Boat O’ Craigo winery – Yarra Valley
If you keep driving through Healesville in an easterly direction you will eventually find this beauty of a cellar door. Open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from around 11, this place has a great range at great prices.
Sparkling – 2012 Methode Traditionelle: A pinot noir/chardonnay blend with brilliant colour, very bubbly! Our only concern was that the palate was a touch acidic, which means we probably need to cellar it for a few years (we bought a few cases to test). Nice long finish. An exemplary Yarra Valley sparkling wine. $36 per bottle.
2018 Gewürztraminer: A very nice clean white wine. Very fresh with a palate of white nectarine. $22 per bottle.
2018 Pinot Gris: We’ve been seeing a lot of Pinot Gris/Grigio recently, and it is starting to find a regular place on our “buy” lists so we were very keen to try a Yarra Valley example. We weren’t disappointed! Pear on the nose, this wine is crisp, not too acidic and some nice minerality lingering. $22 per bottle.
2018 Sauvignon Blanc: Memories of the Mornington Peninsula are brought up with this wine. Passionfruit comes through in the palate as the flavour just continues to build. An excellent example of this variety. $22 per bottle.
2017 Chardonnay: OUR CONSENSUS PICK FOR BEST WHITE. Matured in 40% new French oak, this beauty of a wine is surprisingly intense from the nose to the flavour, which is full of good fruit and leaves you wanting more (so we bought a case!) Will probably improve with time, but excellent drinking right now. $28 per bottle.
2017 Pinot Noir: The 2016 Pinot Noir has not been available for quite some time, thanks to many favourable reviews, and the consensus from the cellar door staff is that the 2017 was possibly a better wine. Soft and smooth, in the way the best Yarra Valley Pinot Noirs can be, this has some strawberry notes mixed throughout. An excellent wine. $30 per bottle.
2016 Black Cameron Shiraz: The winery makes two different Shiraz offerings, the Black Cameron being the cheaper option. A lovely cool climate shiraz but the tannins are a bit strong at this point and some time in the cellar is needed to soften them. Very drinkable nonetheless. $30 per bottle.
2016 First Dukes Reserve Shiraz: Unlike the other wines from Boat O’ Craigo, this is kept under diam cork and then wax-sealed. From the first pour (you need to pay to taste this wine, but it is worth it!) the extra depth of colour is immediately obvious and the clever use of new and used oak gives another level of flavour. The group was split on this one, so we bought it anyway. By a narrow vote this just missed being our pick of the red wines. $55 per bottle.
2016 Cabernet Sauvignon: OUR CONSENSUS PICK FOR BEST RED. Although it lacks the “leafy” nose of some Yarra Valley Cabernets, this still has a complex savoury nose, just inviting you in for the taste. The red fruit flavour is brilliant and the savoury flavours are expertly integrated making for a very satisfying experience. The value for money here is amazing. $30 per bottle.