Yalumba launches new Samuel’s Collection wine range

Barossa-based winery Yalumba has launched a new wine range called Samuel’s Collection, describing it as the “gateway” to its premium wine portfolio.

Speaking to the drinks business at its UK distributor’s (Fells) portfolio tasting, chairman and proprietor of Yalumba, Robert Hill-Smith said the range was named after his great, great grandfather, Samuel Smith, who founded Yalumba in 1849.

“This range is basically a nod to the heritage of our family business,” he said. “We’re aiming these wines at bars and gastro pubs where they’ll be available by the glass.

“It’s a step up and a gateway to our premium tier wines to introduce the public to what we can produce. The large producers, the likes of Yellow Tail etc, are doing nothing for the reputation of Australian wine. We want people to move up and try something different – we’re not looking to be mainstream.”

The new range comprises of a Barossa Shiraz, Barossa Shiraz/Cabernet Sauvignon, Barossa Bush Vine Grenache, Barossa Grenache/Shiraz/Mataro, Eden Valley Viognier, Eden Valley Chardonnay, and Eden Valley Roussanne.

Speaking about the Viognier, a variety that has become synonymous with Yalumba, Hill-Smith called it “highly gluggable and refreshing”.

“We’re best known for this grape – our winemaker Louise Rose has made it her life’s quest to specialise in and get to grips with it.

“The main point is its drinkability. There are lot of wines produced around the world that are high in alcohol, clumsy with lots of oak. The key to producing great Viognier is picking and having good vineyards.

“Viognier needs to be closely monitored and the grapes need to be off the wines at the right time. When the alcohol gets too high, the wine gets bitter, so getting phenols right is important too. Viognier’s aromats can come relatively late and be lost very quickly.”

He also pointed towards the range’s Grenache as being a wine that would surprise people.

“We call it the ‘blue-colour Pinot Noir”, he said. “Grenache is really underrated, particularly by Pinotphiles who especially tend to turn their noses up at it.”

“The reds in this range are medium-bodied with softer tannins – wine is a living thing not a stewing thing!”

“This range can really give you a feeling for the region and at the same time is approachable. Around the world we’re witnessing demand for wines with a bit of energy, that are easy drinking with softer tannins.”

In the press release announcing the new collection, Yalumba’s head of winemaking Louisa Rose said: “Understanding that wine drinkers are seeking more youthful, generous and fresher wines, we have crafted Samuel’s Collection to fit this style, while still showing the hallmarks expressed in the Yalumba winemaking philosophy.”

The bottles in the new collection will also be the first to feature the new Yalumba clocktower branding which will now be included across all the company’s marketing material.

Samuel’s Collection is sustainably grown and vegan-friendly, something Hill-Smith said the company had been focusing on for “over five years.”

The wines will be available in Australia and in all major export markets from 1 March 2019.

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