Showing posts with label Yalumba. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Yalumba. Show all posts

Monday, April 1, 2013

Organic treat from Yalumba

Yalumba Organic Shiraz 2011 (South Australia), 13.5%, O’Donovan’s Off Licences

Colour is a deep red and on the nose there are sweet dark red fruits. Flavours are quite intense on the palate with spices and pepper. Fruit driven for sure yet there is a lovely softness here and a gorgeous savoury finish. Definitely one to look out for and try.

Founded in 1849 by Samuel Smith, Yalumba is Australia’s oldest family owned vineyard. Composition of this certified organic wine is 97% Shiraz with 3% Viognier and the winemaker is Heather Fraser.

Enjoyed this at a recent O’Donovan’s wine event where our host was Jane Ferrari of Yalumba. Didn’t waste any time and got in a small supply the very next day! Very Highly Recommended!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Yalumba’s Ferrari wows Cork Supper Club

Yalumba’s Ferrari wows Cork Supper Club
Yalumba’s Jane Ferrari was the star of the show at the O’Donovan Off Licence Cork Supper Club in Club Brasserie this week. The well travelled Aussie had some great wines from the venerable but vibrant Barossa winery and some terrific yarns and observations from her years there and on the road.

Well she did say it was full of spring blossom!
Gary O’Donovan opened the evening, welcoming one and all to the "continuing adventure" that wine is. Don’t get stuck in a groove was Gary’s advice and promised that the evening would be a great chance to try something new. And so it proved.

We had been welcomed with a choice of either the Y series Vermentino (2011) or the Merlot (also 2011) and then had three tasting before the multi-course meal began.
Loved the Organic South Australian Viognier (2011) and the excellent Pewsey Vale Eden Valley Riesling (2010) but really fell for the Organic South Australian Shiraz 2011 (and just picked up my order at the local branch today!).

Founded 1849
Jane, in her admittedly “ugly broad Australian accent”, told us that Yalumba was founded in 1849, that she herself started in winemaking and has worked in every part of the business. Ten years ago, she started on the road, selling Yalumba all over the world.

It wasn't always easy for the Smith family, the Yalumba owners. Nor for their employees! Back in the tough times of the 80s, the winery was at risk, saved only by an agreed four year pay pause. Apparently, that particular piece of austerity paid off.

It was a very enjoyable evening in Club Brasserie. The courses flowed and so too did the wines with the starters accompanied by a smashing Chardonnay, this the Eden Valley Wild Ferment 2009.

 Some serious stuff followed. Those that took the fish course, were served the Yalumba The Virgilius Viognier 2008, “a wine of finesse, opulence with layers of complexity and lusciousness”, yet all in a restrained combination.

Those eating the steak enjoyed the Signature Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz (2008). “This is my favourite of the things we do,” said Jane, telling us that the signature is of a different person each year.

This one belongs to Judy Argent who came to work there for her summer holidays in 1977 and is still there. It is a magnificent wine, combining great power and elegance.

And still more wine followed. The Cheese plate was matched with the soft and fruity characteristics of the Menzies Coonawarra Cabernet 2003 while the dessert came with the “sticky”, The Yalumba Museum Muscat.

The very pleasant evening ended on a light note, not that it was ever heavy, when Gary tried to “dig” a little deeper to see what Jane really thinks. Oh by the way, we never had a problem with that ugly broad accent and everyone loved her broad sense of humour.

Gary asked her what her favourite thing about New Zealand was. “Leaving,” was the lightning response. Her favourite politician? “The best looking.” He also quizzed her on her “crush” on Ronan O’Gara. She confirmed that it was still alive and kicking, just like the international career of the player himself, “there is life in the old dog yet” she said.

Then it was off to bed for Jane though not before she managed a few paragraphs in her blog. Check it out here.

This was a terrific wine evening, thanks to Jane, to O’Donovan’s team and to Brian Hogan of Cassidy Wine Merchants and to Club Brasserie. Keep an eye on O’Donovan’s Facebook page for future events.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Yalumba's Jane Ferarri Comes to Town!

Yalumba's Jane Ferarri Comes to Town!
Really looking forward to this one. Yalumba's Jane Ferarri is a terrific speaker on wine, very knowledgeable but down to earth and full of good humour. She likes her sport too and, indeed, I reckon it is no coincidence that she is here right smack in the middle of the Six Nations Championship. Not alone does she like her sport, she also likes her sportsmen. Last time she was here, she told me (and the whole room) that her (then) current favourite was Ronan O'Gara!
Gary O'Donovan has lined up a fantastic speaker and Club Brasserie have a very tempting menu indeed for you on the 19th. 

Click on menu to enlarge

Friday, September 30, 2011


Jane Ferrari with Maurice O'Mahony (left) and yours truly at Ballymaloe


Jane Ferrari, the roving ambassador for Yalumba Wine Company (Australia), was in Ballymaloe yesterday. Despite being in the process of recovery from a recent knee operation, the indefatigable Aussie was in top form.

