After a long and drawn-out lockdown in Victoria we wanted to celebrate with a selection of awesome Victorian producers. It's a little bit of support for our local heroes and of course it's a ton of fantastic drinking.
We wanted to highlight some of our favourite wines and producers, some great collaborations, up-and-coming winemakers and some established stars. It's a little bit of everything and showcases what incredible diversity this little power-house of a state we have down here in Vicotria.
We start with possibly one of our favourite wines on the list in the Crawford River Young Vines Riesling. It is probably a bit of a misnomer these days as the vines aren't so young anymore, but it does come of the more recently established vineyards. It has all the hallmarks of Crawford with its textural pull and racy finish. Every year this pulls closer and closer to its big brother.
Next up is the Denton SHED Chardonnay. The vineyards are owned by John and Simon Denton and are plonked in an isolated hill in the middle of the Yarra Valley on the north side of the Yarra River with a great aspect for grape growing and wonderful views of the whole valley. The wines are made by rock-star Luke Lambert and this is a cracking little wine. This is a one-two combo knockout wine.
Still in the Yarra we are off to established legend Dave Bicknell of Oakridge. The wine is part of Local Vineyard Series and is from the Barkala vineyard and is a stunning effort from the excellent 2018 vintage. While Oakridge and Bicknell tend to have a following for his Chardonnay's and Pinot's the Cabernet's are the dark horse in the stables. This is classic Yarra claret, and we were pretty taken back at the quality which is really no surprise.
A little further afield we are up and out east to Beechworth to young-gun and all-round good guy Adrian Rodda. Like Bicknell he has established a reputation for his excellent single vineyard Chardonnay's but this boy is talented. He makes excellent Cabernet and one of my favourites wines in his range is the Tempranillo. This is an authentic take on Aussie Tempranillo. Its not just jubey juicy fruit and nothing else, this is serious stuff that is beautifully structured and packed full of flavour.
Back west we head to one of Victoria's classic producers Craiglee. Pat Carmody planted vines on the site of the original vineyard in 1976 and processed the first wine in 1979. The first commercial quantity was released in 1982 with the 1980 shiraz and this has been a classic ever since. Vine age and Pat's plethora of experience may have stamped 2016 as one of his best. This cool climate Shiraz at its best from one Victoria's most unique vineyards sites.
To finish we are off to the coast for another of our favourite new-ish producers Onannon. The Leongathatha Pinot is off a single site and is the pick of the bunch from an excellent range of coastal Pinot from the crew at Onannon. A mix of clones and subtle winemaking really makes this bad-boy a standout hit. Its perfumed and earthy and no slouch but remains elegant and lithe throughout. If you don't know these wines yet keep an eye on this space because things are just going to get better!