarra Pinot Noir 20192019Pinot noirAustralia506$60.00 As low as $54.00
Ata Rangi Pinot Noir 2018 375ml2018Pinot noirNew Zealand435$61.00 As low as $54.90
Thousand Candles Single Vineyard Pinot Noir 20172017Pinot noirAustralia506$66.00 As low as $59.40
Hoddles Creek Estate 1er Pinot Noir 20202020Pinot noirAustralia506$68.00 As low as $61.20
Giant Steps Sexton Pinot Noir 2019Sexy Sexton
Supple, soft and come-hither pinot noir. Cherry, red berries, nougat, subtle spice and a good lick of juicy acidity. It feels broad but well honed, lots of flavour, lots of space in the palate, finishes spicy and fresh. A very seductive pinot with lots of detail in tow. MIKE BENNIE, The Wine Front
2019Pinot noirAustralia506$68.00 As low as $61.20
Giant Steps Sexton Pinot Noir 20202020Pinot noirAustralia506$71.00 As low as $63.90
Proud Rose 2017 2L FlagonGrown with biological and sustainable farming practices, hand picked and whole bunch pressed to barrel for wild yeast ferment. A blend of 60% Shiraz and 40% Chardonnay. Full malolactic fermentation elevaged in old french hogsheads. Aromas of strawberry and fresh red fruits. Crunchy red berries on the palate. Textural wines with bright natural acid and 2% residual sugar for texture and drinkability. STUART PROUD2017Pinot noirAustralia506$85.00 As low as $76.50
Oakridge 864 Aqueduct Block Henk Vineyard Pinot Noir 20192019Pinot noirAustralia506$97.00 As low as $87.30
The Inlet Pinot Noir 20192019Pinot noirAustralia506$105.00 As low as $94.50
Ata Rangi McCrone Pinot Noir 20162016Pinot noirNew Zealand435
Ata Rangi McCrone Pinot Noir 2017This wine is made from a cooler, more clay-heavy block than Ata Rangi's other organically farmed sites. The result is a Pinot brimming with personality, poise and deliciousness. The cranberry, sour cherry and wild strawberry fruit are radiant, streaked with graphite and sunbaked clay. Cocktail bitters, soy sauce, violet and rose round out a nose. The silky palate is tightly structured with talc-like tannins interlacing tart, juicy fruit. This is New Zealand Pinot Noir at its finest, able to be enjoyed now-2040. (98) WINE ENTHUSIAST
This is packed with bright red-cherry aromas and has a sheen of rose-like flowers across the nose, which is somewhat of an Ata Rangi signature. Some light earth and forest wood as well. Fresh and complex. The palate has intensely defined tannins that deliver impressively structured style with crisp red-cherry and raspberry flavors, as well as red plum to close. A powerful McCrone (97) NICK STOCK, jamessuckling.com
2017Pinot noirNew Zealand435
Ata Rangi Pinot Noir 2018
Aromas of red cherries, cedar, dry brown spices, forest berries and wood, as well as rose-like perfume. It opens and aromatically enriches with some air. The palate has all the trademark layering of smooth tannins and a smoothly ripe ball of fresh red cherries. Assertive drive to the finish. (96) NICK STOCK, jamessuckling.com
35% new oak and 35% whole bunch.
Plum and cherry, camphor, exotic spice and liquorice, a little dried rose perfume in the mix too. Bright and intense. Medium-bodied, plenty of flavour, rich dark fruit with orange peel and spice, firm almost tea-like tannin, moving to ripe strawberries with pepper on a long perfumed, slightly bitter radicchio finish. I like this bit of extra tannin activity in 2018. Good stuff. (95) GARY WALSH, The Wine Front2018Pinot noirNew Zealand435
Tarrawarra MDB Pinot Noir 20172016Pinot noirAustralia506$130.00 As low as $117.00
Dry River Pinot Noir 2018One of the most charming and gentle expressions of Martinborough Pinot Noir you'll find, with its depth of fruit akin to holding a heavy ball in the palm of your hand, such is its midpalate weight. There's an abundance of tannins, but they are as resolved as tannins get, lightly coating the palate. The fruit was picked a little earlier than usual due to the warmth of the season in a bid to preserve tension and also keep the alcohol level at a very reasonable 13%. The acidity provides freshness and precision, giving the wine length and shape. While primary fruit is not front and center, on the finish it blossoms, offering cherries, cinnamon and clove spice. A very complete wine. (97) REBBECA GIBBS, Vinous
2017Pinot noirNew Zealand435Special Price $136.00 Regular Price $160.00
Oakridge 864 Henk Vineyard Pinot Noir 2017 1500ml2017Pinot noirAustralia506$165.00 As low as $148.50
Friends & Family Drinking Dozen - Spring 2021
Prince Wine Store has been running for nearly 20 years now and in that time we have been importing wines directly from France, Italy, Spain and abroad. We go to great lengths to pick only the best of what we see (which is a lot) and bring it to you.
We have forged strong relationships with the producers we import into Australia and consider them friends and confidants in the world of wine.
Closer to home we have forged similar relationships with many of Australia’s greatest producers as well as many of the countries rising stars and young guns of wines. It’s a pretty exciting time for all of us lucky enough to be involved and we wanted to share that with you.
Every quarter this will be updated as we see great new wines, new vintages and the latest and greatest to hit our shores or slide their way across the table. At 15%-20% off or more, this offers exceptional value and delicious drinking.
Don’t forget to check back often to see what the latest version of the Friends and Family Drinking Dozen has in store for you.
SC Pannell - Stephen Pannell
Wheeler Wines - Dale Wheeler
De Bortoli - Steve Webber
Little Reddie - Pat
Sutton Grange - Mel Chester
Red Claw - Tom Carson
Domaine Pajot - Gascgone
Rizzi - Babaresco
Perillia - Campania
Domaine Font du Courtedune - Southern Rhone
Roche de Bellene Bellenos - Burgundy
Ch. Coupe Roses - Minervois$265.00 Regular Price $368.00
Yarra Yering Carradus Pinot Noir 20182018Pinot noirAustralia506$295.00 As low as $265.50