Catching up with Yabby Lake’s latest releases, including the Jimmy Watson Trophy Pinot

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After tasting through Yabby Lake’s range at the Australia Day Tasting it was the junior Red Claw Pinot Noir that made the cut for my February Wines of the Month. But, as ever, there was much to admire in the Mornington Peninsula producer’s line up, including a taster from one of the 180 bottles to wend its way to the UK of Yabby Lake Block 1 Pinot Noir 2012 (pictured), the first Pinot Noir to win the prestigious Jimmy Watson Trophy at the Royal Melbourne Show.

Yabby Lake Block 2 Pinot Noir 2009 (1)

Prices are as provided by importer/retailer Swig.

Yabby Lake Red Claw Chardonnay 2012 (Mornington Peninsula)

A really juicy, sappily fresh Chardonnay with grapefruit, golden delicious and a hint of funky fluffy lees. Very good in an unassuming kind of way. (And incidentally the under-the-table 2009 was still lemony bright and lively). £17.95

Yabby Lake Single Vineyard Chardonnay 2012 (Mornington Peninsula)

A very youthfully tight, mineral , persistent Chardonnay with great length and line and, again, an attractive touch of funk. Qualities which clearly impressed themselves upon me because I make no mention of fruit. Not unsurprising with Yabby Lake Chardonnays which, fashioned by Tom Carson, always have terrific drive (the 2010 vintage was among my Top 12 White Wines of 2013. Tom, if you’re reading this I’d love to taste a vertical to see where they go! Tons of potential. £33

Yabby Lake Block 1 Chardonnay 2012 (Mornington Peninsula)

It’s not so often that tannins feature in my notes on white wines, especially Chardonnay, but this wine has a taffeta textural quality which puts me in mind of tannin. And made from 100% Mendoza or Gin Gin clone, perhaps it’s about the small berries (this clone is prone to hens and chickens/millerandage). At any rate it is part and parcel of this wine’s imposing structure, together with its taut citric backbone of lemony acidity and smoky hazelnut oak, the latter a back-palate note (so it doesn’t intrude on Block 1’s sense of purity). Very long, tight and intense. Again, tons of potential but with exciting bottled electricity vitality now. 12.5% £59

Yabby Lake Red Claw Pinot Noir 2012 (Mornington Peninsula)

Its heady violet fragrance sings, as does its joyously pure and juicy red cherry and currant fruit. Supple and savoury suede tannins together with just a hint of earthy beetroot lend dimension and depth. As fine and delicious a Pinot Noir as I’ve encountered for under £20, with a uniquely (for Pinot) easy Australian charm. £17.95.

Yabby Lake Single Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012 (Mornington Peninsula)

This blend of three clones (MV6 clone, G5V15 & 115 clone) and four separate vineyard blocks is soft and plummy of delivery with savoury earth and cheroot notes going through. Quite firm tannins make for a focused, long finish. More underpinning than expected and not quite integrated as yet. £39

Yabby Lake Block 1 Pinot Noir 2012 (Mornington Peninsula)

As with the Single vineyard Chardonnay the structure of this wine (100% MV6 clone) makes the most lasting impression. Bright red berry and currant and fleshier plum fruit cleaves to an imposing backbone of fine but firm tannins – iron fist in velvet glove. Bringing impetus -great drive – Block 1 is very long and very well-focused with consummate poise. Absolutely finds its mark. A compelling Pinot. 14% £59

Yabby Lake Block 2 Pinot Noir 2012 (Mornington Peninsula)

What a difference a block makes. Same clone and yet…..Block 2 is easier going, smoother of delivery than Block 1 (relatively speaking), with a round edge to its velvety chocolate-edged tannins. More expressive too with its violet and campari scented red berry and plum fruit. Lovely. 14% £59

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