Regions > Victoria >Port Phillip zone >Yarra Valley region

: Coldstream Hills

Regions

Coldstream Hills

www.coldstreamhills.com.au

31 Maddens Lane, Coldstream, 3770

Cellar Door: Daily (10-5)

Ph: (03) 5964 9410

Coldstream Hills
Coldstream Hills cellar door

The famous winery founded in 1985 by Yarra Valley's third wave, Pinot Noir pioneer and Australia's most living wine treasure, the writer and judge James Halliday.

Halliday at the time was a Sydney lawyer and an active partner in a Hunter Valley vineyard, Brokenwood. He moved to take up a partnership in his law firm in Melbourne and severed his connection with Brokenwood.

Two years later, he and his wife, Suzanne, bought Coldstream Hills, which includes nearly 16 hectares of land with spectacular 270 degrees views of the valley. Thus started their Yarra wine-making journey with the Burgundian Chardonnay and Pinot Noir building the international prestige of the region.

In 1988 the winery was floated on the stock exchange with the Hallidays retaining a controlling interest. Southcorp acquired the winery in 1996 but Halliday continues to be involved as a consultant in the wine-making. Southcorp has since been swallowed up by Fosters. Andrew Fleming, with experience at Lindemans, Seppelt Great Western as well as France and California, is the chief winemaker.

The Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are the principal focii but it is also making some rather classy Merlot, Cabernet, Viognier, Shiraz and Sauvignon Blanc.

View from the balcony at Coldstream Hills
View from the balcony at Coldstream Hills
lunch
Lunch platter on the balcony (photo: genxywines)
Tasting Notes

There are three types of Tasting notes:

(W) Notes from the winery (blurbs from bottle)

(GXY) Notes from a GenXY wine reviewer

(G) Notes from GenXY's Tasting events (collective opinions)

New reviews

Coldstream Hills Deer Farm Vineyard Pinot Noir 2015

Purchased: Not ($50)

Drink: 2025

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2016, from the Upper Yarra Valley, MV6 clone, some whole bunch inclusion,  quite perfumed showing supple red cherry and blueberry with bay leaf, herbs, and lavender florals, the expansive palate is supple and medium bodied with chalky minerality, firm spine of acidity and seasoned French oak (****1/2)

Coldstream Hills The Esplanade Pinot Noir 2015

Purchased: Not ($50 )

Drink: 2025

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2016, Lower Yarra Valley, MV6 clone, fragrant and powerful black cherry, blueberry and dark plum with sage and pot pourri florals, plush and concentrated palate shows whole bunch herbs, earthiness, talcy minerality and persistent savoury tannins (****1/2)

Coldstram Hills Hazeldene Pinot Noir 2015

Purchased: Not ($50)

Drink: 2025

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2016, from the Upper Yarra Valley, fragrant red cherry, raspberry and redcurrant with bright lavender florals, medium bodied and silky, talcy palate with fine savoury tannins and sappy acidity (****)

Coldstream Hills Chardonnay  2015

Purchased: Not ($35)

Drink: 2022

(GXY) Tasting: Sept 2016, mix of Upper and Lower Yarra Valley fruit, perfumed white peach, lemon barley and melon with a touch of nougat barrel fermentation character, mealy and medium-full bodied with balanced cashew-cedar oak on the slaty finish (****)

Coldstream Hilla Pinot Noir 2015

Purchased: Not ($35)

Drink: 2022

(GXY) Tasting: Sept 2016, floral and supple red cherry and raspberry with rose petal notes, lithe and medium bodied with a touch of talciness, lingering dusty  tannins with vanilla/cinnamon oak and good length (****)

Coldstream Hills Sparkling Pinot Chardonnay 2011

Purchased: Not ($40)

Drink: 2017

(GXY) Tasting: Sept 2016, from the Deer Farm Viineyard in the Upper Yarra, 3 years on lees,  lime and apple with lemon pastry, honey and brioche notes, linear with slate undertones,  the cold vintage has helped the raciness of the style (****)

Coldstream Hills Reserve Pinot Noir 2013

Purchased: Not ($90)

Drink: 2028

(GXY) Tasting: Dec 2015, MV6 clones from the original 1985=88 vines, powerful and tightly packed black cherry and satsuma plum with rose petal florals and asian spice with some whole bunch savouriness and game nuances, long and linear with firmly structured pliant tannins, long cellaring style  (*****)

Coldstream Hills The Esplanade Pinot Noir 2013

Purchased: Not ($50)

