Yarra Yering Underhill Shiraz 2020
Yarra-Yering-Underhill-Shiraz-2020

Yarra Yering Underhill Shiraz 2020

Sale price$125.00
Yarra Valley, Victoria, Australia

Style: Red Wine

Variety: Shiraz

Closure: Screwcap

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Yarra Yering Underhill Shiraz 2020

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, usually ready in 2-4 days

Burke Road
Camberwell VIC 3124
Australia

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Producer: Yarra Yering

Country: Australia

Region: Yarra Valley

Vintage: 2020

Critic Score: 97

Alcohol: 13.5%

Size: 750 ml

Drink by: 2040


A riotous amalgam of aromas. Medium bodied and elegant. Gorgeous now and over the next 10 years - Philip Rich

Trophy Best Shiraz - 2022 Winewise Championship
Trophy Best Shiraz - 2021 Yarra Valley Wine Show

Yarra Yering is one of the oldest and most beautiful vineyards in the Yarra Valley, consisting of 28 acres of vines located at the foot of the Warramate Hills. Dr Bailey Carrodus established the winery in 1969 and is credited as one of the driving forces in reviving winemaking in the Yarra Valley. His first wines, produced from the 1973 vintage, were the first wines to be commercially produced in the Valley for more than fifty years.

"Full-bodied, deep and quite powerful shiraz, the palate concentrated and intensely focused, with profound spice and dark-cherry flavours that linger on and on through a very persistent finish. Seamless. An outstanding shiraz."  Huon Hooke

In 1987, Bailey Carrodus purchased an 8 acre neighbouring property, a Shiraz vineyard planted in 1973, and spent 18 months extensively reworking the vineyard and bringing it back to full health. The first vintage of the Underhill Shiraz from this vineyard was released in 1989.

For the 2020 Shiraz, 50% of the Underhill block was fermented and matured in a second use 3500L upright oak cask (foudre) containing 20% whole bunches and topped up for maturation with 100% whole bunch component. The remainder was fermented in half-tonne, open fermenters designed by Dr Carrodus. The wine was aged for 12 months (50% in foudre, 50% in French oak puncheons with 10% new).

"Yarra Yering is an extraordinary wine property. Without any fanfare, its winemaker Sarah Crowe puts out a bevy of fabulous wines year after year. Yarra Yering wines have always been very good, but under the current management, they have hit new heights."  Huon Hooke 

"Perfumed cool climate Shiraz; deliciously medium bodied with a lick of aniseed spice. Bright red and blue plum fruits bring a fresh energy to the palate and some char and spice layering in structure and complexity. As always from this block we see some cured meat and a smoke-char interest driving the back palate. Medium weighted fruit with oak just a faint seasoning.Yarra Yering

Expert reviews

"From a 3.2ha block of shiraz, planted on the far western side at Yarra Yering in 1973. Half was fermented with 20% whole bunches in one 3,500L old oak cask, pressed and returned to this cask to mature for 12 months. The other half was matured in puncheons for 12 months. A very bright, medium crimson purple. A riotous amalgam of aromas including blueberries, potpourri, licorice root, Szechuan pepper and caraway seeds. Medium bodied and elegant, this has terrific viscosity and the tannins are oh, so powdery and fine. Gorgeous now and over the next 10 years or longer. Drink by 2035."  Philip Rich, Halliday Wine Companion - 97 points and Special Value Wine 

"Deep, bright red-purple colour; intense and lifted pepper/spice aromas, very attractive and aromatic. Ferrous/mineral/dried blood overtones. Full-bodied, deep and quite powerful shiraz, the palate concentrated and intensely focused, with profound spice and dark-cherry flavours that linger on and on through a very persistent finish. Seamless. An outstanding shiraz. Drink: 2023-2040."  Huon Hooke, The Real Review - 97 points

"Has all options covered: can be both serious in drive and focus, and yet open and generous. Time and time again you find yourself wandering off down the tempting path offered by the sweetness of fruit and accompanying confection notes. It's that kind of wine. Fruit is to the fore in plum, black cherry, bramble layered in between oak spice and silky, but resilient, tannins. And let's not forget that delicious lightness of confection and vanilla."  Jeni Port, Wine Pilot - 96 points  

"Beautiful aromas of blackberry, violets and sandalwood. Some match stick and flint. Full-bodied yet very polished and creamy with tangy acidity. Lemon peel. White pepper. Tasty and fresh shiraz. Drink nor hold."  James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com - 95 points

"Best Shiraz - 2022 Winewise Championship: In an incredibly strong bracket, the 2020 Yarra Yering Underhill was a picture of modern, mid-weight sophistication and deliciousness."  Andrew Graham, Australian Wine Review

Awards

Trophy, Best Shiraz - 2022 Winewise Championship
Trophy, Best Shiraz - 2021 Yarra Valley Wine Show
Special Value Wine - Halliday Wine Companion  ★ 

About the winemaker

Sarah Crowe Winemaker

Sarah Crowe was appointed Winemaker at Yarra Yering in 2013 and has never looked back since. She was named James Halliday Winemaker of the Year in 2017, Gourmet Traveller Wine Winemaker of the Year in 2021 and the Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology (ASVO) Winemaker of the Year in 2021.

