I dropped by Oakridge Wines in the Yarra Valley on the weekend while I was visiting Healesville Sanctuary. David Bicknell has a fantastic track record of turning out fine Chardonnays so no better time then the present to drop by and say ‘hi’ to the friendly cellardoor staff.
Oakridge Local Vineyard Series Murramong Vineyard Arneis 2013
$26. This is a cellar door exclusive, and is the product of experimentations with different fermentation methods. Light, golden yellow colour. A pretty, feminine and aromatic wine. Notes of lemon zest, quince and poached pear in honey. A simple, straight-forward wine, great as a late afternoon drink, or to start off your dinner. Edgy acidity, firm structure and a long aftertaste. Would be nice with a pear, walnut rocket salad, or prosciutto-wrapped melon. Drink now – 2015. 88/100.
Oakridge Local Vineyard Series Fumare 2012
$32. A multi-vineyard blend from the Guerin, Oakridge and Syme vineyards, from different sites around the Yarra Valley. A barrel fermented blend of 71% Sauvignon Blanc, 19% Pinot Gris and 10% Semillion. Fruit was chilled down from the summer heat, then separately whole-bunch pressed into old 500L puncheons for natural fermentation till dry. Left on lees for 7 months prior to final blending and bottling. Clear, light straw yellow colour with a shade of green. Very expressive and aromatic, youthful notes of minerality, spice, white grapefruit, pear and a note of the fumé. Intriguing. It is complex, the citrus flavours are layered, mingled with acidity, and the structure holds up against all that. Medium-bodied for a dry white wine, clean and precise fruit flavours, impressive. Drink now – 2015. 90/100.
Oakridge Local Vineyard Series J&J D’Aloisio vineyard Chardonnay 2012
$36. Bright lemon yellow colour, this fresh, highly zesty charged wine exudes youthful aromas of lemon candy, mandarins, baked green apple and a touch of raw cashew. A medium-bodied dry white wine, feels fuller due to the tart acidity. Rich fruit flavours with lemon and mandarin flesh, green apple and it’s all retained on a softer, rounded finish. Drink now – 2020. Will be interesting to see how this evolves in the bottle. 90-92/100.
Oakridge Local Vineyard Series Guerin vineyard Pinot Noir 2012
$36. Whole berry fermentation in open vessels for two weeks, followed by a 10 month maturation in French oak barrels. Medium ruby coloured wine with crimson hues. Slightly reduced, earthy initially, then opens up with youthful aromas of sour cherry, red currants, pomegranate and baking spices. A medium-bodied wine, lovely fruity acidity, soft silky tannins. Ripe flavours of red currants, cherries, cranberries with a velvety slate of spice. Nice length for the finish. 519 cases produced. Drink now – 2019. 89-90/100.
Oakridge Local Vineyard Series Whitsend/Oakridge vineyards Shiraz 2012
Not on tasting at cellar door due to dwindling stocks. Only half a shelf left on sale at cellar door. Offered the Over The Shoulder Shiraz 2012 for tasting instead. I bought a bottle from a store later on the day.
$36. This wine is a blend from the west facing Whitsend (60%) and north Oakridge (40%) vineyards sited in the grey alluvial loams of Coldstream. The Whitsend fruit underwent whole berry ferment while the Oakridge fruit was whole bunch fermented, both in open vessels followed by 12 month maturation in 500L 20% new French oak puncheons. Clear, medium ruby colour with a shade of purple. Youthful aromas of white pepper, blackberries, mulberries and dried herbs. A medium-bodied wine, high acidity to keep the freshness going, moderate level of chewy tannins. Nice dark fruit flavours, blackberry, cherry, bit of black plum, and the lingering spice. Good length for the finish. Drink now – 2020. 89/100.
Oakridge Local Vineyard Series Oakridge vineyard Merlot 2012
$26. Not the biggest fan of Merlot. But this was an ok drink, fine dusty tannins, dark plummy fruit flavours. I with-hold my opinion on this.
Oakridge Local Vineyard Series Whitsend vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
$36. Quite the typical Cabernet Sauvignon characteristics, which was probably aided by the good-excellent ripening conditions of the 2012 vintage. Dark ruby with purple/crimson tinge. Youthful perfumed bouquet, think typical Cabernet characteristics – blackcurrants, violets, sweet peppercorns, pencil shavings. This is a well-structured medium to full-bodied wine, sufficient acidity and good level of tannins. Good fruit weight, ample roundness to the dark berry fruit, then finishing relatively well. Drink now – 2020. 91/100.
Oakridge 864 Oakridge Vineyard Winery Block Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
$75. Fruit comes off the Oakridge Vineyard which is in direct view from the winery. Planted on alluvial loam soil in 1996, mixed Clonal selection. Fruit is hand-harvested and sorted prior to destemming. 4 day cold maceration, pump-overs thrice a day, juice remained on skins for 3 weeks prior to pressing. 15 months ageing in French oak barrels. Dark ruby-purple colour. Fragrant, youthful notes of blackcurrants, crème de cassis, dark plums, cedar, touch of clove spice and faint hint of anise. Full-bodied wine with a bit of age to it now, very different from the Local Vineyard cabernets which are more typical. There is more elegance to this one. The acidity is fresh, the core acidity is retained all the way through till the finish. Medium level of fine tannins, prop up the rich dark berry, blackcurrant, plum fruit flavours, again bit of sweet spice lingering. Long finish. Drink now – 2025. 92/100.