98+ Stuart McCloskey “Without any doubt, the best new world Pinot Gris to have passed my lips – a dazzling triumph. The nose is wonderful and coaxes you in with spiced pear, banana bread, apricot preserve and crammed with minerals. Texturally this is sublime, the palate feel is sensual – almost elixir with its opulence. There’s impressive density and stunning overall balance. There is bags of personality on display along with countless amounts of white and yellow stone fruits. Spiced pear, citrus and a deep core of minerals infuse in perfect harmony. It is easier to appreciate this as wine today however, its evolution over the next 10-15 years is going to be remarkable. Today, complexity and clarity are evident, but they have just been born. Purchase a case for the cellar and watch this extraordinary wine flourish. This would pair wonderfully with oysters, langoustine, crab and I believe it would be the perfect white wine to serve with a Christmas goose… Do not overchill and best served with a smile and Zalto Bordeaux glassware.”
97+ Stuart McCloskey “100% Pinot Noir. The bouquet is ripe, highly elegant and defined by orchard fruits underpinned with subtle baking spices and the slightest hint of marzipan. The palate oozes with the same sensual charm as the Pinot Gris – just with a touch more grip on the finish. There’s a generous core of orchard fruit, which reminds me of my neighbour. My home adjoins a large orchard, and this reminds me of my journey home after taking a long walk around the nature reserve – I would help myself to a dew-drenched apple that satisfies my thirst with a little puckering grip. The acidity is racy, it’s super bright with a little chalk / mineral finish. The finish is long and mouth-watering. Of course, very much an infant and will be divine over the decade to come. Simply, a beautiful creation. This may form a natural deposit. Stand upright for approx. 30 mins before pouring and pour the last glass carefully… Do not overchill. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware.”
97 Points - Stuart McCloskey “Grey Sands challenged themselves to produce a Tassie, Bordeaux right-bank, which is both admirable and delicious. The nose reveals dried spice box, fresh pencil shavings, blue and blackberry compote, violets and rosehip. The floral element unfolds with time, which is beautiful. The palate is chock-full of sweet black and blue fruits – they are ripe and insatiable juicy. Grip from the tannins arrives, providing some chew and frames the fruit fabulously. I detect anise and a little, sweet Asian spice. This one is really built for the cellar, but can be approached earlier if you decant for 4-6 hours. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware.”
97+ Points - Stuart McCloskey "My first Tassie Malbec and what a fabulous debut. The bouquet is deeply serious with savoury and oceanic aromatics from sea kelp, oyster shell (an overwhelming sense of marine) leading to pen ink and violet. There is lovely ripeness and brisk acidity, translating into a powerful but fresh wine. There is some fruit opulence with deep plum leading to an assortment of black fruits. There’s a little fresh pencil shaving, violet, blueberry and a wealth of minerals… It's compact in stature, concentrated and balanced perfectly. Tannins in abundance, but these are ripe and work wonders with the fruit. To summarise, one of the most enjoyable Malbecs I have sampled for a long time with hidden power and concentration. The flavours last forever and I love the salinity on the finish. A serious Malbec which will last 10-15 years in the cellar. Decant for 2-4 hours and best served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware”
97 Points - Stuart McCloskey “Unfurling is the perfect word to describe how the bouquet develops with each passing sniff. A little aeration and served at the correct temperature (fridge cold is too cold) is the key to unravelling the complex bouquet. More orchard fruits (perhaps a little oxidised apple). Pear both fresh and in ‘drop’ form exudes with a deep core of crushed minerals – slate and chalk dominate. The style and flavours are crystal clear, mouth-wateringly juicy and super fresh. More orchard fruits develop together with white flowers and a spine of chalk. On the whole, this is an elegant and beautifully aromatic wine which demands time in the cellar. The palate is pure and skilfully orchestrated. A great wine in development. My score reflects the need for more bottle age – another point is sure to come in 3-5 years. Drinking now to 2030+. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware.”
