Rees Miller Estate

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The Rees Miller Vineyard near Yea

The other day we had a wonderful funghi porcini pasta for dinner in Glenburn at our vineyard. I selected the wine and decided to try a wine from our region, the Upper Goulburn Wine Region. The ‘2004 Cotton’s Pinch Merlot of Rees Miller Estate’ which Sylke Rees had swapped with us at last years Alexandra Food and Wine Expo for a bottle of our 2004 Two Hills Merlot seemed to be the right wine for this occasion.

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Charlotte, Lucy and Margit enjoying the family meal

And indeed a great wine it was. It matched the strong and intensive aromas of the mushrooms in the pasta perfectly. The wine was of a beautiful dark red colour. It displayed rich flavours of blackberry and other forest fruit. The wine has a full body, its tannins are soft and it has a long finish. It was just perfect. What a delight.

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The 2004 Cotton’s Pinch Merlot of Rees Miller Estate

We decided on the spot that we should go and visit the Rees Miller Estate the next day. After the wine tasting class of the Alexandra Wine and Food Expo David Miller had invited us to visit but so far we were unable to follow the kind invitation. So, off we went the next day. It was the last day of the year and very, very hot.

However, Christmas time is not a good time for unexpected visits. When we entered the cellar door we had to find out that Sylke and David had gone for a holiday to Tasmania.

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The Rees Miller cellar door

Rees Miller Estate (www.reesmiller.com) is located about 3 km to the East of Yea, a small country town in Central Victoria, about a 30 minutes drive from our vineyard in Glenburn. It was a hot day and we intended just to say hello and buy some more bottles of this excellent Merlot. When we found out that Sylke and David were not there we decided on a tasting. The woman in the tasting shed, I think Anne was her name, led us through the wines. We started with the Chardonnay (sourced from another location), always a good drink at a hot day, and than we went straight into the reds. The ‘2003 Wolter’s Run Merlot’ was, unfortunately for us, sold out. We tried the 2004 Wilhelmina Pinot Noir, the ‘2004 Cotton’s Pinch Merlot’, the ‘2004 Sier’s Field Cabernet Sauvignon’, the ‘2004 Thousand Hills Shiraz’ and the ‘2006 Reserve Shiraz’ (also Thousand Hills). I will not bother you with tasting notes here. Needless to say they were all excellent and delicious wines. Needless to say, we took a couple of bottles home for “further tests”.

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The Rees Miller wine list

I suggest you visit the website of Rees Miller which is very informative. It starts with a kind of mission statement.

– “Serious about the environment, passionate about wine” –

Environmental concerns are at the centre of the Rees Miller philosophy. In 2007 Rees Miller became certified as a biodynamic property and ever since they produce biodynamic wines. The prejudice, that organic wines are more expensive than conventional produced ones, does not hold true (as you can see from the cellar door price list above).

The above mentioned 2003 Thousand Hills Shiraz has been placed as one of the 20 best Shiraz wines of Australia (in the Great Australian Shiraz Challenge). Fortunately for biodynamic and other organic producers Central Victoria is a very rural region without any serious industrial and/or other polluters around. Around Yea the summers are also rather hot so that disease pressure is comparatively low.

There are quite a few biological and biodynamic certified wine producers in the Upper Goulburn Wine Region (www.uppergoulburnwine.org.au), and many other products are produced in an environmental friendly way. Rees Miller sell some of
these in their cellar door. The picture below depicts some of them on offer.

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For sale: Various organic products are nicely presented

If you are touring around Yea, a visit at the Rees Miller Estate should be on your ‘to-do-list’. We will certainly come back to say hello and buy some more Merlot and Shiraz, and maybe some of the other wines on offer.

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