Yalumba was founded in 1849 by Samuel Smith, British migrant and English brewer, who had brought his family to Angaston seeking a new life. After purchasing a 30-acre parcel of land just beyond the southern-eastern boundary of Angaston, Smith and his son began planting the first vines by moonlight. Samuel named his patch "Yalumba" aboriginal for "all the land around". Five generations and more than 150 years later Yalumba, Australia's oldest family owned winery, has grown in size and stature, embodying all that has made the Australian wine success story the envy of winemakers the world over.
They release their 55th iteration of Yalumba The Signature Cabernet Sauvignon & Shiraz – a superb 2013 vintage that honours Andrew Murphy. they raise a glass of this wine to celebrate Murph’s years of service, commencing in the Cellar he rose to Cellar Manager, qualified as a Winemaker, was promoted to Operations Manager in 1992 and today is Director of Wine.
Terroir & Site:
The Cabernet Sauvignon components were sourced entirely from the Barossa Valley, with five main vineyards selected. The vineyards of Trevor Fromm, near Williamstown, the Brooks vineyard at Gomersal, the Cowham Light Pass vineyard and the Crown Village vineyard, in the Krondorf foothills. These components all provide the rich lifted Cabernet Sauvignon aromatics and palate structure that The Signature is known for the majority of the Shiraz comes from the Schiller family vineyard north of Nuriootpa on the Barossa Valley floor. Four blocks were selected with vines planted between 1925 and 1969. These blocks provide the Shiraz sweetness, fullness, depth and add many layers of complexity.
Winemaking & Viticulture:
Dry and warm conditions during the 2013 growing season produced Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz crops with smaller bunches and berries full of concentrated flavour. All parcels of fruit were fermented separately in either eight-tonne open fermenters or six-tonne static potter fermenters using wild yeasts. These wild yeasts have helped contribute individual complexities to the wine, creating richness and fine textures.
The colour of The Signature 2013 is almost impenetrable, this is a wine of aromatics and fineness with great depth of concentration. Showing dark red powdery currants and the leafy freshness of mint and cool spices, the aromatics are complex Cabernet Sauvignon. The palate is all about Shiraz with dark plum, licorice and a potpourri of berry fruits, round, rich and complete with an ironstone depth of tannin, giving the support that will take this through the cellar for a very long time. Not to be opened for at least 5 years, but if you weaken, enjoy with a char grilled rump steak with all the extras.
Terroir & Site:
The Menzies is in the heart of Coonawarra terra rossa country. The vineyard site is reasonably level, with the defining terroir difference coming from the soils. Our soil is red sandy loam over limestone, which is classic Cabernet Sauvignon dirt. Most of the vines for Yalumba The Menzies were planted in 1985 and are trellised tall with wide rows. Bunches are usually small with small berries giving a concentration that favours the creation of full bodied reds.
Winemaking & Viticulture:
2013 was an excellent vintage; it was preceded by good winter rains and mild conditions during flowering, giving a good even set of berries. The warm conditions continued through harvest allowing the winemakers to pick ripe grapes at the ideal colour, flavour and tannin accumulation; it is a vintage to collect. The Menzies is made by small batch winemaking, maintaining the integrity of each eight-tonne vineyard parcel through vinification and initial barrel maturation. The grapes were crushed to small static fermenters where the liberation of colour and tannin is controlled either by plunging the skins, irrigating the fermenting wine over the cap or draining all the wine from the skins then flooding it back. Selected parcels are given extended skin contact before pressing.
Full depth in colour with a plum red hue. The bouquet leads with violet and lilac floral notes to the tangy counterpoint of seaspray and pepper. The palate is rich and powerful; red fruits and dark chocolate on a robust tannin framework. The finish is long, complex and well worth contemplating. A char-grilled rib-eye on the bone is an excellent food accompaniment.