98++ Points - Stuart McCloskey “A remarkable wine with ribbons of silky tannins weaving magic amongst the lakes of ripe, blue and black fruit. In every sense, it is perfectly formed. The bouquet provides the same ‘goosebump’ moment, as if I were sampling for the first time. There’s little change from violets, liquorice stick, blackberry pastille, cola, Indian ink and cold iron – warm earth emerges with more aeration. The floral character has heightened and there’s a marine character – white pepper on the finish too. Texturally, there’s a sense of wonder to this wine. The fruit sails effortless across the palate – rich but far from confected. There’s an earthiness from the tannins which grounds the fruit component. The balance is impeccable. I previously mentioned the wine as being a ‘skyscraper’ – I have changed this view. Yes, it is substantial but it is far from being monolithic. As anticipated, the flavours match those found on the nose with violets, blackberry pastille and flowers leading the way on what is a wondrous journey. Sweet spices, a core of juicy acidity and the grip of silky, earthy tannins are a perfect marriage. There’s an overriding sense of gracefulness which did not show last year. The equilibrium is utterly captivating and the precision on point. A brilliant wine. Decant for 4-6 hours. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware. Drinking now (quite amazingly) to 2040.” Sampled 25.02.2021.
98-99 Points - Stuart McCloskey “The integration of fruit, acid, tannin and oak is amazing especially considering the wine is so young. It needs time in a decanter (4-6 hours, perhaps longer) to unlock the bouquet which unfurls with floral notes, violets, blackberry pastille, cola, Indian ink, iron and mineral driven earthy aromas too. The combination of power and finesse is bewitching as is the densely packed fruit which weaves magic on my palate. The fruit is rich, but impeccably balanced. Expansive whilst retaining seamlessness. A skyscraper but one which offers agility. A depth which is already impressive yet has a very long way to go. The flavours match those found on the nose with violets, blackberry pastille and flowers leading. Sweet spices, a core of juicy acidity and the grip of silky tannins compliment. There is no end to this wine – it just keeps giving. I am genuinely left speechless considering the price for this bottle. This is my second bottle and my notes are equal. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware. Drink now (you must decant) and this will certainly get better and better over the coming 10-20 years. I should award 100 points as I have never sampled a wine this good, at this price level however, and wrongly so, I am reluctant for this one reason.” Sampled August 2020.
99 + Points - Magda Sienkiewicz "Sampled after 4 hours of decanting. The perfume oozing from the glass immediately stops you in your tracks. Clearly you are in presence of an extraordinary wine. Predominantly Shiraz with a dash of Mataro (10%), the nose is super-expressive with a vast array of fruit, blueberry liqueur and intoxicating notes of iron, pen ink, lead pencil, graphite, warm earth and violets. The palate is extremely juicy and mirrors the rich aromas in a impressive harmony. Incredibly complex, yet you can’t escape the sense of elegance and polish to the minute detail. Such a compelling wine of soaring quality and allure. Mesmerising and breathtaking, this wine takes a firm place in my top 5 Shiraz wines of all time. I can’t resist an extra plus for extraordinary value." Sampled August 2020.
Zalto Denk-Art Bordeaux Glass
The 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 wine's depth and concentration. The Bordeaux glass is the ideal choice for Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Zinfandel, Bordeaux or Rhône style blends and many other red wines. Surprisingly, it is also the glass of choice for oaked Chardonnay, the shape of the bowl accentuating the balance of ripe fruits and oak.
"The best and most complete Aussie MSG I have sampled to date. Exuberant and hypnotic."
"I believe this is the most lavish Cabernet Sauvignon I have sampled. A wine of genuine pedigree and class."
"I believe this is the most lavish Cabernet Sauvignon I have sampled. A wine of genuine pedigree and class."
"Utterly spellbinding and comfortably one of my favourite Aussie Cabernet Sauvignons..."
"I like how the wine builds in intensity – every swirl of the glass provides a new facet to consider."
"The brooding character is unquestionably the charm. At this price, this delivers the complete package – a real jewel…"
The Utopos vineyard is located on Roennfeldt Road, straddling one of the highest points on the boundary between Greenock and Marananga, perched on the Northern end of the Ironstone Ridge that lays claim to some of the Barossa’s most famous vineyards. Right next door is the source of winemaker Kym Teusner's own Righteous Shiraz along with Torbreck’s Laird, Two Hands, Greenock Creek and the list goes on. At 315m it sits among the most elevated sites on the ‘valley floor’ and being on the end of the ridge there are three distinct aspects to the block – East planted predominantly to Shiraz, North to Cabernet Sauvignon and West to Grenache and Mataro. “It doesn’t come any sweeter than this” says Kym…
A land of rolling hills and ancient vines, in the heart of South Australia, Barossa is arguably Australia’s most recognised wine region, but has not been without its ups and downs.
Barossa’s story began in the mid 1800s when a group of Silesian Lutherans, fleeing religious persecution, settled in the region and began working the land of Barossa’s largest land owner George Fife Angas. The settlers took to growing fruit and due to the climate in the region, grapes were most ideally suited and toward the end of the 1800s, several wineries had been established. Distinctly Germanic names such a Johann Henschke, Oscar Seppelt of Seppeltsfield and Kaesler that are leading names in the Barossa wine industry today are evidence of these early pioneers, and many are continuing today through several generations of the same family.
The wines were originally produced for religious and home use but it didn’t take long before they were being made commercially and by the start of the 20th Century wine was being exported back to England. The demand for fortified wine was huge and this coupled with the long journey on water, fortified wines dominated Barossa’s wine market right up until the end of the 1960s, but this would lead to a crisis that would set the industry into decline. As demand for fortified wines dried up, many growers were left unprofitable and the South Australian Government introduced the vine pull scheme, uprooting many of Barossa’s ancient vines during the 1980s. It took the efforts of some of the regions new faces of the time to bring the industry back by paying the growers above market value for their grapes, and saving the old vines that have become a hallmark of Barossa wine.
It is Barossa’s ancient vines that have shaped the region's style and reputation and the forward thinking attitude of the region's producers is one that is only beginning to filter through to the rest of the wine world. The winemakers of the 1980s helped to revive Barossa’s heritage, paving the way for the next generation of Barossa winemakers and this balance between heritage and progression has continued with an unparalleled energy through the region's newest and brightest stars of the 21st Century.
The Barossa Valley is warm and dry with low rainfall and low humidity, which can lead to a risk of drought during the growing season. It’s lower in altitude and is typified by gentle, rolling hills and valleys and is home to some of the world’s oldest clusters of vines, some of which are over 125 years old. These old vines are very low yielding and produce exceptionally concentrated fruit which is exploited by producers like Greenock Creek, Hobbs and Standish to make very rich and powerful wines that due to their concentration, often reach high levels of alcohol. Although several varieties are grown across Barossa, by far the most widely planted is Shiraz, producing rich, fruit forward wines. In the past, Barossa’s reputation has suffered from this rich style of wine, with consumers and producers favouring wines from cooler areas of Australia. However, a wave of smaller, artisan wineries began to pop up during the 1980’s and 1990’s and brought a resurgence to this region.
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4 of 4 (100%) reviewers would recommend this product to a friend.
I have been developed a creeping realisation that some drinking windows put me into ‘he’s had a good innings’ territory. What to do about it? Drink as well as possible, drink mindfully, uncork at will. In addition, drink wine of such mind blowing intensity it simultaneously knocks your out of your rumination and reminds you that life is usually ready to burst out so just enjoy the ride. Bit like this one. Expertly sourced and enthusiastically recommended by @thevinorium. In its yoof, but I am not, so an ultra long airing was delivered and we tucked in. Holds firm its power with a wonderful elegance. Incredible fruit, monumental structure and already a lovely length. A younger palate was wowed by its Xmas spice. Well it stoned me to my soul and ain’t not doubt. Here's to staying alive until we crack open the next one.
Tried the Utopos 2017 Shiraz and thought I had fallen gently backwards into the most luscious gustatory blackberry bush imaginable. To think that the rest of the stash is only going to get better than this has had me running for the loft ladder like it was December 1st.
Decanted for 2.5 hours. A very lovely wine. Young but we expect it to improve further. We feel that it would benefit from decanting for 4+ hours. The wine has a good bouquet, great colour and depth. We feel the tannin will mellow slightly overtime. Overall a really , really good wine.
And you were right, the ‘17 is a very different beast to the ‘18, this was evident as soon as the wine entered the decanter. The vanilla tones missing, a more typical Barossa aroma. Save the odd (small) taste over the afternoon we managed to wait 5 hours. The wine really did open up and come into its own. Like the ‘18 the tannins have been expertly intertwined especially as such a young age. Bold yet elegant, red fruit profile that continues almost forever. The disappointment of the empty bottle is tempered by the knowledge it won’t be our last. (Lucky us!!) AMs review (I dropped a glass off to the office as she was still in a call). She bounded down the stairs and pronounced “what the hell is this, it’s bloody brilliant!!”