Yellow Tail Shiraz Wine Review

Having tried other wines from Yellow Tail, I wanted to give Yellow Tail Shiraz a try too.

This wine, like their others, comes from Casella Wines in South Eastern Australia.

According to the bottle, the Casella family has been making wines for three generations.  Their winery is located in the town of Yenda.

For this review I had help from my good friend Allen who has helped on several other reviews.  His keen palate is always welcome!

Yellow Tail Shiraz Review

Yellow Tail Shiraz Wine ReviewIn appearance, this wine is dark plum in color.  Just a little light shines through, giving soft red reflections in the glass.

This wine is one of the most leggy wines I’ve ever experienced.  Lots and lots of narrow drips slid quickly down the sides of the glass immediately upon pouring.

When we gave this wine a sniff we both noticed a good whiff of alcohol in the aroma.  Yellow Tail Shiraz alcohol content 13.0% by volume, per the bottle.  We were expecting it to be quite higher and were surprised when we read that it was only 13.0%.

The aroma is quite pronounced in intensity.  We picked up scents of blackberry, tobacco and a cinnamon like spiciness.

While that may sound interesting, there was also a very medicinal quality to the aroma that I really did not like.  It’s very pronounced and overwhelming when you are trying to taste the wine.

When tasting Yellow Tail Shiraz we felt there was an immediate and somewhat harsh bitterness to the flavor.  The taste lacks any red or black fruits and evolves into a burnt caramel flavor just prior to the tannins kicking in.

When we were discussing this, we wondered if maybe this wine was too young or had an issue during the aging process.  The vintage we were tasting was the 2014.

Tannins were washed out.  We noticed a little grip that was mildly felt on the tongue, but that was about it.

Finish was short to medium.

Overall, we just didn’t like this wine.  The aroma was off-putting and did nothing to help the flavor.  Even with some time to breathe, there was no noted improvement.  I wouldn’t buy this again and can’t recommend it.

Yellow Tail Shiraz price $6.99.

Have you tried Yellow Tail Shiraz?  If so, please Leave a Reply below.  We’re really curious to hear what others think about this wine.  Were we off?  Did we get a bad bottle?  The cork was fine when we pulled it out.

For comparison purposes, I’ve also reviewed the Yellow Tail Cabernet, Yellow Tail Moscato and Yellow Tail Merlot.

40 Comments

  1. I love the Yellow Label, but recently it doesn’t taste the same. Its not being brewed long enough as its far too sweet
    Heather

  2. The Yellow Tail Shiraz is so so good. I personally adore the tart full-bodied feeling in my mouth from first sip to last. The bottle I have now is year 2020.

  3. this is one of the few wines I really enjoy at the price range of 6-10 pounds, the shiraz is mellow to me and does not leave me with the “dry mouth” ….. also the chardonnay is really nice and has a depth of flavour without being too obvious, I really enjoy these yellow tail wines and have even tried the rose !!.. but maybe some truth in which year ??.. I have only had recent wines from 2019

    1. Thanks for commenting Lee!

      The one I tasted was the 2014 vintage. While Yellow Tail (I’m sure) tries to stay consistent, you’re always going to find differences, year to year.

      In this case, we found that the wine tasted a bit young at the time. That, of course, can happen with any vintage if they don’t age the wine long enough or in the proper way.

      And, it also could have been that some unwanted stems got in there… Lots of variables, really.

      Anyway, happy to hear you found a wine brand you enjoy and thanks for visiting Honest Wine Reviews!

  4. I bought Yellow Tail, wine for about 10yrs (2 bottles a week). Then two years ago I had a bad bottle (drank 1/4 bottle), was sick for two days. Did not eat or drink…was not sure what made me sick. On the 3rd day I tried to finished the wine. Got real sick again…bingo it was the wine. I don’t buy it anymore. The wine is shipped in bladders, inside the containers I think. Maybe the bladder was bad w/ bacteria or something.
    Honolulu HI. $6.00 wine

  5. I am no expert and my preferred colour of wine is white. However, I really liked the Yellow Tail Shiraz 2020. It has an aroma that entices and the taste of cinnamon and berries lingered in the mouth. Unlike the usual red, irrespective of the price, it didn’t leave me disappointed. Best of all it didn’t dehydrate me and trigger nightmares – a special effect of red wine on my metabolism. So Yellow Tail Shiraz 2020 gets 7/10 from me. The best part is I got three small reds for a fiver from Tesco and one of them was this one.

