The remarkably individual and generous The Octavius Old Vine Shiraz is made from a selection of aged Shiraz vineyards scattered across the Barossa region. It combines the perfume and pure fruit aromas of the Eden Valley region and the concentration, texture and ripeness of Barossa Valley Shiraz. The Octavius has a compelling freshness and vinosity with superb dark chocolate, brambly, mocha aromas, silky, chalky tannins, underlying savoury oak and sustained dark chocolate, roasted chestnut, mocha flavours. Vinification takes place in six to eight tonne open top stainless steel fermenters. Indigenous or 'wild' yeasts initiate the fermentation and contribute to the individual complexities, richness and fine textures of the wine. Maturation takes place in Yalumba-coopered French and American octaves, barriques and hogsheads for around 22 months.
Excellent black cherry and blackberry fruit, bright and still fresh; the oak in relative restraint; supple mouthfeel, flavour without excess alcohol.
96 points, Wine Companion (October 2005)
Produced from yields of 1.2 tons of fruit per acre, the 2001 Shiraz Octavius spent 20 months in both French and American oak. A blockbuster, structured Shiraz with oodles of personality/soul, it offers a sumptuous bouquet as well as flavors of chocolate, white flowers, blackberry and cassis liqueur, prunes, figs, roasted meats, and burning embers. This full-bodied, hugely extracted, monster Shiraz has amazing balance and symmetry for its large-scaled style. It needs another 1-3 years of cellaring, and should last for 12-20 years, based on the longevity of some earlier examples. For instance, a gorgeous 1994 Octavius, drunk in 2004, had a decade of life remaining. A 1966 Shiraz/Cabernet The Signature tasted next to it, was still in spectacular shape.
98 points, Wine Advocate (October 2004)
Barossa ValleyColonel William Light, the South Australian colony’s Surveyor-General, named the Barossa in 1837 after the site of an English victory over the French in the Spanish Peninsular War. In the mid-1800’s Silesian and English immigrants settled in the area. The Barossa itself comprises two distinct sub-regions: Eden Valley and the warmer Barossa Valley floor at 270m.The Barossa Valley enjoys a warm Mediterranean climate characterised by hot dry summers and relatively low rainfall. Cool sea breezes from the Gulf of St Vincent modify the temperature, however hot northerly winds can occasionally dominate creating considerable vine stress. Many older established vineyards are dry-grown, but supplementary irrigation is also extensively used. The valley is comprised of rich brown soils and alluvial sands. A long history of uninterrupted viticulture in the area means the Barossa valley is home to Australia’s largest concentration of old-vine Shiraz, Grenache and Mourvedre with many over 100 years old. Although most famous for Shiraz, the Barossa can also produce fragrant and deliciously fruity Grenache blends and beautifully rich, chocolatey Cabernet Sauvignons.
Samuel Smith established Yalumba in 1849 and 165 years later descendant Robert Hill Smith now presides over Australia's oldest family owned wine company. Yalumba owns vineyards and sources fruit primarily in the Barossa and Coonawarra. Robert Hill-Smith manages to combine conservatism and tradition with up-to-date winemaking technology and thinking. Yalumba produces a considerable number of different wines across the price-point spectrum from a multitude of varieties, all with a focus on quality, varietal and regional expression. The strong winemaking team is headed up by Louisa Rose, a brilliantly intuitive winemaker whose white wines are some of the best in the country.