The Egan family Establish Wantirna Estate in 1963 and today daughter Maryann is in charge with the sole focus still on the unique and wonderful single vineyard that might just be the best terroir in the Yarra. Only four wines are made, Isabella Chardonnay, Lily Pinot Noir, Amelia Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot and Hannah Cabernet Franc Merlot. They are all great wines and to be honest, if I could find a way to do it, I’d drink these wines all the time. The perfume, charm and silk they manage to extract each year means they are my kind of wines.
This wine shows a tight core of blue berry and violets with some oak, leather and earth wrapped around them. The palate is equally juicy and inviting with some ripe tannins that meld with the zippy acid and carry the flavours down your palate. I have no doubt this wine will age very well, but I’m not sure I’d be able to leave it along.
Yarra Valley – A region that is just too big to generalise about. The difference between Upper and Lower Yarra can be the ability to ripen some grapes or not. Great wines are made in the Yarra but it is best to know the producers.
Cabernet Sauvignon – The main grape of Bordeaux’s left bank. Cabernet is late ripening and full of acid and tannin. The great wines are structured but finessed with beautiful cassis, violets and it also transmits the flavours of the soil it is grown in really well. Cabernet isn’t a drink now variety, it really needs 10 or more years to show its best. But when you get there, WOW! Often blended with Merlot, Cabernet Franc or in Australia Shiraz to fill out its mid-palate referred to as the ‘Cabernet doughnut’.
Merlot – It gets a tough time most of the places it is grown. But in Pomerol and Saint-Emilion Merlot not only dominates but makes some of the best wines in the world. Perfume, silky and plush. Cabernets Franc and Sauvignon season the wines with structure and acid but in some places, like Petrus they are almost not needed.