Yalumba The Professionals Lunch 2016

Yalumba The Professionals Lunch 2016

Left Conatiner

Friday 22nd July saw the return of Yalumba The Professionals Lunch at SKYCITY in The Auckland Room. The main speaker this year was Yalumba winemaker and roving ambassador, the inimitable Jane Ferrari. Two hundred people attended this business networking lunch and Negociants was also very pleased to host some of our trade customers and business partners.

To start the event off on the right foot and get the crowd in the mood, the arrival drink was the Yalumba Y Series Pinot Gris. This wine is in Yalumba’s entry level range but it was nicely chilled and drinking beautifully with baked apple and poached pear flavours lingering nicely. The 2015 vintage has also recently won a gold medal at the New World Wine Awards.

The theme music from “The Professionals” television show, starring police detectives Bodie and Doyle which was on air back in the late 1970’s, was the signal for the opening of the doors to the ballroom and guests to be seated.

Martin McManus, General Manager for Negociants NZ then welcomed guests and introduced Jane Ferrari, who took the stage to tell a story or two about Yalumba and her world-wide travels as a Yalumba ambassador. Jane also introduced the three white wines that were to be served with the entrée; Yalumba Eden Valley Viognier 2012, Yalumba Eden Valley Roussanne 2014 and the Hill Smith Estate Chardonnay 2014.

Yalumba pioneered the growing and making of Viognier in Australia and has over 30 years of viticultural and winemaking experience working with this alluring variety. Apricot fruit aromas and flavours with long luscious texture and hints of orange oil matched superbly with the cured Akaroa salmon which had a mandarin oil component.

The Roussanne is a relative newcomer to the Yalumba stable. Negociants has only been importing this wine for the last couple of years and the variety was not widely recognised within the room. With the success of growing and making Viognier, the winemaking team at Yalumba were keen to work with another perfumed and exotic variety originating in the Northern Rhone and this resulted in Roussanne being planted in the Eden Valley. A silky textured wine, with white peach, vanilla custard layered over fresh grapefruit acidity, it was a surprising revelation which added a lot of interest to the lunch wines.

Lastly the Hill Smith Estate Chardonnay is a wine that is made under the Hill Smith Family Vineyards brand. Chardonnay is a more familiar variety for Kiwis and this wine has a creamy textural palate with flavours of lemon curd, quince and fresh peaches. A fresh citrus acidity provided balance and restraint with a refreshing, persistent finish.

After the first course was finished and all wines were thoroughly sampled, Jane continued to entertain guests throughout the long lunch with her hilarious stories, which had the whole room laughing.

The main meal was delivered and Yalumba Paradox Shiraz 2013 was served. The Paradox is part of the Yalumba Distinguished sites range of exceptional wines, carefully sourced and masterfully crafted to capture the true essence of specific, special sites within the Barossa. Paradox: A person or thing made up of contradictory elements. The Paradox is not what you might expect from a wine from the northern Barossa. It’s not the high octane, lots of new oak stereotypical northern Barossa Shiraz, but rather a softer, more gentle velvet-like and savoury style of wines. This wine matched well with the thyme and parsley beef flillet and was very drinkable and popular with a few more bottles having to be sourced for some tables.

Lastly with the cheese course, Yalumba The Signature Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz 2012 was served in decanter. The Signature is part of Yalumba’s Rare & Fine range and is a very special wine which recognises individuals who have made a significant contribution to the life and culture at Yalumba. Jane herself was a signatory to the 2010 Yalumba The Signature and the 2012 vintage dedicated to Robert Hill Smith, was a highlight of the lunch, richly layered with black fruits of plum compote and black cherries and an umami earthiness – smooth drinking and totally delicious and a fitting wine to drink at the end of a great event.