Wining and dining in the Yarra Valley

By
Sarah Gamboni
Added
07 January, 2016

Fabulous food and wine combine at Yering Station in the Yarra Valley, as we discovered when we sampled their new menu.

Yering Station

Just over an hour’s drive from Melbourne, the Yarra Valley has become my go-to for weekend getaways, one-day winery tours, and long, boozy lunches (with a designated driver, naturally).

For winery dining with a view, it’s hard to go past Yering Station in Yarra Glen. Victoria’s oldest winery is home to an historic cellar door and contemporary restaurant, which is still scoring architectural plaudits almost 20 years after it was built.

Yering Station cellar door

On a recent visit, hosted by Yering Station, I joined winemaker Willy Lunn for a wine tasting in the Devaux Room, followed by lunch with Brad Rathbone in the restaurant. The tasting kicked off with the 2010 Yarrabank Cuvée (sold out, I'm afraid), an elegant sparkling with crunchy acidity, green apple pep, and a creamy mouthfeel thanks to four years on lees. “I pick on flavour, rather than acid,” said Willy. “We’re not out to make Champagne, we’re just trying to make great Australian sparkling wine.” Mission accomplished, I’d say.

Next up Willy poured a pair of chardonnays. With its flinty, mineral aromas, and crisp palate of grapefruit pith acidity and a gentle lick of smoke, the 2012 Yering Station Chardonnay ($40) is my kind of chardonnay. Still quite taught and reserved on the nose, the 2013 Yering Station Reserve Chardonnay ($120) is one for the ages, with length and drive that will ensure its longevity, and body courtesy of mid-palate sweetness.

The pinot noirs are similarly en pointe, starting with the perfumed 2012 Yering Station Pinot Noir ($40), with its nose of black cherries and violets, followed by the 2013 Reserve Pinot Noir ($12). Made with 100 per cent whole berries (and very little whole bunch), the Reserve has savoury, briary notes, bright cherries and plums on the palate, and supple, silky tannins.

Another standout in the Yering cellar is the shiraz viognier. “In the Valley, shiraz can be a bit skeletal, a bit boney,” says Willy. “Viognier adds that body and plushness.” Willy's co-ferment of the two grapes, plus astute site selection, has resulted in wines that balance pepper and cooking spice with black fruits and floral perfume.

Tasting complete, it was over to the restaurant for lunch with Brad, where chef Tom Johnston presented his new summer menu.

Yering Station goat curd

Freshly made goat’s curd with a rubble of beetroot couscous, hazelnuts, radish and snow pea sprouts held a clever surprise: those ruby nubs that looked like pomegranate were actually sweet little pops of compressed strawberry. The earthiness of the beet and the lactic tang of the goat’s curd married well with the still-bright 2002 Yering Station Chardonnay.

Yering Station trout

For his next summer-perfect starter, Tom sourced Wilhelmina trout from the nearby town of Murrundindi. He brushed the trout with miso then torched it to a burnished, nutty glaze, before finishing the dish with a delicate horseradish foam, crisp kale leaves and freshly plucked herbs from the kitchen garden. To match, the bone-dry 2015 Village Nebbiolo Rosé.

Yering Station duck

Main course was blushing-pink duck breast and a crimson-hued collection of pureed and pickled beetroots, wafers of rhubarb and dollops of duck liver paté, the tart sweetness of the beets and ‘barb cutting through the richness of the duck. The 2012 Yering Station Pinot Noir was the pitch-perfect wine match to this flavourful dish.

Yering Station pavlova

To finish, Tom’s pavlova with charred stone fruit and roasted pineapple sorbet could well be my favourite dessert of the season. Not too sweet, and loaded with local berries, scorched meringue and the subtly smoky fruits, it was a triumph with the aromatic, tropical fruited 2015 Yering Station Cane Cut Viognier.

Yering Station
38 Melba Hwy, Yarra Glen

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