Sampled 21 July 2021. Stuart McCloskey “I love the colour – midnight aubergine if I were designing a colour for Farrow & Ball. The bouquet has obvious similarities to my first note. The brooding character is unquestionably the charm. If I am being honest, it is difficult to encapsulate into words – lots of hand movements but the words have obviously left me. I find the aromatic conundrum utterly fascinating – I could spend an entire day swirling and sniffing. I am drawn to the ocean with warmed oyster shell, sea kelp, ocean spray, all working harmoniously with Indian ink and graphite. Über sophisticated and undoubtedly showing better than my February sample. The palate provides all the classic Barossa signatures – perhaps with a touch of amplification without, and I stress, any clumsiness. The palate feel is sensual, but it does take time to discover (I suggest a long decant of at least 6-8 hours). Contrary to my original note, I do not believe this is to be ‘opulently hedonistic.’ Yes, the fruit is ripe (as are the tannins) but it’s the coiled tension which provides an intellectual perspective along with lots of ‘energy’. The length is astonishing with touches of spice entering minutes later. At this price, this delivers the complete package – a real jewel…. Drinking from now to 2040+. Ideally, tuck a case away for 10-15 years. Keep the other case available and sample a bottle every 2-3 years.”
Sampled February 2021. 98 – 98+ Points - Stuart McCloskey “Monolithic and will be revered by those seeking unadulterated hedonism. Wow, so explosively rich – I was left speechless after my first sip. Anyhow, I am jumping the gun and must discuss the bouquet which provides a completely different aspect. Brooding, incredibly dense but there’s either a coyness or reticence which I am struggling to put my finger on. Warmed oyster shell, sea kelp, warm earth, graphite and a deep sense of mineralité. Totally fascinating and a wine which will develop an unfathomable number of aromas if you have the endurance to enjoy a glass over 24 hours. The palate is full-bodied, unpretentious, explosive, very rich, firm with taut grip from fine grained tannins (very much required to keep a handle on the ripe, dense fruit which could run amok without some control). Today, this provides the merest of glimpses into the incredible depth of flavours. The ripe, black fruits are multi-layered and drench the palate with oodles of wild blueberry compote, the sweetest of raspberry along with mulberry, sloe and damson. To say the finish is epically long would be an understatement, the same applies to the enriching perfume which keeps evolving. As I stated at the beginning – this is opulently hedonistic, yet it provides an intellectual fragrance (so savoury and very ‘marine’ against a bing-bang-bosh of excessively ripe fruit). This is simply magnificent but does need time in the cellar to come together. Again, this is another 2019 Utopos which I look forward to re-evaluating in 6 months. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware.”
Sampled 21 July 2021. Magdalena Sienkiewicz “The Shiraz has clearly evolved since my last tasting. The abundant fruit comes forward with swagger and confidence. The nose is brimming with delightfully ripe red berry fruits and sweet spices. The mineral notes continue to triumph and underpin the expressive perfume wonderfully. The palate follows suit in what is undeniably a complex and deeply satisfying wine. It epitomises precisely what we crave in superb expressions of Barossa Shiraz and it is bound to put a huge smile on many faces whilst, at the same time, our pearly whites are stained black / blue. Another joy, which is a big understatement.”
Sampled February 2021. 98-99 Points - Magdalena Sienkiewicz “Even after 24 hours in a decanter (sealed overnight), the perfume is super vibrant and ultra-concentrated. Deeply mineral with iron ore, tons of fruit and fragrant spices. It is difficult to pin down each and every flavour which tantalises the taste buds. The sheer power and tension is impressive as it is not over the top at all and it holds together with much confidence and composure. This is clearly a very young wine, but you must admire how complete it is today. Many iconic wines require years, sometimes decades to offer a pleasurable drinking experience and reveal their beauty. This is different, deeply impressive and it will certainly be wonderful to watch its progress. Sampled over several hours on the first and second day after opening, using Zalto Bordeaux glassware”.
Zalto Denk-Art Bordeaux Glass
Due to further lockdowns in Austria we are experiencing extended delays with our Zalto orders.
We are currently expecting our next delivery to arrive October 2021.
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.
"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 best and most complete Aussie MSG I have sampled to date. Exuberant and hypnotic."
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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