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Three-Pack Special: 2012 Yalumba "Paradox" Shiraz Barossa Valley, Australia 96 POINTS!!!

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Paradox: A person or thing made up of contradictory elements. Today's Three-Pack Special, the 2012 Yalumba "Paradox" Shiraz, was given this name because it stands out among its peers. A departure from the large and in charge (and admittedly wonderful) Shiraz-based wines typical of the region, it displays a softer, more velvety-textured side of Shiraz. It is part of the Yalumba Distinguished Sites Series of wines that are made from select parcels of land within Barossa that showcase the interplay of grape and micro-terroir.

Back in 1849, British beer brewer extraordinaire Sam Smith decided to expand his empire. With his family, he left the UK and set sail for Down Under in search of the perfect place to make.....WINE! Yup, that's right, Sam Smith is the man behind the über successful Yalumba Winery, which has been at the forefront of Australian wine production for six generations. To this day, Yalumba is the name behind some of Australia's finest wines at all price points.

Made with little intervention or modern winemaking techniques, the 2012 Paradox - sourced from parcels in the northern part of the Barossa Valley - used small lots of grapes fermented with wild yeast, in 30hL French open top oak vats. With no refrigeration the ferments naturally get quite warm, allowing the fruit flavors and textures to express themselves while the tannin extraction is minimal. The wine was aged for 22 months in oak barrels, only 20% of which was new. An inky, crimson wine in color, the Paradox shows complex aromas of mixed spice, crushed black pepper, violets and fennel. The palate has layers of velvet, with great structure showing lush red berries, olives and anise. A savory finish with fine powdery tannins rounds out this magnificent wine. Check out the press!

96 points, Australian Wine Companion
"Dense crimson-purple hue, still 100% youthful; this is a mighty wine, with awesome concentration and power; as always, a handwritten sticker lab label says nothing whatsoever about the wine - extremely frustrating when it is as good as this. Black fruits, licorice and almost velvety tannins fill the mouth with contentment, frustration to one side."

93 points, James Suckling
"Aromas of blackberries, minerals and spices turn to grilled meat. Full body, ultra-clean, fine tannins and a fabulous finish. Superb. Drink or hold."

92 points, Wine & Spirits Magazine
"Louisa Rose selects this wine from vineyards in northern Barossa, fermenting it without temperature control and without added yeast in large, open-top oak uprights, then aging it in 500-liter French oak puncheons (20 percent new). She says her goal—in part—is to produce a “soft, gentle, velvet-like and savory style of wine.” My notes from our blind tasting describe this as “a beautiful, soft, velvety and gentle Shiraz, its lovely freshness showing some maturity and heat but all in a voluptuous, generous and clean state.” It might not be what you expect from a contemporary northern Barossa Shiraz, but it’s exactly what Rose set out to produce. And it’s pretty delicious."

91 points, Wine Enthusiast
"Sourced from the northern Barossa, the name pays homage to the fact that this is not a stereotypical fruit bomb. Instead, it's a savory, meaty wine featuring hints of cola and raspberry. Fermented with “wild” yeasts in open-top vats and matured largely in used French oak puncheons (500 liters), this is a balanced, medium-bodied red well suited to the dinner table."

90 points, Wine Spectator
"Vivid, dense and juicy cherry and blackberry flavors at the core, with accents of mineral and black tea fanning out on the spicy, persistent and velvety finish. Drink now through 2028."

No cellar is complete without Aussie Shiraz from the Barossa Valley. Today's wine is a delicious way to round out your collection. Cheers!

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