Now if you are a Master of Wine student and fine wine writer, receiving an invitation to hear Master Sommelier / Master of Wine Doug Frost speak is a command that must be obeyed. Beyond the hard-won titles that attest to years of intense study, Doug Frost is a very nice, approachable guy and actually the perfect one to represent Yellow tail in a tasting as the reputation of Yellow tail is that of an easy, approachable wine.
John Casella, Managing Director for Casella Wines (whose father created Casella Wines) was present to observe the tasting and add colorful bits about his family’s incredible history from italy to Australia many years earlier, and the multitude of tiny decisions that resulted in this multi-million dollar, instantly recognizable Yellow tail brand.
Now the afternoon began with a blind tasting of two flights of wines, four flights each. Flight one consisted of yellow tail Reserve Shiraz 2008 from Southeastern Australia ($11), d’Arenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz 2006, McLaren Vale, Australia ($60), Marquis Philips Shiraz 2008, McLaren Vale, Australia ($13) and Archetype Shiraz 2007 Barossa, Australia $15.
Guests – all very highly educated wine journalists and sommeliers – were asked to write tasting notes before the wines were revealed.
The second flight consisted of Mollydooker Maitre’d Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 Southeastern Australia, ($11), yellow tail Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 Southeastern Australia ($11), Layer Cake Malbec 2008 Mendoza, Argentina ($14), and Penfolds Thomas Hyland Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 South Australia $16.
It was interesting to compare these (mostly) Australian wines in terms of style — when Mr. Casella spoke about yellow tail, he reinforced that "fruit, fullness, and freshness" were what the wines were meant to be all about. The wines were created to be great tasting wines that went well with many foods. Today Casella Wines exports in excess of eleven million cases a year, popular in over forty countries.