Yarra Yering Members Tasting 2010 Vintage

Yarra Yering is a great little boutique winery in the Yarra Valley near Coldstream. Originally founded by the late Dr Bailey Carrodus in 1969, the wines from Yarra Yering gained an international reputation for quality and individuality. The wine is now made by Paul Bridgeman who continues the tradition of making a range of great wines including the delicious Carrodus range.

Couple of weeks ago I received an email from Yarra Yering. They were having a Medallion members only tasting for their 2010 release. I missed the previous one so not going to miss this one! A few friends and I first stumbled upon this winery a while ago whilst trundling around the Yarra Valley looking for something to fill the back of the car with. It’s a very beautiful place, looks like a very old school English house equip with a fireplace, a pond, fruit trees, a veggie patch all surrounded by rows of vines.

The tasting was to be held over two days and if you were quick enough, you could get a private tour of the place (no, I was not quick enough…booked out in a day!). After getting the ok to bring along non-member friends, I quickly started rounding up the crew but in the end, it was just me, the missus, my brother and his girlfriend; the fantastic four…

We rocked up to Yarra Yering on Sunday at around 11am and were greeted at the door with something special.

Sparkling Blanc De Noir 1994

Now…for those to remember, we had the younger brother (1998) of this wonderful sparkling at Vue de Monde which was standing in place of Dom Perignon. If you get the chance to try this, please do. This is not being made anymore and bottles are becoming very limited.

This had an old nose, with syrup peaches and dusty jams. I like it. The bubbles are very fine to begin with and will disappear as it gets to room temp so be quick! Taste is sweet and sour, touch of tannins in the back with some buttery notes. Wet stone, slate, limestone aspects with a sprinkle of granny smith apples in the finish. Awwwwsome! This was going to be a good day.

To the tasting table!!!!

Inside the tasting area

This was the first of two tasting tables. The first was showcasing the 2010 range whist the second was showing some of the back vintages of certain wines complemented with cheese anc crackers…oh yeah. The wine maker Paul Bridgeman and a few other guys were behind the tasting tables showcasing the wines and giving us the run down. Unfortunately for any Pinot Noir lovers out there, the grapes weren’t ready but you won’t be disappointed with the rest 🙂

Bracket 1: The Whites

Yarra Yering Chardonnay 2010

Yarra Yering Carrodus Viognier 2010

Yarra Yering Chardonnay 2010

First up is the Chardonnay and first impression is Wow. Made from the original 1969 plantings, this smells like an aged wine with a Montrachet aspect. Has paw paw, buttered popcorn, and mineral salts with some pumpkin seeds. I reckon it’s got a phenomenal nose for its age.

Palate shows it’s youth, soft clean and with great depth. Slight toffee apple on the attack, then developing a flinty minerality and sea salts aspect. Finishes buttery with a roasted pumpkin sweetness and well integrated unimposing oak. Elegant and finesse wine. Shit hot now, insane with age. Yes some came home with us.

Yarra Yering Carrodus Viognier 2010

This was so cool. Smelt a bit like Laphriog, sweet cigarette smell with ash in the back. Attack is woody, has a smokey tinge. A very strange wine, not like any wine I have tried before. It really really reminded me of a watered down scotch! Splintery on the palate and has a weight to the wine from the flavours; akin to a Shiraz. Bold caramel note in the finish with a sharp and salted kiwi pineapple, green mango seed hit. Highly strange, highly complex and I do like!

Bracket 2: Shiraz Blends

Yarra Yering Underhill Shiraz 2010

Yarra Yering Dry Red No 2. 2010

Yarra Yering Carrodus Shiraz 2010

 

Yarra Yering Underhill Shiraz 2010

Made from 100% Shiraz from 1974 vines, this had a typical Shiraz nose and came off with blue and red berries and an overall sweet aspect. Attack comes off as an easy going wine with clean tannins and unexpectedly light bodied. The mid palate fleshed out and comes off very balanced in the sense that I cannot pick any overpowering aspect of sweet, sour or bitterness. A meaty wine, bit simple at this stage but from experience with Underhill Shiraz, this will develop well over time. Still good to drink now though!

