Yalumba, Australia’s oldest family-owned winery, has debuted on La Place de Bordeaux with its top cuvee Yalumba The Octavius Barossa Shiraz, a wine that is based on some of the oldest surviving vineyards going back to 1854, planted a year before the famous 1855 Bordeaux Classification.
France’s ‘La Place’ is the world’s oldest and most developed wine distribution system. It is operated by a network of Bordeaux wine merchants, known as negociants. Although it specialises in the great Grand Cru Classé wines of Bordeaux, ‘La Place’ has also invested in an exclusive ‘Beyond Bordeaux’ category to promote and distribute other important wines of the world. The Octavius Shiraz is just one of a few Australian fine wines to be selected for this highly specialised channel.
The story of The Octavius Shiraz is linked to the earliest days of winemaking in South Australia. The surviving heirloom vine stock material derives from cuttings brought to Australia in 1832. During the 1870s and 1880s, Barossa Shiraz became an important source for the booming South Australian red wine export market in England and other outposts of the British Empire. Yalumba’s original vineyards dating back to 1854, have survived because Phylloxera has never arrived in South Australia. By dint of history, the Barossa region boasts the most extensive acreage of surviving 19th and early 20th century vines in the world.
Yalumba The Octavius Shiraz, based on ancient surviving Eden Valley and Barossa Valley vineyards, symbolises the region’s unique heritage while highlighting sustainable wine growing and the meticulous techniques of modern winemaking and maturation. Although the first experimental vintages were aged in Yalumba-coopered oak octaves, the wines are now matured in a mixture of new and seasoned oak barrels of various types to promote the transparency of vineyard sites and the singular expression of Barossa Old Vine Shiraz. Its reputation for longevity and age-worthiness is also acknowledged in the Australian secondary wine market, where it enjoys currency with collectors and wine drinkers from all walks of life.
“The Octavius Shiraz represents the very best of what our region has to offer, and we are excited to share it with a wider international audience of wine lovers and collectors around the world. We start our forthcoming September campaign with the glorious 2018 vintage, a wine that fully expresses the generosity and purity of the Barossa’s ancient terroirs,” said Robert Hill-Smith, Yalumba fifth- generation proprietor.
“I am delighted to be participating in this great adventure with our negociant partners in Bordeaux. The Octavius Shiraz reflects our heritage and the singular voice of the Barossa. It profoundly resonates with the character and feeling of our place. It is uniquely Yalumba and South Australian. I am hopeful that La Place will love the wine and what it stands for as much as we do “, said Hill-Smith.
“2018 Yalumba The Octavius Old Vine Shiraz is from one of the greatest vintages in memory. Its modulated power and elegant structure reflect a wonderful growing season, the exceptional provenance of heirloom vineyards and the best of precision winemaking and maturation,” said Andrew Caillard, Master of Wine.