Wine Courses Corporate Wine Events About Private Wine Events Blog!

Back to archive

8th January 2019

Yarra Yering

Yarra Yering is an Australian institution. Founded in 1969 by the legendary Dr Bailey Carrodus, it helped reestablish the lush and beautiful Yarra Valley as a viticultural area. There had been vineyards here until the fist world war, but a combination of falling demand, changing tastes and need for sheep farming meant the Yarra's prime agricultural potential was led elsewhere. Carrodus changed all that. Having studied farming in New Zealand, winemaking in South Australia, and a doctorate in philosophy (for plant physiognomy) at Oxford University, he toured Europe and got a feel for the best places to make the sort of wines that having been in the UK had allowed him to taste. Back home, he chose the Yarra Valley. First planed in 1969, he named his vineyard Yarra Yering. 1973 saw the first vintage of the seemingly unimaginatively-named Dry Red Wine No.1 (a Bordeaux blend) and Dry Red Wine No.2, (a Rhône blend). But these names, and the simple but timeless labels that go with them, have become Australian cultural icons, and Yarra Yering rightly claims a place in Australian wine folklore.

Carrodus died in 2008, and perhaps a little of Yarra Yering died with him, but the winemaking is now in the hands of the exceptionally talented Sarah Crowe who I think is making wines of which Baily Carrodus would be proud. Dry Red No.s 1 & 2 remain (joined by white equivalents), but are augmented by a range of singe-variety wines. More recently a series of limited old-vine wines named after the founder has been launched. Although these are exceptional in quality and deserve their hefty price tags, very high scores and awards, I rather prefer - personally - the white label range as being a little closer to the European elegance that inspired Bailey Carrodus in the first place. But they carry his name, and I am sure he would be proud of that.

We were taken through the entire range by Joanne, in the beautiful feels-old-but-is-actually new tasting room on the property, next door to Bailey's house. Yarra Yering keep some museum bottles (which are for sale to their club members), and I was lucky enough to be able to taste some of these too.

Semillon 2017 $55
Citrus and grass, some lemon and lemongrass aromas and flavours. Crisp, fresh. Lime and blossom. Some phenolic extract. Well balanced 16.5

Dry White No 1 2017 $55
75 Semillon 25 Chardonnay
Citrus and spearmint. No obvious oak. Rich but zesty, some cool leafiness. Rich lime finish. 17

Dry White No 2 2017 $55
69 Marsanne, 25 Viognier 15 Roussanne
Oily marzipan and honeysuckle aromas. Rich and fresh, elagance and good acidity. Quite rich flavours. Long rich finish. Very good 17

Chardonnay 2017 $105
1969 plantings
Some mineral struck match aromas. Hint spicy vanilla oak and creamy apple fruit aromas. Very well balanced and rounded. Fresh and elegant fruit. Long juicy finish . Very good. 17.5

Pinot Noir 2017 $105
Pale colour. Cherry and sweet spice aromas, inviting. Fresh cherry and wild sweet herbs to taste. Well balanced and great structure. Delicious. Silky tannins on the finish 17.5

Dry Red Wine No 3 2017 $105
Co-planted Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Cao, Tinta Amarela, Alvarelhão, Sousão
Blue fruit and spice aromas. Rich and powerful fruit flavours. Some sweet cherry fruit, quite Italian in style, crisp acidity. Dry tannins on finish. Very good. 17

Underhill Shiraz 2016 $105
Planted in 1973
Spices and violet fruit aromas. Juicy and rich with good tannin and acidity balance. Elegant charming slightly earthy mineral fruit, subtle long finish. A grower. Very good. 18

Underhill Shiraz 2011 $130 Museum Release
Evolved colour. Spicy earthy coffee and cocoa aromas. Silky, some tomato leaf and green plum fruit flavours. Good, but drink soon. 2011 was not the greatest vintage in Yarra. 16

Dry Red No 2 2016 $105
95 Shiraz 2 Viognier 2 Mataro 1 Marsanne
Spices and pepper, rich juicy sweet fruit flavours. Balanced tannins and freshness. Some oak on the finish. 17

Dry Red No 2 2009 $105 Museum Release
Shiraz Viognier Mataro Marsanne
Warm oxidative, slightly animal and meaty aromas. Savoury and meaty spiced flavours with a leather and dusty finish. Fully ready I'd say, but long and silky textured. 16.5

Malbec 2016 $105
Planted in 1969, only released as a single varietal three times (78, 10 and 16)
Chocolate and deep brooding fruit aromas. Rich juicy and sweet fruit flavours, blueberry and cocoa. Good. 17

Agincourt Cabernet Malbec 2016 $105
80 CS 20 Malbec
Plenty of spice and oak to accompany the cassis and damson fruit scents. Very juicy and sweet fruity. Balanced fresh acidity and elegance on the finish. 18

Dry Red No 1 2016 $120
66 CS 16 M 15 Malb 3 PV
40% new French oak. Very fresh and lifted blue fruit aromas. Plenty oak but balanced with the fruit and powerful but balanced tannins. Very fine grained and complex. 18.5

Dry Red No 1 2011 $140 Museum Release
Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Malbec Petit Verdot
Aged and stewed soft fruit aromas. Leather and baked spice. Juiciness but with some brett. Drying out a bit. 16

Potsorts Vintage Fortified 2008
(Last vintage 2013)
(Only 1.9 acres of Vineyard of six Portuguese varieties, so no great commercial motive)
Herby and strawberry flavours. Warm and a little simply fruity to taste. Jammy finish. Freshness. Eminently drinkable, but not as complex as the table wine. 16.5


Carrodus Viognier 2016 $275
Peach and blossom, some mineral and petal aromas. Not jammy scented. Lovely mouthfeel and silky texture. Extract without too much oiliness or alcohol. Elegant finish. Very good. 18

Carrodus Pinot Noir 2015 $275
Oak and bright red fruit and exotic perfume. Elegant and structured with subtle tannins and good acidity. Subtle and slightly savoury smoky characters on the finish. Great length. Very good indeed. 18.5

Carrodus Shiraz 2016 $275
Hugely meaty and savoury oak aromas, spiced fruit underneath. Rich and well structured with deep spicy fruit, big tannins and rich extract. Dense and somewhat more 'Australian' than the other wines. 17.5

Carrodus Merlot 2012 $160
Last vintage of straight Merlot (for the time being)
Sweet plummy fruit, some rosehip, sweet oak. Rich and inviting. Super concentrated and deep. Spices and dry tannins, no jamminess. Very good. 18

Carrodus Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 $275
Deep vibrant sweet black fruit aromas. Bramble jelly, pastry and cream. Very rich and concentrated with great extract and balanced acidity. Not jammy, but very rich and concentrated. Very good indeed. 18.5



Add comment
Your name
Your email (optional, will not be published)