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2015 Yarra Yarra Vineyards, ‘The Yarra Yarra’, Yarra Valley

Ian Maclean is a character, and he makes wines of character too! Yarra Yarra is a well-established name but a very small estate in a beautiful spot, on the top of a hill in Steels Creek, Yarra Valley. His production is very small, we are talking about 1500 to 2000 cases a year and there is no ‘cheap’, entry level wine at the estate, it’s all quality focus, he makes wine that he also enjoyed drinking and wouldn’t do it any other way.

Ian has been making wine every single year since 1983 at his estate. Over the years, he became a good friend of ours, his passion for wine and his value for hard work are something we obviously relate to. Without forgetting that he also makes what is in our opinion some of the best Cabernets in the Yarra Valley. You won’t find a tasting room or a fancy restaurant at Yarra Yarra, Ian is just too busy to work constantly in the vineyard and making sure his vines remain healthy to give him great fruit.

It’s a work of labour and love, Ian’s philosophy is as follows: no irrigation, open canopies, cane pruning, minimal spraying with only organic sprays and no use of pesticides. Yields are purposely kept low, between three and five tonnes per hectare, to ensure grapes are produced with intense flavours. That really translates to great quality fruit at harvest and in the winery Ian interferes as little as possible, he barely crushes the berries, uses ambient yeast and a minimal amount of SO2.

Why do we like it?

This “classic” cuvee is made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc; the 2015 has a certain ripeness and chewy fruit with plenty of blackcurrant, black cherry, sage, tobacco and a touch of spice. Nonetheless, its fine-grained tannins and precise balance suggest great ageing potential if you wish to keep it in the cellar for the next 10 years +. It’s a wine that needs a substantial sauce, why not choose a great piece of beef with a Bordelaise sauce on the side, should work very well!


Grape           Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc

Country        Australia                               

Region          Yarra Valley                              

Vintage         2015

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