Yalumba The Cigar Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
90 points - "Named after the cigar shaped patch of Terra Rossa soil in Coonawarra, the 2008 The Cigar Cabernet Sauvignon is the second label of The Menzies. Very deep garnet-purple, it offers intense cassis and floral notes with aromas of violets, menthol and a whiff of slate. Well structured on the full-bodied palate, it has firm chewy tannins, high acidity and good concentration, finishing long. Drink it now to 2016."
Lisa Perrotti-Brown, The Wine Advocate (USA) #192, December 2010
"This is the baby brother to Yalumba's classic Coonawarra cabernet sauvignon The Menzies, but there is absolutely nothing second-rate about the wine. Named after the cigar-shaped strip of Coonawarra's famous terra-rossa strip.
All the elements are in place with blackcurrant and violet aromas and dark berry, chocolate, tempered oak and minty notes on the well-structured palate, which has appealing soft tannins. Pair it with roasted meat dishes."
Winsor Dobbin, The Sunday Examiner Magazine (Aus), 3 October 2010
92 points - "There's much to respect about Campbell Mattinson and Gary Walsh choosing Yalumba's 2008 Cigar as their 'Wine of the Year' for the 2010/11 Big Red Wine Book. By selecting a wine which is; a) affordable, and b) readily available to the masses, the boys have done a great justice to ALL drinkers of Australian reds. Go on, buy some, you know you can!
Polished and even, this deeply scented Coonawarra cabernet reveals heady aromas of blackberries, dark cherries, blueberries and crushed leaves with clean chocolate/cedar oak in an uplifting, perfumed and faintly floral style. Medium to full in weight, its plushly fruited palate delivers an even persistence of simultaneously dry and silken characters, which finish positively long with a wonderfully sensuous extract of fine-grained and dusty, silky tannins underpinned by a note of graphite.
There's certainly been something special going on at the Menzies winery lately and this wine only further underlines Yalumba's progress. It's perfectly harmonious and affordable; great now or later. Drink to 2018."
Chris Plummer, www.australianwinejournal.blogspot.com, 14 August 2010
“We tasted a lot of exceptional wines this year but this beauty from Yalumba’s Coonawarra vineyards cornered the holy trinity of quality, value and availability better than any other. Better still, it’s one of those rich, dark, robust reds that drinks like a charm from day one, but will mature and develop beautifully over the next handful of years. You have to love that. As we’re always saying, we’re wine buyers as much as, or more than, we are wine critics, and that this wine shouldn’t be hard to find is a fact not lost on us. No point having a wine of the year if no one can find it, or afford it. And you’re going to want to find some of this. It’s a champion red.
Review: - “Yalumba The Scribbler stole the show last year – this year it’s The Cigar Cabernet. This is a fantastic wine. If this is an indication of the reds to come from the 2008 Coonawarra vintage, we’re excited in advance. Really good Coonawarra cabernet, has a dark, inky depth – even at moderate alcohol levels. It tastes of blackberries and dried herbs, cedarwood and raspberries, though listing the components does nothing to describe the overall effect. There’s a ‘realness’ to this wine. A power. A churn of tannin and a lot of length. It’s enough to make you fall in love with Coonawarra all over again.”
POINTS: 95 VALUE: five drops DRINK: 2013 - 2020
Cambpell Mattinson & Gary Walsh, The Big Red Wine Book 2010/2011
"A year is a long time in politics, but it's a different story when it comes to wine. In The Big Red Wine Book 2010/11 (out tomorrow), many of the stars from last year performed poorly, while some of 2009's disappointments proved to be champions this time around. It's not a case of "every child gets a prize'. Wine is an agricultural product and summer's heat/cold, wet/dry affects every drop.
So, while I always say folk should drink whatever they like - ie, not place too much stock on experts, but find wines that tickle their palates - a bit of research can go a long way.
In 2009, the general advice was to steer clear of Coonawarra's 2007 vintage reds. But, this year, Yalumba The Cigar Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 stole the show, beating all comers to win the Red Wine of the Year title. It's a glorious wine, and a good sign that the 2008 Coonawarra reds rock."
Campbell Mattinson, Sunday Telegraph - Sunday Magazine (Aus), 30 May 2010