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Featured Reviews

Yalumba ‘Earthworks’ ‘Y Series’, ‘Individuals’, ‘Samuel’s Garden’ and ‘Distinguished Sites’ Releases

14 November,2017

With five generations and over 165 years of winegrowing, Yalumba is the most historic family-owned wine business in Australia. Headed by Robert Hill-Smith, Yalumba has grown to be a global player. It has a number of tiers for their wine, ranging from the everyday ‘Y Series’ to the superb ‘Rare and Fine’ collection which has bottlings that can stand tall in the company of the world’s best. I’m an admirer of the Yalumba wines, which encompass the most contemporary styles to those that are truly traditional. I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad or ordinary wine from them, everything I have tasted having merit or excellence. Here, I review a selection of new wines from the associated ‘Earthworks’ label, their ‘Y Series’, ‘Individual’, ‘Samuel’s Garden’ and ‘Distinguished Sites’ tiers.


Earthworks Barossa Tempranillo 2016

Tempranillo from Australia – South Australia


Very dark, deep, black-hued red, a little lighter on the rim with some ruby tints. The nose is softly fresh with good depth of blackberry and dark raspberry fruit forming a well-concentrated core. This is ripe and the fruit expressed with clarity. Medium-full bodied, the palate has bright and lively fruit flavours of blackberries and dark raspberries. The fruit is sweet and up-front, forming a softly concentrated, well-packed heart. The tannins are soft and supple, allowing the fruit to prevail. The wine had good depth, line and drive and carries to an elegant, raspberry-fruited finish. This is a bright and sweet-fruited Tempranillo with black fruits and raspberries, on a well-packed palate with soft, supple tannins and easy accessibility. Match with pasta, tapas and barbecued red meats over the next 3 years. Barossa fruit fermented to 14.0% alc. Winemaker: Sam Wigan. 17.0/20 Nov 2017 RRP $22.00

Yalumba ‘The Strapper’ Barossa Valley Grenache/Shiraz/Mataro 2014

Blended Red from Australia – South Australia


Ruby-red colour with some depth, pale on the rim with garnet hues. The bouquet is soft and gently voluminous with good depth of aromatic dark raspberries and blackberries melded with a harmonious amalgam of savoury herbs, liquorice and spices, unfolding red floral perfumes. Medium-full bodied, the palate has rich and sweet flavours of dark raspberries with notes of blackberries along with suggestions liquorice and herbs and nuances of jam. The fruit forms an elegantly concentrated core. The fruit sweetness is underlined by fine-grained tannins and balanced acidity. The palate is supple with good linearity, carrying to a lingering finish of raspberries, spices and herbs. This is a sweetly rich GSM with dark raspberry, blackberry and herb flavours on a supple, fine-textured palate with good drive. Match with antipasto, tapas, pasta and pizza over the next 4+ years. A blend of Grenache, Shiraz and Mataro from the Barossa Valley, indigenous yeast fermented in tank and oak to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 10 months in French and Hungarian oak of various sizes. 17.5+/20 Nov 2017 RRP $25.00

Yalumba ‘The Scribbler’ Barossa Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz 2014

Blended Red from Australia – South Australia


Dark, deep ruby-red colour, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is elegantly proportioned with soft aromas of blackcurrants and blackberries entwined with cassis liqueur and mint herb, and hints of black pepper. The aromatics are softly packed and harmoniously integrated. Medium-full bodied, the palate has a rounded and deep heart with flavours of ripe blackcurrants with some cassis and mint notes entwined with a little raspberry and spice. The flavours are gently mouthfilling and are supported by fine, grainy tannin structure, with integrated, soft acidity. The structure carries the flavours to a long finish of blackcurrants and herbs. This Cabernet/Shiraz blend has a rounded, deep heart of blackcurrant and herb flavours with subtle spice notes on a fine, structured palate. Serve with herb-marinated lamb and beef dishes over the next 6-8 years. A blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon and 36% Shiraz from the Barossa, hand-picked and wild yeast initiated fermentation to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 13 months in 21 % new French, Hungarian and American hogsheads and barriques. 18.0/20 Nov 2017 RRP $25.00

Yalumba ‘Y Series’ South Australia Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Cabernet Sauvignon from Australia – South Australia


Very dark, deep, black-red colour, a little lighter on the edge and very youthful in appearance. The nose is fresh with elegantly presented aromas of blackcurrants with nuances of cassis melded with fresh herbs. The aromatics are soft, and unfold blackberry fruit. Full-bodied, the palate has fresh and youthfully vibrant flavours of blackcurrants, cassis, herbs and blackberries. The fruit richness is balanced by fine, grainy tannin extraction providing balance, structure and grip. The mouthfeel is enlivened by soft acidity adding to the vitality, and the wine carries to an elegant, lingering finish. This is a vibrant and youthful Cabernet Sauvignon with blackcurrant fruit and notes of herbs, on a fine, structured palate with a light tannin grip and fresh mouthfeel. Match with herb-marinated lamb and beef dishes over the next 3-4+ years. South Australia fruit fermented to 14.5% alc. Winemaker: Natalie Cleghorn. 17.0+/20 Nov 2017 RRP $17.95

