Sailor Seeks Horse Chardonnay 2017 (Case 6x75cl)

Only 10 in stock

**Available for delivery Late August 2019**

Exclusive to The Vinorium

98-99 points Stuart McCloskey "Marine, saline, oyster shell with touches of green apple, orchard flowers and a lovely streak of minerality on the nose. The palate is medium-bodied, bright, alive with a slight chalkiness. There’s a lovely fabric to this wine. Tightly knit with subtle fruits interwoven with a tension which I find difficult to express in words. More a sense of completeness. The simplicity is quite breathtaking and rare to find these days.  Tensile, reserved and unapologetically a personal expression of Paul & Gilli who are obsessed with producing wines which they love, rather than following fashions. I believe this to be one of those wines which will create much argument. Those edging toward flamboyance may show disdain, whereas those wishing to seek out ethereal balance and gracefulness will be swooning. I would argue this must be one of the greatest exponents of Australian Chardonnay I have come across and cannot wait to see how this individualist wine unfolds over the coming years. Regardless of which camp you stand in – May I suggest you, at the very least, try a Tassie Chardonnay which flirts with perfection (if only once). Decanted for 20-30 minutes and served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware (as essential as the wine!)"

Winemaker "Chardonnay runs the gamut of expressions from tight, linear and unadulterated by oak to the big, rich, buttery numbers we see from warmer sites. As we’re in the Huon it’s unlikely we’ll be making the latter anytime soon. We planted four Dijon clones (95, 96, 76 & 277) in two sections of the vineyard over 2 hectares in 2010 where we’d pulled out some Pinot Noir, Nebbiolo, Sangiovese and Sauvignon Blanc – don’t ask... 

The idea was to bring some of the best, earlier-ripening, lower-yielding clones to the Huon that would enable us to achieve the flavour, texture and acid components from a cool area that we see in the Chardonnays that we love. Our sandy-loam soils over sandstone and clay, combined with dry-farming and a marginal climate should provide some fascinating wines over the years. 

So what’s not a weird year these days? The more you look through the records and analyse your own experiences you realise that the even-ripening, slow build and descent, gentle ebb and flow years are the unusual ones. 2017 was not one of those years. Maybe its symptomatic of the ‘new normal’ or perhaps it’s just the way it’s always been. So, briefly, spring was wet, cold and windy. Lots of canopy, rubbish flowering and the nagging feeling that we’d be picking sometime after May. Cue January and it was like the water tank ran dry. 378mm from September to December, then 116mm from Jan to April and most of that came in 3 rain days. We went from worrying about disease to worrying whether we would have to compromise and put some irrigation on. In the end we held off and picked in the oh-so-normal middle of April. The fruit was great; lots of natural acid, low sugars, a ‘cooler year’ fruit profile and structure. Yields were typically low from the poor flowering and dry end to the season. In the winery we felt like we needed to reduce the acid slightly through about 25% of the barrels going through malolactic fermentation but it still retained that sea-spray character and citrus fruit/floral expression we are seeing consistently in our Chardonnay."



Zalto Denk-Art Bordeaux Glass

Zalto Bordeaux glass is recommended for weightier style reds, probably our most widely used glass when tasting in house, this glass is great for many different wines. The large bowl helping aerate and soften tannins whilst accentuating the wines depth and concentration. The Bordeaux glass is the ideal choice for Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Zinfandel, Bordeaux or Rhone style blends and many other red wines. Surprisingly, it is also the glass of choice for oaked Chardonnay as well, the shape of the bowl accentuating the balance of ripe fruits and oak.

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Sailor Seeks Horse


Sailor Seeks Horse


"...incredibly exclusive, tiny production Pinot Noir and Chardonnay that has gained them a list of accolades and a reputation for producing some of Tasmania’s most highly sought after wines."


In 2005, Paul and Gilli Lipscombe decided to bite the bullet, resign from their jobs in London and pursue a dream of working for themselves. They looked to be intellectually challenged, physical, creative and produce something together that they could be proud of and decided to embark on an ambition to make their own wine. After working a vintage in the Languedoc with three different producers, then travelled to Margaret River to study winemaking and viticulture, Gilli doing the degree and Paul undertaking the post-grad diploma.

