Historically, Bordeaux’s network of merchants and brokers, known as ‘La Place’, was a closed enterprise dedicated to the buying and selling of claret. Yet things have come a long way since the days of Bordeaux-only vision; the finest Australian wines are now being promoted in the world’s oldest (and most developed) distribution network, as consumers embrace diversity and worldwide excellence.
In September, Australia’s oldest family-owned producer, Yalumba, joined this exclusive club of A-list wineries. Their debut on La Place could not be more appropriate: The Octavius Old Vine Shiraz is a seminal wine, made from some of Australia’s oldest Shiraz vines, including a parcel that was first planted in 1854 – a year before the legendary 1855 classification of Médoc and Graves. Moreover, The Octavius is the first Barossa wine to be sold as part of La Place’s ‘Beyond Bordeaux’ September campaign.
Like all great wines, The Octavius owes its brilliance to exceptional terroir. The 2018 vintage being sold on La Place is composed of both Eden and Barossa Valley fruit (69 and 31% respectively), with an average vine age of 111 years. According to Kevin Glastonbury, winemaker at Yalumba, ‘Eden Valley Shiraz provides the exotic aromatics, high tone and seamless palate structure, whilst Barossa Valley Shiraz provides richness, density, and concentration.’ The oldest plots managed to survive phylloxera due to sheer chance; this destructive parasite never found its way to the soils of South Australia. As a result, Barossa can lay claim to the most extensive acreage of 19th- and early 20th-century vines in the world.
Yalumba first introduced this exquisite red to collectors and oenophiles in 1990. As one of Australia’s major innovators, early vintages of The Octavius were aged in Yalumba-coopered oak octaves; however, the wines are now matured in a mixture of new and seasoned oak barrels of various types to promote the transparency of vineyard sites and the singular expression of Barossa’s old vines. ‘The Octavius Old Vine Shiraz represents the very best of what our region has to offer, and we are excited to share it with a wider international audience of wine lovers and collectors around the world. We start our forthcoming September campaign with the glorious 2018 vintage, a wine that fully expresses the generosity and purity of the Barossa’s ancient terroirs,’ said owner Robert Hill-Smith.
The Octavius is a wine designed for our progressive age: hand-crafted from sustainably managed vineyards on ancient soils. It belongs to the world.
Yalumba The Octavius Old Vine Shiraz 2018
Launched 18th September 2023
RRP AUD $150 (£78)
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