2012 Yalumba "The Signature" Cabernet-Shiraz Barossa Valley South Australia

SKU #1213008 98 points Sam Kim

 A formidable wine of outstanding richness, yet it’s sophisticated at the same time. Complex aromas of black/blueberry, dark plum, floral, game and vanilla lead to a velvety palate that delivers awesome intensity and opulence. A gratifying wine from an exceptional vintage. Surely this is the best wine made under this label of fifty-year history. At its best: 2022 to 2042. Signatory: Robert Hill-Smith.  (8/2015)

96 points James Halliday

 Spent 20 months in high quality French, Hungarian and American oak barrels made in Yalumba's own onsite cooperage. This is one of the richest and most opulent vintages of The Signature in the 41 years since the first was made. While the blackcurrant and blackberry fruit flavours dominate the oak, the wine has a certain elegant juiciness that offers drinking at any stage over the next 20+ years, as the tannins are supple and fine, the overall balance perfect.  (5/2015)

95 points James Suckling

 A balanced, complete red with currant, spice, meat and berry character. Full body with polished tannins and a long, long finish. Very structured and layered. Turns spicy and flavorful. This is a great wine. Try in 2018.  (6/2015)

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Blended of 52% Cabernet Sauvignon and 48% Shiraz, the deep garnet-purple colored 2012 The Signature (Cabernet Sauvignon / Shiraz) is a benchmark example of this classic South Australia blend. Giving scents of ripe black cherries, blackberries and cassis with underlying cloves, vanilla and menthol hints, it fills the mouth with ripe, seductive but never heavy fruit. Medium-bodied and well framed with firm grainy tannins and balanced freshness, it finishes long and youthfully taut. Always a great value Aussie icon, this vintage is right up there with the best and is certainly one for the cellars of Aussie wine lovers! (LPB)  (6/2015)

92 points Vinous

 Inky ruby. A complex, highly perfumed bouquet evokes ripe cherry and cassis, with complicating suggestions of toasty oak, pipe tobacco, incense and smoky minerals. Seamless but juicy and sharply focused on the palate, offering gently sweet black and blue fruit flavors given spine by gentle acidity. Rich yet nervy in style, this blend finishes with excellent clarity and length and gentle tannic grip. (JR)  (3/2016)

91 points Decanter

 Attractive herb and cherry on the nose, then succulent and spicy, generously proportioned cherryish fruit softened by background vanilla oak and a leafy, earthy quality, with an elegant balancing freshness.

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Staff Image By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/16/2015 | Send Email
Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full
To celebrate the release of the 2012 vintage I recently attended a spectacular dinner and historical vertical tasting of Yalumba's legendary "The Signature" bottling. We drank wines dating all the way back to 1961. My favorites from the tasting included the 61', 87' and 96'. These are very serious wines worthy of a place in any collector's cellar. In my opinion Yalumba's "The Signature" holds its own against Penfolds "Grange" at a fraction of the price. The 2012 vintage, featured in this offering, is the latest and 54th iteration of this limited release. It's signatory (that changes with each release) is 5th generation vigneron and Board Chairman of Yalumba, Richard Hill-Smith. This wine is made only in great vintages, and is crafted from Yalumba's best parcels of Cabernet and Shiraz from the Barossa and Eden Valley with vines dating back to 1935. It is matured in the best quality oak selected from Yalumba's own cooperage. The 2012 vintage in South Australia is going down as one of the greatest of the modern era. The wines are powerful, decadent and structured for long life. 2012 Yalumba "The Signature" Cabernet Shiraz is a perfect example of this. It has an explosively aromatic nose with briary, bramble fruits; blackcurrant, and dark plum, it is dense and saturated with wild exotic spices, toasty oak, and scorched earth…on and on it goes. The palate is juicy, flowing, viscous and mouth coating. The wine exhibits intense fruit weight and concentration but without any notable residual sugar or excessive extraction. It seems vine age and the moderate, warm growing season provided vital natural acidity to balance the ripeness of fruit. There are good, long-chain, structural tannins here giving direction and form to the torrent of fruit but without feeling aggressive. The wine, while delicious, is very primary and young right now but I have no doubt this will provide great drinking over the next two, possibly three, decades.
Drink from 2015 to 2035

Staff Image By: Jim Chanteloup | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/15/2015 | Send Email
I've spoke before about how Australia's Cabernet-Shiraz blend is akin to the great blends from Bordeaux. The fact that Shiraz is blended with Cabernet is NOT their way of cheating you! Merlot doesn't work so well in the Barossa Valley. This is a wine that has been made for over 5 count them 5 decades at Yalumba, the oldest family run winery in Australia. Besides being one of their top wines, 'The Signature" has always been a chance to recognize the importance that someone in the organization has brought to the table. This year, they have chosen Robert Hill Smith, 5th generation of the family and the man at the helm of guiding this iconic Aussie winery. So, what kind of vintage would YOU pick to honor your boss? Well, if you're smart and enjoy your job, a stunning one, which is what we have here. The wine is simply gorgeous with a lifted bouquet of cassis, blueberry, blackberry, dark cherry, currant, bittersweet chocolate, roasted coffee, earth, cumin and a clove/pepper spice. The palate delivers seamless balance with a supple texture that is all the while supported by a fine cloak of tannins that ensure a very long life which I wish for RHS! I was lucky enough to taste the '66 a few years ago with him that was still stunning, and I put this in that league if not one of its own. This is a legendary "Signature".

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.
Country:

Australia

- While it is true that the greatest strides in Australian winemaking have come in the last 30 years or so, commercial viticulture began as early as the 1820s and has developed uninterrupted ever since. The majority of the great wine regions are in the southeastern area of the continent, including Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, McLaren Vale, and Coonawarra in South Australia; Yarra Yarra Valley and Pyrenees in Victoria; and the Upper and Lower Hunter Valleys in New South Wales. Many of the wines from Southeastern Australia are based on Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon and various blends including Grenache and Mourvedre. In Western Australia, along the Margaret River, great strides are being made with Pinot Noir as well as Bordeaux-styled reds. There are also many world-class releases of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc from the land Down Under, where Riesling also enjoys international acclaim. While many equate Aussie wines with “value,” there are more than a few extremely rare and pricey options, which never fail to earn the highest ratings from wine publications and critics throughout the world. View a list of bestselling items from Australia.
Sub-Region:

South Australia

Specific Appellation:

Barossa Valley

Alcohol Content (%): 14