Hand-picked, sorted via vibrating sorting tables, part crushed, part whole berry, 10-14 days on skins, matured for 11 months in French oak (27% new). Upper Yarra Valley complex texture, flavour and structure; dark berries/plums with pinot tannins woven through the fabric of the palate, length and balance up to the usual standards. A great achievement for the vintage.
97 points, Wine Front (March 2018)
None of your sweet and sour fruit profile here, that I see in many a local Pinot Noir. Raspberry, cherry, strawberry, cedar and spice, fennel and mushrooms, roses too. Medium-bodied, at best, fresh red fruits, bright acidity, plenty of flavour, with graphite tannin keeping it long, firm and tense. Finish is perfumed, kind of autumnal, and very long with that beautiful tannin cleaning it up so nicely. It has reach, and personality. In short, it’s very good. I really like it. A lot.
96 points, Wine Front (September 2018)
There are deeply fragrant cherries and plums, as well as fresh undergrowth, blueberries, violets and alluring baking spices. The tannins are an important part of the wine. Savory and firm but silky. There’s a strong character and style present here. Good depth and drive. Give this time. Try from 2022.
94 points, jamessuckling.com (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.