Oakridge Wines Local Vineyard Series Willowlake Vineyard Pinot Noir, Yarra Valley
Oakridge Local Vineyard Series comes from Yarra Valley master Dave Bicknell.
Willowlake is a cool, Upper Yarra vineyard that ripens late giving the Pinot Noir fruit more ‘hang time’ to develop. Winemaker Bicknell’s hand in the winery frames the single-vineyard terroir, showing its individuality.
A very fragrant, gently leafy and floral pinot with a strong driving acid line through the palate. Tangy, zesty flavors of red cherries and strawberries. This delivers a svelte, long finish that expands beautifully. A superb pinot with real finesse.
95 points, jamessuckling.com (August 2018)
Excellent clarity and bright red hues. The nose is composed and gently fragrant with redcurrant and cherry aromas. The palate has excellent front palate intensity, followed by a tight and detailed middle. Commendable tension, energy and fruit definition, plus sour cherry flavours on the finish. A stunning wine. A great example of a contemporary Australian pinot noir. Highly recommended.
95 points, The Real Review (March 2019)
Yes. Lovely. That wonderful combination of succulence and complexity. Be seduced, be intrigued. Autumn leaves and sweet cherries, woodsy spices and musk. It slips, it sparks, it soars. Tannin here is both particularly fine, and particularly assertive.
94 points, The Wine Front (February 2019)
Deepish, bright red/purple colour; glowing. There is a waft of reduction on the first nose, the palate sweetly-fruited and cherry-ish, varietal and charming - if not terribly complex at this stage. Red and dark cherry flavours. Fine, firm tannins. It's youthful and should build more character given a year or two in the bottle. But it is delicious already.
92 points, The Real Review (March 2019)
Willowlake is one of the oldest vineyards in the Upper Yarra Valley, the wine open-fermented whole berries for 3 weeks, then 10 months in French barrels. Lighter colour than 864 Aqueduct Block Henk Vineyard; balances bright red fruits with a lingering savoury/foresty shrug of aromas and flavours. Elegant and balanced, but is light-bodied and the food match should be carefully chosen.
92 points, Wine Companion (September 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.