Saturday, October 3, 2009

Yering Station Single Vineyard Releases

Yering Station claims to be one of the pre-eminent wineries of the Yarra Valley. It certainly has a wide portfolio of vineyards and wines. The last few years have thrown incredible challenges of nature at the Yarra Valley. Let's see how they have been doing.

The single vineyard wines sit below the reserve wines in the hierarchy of the Yering Station wines. It can in fact be argued they are not really single vineyard wines. Basically, the company bottles each year wine from blocks which look 'interesting' separately. However, they are different from year to year. As a result, there is not much comparability over time. This is just a commercial exercise.

Anyway, the first wine is from the Upper Yarra, grown at 500m altitude, the 2007 Willow Lake Vineyard Chardonnay. This is very cool climate. The flavour is citrus and quite lean with good acidity and minerality, a bit Chablis-like. The finish is slightly plump, but this ends up being my favorite of the line up.

Score: 90/+

The second Chardonnay, the 2007 Coombe Farm Vineyard Chardonnay, comes from the valley floor. It has also citrus flavour, but is less expressive and terroir orientated than the first wine.

Score: 87/-

The 2006 Yarra Edge Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon comes from a hot site. Therefore, Cabernet should ripen well here. However, the fruit is somewhat upfront and the wine dries out on the mid-palate.


The 2006 Car C Block Shiraz Viognier is from the vineyard which forms the backbone of the well known Shiraz Viognier Reserve. In 2006, it came in at 15.5% alcohol, very unusual for the Yarra Valley. There is white pepper on the nose. The wine is generously proportioned and the fruit carries the 100% new oak well. It is velvety and soft (similar to the Reserve), but lacks some length on the finish. Not a bad wine, but not my style.

Score: 91/--

It is interesting to taste these wines next to Clonakilla. The Clonakilla wines express a certain style very consistently. The Yering Station wines are all different and have some shortcomings. The wine-making is just not in the same class, even accounting for the difficult vintages.

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