Yarra Yering Dry Red No 2. 2010

Yarra Yering is well known for their Dry Red No 1, 2 and 3 and this No 2 is predominately Shiraz blended with a few percentages of Mourvèdre (1%), Viognier (2%) and Marsanne (5%) from 1995 vines and blended with about 20% of the 1969 vines.

Flowery sweet and not your typical Shiraz nose but still with blue and red berries. On the palate, you get a seam of tannins next to a line of acidity next to a line of fruit. Fantastic! Integrated yet distinctive, very powerful, terrior driven, seamed wine, where you can taste the crush rock, soils and undergrowth. Finished the same as the attack and mid palate. Not much to say, tickle me impressed, my favourite wine so far (so far…).

Yarra Yering Carrodus Shiraz 2010

This wine, as with most of the Carrodus range, is made with 1969 vines. Very deep nose here, lots of stuff happening. Plumy, chocolate, saké, liquorice, lilac and violets. You could say it has a girly, romantic nose? Well, it sucker punched me good cos oooomph! Big hit on the attack of preserved plums along with a slight acidity and powdered sugar. Tastes like a strawberry tart complete with short pastry. Sorry, this could be better than the dry red 2…man I am loving the Carrodus range!

Bracket 3: Bordeaux Blends

Yarra Yering Malbec 2010

Yarra Yering Carrodus Merlot 2010

Yarra Yering Dry Red No 1. 2010

Yarra Yering Carrodus Cabernet Merlot 2010

Yarra Yering Malbec 2010

Not your traditional straight variety Malbec, usually used for blending to add a spicy richness to cabernet dominant wines. Malbec is a  feast or famine variety hence not made most years. This is the first straight malbec since 1985 made from 1969 vines in an unirrigated vineyard.

Nose comes off like scented candles and potpourri along with lilacs and blueberries. Attack and mid palate is tannic, more tannic than the others comfortably drying the mouth but the acid helps cut through this. There finishes is where you want to be. It’s awesome! An excellent mix of tannins and acidity with a firm backbone of fruit. Goes great with a sharp cheese due to the strength of flavours. Great expression of a malbec, different from the norm and doesn’t get much better than this.

Yarra Yering Carrodus Merlot 2010

Ahhh another Carrodus, this time a straight Merlot, 30% from the 1969 vines. Merlot was my first variety I fell in love it and I may have fallen in love again. This has a dirt and soil aspect to the wine. Nice grip on the mouth, touch of dryness but also elegance and finesse. Think of this like a bigger bolder style of Pommerol or St Emillion. Well made with rose petals balancing with minerality, soil, and black berries adding to the complexity. Ok, maybe this is my favourite wine! I really love the style, intensity and bold flavours. Scrum-diddelly-umschous.

Yarra Yering Dry Red No 1. 2010

The classic claret of Yarra Yering. This has more of a shiraz nose similar to the Underhill but brought a pack of cinnamon donuts to the table adding a dry and bready feel to the wine. There was an overall higher volume of grip on your mouth but at a lesser intensity. Very different to the previous wines, more vegetal in flavours like capsicum and celery backed with limestone and stems. The finish is what makes the wine, long lasting even continuing to linger after a block of cheese and has a very synergistic rounding off in the mouth. Quite a punchy wine which needs some sleeping time.

Yarra Yering Carrodus Cabernet Merlot 2010

Ok, so I have said on numerous occasions above the phrase “this is my favourite wine”. But…lets just say this is the wine I went back for seconds. “Sourced from a distinct patch of selected old vine stock which reflect the best expression of these varieties to be grown on the Yarra Valley property”.

Great cherry nose; actually packs a punch, loads of dried fruits, apricots, cigar and toffee. Niiiiice. Attack is sublime, very firm and pristine wine. Peppery, cherries, raspberry flavours on a smooth medium body. Finishes very smooth and lingers around for ages, leaving you smacking your lips for more. Perfection, this was the King today. An outstanding wine and I don’t know what else to say. The balanced and the complexity of this wine is unbelievable for its age. I actually texted my mum that it was “better than Cullen and Moss Wood”! THIS is my favourite wine of the day, and yes I did go a little nuts, maybe cried a little. Apologies if I was a bit loud 😛

Bracket 4: Italian Portugese Blends

Yarra Yering Barbiolo 2010

Yarra Yering Dry Red No 3. 2010

Yarra Yering Barbiolo 2010

Dragging myself away from the Carrodus Cab Merlot, we have an interesting blend of Barbera and Nebbiolo. This had a peppery dark aniseed nose with a barnyard and sheep wool aspect. There is a line of acidity on the attack which continues into the mid palate and mingles with bold flavours of berries and tannins showing some great balance. Has a finish of wood, pine, acorns and nuts. Pretty insane!

