He's a terrific communicator. His words are measured, as are his scores out of 100. It's why, when Campbell rates wines I tend to seek them out.
The wines of Little Yarra, a tiny Brand in Yarra Valley's dress-circle, both received 95 points from Campbell recently....which equates to 97+ for many other scribes. Happily, Matt Pattison (owner / winemaker) sent me samples and my notes are below.
While I cannot claim to have discovered these wines, I can confirm that I am stocking them!
2015 Little Yarra Chardonnay - $240 (6 pack)
This wines screams of its youth when poured – pale with that green tinge of “great” young chardonnay.
Aromatics are driven by white stone fruits – peaches and nectarines. I like the oak a lot but it’s just one track on the album.
There’s a “solidsy” sulfidic funk which is highly sought after – I love this, especially when understated and “clean”.
This is an extremely intense expression of the variety....linear and acid-driven, but unmistakably chardonnay.
Palate-crushing grapefruit – it’s astonishingly refreshing and demands you re-visit the wine. Energy and life leaps from it – the “cleansing” notion is over-used in the industry, but this wine sits firmly in the cold G&T category.
Even as it warms in the glass – the grapefruit holds its grip. It speaks more of site; a cool climate; and philosophy, than it does of the Yarra Valley. I think it is sensational.
2015 Little Yarra Pinot Noir - $240 (6 pack)
I’m never inclined to go into “colour” on pinots, as looks tend to deceive.
Aromatically – where to start? Black and red cherries; teases of cinnamon and dried mixed herbs; a sapid / stalky / bunchy Campariness at play. Oak adds spice and sinew.
An almost identical story told on the palate, with the added details of sour-cherry acidity and a Volnay-esque chalkiness on the finish. The winemaking behind this is masterful. It’s compelling; it unravels in the glass; it is as complete as any young Australian Pinot Noir I've tried in the last decade.
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I tried the wines of Mitchell Harris when they unleashed their first babies in 2008.
At that time, I'd just opened the Union Bank Wine Store in Orange, NSW. I was looking for wines that celebrated the regions from which they came, and producers who understood and appreciated the importance of quality focused, (V)independent retail stores.