97-98 Points - Stuart McCloskey “The bouquet is a captivating mélange of wild berries, raspberries, wild strawberry, rose petal, orange rind with subtle and savoury nuances developing in the background. The tannins are silken and gently clutch to the fruit which glide effortlessly across the palate. Wild berry flavours fan out with a positive undercurrent of sorbet-like blood orange which I love. Clearly, Wantirna style centres on femininity, charm and a gracefulness without losing sight of the fruit or its place. Spectacularly harmonious with a long, mineral laced finished. Lily is just beginning her journey and will provide so much drinking pleasure over the coming 10-15 years. I am looking forward to resampling in a year or so. Decant for 1-2 hours and ideally serve using Zalto Burgundy glassware.”
98 Points - Stuart McCloskey “Time in the glass is the great benefactor (mine was left for an hour) resulting in a bouquet that blossoms and comes alive with buttered lemon, citrus peel, quartz, salty sea spray and chalk – vibrant and captivating. The palate delivers wave after wave of seductive buttered citrus fruit underpinned with razor sharp acidity. The density and palate feel are truly remarkable for such a young wine. I fear you would miss the amplitude, sheen, depth and glossiness if poured straight from the fridge (word to the wise). Yet another suave, seamless and immensely pleasing wine which will only get better over the next 10+ years. For Burgundy purists or those seeking something special, but do not want to part with £100 – this is the one for you. Compelling drinking. Decant for an hour and serve using Zalto Bordeaux glassware.”
97+ - 98+ Points - Stuart McCloskey “This is not powerful per se – more ethereal, terroir driven and as close to a left bank Bordeaux I have ever sampled from Australia. The wine needs coaxing from the glass - 4-hours in a decanter does the trick and delivers an extraordinary sense of minéralité. Supremely focused with tightly coiled fruit. Time being the only key to unlock its full potential. Violets aplenty which work wonderfully, along with brooding, dark fruits, laced with fine herbs, bay, graphite, minerals and sea salt. The balance is astonishing, the flavours slowly creep up on you. A wine which is utterly effortless, so pure and so precise. Today, this wine exudes intellect and detail – the best years are yet to come. Nonetheless, it is outstanding in its youth, but will be close to perfection in its prime (10 years in my opinion). In short, a very special wine which must be served with consideration and the mood to match. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware.”
98+ Points - Stuart McCloskey “In the late summer, team Stolpman pull every leaf away from the fruit to allow for full sun penetration. A month prior to harvest, when the sun exposed side of each cluster tans, but the inside remains green, every grape cluster is gently hand rotated 180 degrees to facilitate an even suntan. The focus, determination and attention to detail provides one of the best new world Roussannes, in my opinion. Spiced pear, apple, buttered citrus, tangerine skin, orange blossom and honey unfold majestically from the glass. There’s theatre, with golden hues whilst the viscous intensity grips the side of my glass with all its life. The palate is concentrated, full bodied with waves of honey and buttered fruits covering every facet. There’s a spiciness (fresh ginger) which gently starts at the tip of my tongue and continues to lay a path of warmth all the way back. Intensity is the core of this wine, with minerality and acidity providing some welcome relief. With time, honeysuckle and peach emerge, but so too does the spiciness, which I love. Emphatically long; never-ending to be perfectly honest and will continue to provide an extraordinary wine experience for many years to come. Do not overchill. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware”.
Jeb Dunnuck (RobertParker.com)
What's becoming the flagship Syrah for the estate, the 2013 Syrah Originals Estate comes from the original planting of the estate from 1992. It offers more texture, depth, richness and elegance over the Estate Syrah and possesses beautiful notes of creme de cassis, barbecue smoke, crushed pepper and violets. Medium to full-bodied, ripe and textured, yet always pure and balanced, it will have a decade of longevity.
Beginning with the 2009 vintage, the Cuadrilla program was expanded to blend in more wine from the vineyard in addition to the training Cuadra. Today, 10% of the vineyard's production goes into the blend. The profits are returned to the crew members, divided by seniority, in the form of year-end bonuses.
Winemaker “The wine shows deep, ripe red fruits, bold, expressive, and rotund all the while maintaining a nice kick of freshness and fun. This wine is not only a crowd pleaser it is a crowd stimulator to smile, toast and enjoy.”
