Yellow Tail adds more wine variations

LATEST Offerings from Yellow Tail: Pure Brilliant Pinot Grigio and Whiskey Cask Aged Cabernet Sauvignon.

YELLOW tail or [yellow tail] wine – the famous original kangaroo label from Australia with a parenthesis on its brand name – continues to be the trendsetter in the world of wine. As well as being Australia’s most exported wine brand for nearly two decades now, Yellow Tail has also maintained its #1 position as the world’s most powerful wine brand (Wine Intelligence Global Wine Brand Power Index 2021) for the fourth consecutive year since 2018. Last year, Yellow Tail celebrated its 20and anniversary, and the brand shows no signs of slowing down.

In the Philippines, Yellow Tail withstood the early challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and even months of alcohol bans to continue improving its market share in the local wine industry.

Yellow Tail has been in the Philippines since 2005, with the top four varietal wines being Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. Over time, the portfolio has continued to grow and now includes a range of sparkling wines called Bubbles and a more premium Reserve range. In the last quarter of 2013, Yellow Tail Pink Moscato was launched in the Philippines. It was the first pink version of the Moscato ever sold in the country, and it was a huge success. As of the end of 2021, Yellow Tail Pink Moscato is one of the best-selling wines in the country and this version of Moscato has been imitated by many other wine brands, from Australia to Chile to the States United, which can be seen flooding the shelves of wine merchants.

Yellow Tail very recently launched two new ranges of wines: the Pure Bright, a low-calorie range, and the slightly more premium Whiskey Barrel range.

Yellow Tail launched the Pure Bright range in Australia to capitalize on the growing “low alcohol and alcohol free” wine segment in their market. The concept is still to produce the same high quality wine that Yellow Tail is known for, but with a reduction in both alcohol and calories. For this, specific winemaking techniques had to be used.

Pure Bright winemaker David Joeky explained this tricky technique. “Our vines are selected and pruned to maximize the protection of the leaves against our summer sun, protecting the grapes and slowing their development while retaining the flavor and intensity of the fruit. The grapes for Pure Bright are therefore picked earlier, with a lower natural sugar content converting to lower alcohol in the wine.Night harvesting keeps the grapes in a state that maximizes aroma and flavor.The grapes are then put through a cooler fermentation process using a specialized yeast to maximize the flavor profile at lower alcohol levels.Furthermore, fermentable sugars are kept very low and proprietary yeast selections accentuate the flavors of each varietal.

The Pure Bright range contains only 8% to 9.5% alcohol and 80 to 85 calories in its white wines, and 10.8% alcohol and 100 calories for its only red wine, Pure Bright Pinot Noir. It’s 25% less alcohol and about 40% fewer calories than regular wines.

Pure Bright is also vegan and gluten-free.

The best part about this new line is also that the price is exactly on par with regular Yellow Tail base varietal wines.

The first varietal in the Yellow Tail Pure Bright range in the Philippines is Pino Grigio. The popular varietal is known for its youthful, fresh, “white pepper spice” and crisp finish, especially that sourced from Italy’s Veneto wine region of Alto Adige and Friuli Venezia Giulia. It is also known as Pinot Gris in Alsace, France – another region that produces very fine Pinot Gris. grigio in Italian and Gray in French, both mean “grey”, referring to the color of this grape. In my personal drinking experience, other areas with good Pinot Grigio are Baden in Germany and Marlborough in New Zealand.

Yellow Tail Pure Bright Pinot Grigio has a suggested retail price of P495/bottle.

In the United States, actress Sarah Michelle Gellar, best known for playing the lead role in the hit television series of the late 1990s Buffy the Vampire Slayer, is the brand ambassador of Yellow Tail Pure Bright.

With the successful rollout of Pure Bright in the US and Australia, this trend should be coming to us here in Asia soon.

The practice of aging wine in oak barrels dates back thousands of years. Over time, barrel aging has become a standard in the winemaking process. Winemakers have found that barrel aging improves the quality of wine, creates a softer, smoother palate, and also imparts additional flavors.

At the end of the 20and and during this 21st century, the most popular thing for winemakers is to use new oak barrels, normally a typical barrel size of 225 litres. The logic behind the use of new oak is that the first contact with the wood gives the wine all the nuances and flavors of the barrel. The second use gives less flavor, then finally the barrel ends up being tasteless and neutral, and just a container like a stainless steel tank.

The old barrels are then either disposed of or salvaged (trimmed and reheated in most cases) after being used for four to five years. That’s why it should come as no surprise that new oak is a huge selling point when wineries try to sell their premium wines. New oak, mainly of American and French origin, is of course also more expensive than second-hand or salvaged oak.

Recently we have seen more and more wineries using whiskey casks to age their wines. The reason given by the winemakers is that aging in whiskey barrels gives smoky notes, with hints of vanilla. So, the idea is that aging in whiskey casks gives the wine bigger and bolder flavors. Aging in whiskey casks also tempers the tannins, which facilitates tasting. Tannins are mouth-drying compounds found in the skins, seeds and stems of grapes, and therefore need to be tempered. Wines like Cabernet Sauvignon are naturally high in tannins, which is one of the reasons they hold up well and can benefit from aging in whiskey barrels. It’s a bit too early to tell if aging in whiskey casks is just a fad or if it will become more common. Yellow Tail has however joined this movement with the release of the Yellow Tail Whiskey Barrel Aged range.

The first wine to be released from this range is Yellow Tail Whiskey Barrel Aged Cabernet Sauvignon, the barrels sourced from an Australian whiskey company that used a blend of French and American oak. The next to come out of this range is the Whiskey Barrel Aged Red Blend.

Yellow Tail Whiskey Barrel Aged Cabernet Sauvignon is now available in the Philippines with a suggested retail price of P595/bottle – this is the best value compared to other brands who also have their version of the barrel wine from whiskey.

Those interested in purchasing or distributing these two new Yellow Tail wines in the country may contact Golden Wines, Inc., the exclusive importer, at 8638-5025 or by email [email protected] Or you can also ask your favorite liquor stores to order these wines from the importer.

The author is the only Filipino member of the UK-based Circle of Wine Writers. For comments, inquiries, wine event coverage, wine advice, and other wine-related concerns, email the author at [email protected]or check out his wine education website at

Freeda S. Scott