Changing of the Yalumba Signature Guard

9.46am, Monday 4th May, Adelaide Airport, SA, Australia

Morning folks, sorry to drop off the air for a bit – still haven’t completely unpacked from Canada and the USA, but we’re off again – this time around Australia for the “changing of the Yalumba Signature Cab Shiraz guard” from my 2010 vintage to the ‘wine fireworks’ of Rob Hill Smith’s 2012.  


How sharp is that XX 2010 to XII 2012 vintage changeover swords crossed thing….I suspect it would make an excellent tattoo! And I still don’t have one!! Hmmmm!!

So after a most magical year showing the 2010 Signature around the worlds of wine across Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales, Canada, the USA, New Zealand and at home……and yes we sold out in September last year, so every bottle has gone to a good home – it’s now time to unveil the much anticipated 2012 Vintage.

 PS We didn’t bottle a 2011 Signature folks, as that vintage was the first time since 1974 that we got inundated with rain at harvest and consequently battled some outbreaks of powdery and downy mildew in the Barossa. Fortunately due to the diligence of our vineyard crew, winemakers and cellar crew – we lost a few rows at two of our vineyards, but we’re largely unaffected by the mouldy stuff around. However the parcels of Cabernet and shiraz that were ear marked for Signature  were good to very good, but not great – so the decision was made to put all the Signature fruit into the ‘little brother’ Scribbler……and the 2011 Scribbler sold out at a rate of knots!! Consumers aren’t silly – they know exceptional value for money when it jumps out of the glass!
Which brings us to the ‘changing of the Signature vintage guard’. We go from this…….Jane Ferrari (me!) 2010…

To the ‘Big Kahuna at the helm of Yalumba for 30 eventful and handled incredibly well years’ 2012 vintage…..Robert Hill Smith

Tess Fisher – our home based PR guru – asked me “did I have any advice” for Rob as the new signatory coming in….and they popped my answer into the booklet doing the rounds of the events with us, and it goes like this….

“Rob, I’m taking the role of Masters Apprentice here.

My year on the road showing Yalumba The Signature 2010 around the traps was just magic – “old school” is definitely back in style when it comes to Cabernet Shiraz & Shiraz.its been a treat to be the latest in a long, long line of these blends from our house, keeping the Australian ‘claret’ dream alive. So if I had any advice for you at all – seeing as you’re about to take your Yalumba The Signature 2012 around the world- it would be to make sure you have a handful of silver sharpie marking pens on board at all times! 

Why? Because, just like I get my theatre programs signed because they mark a great night I’ve been able to see on stage (one of my favourite things), folks everywhere have loved having their Signature bottles ‘signed again’ – because they mark a great moment in Yalumba wine time for them. And be prepared to be a good listener, because everyone wanted to have a yarn at events all over the world about their best times with The Signature Cabernet Shiraz down the years.

Chief – the stage is set. My 2010 vintage was good….but now – with your 2012 – pull those corks and let the real fireworks begin!”

So folks – we’re off to a flying start with our around Australia 2012 Signature release roadshow tonight in Perth – at Varnish on King – you have to love folks who put on ‘flights’ of bacon and bourbon, and are a wine bar as well! My kind of place, and I’m debuting a new t shirt this evening for the occasion! Fully imported from Abe’s BBQ in Clarksdale, Mississippi – yes folks, that is at the blues “crossroads” of highways 61 and 49 smack bang in the middle of the Delta – where I was having lunch just two weeks ago! Still pulling the charcoal from those rib tips out of my teeth!

If you get a chance, drop by and try the 2012 Signature – here is where we are in the West:

Tonight – Varnish on King

Tuesday 5th May – dinner at Lamonts Cottesloe – thanks Johnny Jens for being such a staunch supporter forever!

Wednesday 6th May – dinner at The Royal Perth Golf Club

Thursday 7th May – lunch with the ever dangerous Twist Club business blokes! At Mosmans

                                 – dinner at Cocos Restaurant, South Perth

Friday 8th May – masterclass at Your Shout Liquor, Mt Lawley – thanks to Neil and the hard core Barossa fans (you know who you are!) for always waving the Yalumba flag

And for folks in Adelaide – we’re at home the week starting Wednesday 13th May with lunch at the Edinburgh Hotel.

Cheers for now, and I’ll let you know how we go at Varnish. They do have Four Roses Single Barrel on their list, so it could all get a little interesting later on tonight as we compare those aromas, flavours and textures with those of the 2012 Signature!!

PS I nearly forgot – heres a massive “thanks very much” to Tony McManus at Perthshire 6PR radio, who rang us up for a chat on the wireless on Saturday night – hope to see you at one of our events, so that you can see what we were talking about with that ‘layer upon layer upon layer’ with respect to the depth of that 2012 Signature. Thanks again!

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