DCB Wines Nebbiolo, Yarra Valley
Chris Bendle came across a parcel of Nebbiolo when in search of more Pinot to add to his stable of wines. Speaking to Lou Primavera, they talked about a small parcel that was available and Chris was keen to play with the variety, a natural step for any Pinot maker. They split the parcel 50/50 and Chris tried his hand at making a Nebbiolo.
In Chris’ own words, ‘I destemmed it 100% into a couple of old puncheons I had knocked the heads out of and fermented on skins for about 60 days. I had to take it up the road to a mate to use his press. While it was pressing, I reconstituted the barrels so the wine spent the whole time in the same oak. A year in barrel, a year in bottle. It was an experiment and I wasn't sure if I had done the right thing. But a producer from Traversa in Barbaresco was over and tasted the wines in January 2018 and said: “it tastes like young Nebbiolo.” That’s exactly what you want.’
Interesting to see more Nebbiolo coming out of the Yarra Valley (Woori Yallock here).
Fascinating wine, and unusual in a good way. Cherry cough syrup, ripe raspberry, alpine herbs and white pepper. Offers slightly jubey red fruits, but liquorice and dried herb too, and comes over as a dry, well-structured, and pretty serious wine. Tannin is strong and grippy, a little sandy, but enjoyable, and the finish is solid, with a muscular heft of tannin and perfume of alpine herb, cinnamon bark and bitter orange. Will challenge some, but I like it. Quirky.'
91 points, Gary Walsh, The Wine Front, July 2019.
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.