"What a classy Yarra Valley cabernet-dominant blend is doing at this price is beyond me." James Halliday (Halliday Wine Companion)
James Halliday Top 100 - 2020
Top 100 Wines of 2020 - "Quite what a classy Yarra Valley cabernet-dominant blend (4/3/3/2% petit verdot/malbec/merlot/cabernet franc) is doing at this price is beyond me. It is elegant, medium bodied and finely structured, the suite of red/blackcurrant fruits given 12 months in French oak (20% new)." - James Halliday (Halliday Wine Companion)
"So often excellent value. Medium-bodied, nutty with a slight liquorice edge, blackcurrant and redcurrant, supple tannin, maybe even ripe raspberry. Lovely balance and juiciness to it, even-tempered and excellent to drink. Almost like a Cabernet Franc in its lightness and hedgerow perfumed appeal. Hard not to think this is not only excellent drinking, but something of a bargain too." - Gary Walsh (The Wine Front)
The blend is 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot and 1% Malbec. All grapes are picked and sorted all varieties by hand. We de-stemmed the grapes and gently crushed them before fermenting them at relatively cool temperatures to accentuate the beautiful aromatics of the Cabernet. The wine stayed on skins for two weeks, during which time colour and tannins were gently extracted.
"Dominique Portet was bred in the purple. He spent his early years at Chateau Lafite (where his father was régisseur) and was one of the first Flying Winemakers, commuting to Clos du Val in the Napa Valley, where his brother was winemaker. He then spent over 20 years as managing director of Taltarni and Clover Hill. After retiring from Taltarni, he moved to the Yarra Valley, a region he had been closely observing since the mid-1980s. In 2001 he found the site he had long looked for and built his winery and cellar door, planting a quixotic mix of viognier, sauvignon blanc and merlot next to the winery. The newly installed sorting line eliminates all green stalks and unripe/overripe grapes. Son Ben is now executive winemaker, leaving Dominique with a roving role as de facto consultant and brand marketer. Ben has a winemaking CV of awesome scope, covering all parts of France, South Africa, California and four vintages at Petaluma." James Halliday
Where this wine comes from - Yarra Valley
Just 50 kilometres from Melbourne, Victoria’s Yarra Valley is a star of the wine regions surrounding the city, known as the ‘Melbourne Dress Circle’. With plenty of microclimates and sub-regions, the Yarra Valley doesn’t have a weak link. Certainly the region’s reputation has been built on the quality of its cool climate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. As far as Chardonnay goes, Yarra Valley strikes the right balance of ripeness, without going over the edge. There’s white peach, lemon pith and Fuji apple supported by a fine spine of citrus-like acidity complemented by supportive oak maturation. The region’s Pinot Noir certainly produces that ethereal quality that Pinot-philes go crazy for – with lifted cherry notes, texture and length. Pinosity? It’s here in spades. Don’t discount Yarra Valley Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, which also have a long history in the region and are being recognised for producing their own unique regional styles. Game on!