Coombe Farm is situated in the Yarra Valley outside of Coldstream, and has approximately 60 hectares of vines planted. I looked at their 2012 pinot noir and 2012 cabernet merlot together, 2012 being a strong vintage in the Yarra Valley.
It has always struck me as something of an oddity that the Yarra Valley region can, in some cases more than credibly if the wines of the great names of the Yarra Valley are borne in mind, produce both cabernet sauvignon based and pinot noir wines from broadly similar sites. Pinot noir of course is early ripening, happiest in a cool climate and site and famously capricious in its viticultural attributes, while cabernet sauvignon is late ripening and mostly requires a warmer climate and site to show its best. The nearby Mornington Peninsula started its re-birth in the 1970s with cabernet sauvignon initially favoured due perhaps to its maritime aspect appearing Bordeaux like. Mostly, and probably sensibly, however, cabernet sauvignon has been mostly abandoned in that region in favour of pinot noir.
In the case of these two wines from Coombe Farm, this pattern is repeated. I found myself shaking my head a little with the cabernet merlot which I tasted first, only to be almost taken aback by the quality of the pinot noir. The latter if not already the favoured child, is certainly meriting of that status on this tasting.
Coombe Farm Pinot Noir 2012
A between pale and medium intensity ruby in colour, Coombe Farm’s 2012 pinot noir has near pronounced aromatics of cherries, spices and earth, each with a certain lift. On the palate, there is medium acid, medium length and savoury flavours of cherries, cured deli meats and spices. Overall, I thought this to be a good quality and interesting Yarra Valley pinot noir due to its balance of fruit flavours and the complexity of its expression of cherry, spice and deli meats. Ready to drink now, this pinot noir can be drunk over the next 3 to 5 years. Good
Coombe Farm Cabernet Merlot 2012
I wasn’t as pleased with Coombe Farm’s cabernet merlot from the 2012 vintage. A medium to pronounced intensity ruby in colour, it opens to clean aromatics of bay leaf, raw fresh redcurrants and cedar. The palate is dry, with high acid, dry tannins, short length and somewhat brief expressions of redcurrant and ever present bay leaf. Overall, ready to drink over the next couple of years, I felt this to be an acceptable quality wine due to its balance of expression. It however presented rather simply, lacking the length and depth of flavour that might be expected at this price point. Acceptable
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