Winemaker “2017 Para Maria sees an increase in freshness and verve from the uptick (40%) in Carbonic Syrah. The traditional Syrah portion wound up opulent and rich to balance the bright energy of the Carbonic portion. An increase to 20% Petite Verdot augmented the deep purple and black fruit flavour and granted enveloping, coating textures on the finish. A pop of bright cherry makes its first impression on the nose while in the mouth an exciting high-toned floating texture accompanies the continued happy-red spray of flavour. The backbone of the wine comes off as succulent grilled Nopales (cactus) as the juiciness finishes with a splash of blueberry.”
97 Points - Stuart McCloskey “A dreamy bouquet which unfolds to a heady and seductive mix of blueberry compote, blackcurrant pastille, mint and a little orange zest. The texture is satin-like and crammed with sweet blackcurrant and cassis. There’s a certain nod to savouriness with bay leaf, fennel, mint / eucalyptus and some leafy tobacco coming through. It’s glossy, textural and a real charmer – a bit of a show-off. At this stage, the wine offers simplicity (albeit in waves of deliciousness). Complexity will come, but the wine requires 5-10 years. There’s a lovely elegance which you do not often find with Wild Duck Creek wines. This is where you come if you are seeking rivers of ripe fruit, fun and a place where the wine will wash away a crappy day (without any effort). I do believe this will turn out to be a real gem in 8-10 years. Stash a few bottles away and let’s see if I am right! Decant for 1-2 hours and serve using Zalto Bordeaux glassware.”
96 Points - Magdalena Sienkiewicz "Dark and deep colour as usual from Wild Duck Creek. The perfume is expressive and bursting with blackberry liqueur, blackcurrants, pen ink, cedar and a wonderful lift from fresh bay leaf and sage. The mirroring flavours (along with the addition of liquorice) coat the palate wonderfully. The tannins are silky smooth – almost suede like in their plushness. Stylistically, I would declare the wine to be generous in style, but the generosity comes from the exquisite, ripe fruit. It is far from an OTT wine. Ripe, balanced, and a real ripper of an Aussie Cabernet Sauvignon. Sampled using Zalto Burgundy glassware, which is unorthodox but spontaneous as I’m supposed to be tasting Pinot Noirs. I might stick with this instead as it evolves in my glass beautifully. Decant for 2+ hours or cellar and enjoy over the next 5-10 years."
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Winemakers notes - Almost black with a dark purple hue. A selection of extraordinary fruit from our best shiraz vineyards – the ‘Original Vineyard’ and ‘Mia Mia Vineyard’ in the south, and the ‘Mt Pleasant Vineyard’ in the north. These parcels of fruit are hand selected, often only individual bunches taken from vines that have best withstood the harsh Heathcote summer. The wine is bright, rich and seductive. 5% whole bunch here, adding a vibrant lift from the glass. The nose is all black pastel, charcoal, spice and red fruit compote. The palate has a wonderful electricity about it, with beautiful acids and a smooth finish. It’s full of violets, blue and black fruits, all alongside concentrated plum and chocolate. The mouth feel has real grip here, and is unlike any other wine in the line-up. The finish is long and framed by abundant tannins. Matured in 90% new French oak and 10% new American oak barriques for 23 months. Cellar 12 years+.
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A rare and highly complex wine made from estate grown Shiraz.
Sparkling Duck is a multi-vintage wine bottled to express an array of complex fruit characters and textures, from lovely primary fruit to earthy rounded fruit that only comes from long term barrel ageing. Every two years, Sparkling Duck is blended using two Sparkling base stock puncheons that have been developing over many years with two puncheons of younger Shiraz of Springflat quality. The two older barrels are then refilled using the blended wine, and the remainder is tiraged for secondary fermentation in bottle. The lees are left in bottle for 24 months prior to being disgorged. At disgorging, the wine is liquered using a small amount of our Fortified Duck for added complexity. Usually finishing at about 15.0% alcohol, Sparkling Duck is a wine fit for any celebration.
