26 September 2023

Fine Reds To Keep You Warm

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By Christine Salins.


“Vini and viti together” is the way Yalumba proprietor Robert Hill-Smith describes the recognition of winemaker Kevin Glastonbury and (now retired) viticulturist Robin Nettelbeck on the latest release of The Signature. “In our business, this is a unique and strong combination.”

The Signature bears the signature and story of someone who has made a significant contribution to the culture and traditions of Australia’s oldest family-owned winery. It’s been done this way on every vintage release since 1962, and on rare occasions such as this one, a vintage is dedicated to two people or a collective.

The 2019 vintage released this year is the 49th vintage of this iconic Barossa Cabernet Shiraz. It is more than fitting that it should honour Glastonbury who has been charged with making Yalumba’s fine red wines, including The Signature, since he joined the company in 1999.

Robin Nettelbeck spent 45 years with Yalumba and was chief viticulturist for the Hill-Smith Family Estate vineyards when he retired.

“We are lucky to have people who are so resilient and loyal and enjoy being part of what Yalumba has become and we never take it for granted,” says Robert Hill-Smith.

The Signature is amongst an impressive line-up of fine reds that are perfect for winter drinking. Another is The Menzies (named after you know who), a Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon revered for its longevity, elegance and structure.

Menzies Estate is on Coonawarra’s famous terra rossa strip, a cigar-shaped strip of rich red soil that has given its name to The Cigar, another fine example of Coonawarra Cabernet.

If you want to splurge, the wine you need to put on your wish-list is The Caley, loved by connoisseurs across the world. The just-released 2018 vintage comes with a $365 price tag and is a blend of 80% Coonawarra Cabernet and 20% Barossa Shiraz.

To celebrate the sixth release of this flagship wine, the Yalumba Wine Room is offering a unique opportunity to taste all six releases of The Caley till the end of June.

The release of The Caley is also being celebrated in a special Yalumba Wine Weekend at luxury Barossa retreat, The Louise, this coming weekend. The indulgent weekend includes long lunches, wine tastings, behind-the-scenes tours, a degustation dinner, and farmers market visit.

Yalumba The Cigar Cabernet Sauvignon 2019, $35: If you’re not sure about Cabernet, be pleasantly surprised by this bright and lovely wine. With soft tannins and a beautiful balance of fruit and acid, it is medium-bodied with warm aromas of cedar and spices. An inviting palate of dark red cherries and plums with hints of dark chocolate and spice makes this a cigar you’d be happy to linger by the fire with.

Yalumba Eden Valley Syrah 2021, $40: Medium-bodied and restrained, this one comes from century-old Shiraz vines in South Australia’s Eden Valley. Fermented for 15 months in older French oak, it is quite aromatic with floral notes and a delicious complexity of red berry, nutmeg and vanilla flavours.

Yalumba The Menzies Cabernet Sauvignon 2018, $60: A classic expression of Coonawarra Cabernet, rich, concentrated and full-bodied with choc-mint, cassis and cedar notes. Decant it if you want to try it while young; otherwise, put it away for a few years and watch the tannins soften as it develops into a gloriously expressive wine.

Yalumba The Signature Cabernet Sauvignon & Shiraz 2019, $65: An elegant and refined tribute to “viti and vini” with exuberant, sweet fruit finely crafted into a smooth and velvety wine with a deliciously long finish. Blueberry, cherry and pomegranate notes with hints of vanilla, chocolate and mint. The winemaker recommends this with beef brisket cooked low and slow, which sounds like just the shot while our temperatures are plummeting.

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