If you haven’t already gone long on 2017 Yarra Valley reds, consider this another reminder.
I feel like I say this all the time, but why spend $150 a bottle on variable 1er cru Burgundy when you can get equivalent quality Pinot Noir from Australia (or NZ for that matter) for half the price (and in safe screwcap).
I’ve sold off nearly all of my Burgundy (save for a few bottles of Grand Cru) after a string of disappointments. Here’s what to spend money on instead…
Oakridge Vineyard Series Henk Pinot Noir 2017
From the Henk Vineyard is at Woori Yallock, in the cooler, higher part of the Yarra Valley. 100% whole berries in the ferment, spends 10 months in barrel. There’s this flush of raspberry fruit that is just delicious. Fresh raspberry, dried raspberry, the palate so lucid and carefully poised. Ripeness absolutely perfectly nailed, complete with just a little herbs. It’s round but not heavy. Pure and ultimately a lovely drink. Balance balance balance. Best drinking: Good now, and I’d prefer drinking it within five years. 18/20, 93/100. 13.7%, $42. Would I buy it? Sure would.
Oakridge 864 Henk Vineyard Aqueduct Block Pinot Noir 2017
From the Aqueduct Block in the Henk Vineyard (which is all MV6 clone). Intriguing that this sees just 10% new oak – I could have sworn it sees more wood than that. Ultra ambitious glossy red raspberry fruit, a little vanilla oak and that real sappy raspberry of MV6. Compared to the ‘standard’ Henk this is more robust, more powerful and even quite brooding. Fascinating contrast. It even tastes more alcoholic (but it is not). The Henk is pretty, but this is the King Ding-a-Ling, and it will be even better at the end of the year. Best drinking: From late 2019 to six or seven years. 18.5/20, 94/100+. 13.3%, $85. Would I buy it? Well worth a bottle.