Since 1987, the Hill-Smith family has counted itself amongst those fortunate enough to produce an estate grown Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon. To own a vineyard upon that famous terra rossa soil over limestone is the holy grail of all Cabernet Sauvignon purists. Experimentation, innovation, minimalist intervention and small batch winemaking has resulted in The Menzies’ reputation as one of the best wines of its type to emerge from the region – a wine of longevity, elegance and structure.
Throughout Barossa and Coonawarra, pockets of carefully tended vines have been hand-selected to provide the fruit for Yalumba's very best and most sought-after wines: The Rare & Fine Range. Crafted only when all the elements of viticulture and winemaking interact perfectly, our Rare & Fine wines are the very best examples of the varieties and blends that have found a natural home here in Australia during the past five generations.
The Menzies is in the heart of Coonawarra terra rossa country. The vineyard site is reasonably level, with the defining terroir difference coming from the soils. Our soil is red sandy loam over limestone, which is classic Cabernet Sauvignon dirt. Most of the vines for Yalumba The Menzies were planted in 1985 and are trellised tall with wide rows. Bunches are usually small with small berries giving a concentration that favours the creation of full bodied reds.
The grapes were crushed to small static fermenters where the liberation of colour and tannin is controlled either by plunging the skins, irrigating the fermenting wine over the cap or draining all the wine from the skins then flooding it back. Selected parcels are given extended skin contact before pressing.
Plum red in colour and full depth in hue. The bouquet leads with violet and lilac floral notes to the tangy counterpoint of sea-spray and pepper. A rich and powerful palate of red fruits and dark chocolate on a robust tannin framework. The finish is long, complex and well worth contemplating. Decant and enjoy alongside char-grilled rib-eye on the bone or mushroom wellington with roasted root vegetables.
Chief winemaker Louisa Rose directs the winery in a style of their own. It incorporates unique elements such as a grape vine nursery and on site cooperage. Yalumba is at the forefront of introducing new varieties and styles to the Australian palate. They include perfumed Viognier, fresh Vermentino and supple Tempranillo, with Fiano and Verdejo soon to come. Yalumba adopts a holistic approach to environmental practices, focusing on sustainability and natural resource management. They take a leading role in the industry by reducing carbon emissions, increasing biodiversity and exploring organic viticulture. Yalumba has been recognised on the international stage with numerous awards for sustainable environmental management practices. They celebrated 160 years of Barossa heritage with the development of the Barossa Old Vine charter and the release of red wines from ancient Shiraz and Grenache vines. Yalumba was founded in the Barossa Valley in 1849 by British migrant and English brewer, Samuel Smith. Smith and son planted the estate’s first vines by moonlight after purchasing a 30 acre parcel of land just beyond the south eastern boundary of Angaston. Samuel named the patch Yalumba, an aboriginal word meaning all the land around. Five generations and 160 years later, Yalumba has grown in size and stature to become Australia's oldest family owned winery. Yalumba is now run by fifth generation descendant, Robert Hill-Smith and family. Robert was appointed Managing Director of Yalumba in 1985. The Hill-Smith family is committed to an energetic and innovative company that is quality focused and young at heart.
JAMES HALLIDAY - HALLIDAY'S WINE COMPANION
Matured for 20 months in French oak (30% new). 30 months after the first tasting is evolving as hoped, my tasting note still totally valid: elegance is the key to this wine. It is Old World in its restraint, with an earthy/savoury background to the blackcurrant and mulberry fruit, bay leaf and black olive adding their bit. The oak is restrained, the fine tannins likewise.
Seamless and silky, scented with violets and small berries; long and lustrous.
JAMES HALLIDAY - HALLIDAY'S WINE COMPANION
Elegance is the key to this wine. It is Old World in its restraint, with an earthy/savoury background to the blackcurrant and mulberry fruit, bay leaf and black olive adding their bit. The oak is restrained, the fine tannins likewise.