2014 Yarra Yering releases
Although things are about to pause for vintage (which is half over in the Hunter), a few winemakers have been in town recently, and Yarra Yering’s Sarah Crowe was one of those to stop by with a clutch of new releases under her arm.
As ever this is a strong collection of wines, from a winery that nails the classic, understated Yarra form. From what I can gather there isn’t much of these ’14s around, and judging by the traditional (great) style, I’ve got no doubt they’ll be well received – especially the excellent Underhill.
Yarra Yering Light Dry Red 2016
Just the second vintage of this blend of Pinot Noir and Shiraz (50/50 blend) and is a bit of a nod to Bailey Carrodus’ tendency to add Pinot in with the Shiraz. In this case, the Shiraz component is 100% whole bunch fermented, the Pinot whole berry. Spends 9 months in oak. ‘I wanted to make something appropriate for the Australian climate’ said Sarah, ‘(something) fragrant, juicy and fruity’.
Fun and fruity indeed, and adds a light, welcome bitterness to finish. A lovely lick of red fruit flavour here and then the tannins flesh things out nicely – every bit the young Beaujolais inspired style. It’s just a little simple for the lofty pricetag, but I like the wine. Best drinking: 2017-2023. 17.5/20, 91/100. 14%, $86. Would I buy it? I’d drink it, but not sure I’d buy it.
Yarra Yering Underhill Shiraz 2014
100% Shiraz from the original, unirrigated 1973 Block 8 plantings. 30% whole bunches in the ferment, and more puncheons used this year.
Plenty of aromatic intensity here – lovely glossy purple fruit, a whiff of stalks, a hint of black earth and then fine drying tannins. Such a graceful Shiraz, the pithy tannins to finish are just lovely. This is really nice, slightly formed but the tannins here are a lovely punctuation. What a lovely slow burner! Graceful, beautiful cool climate Shiraz. Best drinking: 2017-2040. 18.5/20, 94/100. 13%, $92. Would I buy it? It’s expensive, but such a beautiful wine. Please buy me a few bottles.
Yarra Yering Dry Red No.2 2014
96% Shiraz with a little Mataro and Viognier all co-fermented. Different clones in this wine compared to the Underhill and more new oak (50% vs 30% for Underhill).
Lots more black pepper here. Really powdery tannins and much much more earth. It feels more back palate driven, less simply graceful and even a bit grippy and warm, but the length is still very good indeed. A late growl here compared to the silken Underhill. Finest days are ahead. Best drinking: 2020-2030+. 18/20, 93/100. 13%, $92. Would I buy it? I’d prefer the Underhill for now at least.
Yarra Dry Red No.1 2014
A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot (65/20/10/5). Spends 18 months in 80% new oak.
This seems juicier and plusher than some vintages of No.1. A good ripe year, without the warmth of the rather firm and dry ’13, and entirely even. There’s still the passing whiff of dried leaves and hedgerow in amongst the red fruit, with that great interplay between varietal hints, red/black fruit through the mid palate and long, fine tannins. Would not be out of place with much more expensive claret. Every piece here is in its right place. Best drinking: 2020-2040. 18.5, 94/100. 13.5%, $92. Would I buy it? Again, it’s expensive, but against comparable Bordeaux (and top end Aussie Cabs) this is well priced. Will live for a very long time too.