Kicking back at Kellybrook

Kellybrook winery & distillery is located on the Warrandyte side of the Yarra Valley and is a reasonably well hidden (except for the street signs to point the way) in what looks like a typical residential area of outer Melbourne. We found the wines to offer quite exceptional value for money (the buy 4 get 1 free offer this month helped things a lot…). The typical range of Yarra Valley whites and reds is on offer, plus a Gewurztraminer for those who are fans of the German varietals.

Yarra Valley Pinot Gris 2017: OUR PICK FOR BEST WHITE. The nose is a bit misleading, more Riesling-like and a bit on the sweet side. The minerality in the palate is very nice, although more typical of the Pinot Grigio style. Amazing fruit and amazing length for such a young white wine. A real bargain at $22 per bottle.

Yarra Valley Gewurztraminer 2015: Not a common grape variety to find in the Yarra Valley, we have seen it at Boat O’ Craigo also, but nowhere else as yet. The colour in the glass is very nice and quite typical of a young Marsanne with the light gold and touch of green. The palate though is a bit underwhelming, with the complexity, fruit and length not really delivering from what was a very promising first sniff and swirl. A reasonable wine, with no major faults, but not one we want to drink again. $22 per bottle.

Yarra Valley Pinot Noir 2017: We have seen this wine on the menu at a few restaurants in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs and so knew there was something positive going on in the glass. The colour is very light (even for a Pinot Noir) – pink with a tinge of orange-brown. The nose is very typical Pinot Noir with some real “earthy” tones. The palate follows close behind and the length is impressive for such a fickle grape variety. We unanimously preferred this to the more expensive Pinot Noir which was interesting (for all of us). $30 per bottle.

Willowlake Reserve Pinot Noir 2017: Still very pink in colour, but a lot less brown colouration when compared to the Yarra Valley Pinot Noir. The nose is a lot less forceful on this wine and the fruit just doesn’t seem to be coming through anywhere near as much. It perhaps needs a few years in the bottle to awaken… $40 per bottle.

Yarra Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016: OUR PICK FOR BEST RED. Referred to by the cellar door staff as the “middle child” that doesn’t make too much fuss and just gets on with their life, this wine is a really excellent example of what cooler climate Cabernet Sauvignon can do when handled skilfully. The nose declares itself as a Cabernet, backing up the near perfect colour and clarity. Some good “earthy” flavours in the palate as well. It was really close between this and the Shiraz, with the main distinction being the colour quality was better in the Cabernet. $27 per bottle.

Yarra Valley Shiraz 2016: Brilliant red-black colour in the glass, but not quite as brilliantly mauve as the Cabernet Sauvignon. There is something odd in the nose here; after some discussion we decided that “pickled onions” was the best description. The palate is very soft for a Shiraz, but in this wine it really works since the tannins are so well structured. The fruit is present, but not forcefully so, keeping a good balance through the smooth finish. $27 per bottle.

Estate Shiraz 2016: More fruit in the palate than the cheaper Shiraz, but not quite as pleasant a finish on this wine. The elements of a quality Shiraz are all there, but somehow the ultra-fine tannins detract from the complexity of the palate and reduce the overall satisfaction that this wine brings. Still a very good Shiraz. $35 per bottle.

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