2005 Yalumba “Y” Series Shiraz Viognier

Price: $8.99 @ Cost Plus imported by Negociants Napa

What They Said:

Per the winery “This wine is deep purple red in colour with the nose showing initial aromas of violets and sweet berry fruits, messed with the subtle fragrance of apricot and musk. The palate is stylish and approachable, showing sweet berry mid palate fruits with a soft even texture and fine tannin finish.”

What I Think:

I know I promised to get to this one soon after drinking the ’04 but alas, eleven months later I am finally delivering. Back then freshly returned from my vacation in Australia I was somewhat let down on the price ($14) and the bottle itself. On a positive note I did learn some lessons on pairing Shiraz with that bottling that are detailed in the previous post.

Given I’ve had the ’04 and I have notes this offers an interesting opportunity to look at a vertical. The winemaker is the same and I have the statistics on hand. Before looking I would expect this version to be much more acidic. And survey says…

2004 2005
Alc/Vol 14% 13.5%
Total Acid 6.2g/L 6.5g/L
pH 3.57 3.48

Not sure if the difference in Total Acid is significant or not. Also not sure how the Total Acid relates to pH which from my pre-med days I recall as a measure of acid as well. Time for some additional research so stay tuned! Anyhow, happily with the ’05, which is the vintage I was drinking when I was down under, the world has righted itself. At $9 this wine has a lot to offer!

Following my pairing rule we pulled the cork on this one with Filet on the table. This bottle is 94% Shiraz/6% Viognier. In the glass it looks light, ruby but almost effervescent. On the nose you get some floral aromas, from the Viognier which I had a hard time identifying in the ’04 bottling. A bit of dark fruit on the palate before the Viognier takes over leading to a bit of a racy finish with just a hint of sourness. All in all very enjoyable. With the ’06 out I’ll look to continue this experiment. I’ll have to find it…92% Shiraz/8% Viognier. Hopefully it will take me less than 11 months!

Rating: Buy It

2004 Yalumba “Y” Series Shiraz Viognier

Price: $13.99 @ BevMo imported by Negociants Napa

What They Said:

Per the winery “Good Spring rains were followed by the usual dry Summer, but an unexpectedly cool January was perfect for the vines to ripen and maintain healthy canopies. This cool period led to the grapes in most regions maintaining excellent natural acid levels and very deep rich colours. A long, cool Autumn also meant that each parcel of fruit would be harvested at its optimum flavour development. February and March were quite dry and balmy with cool nights and warm days, ideal conditions for the development of both Shiraz and Viognier flavours.

Yalumba Y Series Shiraz Viognier 2004 showcases the distinct varietal characters of these two grape varieties, co-fermented to capture their synergy.

This wine is medium to deep crimson purple in colour with a very attractive nose showing warmer aromatics of heady ripe berry fruits. The Viognier lends fragrant notes of apricot blossom and musk. The palate is very approachable, with ripe raspberry and ju-jube-like flavours, quite plush and smooth finishing with a long velvety texture.”

What I Think:

We had this one in Australia and found it to be quite a good wine. I think this price seems a bit high as I remembered paying 10ASD or about $8 there. Just checked and the 2005 (the vintage we had down under) appears to be available pretty widely for $10. By the way, all the Australian wineries seem to have these cool tasting notes don’t they! For almost all the Aussie wines I get the have nice downloadable pdfs with the wine information.

We tried to pair this one with pasta and it just couldn’t handle the acidity. Perhaps this was common knowledge but I thought all big wines could stand up to just about anything. Now I know they need to be big on tannins, not big on fruit! So I gave it a pass for that error on my part. The next night we tried with chicken fajitas and again had the same result here. So what did we learn? The important lesson here is that Shiraz should not be on the table unless you see a cut of meat. Since that wasn’t to be on the menu this week I tried some on it’s own to much better results. This wine looks super dark in the glass and shows all dark fruit on the nose, much as I tried to find any hint of the Viognier it subtleness was too much for me to identify. In the mouth it has a rich, supple feel that led to some dark forward fruit. In the mid-palate I was surprised that I could actually sense the ju-jube flavors mentioned in the wineries notes. The finish is where I seemed to notice the blend the most as it was much smoother than I would have anticipated. All in all this turned out to be a moderate effort. It certainly didn’t match the nostalgia that I had hoped to reclaim and the 2004 won’t find its way to my house again. On the other hand I do anticipate with a bottle of the 2005 ($9.99 at BevMo) meeting a steak on my table sometime soon as we will once again try to relive the memories from our long lost vacation.

Rating: Pricey

2005 Oxford Landing GSM

Price: $7.99 @ BevMo imported by Negociants Napa

What They Said:

Per BevMo “The 2005 Oxford Landing GSM possesses herbal, peppery, red cherry, spice, and earthy notes, light tannin, and ripe, round fruit. Drink it over the next 12-18 months.”

What I Think:

This is a wine that we had while traveling through Australia a few months ago.  I enjoyed it there and have enjoyed it again here.  This wine made me keen to try more of the Aussie blends.  Generally blends outside of France were on my list of things to avoid.  As an aside this wine cost more in Australia than in the US.  In Australia they have a wet tax of 25% added to the cost of all alcohol.  This blend was 56% Grenache 33% Shiraz and 11% Mourvedre.  Put this one on the 5c sale and I’ll grab a case.

Rating: Buy It (this one borders on Bulk Buy for me)