Yarra Yering Portsort 2008
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The wines are a reflection of this highly individual man, the site he chose so carefully, and the vagaries of the seasons in which they are produced. From the beginning the aim was to produce wines of elegance and sophistication. The vineyard is not irrigated, and this promotes strong root growth deep into the subsoils protecting the vines against the trials of drought, and allowing the fruit to express the characteristics of the terroir in which it is grown.
The vines are hand pruned and cared for by vineyard staff with decades of experience at Yarra Yering. The fruit is hand picked, it is crushed gently by the old crusher destemmer and fermented in small batches, before being hand pressed in the basket press. Maturation is in carefully selected French oak casks and the wine is bottled on site. These are artisan produced wines of the highest quality. Yarra Yering maintains a proud heritage established by an extraordinary man.
As the most important area of wine production in Victoria today, the Yarra Valley is most popular for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, which account for over half of vineyard acreage. A gentle, rolling and rural region alongside the Margaret River, the Yarra Valley has a cool maritime climate with a lengthy growing season, perfect for these cool-climate varieties.
Two styles of Pinot Noir are possible here. The warmer Lower Yarra Valley with sandy, loam soils, produces plush and fruity Pinot Noir while the cooler, higher-elevation Upper Yarra Valley with soils of young red basalt, produces more angular and mineral-driven Pinot Noir.
Yarra Valley Chardonnay is among the best in Australia. To preserve the floral aromatics and fresh citrus flavors for which this area’s Chardonnay is so appreciated, time in barrel is restrained (though barrel fermentation is common). The best Yarra Valley Chardonnays display brilliant acidity, leesy characteristics, citrus, stone fruit and flavors of ginger and spice.
Shiraz and Cabernet find success in parts of this region as well.
Apart from the classics, we find many regional gems of different styles.
Late harvest wines are probably the easiest to understand. Grapes are picked so late that the sugars build up and residual sugar remains after the fermentation process. Ice wine, a style founded in Germany and there referred to as eiswein, is an extreme late harvest wine, produced from grapes frozen on the vine, and pressed while still frozen, resulting in a higher concentration of sugar. It is becoming a specialty of Canada as well, where it takes on the English name of ice wine.
Vin Santo, literally “holy wine,” is a Tuscan sweet wine made from drying the local white grapes Trebbiano Toscano and Malvasia in the winery and not pressing until somewhere between November and March.
Rutherglen is an historic wine region in northeast Victoria, Australia, famous for its fortified Topaque and Muscat with complex tawny characteristics.