Karra Yerta Barossa Shiraz 2005

My acquaintance with Marie Linke of Karra Yerta Wines has been rewarding in all sorts of ways; it has provided me insights into the world of the boutique micro-producer, into the trials associated with just getting your wine out there in the public eye, into the challenges of juggling family and work life. And, not least, it has provided me with the opportunity to taste wonderful wines, borne of passion and commitment to regional tradition. My view is producers such as Karra Yerta are the backbone of the industry, providing a philosophical base around which trends and companies may come and go.

Case in point: this wine. It’s identifiably Barossan in character, with that luscious, irresistibly drink now fruit character starting to come up against some more adult, bottle-aged aromas. So, it’s very much in transition. I sometimes read that as a mark of disinterest, but that’s kind of like saying teenagers aren’t interesting because they’re neither children nor adults. Surely there’s a particular fascination in the confluence and clash of nascent maturity? That’s what I’m seeing in this wine’s aroma. 
The palate is full of flavour in a characterful way. An interesting counterpoint to this wine was a 2006 Penfolds Bin 407 I tasted just the other day. I didn’t write it up because it was pristine, perfect, clean, and faceless. This is precisely the opposite; it’s tangibly textured, imprinted with imperfection in the most positive manner; from entry through finish, a dense wave of regional fruit, roughed up by an edge of earthy, spiced humanity that puts corporate swill to shame. This isn’t trying to win medals, it’s simply a reflection of its place and maker, and is utterly worthwhile for precisely this reason.
Perhaps not much of a tasting note, then, but, one hell of a worthwhile experience to taste. Highly recommended.

Karra Yerta Wines
Price: $A25
Closure: Stelvin
Source: Sample

11 thoughts on “Karra Yerta Barossa Shiraz 2005

  1. A Witold Gombrowicz approach to the aesthetic and philosophical appeal of adolescence in a bottle then? 😉

    Sounds fascinating and rather tasty, although I do believe Marie thought you may share a drop with me. Oh well, no Un Segreto for you today. I’ll pull out some sparkling Chamby instead 🙂

  2. I’m running a little behind, but wanted to say thanks Julian, for this really nice review:) We’re glad that you enjoy our wines, and particularly this one (which may need to also lob on the doorstep of another Queenslander by the look of the above comment:)
    Our vintage is almost over so time to get on top of such things.

  3. I reckon you’re taking things a bit far with that analogy on the 06 407…it’s a beautiful wine too..just from a different sort of family. It deserves to be loved too!

    • No doubt you’re right 🙂 The Penfolds struck me as incredibly achieved, polished, pristine. Beautiful, even. Yet this spoke to me more. Probably says more about me than the wines in question.



  4. Well I was going to say something along the lines of …that a lot of people project their desires or personal philosophy into what’s in the glass..but decided to be polite 🙂

    • LOL – yes, guilty as charged! I guess I find that an interesting part of wine too — how tastes and ideas about what wine “should” be affect the experience of tasting and enjoyment. I fear I struggle more than most at being objective.


  5. Well, as someone whose parents each worked for Penfolds (in the Barossa) for twenty-five years, I can vouch for the fact that Penfolds do make an exceptionally fine range, and have done so for many years. Oh, the stories I could tell about the wines that used to be in my parent’s linen press:)

    • And I should be clear (because my review, perhaps, isn’t) I’m not bashing Penfolds. I’m drawing out two different ideas of wine, quite opposed in many respects. Critically, both aim for quality, so the point I tried to make with this review is that less absolute perfection, and more perceived site-specific transparency, is a distinct goal that might produce a wine more appealing to some people (for example, to me). To paraphrase GW, it all depends on what you prefer to project onto the glass in front you. 🙂

  6. I’m with Gombrowicz et al and their appreciation of “less than” perfect or pristine beauty.

    Oh, I project all the time and think it is unavoidable as a human being, even when “judging” wine. Of course, we would all be more useful “critics” if we could avoid it. But I’m not one for utility constituting something’s worth of and by itself.

    FWIW 🙂

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