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Yangarra is an enigma, "high" in McLaren Vale (that's just 100-200 metres or so) so the grapes ripen a week or two later and have a little more acidity and freshness. Add to that the old soils composed of old "desert" sand (not sea sand), and some very old vines like the High Sands block at Blewitt Springs planted in the early 40's, and the story starts to take shape. I visited recently, and know the place well, and it seems that the owner Barbara Jackson (who's family owns over 2,000ha of vines and prestige labels in a few different countries and who seems to have an endless supply of money to spend on improvements, trusts manager/winemaker Pete Fraser implicitly. This well-placed (intelligent) trust has resulted in a new $10 million barrel hall and cellar door, and anything else that can be purchased with an aim to make better wines, including a collection of ceramic eggs and beautifully crafted very large barrels that would make a prestige Euro vigneron envious!
Pete is going gangbusters on trying to make the best grenache in Australia and it's now almost impossible to argue that High Sands is not (disclosure; Pete Fraser is a friend). However, it would be silly to underestimate the other wines in the range too. As James Halliday says "Blewitt Springs district is the altar, Peter Fraser is the Choirmaster." As for the whites here, AND the shiraz, they transcend the McLaren Vale expectation, and they are cellar-worthy and captivating, even for a Burgundy lover like me! What he has done to rousanne and grenache blanc from those great sites and fermented and aged in those eggs is mind-boggling! Cheers, Randall.
These wines are in stock and ready for immediate dispatch!
Yangarra 2021 Roux Beaute Rousanne
RRP: $65 | Offer: $59
This is from a 1ha block planted in 1999, and as the skin-fermented component (about 1/2) has been introduced (and fine-tuned) to the making of this marque, it has been getting better! There is a wild, exotic paw-paw, ginger and Danish pastry element but the palate and finish are quite restrained and beautifully balanced. Randall.
“Apricot, fresh pineapple, citrus blossom, a sort of salt and pepper thing happening too, along with a subtle smokiness, ginger and seaweed. It’s juicy and fleshy in tropical fruit flavour, but has a spicy chalky skinsy grip to balance, almost a green spicy olive oil texture and character, along with lemon zest and green olive brine and sweet grapefruit acidity on a finish of good length. Complex. Interesting. Different. All good things.” 94pts – Gary Walsh, The Wine Front
Yangarra 2021 Ovitelli Blanc
RRP: $65 | Offer: $59
This is an incredibly complex and beautifully textural white from blocks 9 and 6, mostly planted in 1946, totalling just 2.6ha. It is the best, or one of the very top skin-fermented (in this case 1/2 the wine was skin-fermented for 4 months) whites that I have ever tasted! Wild, doughy, nicely plump, very textural, with a hint of white pepper and lots of ripe pear and an almost viognier -like exoticism. Randall.
“White cherry, pear, honey and nuts, cornflakes, white flower perfume, cut fennel. It’s quite fleshy and juicy, all nashi pear and honey nut, a gentle stony grip to tannin, some pepper and almond creaminess. It’s got plenty of weight and flavour, and maybe comes over a little sweet and with some candied lemon peel, with a waxy and textured finish of good length.., ” 93pts – Gary Walsh, The Wine Front
Yangarra 2021 King’s Wood Shiraz
RRP: $65 | Offer: $59
This 2.3ha block planted in 1999 produces a very deep and ripe shiraz without the inky, jamminess of the Vale floor. It has beautiful dark cherry fruit, subtle, almost imperceptible whole-bunch stemminess and lovely completeness without obvious oak, which is not surprising as it has only been aged in 2,500lt fudres. Randall.
“Lusty, slurpy red with beefiness and sweet-sour tendencies in the nicest sense. Stains the palate thick with rich, red fruitiness, some cola and light coffee elements, touches of toast and clove. Scents like all that, big wall of it, effective in delivery of McLaren Vale shirazisms. It’s a lovely red, relishes its warm-hearted appeal, delivers concentration and many layers. It feels fine tuned too, in the sense that there’s some decent tannin licks and woody spice to show edges. Nice.” 94pts – Mike Bennie, The Wine Front
Yangarra 2020 Ironheart Shiraz
RRP: $129 | Offer: $116!
