Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The riesling revolution continues!

It seems that all of my recent posts on here are ratings and reviews which is rather exciting! I am off to Melbourne this weekend for a well earned break, and a bit of wine business on the side, but not too much. So in between sending off orders for the week, and starting to pack, I am taking a short break to post yet another review which was received last weekend.

This one is from Andrew Graham, a lovely fellow from Sydney who is a self-confessed rie
sling lover:

Karra Yerta Wines 2009 Eden Valley Riesling
$25, Screwcap, 13%

I'm getting to this a bit late, with two renowned tasters,
Gary Walsh & Julian Coldrey, having already announced the quality of this wine during the week. Suffice to say, I am going to merely add to the chorus and say that this is a very impressive dry Riesling, and perhaps the best yet under the Karra Yerta label.

What's most impressive here is the acidity, with the whole wine driven to greatness by its startling acid backbone (witness the pH and TA levels - 2.82! and 7.85g/ltr). In the case of this Karra Yerta Riesling, the blinding citrussy acid structure makes for a wine of serious impact, which, when coupled with grapefruit, lemon and apple Martini regional Riesling fruit characters, makes for a pure and simply beautiful Riesling in the intensely dry Eden Valley style.

Winning wine for drinking over the medium term +. 18.8

Friday, September 25, 2009

Rain, hail and more reviews

I have spent the day inside, working at the computer, listening to the rain and hail pounding on the roof. The hail is a concern as the young buds and delicate growth on the vines can easily be damaged so I hope, as many other vignerons do, that it calms down a bit soon. It doesn't sound promising though as the forecast is for rough weather for most of the weekend.

The good news for the day though, besides yet more orders coming in due to the influx of incredible reviews of the past week, is that we have received yet another review, and while posting that one I will also post a very recent review on our 2006 Shiraz Cabernet. Please read Jeremy's reviews below and have a look at his website as it is full of many interesting reviews:)

Karra Yerta Wines 2008 Eden Valley Riesling


Eden Valley 13% Screwcap $25

The grapes are from 80 year old vines. Cool. I hear the 2009 of this could be even better. But this is a tasting note on the 2008, so enough about that.

This Riesling is so pure and pristine, its chastity makes me wonder if I should enjoy it as much as I do. Oh well, I'm not one for guilt so I did.

The extremely pale colour is indicative of the restraint inherent in the wine. Everything is suggested, nothing is stentorian :) Quite the opposite of me in some ways. It's penetrating without being sharp and it carries its lime, spice and bathsalts with aplomb. There is some pear but it doesn't broaden nor sweeten the palate, it just whispers its name as you drink. The spiced granny smith apple appears more as the wine opens up. And yes, there are river pebble like traits.

Amongst wine tragics, sorry enthusiasts, I sense that it is very hip to like this sort of wine. Austerity has cultural capital amongst the wine media at the moment. Well, this wine gives the austere a good name. It is a happy time when fashion and quality collide. Karra Yerta are deserving of all the praise they are receiving and I feel lucky to be able to drink their wines.

Winery Website- http://www.karrayertawines.com.au/

2006 Karra Yerta Wines Shiraz Cabernet

Barossa & Eden Valley SA 14.5% Screwcap CD $25- Tasted 2/9/09


I'm a bit late on the Karra Yerta bandwagon really. You'll find better tasting notes of this wine over at The Wine Front-http://www.winefront.com.au/ (subscription needed, and it's more than worth it) and Full Pour- http://www.fullpour.com/

I tasted this after a raft of amazing Barrosan reds that were presented at Tyson Stelzer's and Grant Dodd's "Barossa Wine Traveller" and the couple of glasses I had last night were wonderfully satisfying as a night cap. You'd never pick the ABV, it's all in balance. 87% Barossan and Eden Valley Shiraz, 13% Eden Valley Cabernet.

Blackberries, dried flowers, cooked meat, violets, plums, a touch of Cabernet leaf and some chocolate. All complex and in harmony. Sweet/savoury interplay is very good and the structure seems equal parts acid and tannin. Very impressive for a wine at this price point. Very impressive for a wine full stop. Lovely long finish via those tannins, which started to kick in around the mid palate. I liked that after the juicy entry. Order some, or buy some at Bar Barossa in Queen Street, Brisbane. I don't believe there is a lot of it made (170 cases is all), which is a shame in some ways.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Two new reviews for the 2009 Eden Valley Riesling.

