Yalumba was founded in 1849 by Samuel Smith, British migrant and English brewer, who had brought his family to Angaston seeking a new life. After 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". Five generations and 160 years later Yalumba, Australia's oldest family owned winery, has grown in sizeand stature, embodying all that has made the Australian wine success story the envy of winemakers the world over.
Yalumba The Octavius has established a reputation as one of Australia's icon Shiraz wines, an amazing feat considering the first release was the 1990 vintage. In addition to being sourced from a number of very old vineyards in the Barossa, The Octavius is matured in American and French oak 'octaves' of 100 litre capacity. It is the only red wine in the world that is matured in such small barrels. The secret of the wine not becoming overpowered by the oak lies in the wood which is seasoned at Yalumba's own on-site cooperage for three to five years before the octaves are crafted. Yalumba is one of a select few wineries in the world who boast their own coopers practising the ancient craft of barrel making.
Though 2008 was a year of climatic extremes, the end result has seen a wonderful year for The Octavius. All parcels of fruit were fermented separately in either eight tonne open fermenter or six tonne static potter fermenters. Indigenous or ‘wild’ yeasts naturally present on the grape skins were allowed to initiate the fermentation. Cultured winery yeasts were then added to complete the fermentation. These ‘wild’ ferments have helped contribute to the individual complexities of the wine, creating richness and fine textures.
The Octavius 2008 is sourced 59% from Barossa Valley Shiraz and 41% from Eden Valley Shiraz from a number of faithful Yalumba growers. The result is a wine that is dark crimson red in colour with aromas of concentrated plum, clove, dark coffee and chocolate. It hits the mouth with ripe plum and blackberry sweetness and finishes long and stylishly. This wine will continue to improve in the long term.
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