Six of the very best
It’s unseemly to salivate in any public place, more so in the local post office, where not only the staff but most of the fellow customers know you.
Spotting a six-pack of Yangarra wines among the various parcels of samples was enough to get me going.
I knew that whatever was in that six-pack would more than likely be very good wine indeed.
McLaren Vale-based Yangarra is part of California-based Jackson Family Wines, which, as well as California, has vineyards in Oregon, Chile, France, Italy, South Africa and Australia. Full story here.
Many winemakers or winery proprietors will waffle on about wine being made in the vineyard etc. How committed they are in practice is somewhat doubtful.
Having visited Yangarra, I know the mantra is followed. Peter Fraser has been the winemaker since 2000 and during his career has picked up a swag of awards, including Winemaker of the Year from James Halliday in his 2016 Wine Companion Awards. (Bio)
Before we get to the individual tasting notes, the reason for my salivating was that all Yangarra wines I have tasted have been of outstanding quality. And they have incredible pricing. Numerous Australian wines retailing at $50 to $75 a bottle come nowhere near the quality of the Yangarra wines below.
They are also produced, if not in small batches, certainly in limited amounts. It surprises me they do not sell out the first weekend of release. Shop online. Yangarra does make a range of wines retailing from $50 to $105, and they are worth it. But the six below are great value.
All wines were tasted in February 2017: All are certified biodynamic.
Yangarra McLaren Vale Roussanne 2016: 1182 cases. $35. Twisting the glass in different directions, one can see hints of green or yellow. It’s rich on the nose, as in a faint scent of a rose. There is also a hint of damp, fresh earth. In the mouth it oozes across the palate (if the taster takes time) with a slight herbal edge to the richer apricot central spine. The wine rolls to the centre, where all flavours combine and finish the journey building in intensity, with great satisfaction for the drinker. 95 points.
Yangarra McLaren Vale ‘PF’ Shiraz 2016: 3805 cases. $25. Not only biodynamic but preservative free, this has to tick many boxes for some wine drinkers. Black berry and plum fruits on the nose, medium weight on entry, well balanced on the journey and complete on the finish. 93 points.
Yangarra McLaren Vale Shiraz 2014: 7833 cases. $30. Oh, so naughty. The nose is all those sexy pheromones that one senses but can’t define or pin. It’s full at the front of the mouth but not heavy, and sashays across the palate to end in glory. 95 points.
Yangarra ‘Old Vine’ McLaren Vale Grenache 2014: 3440 cases. $35. I got violets on the nose but others may find different smells. There’s a soft, juicy, raspberry start, which is often why (in my opinion) grenache isn’t taken seriously. It’s from the centre to the end that the magic appears. Complex flavours emerge, twisting and dancing around each other as in a pagan rite of fertility. After the dance of flavours there is the soft tranquillity of cool reflection on the beauty of the wine. 96 points.
Yangarra McLaren Vale GSM 2015: 2392 cases. $32. One of the world’s great blends, this works on many levels, with a basket of red/black fruits skipping along on the upper level, and a sound base of acid/tannin supporting underneath. 95 points.
Yangarra McLaren Vale Mourvèdre 2015: 370 cases. $35. This is the vinous equivalent of puddings with names such as death by chocolate. It offers so much pleasure it should only be sold to those of strong heart, deep passions and apprehension of sensuality. Let’s not spoil such beauty with winespeak. 97 points.