"Owned by the Hill Smith family, Yalumba is one of the most successful of Australia's independent wine companies, with a portfolio stretching from the smash-hit Angas Brut sparkler to more serious stuff like The Octavius.
The first release of this wine was the 1990 vintage. Now made exclusively from a number of very old vineyards in the Barossa, it is matured in 80- litre American oak "Octaves", with a higher than usual surface area to wine ratio. These unique barrels are made at Yalumba itself, which is one of a very few wineries still to have its own cooperage. The Missouri timbers are left exposed to the elements for eight years to leech undesirable favours from the oak; the wine is consequently less oak influenced than one might expect.
In 2005, the fourth Langton's Classification saw the inclusion of The Octavius for the first time, ranked as "Outstanding." The warmth of the 1998 vintage manifests itself in the generosity of that year's Octavius. It came first in a World of Fine Wine Barossa Shiraz tasting, held in 2007. Barossa at its flag-waving best."
Neil Beckett (editor), 1001 Wines You Must Try Before You Die (Paperback) (UK), October 2008