Yalumba The Menzies 2005

In 1847 Samuel Smith migrated with his family from England to Australia, eventually settling in a small town called Angaston in the Barossa Valley. During the day he worked as a gardener for George Fife Angas, after whom the town was named and at night he would plant vines with his son in the 30 acres he bought. He named the site “Yalumba”, an Aboriginal word meaning “all the land around”. More than 160 years later Yalumba is currently run by Robert Hill-Smith, a fifth generation descendant. Yalumba has expanded and is now the largest family-owned winery in Australia; they own vineyards and source grapes from all over South Australia including those for today’s wine which come from Coonawarra.

The Menzies was created in 1987, named in honour of Sir Robert Menzies, a politician and red wine enthusiast. The Cabernet Sauvignon grapes for this wine are estate grown in Coonawarra on its legendary Terra Rossa soil*. This relatively cool area, similar in climate to Bordeaux, is famous for producing some of the best and most refined Cabernet Sauvignon in the world.

The wine is made by harvesting the Cabernet grapes in small parcels. These parcels are vinified separately, with certain lots given extended skin contact before pressing. The wine is then matured in French oak; after 16 months the different batches are tasted, and the bottling blend is made. This final blend is given another 6 months in oak before being bottled.

* Terra Rossa, red soil in Italian, is a type of red clay. It occurs where heavy rainfall dissolves carbon from calcium carbonate and the rock leaches silicates leaving deposits that are rich in iron oxide (rust).

Tasting Note Root DayRoot Day
The nose is intense and brimming with ripe blackcurrants and black cherry; these initial fruit notes are followed by aromas of cedar, and spice. The palate is full-bodied with great fruit and hints of oak, the texture is silky with soft tannins adding to the structure. The Menzies 2005 has a very long finish, and whilst drinking beautifully now will easily improve for another 5 years.

September 2011

Yalumba The Menzies 2005
Country: Australia
Region: Coonawarra, South Australia
Vintage:  2005
Alcohol:  14.5%
Grape Variety:
Cabernet Sauvignon
Where To Buy:
Harrods, The Wine Society, Wine-Searcher
Tags: Wine of the Week, Australia, South Australia, Coonawarra, Cabernet Sauvignon, Yalumba, Menzies, Red Wine