Louisa Rose joins Steve Jaxon and Dan Berger on California Wine Country. She is the winemaker at Yalumba in Australia and one that Dan Berger holds in the highest esteem.
We also have a visit today from Mariangela of Della Toffola, one of our sponsors. She tells how Della Toffola was founded in Italy and opened their Santa Rosa, California affiliate in 2009. Even Louisa Rose uses some Della Toffola equipment, in Australia. The company also makes equipment for the craft beer industry, mainly in filtration.
Dan Berger met Louisa Rose probably soon after his first of many visits to Australia. Dan declares that Australia makes some of the best Rieslings in the world. He also says that Louisa is one of the most skilled winemakers in the world with consistently great results. Yalumba is an Aboriginal word, a local word meaning “all the land around.” They are based in the Barossa, in southern Australia, where they have established a high-quality production of certain varietals, especially Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre. More recently they have become known for Viogner too. Dan says it is a tricky variety and very few people in the US know a lot about it. There isn’t much of it grown here.
The first wine they serve is one of Dan’s favorite Rieslings ever, a 2018 Yalumba from a historic vineyard in the Eden Valley, that’s the cooler higher area. The vines came originally from Germany and the estate there has been producing Riesling for decades. The Barossa was settled by Scots and Germans. The Germans brought the Riesling. They have been making it for 172 years. In California we started in about 1880, so about 30 years later. Dan will cellar some for about 5 years.
Dan says that Yalumba doesn’t get the recognition it deserves, and that they produce a higher proportion of excellent wines than ever before Our sponsor Bottle Barn does carry the Rieslings and the Grenache that we will taste later.
Next they taste maybe the most interesting and stylish Australian Riesling, a 2013. Dan finds it very flavorful, with a toast flavor, and lime, white pepper and sage oil. Dan says this character comes from the vineyard, not the winery.
The founders of Yalumba came from Dorset in England in 1849. The same family is still there making wine, six generations later. They have never had philloxera there so many of their vines are the original rootstock.
They taste the “1961 Riesling” from a small part of the vineyard that was planted in 1961. They leave this wine on the lees for a longer time. It’s a 2018. Dan says it’s young and will develop its flavor profile later, even if it’s very drinkable now. It’s very dry.