The epic decline in the Australian wine industry has been well documented; the wineries that have survived have done so because they have been that much better than the rest of the business
Case in point is Yalumba, which managed to avoid the excesses on both the high and low ends over the past two decades and has emerged as an example of what a post-modern Aussie winery can be. Jane Ferrari, who tours the world for Yalumba, told me the effort wasn’t always a lot of fun, but that the fifth-generation family business was the better for it.
One improvement is better distribution, so that we can buy the wines in more places in the U.S. The shiraz ($10, purchased, available at Spec’s), a red blend with a bit of viognier to add interest, has been difficult to find in Dallas. That always annoyed me because Yalumba’s Y series is terrific cheap wine.
This shiraz is an Australian wine that one can actually drink without taking a nap between glasses. It’s still big and juicy (lots of black fruit and 14 1/2 percent alcohol), but both are well under control. Missing is the ashy aftertaste that so many of these wines have, and that makes them so difficult to like. It’s a red meat wine, but you can enjoy it without food. Highly recommended, and a candidate for the 2013 Hall of Fame.