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Hightailing It Down to Hoddles Creek Estate

By Alex Russell Instagram @OzWineGuy on July 22, 2016 in Food

Photo: Alex Russell Instagram @OzWineGuy

Photo: Alex Russell Instagram @OzWineGuy

The D’Anna family set up Hoddles Creek in the Yarra Valley in 1997. They have developed a reputation for producing great quality Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, along with some other interesting drops, including Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Merlot and Cabernet.

The wines are essentially split into three ‘levels’: the 1er (Premier) range, the Estate range and the Wickhams Road range. In 2013, there was also a special release Chardonnay called Syberia, which is now sold out.

Wickhams Road Range

The Wickhams Road range is Hoddles Creek’s entry level label, but don’t let that put you off. They’re listed at about $20 on the Hoddles Creek Estate website (www.hoddlescreekestate.com.au), but can often be found for around $17 a bottle by the dozen at various retailers, especially online.

In this range you’ll find two Chardonnays and two Pinots, one of each from the Yarra, and one of each from Gippsland. This combo really works for me, as some of my favourite wines come from the Yarra, but I’m also seeing a lot of brilliant stuff from Gippsland recently, particularly Pinot Noirs.

Even at the full price of $20 per bottle, these are cracking value in anyone’s book.

Estate Range

In the Estate range you’ll find another Pinot Noir and another Chardonnay, this time for around $23 a bottle (and they currently list some museum releases on their website for $30). The quality steps up another notch, blowing many wine writers away (including me), but the price only takes a small jump. If you’re a Pinot or Chardonnay drinker, consider mixing up a dozen of the Wickhams Road and Estate Pinots and/or Chardies.

There are also a few other interesting drops here including a $23 Pinot Gris, a $20 Cabernet Sauvignon (Yarra Cabernet can be quite underrated), a $22 Pinot Blanc (not too far away in flavour from Pinot Gris, but something a little different – try it with Thai) and a $20 Rosé.

Some of the more interesting drops, like the Pinot Blanc, are sold out, but 2016 wines should only be a few months away. Subscribe to their newsletter for more information.

1er (Premier) Range

The abbreviation ‘1er’ is the French equivalent of ‘1st’ and is often used to denote Premier Cru wines, which are highly regarded wines. The Hoddles Creek 1er wines are also highly regarded.
Here you’ll find another Pinot Blanc for $30. Just buy it. It’s great value and a great opportunity to try something new.

The other wines in the 1er Range are, of course, a Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. These are both $50. Now I know that’s a fair whack for many people, but it’s worth pointing out that the wines are generally given massive point scores in reviews – usually 95 or higher. Points aren’t everything, of course, but when everyone is scoring them high, you know you should go shopping. There are certainly a few of them in my cellar.

It’s worth keeping an eye out for specials, as you can sometimes save a buck or two, but the quality with these wines is so great that even at full price they’re a bargain.

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