Thursday, March 18, 2010

2006 Yalumba, Shiraz-Viognier, Barossa Valley, Australia

Terry post:

Yalumba is a very-well established Australian brand of which most of you have never heard.

While Australia has been foisting “critter wines” featuring cute animals on the label to the wine buying public - certain winemakers have continued to hone and perfect their craft. This is where Yalumba comes in.

Yalumba is a hand-crafted wine and has been such for over 160 years producing a wide variety of reserves, single vineyards, and interesting blends. I first became aware of the brand a few years ago when one of our wine reps brought in a bottle to sample. I’d never heard of Yalumba at the time and didn’t know quite what to expect - what I sampled was one of the Yalumba blends (not sure which one) which nocked my socks off. The brand has remained on the wine list since that first tasting.

My impressions: Dark purple in the glass with an expansive nose of raspberries. Busy, in a good way, with crushed red fruit giving way to a certain earthy wet-rockiness reminiscent of a Ch√Ęteauneuf-du-Pape. The earthiness grows as the wine opens up. Strawberries arrive late. Medium-long finish with soft tannins reaching the stage just as the curtain falls - a pleasant ending. Highly recommended.

While there is a significant amount of fruit in this wine it also has sufficient tannic structure to stand up well with food - and you know that I think that is crucial. It is not fat, nor flabby: it is a food-friendly Shiraz which I’d recommend with the typical pairs for medium reds: would be PERFECT with rack of lamb.

95% Shiraz and 5% Viognier - co-fermented (!).

$19.99 at The Wine Seller, Herndon, VA.

~ Terry

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