Flawless ’15s From Jewel In The Yarra Crown

Sandra de Pury describes it as a “near faultless” season on the hallowed hill that is Yeringberg. “At Yeringberg we make elegant single-vineyard wines with remarkable longevity, such as the wines made in 1915 by Guill’s father George, which were still drinking well at 80 years old.”
Remember 1915? Well, Yeringberg does. Its incredible history is well documented, and the way it continues to forge ahead as a standard bearer for the Yarra Valley is really something to celebrate. We tasted these wines in that gorgeous, atmospheric shed earlier this year and were truly moved.
The release comes when the quality of 2015 has been confirmed several times over, yet these will likely stop you in your tracks. Right across the board they exude the pedigree of season and site, as well as the judgment that only a few have had the wisdom and good fortune to accrue.“2015 will long be remembered as one of the great Yarra Valley vintages,” says Sandra.
Refresh your memory – and your senses – at every opportunity.

THE WINES

2015 Yeringberg Marsanne/Roussanne RRP $66
Always an intriguing wine and one that rewards a certain amount of patience. The tightly wound aromatics of our white blend start out somewhat subdued, and slowly evolve to show hints of pear, honeysuckle, spiced apple and quince. The depth of the perfume, set with waxy, floral notes and a piercing intensity that becomes more and more expressive as the wine sits in the glass. On the palate, everything is beautifully controlled – it’s fine, elegant and savoury, with a delicately pithy texture, while also displaying real depth, a touch of richness and well-judged structure. Initially quietly spoken, with time the volume gets turned up as the palate broadens out and becomes more expansive, all the time displaying wonderful line and length. A wine to contemplate while enjoying the savoury structure, which flatters a range of dishes. – Sandra de Pury

A 59/41% blend, crushed and destemmed with some skin contact, matured for 10 months in used oak. Slightly brassy colour; a powerful, full-bodied and complex wine. Its track record of development in bottle – and the vintage – underwrites its future. 95 points. James Halliday, Halliday Wine Companion

2015 Yeringberg Viognier RRP $45
Originating in France’s northern Rhone, Viognier offers an opulent and almost daring contrast to its more disciplined and restrained cousins Marsanne & Roussanne. Intense apricot, honey, orange blossom and rose water aromatics leap from the glass, followed in short order by a complex mélange of mango, lemon curd, cinnamon and musk. It’s all well controlled though. Sure, it’s a little bit showy – as it should be – but far from over the top. The palate, too, manages that same sense of balance between power, breadth and finesse. It’s long, mouthfilling, gently viscous, and almost unctuous, while still remaining cool, dry and refreshingly cleansing, with a wonderful sense of volume and expansiveness on the back palate. Enjoy chilled over the next couple of years. – Sandra de Pury

Scented of ripe apricots, honey-coated toast and ginger with a yeast extract and roasted nut undercurrent, the 2015 Viognier has a pleasantly oily texture and a medium body, with a lively backbone carrying the spicy and savoury flavors to a long finish. 90 points. Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate November 2017

2015 Yeringberg Chardonnay RRP $66
Almost coy and somewhat bashful to begin with, aromas of white peach, nectarine and wheatmeal slowly emerge from the glass, with an overlay of cashew, apple strudel and shortbread complexity adding to the interest as the intensity builds with time. Generous and understated as always, the palate continues in the same theme, managing to balance purity, finesse and stunning clarity within a powerful, concentrated framework, where everything stands in perfect proportion. Pretty, with some citrus elements and hinting at the exotic, there’s a drive, complexity and sense of rich reserve that promise a fascinating future. – Sandra de Pury

Scented of warm peaches, spiced apples and honeydew melon with compelling hints of honeysuckle, baking bread and marzipan, the 2015 Chardonnay has a beautiful satiny texture with an elegant, medium body and seamless line of refreshing acidity, finishing long with savoury yeasty/toasty layers. 94+ points. Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate November 2017

Crushed, destemmed, several hours skin contact, pressed to tank, thence mid-ferment to French oak (30% new), matured for 10 months. A fleshy, full-bodied chardonnay with stone fruit and cashew to the fore. To a degree, countercultural. 94 points. James Halliday, Halliday Wine Companion

The de Pury family established their vineyard in 1863 and replanted it after a nearly 80-year hiatus in 1969. David de Pury now farms the vines; his sister Sandra makes the wines. This 2015 is a deep yellow-gold, a tangy Chardonnay that parallels Chablis in its briskness and mineral tension. It’s a wine of salty, creamy refinement, with nutmeat flavors that are fresh rather than oxidative. For Raveneau drinkers on a night off. 94 points. Joshua Greene, Wine & Spirits