There's nothing quite like logging on to your computer after a hectic day and finding an email full of praise for your product. It lifts the spirits like nothing else, especially when it is still so difficult to be in the wine industry. Times are tough and as many of you know, James and I are certainly not driven by profit, and when you consider that our wines are retailed at the $25 mark (with the exception of our NV Sparkling Shiraz, which on release will be $35 - only 15 cases produced!) it is pretty obvious that we are pursuing our dream of making great wine purely out of passion (or perhaps pure insanity).

Here are the two latest reviews; one from Gary Walsh (Winefront):
and one from Julian Coldrey: (www.fullpour.com)

Karra Yerta Wines 2009 Eden Valley Riesling

Tuesday, Sep 22 2009 · Posted in Eden Valley, riesling
By Gary Walsh

A whopping 128 cases produced from these venerable (80+ years) old vines in 2009. I’m thinking this is the best KY Riesling vintage yet? Well there’s certainly no trouble getting well lubricated off a wine of this quality anyway.

It opens with a slightly smelly case of asafoetida-like reduction, which is perhaps why they recommend decanting it on the back of the bottle? Regardless, with a little time in glass it comes well and truly good. It’s almost water clear in colour (is that an oxymoron?) with crystalline and classic Eden Valley Riesling flavours of lemon and lime coupled with a baby oil fragrance, kaffir lime leaf and a flicker of aniseed. It’s a crisp mountain stream over river pebbles sort of wine - pure, long and ultra-refreshing - racy, yet flavoursome. I recommend you get into and onto this. And promptly.

Other vintages.

Rated : 95 Points
Tasted : Sep09
Alcohol : 13%
Price : $25
Closure : Screwcap
Drink : 2009 - 2019+

Karra Yerta Wines 2009 Eden Valley Riesling

Posted by Julian Coldrey (www.fullpour.com) 22nd September 2009

The Karra Yerta vineyard has a flavour that is partly Eden Valley but otherwise all its own. This is the third vintage I've tasted and there's a striking family resemblance between the wines. The
2008 was full and soft, communicating a luxuriant plushness while remaining in the mainstream of Eden style. The 2005 was austere and acidic, clearly built for the long haul, and what one might consider a more typical wine of the region. This most recent edition is different again, yet its core of pastel, shimmering fruit is all Karra Yerta, clearly showing the terroir of this special vineyard.

A most interesting range of aromas -- watermelon, apples, lychee, cut grass, spice, lemon -- seem to glisten and evolve from the glass like shiny scented pillows. There's excellent complexity and cohesiveness for such a young Riesling; this is absolutely ready to drink now as a striking aromatic white, although I'm quite sure it could take a good deal of bottle age if one likes that sort of thing.

A wallop of acidity announces the palate in no uncertain terms; this is definitely a young Riesling, but it's not undrinkably tart as some can be. Instead, its fine texture and delicious sourness present alongside quite rich, full fruit flavours of a similar character to the nose, but for more prominent apple and lemon flavours. The middle palate is strikingly intense, yet what I like most is the shape and flow. Generous flavour is contained within a couture-like silhouette that cuts a dashing figure through the mouth. Everything's in line, flowing as it should, with perfect control. An intriguing note, savoury and spicy in equal measure, kicks through the after palate before a sour, delicious finish of very impressive length rounds it all off. Indeed, this seems to go on and on for ages.

I don't pretend to be an objective taster by any means, so although this is a quality wine made by a passionate producer in tiny quantities, it all comes to nought, because drinking this is like falling in love. Nothing else matters.

Karra Yerta Wines
Price: $A25
Closure: Stelvin

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A new review and a new medal!

