SARAH Crowe has soared this year to a pinnacle of Australian winemaking, and it's thanks in no small measure to skills forged in the Hunter Valley.
Sarah, the Yarra Yering winemaker-general manager, was the brightest star of last month's 2022 Halliday Wine Companion Awards, winning the winery of the year and the wine of the year, red wine of the year and cabernet and family wine of the year with the $120-a-bottle Yarra Yering 2019 Dry Red No 1.
A blend of dominant cabernet sauvignon with merlot, malbec and petit verdot, it was described as "mesmerising" by judge Jane Faulkner
To top that off the $275 Yarra Yering 2019 Carrodus Cabernet Sauvignon took the cabernet sauvignon of the year title and was a close runner-up as red wine of the year.
Sarah is no stranger to Wine Companion triumphs, in 2017 being judged winemaker of the year.
The daughter of a BHP steelworker, born and schooled in Wollongong, Sarah became a TAFE-trained horticulturist working on the South Coast.
IN THE NEWS:
Touring great French wine regions in a 1999 with her sister triggered dreams of a wine career, which was activated on her return home with casual vine management work at Brokenwood.
The Hunter and wine entranced her and she stayed on at Brokenwood, embarking on a Charles Sturt University viticulture degree, studying part-time while working in the vines.
She then spent six weeks in the Brokenwood winery during the 2002 vintage - an experience that lured her into winemaking and in 2004 to the post of Brokenwood assistant winemaker.
In 2009 she won the Hunter Wine Awards Rising Star of the Year title and moved to Swish Wines as chief winemaker, then in 2010 joined Bimbadgen.
In addition she honed her talents doing vintages overseas in Oregon in the United States, and France's Rhone Valley.
In 2013 she took up the Yarra Valley winemaking job at Yarra Yering, founded in 1969 by Bailey Carrodus.
A trained botanist, Bailey was a CSIRO scientist, held an Oxford plant physiology doctorate and was a pioneer of the restoration of Yarra winemaking after its demise from phylloxera in the 1890s.
Yarra Yering's first wines were released in 1973 and over the next 35 years established a great reputation.
After Bailey's death in 2008, Yarra Yering's winery and 112 hectares of vines were bought in 2009 by a group of investment bankers, with Sarah and her team committed to the standards of excellence set by Bailey Carrodus.
WINE OF YEAR BLEND
A SUBLIME mix of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, malbec and petit verdot, the Yarra Yering 2019 Dry Red Wine No 1 has bright garnet hues, 13.5% alcohol and berry pastille and bay leaf scents. The front palate shows vibrant blackcurrant flavour, a middle palate of blueberry, anise, spice and mocha oak and a finish of silky earthy tannins.
DRINK WITH: fillet mignon.
AGEING: 15 years.
RATING: 5.5 stars (out of 6)
BY A whisker I rate this captivating Yarra Yering 2019Carrodus Cabernet Sauvignon above the 2019 Dry Red Wine No 1. Glowing purple-tinted crimson, it features 13.5% alcohol, cassis and potpourri scents and intense blackberry front-palate flavour. The middle has cherry, bramble jelly, mint and savoury oak and a dusty tannin finish.
DRINK WITH: duck a l'orange.
AGEING: 18 years.
RATING: 6 stars
THE Yarra Yering 2019Chardonnay and today's other two wines are at yarrayering.com and the Briarity Rd, Gruyere, winery. With green-tinted straw hues, lime zest scents and crisp grapefruit front palate flavour, this 2019 chardonnay shows fig, green apple, lemongrass and cashew oak on the middle and flinty acid at the finish.
DRINK WITH: baked blue-eyed cod.
AGEING: nine years.
RATING: 5 stars
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: