Saturday, 7 July 2012

Yarra Yering: 3 wines that remind why I need more

Yarra Yering: 3 wines that remind why I need more

Gee I wish I had more Yarra Yaring in the cellar.

That's a lament I find myself uttering every time I try one of these fabled wines. They are, to put it simply, the sort of wines that I want to drink. That's not to say that everything with a Yarra Yering label on it impresses (they can be rather variable), but the highlights are really fucking high.

These three wines illustrate that point particularly well. The No. 1, in particular, is so long and fine and, well, thoughtful that I find myself instantly attracted to it. All of the wines are detailed actually, even despite their vagaries, forcing you to look at them again and again and again. Great wines should do that methinks.

Thoughtful is a good summary word for the Yarra Yering wine style actually for, as friend (and colleague) Angus Hughson pointed out in an article published in The Australian this week, the wines were made by one of the more intriguing intellects of the wine industry in (the late) Dr Bailey Carrodus, a man who - by nature - was only going to make wines to be contemplated.

Of course Bailey was a complex sort of person too (I had quite good experiences with him though) and Angus alludes to just how many interesting stories about 'the Doc' there are around...

The article is a good one (my bias noted) and is worth a read. Check it out here (subscription may be required. Sometimes a cheeky Google search will uncover a free version though).

The wines:

Yarra Yering Dry Red 1 2005
Claret. Yarra Valley Claret. No other conclusion can be drawn. A blend of Cabernet, Merlot, Malbec and a little Petit Verdot. In every way a classic Yarra Cabernet (from a great vintage too).

Lovely nose of tobacco leafiness (but not underripe character) and black fruit, the nose wavering nicely between the herbs and the red/black fruit. There's an extra sweetness on the nose too, which is both welcome and surprising. The palate has a firm, brackish and darkly leafy sort of style that is much more firm and taught than the nose suggests, even a little hard. My those tannins are long though. Longggg finish.

Fine wine, but also reserved and withdrawn. Intrigue to burn. I have two bottles. Want more. 18.3/93++

Yarra Yering Underhill Shiraz 2006
Drawn exclusively from the original 1974 block of Shiraz. I haven't always loved the Underhill but it is nothing if not a savoury and old world sort of Australian Shiraz.

It's a very meaty, animale cast wine this vintage though with black olives, slow roast beef and black pepper. Hint of Brett? Lovely black fruit but perhaps dulled by the hint of 'the B man'. Quite a sweet middle again, dry finish and fine powdery tannins. I think I'd drink it, but plenty of erm, 'character' in this bottle. 17.5/91

Yarra Yering Agincourt 2007

From what has always been considered to be a rather ordinary red vintage in the Yarra (bushfire affected) I was quite surprised to enjoy this so much.

Bacon hocks and smoky ferrous rusticity on the nose, yet the palate has  a certain sort of line and length to it, long and smoky and willowy. Sweet and sour but not rich. Long. Lovely willowy dark tannins. Has power, has grace, has form. Another wine of character but a character that is working here. 17.9/92

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