Sarah was the first female to win the prestigious James Halliday Winemaker of the Year award. Halliday said, "She has done a fabulous job with what was her first full vintage. Just an amazing, amazing job. She has made red wines of the highest imaginable quality and to the delight of many, myself included, has offered all the wines with screwcaps.”

Meanwhile, on Crowe's watch, Yarra Yering was named Winery of the Year in 2021 by Huon Hooke's The Real Review, and named Winery of the Year and awarded Wine of the Year in 2022 by James Halliday's Wine Companion.

Sarah had no ambitions to be a winemaker. However, on a trip to Europe in her early 20s, Sarah was struck by the beauty of a French vineyard and she remembers thinking to herself "I'm going to work in a vineyard when I get back to Australia.” Several years later, in 2001, she got a job in the vineyard at Brokenwood in the Hunter Valley pruning vines. Sarah stayed on for nine years, completed a viticulture degree and worked her way up to assistant winemaker. In 2009 she won the Hunter Valley Wine Industry Association's 'Rising Star of the Year' Award.

During her time at Brokenwood Sarah also gained valuable experience overseas. She worked international harvests in Oregon in 2004 and 2006 at Adelsheim Vineyard and Ponzi Family Vineyards (focusing on Pinot noir and Chardonnay), and the Rhone Valley in 2008 at Paul Jaboulet Aine (working with Viognier and Shiraz).

She moved to Bimbadgen in 2010 as senior winemaker and brought a new level of sophistication to the wines. She worked with many varieties from across Australia's premium grape growing regions in a range of wine styles. She also took part in the Future Leaders of the Wine Industry Program as well as being accepted as one of only twelve people into the prestigious Len Evans Tutorial Program.

After 12 years in the Hunter Valley, she was offered the coveted job as winemaker at Yarra Yering, established in 1969 by Dr Bailey Carrodus, and headed south to the Yarra Valley.

"Dr Carrodus was a botanist, so the vineyard has always been the central focus of Yarra Yering,” says Sarah. "We've always had more staff in the vineyard than anywhere else.” That focus aligns with Sarah's passion and origins in viticulture. Since joining the team, she's worked with viticulturist Andrew George to revitalise the picturesque vineyard and has evolved the wine styles, all while honouring Yarra Yering's past.

Sarah's approach is all about capturing the unique characteristics of the vineyard and climate, letting the winemaking take a backseat. "My motivation is to make the best wine each year that represents that season,” says Sarah. "Each year is different. And so capturing that in a bottle is what I enjoy the most. Every year we're trying to understand and express the vineyard more, and that comes from a lot of thinking and attention to detail. The best wines do not come easily, but they should look effortless.”

Sarah credits Dr Carrodus for providing her with all the riches a winemaker craves to produce really great wine. "I simply want to make wines which are true to the integrity of the fruit I have to work with. And the fruit is exceptional. With the advances in the scientific understanding of winemaking we have today, I can only improve on the original vision and legacy created by Dr Carrodus,” said Sarah. 

About the winery

Yarra Yering

Yarra Yering is one of the oldest and most beautiful vineyards in the Yarra Valley of Victoria, consisting of 28 acres of vines located at the foot of the Warramate Hills. Dr Bailey Carrodus established the winery in 1969 and is credited as one of the driving forces in reviving winemaking in the Valley - wine production in the Yarra Valley came to a halt in the 1920s due to the economics of the day, changing tastes and the high price of wool.

Bailey Carrodus was well qualified for the task, having completed a degree in horticulture at Victoria University in Wellington New Zealand in 1952, a second degree in winemaking at Roseworthy Agricultural College in South Australia and a Doctor of Philosophy for research into plant physiology at Queens College, Oxford University.

Inspired by the elegance and sophistication of the wines he encountered at Oxford, Carrodus embarked on a study tour of the best vineyards and wineries of France, Spain, Portugal and Italy. Later he took up a position at Melbourne University and began the search for a special vineyard site on which to produce wine in the style he had grown to love. His search brought him to the lower slopes of the Warramate Hills in the Yarra Valley.

