95 Points - William Kelley (robertparker.com) "From one of the oldest vineyards in the Santa Maria Valley, Paul Lato’s superb 2016 Chardonnay le Souvenir Sierra Madre Vineyard reveals attractive aromas of yellow orchard fruit, citrus zest, peach and honeycomb. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, with more textural glossiness than the Belle de Jour, underpinned by bright acids and concluding with an intense, chalky finish. This is quite structurally tight-knit right now and will need a couple of years in the cellar to blossom."
97+ Points - Jeb Dunnuck "Coming from a terrific site located at the southern end of the Santa Lucia Highlands, the 2016 Chardonnay East of Eden Pisoni Vineyard boasts phenomenal notes of ripe citrus and white peach fruits, white flowers, and freshly crushed rocks. It's clean, incredibly pure, and elegant on the palate, with a level of tension and vibrancy you don't find too often in the vintage. I followed this bottle for two days and it only improved with air. It's a brilliant Chardonnay from Lato that’s going to benefit from a year or two of bottle age and age gracefully for a decade or more. Don’t miss it!"
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Barossa Super 100 Classification – Wines over $100
With over 100 wines featured in the Classification the list represents the depth of collectable wines of distinction being made in Australia’s most famous wine region.
99 Points - Joe Czerwinski (RobertParker.com) "Dan's 2016 The Standish Shiraz comes from a vineyard in the Greenock subregion. It's inky in color, loaded with plum, blueberry and raspberry fruit. Full-bodied, creamy-textured and rich, it's intense, concentrated and long beyond belief, picking up hints of licorice along the way. Nearly embryonic, it will need at least a couple of years to show more than the primary fruit."
96 Points - Magdalena Sienkiewicz "Quality-driven, the Muddy Water maxim is ‘hand-crafted…no compromise’ which is prominent across the range. Everything about their Estate Pinot Noir translates to great quality you often find at a higher price tier. Deep colour, fantastic aromas of ripe blackberries, morello cherry, kirsch and autumn leaves with lingering hints of nutmeg are indeed signs of no compromises here. The cascade of sweet fruit on the palate is followed by expansive, well-rounded textures evolving from the initial sweet fruit to a broad, savoury finish. Full malolactic fermentation gave it a beautifully soft and well-integrated acidity. The wine spent 16 months in barrel before racking, blending and bottling, which aids complexity. Bottled unfiltered in order to retain as much natural flavour as possible."
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97+ Points - Stuart McCloskey "A stupendous Pinot Noir from Devotus, which is getting better and better with each passing week. Wonderful aromatics of plums, spice, sour cherry, petal, cedar and warm earth. The palate is medium-bodied, tensile, layered, incredibly balanced with fine, grained tannins. The sweet entry is adorable which would lead most to the wrong conclusion; this is a regal, fine-boned Pinot Noir executed perfectly by a supremely skilled winemaker. Furthermore, a wine which happily outshines any Burgundy at this price level. My advice is that fans seeking energy, quality, and a laser-like focus should flock to this fabulous wine. Only 2,502 bottles produced. Served using Zalto Burgundy glassware."
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18.5+ Points - Raymond Chan "Full, even, very dark ruby-red colour with black-purple hues, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is tightly bound and expressed with elegance of proportion, the fruit pronounced in fragrant dark-red and black cherry and berry aromas, along with dark-red florals and subtle, complexing herbal notes. A touch of minerally reduction adds to the interest. Medium-bodied, the palate has bright and tightly bound flavours of ripe black cherry and berry fruit entwined with dark herbs, violet and dark-red florals and a little minerally reduction. The fruit is deeply concentrated with a core of very fine-grained flowery tannins providing good structure, and the palate is underlined by fresh acidity which enhances the linearity. The wine flows smoothly, leading to a very long, lingering finish of black fruits, florals herbs and minerals. This is an elegant, tightly bound, bright, black-fruited Pinot Noir with fragrant dark herbs and florals, with minerally elements on a very fine-grained palate with fresh acidity. Serve with lamb, beef and venison over the next 6-8+ years. Hand picked Pommard clone fruit from vines 30 y.o., fermented with 10% whole bunches to 12.0% alc., the wine on skins 13 days and aged 11 months in 25% new French oak barrels. 1,068 bottles made."
Joe Czerwinski (RobertParker.com) "Showing a bit more vibrance and intensity than the 2015, Hentley Farm's 2016 Shiraz The Beauty is a winning medley of raspberries and blueberries, all wrapped in a subtle oak blanket. It's full-bodied and spicy, showing a bit of exotic stone fruit on the palate, then fades slowly on a frame of dry, silky tannins."
James Halliday "Almost opaque purple-red. Ripe black fruit with a ripple of raspberry brightness that stops it from straying off-line. Oak is prominent (35% new French), but sits into the fruit leaving a ribbon of vanilla mingling with the soft tannin finish. The 3% co-fermented viognier, invisible."
97 Points - Stuart McCloskey “Reductive with aromas still very much in development. That said, this impeccably made wine is centred around textural elegance, satiny structure, mid-palate depth and an effortless sense of cohesion. Decanting for a short while is essential as the oxygenation takes it from the ordinary to immensely appealing. Layer upon layer of fruit and white flowers harmonises beautifully with oatmeal and a beautiful vein of minerality. This is more tensile, finer than many, which adds an intellectual quality found with high-quality Burgundy. This is a superb Chardonnay from one of New Zealand's leading producers. I recommend a drinking window from now to 2025 but would not be surprised to this peak beyond 10 years.. Sampled in Zalto Bordeaux glassware and comes highly recommended”.
93-94 Points - James Suckling "Powerful and structured with lots of blueberry, blackberry and currant character. Full-bodied, tight and tannic yet polished and beautiful. Fantastic. Juicy."
92 Points - Neal Martin "The 2016 Les Ormes de Pez has a tightly wound, graphite-scented bouquet that needs a little coaxing from the glass but eventually reveals discreet minerally scents mixed with sous-bois. The palate is medium-bodied with quite succulent tannin, and certainly more approachable than the Les Ormes de Pez of the past, delivering gentle grip toward the tarry finish. This is a finely crafted Saint-Estèphe from team Cazes."
Belonging to the ‘Speciality’ range, Aconcagua Alto Carmenere is sourced from a selection of different Max vineyard blocks in the Aconcagua Valley. Stunning aromatics - the nose delivers aromas that evoke graphite, toasted coffee beans, soft caramel notes, clove and black pepper. There are also notes of figs, dates and cherries that provide a greater appeal. Consistent with the nose, the palate reveals notes of red pepper, figs, dates and cherries. There are hints of coffee, chocolate and cloves, plus a soft olive hint. Beautifully rounded, medium- to full-bodied, with elegant and very friendly tannins.