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  • Writer's pictureLushmuddled

Yalumba 'Hand Picked' Shiraz Viognier 2016

Updated: Jun 21, 2021


Eden Valley, SA, Australia

Okay, before I start this I want to get a few caveats out of the way. First of all, I expect a lot from big name producers. If you are going to be presented as one of the best producers in Australia, I expect to see that represented in the wine. Secondly, this bottle of wine was sealed under cork, which isn't a consistent closure - a case of twelve wines sealed under cork will become 12 different wines over time.

I like Eden Valley and 2016 was a great vintage for the region. I also adore Shiraz Viognier, so I was really expecting to like this wine. Sadly, I didn't. The colour is classic - deep purple with crimson hues. Despite decanting it half an hour before drinking it, the nose remained closed (surprising, because the Viognier is supposed to provide some perfume). Swirling in the glass forced some perfume out, but it isn't aromatic at all - tree bark, plum and dark cherry. The flavour is deep and savoury, like brittle twigs, and dark cherry shows up again on the palate. The tannin structure is bloody great though. There isn't much more I can say about this wine. It's simple and basic, like a dictionary definition; it'll give you a general idea of what Aussie wine is about, but not much else.

I do wonder what goes on inside the big wineries. I simply cannot believe that this is the best Yalumba can muster at $40 with all their resources. But then again, I also wouldn't expect the best burgers to come from McDonalds. Maybe the mentality of this wine is to be a safe, reliable and middling consumer option. In fairness, there could well be something wrong with the bottle. It isn't corked or cooked, though, but there are a myriad of ways an inferior cork can affect a bottle of wine. Hey, maybe it's just me.


Have it with? A back up bottle, just in case.

Classic, weird or funky? Classic, but still disappointing.

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