Yalumba’s most ‘adored wine’ launches in the Barossa

June 11, 2021
By Ioni Doherty

Australia’s oldest family-owned winery Yalumba have launched the 2016 vintage of its icon wine, Yalumba The Caley Cabernet and Shiraz.

The Caley 2016 was released for a first tasting on Friday June 4, at the Yalumba ‘First Friday’ event. More than 60 people came to the Yalumba wine room to celebrate the fifth vintage release of the winery’s most adored wine – the pinnacle of a long winemaking journey of excellence that rightfully honours Yalumba’s most adventurous son, Fred Caley Smith.

Guests joined sixth-generation family member Jessica Hill-Smith to taste the iconic wine, along with a warm and hearty cassoulet by Comida.

Hill-Smith said it was a fitting event to celebrate the release of The Caley, “It was wonderful to welcome people to our home in the Barossa to taste The Caley and enjoy some good old-fashioned Yalumba hospitality.”

The wine is named in honour of Fred Caley Smith, grandson of Yalumba’s founder Samuel Smith. Fred was a horticulturist who had a profound impact on the development of Yalumba’s orchards and vineyards. He is best remembered for a ground-breaking research journey he undertook in 1893 and 1894 to the USA, UK, Europe, the Middle East, Sri Lanka and India.

Each release of The Caley celebrates a step in Fred Caley Smith’s journey around the world, and for the 2016 vintage, the spotlight falls on January 1894 and his journey to visit his family in the United Kingdom.

Live music by Emilio Lacar accompanied the evening. Yalumba First Fridays are held on the first Friday of each month at the Yalumba Wine Room from 4.00-7.00pm.

“Just as Fred was welcomed home by his family in the UK, it was great to welcome people here to our wine room,” she said.

The Caley 2016 is the result of Yalumba’s unwavering commitment to Australia’s own unique red wine style – the Cabernet and Shiraz blend. It is the family winemaker’s fifth vintage release since 2012.

For more than a century, Cabernet Shiraz has been a focus at Yalumba and The Caley is the finest example of the ‘Great Australian Red’ – a unique Australian blend of Cabernet and Shiraz.

“The Caley came about in the 2012 vintage and our winemaking team were given a blank canvas to make a wine from our most premium sites of Cabernet and Shiraz across Coonawarra and Barossa – a Great Australian Red that we could be really proud of,” says sixth-generation family winemaker, Hill-Smith.

“The Cabernet Shiraz blend is unique to Australia and we knew as soon as we tasted the first vintage of The Caley that this was a wine to be proud of, reflecting not only its provenance but everything Yalumba has worked towards over the past 172 years of family winemaking.”

“We’re not trying to make the same wine each year, but instead show the full potential of both Cabernet and Shiraz, and the makeup of The Caley has worn the colours of each vintage. We’re excited to share the fifth vintage release of The Caley and for collectors to be able to see the complexities in this wine, and the individual vintage expression of this ‘Great Australian Red’, as we like to call it.” says Hill-Smith.

This release of The Caley is a blend of 71% Coonawarra Cabernet and 29% Barossa Shiraz, built to spend many years in the cellar and drink beautifully from release to 2036 and beyond.

Yalumba Winemaker and craftsman of The Caley, Kevin ‘KG’ Glastonbury, described 2016 as “a magnificent vintage. It gave us pristine fruit with richness and concentration.”

“The Caley 2016 comes into its own as a very sleek, refined and focused wine. It is a wine that sets us on a clear trajectory which we are very excited about. Aromatic, plush, rich, inviting, with the hallmark palate drive of The Caley,” said Glastonbury.

Yalumba The Caley Cabernet & Shiraz 2016 will be available to purchase here and in fine wine retailers from June 2020. RRP: AU$365

To celebrate the release of The Caley 2016, there will be a number of ways to try this pinnacle wine across Australia. 

  • For the first time, The Caley 2016 will also be available in a limited flight tasting at two Merivale restaurants for the month of June: Bert’s, Newport and Mimi’s, Coogee. The Caley 2016 will be served alongside the 2014 and 2012 vintages, showcasing three expressions of the wine, and allowing guests to sample The Caley without needing to dip into their own cellar. Each flight will comprise of three 75ml pours for $90. 
  • The Caley 2016 will be available by the glass at Hotel Centennial, Woollahra. 
  • Through the month of June, Yalumba will offer the unique opportunity to taste all five releases of their icon wine from the inaugural 2012 to the new release 2016 vintage.  The Caley Tasting Flight 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 Find out more and register here.  
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