Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon, Yarra Valley

Riesling is a white grape that is famous for its intense aromatics and crisp acidity. Riesling was the most planted white grape in Australia until the early 1990s when Chardonnay took over. Riesling flourishes in the Clare Valley, particularly Watervale, around the Polish Hill River, and in the cooler Eden Valley. Riesling is also being grown with increasing popularity in the Western Australia regions Albany, Frankland River and Porongorup. Australian Rieslings are noted for their citrus/lime fruit flavours in their youth and a smooth balance of freshness, lanolin and acid as they age. Australian botrytized Rieslings have immense levels of flavour concentration with beautiful acid and structure.

Riesling was first planted in New Zealand in the 1970s and has flourished in the relatively cool climates of the Marlborough, Central Otago area and for late harvests in the Nelson region.

Alsace is famous for producing outstanding Riesling from dry austere to Vendages Tardives and Sélection de Grains Nobles. They tend to be fuller, more savoury and viscous wines than those of other countries.

In Germany, Riesling constitutes around 20% of total plantings. The best examples are planted on south-facing slate-rich slopes. Germany produces many different styles from dry perfumed wines with racy, mineral acidity to exotically lush flavours of their great late harvest wines.
Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the most famous and widely planted red grape varieties in the world. It is immensely popular in Australia, where world-class wines are made in Coonawarra, Margaret River and the Yarra Valley. Each region has a distinctive character, but all tend to be more fruit-forward than those from France. Coonawarra has a distinct mint or Eucalypt aroma, Margaret River has a more tomato leaf character, while Yarra Valley is more elegant in style.

Its original home is Bordeaux, where it is the dominant grape on the left bank, Medoc and Graves. In Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon tends to be blended with Merlot, Cabernet Franc and with small amounts of Malbec and Petit Verdot. In the New World, it is both blended and made as a straight varietal. Excellent wines are also produced in the Napa Valley and Chile's Maipo Valley. The grapes are thick-skinned providing the characteristic high tannins and deep colour. The Cabernet Sauvignon wines tend to show fragrant cassis, herbaceous, full-bodied with high acid.
The Yarra Valley is a wine region known for producing outstanding Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The region has become a leading wine tourism destination, popular for weekend trips as it is located only an hour’s drive northeast of Melbourne. The cool climate region has some of the oldest soils in the world and produces terrific Chardonnays in the leaner, acid-driven style. Long gone are the days of excessively oaked and oily Chardonnays. Superb Pinot Noir is cultivated with tremendous results. Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc and even Sparkling wines of premium quality are also worth seeking out.

Yarra Valley is the oldest wine region in Victoria with the first vines planted in 1838 at Yering Station. Reg Egan founded the iconic Wantirna Estate in 1963, followed by Dr Bailey Carrodus in 1969 who founded equally lauded Yarra Yering in the foot of the Warramate Hills. Nowadays a fleet of new world winemakers and growers are making sure Yarra Valley stays at the forefront of Victorian wine production.

The region in 2009 suffered in the Black Saturday fires, with an estimated 25% of all production was impacted.
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  1. Punt Road Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
    The Punt Road Shiraz has become regarded as one of the dead-set bargain Shiraz' in the Yarra Valley over the last few years. Tim Shand heads a dynamic, progressive young winemaking team at Punt Road; a winery long regarded as ... Learn More
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