A special mixed six pack of wines made by Peter Schell of Spinifex, John and Tim Duval of John Duval Wines, Jason Schwarz of Schwarz Wine Company, Greg and Allison Hobbs of Hobbs of Barossa, and Simon Cowham and Corey Ryan of Sons of Eden. The project also welcomed Phil Lehmann from Max and Me Wines as a special guest winemaker for last year’s project. The results are outstanding and a superb reflection of the 2019 vintage, considered to be another standout year for Barossa red wine.
**Available for delivery from Monday 24th January**
97 Points – Erin Brooks (RobertParker.com) “The 2019 Chardonnay Arthur is pure, precise and extraordinarily pretty this vintage, with expressive key lime, pencil lead and saline aromas, plus wafts of spring flowers and beeswax. The stunning palate combines creamy texture and fresh tang, gently honeyed fruits and citrusy uplift, which make for a very long, energetic finish. It's the best iteration of the Arthur cuvée I've tried.”
97++ - 98 Points - Stuart McCloskey “Like the ‘South’ the bouquet speaks of its birthplace but with a little more concentration. Lemon oil, lemon thyme, licks of wet stone, sea salt and take a walk past Jasmine to really appreciate the floral aromatics. The palate is a touch waxier in style / weightier and offers more immediate enjoyment. That tell-tale salinity is such an attractive quality and works a treat with the fresh zip of citrus, flint and razor-sharp acidity. Extremely elegant and judged perfectly. This is just a beautiful, crystalline Tassie Chardonnay which will be amazing in five or so years. Served with Zalto Bordeaux glassware. Do not serve from the fridge. Decant for a wee while as this wine needs a little aeration.”
97-98 Points - Stuart McCloskey “The bouquet is penetrating, precise, and certainly descends from a cool, maritime climate. Scents of lemon, mineral, sea spray and jasmine graciously unfurl from the glass. With time, the aromatics intensify and quite considerably (see my footnote regarding temperature and decanting). The palate is incredibly complex, regal and struts its stuff with such confidence, all the while highlighting its self-control. Tightly coiled but balanced perfectly with a satiny stream of citrus and minerals. The saline note on the long finish is lovely. There’s beautiful weight to the wine and it cradles your palate with an admirable suspense. A very, very fine Chardonnay which would benefit from five or so years in the bottle and will fan-out gloriously over a decade or more. Served with Zalto Bordeaux glassware. Do not serve from the fridge. Decant for a wee while as this wine needs a little aeration.”
98 Points – Stuart McCloskey “Pristine would be an understatement for the bouquet – Wow! Additionally, unravelling this is challenging. Where to start? Salted, confit lemon, the minerality is piercing, a smoked edge with a further undercurrent of saline, softened by a chalkiness – almost Albariño in its appeal. Orchard fruits emerge with more aeration as does tangerine peel and the wonderfully heady scents of sweet jasmine. Fennel too. The nose is bristling with complexity and energy, and it’s just starting its journey. The palate is loaded with Meyer lemon juxtaposed beautifully with a floral lift. I detect a touch of smoked almond and streaks of minerals – everything feels kissed with a covering of salty sea spray, which is delectable. Who would have thought Tasmania? Very Mediterranean in my opinion… We often talk of ‘tension’ – welcome to a perfect example. The acid profile feels perky – the palate feels sumptuous and poised. Genuinely, an extraordinary Chardonnay and one of the most intriguing Aussie / Tassie Chardonnays I have sampled in a very long time… Drink now to 2030. Do not kill the flavour by overchilling – give it the respect it deserves. Serve using Zalto Bordeaux glassware… A blend of Tamar Valley, East Coast and Derwent Valley fruit (exact proportions unknown).”
Gary Walsh (The Wine Front) "A blend of Tamar Valley, East Coast & Derwent Valley fruit. Well, this wine is, including a full laser show. Lemon rind, bread dough, wheatgerm, aniseed, cinnamon and white peach. Intense, precise, so much crunch and energy, chalk dust, green olive and brine, searing long finish. Drink while wearing sunglasses, and little else. That’s how pure and cool it is."
Nick Stock – JamesSuckling.com “This has vivid peach and lemon aromas with nicely framed, cedary oak adding hazelnut and spice. Lemon peel, too. The palate is smoothly fleshy with a gently creamy peach and lemon core. Smooth, even and so juicy with a fresh lemon and hazelnut-flavored finish.”
