Hello, and welcome back.
It’s been quiet here over the last fortnight, with holidays and birthdays taking over proceedings.
Plenty of these (an excellent Range release. Probably my favourite Range Brewing beer in ages)
But enough beers and chill for now; let’s get stuck into the sample pile and this Yangarra High Sands Grenache 2019.
I’m a member of the ‘Yangarra is ace’ club, but after opening this and sitting on it for a few hours, I thought, ‘is this double the quality of the rest of the Yangarra Grenache range?’
Sure, we’re talking different blocks and styles, but when the great Hickinbotham & Ovitelli Grenache releases, are half the price, it’s a valid question.
Firstly though, context. So High Sands is the top of the Yangarra Grenache pinnacle, drawn from the coveted Block 31, which is all old plantings (1946) on sand. An amazing site it is too. Pete Fraser and team are famously detailed in the winery too (right down to the winemaking notes that come with the wine), and this sees the fruit wild fermented, with 50% whole berries, then matured for 11 months in older large oak and ceramic eggs.
You can see the bright whole berry fruit too, and this flow of raspberry cherry brightness through the middle which gives the High Sands gloss and body. It’s just the sense of dried fruit and desiccation that nibbles at the edges that also nibbles at my love for this 2019 release. It weighs down the finish, although with an uptick in tannins, and some alcohol warmth for good measure.
As ever, this is layered, powerful, and seriously top-shelf. But alongside its brethren, this will always be just a little harder than it should be.
Best drinking: ready now, will live a decade but I’d go in the next five years. 18/20, 93/100. 14.5%, $250. Yangarra website. Would I buy it? I’ll take the Hickinbotham and wait for the 2020 release.
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What’s that beach in the photos ? It looks great.