Yalumba is Australia’s oldest family-owned winery with its 165 years. The company is managed today by the fifth generation Smith, Robert Hill-Smith. The name means “all the land around” in Aboriginal language. Yalumba is also one of the twelve members of Australia’s First Families of Wine (AFFW), an association of family-owned wineries. The background to AFFW is that family owned winery do not have the same pressure to deliver quarterly results to the stock market and thus can live their passion for wine with a more long-term view.
And of course there are differences at Yalumba: It is one of four wineries in the world that has its own cooperage. Two coopers make six barrels per day, which makes about 1500 barrels a year. In addition, they have their own nursery that also sells plants to other wineries. Furthermore, they operate a brewery and a wine trading company.
Another example of the long term view is that they tried and tested for twenty years before releasing a viognier wine. Yalumba boasts a wide range of wines from vineyards in Tasmania, Barossa Valley, Eden Valley, Coonawarra and more places in South Australia. They both grow their own grapes and buy in grapes from growers, as well as working to continually upgrade their contract growers.
Liz Schoen, Regional Sales Manager for Yalumba’s wine trading company, Negociants International, presented the following wines. Some are Yalumba’s own wines, others are wines distributed by Negociants International:
Jansz Tasmania 2010 Vintage Cuvée
~ 25 euro (all price estimates are based on Swedish retail prices)
51% pinot noir and 49% chardonnay, made according to the “Méthode Tasmanoise”, which does not differ from the “méthode champenoise” in more than the place where it is practiced. Citrus, white flowers, elegant toast tones and subtle, almost modest mousse.
Yalumba Organic Viognier 2015
60% own and 40% purchased organic viognier grapes. Floral, typical of the grape with apricot and almond notes. Balanced flavour with fresh acidity, unusually fresh to be a viognier.
Yalumba Eden Valley Roussanne 2014
100% Roussanne. Floral notes of chamomile and lavender, yellow fruits and full-bodied wine with a nicely balanced acidity. Very good!
Pewsey Vale Contours Riesling 2010
100% Riesling which was aged five years in bottle. Lovely petroleum tones with lime, white flowers and herbs. Fresh and clear acidity from the large temperature differences between night and day. High-quality and typical Riesling from Eden Valley.
Dalrymple Cave Block 2013 Chardonnay
100% cool climate chardonnay from Tasmania. Elegant and subtle aromas of Burgundy-style character, yellow apples, ripe quince and gentle barrel notes. Fresh acidity and long finish.
Yalumba Organic Shiraz 2013
100% Shiraz from four family-owned organic vineyards in South Australia. Cool Cultivated character with naked, fruit-driven aromas of blueberries and plums. Medium-bodied and fresh taste, very affordable.
Yalumba FDR1A 2012
73% cabernet sauvignon from four different top vineyards and 27% Shiraz from the two top plots, all in the Eden Valley. The wine is fermented in open stainless steel tanks with wild yeasts which were later supplemented with cultured yeasts. Complex aromas of dark fruit, barrels, liquorice and mint, rich, deep flavour with finely structured tannins. Can be aged at least ten years. A great wine at affordable price.
Yalumba FDR1A 2009
Quite similar to the 2012 with similar grape blend, but more mature character. Also a great wine at affordable price.
Yalumba Museum Muscat Reserve NV
~22 euro (375 ml)
100% Muscat à petits grains from Rutherglen. The wine is fermented on the skins and aged for seven months in French oak barrels. Powerful, multi-faceted nose of orange, raisins, cinnamon, nuts and caramelized sugar. The flavour is reminiscent of port wine with distinct sweetness, 294 g of sugar / litre, ideal for creamy desserts with chocolate.
“All the land around”, ie Yalumba, has with the passion for wine of the family business really managed to produce fine wines with very different characters. The quality is consistently higher than the respective prices of the wines make you guess.
The tasting was organized by the importer Vinunic.
Mikael Karlin writes för BKWine Magazine on wine tastings and wine events in Sweden.
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