Wine review — Yering Station, Pewsey Vale and Hewitson

Yering Station Yarra Valley Pinot Noir 2008 $28

De Bortoli Yarra Valley

  • Estate Grown Pinot Noir 2008 $38
  • Reserve Pinot Noir 2007 $50

The Rathbone and De Bortoli families make some of the best pinots in Australasia from mature Yarra Valley vines. The Rathbone wine, from Yering Station – first planted to vines by the Ryrie family in 1838 (after they’d been to Braidwood and Michelago) – is pure, silky and harmonious. It’s stunningly good for $28 and built to last in the cellar.  The two  De Bortoli wines show similar purity and harmony, though in a somewhat more savoury mould – especially the very complex reserve wine. They, too, should age well. Winemaker is Steve Webber, husband of Leanne De Bortoli.

Pewsey Vale Vineyard Eden Valley

  • Gewurztraminer 2009 $21–$25
  • Pinot Gris 2009 $21–$25

A little bit of gewurztraminer’s intensely musky, lychee-like flavour goes a long way. It’s the sort of wine to drink on its own once or twice a year. But if you think they’re all sweet and bland, you’ll be gobsmacked by this one – it’s dust dry, but with a lusciously viscous texture and a gripping, slightly firm finish. Fascinating indeed, but one glass may be enough. I suspect the Eden Valley might not be quite cool enough for pinot gris, a variety that struggles for flavour even in an ideal, cool climate. This one’s round and soft and pretty dry, but not overburdened with flavour.

  • Eden Valley Gun Metal Riesling 2009 $22
  • Adelaide Hills Lu Lu Sauvignon Blanc $22

Barossa-based Dean Hewitson makes lovely lean, taut, bone-dry whites from the Eden Valley (the hills to the east of the Barossa) and the Adelaide Hills, a notably cooler part of the same range, just south of Eden.  The riesling is in the classic Eden style – moderate in alcohol with an intensely, citrusy/varietal flavour and austere, delicious dry finish. The sauvignon blanc is distinctly different from the in-your-face Marlborough style. It’s lower in alcohol, less fleshy and more herbal, savoury and light with a pleasantly tart finish. Like Dean’s beautiful Barossa reds these are meticulously well made regional specialties. See

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2010