The Signature Cabernet Shiraz was first made in 1962. Each release is a ‘salute to an employee or person who has made a significant contribution to the culture and traditions of the company’. The Cabernet and Shiraz grapes derive from old vine material in the Eden Valley and Barossa Valley. After batch-vinification the wine completes fermentation in barrel, followed by maturation in Yalumba-coopered new and seasoned American and French oak. It is typified by rich plum/dark chocolate/panforte aromas and flavours, dense, chalky tannins, superb generosity of fruit and underlying savoury oak. Langton's Classified since 2010. Promoted to the 'Outstanding' category in 2018.
Since its first release in 1962, The Signature has been Yalumba's deep dive into the classic Australian blend from the Barossa and one that honors the people who have enhanced the traditions and culture of Yalumba. There is a resonance and depth to this release that I really like. Wonderfully pure and concentrated blackberry and plum fruits, layered with spice, dark chocolate, earth, cedar and oak nuance. Succulent and sinewy in the mouth, it flexes considerable muscle, yet remains purely fruited and approachable even at this stage of its evolution. Rich and balanced with fine, ripe tannin and plenty of energy for such depth of fruit. Lovely.
96 points, Wine Companion (March 2020)
This release is an exercise in richness. It’s thick with flavour, smooth-skinned, intense and creamy. Blackberry and saturated plum, blackcurrant and vanilla, a mere semblance of dried herbs and some toasted cedar. There’s a lot of oak here, more than I was expecting, but then there’s more fruit too, and enough tannin to lock it all into place. This is a substantial red in every way, built to last, sweet-accented, full-bodied, commanding.
95 points, The Wine Front (May 2022)
The origins of The Signature is one of the great, rarely told stories in the wine trade, a wine that is dedicated to individuals who have given much to Yalumba over their career. Arguably this year’s signatory, Nick Waterman, deserves it more than most, after helping Yalumba to steer its way through the challenges that are many in the modern international wine trade, including the last two years. It’s a wine that is unashamedly traditional in style – it’s not showy or made to jump out of the glass – the best years of Signature are generally between ten and twenty years down the track after release and this is no exception. Deep crimson in colour, the aromas are stoic and dense – blackcurrant, mulberry, earth, iron and old oak, all generous but understated. Dry, quite juicy and firm too, the palate is powerful with great impact of leathery/blackberry fruits underscored by a firm bed of solid tannins. Very young, it needs at least a decade to show its best.
95 points, Wine Pilot (May 2022)
Love to see this classic Aussie blend of cabernet and shiraz reminding us of how good it can be. This is one of Australia’s most famous blended reds that says so much about our wines and wine styles in this country. It’s the 48th release and the signatory is the recently retired MD Nick Waterman. I think Nick would be happy with this one, as it’s clearly one of the finest yet in this distinguished long line. Lovely perfumed spicy cedary notes on the nose, while the palate is supremely structured with power and finesse. Lovely with the slightly grainy textured tannins supporting the beautiful, concentrated fruit. Winemaker Kevin Glastonbury has done ya proud Nick.
97 points, Wine Pilot (June 2022)
Barossa ValleyColonel William Light, the South Australian colony’s Surveyor-General, named the Barossa in 1837 after the site of an English victory over the French in the Spanish Peninsular War. In the mid-1800’s Silesian and English immigrants settled in the area. The Barossa itself comprises two distinct sub-regions: Eden Valley and the warmer Barossa Valley floor at 270m.The Barossa Valley enjoys a warm Mediterranean climate characterised by hot dry summers and relatively low rainfall. Cool sea breezes from the Gulf of St Vincent modify the temperature, however hot northerly winds can occasionally dominate creating considerable vine stress. Many older established vineyards are dry-grown, but supplementary irrigation is also extensively used. The valley is comprised of rich brown soils and alluvial sands. A long history of uninterrupted viticulture in the area means the Barossa valley is home to Australia’s largest concentration of old-vine Shiraz, Grenache and Mourvedre with many over 100 years old. Although most famous for Shiraz, the Barossa can also produce fragrant and deliciously fruity Grenache blends and beautifully rich, chocolatey Cabernet Sauvignons.
Samuel Smith established Yalumba in 1849 and 165 years later descendant Robert Hill Smith now presides over Australia's oldest family owned wine company. Yalumba owns vineyards and sources fruit primarily in the Barossa and Coonawarra. Robert Hill-Smith manages to combine conservatism and tradition with up-to-date winemaking technology and thinking. Yalumba produces a considerable number of different wines across the price-point spectrum from a multitude of varieties, all with a focus on quality, varietal and regional expression. The strong winemaking team is headed up by Louisa Rose, a brilliantly intuitive winemaker whose white wines are some of the best in the country.