Yalumba Bush Vine Grenache 2019
Yalumba is producing some of Australia's best red wines JOSH RAYNOLDS, Vinous
TOP FIVE WINERIES OF AUSTRALIA 2020 – HOUN HOOKE
Owned and run by the Hill-Smith family, Yalumba has a long commitment to quality and great vision in its selection of vineyard sites, new varieties and brands. It has always been a serious player at the top end of full-bodied Australian reds and was a pioneer in the use of screwcaps. It has a proud history of lateral thinking and rapid decision making by a small group led by Robert Hill-Smith. The synergy of the range of brands, varieties and prices is obvious, but it received added lustre with the creation of The Caley. A founding member of Australia's First Families of Wine. JAMES HALLIDAY
There’s some shape-shifting going on at Yalumba under the careful hands of winemaker Kevin Glastonbury. Indeed, he says, “these wines are a far cry from what you would have tasted from 10-20 years ago from the Barossa and grenache. Finesse, powderiness, tannin, different fruit flavours, to what you would have seen”. Indeed. MIKE BENNIE, The Wine Front
Yalumba remains a true Australian vinous treasure. I know it isn’t something you hear from me too often, amongst the numerous reviews and offers for imported wines, but stories and estates like this deserve to be celebrated by all of us.
Yalumba is one of the pinnacle producers in this country. An Australian, family owned, winery that has led the way in quality and style here for so long now that I think it is too often overlooked by too many. An unfortunate product of their innumerable successes? Like a number of this country’s grand old estates Yalumba produces some storied wines (think Signature, Virgilius, Octavius), but also continue to lead the way and set the trends with style and help guide savvy consumers towards these wines. They have been inspiring drinkers and other wineries for generations now.
This is a winery that has helped bring about and lead the way with the remarkable rejuvenation of one of our greatest wine assets in Oz, Grenache. Before the new, humungous and truly exciting surge in great, single variety, Grenache from ancient vines in South Australia that have been appearing in the market for the last decade or so Yalumba was already in the throws of celebrating hitherto unsung hero which is so uniquely suited to the Barossa and McLaren Vales. Once again leading the charge and recognising the veritable treasure-trove of old vine material at their disposal and the potential they held to craft some truly inspiring wines.
Today, as you have heard us say a number of times in recent years, Grenache in this country is perhaps the most exciting thing going on in the wine game. The growing recognition of the variety’s ability to yield genuinely exciting wines that can rival the best on the planet and the groundswell in producers taking up the call has been thrilling to watch, and taste. They style now tending towards more structural and refined expressions and a quick move away from the jube like wines that flooded the market only a decade or so ago. Great old vines and a growing understanding of their potential which was, in no insignificant part, informed by the crew at Yalumba.
There are so many options now and we try to taste them all at PWS. We are always open to new Aussie Grenache, so when Jessica Hill-Smith poured this bad boy for us everyone in the tasting room was stoked. What really drove the excitement levels up though was when she told us the price. This was yesterday and since then I think I have seen more emails amongst the staff in a 24 hour period than for any other wine in a long time. It is that good and it is that cheap. I was expecting a price tag somewhere around twice what it retails for.
While the focus here really needs to be on just how insanely good this wine is, as Ned Goodwin MW points out in his review below, I think it would be remiss of me to not also point out just how vibrant and focused the feeling is across the board at Yalumba these days. From their flagship wines down to their entry level things they have are making all the right moves at the moment. As great as this grand old dame of Australian wine may have been across its long and illustrious history I feel like the best is still ahead of them and the future of the place is in good hands with people like Jess looking towards the decades to come. The Grenache is great though, let’s not lose sight of that.
So, this is so far one of my front runners in 2021s Best Value Reds. For $20 a bottle you can’t reasonably expect any more from a wine. In fact for $20 a bottle this overdelivers so much that it will be hard to think of much else in that price point for a little while.