The 2001 vintage in the Yarra Valley was considered demanding by many. Healthy spring rains replenished water supplies and promoted good early growth. The remainder of the growing season was hot and dry, allowing excellent flavor development.
Although the vintage period was difficult with the periodic rains, Sticks' vintages were harvested on the basis of flavor ripeness and acid balance and, as a result, were generally unaffected by the weather. This has allowed them to make wonderfully approachable wines with plenty of flavor.
Maturations was initially on light lees in new and seasoned French oak, then racked and returned to oak for extended oak maturation.
The color is garnet red with purple tinges. The bouquet displays cherry, plum and spice, enhanced by subtle oak. The palate possess rich and savory berry fruits, enhanced by velvet-like tannins and a lingering mid-palate texture.
Medium term cellaring for 2-4 years will add complexity and enhance mouth feel.
Winemaker Rob "Sticks" Dolan crafts these wines from fruit grown on premium vineyards in Victoria's Yarra Valley. Rob Dolan's career began in South Australia, where he learned the art of making wine from the ground up. He developed and refined his skills under the instruction of two of Australia's most distinguished teachers. It was during this time that the budding winemaker and towering sportsman, known as "Sticks", was also a dual premiership player for the Port Adelaide Football Club.
In 1991, Rob Dolan became the winemaker at Yarra Ridge. The small family winery provided Rob with the opportunity to experiment, which enabled him to hone his winemaking skills. His efforts were immediately recognized on the international show circuit. Rob proceeded to plant his first "Sticks" grapes in the mid 1980's. The goal at Sticks is to provide today's drinker with immensely satisfying wines at affordable prices.
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A short drive from Melbourne, Yarra Valley is the oldest and most successful of Victoria's wine growing regions. The cool climate of the area makes it suitable for the popular varieties of Pinot Noir & Chardonnay. Shiraz also thrives, and produces elegant and restrained versions of the varietal.
Producers in Yarra Valley have hit their stride when it comes to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Instead of striving to make wine like Burgundy or California, winemakers are crafting a Yarra Valley style, letting the grapes and the soil do the talking. Getting better each year, Yarra Valley is a region to watch.
Like the United States, which is about the same size, Australia's winemaking regions are huddled into one or two pockets of the country. The state of South Australia, which produces about 60% of the country's wine, also has the most wineries and sub-regions, including McLaren Vale, Clare Valley, Coonawarra and Barossa Valley. New South Wales is home to the Hunter Valley, while the smaller, southern state of
Victoria is best known for theYarra Valley. Head way west to the very large state of Western Australia and you'll find the tiny region of Margaret River at the southern tip.
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.