Welcome to the big league. This is Yarra Cabernet of the utmost finesse made by one of the most talented winemakers in the region. It's still one of the unsung varieties of the Yarra but this cool climate Cabernet is one for the long haul.
The 864 range represents the very pinnacle of Oakridge winemaking and are critically acclaimed and very collectable. This displays curranty aromas with notes of cedar and vanillin oak before a palate of black fruit and toasty oak. It's structured with even tannins before a cedary persistence on the finish.
Bright, dark purple red. Classic cabernet nose of cassis and blackberry underpinned with varietal leaf notes, earth and cigar box nuance. Unmistakable, fresh and bright. To taste, it is polished and proportioned. Even, filigreed, lacy tannin right across the palate from start to finish displaying blackcurrant, briar and tobacco leaf. The plummy richness contrasted by the raspberry like freshness. Line and length. Delicious, fragrant medium bodied and supple.
Oakridge was first setup in 1978 as what was originally a family company. By the turn of the century the label was gobbled up by a large Australian wine company (where it flailed) until being taken back into family hands with the talented David Bicknell on winemaking duties in 2002. Since then Oakridge - and David Bicknell - has garnered a reputation as one of our finest Chardonnay makers, with a particularly handy Pinot and Shiraz or two also in the Oakridge portfolio Oakridge is all about the Yarra Valley, and particularly the Upper Yarra where it sources much of it's fruit from. The range starts with the Over the Shoulder wines which are designed as food friendly entry-level drops that would likely find a home on wine lists around the nation. The next step up is the Estate wines, and Local Vineyard Series, which serve to highlight several different vineyards around the Yarra. Finally, the top tier is the 864 wines, including a single vineyard Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, with the Chardonnay in particular regarded as one of Australia's finer modern whites.
This notches up in terms of freshness and fragrance on the nose, as well as a greater sense of definition and clarity on the palate. Aromas of leaves and red berries meet cassis, darker purple fruits and gently cedary nuances. The finish has smooth, long and fine tannins, which sustain without wavering. An impressive medium-bodied cabernet. Drink or hold.'
JAMES HALLIDAY - HALLIDAY'S WINE COMPANION
The 864 releases are always small volume wines, but this year the yields (and the release) was miniscule. Vinification options were damned if you do, damned if you don't when it came to extraction. I'm far from convinced about the choice adopted by David Bicknell, but his long track record of success can't be ignored.'