Yalumba The Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon & Shiraz 2004
96 points - "The Reserve is a benchmark of Barossa longevity, and at almost a decade of age it still screams out for another 15 years, if not 25. Breathtaking Cabernet fragrance, empowered by deep-set Shiraz and long-enduring structure. 13.5%."
Tyson Stelzer, WBM, 1 October 2013
96 points - "I was privileged to have the opportunity to showcase trophy winners of my Great Australian Red competition in London earlier this year, and one of the finest wines in the room was the 1990 vintage of The Reserve. The confident longevity of the greatest cabernet shiraz blends is perhaps uncontested in Australian wine. In 2004, The Reserve was sourced entirely from the Barossa Valley and matured in 50% new oak, half French and half American. This will be an exceedingly long-lived wine, and even at almost a decade of age it takes quite some time and vigorous swirling action to coax its violet perfume and blackcurrant and capsicum fruit out from under its shroud of cedary, dusty, dark chocolate oak. Crunchy structure, lively, enduring tannins and amazing length promise tremendous longevity. Drink 2029 – 2039."Tyson Stelzer, Wine Taste Weekly, 23 August 2013
94 points - "The essence of Yalumba and ripe, juicy Barossa cabernet (70%), blended with handy ripe Barossa shiraz (30%), this is looking very fresh and composed, with near perfect ripeness led by cabernet's cassis fruits and blackberry shiraz, cedary oak and an earth edge. The palate's sapid, juicy, youthful and taut, showing plenty of ripe, sweet tannins and dark-plum fruit flavours, pitching the generosity of the Barossa with impressive length and neatly balanced shape."
Nick Stock, Good Wine Guide 2013, November 2012
5 stars - "On the Yalumba stairway to heaven you are looking at the most seamless fruit with power and concentration from Barossa cabernet and shiraz here. Released as a seven-year-old wine, they like them at 10 years but it can age for 20-plus years."
Robert Geddes MW, Australian Wine Vintages 2012
"You may as well start with best! Made in exceptional vintages and aged in French and American oak, the nose is a hypnotic blend of soft stewed plums, tobacco and chocolate. The palate is the lingering kiss of an insatiable lover that covets the tongue with silky fruit and lithe tannins. Probably the best mature premium red I have had in the last 12 months. A joy to be had with seasoned, seared aged rib eye. It needs nothing else."
Dr Michael Ryan, Australian Medicine Online, 2 July 2012
92 points - "A blend of 69% Cabernet and 31% Shiraz, Yalumba’s 2004 The Reserve is still firm and dusty on the finish, suggesting at least another 2–3 years of cellaring are warranted. Cassis, caramel, earth and vanilla notes are all nicely in- tegrated into a cohesive whole, with the result being a dark, chocolaty wine that’s savory as much as it is fruity."
Jeff Collerson, Wine Enthusiast (USA), May 2012
96 points - "The essence of Yalumba and ripe, juicy Barossa cabernet (70%), blended with handy ripe Barossa shiraz (30%), this is looking very fresh and composed, with near-perfect ripeness led by cabernet's cassis fruits and blackberry shiraz, cedary oak and an earthy edge. The palate's sapid, juicy, youthful and taut, showing plenty of ripe, sweet tannins and dark-plum fruit flavours, pitching the generousity of the Barossa with impressive length and neatly balanced shape."
Nick Stock, Good Wine Guide 2012
94 points - "This wine still has a fair way to go; essency and concentrated black fruits are complemented by a fairly substantial amount of cedary oak; the wine is gloriously complex and multi layered, and despite its raw power, shows great restraint; it needs time to fully come together, an issue that is dependent on the cork doing its job. Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz."
Ben Edwards, James Halliday's Australian Wine Companion 2012
"Deeply coloured and flavoured full of youthful, vibrant fruit, this brooding, muscular Barossa Valley wine is laced with cassis, mulberry and cedary fruit still tightly wound around a core of firm grainy tannins and superbly integrated French oak, all rounded off with brilliant length. It is masterpiece of integrity and balance still 10 years away from its peak."
Angus Hughson, The Australian, 7 October 2011
90 points - "This blend of cabernet sauvignon and shiraz is a selection of the 20 best barrels of '04 reds in Yalumba's cellars, half of it aged in new French barriques and American oak hogsheads, the balance in older French oak. It's ripe and powerful, packed with blackberry flavors and tough, full-on tannins. Heady and meaty, this needs a few more years in bottle to settle down. For thick-cut lamb chops."
Joshua Greene, Wine & Spirits (USA), February 2011
92 points - "Smooth, polished and precisely measured, this cigarboxy red reveals an earthy floral bouquet with alluring sweet black and red fruits tightly knit with smoky, chocolate and cedary oak. Dripping with fruit, with juicy flavours of dark plums and blackberries that reveal a slightly cooked raisiny and pruney aspect, it’s long and fine-grained. I much prefer the very stylish Signature of the same vintage."
Jeremy Oliver, The Australian Wine Annual 2011
94 points - "A blend of 69% Cabernet Sauvignon and 31% Shiraz, the 2004 The Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz gives a deep garnet-purple color and intense cassis, coffee and menthol aromas with hints of dusty earth, underbrush, black truffles and a whiff of lavender. Very fine, elegant and medium-bodied in the mouth, there's just enough fruit and savory flavors to balance the crisp acid and fine firm tannins. It should age beautifully, drinking now to 2020+.
Remaining one of Australia's oldest, largest and most prestigious family owned companies, Yalumba's top wines should not be overlooked amongst the limelight-hogging young-gun wines that have sprung-up around the Barossa in the last 20 years. Some of the region's finest vineyards are owned or contracted by this company. They've also contributed considerably to the quality of vine material available throughout the region with the impressive developments at the Yalumba nursery. Regarding the current releases, The Signature and Octavius won't be released in 2007. I was informed that in 2008 all their reds were picked before the first week of March but there were no single site wines made in 2008 because it was felt the fruit wasn't expressing the sites. 2009 was a good year and everything will be released, though winemaker Louisa Rose confessed that their early maturing Shiraz suffered the most in the 2009 heat spike."
Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate (USA) #192, December 2010