  6. I hate this wine and their stupid spamming commercials in the Puppy Bowl. Literally wouldnt buy it just from that.

  7. I really love your Yellow Tail ‘Bubbles’ Sparkling Rose wine, but to get the crazy bottle top off is a real battle, have to use a pair of pliers to un -wind the very strong plastic strap, but the price is right and the wine is very nice.

    1. Thanks for commenting John.

      I’m not employed by or a part of Yellow Tail.

      I’m just a wine consumer like you, who happens to do reviews.

      With that said, no one likes struggling with opening a bottle. I’ve had a few “troublesome” bottles of my own in the past.

      Cheers and thanks for visiting my site!

      Jon

  8. I love this wine, we have been drinking it for 15 years . I feel.it has a rich full flavor perhaps a little strong but it is great with a sharp cedder cheese,and triscuits, steak or just sipping around a fire. Say what you will but this has been our go to wine for quite a while and I don’t mind telling even if it causes their noses to rise in the air with contempt . I believe opinions would change if you told people it cost more than it does

  9. Hi Jon, My husband and I have been huge fans of Yellow Tail; especially the Shiraz, for many years. We have many friends who visit and also enjoy your wines. We used to buy it at Costco where a gentlemen told us how much he enjoyed the wine and we took his advice. We have been purchasing the Merlot and Cab as well in the 1.5 liter bottles. We generally pick up 10-12 bottles each month. Recently, we bought some that had screw on lids and found that the flavor of the wine was not as good as it has always been. What happened? Can we have the corks back?

    1. Hi Jeanie and thanks for commenting!

      My website isn’t part of Yellow Tail wines. It’s just a review site, where I review all different brands of wines and give my honest opinion.

      With that said, you might check Yellowtail’s website. They may have a way for you to contact them with your concerns.

      Hope that helps and thanks again for visiting Honest Wine Reviews!

  10. As mentioned by Coco, and the manufacturer, Yellow Tail Shiraz is meant to be drunk “young”, so you want the latest on offer. Drinking a 2014 in 2018 is a bad idea. Try 2018 in 2018.

    Yellow Tail Shiraz is the 5th most popular wine in the United States, and is rapidly growing in popularity around the world. It’s a freakish departure from any other red, which is part of its charm. As your review stated, the wine has a ”…harsh bitterness to the flavor…” Yes, it’s very harsh, and very bitter. I think “tart” should have been in the review. If someone popped the cork thinking they were going to have a cabernet, they’d be sorely disappointed. I think the large yellow label, with high contrast black text, is supposed to serve was a clear “warning.” The cute kangaroo scale, on the back of the bottle, also says it’s an extremely dry wine. Like most people, I bought this on a lark, with low expectations. My mind was blown, and it’s easily the most “fun” wine I have ever drank. Having said that, it’s a wine I rarely drink. Every now and then, it’s fun to mix things up. My favorite review for it, on vivino, summed it up in three words, “Tasty kangaroo juice.” It’s like an Aussie adventure in a bottle.

    Anyway, I thought your review was fair, and many people will have a similar experience, although getting a fresher bottle would have made sense. I just felt the review should have noted how unbelievably popular the wine was, and perhaps some consideration as to why. While it’s cheap, it’s not the cheapest wine. Barefoot is the king of sales, and Franzia (oh god) outsells it as well. Scrap wines like Apothic sell well too (#8), I assume because of how prominent their displays were at Walmart and Target. Mixed reds, like Apothic, are undrinkable for me. That wine got a great review on this site, which confirms my suspicion. Yellow Tail Shiraz is way too exuberant for people that prefer subdued and indistinct wine. I like cabernets with a “kick” so the Yellow Tail Shiraz, while still an extreme departure, is within my palette range. If someone doesn’t like tart things, they won’t like this wine. Yellow Tail Shiraz is the only thing I buy under $15, and only a couple times a year. It’s not for everyone, but clearly does it for a substantial portion of the wine buying population, and what people actually buy should be worth a mention.