Drink: 2022

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2014, Gold Medal at Royal Melbourne Wine Show 2014, named after St. Kilda’s legendary rock pub, MV6 clone, from the Syme Vineyard, fragrant, powerful, foresty and expansive cherry, plum and blueberry with anise, sage and pot pourri floral notes, dusty and medium bodied with earthiness and substantial whole bunch aspect, the French oak is well balanced (*****)

Coldstream Hills Reserve Chardonnay 2012

Purchased: Not ($60)

Drink: 2022+

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2014, powerful nose and palate, long and tangy showing nectarine, lemon sherbet, white flowers, matchstick and melon wrapped up in grapefruit acidity, shows plenty of elegance alongside the power, creamy vanilla/toasted nuts/cinnamon from the French oak (*****)

Coldstream Hills Reserve Pinot Noir 2012

Purchased: Not ($85)

Drink: 2026+

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2014, Gold Medal at Royal Adelaide Wine Show, aromatics are floral but a touch demure given the power of the palate, muscular and brooding black cherry and dark plums with violet, sage, cajun spices and anise notes, some whole bunch complexity and beetroot earthiness, vibrant orange peel acidity, firm tannic structure, has the balance for long haul cellaring (*****)

Coldstream Hills Rising Vineyard Chardonnay 2013

Purchased: Cellar Door ($45)

Drink: 2020

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2014, from St. Andrews on the Diamond Valley end of the region, riper style showing generous and fragrant yellow peach, nectarine and honey dew melon with white flower, herb and honey notes, slaty minerality and tangy grapefruit acidity and spicy vanilla/cashew oak, the palate is long and expansive (****1/2)

Coldstream Hills Reserve Shiraz 2012

Purchased: Cellar Door ($50)

Drink: 2021

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2014, fragrant cool climate-style, silky and pure mulberry, plums and blackberry with violet, sage and pepper notes, savoury and medium bodied with smoky bacon/cedar oak, fine-grained tannin and crunchy acidity (****1/2)

Coldstream Hills Deer Farm Chardonnay 2013

Purchased: Not ($45)

Drink: 2020

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2014, from the Upper Yarra, long and focussed lemon sherbet, peach and lime with white floral and nougat notes, flinty with some schisty minerality, crunchy pink grapefruit acidity with savoury smoked bacon/cashew oak (****1/2)

Coldstream Hills Sparkling Pinot Noir Chardonnay 2011

Purchased: Not ($35)

Drink: 2017

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2014, from south facing slopes (away from the sun) on the Deer Farm vineyard at Gladysdale, 3 years on lees before disgorgement, focussed white peach and nectarine with brioche autolysis complexity, good length with some sea spray on the finish, bright lemony acidity and fine bead (****)

Coldstream Hills Rising Vineyard Chardonnay 2011

Purchased: Not ($49)

Drink: 2018

(GXY) Tasting: Feb 2013, continuing the post-2009 revival of single vineyard releases, focussed and lightly creamy lemon zest, nectarine and lime, linear and savoury style built on a backbone of schisty mineral acidity, very good length with tightly integrated spicy oak (*****)

Coldstream Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2012

Purchased: Not ($33)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: Feb 2013, partial barrel ferment, flavoursome and well controlled passionfruit, lime, lychee and cut grass flavours with some spicy notes but nothing pungent or overly herbaceous, fine chalky texture with mandarin rind acidity (***1/2)

Coldstream Hills Merlot 2011

Purchased: Not ($35)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: Feb 2013, good aromatics, fleshy, savoury and medium bodied plumcake and cassis with mint, violet, olive and brown spices, fruit finishes a little hollow and short so the cedar/chocolate oak and loose knit, grainy oak tannins take over, a fair effort given the cold, wet vintage (***1/2)

Coldstream Hills Reserve Yarra Valley Chardonnay 2010

Purchased: Not ($55)

Drink:2019

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2012, Trophy for Best White Wine at 2012 Yarra Valley Wine Show, tight and fairly pure pear and nectarine, spicy with a long and focussed backbone of minerally lemon acids and mealy complexity, toasty savoury bacon/cinnamon oak is restrained and well integrated, excellent persistence (*****)

Coldstream Hills Pinot Noir 2011

Purchased: Not($29)

Drink: 2017

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2012, mainly Yarra valley with 10% Coal River Valley input, medium bodied red cherry pith and cranberry with black pepper and forest floor notes, fairly good concentration presumably with depth from the Tasmanian input, a band of lithe, grainy tannins, good length (****)

Coldstream Hills Chardonnay 2010

Purchased: Not ($29)

