Imbued with a noticeable purity, Dominique Portet’s Fontaine Cabernet expertly captures in a single bottle the expression of both the Portet family’s impressive Bordeaux history, and the unique characteristics of the particular corner of the Yarra Valley from whence it came.
It all culminates in an eminently enjoyable and exquisitely bound intermingling of flavour, texture and structure which has been turning heads since its debut vintage, earning accolades aplenty. It is rare that we come across a wine where the measure of value tips so unbelievably in the wine lover’s favour. But so it is here. Finely structured, medium-bodied, and elegant to the core, to call it a ‘bargain’ would be to undermine its masterful quality. And yet, that is what it is. A beautiful, bewildering bargain.
(86/6/5/2/1% cabernet sauvignon/merlot/cabernet franc/petit verdot/malbec. Quite what a classy Yarra Valley cabernet-dominant blend is doing at this price is beyond me. It is elegant, medium bodied and finely structured, the suite of red/blackcurrant fruits given 12 months in French oak (20% new).
95 points, Wine Companion (November 2020)
Top 100 - James Halliday 2020
Gold + 95 points - Class 8 - Best Cabernet Sauvignon
Yarra Valley Wine Show 2020
This has very attractive cassis and blueberry aromas with some violet-like notes, too. There’s a very sleek and polished texture to the palate and such vivid blueberry flavors on offer. The tannins are seamless, even and polished and the acidity is pitched into the freshly balanced zone.
95 points, JamesSuckling.com (July 2021)
Medium-bodied, nutty with a slight liquorice edge, blackcurrant and redcurrant, supple tannin, maybe even ripe raspberry. Lovely balance and juiciness to it, even-tempered and excellent to drink. Almost like a Cabernet Franc in its lightness and hedgerow perfumed appeal. Hard not to think this is not only excellent drinking, but something of a bargain too.
93 points, The Wine Front (December 2020)
Yarra ValleyThe Yarra Valley was first planted by the Ryrie brothers who explored a way through the Snowy Mountains to the Yarra Valley, planting grapes in 1838 just three years after the foundation of Melbourne. A wine industry (developed by Swiss Settlers particularly Hubert de Castella and Baron Guillaume de Pury in the 1850s) thrived during the gold rush era and heyday of the 19th century. However, the end of the gold rush brought the wine industry into decline and it was not until the 1970’s that the modern wine industry started up again. The region is probably Australia’s best-known cool-climate area, yet it is really a patchwork of meso-climates. This varied topography creates an incredible set of variables. Vineyards are planted on elevations of 50 to 400m on varying aspects and management programmes. The more exposed sites are subject to severe spring frosts and winds. Overall, the area experiences a relatively high rainfall pattern and is known for its temperature extremes during ripening. Site selection is crucial, with the best vineyards often located where the original vines were once planted, generally on sandy clay loams and gravels. The Yarra Valley is well known for high quality Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Blends with Shiraz increasingly garnering attention. Sparkling wine production is also extremely important, with many of Australia’s finest examples produced in the region.