97+ Points - Stuart McCloskey “A subregional blend, produced in tiny quantities and will bring a huge smile to those seeking a wine which delivers on flavour (which it does in bucket loads) and drinkability. The aromatics are explosive and take no coaxing. Warm earth, camphor, tobacco, cedar, ink and coal blend perfectly with a heady mix of dark berries and plums. The palate opens to a rush of sweet fruit which provides a wonderfully sensual gloss and mouthfeel. The tannins support but are supple. The sense of symmetry is deeply impressive which is a nod to a great winemaker. The wine builds and builds in the mouth… I would categorise the wine as sensual, structured and showing some masculinity. Black fruits, tobacco and smoke lead to a very long finish. Excellent and a real charmer with grip. Decant for 2-3 hours. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware.”
95-96 Points – Magdalena Sienkiewicz "55% Roussanne and 45% Viognier fermented in 500L French oak barrels. The perfume begins with a floral lift accompanied by fleshy, white nectarine, pear and spiced apple. A little earthiness and a beautiful round texture characterises the Roussanne. Whereas the Viognier contributes to the mouthfeel with bountiful stone fruit and wild flowers. Admirers of floral driven whites from the Rhône Valley will find much delight in the generous and highly aromatic style of the White Duck. Sampled using Zalto Universal glassware after 20 minutes of decanting."
97 Points - Stuart McCloskey “A single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (67%) with Carménère taking up the remainder of the blend. The small addition of new oak aligned with the blend reminds me of a young Bordeaux. The wine opens with beautifully expressive notes of black cherries, blackberries, touches of redcurrants, a little menthol, dark, bitter chocolate and cloves. Despite its age, the mid palate provides richness and heaps of sweet black and red fruits, all tinged with dried herbs (sage). The palate is vivid with perfectly balanced fine, pillowy tannins. I detect a little graphite and tobacco infused black fruit on the long finish. This is really going to blossom over the next 5-10 years. This one comes highly recommended. Decant for 1-2 hours. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware.”
95 Points - Bob Campbell "Luscious riesling with obvious honeyed botrytis influence together with peach, ripe apricot, spice and anise flavours. A delicious wine that can be enjoyed as an aperitif or with moderately sweet desserts."
Our full tasting note coming soon...
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Winemakers notes - "Garnet red colour. The nose is so alluring. Sniff after sniff reveals earth, cut meats and blood sausage. Its intoxicating dark boysenberry aromas keep you coming back for more. The flavours are bold yet silky, supple, gritty and tightly wound. It’s opulent with a palate full of blue fruits. Blueberry, plums and tart red cherry are wonderfully primary. The back palate is long and sophisticated. Partly matured in concrete vats to further highlighting the pristine fruit in this wine. Enjoy over the next 7-15 years. 15.1% Alc. Shiraz 79%, Malbec 12% and Cabernet Sauvignon 9%."
97 Points - Decanter "Among all of the different regions where Chardonnay has impressed in Australia, the Yarra is perhaps the one where the fruit itself charms most readily from the off. This steel-green wine carries its oak very lightly, and the fruit sings out: nectarine, peach and dessert apple all draw the drinker into the glass. On the palate, the wine is soft, tender, almost juicy: its perfect ripeness apparent in that limpidity of expression, and in the seamless incorporation of vibrant and rounded acidity into a natural and succulent poise. The oak, once again, is almost invisible: a swelling of tone rather than flavour. The only danger with deliciousness of this order is that you might be tempted to drink it all too quickly. Fine quality raw materials suggest there's no hurry here."
97 Points - Stuart McCloskey “A blend of 44% Syrah, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon and the curious addition of 23% Nebbiolo, which I originally thought would provide a less than exciting drinking experience. However, I was completely wide of the mark as it’s bloody marvellous and packed to the rafters with fresh, juicy fruit. I sampled the ’18 over two days and directly from the bottle – both occasions providing a fabulous experience. The nose reveals cassis, blackcurrant, dark plum, violet, blood orange and leather. The palate is complex, layered and follows the same synergy as the bouquet. The fruit is ripe and wrapped with lithe tannins. The acidity being judicious and the oak regime (10 months of which 25% is new) provides a fresh bite of structure. I love the suede-like texture; it’s so evocative and inviting. There’s intensity and abundant flavour without the slightest sign of heaviness or any notion of being a cumbersome hodgepodge. It’s surprisingly approachable now, and with a quick hour or two in the decanter will provide a thoroughly satisfying experience. Unquestionably, worth every penny. Drinking now to 2030. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware.”