Busy, busy, busy. In the afternoon she spoke to the Cookery School, early evening she conducted a wine tasting and later a full scale wine dinner. And all that after a hectic few days and nights in Dublin.

Dodgy knee or not, she kept her lively show on the road. She also writes a blog and her latest post concerned the Irish game v Australia. Obviously she likes her sport and, also obviously, her sportsmen, including current favourite Ronan O’Gara.

But back to the wines, all produced in the Barossa area by the long standing family company and available here through Cassidy Wines.

Started off with the Pewsey Vale Riesling, produced in the high country above the valley floor and costing about €13.00. “This Riesling is absolutely spot on with Mediterranean-Asian crossover food,” said Jane. “It is essential to have this well chilled,” added Ballymaloe sommelier Colm McCan.

Jane then moved on to their Barossa Eden Viognier 2009, perfumed and luscious and made from super ripe grapes, handpicked. “This means the yield is halved but the wine is pretty elegant.”

The second Viognier, the Virgilius Eden Valley 2008, comes from the same 22 acre small yield vineyard. At €30.00, it is double the price of the first one. Hints of ginger in the peachy apricot aroma, it is an “unctuous and complex its best with food....complements a wide range of flavours”.

The Barossa valley floor is too hot for Pinot Noir and the Yalumba favourite is Grenache. Jane gave the winemaker’s point of view: “Grenache is easy to get along with. If you’re looking for the Diva of grapes, it has to be Viognier.”

The first Grenache was the Barossa Eden Bush Vine 2009 (€17). The fruit comes from 14 different parcels on the valley floor, mainly river sand. “It is raspberry over rosemary, berry over herb, no heat. The Number One word with Grenache is balance and this medium weight wine is a perfect match for juicy chargrilled pork chops.”

Then we moved on to the Single Site Bowden Vineyard Moppa Block Grenache 2006, darker, more cherry, more intense. This fruit comes from a tiny vineyard and 2006 was a “stellar vintage”. This is a “cracker of a food wine, ideal with roast veal, chorizo and other Spanish, Italian dishes”. Unfortunately, this gem is not available in Ireland.

Next up was their €40.00 The Signature Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz 2005. “This was originally called Galway Claret and is a bit of a specialty with us. It is the old Claret style and we are trying to keep the style alive. The Cabernet dominates the nose while the long lasting palate is down to the Shiraz. This could live forever!”

Then we moved to Shiraz and “into carnivorous territory”. Stared with the €24.00 Barossa Eden Patchwork 2008, an “old school juicy fruity middle weight”.

Next came The Octavius Old Vine 2004, a “serious heavyweight, long lasting in the mouth, great length of power and the flavours remain, ideal with meat off the bone, including venison fillets and also good with vegetarian dishes such as those featuring Shitake mushrooms”.

We finished on a sweet note with the Yalumba FSW8B Botrytis Viognier, Wrattonbully 2009, €18.00. It is a gorgeous dessert wine and Jane said cheese makers and dessert chefs “are going nuts for it. It goes well too with old fashioned desserts such as apple crumble.”

A lovely end to a lovely evening with a lovely person who entertained and informed with an abundance of down to earth fact and insight and no shortage of good humour. We cheered her off the stage and I reckon she’ll be cheering for Ronan on Sunday.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


Ballymaloe's Colm McCan, one of those who enjoyed last night's wine event in Electric, told me about their upcoming wine event....

Learn about the heritage, culture and wines of Yalumba
with Jane Ferrari, from Yalumba Wines, Barossa Valley, Australia
Thursday 29th September, 2011

The inimitable Jane Ferrari, is simply one of the of the world’s best wine speakers, reflecting her wine knowledge & experience, heartfelt infectious passion, and expansive personality, coupled with that laid back, straight talking, down to earth wit & humour, open soul Australian approach. 

Jane’s interests also include a lifelong passion for horses & racing, and she also makes her own olive oil from her treasured gum-studded block of Barossa land.

Yalumba was founded in 1849 by Samuel Smith, purchasing a 30-acre parcel of land just beyond the southern-eastern boundary of Angaston, Smith and his son began planting the first vines by moonlight. Samuel named his patch “Yalumba” – aboriginal for “all the land around”. Six generations and 160 years later Yalumba is Australia’s oldest family owned winery.

7.00pm Wine presentation and tasting in The Grain Store at Ballymaloe House. Jane will give a wine presentation and tutored tasting on various wines that are made by Yalumba. A great evening not to be missed. €10, booking advised.

8.30pm Wine dinner with Jane Ferrari at Ballymaloe House. After the wine tasting, Jane will give a wine dinner at Ballymaloe House – with the wines matched to the Ballymaloe Dinner menu. Over dinner, Jane will introduce and speak about the wines as they are served with each course. €75, booking essential.

Ballymaloe House, Shanagarry, Co. Cork, Ireland
Tel: 021 4652531
Lonely Planet Top 10 Wine Weekends
Georgina Campbell Wine Award of the Year 2010
Food & Wine Magazine Top 10 Wine Experience of the Year 2010