The Caley is Yalumba’s flagship wine, a Cabernet Sauvignon-Shiraz blend, reflecting the long and unwavering commitment of Australia’s oldest family-owned winemaker to this classic Australian blend. The Caley is named for Fred Caley Smith, grandson of Yalumba founder Samuel Smith.
Released five years from vintage, with three years of bottle-age, The Caley is designed to claim, in time, a place alongside the most famous Australian reds. While deceptively attractive in its youth, the wine is built for the long haul, bringing together seamlessly the linear elegance, firm tannins and persistence of Cabernet with the richness and texture of old-vine Shiraz.
Black-red colour with a near impenetrable heart and youthful purple hues. The nose is very frim with intense, ripe, but vibrant and youthfully lively aromas of blackcurrant fruit with cassis liqueur, liquorice, spices and black plum nuances. Layers of aromatics unfold with sweetly ripe black fruit detail, spices and refined oak. On palate the vibrancy and vitality of the fruit is the feature, with sweetly rich, lusciously ripe and gorgeously layers flavours of blackberry and blackcurrant fruit, along with succulent plum, spice, liquorice and chocolate notes. The mouthfeel is exceptionally vibrant and expressed with great energy, the fruit underlined by very fine-grained, flowery tannin structure. There is still much to resolve, but this has incredible balance and accessibility The wine flows with drive, energy, vibrancy, intensity and finesse. A statement wine... 5,900 bottles made.
20/20 points, raymondchanwinereviews.co.nz
While many Australian winemakers are opting for single-vineyard, single-varietal wines for their top labels, Yalumba is deliberately harking back to the 19th and 20th-century traditions of the multi-district, multi-varietal blend.
Max Allen, Financial Review Magazine.
Exquisitely composed, perfectly poised and impeccably structured, this is an exceptional wine that wine lovers of Yalumba have been waiting for 168 years. The compelling bouquet shows dark fruit, cocoa, clove, bay leaf, almond and violet aromas with nuances of black olive and truffle. The oak infusion is discreet and seamless. It is concentrated and beautifully weighted on the palate, and exhibits silky texture, fleshy mouthfeel and loads of fine, polished tannins. The wine is pristine, yet spectacularly complex, and flows effortlessly through the palate, gradually expanding to a gloriously long, engaging finish. 2012 The Caley is a blend of Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon and Barossa Shiraz, matured in new and seasoned French oak barrels for 22 months.
100 points, Wine Orbit
52% Coonawarra Cabernet, 27% Barossa Cabernet and 21% Barossa Shiraz, open-fermented with wild yeast (three days) then cultured yeast. Bright, deep crimson-purple; the bouquet instantly semaphores a glorious profusion of cassis, blackberry and black cherry fruits, flavours which are precisely mirrored by the palate. But it's the way this beautiful wine caresses the mouth that is so special, the tannins polished, the oak judged to perfection.
98 points, Wine Advocate
…truly great… an ethereal fragrance drawing you deeper into the wine… beautifully polished and impeccably poised...
This is the first vintage of Yalumba’s new Cabernet/Shiraz-based flagship wine. Deep garnet in color, the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon / Shiraz The Caley offers expressive baked blackberries, cherry cordial and blackcurrant jelly notes with suggestions of Chinese fivespice, cedar and anise. The palate is built like a brick house, delivering a solid structure of firm, grainy tannins and plenty of freshness to support and complement the voluptuous, full-bodied flesh. It offers a very long, layered finish with lingering exotic spice and blackberry preserves notes.
96+ points, Wine Advocate
This is a strong cross-regional combination. Immense depth of olives, cassis, blue plums and iodine with blackberries, earthy nuances, fragrant baking spices and chocolate. The palate is beautifully assembled with deep-set tannins that carry long and majestic. Rich, dark-fruit flavours. A landmark first release that will drink well for decades. Drink from 2024.
98 points, jamessuckling.com
The wine’s story eddies around Yalumba’s fifth generation wine man Robert Hill-Smith. The intent, to celebrate the Australian touchstone of a unique blend, a historical legacy, a very expensive iteration of Australian wine -- pitching to where premium wine in dollar value can righteously sit. And fair enough. And good. The wine is sourced from the large tract of Yalumba Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon vines, and several ‘old vine’ Shiraz sources of the Barossa Valley. Good DNA, great winemaking nous from understated but excellent talent of Kevin Glastonbury. There’s plenty of boxes ticked, right up to Yalumba’s confidence and track record with the blend... Decidedly elegant, sweet fruited, medium weight, svelte and long red wine. It shows hallmark blue fruits, bayleaf, salty acidity, green herbs of Cabernet Sauvignon, but the sweet, concentrated, ripe, vanilla-choc-dipped berry fruitiness of Barossa Shiraz melts through. It stains the palate with ripe flavours, sweet molten spice, soft, supple tannins. The wine is controlled, lingers, feels finessed, preened and fine. There’s a splash of tang to close, but you know that will ebb away with time, which this wine feels it needs. There’s undoubted elegance here. Enthusiasts should be satisfied.
94+ points, Wine Front
Deep red colour with good purple tint, and the violet nuance of good Coonawarra Cabernet shines. Red fruit as well as dark -- simply lovely fruit. A very graceful, elegant wine, intense and very long on the palate. There is tremendous depth and concentration, line and harmony. A superb wine. 500 dozen made including large formats. 80% Cabernet from Coonawarra and Barossa, 20% Barossa Shiraz. Aged in Yalumba-coopered French oak barriques, 40% new. First release.
97 points, Real Review
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.