2013 Yeringberg Cabernet
(Cabernet Sauvignon 65%, Cabernet Franc 12%, Merlot 10%, Malbec 7%, Petit Verdot 6%) It reinforces the merits of blending the Bordeaux varieties - especially in the Yarra Valley. A wine of delightfully exotic and enticing aromas of blackcurrant, pastille, tapenade, violets, plums and almost Christmas cake-like richness precedes a more restrained layer of graphite and cigar box. The palate is effortlessly elegant and restrained with serious depth and structure. Young and deceptively delicate initially, time in the glass sees the mid-palate really fill out and the savoury structure sits almost invisibly into the deep, spicy fruit. Shows real promise and, as always, will provide great joy both now and in 15-20 years. – Sandra de Pury
The colour is relatively light: full red with a tinge of purple. Superb freshness and elegance, medium-bodied and delicious, complex and multi-layered. A great wine, with a magical array of flavours. All manner of berries and spices, dried flowers, dried herbs and dried fruits. Silky soft tannins. Refreshing on the finish. Not such a big fruit style, but deliciously drinkable and moreish. 98 points. Huon Hooke, Top 25 wines of 2015
“Continues an outstanding run.”
Those are the words of James Halliday, uttered in reference to this latest release of Sandra and Guill de Pury’s Marsanne/Roussanne. But really, it could be taken as a reflection of the progress of the resolutely traditional Yeringberg. For all the family’s refusal to fall prey to faddishness, there’s no doubt that the de Purys have relentlessly dedicated their intelligence and sensitivity to the cause of refining their estate.
The vineyard, first planted in 1863, has naturally seen changes. Varieties like Chasselas, the staple white grape of Guill de Pury’s Swiss forebears, have fallen by the wayside, while Shiraz was in and out twice before finding its rightful place. The floral, spicy, silky 2012 shows that it’s well and truly found it. The obvious, uniform excellence of Yeringberg’s 2012 wines showed the value of lessons learned gradually and minutely through the ages.
As Halliday’s comment above suggests, 2013 carries on the stately, steady trajectory. On the white front, the Marsanne/Roussanne is joined by what Josh Raynolds of Vinous Media calls a silky, open-knit and elegant Viognier. Raynolds is likewise full of praise for the Chardonnay, which “closes with excellent focus and lift, leaving a subtle floral note behind”. “Wonderful length. Stunning wine,” is how the latest edition of the Halliday Wine Companion sums up the same wine.
Onto the reds, which are yet to be broadly reviewed. It’s well known that the 2013 vintage in the Yarra Valley was highly auspicious for Pinot Noir and Shiraz. As for the Yeringberg Bordeaux blend, you may recall that the 2012 won plenty of accolades, including best Cabernet at the Yarra Valley Wine Show, plus 98 points and a slot in Halliday’s top 100. The 2013 follow-up got the same score from Huon Hooke, who named it in his Top 25 wines of 2015. “A great wine, with a magical array of flavours,” he wrote.
“Things tend to accumulate when a family has lived at the same property for over 150 years,” mused Guill de Pury after donating the complete Yeringberg Archives - a set of vineyard and diary records spanning 1874 to 1956 - to the Yarra Ranges Museum. Just like all those documents detailing a domain painstaking nurtured through the years, these wines are testament to the focus, wisdom and staying power of these pioneers.