Mount Mary Pinot Noir doesn’t quite burst from the blocks in the way of most modern Yarra Valley Pinot Noir, but it’s proven to be eminently age worthy. Out of interest, there are over 30 different clones of Pinot Noir growing in the Mount Mary vineyard, the Pinot Noir taken as cuttings in the early 1970s. If ever there was an example of the classic Mount Mary Pinot Noir style, then this is it. It’s powerful but stand-offish, somewhat aristocratic in its fruit and oak handling, offers a firm grip of tannin and feels built to evolve slowly. It can be consumed and enjoyed now, most certainly, but its best is long ahead of it. It has an imposing beauty. Drink 2019-2029+ 96 points, Campbell Mattinson (winefront.com.au)
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.