A great Australian red from a champion of The Great Australian Red
The results from Tyson Stelzer and Matthew Jukes ‘Great Australian Red’ (Cabernet Shiraz and blends focused) wine competition were announced this week, with the 2012 Yalumba Caley Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz taking out the big prize (full results here).
Given just how many Cabernet Shiraz blends Yalumba make it’s not surprising that they’ve won it out (again), but that’s also detracting from the reason why they did – because Yalumba honestly believe that such a blend is the pinnacle of Barossa red wine.
To emphasise the point I had a look recently at a wine that defines the absolute pointy end of Yalumba’s wines – the 1990 Yalumba Reserve. Interestingly this, and the follow-up ’92, were blends of Coonawarra Cab and Barossa Shiraz, with the blend only becoming 100% Barossa in 1996.
Regardless, this really is a classic Australian red. Lots of oak. You really can’t ignore that this framed by A.P. John’s finest American oak in every way. There’s some good old Aussie eucalypt too. What wooes though is the mouthfeel – it just floods your mouth with thick grained tannins, everything chocolatey and coated with that old brick plumminess of aged Australian Shiraz. For all that power, though, this is no bruiser – indeed the alcohol is restrained and there’s little excess warmth, just enveloping richness and dry, dark choc extract.
It’s easy to criticise, rich oaky Australian reds, but presented like this, with such obvious fruit depth and charm, they’re actually pretty satisfying wines – and this is one of the more special ones out there. 19/20, 96/100
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