The Scribbler – Yalumba Cab/Shiraz

October 14 2012 - 5:37 PM

I noticed that we had a bottle of Yellow Tail Shiraz/Cab just as we were finishing the Scribbler. I thought that it might be fun to see how cloying and terrible the Yellow Tail is by comparison. Then just thought, why ruin the evening.

For me, Yalumba’s Scribbler is a great re-examination of this blend after years of passing on it probably because of the ubiquitous presence of Yellow Tail, Rosemount Estate and other large-scale wineries which don’t provide great examples of it. I had the lucky chance of a quick chat with Louisa Rose, Yalumba’s chief winemaker, at Binny’s and after a taste, figured this would go with my porcini flatiron steaks. It did.

The bottle, decanted, provides a rich shiraz driven currant undertone to a spicy but bright cabernet that has a long enough finish to be enjoyable but short enough to reach for another sip quickly. You can get senses of oak, green peppers, and cherries but it’s balanced and these aromas combine to hold your interest.

Red blends by region are incredibly popular these days, from Super Tuscans and GSMs to Bordeaux blends whatever you call them… (meritage, claret, etc). I’m surprised the Aussies don’t hang a bigger shingle on this blend, though I guess in a way they have with the aforementioned Yellow Tail, etc.

Yalumba is Australia’s oldest family-owned winery. They offer some spectacular wines which I look forward to trying. The Octavius is an old vine shiraz, aged in small barrels which are made and seasoned in the Yalumba cooperage. The tiny taste I had was spectacular but not enough for me to understand exactly why.

At under $20, The Scribbler provides good value for a bottle that will play a reasonable role at dinner or on its own.