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2002 Yalumba The Signature Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz
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- Cellar 5 - 8 years (2011-2014)
- ABV 14%
- Closure: Cork
A CLASSIC SIGNATURE FROMTHE SUPERB 2002 VINTAGE
Yalumba's founding father, SAMUEL SMITH was born in Dorsetshire, England, a staunch Christian who at the age of 19 was manager of a brewery. In 1847, sixteen years later, he set sail for Australia with his wife and three children. Having arrived in South Australia he moved to Angaston by bullock wagon, where he was appointed to take charge of George Fife Angas' garden. By 1849, he had saved enough money to purchase 30 acres of land around Angaston, naming the property 'Yalumba' (aboriginal for 'all the country around.') and planting a vineyard. Given the struggle of the early years, Samuel Smith managed to establish, grow and prosper where many others gave up, sold out or failed.
Yalumba's continuing success today, begs the question: "what are the special qualities that hold family businesses together for generations?". The answer seems to lie in the manner in which families develop relationships with their staff. A kind of extended family culture is established and prospers where both family and staff become integral in the success of the operation, developing a unique bond which goes far beyond job security. These unique family traits can be clearly evidenced from the Yalumba Signature Series Cabernet Shiraz - a label which has come to represent the best wine of any vintage whilst paying homage to an individual for their outstanding contribution to the company.
The concept of The Signature was born from a comment made at the annual dinner of the Adelaide Stock Exchange. The then Prime Minister, Sir Robert Menzies declared, "Gentlemen, this is the finest Australian red wine I have ever tasted." The Signature is the best wine of the vintage and honours individuals who have made a significant contribution to Yalumba's success. To date, 43 signatories have been recognised (with 1999 being the exception year, where on the 150th anniversary, all employees were recognised), establishing Yalumba as Australia's oldest family company which led Robert Hill Smith to write: "Yalumba still grows grapes and makeswine for the people of Australia and the world. It also continues to employ people across a broad spectrum of race, creed, colour, skill and talent." To date only three women have been honoured. The first, Christobel Hill Smith in 1974, the second in 1986 for Helen Hill Smith and now the great 2002 vintage honours the effervescent Victorian Key Account Manager, RHONDA SEXTON, pictured above (who just happens to also be Nicks / Vintage Direct Key Account Manager). Now let us say that her relationship in no way influenced the selection of the Signature for the Vintage Direct Newsletter. Rhonda has been at the face of Yalumba at retail level for a long time. The wine matches the award.
The Signature has always consisted of a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz - representing the best wine of the vintage. Winemaker Kevin Glastonbury, pictured left, has a hands on, get dirty approach: "Wine is a unique expression of the land. When you think about it, great wine is grown rather than made." Like all great winemakers, Glastonbury recognises the importance of exceptional grapes. The blend is composed of 56% Cabernet Sauvignon and 44% Shiraz, both sourced from within the Eden Valley and Barossa Valley regions. Yields are kept low to ensure flavour concentration. The terroir varies, adding complexity - from red brown earth, over red clay and sandy loam over clay to sandy soils. Fermentation is initiated using the natural wild yeasts found on the grape skins, with barrel maturation taking place in one of the most complex matrices of barrels that we have seen. All this goes to add layers of flavour.
THIS IS A GREAT SIGNATURE, A TRIUMPH FOR RHONDA SEXTON AND A MUST FOR ANY SERIOUS COLLECTOR.
Opaque black crimson purple colour with crimson purple hue. Superb nose of violets, blackcurrant, liquorice allsorts and confectionary. Mouthfilling palate with explosive flavour and outstanding integration of Cabernet and Shiraz. Flavours of cedar, blackcurrant, spice and black pepper emerge with great length and depth. Fine grained, almost velvet like tannins. Very long aftertaste of spice, confectionary, cedar, blackcurrant and white pepper.
Cellar: 5-8 years (2011-2014)
"The 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz The Signature reveals more purple in its color (than the 2001) along with a cooler climate mouthfeel, massive, concentrated blackberry and cassis fruit, and additional floral and cherry notes. Full-bodied and rich, with good freshness as well as huge concentration and length, it should drink well for 15-20 years."
Robert Parker, Wine Advocate #161 (Oct 2005)