November 2011 Meeting - Yalumba Australian Wines

Our meeting in November looked at Australian wines and we were pleased to welcome Chris Unger from Negociants UK to Letchworth to share a selection of Yalumba Wines with us.  Negociants UK is the UK arm of Negociants International, the export department of Australia’s oldest family owned winery, Yalumba.

Chris got the tasting off to a cracking start with some Jansz Tasmania Non Vintage Premium Cuvée sparking wine.  Made according to the traditional méthod champenoise, this Chardonnay based wine showed a dry, light finish with lingering flavours of citrus and nougat that would challenge many of the long-established French champagnes (£13.99).  The Pewsey Vale Eden Valley Riesling that followed had intense fruit aromas with a hint of white flowers and fresh rosemary that balanced a fresh natural acidity (£10.99).  Two Viogniers concluded the first half of the tasting: the first, a Yalumba Y Series Viognier from South Australia, had a palate rich in texture and body with aromas of honeysuckle, poached quinces and mandarin peel (£7.99).  The second, a Yalumba Barossa  Eden Valley Collection Viognier 2010 was perfumed and luscious with aromas of apricot nectar, honeysuckle and orange oil perfume.  With a long, rich and luscious palate, Chris said this wine would continue to grow and develop in the bottle (£11.99).

The first of the reds was a Yalumba Barossa Eden Bush Vine Grenache.  Medium crimson red with purple hues, this wine had a generous and bright aroma of sweet plum fruits and redcurrants and a savoury, earthy background (£10.99).  Chris then moved on to two Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz blends, the first of which was a Yalumba Barossa The Scribbler.  Deep crimson red in colour, the wine showed concentrations of redcurrants, spices and liquorice with fresh floral aromatics of herbs and mints (£11.99).  The second Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz, a Yalumba Barossa The Signature, was a much more complex wine.  A very deep, dark red in colour the wine displayed aromas that were dense and curranty, yet pure and bright.  The palate had generous hints of dark chocolate hazelnuts, figs and cedary spices.  Bottled in 2005, Chris thought that this wine was still young and that with more time it would reveal an elegance and silky refinement on the palate (£25).

This excellent and informative tasting concluded with some Yalumba Museum Reserve Muscat NV from the Rutherglen area of Northern Victoria. A luscious dessert wine, deep amber to tawny in colour, it had the classic perfumed aroma of the Muscat grape with a finish that was full and rich with hints of raisins and spices lingering in the aftertaste (£12).  Further details of Yalumba wines may be found on the Negociants web site: