For a long time, there has been an at times furious debate if theYarra Valley is best suited to Pinot Noir or Bordeaux varieties, as far as red wines are concerned. With the strong leadership of James Halliday, then at Coldstream Hills, firmly pushing the Pinot Noir cause, this viewpoint is dominant. Yet one can hardly ignore the successes of Yarra Yering and Mount Mary with Bordeaux varieties.
Another winery in the Bordeaux camp is Yarra Yarra. This winery was very unlucky in the 2009 fires when the winery and half the vineyards were destroyed. However, owner and winemaker Ian MacLean has been rebuilding and the winery is back on track, as far as I know.
The 2001 Yarra Yarra Reserve Merlot is a beautifully crafted wine. It is medium bodied, but with weighty black cherry fruit and excellent texture. The tannins are soft and silky, leading to a long finish. This is a serious and elegant Merlot, an example that this can be done in Australia.