James Halliday recently shared his thoughts on Oakridge in The Weekend Australian (July 7), reviewing a stand out selection of Oakridge’s single vineyard wines including the just released 2017 864 Chardonnay.
Of the vintage Halliday noted previously “…arguably the best vintage since 1992, and before that ’88. It was marked by good rainfall and cool to mild temperatures that continued into summer. Rain and wind at flowering meant the Lower Yarra’s yields were down somewhat. The Upper Yarra had good, but not excessive, yields and the warm summer that finally arrived had no major heat spikes. All varieties came in later than any vintage since 2002 and at an unhurried pace.”
By JAMES HALLIDAY, WINE COLUMNIST
THE WEEKEND AUSTRALIAN MAGAZINE
“As often as not, vineyards add to the appeal of their region, even though vines are very different to the native growth on their perimeter. And the appeal is heightened by the march of the seasons: the lime green of the first buds signalling the winter hibernation of the vines is over; then the verdant – even strident – growth of midsummer; and finally the stripes of yellow, gold and orange announcing the impending harvest.
The broadest canvas of all brings the surrounding streams, dams, hills and hollows into play. In Victoria, it was the hilly landscape that mesmerised the Swiss vignerons responsible for the establishment of many vineyards in the Yarra Valley and Geelong. They wrote about the mountains in letters home that have been preserved in local museums, and it was years before I realised it was the ever-changing colour of the Dandenong Ranges: dull grey green, deep green, blue green and deep blue, so deep it brought the hills into greater prominence; an optical trick of nature, but not to be denied.
The Yarra Valley has long been known for its beauty and ever-changing vistas. In the lower Valley you’ll find Domaine Chandon and Oakridge, both with sophisticated tasting facilities, both with restaurants. The Oakridge restaurant is my favourite, with floor-to-ceiling glass running its very considerable length.
The brilliant food of Oakridge’s co-executive chefs Matt Stone and Jo Barrett has gained the restaurant a hat (it deserves more), and their menu is guaranteed to provoke a speedy return, for there will always be at least one new (or long-featured) “must have” dish, all with maximum local products.
Then there’s the wine list, with 26 Oakridge wines from back vintages through to 19 current, prices at or below retail. And that view.”
2017 OAKRIDGE 864 CHARDONNAY – Funder & Diamond Vineyard, Drive Block
“Hand-picked then pressed to French puncheons for wild ferment and 10 months maturation.
This has incredible length and aftertaste, an enduring Yarra Valley classic.
13.5% alc, screwcap drink to 2035”
To purchase click here
2017 OAKRIDGE VS CHARDONNAY – Hazeldene Vineyard
”Hand-picked then whole-bunch pressed to French puncheons for wild ferment and 10 months on lees. The pale straw-green colour is striking; almond nuances add to the main drive of the bouquet and palate, oak barely worth mentioning. 13.1% alc, screwcap , drink to 2029”
2017 OAKRIDGE VS PINOT NOIR – Henk Vineyard
”The vinification was short and simple: 100% whole berry wild yeast ferment for three weeks, matured for 10 months in French oak. The colour is clear and bright, an immediate come-on, as is the perfumed bouquet. All the parts come together effortlessly on the finish of the long palate. 13.7% alc, screwcap 95 points, drink to 2030”