2015 Yeringberg Pinot Noir RRP $98
Beautiful and pure right from the start, this is Pinot, if you know what I mean. It’s both pretty and powerful, delicate and muscular, and most definitely a serious wine. The aroma is laden with notes of raspberry, cherry & spice, all layered with earthy, sappy, charcuterie complexity, and wrapped up in an intense and neatly savoury package. Old vines produce a palate that opens with depth and power, developing with air to display considerable elegance and refinement. There’s a supple, red-fruit quality to the mid-palate, plenty of spice and sappy complexity, and fine but powerful structure that promises a great future.  With more time, the ripeness and richness of the fruit builds, as does the spice and rose-laden perfume on the long, enticing palate. In need of either a decant or 5-6 years in a cellar, this is lovely, serious Pinot. – Sandra de Pury

De-stemmed and crushed fruit produces a supple, very approachable Pinot Noir with fine grained tannins and good weight and impetus of sweet scented, lithe strawberry fruit.  It is not as layered or textural as examples which have seen whole berry and whole bunch, but the mulchy, leafy sous bois nuances on the finish meld with and balance its undeniable fruit power.  Very complete.  13.5%. Sarah Ahmed, The Wine Detective April 2018

2015 Yeringberg Shiraz RRP $85
97% Shiraz, 3% Viognier. All three 2015 reds have a sense of controlled power and depth, from the almost faultless vintage, with the Shiraz continuing to justify our decision to replant it in 1999. Beautifully controlled, quite pure and pretty, the new vintage is laden with aromas of blueberry, cherry, white pepper and Moroccan spice. Hints of liquorice, treacle, salumi and graphite add further interest to a suave and energetic nose. On the palate, it’s all supple spice and savoury generosity to start with; then the mid-palate builds – serious, but in perfect proportion, framing the deep, cool, sappy and savoury fruit as it flows confidently through this fresh and vibrant shiraz. A wine of real presence and a fitting testament to both site and vintage. Drink for 8-10 years, or more. – Sandra de Pury

This is one charismatic Shiraz (co-fermented with 3% Viognier). Deep purple with vivid blackberry and plum, a pure core of blackcurrant and dynamic acid/tannin structure.  Bright, juicy acidity propels, while the tannins rise on the mid-palate, cleaving the fruit closely to the tongue as if to ensure you don’t miss a drop of flavour.  Of which there is plenty, delivered with lively panache.  Not just fruit, but waves of liquorice and anise spice with lifted dried sage.  Terrific perfume and persistence.  Excellent.  14%. Sarah Ahmed, The Wine Detective April 2018

2015 Yeringberg Cabernet RRP $98
66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Cabernet Franc, 8% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot, 5% Malbec. Once again, the 2015 vintage demonstrates its quality in a wine that has always been a product of both site and the classic Yarra blend of Bordeaux varieties.  Too many superlatives can always seem a bit crass, but in this vintage there’s an almost majestic quality to the elegance, depth and structure of this wine – certainly in tasting it demands time and patience to give any sense of what’s in store over what will potentially be a very long life.  A reserved nose of cassis, blood plum, pastille and violets gives way to a cool, complex and restrained layer of cigar box, graphite, tapenade and Christmas cake.  It’s almost primal on the one hand, yet manages to retain a sense of elegance and finesse. The palate is clear, deep and resonant; seriously yet seamlessly structured; pure, plush and generous; effortlessly restrained.  Open well in advance if drinking soon, and certainly a wine to continue enjoying over the next 15-20 years. – Sandra de Pury

As Sandra’s father Guill observed during my first visit, Yerinberg’s site is “perfect for Cabernet.”  Site and vintage have conspired to produce a sublime Yeringberg – the estate’s flagship Bordeaux blend.   In 2015 it comprises 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Cabernet Franc, 8% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot and 5% Malbec.  Yarra Valley Cabernets are renowned for their softness of tannin yet ageability.  How this fits that brief.  A shower of ultra fine tannins so sheer and fine it seems to evaporate going through, makes for nothing less than a cascade of ripe, velvety cassis, blueberry and mulberry, with heady star anise, lavender and cedar notes – gorgeous perfume of fruit, spice and flower.  Gorgeous full stop.   Sensational in its seamlessness, it is pure cashmere. 14%. Sarah Ahmed, The Wine Detective April 2018