Yarra Yering Dry Red No.1 2009 and other complaints

I was disappointed by Yarra Yering's 2009 "Dry Red No. 1" cabernet (and their cellar door - see below).  Good blackcurrant aromas drifted out of the glass.  But the palate seemed short, with evident acidity and, to my palate, a touch of a smoked meat character.  This latter character made me wonder whether the vintage may have been affected, albeit minutely at this stage, by the tragic 2009 Yarra Valley bushfires.  Yeringberg up the road of course have declassified their 2009 cabernet and are selling it for $15, with the de Purys recommending early consumption in case the smoke taint worsens.  There is a touch of smoke taint on the palate in the 09 Yeringberg, but frankly it is pretty mild at this point.

In Yarra Yering's case, at $82 a bottle for their 09, and down the road, it seemed worth a discussion.  Such discussion unfortunately though was not going to come from our cellar door host.  In between pouring thimble sized servings during the paid tasting into lovely Riedel glasses (tough times chez Yarra Yering?) and curtly telling my unsuspecting friend that "no, you've already tasted the Agincourt" (he hadn't - and, um, what Sir, if he had?), his comment to me regarding a smoky character was "No, you are the first person to say that.  You must be wrong".  And maybe I am wrong - that certainly does happen!  It could have been another character from that tragic, hot, scorching and bushfire ridden season.  But it was an honest question.  And surely it's not a surprising one given the sheer scale of the bushfires in 2009?  Whatever the cause, the wine simply wasn't otherwise what I expected and as regular readers would know, to date, I've been a strong supporter of Yarra Yering's cabernets, describing them as among, if not, the best in the Yarra Valley.  One to try again in a few years time.  I hope I am wrong.  84 points for now (6.9/10)

Abv: not recorded
Price: $82
Website: http://www.yarrayering.com
Yarra Valley
May 15, 2011

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