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Yalumba, “Samuel's Collection” Bush Vine Grenache

Barossa Valley, Australia 2020 (750mL)
Regular price$22.00
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Yalumba, “Samuel's Collection” Bush Vine Grenache

The Barossa Valley, in South Australia, is a broad, relatively flat valley formed by the Para River—effectively an “alluvial” basin with varying percentages of clay, loam, sand, and other sediments. Whereas some of the world’s most powerful red wines (from Shiraz/Syrah most famously) hail from here, there are pockets of very sandy, silica-rich soil that produce very finessed, fragrant, silky styles of Grenache.

The Yalumba estate dates to 1849 and remains under family ownership. The “Samuel’s Collection” line of wines is an homage to Yalumba’s founder, Samuel Smith, and a showcase for some of the estate’s oldest “heritage” vineyards. This nuanced and highly expressive red is a noteworthy achievement at this price, coming from bush-trained vines with an average age of 70 years.

This wine is 100% Grenache pressed into a combination of closed and open-topped vessels. The wild yeasts that arrive in the winery on the grapes initiate fermentation. Most of the grapes are de-stemmed, but some bunches are left intact to lend spice and dimension. After draining and pressing off skins, all batches are racked into older American, French and Hungarian “hogshead” barrels for six months of maturation.  

The fruit character is more red (cherry kirsch, wild strawberry) and the perfume and texture of the wine is almost Pinot Noir-like—albeit with more concentration/viscosity. The tannins are incredibly fine and smooth. A world away from inky, black-fruited Barossa Shiraz!

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Southern Australia

Eden Valley

Eden Valley is immediately east of Barossa, but its vineyards climb to altitudes that can exceed 500 meters in some places, resulting in much cooler growing conditions. This is critical for preserving acidity in white grapes, and the traditional style of Eden/Clare Valley Riesling is high in acidity and bone-dry, to put it mildly.

Western Australia

Margaret River

The coastal vineyards of Margaret River, cooled by Indian Ocean currents, are known for Chardonnays with plenty of acidity to match their deep fruit concentration. They are intensely citrusy in character, somewhere between Burgundian and Californian in style, and consistently show well in blind tastings when mixed in with French and American renditions.

Southern Australia


Much like Margaret River to the west, Coonawarra is often compared to Bordeaux because of its proximity to the Southern Ocean, but there’s a critical difference—the distinctive terra rossa soils of Coonawarra, a mix of clay/loam that is rich in iron oxide over a limestone base.

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