It’s that fresh, lively, off-the-cuff conversational style that makes Jane a pure pleasure to visit with; the kind of person you could have a beer (or a glass of wine) with and lose yourself in a variety of stories, all while whiling away the evening. As proof I offer this example: we sat down for lunch at 12:00 and didn’t get up till 3:30.
She talks about wine with the same passion she talks about George: “With a Shiraz-Viognier blend the magic level is 5%, we tried higher we’ve tried lower but 5% gives the right character to the wine; over that and you get too much Viognier character, a gluey palate and too much of that Viognier smell.” She also talks frankly about organic farming and how the Yalumba winery has been organic farming for years, the only difference: “organic farmers would leave their crop to mildew if they had that problem [meaning they’d lose the crop], we would spray if we had to, that’s what keeps us from being certified organic.”
But my favourite comment of the afternoon was an off-handed remark she made after one of the writers in attendance talked about hitting oneself over a mistake: “Self flagellation is something I am not familiar with,” she deadpans, “though I have seen a couple of movies lately,” she pauses, “just kidding.” With Jane on the road Yalumba is putting a face and a story behind the winery, and a meeting with Jane is not one you will soon forget, and along with that comes the name Yalumba, who’s 160 history is in good hands.
The Wines …
Yalumba 2008 Y-Series Riesling ($15.95) – Jane says the wine has a “snap, crackle and pop texture” and is “explosive, even at cold temperatures.” I enjoyed this Aussie Riesling with its lemon, lime and talc aromas and a palate that follows, it also suit and has good acidity with a nice long dry finish. (****)
Yalumba 2006 Barossa Shiraz-Viognier ($19.95) – a very supple wine with a nice deep colour for this red/white blend. Dense black fruit and white pepper take the palate by storm; while there’s a smoky, violet aroma that wafts up from the glass through the fruit; there’s heft here with delicacy, a Yin-Yang kinda thing. (****)
Yalumba 2006 Mawson’s Wrattonbully Cabernet Sauvignon ($19.95) – “This is a wine that can sit vegetarian or can sit carnivorous, which is my world,” said Jane Ferrari. Mine too I agree, as I dig into my burger. The wine showed some elegance and finesse. Big black fruited nose with berries and cassis … fruit follows onto the palate with spices and mineral notes; there’s also a lovely red berry finish. (****½)