So, in following up to my previous entry, I am exceptionally proud to announce that we have won a Silver Medal at the 2009 Barossa Wine Show for our Karra Yerta Wines 2006 Shiraz Cabernet! At 52.5 points, it was equal second in its class. As this was our first time entering the Barossa Wine Show we were totally flabbergasted. Here is a link to the online Barossa Wine Show results book: http://www.barossa.com/lib/pdf/mf289.pdf

Our other entry, the 2009 Karra Yerta Wines Eden Valley Riesling scored 44 points and stood on equal footing with many other fine rieslings including some from Henschke and Yalumba so despite not getting a medal, we were still really happy with the result. To top it off, on the same day that we discovered our BWS results we also received the following fabulous review from Andrew Graham (
http://www.ozwinereview.com/2009/09/karra-yerta-shiraz-cabernet-2006.html) Thanks Andrew for your glowing report!

Karra Yerta Shiraz Cabernet 2006 (Barossa & Eden Valley, SA)
$25, Screwcap, 14.5%

There are, according to the Australian & New Zealand Wine Industry Directory, 2320 wineries in Australia (as of this year). Karra Yerta, with an annual production of only several hundred cartons, is one of the smallest amongst them (the website tagline is 'one of Australia's smallest wineries').

What Karra Yerta shares with Australia's finest wineries, however, is character. Character derived from old (up to 80 year old) vineyards, in an exceptional grape growing area (Chris Ringland's 'Three Rivers vineyard' is several hundred metres away, with the original Pewsey vineyards also close by) and produced with passion (converse with the energetic Marie Linke, caretaker of the vineyard with her partner James, and you will get a sense of this).

The ultimate results are fine quality, handmade, unpretentious wines, made in tiny quantities and happily representative of the patch of dirt they were produced of.

A formula that sits very easily with me.

This Shiraz Cabernet then is produced from 87% estate Shiraz, blended with some Barossa floor Shiraz and topped up with 13% Eden Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Surprisingly this spent 24 months in oak, a heroic level for what is a $25 bottle of wine, but it doesn't do this any disservice.

Judging by the colour alone, this looks like quite a beast: It pours deep blood red and is rimmed with youthful purple. The nose matches the sentiment, with rich blackberry jam, vanillan oak and a twist of formic. It smells deep and warm and cosseting and, well, Barossan.


Matching the nose, the palate is rich and sweetly red berried, the oak driving the palate weight forward and edging it with vanillan sweetness. Initially I thought this was just a tad too obvious and full, but the hints of Eden Valley milk chocolate through the middle had me hooked.

Just to reinforce the quality, the tail end has a great flow of flavour and thrust, coupled with a complete absence of heat (good to see in a 14.5% ABV red).

Nice again.

It is hard then to argue with any element of this red. The oak is a bit prominent and sweet, but I'm not worried about it integrating, so there is little case for any discordance. Really all I can do is join the chorus and rave about how good this is.

So what you get is a genuine Barossan red, that will cellar well, with plenty of the aforementioned character and appeal, for just $25 a bottle. Bargain. 18.2/93

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Spring is here... and the tastings have begun.

Since my last entry, James and I have progressed with the pruning and tying on and the vineyard is looking fairly tidy; just a day or two's mowing to be done yet.

In between that workload, we entered some of our wines into a few local events; the first being the "Taste of Spring Eden Valley Riesling Tasting" which was a trade event for winery representatives and media, and the second being the 2009 Barossa Wine Show.

The Barossa, of course, was at it's beautiful best. Springtime here is really lovely and the visitors to these events were not disappointed. With the events located at the Eden Valley Institute, Chateau Tanunda and Yalumba Wines, the historical beauty of the venues only complemented the many superb wines being offered. The photo above is of one of the tables at the 2009 Barossa Wine Show Exhibitor's Tasting at Yalumba last Friday and the one below is of setting up the tables ready for a divine lunch prepared by Gill Radford (of Radford Wines) after a morning tasting seventy-five different Eden Valley rieslings from thirty-five different producers. The riesling tasting was held on Thursday.

I may be slightly biased but the long
tables set up with the assortment of rieslings, including rare museum stocks, was something to be in awe of and I must admit that I was amazed that there were so many. Although I was incredibly busy for most of the day helping Gill and her staff with the setting up, serving and clearing, I did manage to taste quite a few of the wines (not as many as I would have liked but that may have been near impossible for me anyway!) and must admit that I was completely entranced by this often overlooked variety which is so incredibly special. There is not much that compares to an aged riesling in respect to softness and I think a lot of the media present agreed.