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3rd January 2019

Oakridge, Yarra Valley

On my recent trip to Australia I got to taste comprehensively at a few select wineries. Recommended by my good friend Sharon Wild, we drove into the Yarra Valley and visited at Oakridge, a property I know of because of the very reputation of their Chardonnays, but was otherwise unfamiliar with. This was my first trip to the Yarra, just west of Melbourne, and I was delighted to discover the rolling hills, reminiscent of the South Downs of England. Fertile because of the highest rainfall of any of Australia's main wine regions, and very green in the early Spring. The soil is grey loam overlying volcanic bedrock (which is near enough to the surface on the higher ground to make a difference to the wines, and in a good way). Oakridge is family-owned and was established in 1978. All the Oakridge wines are single vineyard, and the very new winery is a state of the art exercise in cantilevered smartness.

Thanks to Nils in the Oakridge Tasting room for taking us through an amazing range of wines.
Some of these wines are only available in the tasting room. Prices retail in AU$

Sauvignon Blanc Willowlake Vineyard 2015 $22
Wild yeast, whole bunch. 10 mnths on lees.
Elegant green fruit and herb aromas, no pyrazine. Fresh acidity. Linear and quite rich. 16.5

Arneis 2017 $28
60 whole bunch skin contact old oak. MLF. 40 steel.
Warm green fruit aromas. Herby and grassy and fresh. Some phenolic. Zesty citrus finish. Good. 17

Chardonnay Barkala Vineyard 2016 $42
Oak (20%new) but no MLF
Delicate oak, some peach stone fruit. Elegant and yet rich, stone fruit some apricot hints honey touches. 16.5

864 (Drive Block) Chardonnay 2016 $85
As above, more lees.
Much more mineral and smoky. Leaner and fresher more citrus and lees. More chablis style. Zesty finish, hint phenolic. Very good. 17.5

Meunier 2018 $28
Mid pale ruby colour. Sweet confected and fruity aromas. Light, fresh acidity, very Gamay, crisp. Simple, pleasant. 15

Henks Pinot Noir 2016 $42
No whole bunch
Sweet floral aromas, some wild strawberry and rose. Sweet fruit, soft tannins. Fresh finish. Good. 16

Willowlake Pinot Noir 2016 $42
10% whole bunch
Showing a little age visually. Warmer, more extracted and juicier fruit aromas. Some rhubarb and slight green touches. 15.5

864 (Henks) Pinot Noir 2017 $85
No whole bunch
More blue flower and fruit aromas. Fresh and delicious, silkier texture, rich and fresh acidity. Very good wine 18

Shiraz 2016 $42
25% whole bunch
Fresh violet and some peppery spice aromas. Vibrant and fresh. Elegant. Slightly spicy tannins, elegant and fresh. Very N Rhône style. Good acidity. 17


Shiraz 2017 $42
30% whole bunch
Fresher and more vibrant blue fruit and spice aromas. Intense and inviting. Rich and rounded with fresh light tannins and wears its (14.5%) alcohol super well. Very good. Elegant silky finish. 18

Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 $42
Quite european earthy geosmin aroma. Manages not to be musty, but still discernible. Vibrant blue fruit underneath. Fresh and succulent. 16

864 (Winery Block) Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 $85
Exudes blackcurrant fruit aromas. Vibrant. Juicy and sweeter fruit. Fairly crunchy tannins and juicy fruit. Very young but good. 17.5

Skelete Riesling 2018 $24
230g/L residual sugar
Pale, juicy confected grapey fruit aromas. High acidity, tastes less sweet than it is. Fresh simple fruit, citrus grape and nectarine. Some icing sugar on finish. 16

Botrytis Pinot Gris 2017 $40 (1/2)
Heavy botrytis aromas, cream and honey, some hazelnut and ripe fruit. Juicy rich finish. Balanced sugar and acidity. Long finish. Good. 16.5


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