Drink: 2016

(GXY) Tasting: May 2012, barrel fermented but no malo, perfumed and fresh white nectarine, pear, lemon rind and honey dew melon with oat-meal/biscuit lees complexity, modestly toasty French oak brings grilled nut and cinnamon notes, good line and length, lingering grapefruit acidity (****)

Coldstream Hills Pinot Noir 2010

Purchased: Not ($29)

Drink: 2016

(GXY) Tasting: May 2012, avoided the bushfires and extreme heat that destroyed the 2009 vintage in the Yarra but 2010 was a fairly compressed vintage, needs a couple of hours decanting to open up as the nose is initially fairly dumb, firmish edges with a juicy, medium bodied core of black cherry, raspberry and blueberry with black pepper and savoury game notes, some stalky hebal aspects with a wash of toasty oak spice and dusty tannins in a support role (***1/2)

Coldstream Hills Pinot Noir 2009

Purchased: Prince Wine Store, St. Kilda ($27)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: May 2011, sweep of Gold Medals from the Royal Wine Shows in Adelaide, Hobart, Melbourne and Perth, due to the bushfires in the region there was no Reserve produced and this is a multi-region blend drawn from Tasmania, Mornington Peninsula and the Drumborg vineyards in Henty, long, deep set and fleshy black cherry and dark plum with flashes of raspberry, the palate is silky and medium bodied with a touch of rhubarb earthiness and light stalkiness, finishes with well integrated spicy French oak and persistent fine tannins, interesting to see winemaker, Andrew Fleming, work with different source material (****1/2)

Coldstream Chardonnay 2009

Purchased: Not ($29)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2010, barrel fermented nectarine, pear and melon with oat-meal lees complexity, toasty French oak brings grilled nut and cinnamon notes, as usual shows good line and length with the minerality emerging after aeration in the glass, lingering grapefruit acidity (****)

Coldstream Sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir 2006

Purchased: Not ($32)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: May 2010, 30 months on lees, rather delicate and grapey showing taut strawberry, white peach and lemon sherbert with biscuit, musk and brioche nuances, powdery texture with good lemony acid balance, delicacy will polarise consumers (****)

Coldstream Merlot 2008

Purchased: Not ($35)

Drink: 2013

(GXY) Tasting: May 2010, fairly demure and sturdy black cherry and fruitcake with black olive and nutmeg notes, medium bodied with discrete toasty cedar-vanilla oak and firm grippy tannins, fruit lacks the brightness and length to match the tannins (***)

Coldstream Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

Purchased: Not ($56)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: May 2010, attractive perfumed entry showing vibrant and pristine blackcurrant and mulberries but is all front and no follow up as it collapses dramatically into a lean, short and angular mid-palate, the raw and metallic tannins are framed with some smoky mocha-cedar oak and menthol, this wine has had many good reviews on the wine judges circuit so there might be some bottle variation issues going on here but I can only write about what I am tasting (***)

Coldstream Hills Reserve Chardonnay 2007

Purchased: Not ($48)

Drink: 2013

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2009, Champion Wine of Show at 2009 International Chardonnay Challenge in New Zealand, long and shapely with a vibrant core of stonefruit, white peach, lime and nectarine with butterscotch, matchstick and toasty nut/cream barrel ferment nuances, the chalky lemon minerality and zesty grapefruit stop the wine from feeling over-worked or stale (****1/2)

Coldstream Hills Chardonnay 2008

Purchased: Not ($28)

Drink: 2013

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2009, lively grapefruit, melon and stonefruit fruit, no malo but the barrel ferment and lees stirring bring some creamy nuttiness and savouriness to the palate, long with attractive chalky minerality and lemon rind acidity, sweet vanilla-cashew oak (****)

Coldstream Hills Pinot Noir 2008

Purchased: Not ($30)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2009, no Reserve this vintage due to the extreme heatwave in March so this is the top tier, sweet raspberry, red cherry and plum with some savoury and cedar inputs bringing some complexity, grainy tannins and a respectable acid level for the vintage, however, the fruit does fall away and finishes a bit hollow and oaky by Coldstream’s standards (***)

Coldstream Hills Reserve Pinot Noir 2006

Purchased: Not ($75)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2008, mouth-filling and varietal dark cherry and plum with menthol, olive and gamey notes, savoury and medium-full bodied with a textured backbone of powdery minerality, stalky input gives a bit of a green feel, charry mocha-cedar oak, fine but slightly firmish tannins (****)

Coldstream Hills Limited Release Cabernet Sauvignon 2004

Purchased: Not ($52)