First time I tried a blend of these two varieties and I like it. Great mix of the acidity of Barbera and tannins from Nebbiolo producing a well balanced and more importantly… a very tasty wine.

Yarra Yerring Dry Red No 3. 2010

The last on the table is the dry red no 3; a Portugese blend of Tinta Cão, Touriga Naςional, Sousão, Alvarelhao,Tinta Amarela, Rori and Tempranillo creating a mix of flavours.

This had stems, green notes, cashews, pumpkin seeds and an overall rawness in the nose. Attack is a mix of acid and ginseng. The tannins take hold here adding a subtle dryness on the palate and adds some chilli and peppercorns. Finishes waxy, dry with a lingering taste. Not to shabby; quite yum!

We made it through the first table, so let’s get cracking on the second table…the back vintages. Can anyone beat the Carrodus Cabernet Merlot? If anyone can, it could be one of these aged beauties…

Bracket 5: The Back Vintages

Yarra Yering Dry Red Wine Underhill Shiraz 1998

Yarra Yering Dry Red No 1. 1996

Yarra Yering Dry Red Merlot 1990

Yarra Yering Potsorts 2010

Yarra Yering Dry Red Wine Underhill Shiraz 1998

At 14 years old, you get some old leather, old plums and some dust. O yeah! This nose makes your mouth salivate. Attack is a little syrupy, thick and heavy bodied in the mid palate. You can feel this is an old wine and has that distinctive old barn yard farm taste, leather and some gaminess you get from lamb. It’s very deep and “bruised”. As you taste some more, it brings up a woody note with a mix of Italian sausages then tropical fruits, dried apricots, bananas and rum raisins whist maintain that rustic feel. Incredible complexity and depth in this wine, has aged beautifully. Maybe I should open my 2001 bottle now hey!?

Yarra Yering Dry Red No 1. 1996

This one’s a little older, has a musky, dusty old stone nose, with some cooling wet rocks, dirt, ground cement, bark, eucalyptus and bubblegum ice cream. Yup. Crisp attack, acidic and very light though feels past its prime. Has a bark wood aspect in the mid palate, red gum to mind with a tart finish balance out with some honeyed figs. Interesting but maybe slept a bit too long.

Yarra Yering Dry Red Merlot 1990

Smell this and what do you get? Honey! Wtf? Like squeeze me honey honey Capalano! Unfortunately the attack is actually a bit harsh, almost vinegary, too dry and again, probably past its prime or over oxidised. Finishes like a lemon wedge. Boo! An I was soo looking forward to it with that kind of nose!

Yarra Yering Potsorts 2010

Not a back vintage, this is Yarra Yering’s fortified wine made from some of the varieties in the Dry Red No 3. Chocolate toffee, clean, fresh snow peas and cauliflower nose with a touch of alcohol. Sweet, sharp tingley wine with firmness to it. Strong and intense flavours of rose water, sprinkle of salt, strong alcohol in the back palate blended with chilli, chocolate and orange peel. Finishes a little metallic, waxy, chilly, dry and grippe. Nice finish to the day!

Whew! I walked out of this place very poor but very happy 🙂 This was easily one of my favourite tasting experiences and it was great to meet Paul and one of my fellow followers/Cellar Door Manager Janine and the Yarra Yering gang. Thank you guys for a great great day. Looking forward to the next vintage and if you have a spare weekend, you know where to go!

Kenny and Paul, working hard to bring you the good stuff

Kenny….Yarra Yering Member no.564

Yarra Yering Members Tasting 2010 Vintage
Yarra Yering Members Tasting 2011 Vintage

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