Easy drinking with Nick Stock

Discover Yalumba, Australia’s oldest family-owned winery, with FIFTY+SA Wine Writer, Nick Stock - one of Australia's most well-known wine critics.

Nick Stock is one of Australia’s most well-known and highly-regarded wine critics. He co-owns McLaren Vale’s favourite beach front bar and restaurant the Silver Sands Beach Club. Read more of Nick Stock’s work over at nickstock.com.au

​​Yalumba is Australia’s oldest family-owned winery and later this year in November, they will officially celebrate their 175th birthday. Celebrations are underway already with special releases and events to mark this milestone, the first of which I was fortunate to attend at the winery on April 17th, a wine tasting like no other.

There’s so much to say in the story of Yalumba, a household name in Australian wine, well-known and well-respected internationally anywhere wine is served. Their current range of wines and the greater portfolio of Hill-Smith Family Estates extends through virtually every style and price point, delivering quality and value in consistently flawless form.

It says much about a wine business to endure so strongly across almost the entire Australian wine journey, balancing tradition and innovation, to find itself in a leading role 175 years into the ride. Established in 1849 by Samuel Smith, today it rests in the hands of fifth-generation proprietor and industry pioneer Robert Hill-Smith.

The Hill-Smith family has long understood the custodial responsibility of such a long history and their horizon lines run far and wide. Over many decades, the family has built and maintained a museum wine collection that houses great bottles of vintages that date back over a century, a library of other classic Australian wines and many of the greatest wines from all around the world.

Since 1977, and on selected special occasions, Yalumba has invited friends and key wine industry folk to share in the unique experience of tasting and enjoying great bottles from the best vintages. If you’re into wine, this invite is a golden ticket of sorts.

This latest tasting was nothing short of incredible, showing 36 rare wines, vinous unicorns, from the world’s most sought after vineyards and producers. The first glass of the tasting was Champagne Pol Roger 1921 – a Champagne sent as a gift from the cellars of Pol Roger who were also founded in 1849, the same year as Yalumba. The last glass was Yalumba Shiraz Port 1923. You get the idea.

The 34 wines in between these more-than-century-old bookends included a set of cellared Yalumba reds that will be released in May 2024 as a Museum Collection to mark this 175th anniversary. They stood shoulder to shoulder with a set of the world’s greatest wines and will now be made available for all to enjoy.

Happy Birthday Yalumba, I’ll drink to that!


Have a glass of…

Yalumba The Signature Cabernet Shiraz 2009

One of Yalumba’s hallmark styles, this is from a vintage that enjoyed good ripeness and deep flavours. Rich dark berry fruits, chocolate and cedary notes are carried in fleshy and supple style. Bold, rich and drinking really well.

Yalumba The Signature Cabernet Shiraz 2012

This vintage of The Signature looked superb from the very outset and it is ageing very well. Twelve years on is a great time to drink this. It has a very vivid and bright red and dark fruited core. Really vibrant.

Yalumba The Menzies Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Prime Coonawarra cabernet from a mild vintage that delivered classic cabernet with blue fruits, leafy elements and purple floral fragrance. The palate is intense, quite elegant and vividly fruited. Very fresh, this could be aged even longer.

Yalumba The Caley Cabernet Shiraz 2014

This is the top tier Yalumba red and the vintage in which they really struck the bullseye in terms of setting the style and quality. Regal and intense with aromas of graphite and flowers with a blueberry and cassis core. This has power, elegance and very complete, supple tannin. Smooth-honed. Reminiscent of great left-bank Bordeaux.

Yalumba The Octavius Shiraz 2014

A classically styled edition with intense black currant, blackberry and dark chocolate, as well as cedar and coffee with some herbal notes too. There’s a real resilience to the palate, really youthful and vibrant fruits run long through the finish.

Yalumba The Octavius Shiraz 2009

Such an enjoyable wine in a great stage of its evolution, this has all the richness of fine Barossa shiraz with such deep blackberry fruit flavours. Really mouth-coating and rich, a wine that is right in the zone of luxurious, silky character. Don’t miss this one!





We would like to acknowledge the Kaurna people as the custodians of the lands and waters of the Adelaide region.

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