The big daddy of the reds, this is from a 1.8ha block planted in 1999, The potential very ripe flavours and size has been reigned in a little with the "freshining" of 20% whole-bunch stemmines and the ageing in "super-cool" (and expensive) large Schneckenleitne Austrian barrels. This so coiled and dense, yet balanced and elegant that it's incredible, and this dichotomy comes from the tiny yield about 1 tonne per hectare! Randall.
“Quite a ferrous, inky number, broad shoulders but pristine in a way, definition, but a total lushness and submission to McLaren Vale’s shiraz asset and inherent personality. Chewy tannins in a slosh of choc-berry, liquorice, not-quite young portiness, kirsch and a blueberry fruitiness. Silky, also. Liqueur like finish, warm-ish, soft, slick. It’s an honest wine with plenty of smooth moves and warmth. Big puff of ripe fruit, kirsch and sweet earth in the bouquet with a whiff of warm bitumen. Does the trick, and well.” 94pts – Mike Bennie, The Wine Front
Yangarra 2021 Hickinbotham Grenache
RRP: $79 | Offer: $71
"From 17ha of 1946 bush vines on a deep sandy dune. So scented/perfumed, and I'm gone for all money without even tasting it. Its red-fruit sundae glistens with dew drops on a spider's web, yet also has a savoury echo on the finish." 97pts! - James Halliday
"The Chambolle of the Vale" Randall.
“Fantastic. Skittish with cool, blood orange acidity under cherry pip, pomegranate juice, cranberry with its dryness. Dried herbs, a truffley umami lick, Chinese five spice, undergrowth and faint game meat. The tannins are the thing though, racy, tight. a sheath of silt and al dente chew in a wine that defies it’s alcohol percent and ends up finer, fresher, refreshing and bright. Feels 13% or so. It stretches luxuriously on those tannins and finishes with a perfect reset each sip. Perfumed as all get out too. It went from fish to chook to salads to a bean stew and had more to go. Moreish to the max.” 96+pts! – Mike Bennie, The Wine Front
Yangarra 2021 Ovitelli Grenache
RRP: $79 | Offer: $71
"From a 2ha block; berry-sorted, crushed into 675L
ceramic eggs; on skins for 133 days, in the eggs for 13 months. A scented rose petal and spice bouquet lays the scene for an intense yet diaphanous palate that oozes layer upon layer of richness." 98pts! - James Halliday
“Red cherry, raspberry, liquorice root, lemon thyme, orange peel, pepper and exotic spice, rosehip. It’s fleshy with superb graphite tannin, rich flavour but with no excess, the botanical and citrus peel perfume, the succulent raspberry and redcurrant, the tang and freshness, even some smoky bacon things and black tea, but so tight, and so right, with a finish that carries on and on, much like my prose, perhaps. If this wine is my muse, then so be it. Throw yourself on to the rocks of this delight.” 96+pts! – Gary Walsh, The Wine Front
Yangarra 2020 High Sands Grenache
RRP: $299 | Offer: $269
From the 1.7ha Block 31, the highest section of the 1946 bush vines. 50% whole berries, wild yeast open-fermented; matured in a foudre and ceramic eggs for 11 months. Truly great wines add something new on each taste; here, there's an ethereal, otherworldly purity to the lingering finish and aftertaste." 99pts! - James Halliday
“Perfume, spiced biscuit, strawberry and raspberry, almond meal, a little menthol. Medium-bodied, beautiful structure here, so fine-boned with graphite tannin, almond and raspberry, and don’t mind me, but maybe a little venison and juniper berry thing happening, which adds a layer of complexity, and a fresh red fruited finish that goes very long. And the tannin that closes it out is really something. Superb.” 96pts! – Gary Walsh, The Wine Front
Cheers - Randall, Jeff, Rose & Nick