These are the wines rebottled for a tasting on behalf of visit victoria, which I hosted today. It’s always a pleasure to present wines from the Yarra Valley and Mornington Peninsula.
From Mornington Peninsula, I picked one of my favourite Chardonnays: the Ocean Eight ‘Verve’ 2017. I like the linearity and focus of this wine, which reflects the coolness of the region. Lemon, grapefruit, apple and some white peach packed into 12.5% alcohol and subtle oak. Good length and intensity.
In contrast, the 2019 Chardonnay from Giant Steps typifies “Yarra” – cool Climate Style with more weight on the palate than the Ocean Eight. Very fresh with lime, peach, pear, ginger and smoke and a fine salty finish. The wood is also perfectly integrated here and underlines the fruit rather than overpowering it.
Gripping Syrah from the vineyard of the same name: Here, too, winemaker Steve Flamsteed and his crew have shown all their skills. Syrah, not Shiraz is indeed the programme here. Fresh, very elegant and well-packaged power. Blackberries, cherries, earth, dried herbs, black pepper and some graphite on the palate. Fleshy notes are added to the palate: fine tannins and a long finish.
Even though Cabernet Sauvignon is quantitatively only an underdog in the Yarra Valley – you should try it. Such as the Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 from Yering Station. Fresh acidity, cassis, dark cherries, liquorice, redcurrant. Warm spice cake and clove. Firm but fine-grained tannins. Medium-long finish.