For this month's wine tasting, we sampled the wines of one of David’s favorite Australian wineries, Yalumba. The idea was to taste a cross-section of wine types, through the lens of one winery. Gilles generously allowed us to use his place for the wine tasting "road show", and prepared an outstanding meal of fennel/leek soup, grilled filet mignon and potato gratin, and a pear/cherry tart for dessert. Oh, and with an excellent cheese course.
The three reds were all blends of 92%-95% Shiraz, with a touch of the white grape Viognier, differentiated by prices from $11 to $35. All were tasted blind, except for the dessert wine.
Nicolas Feuillatte Non-Vingage Brut Champagne. Yeasty, apple-tinged nose. Tasters noted limes, cream, and pomegranate flavors, with pleasant acidity. Ali described "pee, but in a good way".
Yalmuba Y Series Viognier 2006 (South Australia). Smells spicy, with minerals, under-ripe peaches, oil, honeydew, and grass. Gilles felt that it was "a little like aftershave". Aluminum, minerals, meat, chrome, navel orange, black cherry, and green grapes on the palate. Andy found "envelope glue", along with "tongue on a battery". Gilles noted "chocolate that you’ve had after your espresso", and Joyce felt that it would pair well with Indian food. About $11.
Yalumba Y Series Chardonay Unwooded 2007 (South Australia). Aromas of darker spices, flowers, cantaloupe, wet soil, sweet berries, persimmon, and wet wool. Tasters were reminded of red apples, grapefruit, minerals, peaches, and rubber. Juicy, oily, and round in the mouth. Joyce thought it was "sticky, in an unpleasant way", and Ali felt that it was "out of control". About $11.
Yalumba Y Series Shiraz/Viognier 2006 (South Australia). Reminiscent of wet pavement, butter, caramel, crème brulee, blackberries, cola, Sambuca, red cherries, rubber, and dust on the nose. Kristin noted "chocolate covered espresso bean" flavors, while others found black tea, cola, caramel, and coffee. Acidity on the finish, with an earthy quality. Joyce decided that it was "pleasurable", and Ali followed up with "amicable". Good with the blue cheese gratin. About $11.
Yalumba Shiraz/Viognier 2005 (Barossa). Darker, with mushroom, licorice, wood, plastic, chocolate, underbrush aromatics. Gilles was reminded of a house where "the relatives died a few years ago, and now we have to clear out". Richer than the first red, with caramel, black pepper, cream, toasted bread, and licorice notes. Ali felt that it was "experienced". Cola notes on the long finish. About $18.
Yalumba Shiraz/Viognier Hand Picked 2004 (Barossa). Smelled of Windex, plastic, tomato, old sneakers, flowers, shoe polish, burnt sugar, nutmeg, wet leaf, Pine Sol, and cola. Very thick and rich in the mouth, and possessing cherry cola, blackberry, espresso, licorice, and blueberry flavors. Syrupy, ripe finish. Andy decided that it was "playful". This one opened up the most with aeration. About $35.
Yalumba Antique Tawny Museum Release (Barossa). Loaded with caramel, hazelnut, maple syrup, cinnamon, butterscotch, flowers, spices, and coffee. Long, beautifully balanced, and intense. Fantastic wine. About $20.