They spent the next four years gaining as much experience as possible working in Margaret River, Oregon and New Zealand for winery’s such as Xanadu, Woodlands, Beaux Frères, Chehalem and Mt Pleasant, with the constant goal in mind of eventually finding the best Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vineyard in Australia. Their pursuits led them to Tasmania, feeling that the Huon Valley would be the place to settle. There they found a run down, 6.5 hectare, north east facing vineyard that was planted with Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Sangiovese and Nebbiolo which had been planted in 2005 and abandoned a few years later.

By the time Paul and Gilli found it, most of the vines were either dead or on their last legs. However, after getting a vineyard assessment from a viticultural liaison officer who called the vineyard “one of the greatest viticultural challenges he’d ever seen” felt that due to its location, it was worth reviving. So they pulled up the Sauvignon Blanc, Sangiovese and Nebbiolo as well as the worst of the Pinot Noir vines and decided to try to coax the rest of the vine back to life, as well as planting additional Pinot and Chardonnay.

The name was taken from a handwritten sign on the wall of their local coffee shop which said “sailor seeks horse”. The person who wrote it had sailed around the world and ridden coast to coast across the US on a mule and had decided to travel around Tasmania on a horse and didn’t have one. This struck a chord with Paul and Gilli as it encompassed the idea of what they were trying to do. Something a little bit crazy, with not much money and needing a little help from the people around them.

Paul and Gilli’s story encapsulates an image of both romanticism and achievement, being brave enough to pursue a dream, bringing a derelict, long-forgotten vineyard back to life and dedicating themselves to an unrelenting pursuit of quality. Winning the Jimmy Watson Trophy for work they’d done at a neighbouring vineyard, they are both highly skilled winemakers with a wealth of experience, an acute ambition and precise attention to detail. Their hard work and dedication has resulted in the incredibly exclusive, tiny production of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, that has gained them a list of accolades, along with a reputation for producing some of Tasmania’s most highly sought after wines.

Read our Exclusive Q&A with Paul and Gilli - Read more


Tasmanian Wine UK


"Without question, Tasmanian wines have been one of the greatest discoveries for us over the past few years. From House of Arras, producers of the finest sparkling wines to be made outside of Champagne to some of the greatest Pinot Noirs we’ve ever tasted. "


Positioned just over 400 km from mainland Australia’s south east coast, Tasmania has rapidly gained a reputation for being a premium, cool climate wine region, not just for sparkling wines but also for top quality still wines such as Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Shiraz. With vineyard sites positioned on the north and south east side of the island taking full advantage of the cool, maritime influences and coastal breezes that help to preserve the crisp acidity and freshness that is so important in producing wines of this Calibre. Wine makers in Tasmania utilise the whole region often blending parcels from vineyards across the different sub-regions that each lend its own specific identity to the wines.

Tamar Valley on the north coast is one of the warmer sub-regions with a higher level of rainfall producing fruit with a riper character. Just to the east of this is Pipers River, one of Tasmania’s coolest regions with a terroir dominated by red, ferrosol soils and home to the outstanding sparkling wine producer House Of Arras. Created by Ed Carr who is unanimously considered to be Australia’s greatest sparkling wine maker, House Of Arras source grapes from top vineyard sites located on Tasmania’s south and eastern coastal sub-regions. As we travel south we come to the East Coast region followed by Coal River Valley, Derwent Valley and Huon Valley. Based in the Huon Valley is Glaetzer-Dixon, responsible for producing, amongst others, the legendary La Judith Pinot Noir with 3 years of aging in new oak. Dr Edge is a producer that focuses on the unique expression of each terroir creating three individual, single vineyard Pinot Noirs each from a different sub-region. Simply named North - from Stoney Rise vineyard in Tamar Valley, East – from Hazards Vineyard in the East Coast and South – from Meadow Bank vineyard in Derwent Valley. As well as these single vineyard expressions Dr Edge also produces a blend of all three named Tasmania.

Based in the Huon Valley is Sailor Seeks Horse who brought a derelict, 6.5 hectare vineyard back to life from which they now produce exquisite Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Hughes & Hughes can be found in a tiny hamlet called Flowerpot, who as well as Pinot and Chardonnay, produce Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc from grapes sourced from growers across the island. Our range of Tasmanian wines is continuously growing and we believe the region is just beginning to discover its potential for world class class Pinot Noir and Chardonnay as still wines as well as the famous sparklings to come out of Tasmania.

Wild and dramatic, cultured and quirky - Read more

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