Tag Archives: Yalumba

Mini-reviews 65: Taris, Gruet, Cabirau, Yalumba


reviews Taris, Gruet, Cabirau, YalumbaReviews of wines that don’t need their own post, but are worth noting for one reason or another. Look for it on the final Friday of each month.

• Chateau Taris 2012 ($6, purchased, 12.5%): This Trader Joe’s red Bordeaux, with some red fruit, some oak, and soft tannins, is worth exactly what it costs. Whether it’s worth buying is up to you; I’d just as soon spend a couple of dollars more for a more interesting wine.

• Gruet Brut Rose NV ($16, sample, 12%): This New Mexico bubbly, now labeled American, was disappointingly dull and not what it once was. Not much body, with muted red fruit and a hit of caramel.

Domaine Cabirau Rosé 2013 ($12, purchased, 13%): Not quite Hall of Fame quality wine, but another in what is a wonderfully long line of delicious and well made roses for around $10. From southern France, made with a grenache blend, with tarti strawberry fruit, lots of crispness, and even a touch of spice.

Yalumba Riesling 2012 ($10, purchased, 12.6%): This vintage of the Hall of Fame Aussie white is missing something, which may be nothing more than old age from sitting in a warehouse for too long. Some lemon and a hint of petrol, but thin and not all that much fun on the back end.

Wine of the week: Yalumba Y Series Shiraz/Viognier 2010

yseries_yalshv_main_1The epic decline in the Australian wine industry has been well documented; the wineries that have survived have done so because they have been that much better than the rest of the business

Case in point is Yalumba, which managed to avoid the excesses on both the high and low ends over the past two decades and has emerged as an example of what a post-modern Aussie winery can be. Jane Ferrari, who tours the world for Yalumba, told me the effort wasn’t always a lot of fun, but that the fifth-generation family business was the better for it.

One improvement is better distribution, so that we can buy the wines in more places in the U.S. The shiraz ($10, purchased), a red blend with a bit of viognier to add interest, has been difficult to find in Dallas. That always annoyed me because Yalumba’s Y series has terrific cheap wine.

The shiraz is an Australian wine that one can actually drink without taking a nap between glasses. It's still big and juicy (lots of black fruit and 14 1/2 percent alcohol), but both are well under control. Missing is the ashy aftertaste that so many of these wines have, and that makes them so difficult to like. It’s a red meat wine, but you can enjoy it without food. Highly recommended, and a candidate for the 2013 Hall of Fame.

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