Yarra icon assembles brilliant range from stellar vintage
I suppose it’s just the way with old farms. On the face of it, a calm timelessness. Behind that, industriousness and constant renewal through breeding seasons and growth cycles.
So it goes with Yeringberg. After more than 150 years, the past and present blend comfortably together. Fourth generation Sandra and David de Pury are working to maintain the land and the environment: planting trees, deterring weeds and pests, protecting the soil to grow grass for healthy lambs and calves. And tending the vines to bring forth delicious wines, of course.
On that front, they’re preparing a new Pinot Noir vineyard, which you will be able to see from the farmyard. Posts are soon to be driven into the ground; trellis wires, irrigation pipes and fencing will follow. Then the new vines, already grafted onto phylloxera-resistant rootstocks, will be planted in November/December.
The de Purys have started on the journey to future-proof their grape supply. They’ve collected dormant buds from preferred old vines and grafted these onto rootstock. These are currently putting out the first tentative signs of growth, tucked warm and humidly away indoors. After several weeks they’ll have developed roots, ready to move into a new hothouse for a year of tender loving care before being planted in a new vineyard block east of the old vineyard site.
At Yeringberg the family strive to make better wine each year, with constant improvements in the myriad steps from vineyard management to bottling. Their goal is to make balanced, ageworthy wines that show their vintage and origin.
And they do this so very well.
Yeringberg farm looks like nowhere else on the Australian wine scene, an archaic alpine milking shed on its own remote rolling slopes. Yeringberg the juice likewise looks like nowhere else on the Australian wine scene. That’s what happens when you refine the patterns of life on the farm over the course of 157 years.
The land has seen all sorts of seasons in that time, many memorable for their own particularities. The one we’re presenting now was pretty cool, the kind that yields finesse and detail among experience growers. It played out perfectly on the storied hill of Yeringberg.
Sandra de Pury says it straight. “The 2017 wines are from a superb vintage.”
We know that you will enjoy them.
Hand-picked, part early for acidity, part late for flavour, crushed and destemmed, a mix of wild and cultured yeasts, 11 months in used oak, With none or little mlf, viognier is a notoriously perverse variety, but Yeringberg has exceeded itself here. There is undoubted varietal character, but it hasn’t been at the cost of heavy phenolics.94 points. James Halliday, Halliday Wine Companion 2020
Different maturity dates meant separate vinification, barrel-aged, no new oak, no bâtonnage, blended after 10 months. As usual, a dry blend that saves all the best for those who wait 5-10 years, this vintage especially.95 points. James Halliday, Halliday Wine Companion 2020
Hand-picked, 30% whole-bunch pressed, 70% crushed and destemmed, 70% wild-fermented, 35% mlf, matured for 11 months in barrel. Rich, round and supple. Strikingly different to the Mornington Peninsula styles coming ex ’17.95 points. James Halliday, Halliday Wine Companion 2020
This has attractively fresh red cherries and beautifully pure and fragrant perfume. The palate is fleshy, supple and so deliciously fresh. A superb Pinot from Yeringberg, one of their finest recent vintages. Drink or hold. Screw cap.95 points. Nick Stock, JamesSuckling.com
Medium to full red with a tint of purple, a lighter colour for Shiraz, and the aroma has lots of cool-grown pepper, clove, garden mint and manifold other spices. The wine is intense and elegant, yet full-bodied, with a lot of licorice and pepper touches that endure on the palate and aftertaste. Lively, with fresh acidity and energy plus. A little ageing could mellow this to advantage. It’s very young and has a bright future.94 points. Huon Hooke, The Real Review April 2020
Deep, bright red colour with a good tint of purple. The bouquet has mulberry, violet and cranberry aromas, quite multi-faceted, while the palate is bright and concentrated, with a lovely array of flavours. It’s very complex and detailed with floral, spice and berry flavours galore. The tannins are fine and insistent and run the full length of the palate. This is sheer class.96 points. Huon Hooke, The Real Review April 2020