Yangarra Noir is a blend of 40% Grenache, 21% Mourvèdre, 14% Shiraz, 12% Cinsaut, 11% Carignan, 2% Counoise. It is a lighter, more fragrant style of red, in the style of a Cotes du Ventoux or Cotes du Rhone Rouge. Stunning complexity and a bit in the Grenache of Pinot lovers camp. Drink it over the next few years. Don’t be afraid to lightly chill it over summer.
“At the end of 2018 I made a wish-list of 3 things I’d like to see more of in 2019. And number 1 on the list was a request for more well-priced light reds. Now, 4 months into the year, I’ve found EXACTLY what I was after. This Yangarra Estate Noir 2018 is more than just a good value drink, however, it’s a watershed wine. Something that can change perspectives about what Australian red wine should/could taste like. Amazing. It’s a blend of 40% Grenache, 21% Mourvèdre, 14% Shiraz, 12% Cinsaut, 11% Carignan, 2% Counoise from estate-grown, certified organic fruit. So Chateauneuf, but in McLaren Vale. Fruit is hand-picked and mechanically sorted, with 50% whole berries in the mix, the juice wild fermented before spending 10 months in old oak. That’s a lot of care and it shows in the finished product – the Noir is a perfectly pitched red. Only medium bodied, there’s an absolute riot of raspberry fruit. Juicy, vibrant, utterly addictive red and blackberry fruit, in a soft, but not unsubstantial mode. It’s plump. Generous. Softly spoken. Unadulterated. It’s a joven style, but with more structure and much more intensity than your average light red. And so, so pure. How can you not like this? Sure, it’s not going to cellar for decades. Nor is it a profound wine (the top Yangarra Grenache and Shiraz are more in that boat). But such profound drinking pleasure. And isn’t that wine is about? Best drinking: Now to probably eight years plus. Would I buy it? In a heartbeat.” ANDREW GRAHAM 94 Points ozwinereview.com, 8 April, 2019
Yangarra is one vineyard of 100 hectares broken into 35 blocks. Almost exclusively planted to the varieties of the Rhone Valley; in particular the Southern Rhone. But new plantings of Spanish grapes are underway. The core of the Yangarra offering is old, bush vines of Grenache. All the vines are certified organic and biodynamic. Their efforts are working as not only are the wines amazing, but James Halliday awarded Yangarra wine of the year in the 2020 Companion.
The maritime climate and sandy soils of McLaren Vale make it a great place for growing grapes. Reds in particular excel here. Shiraz of course, but the Spanish varieties Grenache and Tempranillo seem well suited too. The maritime climate helps mitigate some of the heat from the SA summers and the sandy soils mean that phylloxera could not survive and so they have some of the oldest vines in the world.
Spain’s gift to the world. We know it as Grenache and I think everyone has a soft spot for it in some way. Almost too exuberant in expressing its sweet red fruits and high alcohol, it often needs a little bit of other wines to add moderation, structure and depth. Much like Abbott and Costello. Despite this, the wines of Priorat, Chateauneuf du Pape, Rioja and Aussie GSMs have an amazing ability to age for the long-term.