61% Cabernet, 31% Shiraz
- I know it’s kind-of a sweeping statement, but it’s hard to go wrong with the wines from Yalumba. They always give plenty of bang for the buck! I actually picked up this bottle (as well as a few others) on my recent trip back to the Motherland (England). It’s not that you can’t find this wine in the U.S., you certainly can; but since I was staying at my parent’s house, and I know them to only buy Lambrini (sweet, nasty, sugary sh*t), I needed something “gluggable” to accompany/wash away the inevitable Sunday lunch of overcooked roast beef and rubbery Yorkshire pudding.
- Yalumba was founded in 1849 by English brewer Samuel Smith. The Hill-Smith family are still in control of the winery, making Yalumba Australia’s oldest family-owned winery.
- This is pretty-much a “classic” Aussie red blend, in that Cabernet and Shiraz have emerged as the 2 main grapes they seem to excel at growing. I’m usually a fan of wines which incorporate Shiraz/Syrah into the mix. Again, I know that’s a sweeping statement, but I think the spiciness yielded from this grape is what’s missing from a great number of red blends. Think of it like adding salt to a fairly bland soup. Shiraz/Syrah often gives the wine that extra little kick it’s looking for.
- Even though the Australian way of making red wine seems to usually incorporate HUGE amounts of alcohol, I was quite pleased to see this wine only be at 13.5%.
- Yalumba have continued to champion the humble screw-cap on the vast majority of their wines, ever since the 1970’s.
- Even though Australia is referred to as a New World wine producing country, the first vines actually are believed to have arrived with European settlers around 1788.
- Situated about 1 hour outside of Adelaide, the Barossa is most definitely the heart of “fine” wine production in Southern Australia, although I’ve always seemed to prefer the wines from McLaren Vale myself….but that’s just me…
- Almonds, olives, venison, cheeses, berries, beef, lamb, and rainbow trout are renowned foods in the Barossa Valley, with European immigrants harvesting olives since the late 1800s.
- To this day, there are still Shiraz vines in the Barossa which date back to the 1860s. Since water is hard to come by, most of these old and gnarly bush-pruned vines are maintained without irrigation. This means the grapes have a low water content, an inky-black color and an ultra-concentrated cassis flavor.
If “typical” Australian red wines are Steve Irwin (the Crocodile Hunter), the Yalumba “Scribbler” is more like his daughter, Bindi: A little-less badass and more certainly feminine.
You get the greener Cabernet notes of menthol and eucalyptus, but first there’s blackcurrant, plum and spice from the Shiraz (even though it makes up the lesser part of the blend). Vanilla, cherry, smoke, blue fruit and mocha are all towards the back. A smooth and medium finish. A decent amount of acidity to deal with, ensuring the Scribbler could be laid down for a couple more years.
This is the perfect wine to slowly move you into the colder months, in terms of the food it would/could pair it with. Lamb on the bone, beef stews with dried herbs, duck breast, and lasagna.