The Thursday Tipple – 2009 Yarrh Cabernet Shiraz

by C.A. Bonham

Yaaaarrh! You scurvy dog!

Ok, we got that out of our system. Even a Canberran can’t escape the need to talk like a pirate whilst drinking Yarrh Vineyard wines. However to have their wines known purely for a painfully obvious pirate-reference would be a damn shame.

Based just outside Murrumbateman, Yarrh are single vineyard, individual and really doing their own thing. Yarrh wines are an honest representation of their vineyard, year in and year out. Visiting their unique cellar-door is a great opportunity to taste wines that don’t taste like anything else. Yarrh isn’t trying to be like any other vineyard, follow trends or dumb things down for us… let’s check it out.

Canberrans understand that whilst we are moving into Summer, in fact we still have this late-November cold-snap to get through. So ideally we’d be talking about cool, crisp whites; we instead are still in red country (like that’s a bad thing!). This cold & wind might stop us going for a jog around Lake Burley Griffin (let’s face it, it’s too cold to be out running). Although it won’t stop us from participating in one of the greatest Aussie traditions known to Canberrans… the BBQ. It’s getting to summer, albeit slowly and at lower temperatures than we’d like… but damn you we want our barbie!!  And what does a BBQ need during some colder weather? The 2010 Yarrh Shiraz Cabernet, that’s what!

Primarily Cabernet (80/20), it’s really up there for a Canberra Cabernet. Whilst many Canberra reds lean towards being soft and delicate… this is gruff. Dark berry notes, spice and solid tannins that rest in the corners of your mouth… this is truly a wine that lingers and keeps giving without being overpowering. It’s not overly chalky & dry like Cabernet can sometimes be (the 20% Shiraz is doing a good job of giving the wine body and smoothing it out nicely. This sweet but dusty little number matches up beautifully with roasted meats, sharp & peppery flavours. In love…

We’ll apologise now for taking such an intriguing, individually-crafted wine and basically calling it ‘BBQ wine’. That’s not what we mean at all. This wine would be perfectly at home with a Beef Bourgogne, rabbit pot pie or that spectacular goat parpadelle they do at Belluccis. However, we’re coming into BBQ weather and this spunky little number matches up really well with strong flavours. Get to it, Canberrans!

Bon Vivant.