96++ Points - Stuart McCloskey “A wonderful nose following a morning in the decanter. Deep violets resonate in my glass along with a fresh herbal lift intermixed with ripe dark fruits, iron ore and sweet spice. The palate is sweet, expansive and impressive. Again, clean, ripe, juicy and brimming with damson, plum, blackberry, cedar and a lovely undercurrent of minerality. Incredibly satisfying with perfectly polished tannins – I love the freshness. A real triumph for the money. Decant for 2-3 hours and enjoy over the next decade.”
97++ Points - Stuart McCloskey “This comes across more serious and restrained compared to the Grenache – I would recommend 4-6 hours in the decanter. This is powerful and grown-up with a brooding bouquet which does take time to develop. Deep, deep, deep aromas of blackcurrant, blackberry, liquorice, Indian ink, bay leaf, clove and the sweetest of spices. Equally, the palate has a serious side and will certainly benefit from time in the cellar. For now, blackcurrant, blackberry and damson add an autumnal feel against a background of savoury black olive and a little rosemary and fresh sage. The tannins are broad and provide a lovely framework to the fruit. It’s a beautiful wine, calming and cooling. There’s generosity but it’s considered. Thoughtful and reflective winemaking with the power of mother earth on show. Deeply impressive and leaves me feeling reflective. Drink now to 2035. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware”.
97-98 Points - Stuart McCloskey “A blend of 61% Cabernet Sauvignon and 39% Mataro, which and despite its tender age is singing wonderfully from the decanter (we sampled after 6 hours). The bouquet is incredibly pure and defined by sweet blueberry, mulberry, dried spice, violet, pen ink and a flicker of mint. The palate is wonderfully structured with grippy tannins – a slight huskiness which will soften with some bottle age. Without stating the obvious, there’s a lovely natural feel to wine. There’s a succulence and coolness to the fruit which I find particularly attractive. Dark plums are in abundance – I detect a little cold metal too. Clearly, a super-classy wine filled with pedigree. Not only a triumphant Biodynamic wine, but a wine which exemplifies modern Aussie winemaking. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware. Drink now to 2035+”
96 Points - Stuart McCloskey “This is a beautiful wine to drink. Seamless, the fruit is ripe and plush, the tannins pillowy with some lift from a judicious line of acidy. I will say that the tannins and acidity provide wonderful shape and support. All-in-all, everything is perfect for a wine of this quality. It reminds me of putting on a cashmere jumper… The fruit leads with raspberry which provides yin & yang of sweetness and acidity. The texture is striking simply due to the silkiness. I detect a sprinkling of dried herbs and earth. Long and balanced to perfection. Drinking fabulously now and will continue to do so until 2025. Decant for an hour or two. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware”
98 Points - Stuart McCloskey “A truly exquisite Shiraz which reminds me of Bekkers, which I recently had the pleasure to sample. The aromatic profile is kaleidoscopic in its magnitude and a difficult one to unravel. Coal, pen ink, blueberry, mulberry and plums aplenty. Redcurrants come later as does an edge of bitter coffee. For me, the coolness, unforced feel and overwhelming complexity is the draw. There’s a little smoke on the palate buttressed with effortless waves of cooling fruit. I keep shaking my head whilst telling myself how deeply impressive this wine is (so young too). There’s comforting support from the framework of tannins and a fresh zip of acidity which follows the wine to its very core. This wine celebrates naturality, power, length, charm, character and complexity. A soaring wine and a deeply impressive release from Gemtree. Decanted for six hours and served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware. Drink now to 2040.”
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+.”
