One of our highlight tastings of the year, it was a great welcome back to Jane Ferrari. Jane has been hosting Yalumba tastings at Vino Fino and around the world for many years and is recognised as not only Australia’s, but one of the world’s, great wine communicators. Along with the excellent Yalumba wines, Jane is a great story teller and it comes as no surprise that she is now in demand as a speaker in her own right. This year the stories ranged from the “Undertaker from Darwin” to the “Horseshoe Bar in San Francisco” and much in between. Humourous, entertaining and educational Jane is able to tell of her adventures around the world and always intertwining with the story of Yalumba.

Yalumba for us, remain one of our favourite producers. Still firmly family owned since their establishment in 1849, their ethos is still firmly about maintaining the history as well as forging into the new. The focus is on quality and value and they have always kept a close relationship with their customers – hence the regular visits from Jane Ferrari. Each and every wine in the Yalumba portfolio over-delivers quality/value.Tonight we tasted through the reds from the very, very good 2013 and 2014 vintages.

Jansz Rosé NV $23.99

Methode Champenoise from Tasmania. The name Jansz pays homage to Tasmania’s namesake, the Dutch explorer Abel Jansz Tasman. Now owned by Yalumba, Jansz emerged from the original Heemskerk winery and is the only winery in Tasmania producing solely Sparkling wines. A very pale salmon hue with creamy soft strawberry flavours. Fresh with good complexity after 3 years on lees before disgorgement.

Pewsey Vale Riesling 2016 $18.99

The Pewsey Vale vineyard in the Eden Valley produces great dry Riesling. The vines (up to 70 years old) struggle in the poor rocky soil, battered by strong winds, but the Riesling they produce is world reknown. The 2016 is classic in style. At 12% alc and 0.9 gms rs. this is perfectly balanced with a wonderfully fragrant nose of kafir lime, whiteflowers and a hint of mineral slate. A ‘riper’ vintage making this so very drinkable at a youthful stage yet it will cellar for years.

Yalumba Eden Valley Viognier 2015 $22.99

Yalumba are the champions of Viognier and have been continually refining the style they produce. Gone are the rich oily, over-ripe apricot-laden styles of the past. The style now is much finer, yet with the hallmark slighty ginger spice, lemon balm and firmly ripe apricot. Not OTT, there is balance and restraint. Jane recommends this with firm white seafoods such as scallops, prawns and squid.

Yalumba The Cigar Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 $22.99

What a great way to start the reds! The name ‘Cigar’ is derived from the unique cigar like shape of Coonawarra’s famous terra rossa strip from where this comes. Mainly from the famous Menzies vineyard along with for the first time fruit from a new recently purchased vineyard block. Maybe it is the inclusion of this fruit.. the vintage.. but whatever, this is a tremendous buy. Dark ripe Cabernet fruit with choco-cassis, smoke/earthy characters and plush and firm on the palate. We didn’t have a wine of the night vote, but judging by the sales, this was a firm favourite.