    Having written all this, it’s also critical to point out that while Yellow Tail Shiraz is one of the best values in wine (for those who like it), the rest of Yellow Tail’s line is atrocious. Well, to be fair, I only tried their cabernet and merlot, and both were horrible. They really shouldn’t sell anything but their shiraz, and luckily the rest of their wines are poor sellers. So, clearly, the popularity of their shiraz is not simply price, because their other wines are the same price, and no one buys them. Many places only stock their shiraz now (as it should be). I think their other wines damage the brand.

    Thank you for taking the time to create these reviews. I found your site while trying to learn what the “best” shiraz was, so I could buy a bottle and compare it to Yellow Tail. My guess was that Yellow Tail would beat most shiraz out there. That’s what other reviewers have said anyway. I still want to do my own “research” though. It would be interesting if you bought a fresh bottle, and found a friend who liked tart things to see what they thought.

    1. Andrew,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to leave such a well thought out comment!

      I appreciate the fact that you spent the time you did to write such a comprehensive comment. I absolutely LOVE IT when people take the time to do what you did.

      I have full respect for all the opinions you’ve shared. You’ve added to this review’s knowledge capital and the review is better off because of it.

      Consumers who read this review now have even more information to go by, when they make a purchasing decision. I firmly believe that multiple opinions are better than just my own.

      They make Honest Wine Reviews even more honest.

      Again, huge thanks!
      Jon

      1. I absolutely love this wine :) I am gluten-free because I have to be and I have never had a problem with this wine and I l9ve the taste!!

  11. I have also tried Yellowtail Shiraz and most emphatically do NOT like it. Thank-you, Jon, for letting me know why! I have never learned any of the terminology needed to properly express the characteristics I either enjoy or do not care for in a wine, so for comparison sake I will mention two Australian vineyards that have never disappointed with their Shiraz or Shiraz/Cab blends: Greg Norman and Peter Lehman. We go through a lot of wine here at home, buy each of these by the case so they are always on hand.

  12. I have not tired the Shiraz version, but no other reviews I have read are in its favour so I have skipped it all together.

  13. I had some a year ago that was good. I wonder if this year was bad? I was honestly surprised to like a wine so cheap, but I will avoid this year’s. It has been a long while since I had the wine but recall good berry flavors and no smell of alcohol at all. Probably the vintage. Or maybe it was kept too warm.

    I had that experience with another of the budget priced red wines at 8.00. I loved it before, but this year flavor wasn’t as rich, and the alcohol smell too strong and I got a headache from it, probably the sulfites were too strong. It was only one small glass. Maybe 2013 was bad year for budget red wines.
    ;-)

    1. I think you are right. The older years are rubbish. I have tried many Aussie Shiraz and Shiraz blends and YT Shiraz is hands-down my favorite!! That being said, when I have found the 2013 or 2014 versions of the YT Shiraz I have been greatly dissapointed. Upon checking out the YT website, I discovered the winery reccomends driinking their wine young. The younger the better! Now I only drink YT 2016 or 2017 and I am always pleased.

    1. I used to like most of their wines. I am no wine expert but I can tell when there is a change in the taste. Lately I began to notice a sharp, thin taste no substance, hope that makes sense. I have just bought a Merlot and Shiraz. I have just tasted the shiraz and its bitter. Nothing like it was months ago,I suspect its the price it is, because it’s wine that maybe wouldn’t have been put up for sale.
      No more for me, I’ll drink it because I am a Yorkshire lad and we don’t waste anything.

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