Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Yalumba Organic Shiraz 2010

The wine industry has embraced organic for many of the same reasons other agricultural industries have, to appeal to a broader segment of the buying public and provide longer sustainability to their industry. There is considerable evidence that organic practices are better for the vines and vineyards which may outweigh the short term expense of going organic, still the Organic Wine Section is not as large as I'd like to see.

Yalumba are the oldest family owned winery in Australia, established in 1849, and have been at the forefront of environmentally friendly wine making for many years.  Yalumba have been awarded numerous accolades for their farming and wine making practices so their move into organics should come as no surprise . This 2010 South Australian Shiraz is sourced from two organically certified vineyards, then fermented with naturally occurring wild yeasts and receiving no oak aging, the closure is , of course, a screwcap.

Organic is nice, and I'm generally willing to spend up to 20% more for organics providing the quality is there, so this wine at $15.99 has to be equal to, or better than, equivalent Shiraz of $13.32 in order to make my table on a regular basis so let's see how it measures up.

In the glass the wine is intensely ruby, I mean it's really really red and on the nose the alcohol , 14.5%, is noticeable but not overpowering. The nose is almost pure fruit, which made me a little worried as often Aussie Shiraz over emphasize fruit at the expense of acidity, plums and blueberry with blackberry jam but little if any of the black pepper spice notes I generally associate with Shiraz. The spice does show up in the mouth though, the wine is still predominantly fruit driven but there is enough spice and natural tannins to allow the wine to retain a decent balance of flavour. The finish is moderately long and doesn't dry out, a result of the lack of oak, and has pleasant fruit finishes with a touch of cocoa . We had the wine with burgers and it fared well, the vibrant fruit working nicely in tandem with the charred beef, fried onion and melted cheese.

Overall I'm happy to recommend this wine, it's a bit spendy if you don't care about the organic aspect as there are wines of equal quality in the $13.99 - $14.99 range but if you like your wine with a bit of social conscience then this wine should be on hand regularly for grilling season.

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