96 Points - Stuart McCloskey “How daft of me to sample the most junior wine after the magnificence that is Subterra. Another way of looking at it is – is there breadth and depth to Gemtree’s entire portfolio? In short, the answer is affirmative as this is a joyous beauty strutting with confidence, despite its respectable price tag. The nose offers some warmth from clove and sweet spices. Brooding and actually proving more adult than I expected. The palate is washed with sweet, ripe fruit. Interestingly, this wine lacks the ‘coolness’ of its big brothers, but it misses nothing for it. This is a really joyous slap and tickle of delicious quaffable Shiraz (I have omitted using our Aussie friends’ description, ‘smash-able’). It’s drenched with plums, blueberries, blackberries, mint, vanilla, coconut, kirsch and olive all wrapped in a gentle hug of tannin. The length is super-impressive. In fact (and a little secret) I have a few wines at 25 quid which are not as good! Decant for a few hours and serve using Zalto Bordeaux glassware (this will make all the difference). Drink now to 2025+.”
97-98 Points - Stuart McCloskey "This has been opened for 48 hours (although not decanted) and sampled after the Obsidian. The bouquet pulls you in as the fruit is incredibly deep and brooding – extraordinary concentration. In short, the palate is broad and loaded with ripe, black fruits – the tannins are suede like. The overall feel is impeccable and moreish and a very different animal compared to the Obsidian. In long, this straddles potency and finesse, with a masterful touch – quite a skill. There’s a date-like richness with minerality and florality, providing lift. This flows with charisma and ribbons of silk, those seeking textural paradise need to look no further. I will add a caveat – the tannins do provide a framework which keep building, but I believe this is very much needed to balance the plushness. Yet again, this is driven by purity and nothing dominates. There’s a stony minerality which is fascinating and works a treat alongside the dark, inky fruit. A magnificent wine and one which will keep delivering for a decade or more… Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware." Sampled July 2021.
98 Points - Stuart McCloskey “Pull up a chair as this is going to be a long one! What an incredible bouquet, exquisite in fact. Occasionally, you get the opportunity to sit down with a wine which provides a story – similar to a novel that you can’t put down. You race through the chapters as you wish to reach the climax, and when you do, you are saddened by having rushed the experience. Here is no different, but I would suggest spending the entire afternoon and evening with this one. The bouquet is utterly thrilling and lucid – the fruit is deep, sweet and contrasts between mulberry and damson, leading to blueberry compote and then moving to red varietals. Sweet spices exude with cinnamon and anise. The floral lift from lavender and violets is beautiful and the white pepper seasons the bouquet perfectly. Even at this tender age, the palate is a textural dream, there’s grip from the tannin and bountiful amounts of acidity – plushness too. Very Margaret River in this aspect. It’s incredibly succulent with a fresh cool feel to the fruit, the brightness is mouth-watering from start to finish. This is ultra-pure, vibrant, perfectly poised and full of detail, almost classic-like, but the depth and intensity of the fruit removes that label. Mulberry, boysenberry and ripe raspberry flow along with a cooling mineral feel. The tussle between power and finesse is a gentle one but fascinating nonetheless – incredibly skilful winemaking and viticulture. Without being too obvious, the biodynamic influence is centre stage and shows the world how amazing natural wines can be. As I stated at the beginning, get comfortable, decant for a few hours, drink this on the ‘cooler’ side of room temperature and bask in a beautiful wine. Profoundly beautiful and a story in its own right… Drink now to 2035. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware.” Sampled July 2021.
97++ Points - Stuart McCloskey “Quite frankly, how long have you got? This tasting note could take all day… A serious, savoury bouquet which offers a profusion of bay leaf, clove, graphite, dusty sweet spices, lavender and violet – the fruit feels wild / hedgerow-esque juxtaposed by a glorious perfume from iris and blackberry pastille – quite unmistakable when you focus. Lots of minerality too. Seriously brooding. The palate is nothing short of a joy and flows with intense, sweet, ripe fruit seasoned with oak and a lovely saltiness, not detected last year. The acidity is bright, the tannins grippy which add both texture and framework. This is a sumptuous wine which will offer at least a decade of wonderful drinking. I love the white pepper finish (you’ll need to wait a minute or two). Yet again, this is a deeply impressive wine and one of my favourite Cabernet Sauvignons in our collection… Drink now to 2035. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware.” Sampled 27.10.2021