Yalumba is one of the very few major players in the Australian wine industry to still remain in family hands and has done so for over 150 years.
Established by Samuel Smith back in 1849 in the Barossa Valley, Yalumba has become one of Australia’s major wine producers, producing outstanding Bordeaux blends and Shiraz from the Coonawarra and Barossa Valleys. However it is their Claret (a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz) that they are most famous for. It was one of their Clarets that Sir Robert Menzies, Prime Minister of Australia through the 50s and 60s, toasted the house declaring their Claret to be ‘the best red wine’ he’d tasted.
The name Claret comes from 1700’s when wine from Bordeaux was being sold to the English under the generic name of Claret. The Australian blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz, however, is not something you will find in modern day Bordeaux. While the French do produce a style of wine called Clairet in Bordeaux (a dark pink wine), this wine is a darker, full bodied Rosé, rather than a blend like the Australian Claret. Since the introduction of appellation in the 1919, it has been illegal to blend wines from different appellations and of course these two varietals are from completely different regions (Bordeaux and Rhone). It is for that reason the the Claret, known as the the ‘great Australian red’, has become quintessentially Australian.
Last year Yalumba launched the very first Caley (pronounced ‘kelly’) as the pinnacle of the ‘Rare and Exceptional’ range of wines. Named after the grandson of the founder Fred Caley Smith, in honour of the profound impact he had on Yalumba’s development. At just 22 years of age, Caley Smith set out to travel the world through the early 1890s, having just completed a degree in horticulture, to gather information and new ideas that helped shape the Yalumba winery into what it is today. Every bottle of Caley is accompanied by a map of his journey and a little booklet that covers parts of his journey, complete with photos of his worldwide exploits.The wine is a blend of the very best wine selected from the best growing regions – Cabernet Sauvignon from Coonawarra and Shiraz from the Barossa Valley. The grapes are handpicked and only the best of these go into the making of this exceptional wine.
The result is outstanding. The 2013 release is the second release to date. An exceptional wine in all respects and well worth putting in your cellar.