Yalumba ‘Y Series’ South Australia Merlot 2017

Merlot from Australia – South Australia


Very dark, deep black-hued red colour with slight purple hues, lighter on the rim. This has a full, up-front and bold nose with aromas of dark-red and black plums and fragrant redcurrant fruit, The aromatics form a well-packed heart showing good depth. Medium-full bodied, the palate has lively and vigorous fruit flavours of dark-red and black berries and plums, with notes of redcurrants, The fruit is rich and sweet, and balanced by light, grainy tannin extraction, with subtle, lacy acidity. The flavours are up-front but recede a little as the wine carries to a light finish, This is a bright and up-front, youthful Merlot with sweet, fruit vigorous mouthfeel and light tannins. Match with barbecued lamb and beef dishes over the next 3+ years. South Australia fruit indigenous yeast fermented to 14.1% alc. Winemaker: Natalie Cleghorn. 16.5+/20 Nov 2017 RRP $17.95

Yalumba ‘Galway Vintage’ Barossa Shiraz 2016

Syrah from Australia – South Australia


Very dark, deep, black-red colour, with slight purple hues, lighter on the edge. The nose is softly full and gently concentrated with aromas of ripe black plums, blackberries and boysenberries, and some liquorice and jam elements. Full-bodied, the fruit flavours of black and dark-red plums, blackberries and boysenberries are somewhat shy and restrained in expression. The fruit has subtle liquorice, and jam nuances adding interest. The fruit is underlined by soft, gentle tannin extraction lending a rounded, smooth mouthfeel. The acidity is soft and ripe, adding to the gentle flow. The wine carries smoothly to a light finish of black fruits and liquorice. This is a rich, sweet and smooth Shiraz with restrained flavours of black plums, blackberries and boysenberries with subtle liquorice notes. Match with barbecued and roasted game meat over the next 3-4+ years. Barossa fruit from contracted growers fermented to 14.5% alc. 16.5+/20 Nov 2017 RRP $19.95

Yalumba ‘The Cigar’ ’The Menzies Vineyard’ Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Cabernet Sauvignon from Australia – South Australia


Dark, deep, impenetrable black-red colour, a little lighter on the rim with slight purple hues. The nose is firm with elegantly concentrated with tightly bound aromas of ripe blackcurrant fruit with blackberries, soft cassis notes and mint herb elements. This has good depth and intensity, and is brooding in character. Full-bodied to taste, the palate has very good depth and intensity, with concentrated flavours of ripe blackcurrants and cassis with blackberries and soft herbal notes. This has a deep core with fine, grainy, ripe tannins providing plenty of structure and grip. The acidity lends freshness and balance. This has very good linearity and underlying power, and the wine carries to a rich, concentrated, softly lingering finish. This is an elegantly concentrated Cabernet Sauvignon with sweet blackcurrant and blackberry fruit with cassis and herbs on a grainy textured and structured palate with plenty of power and linearity. Match with roasted lamb and beef dishes over the next 8-10 years. Fruit from ‘The Menzies’ vineyard, Coonawarra, fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 14 months in 20% new French oak barriques. Winemakers: Peter Gambetta and Natalie Cleghorn. 18.5+/20 Nov 2017 RRP $31.00

Yalumba ‘Paradox’ Northern Barossa Shiraz 2015

Syrah from Australia – South Australia


Full, saturated black-red colour, a little lighter on the edge. The nose is softly full and voluminous with aromas of sweetly ripe blackberries, raspberries and plum fruit with liquorice and spice notes. The aromatics are harmoniously integrated and presented with aromatic, sweet oak elements adding interest. Medium-full bodied, the palate has deeply layered, rich and luscious fruit flavours of blackberries, dark raspberries and black plums, with notes of liquorice and spice notes. The fruit is well-concentrated, providing a softly dense and fine-textured palate with ripe tannins. The fruit richness provides good drive and line, and the wine carries to a lusciously long and sustained finish. This is a softly concentrated and deeply layered, fully ripened Shiraz with dense flavours of blackberries plums and raspberries on a fine-textured palate with great presence. Match with slow-cooked game meat and casseroles over the next 7-9+ years. Shiraz fruit from the Northern Barossa Valley, indigenous yeast fermented to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 18 months in 11% new French oak puncheons. Winemaker: Louisa Rose. 19.0-/20 Nov 2017 RRP $33.00

Dark, deep black-red with slight garnet hues. The nose is softly full with harmoniously interwoven aromas of ripe, black and dark-red berry fruits with complexing savoury eucalypt and mineral notes, the nose building in density, unfolding layers of interest with aeration. Full, deeply packed and dense, with flavours of ripe blackberry fruit, the sweetness and lusciousness are complexed by plenty of savoury, gamey and earthy notes. The fruit richness is balanced by good, fine-grainy tannin extraction providing plenty of grip, but the flavours prevail to full the palate. Beautifully complex and layered, this will keep 10+ years. Shiraz fruit from the Moppa district, vines planted 1922, indigenous yeast fermented, and aged approx. 20 months in 15% new puncheons. 1,000 dozen made. 18.5+/20 Aug 2017 RRP $33.00
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