Drink: 2016

(GXY) Tasting: April 2008, from vines established in 1988, lovely and deep black cherry and blackberry reflecting the mild and dry autumn harvest, savoury and complex with powdery tannins, seamless and medium-full bodied, toasty cedary oak with chocolate and mint features on the finish (****1/2)

Coldstream Hills Limited Release Viognier 2007

Purchased: Not ($29)

Drink: 2010

(GXY) Tasting: Feb 2008, smooth pear, lime and apricot with a hint of frangi panni, plenty of barrel ferment texture, seamless and creamy with discrete vanilla oak and some nice lines of lemon acidity running through the dry, minerally finish (****)

Coldstream Hills Reserve Chardonnay 2006

Purchased: Not ($47)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2007, Champion Wine (all classes) at 2007 Yarra Wine Show, pristine definition of stonefruit, nectarine and white peach, barrel fermented adds cashew notes with less than 10% malo, crisp and complex palate with balanced lemon acidity, well judged spicy and toasty French oak (*****)

Coldstream Hills Merlot 2005

Purchased: Not ($27)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2007, ripe black cherry, blueberry and dark plum with attractive briary aspects, spicy and tightly constructed with lightly charry mocha oak, fine tannins, shows the virtues of the mild vintage (****)

Coldstream Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2007

Purchased: Not ($26)

Drink: 2008

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2007, well structured, medium intensity with lemon citrus and passionfruit, dry with orange citrus and green bean notes on the minerally finish (***1/2)

Coldstream Hills Chardonnay 2006

Purchased: Not ($27)

Drink: 2008

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2007, tangy melon and white peach with a backbone of grapefruit acidity, creamy palate is a bit forward with some tropical fruit sweetness, subtle cashew-vanilla oak, the slaty minerality keeps the finish fresh and dry (***1/2)

Coldstream Hills Chardonnay 2005

Purchased: Not ($17)

Drink: 2008

(GXY) Tasting: Dec 2006, melon, white peach and grapefruit aromas, tightly structured palate with cashew and wheatmeal notes, slaty mineral finish (****)

Coldstream Hills Pinot Noir 2005

Purchased: Not ($27)

Drink: 2010

(GXY) Tasting: Dec 2006, perfumed red cherry and plum nose and a touch of clove, sweet but elegant palate with stalky touches and underlying gaminess, toasty chocolate cedar-vanilla oak, fine grained tannins (****)

Coldstream Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2006

Purchased: Not ($26)

Drink: 2008

(GXY) Tasting: Dec 2006, dry, crisp style with passionfruit, gooseberry, apple and a touch of mango, tangy minerally palate, zesty lemon acid finish, good return to form (****)

Coldstream Hills Limited Release Shiraz 2004

Purchased: Not ($35)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: Dec 2006, black cherry and plum with liquorice, pepper and cinnamon notes, medium bodied savoury palate, light oak, balanced tannins, tight structure (****)

Coldstream Reserve Chardonnay 2003

Purchased: Not ($48)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: Feb 2006, modest nose strong white peach, nectarine with quince and cashew notes, mouth-filling minerally palate with only 5% malo also shows grapefruit, long cashew-complemented finish (****)

Coldstream Hills Chardonnay 2004

Purchased: Cellar Door ($27)

Drink: 2006

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2005, white peach, melon and stone fruit, subtle cashew and toasty vanilla oak, interesting and well balanced with some honeyed features on minerally finish, early drinking Chardonnay (***1/2)

Coldstream Hills Cabernet Sauvignon 2003

Purchased: Not ($27)

Drink: 2009

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2005, medium bodied, cassis and dark cherry complemented by herbal notes and chary French oak, still fairly closed but should improve with three of four years cellaring (***1/2)

Coldstream Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2004

Purchased: Not ($26)

Drink: 2006

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2005, nose of lifted tropical fruit with gooseberry, respectable length and citric acidity but fruit is a bit thin and undefined, below par (**1/2)

Coldstream Merlot 2003

Purchased: Not ($29)

Drink: 2010

(GXY) Tasting: Sept 2005, medium to full bodied, smooth with red and black cherries and ripe plum, slightly lifted nose, liquorice, chocolate and spice features (***1/2)

Coldstream Hills Pinot Noir 2003

Purchased: Mills Cellars, Middle Park ($26)

Drink: 2009

Tasting: Not Reviewed Yet

Coldstream Hills Pinot Noir 2002

Purchased: Acland Cellars, St. Kilda ($26)

Drink: 2009

Tasting: Not Reviewed Yet