Marli Russell is a pioneering range to further explore the potential of the Middleton family's site and complement the traditional Mount Mary range. Back in 2007, a year after the death of Dr John Middleton, the family embarked on what was initially known as their ‘Rhône Project’. Ever-changing environmental conditions and the purchase of adjacent land inspired them to plant seven Rhône varieties. Three white grapes went in - Marsanne, Roussanne and Clairette – alongside four red varieties: Grenache, Shiraz, Mourvèdre and Cinsault. Marli Middleton, née Russell, was the inspiration behind the label. As wife of Dr John, she was co-founder of the estate and grandmother to current winemaker Sam. These wines boast all the class, intrigue and balance of the Mount Mary wines, and are poignant recognition of Marli’s enthusiasm for the younger generation to continue in the pursuit of new ideas.
Guill & Sandra de Pury
“Yarra Valley pioneers, the de Pury family are renowned for wines of finesse and elegance that epitomise the finest the region can produce. Produced from some of the oldest vines in the valley, these are long-lived wines made in tiny quantities. Yeringberg makes wines from the low-yielding vines re-established on the heart of what was one of the most famous vineyards of the nineteenth century. In the riper years, the red wines have a velvety generosity of flavour which is rarely encountered, yet never lose varietal character, while the Yeringberg White takes students of history back to Yeringberg's fame in the nineteenth century.” - James Halliday
Reg & Maryann Egan
Established in 1963 and with an annual production of fewer than 1000 cases in total, Wantirna Estate ranks among the elite of the Yarra Valley. Handcrafted terrior-driven wines are a reflection of meticulous attention to detail in all aspects of viticulture and winemaking, and a vineyard site that is naturally low-yielding. "You don't need too many fingers to count the number of 'cult' wineries of the 1970s and early 1980s that are still in the hands of their original owners. Fewer still are actually performing better today than ever before," as Jeremy Oliver puts it. "Wantirna Estate is one such winery and its modern success is a culmination of experience, the introduction of fresh ideas and a proven ability to learn."
Mount Mary is one of the great small wineries of Australia, established by Dr John Middleton in 1971, the first plantings were completed by mid 1972 and today Mount Mary has 40 acres under vine representing 18 varieties so production is tiny. Mount Mary is noted for both the character and high quality of its wines. Since the first vintage in 1976, it has established itself as one of Australia's most highly regarded producers, commanding a mythical status among wine collectors. The vineyard faces due north and captures optimum sunlight during the growing season. The purity of fruit, poise and structure of Quintet, a Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Merlot and Petit Verdot blend, epitomises the estate. It resonates with individuality of place and Dr John’s fastidious respect for the landscape. Mount Mary has continued to take great steps forward while staying true to the vision of Dr John, whose son David oversees the business while grandson Sam Middleton has taken on the winemaking mantle with aplomb.
“It’s axiomatic that generational change can be good or bad, obvious or discreet. The changes at Mount Mary have been unambiguously good, but fittingly discreet.” – James Halliday
Airlie Bank dares to treat drinkers with respect by delivering wines that are delicious and true - as well as remarkably good value. The team enjoys the freedom to push boundaries. Their small-batch ethos has led to great creativity and ever-decreasing doses of sulphur. Nothing is off the cards when they sniff an opportunity to make a more compelling wine, as demonstrated by the skinsy Gris and whole bunch Garden Red.
Pure drinking pleasure is the one-point manifesto of Airlie Bank, and the thirsty take-up across the board shows that they're hitting the mark.
Jarrod Johnson heads a dynamic, progressive young winemaking team at this James Halliday five star-rated winery. Punt Road is a standard-bearer for wines of character, drinkability and a clear, proud Yarra Valley stamp. It has history on its side and cards stacked in its favour for a continued & bright future.
The property was founded on site of the St. Huberts Vineyard that was originally planted in the 1860s by Paul and Hubert de Castella and that was the site of some of the first vines in the Yarra Valley and one of the cornerstones of Australian fine-wine tradition. Punt Road owners, the Napoleone family, took advantage of a tremendous head start when they planted their vineyards here in the 1980s. All these years later, Jarrod and the team bring restless perfectionism to this intimately understood site and its mature vines. Proudly family owned to this day, and in balancing tradition with innovation, the Punt Road wines have never been better.