A mixed year but some good wines from Western Australia and Victoria
Steady, cool and dry are the words that encapsulate the growing and ripening seasons for most of the quality wine regions in Australias south-east corner for the vintage of 1992. Rainfall tended to remain below average, even in conditions were perhaps more overcast than usual. Yields were sound in most regions.
Most of Australias best red wines came from cooler regions, since the major quality warmer regions like the Barossa and McLaren Vale didnt receive the heat they normally require to deliver their typical concentration and richness. The Eden Valley fared better, producing some intensely flavoured and elegant wines. Further south, it was an excellent season for both cabernets and pinots noirs from the Yarra Valley and shiraz from western and central Victoria.
Despite the season, Rosemounts Balmoral Syrah and Corioles Lloyd Shiraz (both McLaren Vale), plus Yalumbas The Signature Cabernet Shiraz and Eldertons Command Shiraz (both Barossa) all managed to defy the odds. The wine of the vintage was Howard Parks Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot (Great Southern), ably supported by three fine Margaret River cabernets from Moss Wood, Cape Mentelle and Chateau Xanadu (Reserve). Eden Valley stand-outs included Henschkes Hill of Grace and James Irvines sumptuous Grand Merlot. The pick of the Yarra reds were Coldstream Hills Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Yarra Yering Underhill Shiraz, Yeringbergs cabernet blend of the same name, TarraWarra Pinot Noir, Mount Mary Cabernet Quintet and Yarra Burns Cabernet Sauvignon.