It’s been a while since I’ve taken a proper look at such a premium line of Yarra Valley wines – I’ve been getting caught up with the rest of the world and ignoring what’s literally sitting on my doorstep next to the milk. But The Valley’s great. The proximity to Melbourne means that on any lazy weekend you can jump up and get out there at the drop of a hat. ‘Honey, I seemed to have dropped hat again…’. ‘Never mind that now! Let’s go wine tasting!’. And off you go.
On my first trip out there as a neophyte sommelier the signs of famous wineries rolling past the window gave me that little jump of recognition and admiration – it was like going celeb spotting in L.A. The five or so wineries we visited that day, and the wines we tasted there, now feel like old friends, mates that were unflinchingly supportive. Keep on with the wine thing, they seemed to say with a reassuring pat on the back. It’s a grand old life. One of those friends was Yering Station.
The home of Victoria’s first vineyard (planted in 1838) has a pretty premium pinot noir (Scarlett), some single vineyard varietal wines as well as a traditional method sparkling (Yarrabank) plus plenty of approachable, earlier-drinking wines.
Then there are the Reserve wines. This is the ‘Flagship’ range, crafted with the intention of pretty much making the best darn wine possible. We’re in the no-compromising, best fruit from the best sites, considered oak and ageing, zone here.
The quality shows. The wines across the line are strapping, self-assured and structured. Most of all they’re glorious to drink – indicative of the region and top-level, cool-climate fruit. I’m pleased to introduce them to you.
Yering Station Reserve Chardonnay 2019 ($130)
Lots of ripe cut orchard fruit straight out of the glass – apricot, firm peach and crunchy nectarine with a flinty edge. The wine is powerful and focused; less of that full mouth feel and more dexterity and precise textures. Shelves of fine acidity build up the sides of the palate. There’s a long mineral finish, pure and clean like spring water and lingering whiff of caramel tart in the background.
Yering Station Reserve Pinot Noir 2019 ($130)
Here’s a quick-witted wine! Snappy like a Shakespearean retort but warm hearted nonetheless. Wild berries and tarter fruit dominate – think red currants, plum skin, cranberry and finger staining pomegranate. Spiced and slightly chewy tannins stroke the side and back palate evenly while the finish is fine and fragrant.
Yering Station Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 ($130)
Structured and strong, a testament to how concentrated Yarra cabernet can be. Coffee, chocolate, intense blackberry and deep plum notes. Cedar and spice speckled tannin is sturdy and holds the fruit with a steady hand. This is a special bottle, complete and harmonious and which drinks like a well-trusted friend. Make sure you pen in another visit in a decade or so.
Yering Station Reserve Shiraz Viognier 2019 ($130)
Slow, wafting aromatics seem to hover in the air just above the glass, like the intoxicating smoke from Carroll’s Hookah-puffing caterpillar. Very alluring this one. Bold dark fruits cut with fragrant red and purple petals and a little toasty french oak just popping its head round the corner. Tannins are silky but a little touch of graininess gives them give some texture and lift. A confident and balanced wine with a long, warm baking spice-rich length.