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JOHN ROZENTALS remembers days when cricket was played hard but definitely for the culinary enjoyment of the participants.

September 28, 2018 Beverage, Headline News No Comments Email Email

I’m old enough to remember when most first-class cricket matches had a rest day, quite often a Sunday to coincide with the Sabbath.

One of the really beaut things about the Adelaide Test, particularly when the English were involved was the bus trip for players and media to the Barossa to visit Yalumba.

The owners of Yalumba have always been confessed cricket tragics. Clem Hill was an Australian captain in the late 1800s and later Wyndham Hill Smith represented Western Australia.

There’s plenty of evidence for the fun that was had on those visits held in Yalumba’s museum, notably a picture of Dennis Lillee and Ian Botham stripped down to their budgee smugglers and obviously having a great time.

The museum contains plenty of other Yalumba memorabilia and is a great venue to visit, especially if you’re having a decadent lunch in the Tanks 11 and 12, which have been converted to fine dining places from their original use as waxed-concrete wine-storage tanks.

And while I’m on a cricket theme, just one more cricket yarn.

When he was launching Yalumba’s premium cabernet-shiraz, the Caley, current chief of the family company, Robert Hill-Smith, told his PR assistant to make sure that Lillee and Marsh were at the event.

Apparently she’s still scouring the globe looking for Lillian Marsh, and wondering who this obviously most important person is.


Yalumba 2016 The Virgilius Viognier ($48): Yalumba’s chief winemaker, Louisa Rose, is generally regarded as the Australian master of this temperamental grape variety, and it shows in this flagship white release. It’s both powerful and restrained, showing excellent balance of exquisite perfumed fruit and skilled winemaking subtlety. Drink with a cleverly sauced, fairly fill-flavoured chicken dish.

Yalumba 2014 The Signature Cabernet Shiraz ($65): Yalumba uses this hearty red, generally made from 100 per cent Barossa fruit, to honour the services of exceptional employees or others who’ve made an major contribution to the company. This particular vintage honours Chris Greening, a long-serving member of the S Smith & Son sales force. A full-flavoured dry red deserving of the finest steak.


Yalumba 2012 The Caley Cabernet Shiraz ($349): No, the price isn’t a typo. You’ll have to fork out just on $350 to enjoy Yalumba’s ultra-premium red flagship. Tasting this wine a rare treat. It combines the elegance of the very best Coonawarra cabernet with the robust richness of superb Barossa shiraz. The winemakers suggest pairing it with a slow-roasted rack of veal. Who am I to argue the toss.

Written by John Rozentals

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