A fitting tribute

Coombe Farm has named a number of its premium wines after Dame Nellie Melba and the quality of these offerings makes for a fitting tribute – especially the sparkling varieties.

NV Sparkling: OUR PICK FOR BEST VALUE WINE. After averaging our scores for this wine, we decided it was just shy of the score we awarded the 2014 Nellie Melba Blanc de Blanc (see next entry) and given the price difference between the two, this wine represents excellent value for money. 80% Chardonnay, 20% Pinot Noir, the finish on this wine is what really makes a statement – it is flawless! $30 per bottle.

2014 “Nellie Melba” Blanc de Blanc: An amazing tribute to an amazing Australian. This wine has colour and depth that make the NV look very average. The mouthfeel is decidedly bigger too, but the NV largely holds its own on taste and complexity which is quite a statement. As with the NV Sparkling, the finish is perfect. $50 per bottle.

2018 Pinot Gris: Some critics would argue, with good reason, that this is a very good Pinot Gris. I am not going to disagree, but the line between Pinot Gris and Chardonnay are blurring with this offering. The typical Pinot Gris apple and pear flavours are not so pronounced, hiding behind the creaminess of flavour (which is nonetheless excellent) which may allow this wine to be confused for a (partially) oaked Chardonnay. Still a high quality wine. $25 per bottle.

2018 “Polo” Chardonnay: This missed out on being our pick for best white by ONE POINT when we tallied our scores. To be clear, this wine rated in the high 90s on our 100-point scale (and unlike other critics, we put our pass-mark at 80, not 85 so 90-plus really is a big statement). The creamy texture is everything you want in a Chardonnay; the only fault being a little bit too much acid in the finish, which may disappear with some cellar time. $28 per bottle.

2016 Farm Chardonnay: OUR PICK FOR BEST WHITE. Maybe it was the use of 100% French oak (not sure how much was new) but the only flaws we could find in this wine were in the sight (the colour is not as brilliant as some Chardonnay’s we have seen) and the nose which wasn’t as intense as some we have tried. All in all though, the palate is beautiful and the finish is simply flawless. $37 per bottle.

2017 “Tribute” Chardonnay: The nose on this wine is notably weaker than the Farm Chardonnay (maybe due to the one less year in bottle, but certainly not only for this reason). Certainly a very nice wine, but compared to the previous two examples of this variety, there seemed to be a few aspects lacking expression. $50 per bottle.

2017 Coombe Farm Pinot Noir: OUR PICK FOR BEST RED. Restrained elegance in a bottle. Silky tannins yet perfectly structured, this wine is simply amazing. A real credit to the winery and the area. Whether or not it is our favourite Pinot Noir from the Yarra Valley is a question we now want to answer (other candidates include Giant Steps Applejack Vineyard, Boat O’ Craigo, Helen & Joey). $37 per bottle.

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