A feature of the Langton’s Classification since its 1990 inception, “No . 1” remains one of Australia’s most sought-after Bordeaux style blends. It is principally a Cabernet Sauvignon affair, with Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot playing supporting roles. Described as a “classic claret-style”, it features bright, blackcurrant fruit characters, savoury complexity and fine-grained tannins. Originally made by the late great Dr Bailey Carrodus, this flagship of the Yarra has been in the hands of Sarah Crowe (James Halliday’s 2016 Winemaker of the Year) since the 2013 vintage.
Deep, bright red/purple colour and a beautifully fresh and yet already complex perfume, violets and blueberries to the fore, the palate very bright, vibrant and fruit-driven yet totally serious in its intent. Lovely balance and terrific length, as well as the kind of improbable elegance that means it is a pleasure to drink young. An outstanding wine which needs cellaring and will really sing when given some more time.
97 points, Real Review, May 2018
66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 15% Malbec, 3% Petit Verdot, hand-picked and berry-sorted, the Cabernet crushed, the other varieties whole-berry fermented in half-tonne open fermenters, hand-plunged twice-daily, some of the Cabernet with extended post-ferment maceration, matured separately in French oak (40% new) for 15 months. Profoundly juicy and rich, yet kept under tight control by the web of ripe tannins, oak part of the structure and texture but not flavour per se. It is a wine that you can sit with for a prolonged examination and discussion, and still not cover all its characteristics or ask all the questions.
97 points, Wine Companion, August 2018
"A very reserved, elegant and regal nose, showing subtle yet confident aromas of freshly picked blackcurrants, lead pencil, cassis, dried herbs, cedar, iodine and crushed stones. The palate is very polished and seamless with velvety tannins, a beautiful line of acidity that’s wonderfully integrated and a very long finish. Hard to resist now, but better in 2025. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot."
98 points, Nick Stock, August 2018.
"A very reserved, elegant and regal nose, showing subtle yet confident aromas of freshly picked blackcurrants, lead pencil, cassis, dried herbs, cedar, iodine and crushed stones. The palate is very polished and seamless with velvety tannins, a beautiful line of acidity that’s wonderfully integrated and a very long finish. Hard to resist now, but better in 2025. A blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, malbec and petit verdot." 98 points, Nick Stock (August 2018)
Yarra ValleyThe Yarra Valley was first planted by the Ryrie brothers who explored a way through the Snowy Mountains to the Yarra Valley, planting grapes in 1838 just three years after the foundation of Melbourne. A wine industry (developed by Swiss Settlers particularly Hubert de Castella and Baron Guillaume de Pury in the 1850s) thrived during the gold rush era and heyday of the 19th century. However, the end of the gold rush brought the wine industry into decline and it was not until the 1970’s that the modern wine industry started up again. The region is probably Australia’s best-known cool-climate area, yet it is really a patchwork of meso-climates. This varied topography creates an incredible set of variables. Vineyards are planted on elevations of 50 to 400m on varying aspects and management programmes. The more exposed sites are subject to severe spring frosts and winds. Overall, the area experiences a relatively high rainfall pattern and is known for its temperature extremes during ripening. Site selection is crucial, with the best vineyards often located where the original vines were once planted, generally on sandy clay loams and gravels. The Yarra Valley is well known for high quality Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Blends with Shiraz increasingly garnering attention. Sparkling wine production is also extremely important, with many of Australia’s finest examples produced in the region.