In 1969 Dr Carrodus planted 12 acres of unirrigated vines on a northerly slope of deep grey silty loam, shot through with bands of gravel, and named the vineyard Yarra Yering. The first block he planted (Block No 1) to the Bordeaux varieties Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Merlot, the second block (Block No 2) to the Rhône varieties Shiraz and Marsanne. The first wines, produced from the 1973 vintage, were subsequently labelled Dry Red Wine No 1 (a Bordeaux blend) and Dry Red Wine No 2 (a northern Rhône blend). The Yarra Yering release in 1973 was the first wine to be commercially produced in the Yarra Valley since 1922. Wantirna Estate, Mount Mary and Yeringberg followed suit soon after. 

In 1987 Bailey purchased the neighbouring property, a Shiraz vineyard planted in 1973, and spent 18 months extensively reworking the vineyard and bringing it back to full health. The first vintage of the Underhill Shiraz from this vineyard was released in 1989.

In 1990 he purchased a west facing hillside and planted alternate Portuguese varieties to take advantage of the hot afternoon sun. The first vintage of the Dry red No 3, a blend of Touriga Naçional, Tinta Cão, Tinta Amarela, Tinta Roriz, Alvarelhão and Sousão, was released in 1996. These grape varieties are most readily associated with Port (a fortified wine) from the Douro Valley in Portugal, but they are also used there to make a dry red table wine.

Dr Bailey Carrodus was a visionary who sought a classical purity in his wines. He also had a reputation as an enigmatic and private man who had a famously gruff manner and found fools insufferable. He was a singularly determined and stubborn individual who had no time for winemaking trends, consumer fads, the influential wine show system, the admonitions of fellow winemakers or the views of wine writers. He famously tipped out thousands of litres of Pinot Noir in one vintage and in another he recalled his entire red wine production, offering a full refund.

Carrodus crafted award-winning wines at Yarra Yering for 35 years until his death in 2008 at the age of 78. From very early on he gained an international reputation for producing elegant, complex, powerful and long-lasting wines. On his death, a number of international publications including Decanter Magazine (UK), The Times (UK), Jancis Robinson (UK) and Wine Spectator (US) published articles acknowledging his immense contribution to the wine industry. 

In 2009 Yarra Yering was sold to agribusiness entrepreneur, Ed Peter and established winemaker Reid Bosward, who are also owners of Kaesler Wines in the Barossa Valley. As James Halliday noted: "It was Bailey Carrodus's clear wish and expectation that any purchaser would continue to manage the vineyard and winery, and hence the wine style, in much the same way as he had done for the previous 40 years.” The new owners, who would be hands-off, made it very clear there would be no changes to the philosophy of the business.

It was Reid Bosward who decided to advertise the winemaker job when it fell vacant at Yarra Yering in mid-2013. Sarah Crowe, who had 12 years of experience working in the Hunter Valley, was appointed Chief Winemaker. Despite the pressure created by the legacy Carrodus left, Sarah Crowe has proved more than up to the task and under Crowe's stewardship, the Yarra Yering reputation has soared. 

Crowe was named James Halliday Winemaker of the Year in 2017, Gourmet Traveller Wine Winemaker of the Year in 2021 and the Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology (ASVO) Winemaker of the Year in 2021.

Sarah was the first female to be awarded James Halliday Winemaker of the Year. Halliday said, "She has done a fabulous job with what was her first full vintage. Just an amazing, amazing job. She has made red wines of the highest imaginable quality and to the delight of many, myself included, has offered all the wines with screwcaps.”

On Crowe's watch, Yarra Yering was named Winery of the Year in 2021 by Huon Hooke's The Real Review, and named Winery of the Year and awarded Wine of the Year in 2022 by James Halliday's Wine Companion.

"Yarra Yering is an extraordinary wine property. Without any fanfare, its winemaker Sarah Crowe puts out a bevy of fabulous wines year after year. Yarra Yering wines have always been very good, but under the current management, they have hit new heights. Sarah Crowe is an outstanding winemaker."  Huon Hooke 

Wine region map of Victoria

Victoria

Victoria is home to more than 800 wineries across 21 wine regions. The regions are Alpine Valley, Beechworth, Bendigo, Geelong, Gippsland, Glenrowan, Goulburn Valley, Grampians, Heathcote, Henty, King Valley, Macedon Ranges, Mornington Peninsula, Murray Darling, Pyrenees, Rutherglen, Strathbogie Ranges, Sunbury, Swan Hill, Upper Goulburn and Yarra Valley.

Victoria's first vines were planted at Yering in the Yarra Valley in 1838. By 1868 over 3,000 acres had been planted in Victoria, establishing Victoria as the premier wine State of the day. Today, the original vineyards planted at Best's Wines are among the oldest and rarest pre-phylloxera plantings in the world.

Victoria's climate varies from hot and dry in the north to cool in the south and each wine region specialises in different varietals. For example, Rutherglen in the north is famous for its opulent Muscats and Topaque and bold reds, while the many cooler climate regions near Melbourne produce world class Chardonnay and pinot Noir. Victoria is truly a wine lover's playground.