Hawker at the Helm

Brendan Hawker’s first full flagship release and it’s clear he has been paying attention, to both the heritage of style and with an emphasis on fruit. It could almost be said that Hawker has taken a step back rather than into the spotlight, as each wine is a celebration of fruit and region and less about the tinkering of winemaker hands. 

Yering Station Reserve Chardonnay 2021
Whole bunch pressed and fermented in 500L puncheons, matured in barrel on gross lees for nine months and a further five months in tank. Ripe jackfruit, lemon curd and baked apple danish. Peach cobbler, honeysuckle and creamy custard apple. Hazelnut skin, crushed candlenut and kernel. The wine flows effortlessly and the subtle, savoury nuances of nut brittle shine through. The extended lees work creates a rich milky texture and a veil of fine acidity keeps the wine agile and persistent. It’s a wine woven with patience, care and an eye for design. Drinking well now but will benefit from some years in the cellar. Open and pour into your finest white burgundy glasses to enjoy with an expertly made potato gratin and shaved cod roe. 95 Points

Yering Station Reserve Shiraz Viognier 2021
2% co-fermented Viognier. Wow this is a show stopper, beguiling in its layers of hibiscus, rosella, tulip and rose. What follows is red licorice, wild raspberry and wrapped snugly in blackberries and juniper. There is a distinct purple Shiso leaf, black cardamom and caraway seed. These wild aromatics are tamed by a medium weighted palate with earthy spices of cumin, potting soil and dried tobacco leaf. Acidity stretches out the flavours which continue to hum along. Tannins are etched in fine pinpoint accuracy and the graduation of flavours is remarkable. This is a true triumph of cool climate Shiraz and worthy of applause. Drink with thinly sliced Jamon, chargrilled bread and bathe in the bliss of drinking one of the standout wines of the year. 98 Points

Yering Station Reserve Pinot Noir 2021
Fresh cranberry juice, smooshed raspberries and pickled strawberries. Porcini mushroom powder, dried galangal and cigar leaf. The wine has elegant rose florals, black cherry skin but also the aromas of earthy terrain underfoot. Tannins are dry like the chew of dried goji berries and acidity is energetic and dances across the palate. An alluring wine with the architecture its true crowning glory. Sturdy shoulders, soft flesh and chisel angles. It’s got everything you want in Pinot Noir that goes the distance. I’d die a happy woman to see this wine in 5, 10 and 15 years. Drink with a wild mushroom tart. 96 Points

Yering Station Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2021
Imagine a wicker basket full to the brim of blackberries, mulberries and Illawarra plums. A stalk of rosemary, thyme and a few gumnuts clinging to the stem. It’s dusk and the smell of paperbark with a crackling fire are near. The 2021 Reserve Cabernet is an illustration of the great Australian landscape, so invoking it is almost unnerving. The fruit is densely concentrated and backed by silty tannins that evenly grip the palate. There is a pantry of baking spices, cumin, nutmeg and cassia bark and a wonderful dry tanned leather and cedar flavour to the well used French oak. This is Yarra Valley Cabernet with the intensity dialled up and built to last a lifetime. Utterly stunning. Drink with juicy lamb chops, roast potatoes and greens. 98 Point

Yering Station Reserve 2021 vintage will be released on August 1 2023.



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