99 Points - Stuart McCloskey “Personally, I feel this is becoming more extraordinary with each passing year. I could write a short book on the bouquet alone, which is hedonistic, breathtaking and takes you on the most magical of journeys. Where to start? Honeyed liquid minerals, wet stones, saline / ocean spray, sweet pastry spice, candied lemon, lemon oil, white flowers (honeysuckle), creamed hazelnuts, anise and buttered white toast in the background. The palate feel is powerful and the amplitude and depth astonishing. The poise, detail and balance are equally exceptional, all adding to a sense of being in the presence of a world class wine, which you are… The fruit is sourced from three cool climate regions; Tasmania, Yarra Valley and Tumbarumba – The Tassie fruit providing wonderful lift and refinement. The utterly extraordinary palate offers immeasurable layers of minerals, stones, sweet, buttered spiced orchard fruit. It’s glossy, silken, almost too perfect as sensations go. A bright line of acidity carries to the core, providing intensity and above all, perfect balance. Oiliness is emerging which adds more fullness and dimension. This wine possesses one of the longest and purist finishes I have ever encountered from an Aussie Chardonnay – the spiced buttered finish held together with grippy acidity is simply magnificent and continues for minutes. Value aside, certainly one of the best white wines I've enjoyed in the past 3-5 years. I feel compelled to give it the highest possible score however, I will resist as I believe a further five to ten years in the cellar will provide absolute perfection. This is just the beginning… Served at circa 13 degrees (cool garage temperature will be perfect) and using Zalto Bordeaux glassware. Important note: The temperature and your glassware choices are critical.” Tasted 16th November 2020
97++ Points - Stuart McCloskey “Put simply, the most enjoyable Aussie Gewürztraminer I have ever sampled. The bouquet leaps at you with a profusion of lemon grass, tinned lychee, rose petal, mandarins, spiced orange peel and Turkish delight. Waves of heady, sweet spice keep coming as does lime marmalade, ginger and elements of botrytis. 100 / 100 for the nose alone. The palate offers spiced, fresh ginger, galangal, lime leaf, lemon grass… more spiced tropical fruit – almost warming from the heat. Amazing! The freshness is compelling and the acidity lifts the wine to a glorious height. I especially like its refinement and the lack of floral sweetness. As I stated at the beginning, this is the best Aussie Gewürztraminer available today (in my humble opinion). Served using Zalto Universal glassware. Wonderful now and will continue to be epic over the next ten years.”
Nick Butler, The Real Review, Dec 2019 “Pale, still youthful yellow colour. Classic Gewürz aromatics of Turkish Delight, rosewater and musk. Oak treatment adds further complexity – edges are softened and acidity subdued. It’s a terrific drink and will reward another decade in the bottle.”
96+ Points - Magdalena Sienkiewicz "Although Bricolage blends are a permanent feature of the Topper’s Mountain range, the composition varies from vintage to vintage. The 2014 Blanc is a fascinating blend of Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer, Viognier and Sauvignon Blanc. The Gewürztraminer influence is clear as it takes centre stage with its highly aromatic profile. Rich citrus and lychee dominate the perfume however, the aromatics are incredibly complex nevertheless. Wet stones, sweet vanilla, red grapefruit, cantaloupe melon and sea spray. Wholly unique. The palate is much more savoury than the perfume suggests but the freshness prevails. An abundance of citrus and minerals are delectable and they linger with impressive length. Such a distinctive wine. Unusual blends often present wacky styles however, Bricolage Blanc is rather fine and incredibly textural. Hats off! Bottle age served this wine well – there is no need for further cellaring and you should enjoy this beauty on the day of opening."
Huon Hooke, The Real Review, July 2018 “This unusual and excellent wine is a blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Gewürztraminer and Petit Manseng. With a pungently spicy Gewürz-driven bouquet, it has an oily, round texture and is voluptuously soft, with stacks of flavour and character. The finish lasts long and the acidity keeps it tight and fresh.”
Mike Bennie, The Wine Front, Sept 2018 “Fleshy white of savoury nuttiness, floral characters, exotic spice and medium weight. There’s a sense of hyper-floral lift in both perfume and palate, but the gist is mostly about greener fruit flavours of pear and just ripe stone fruit. Finishes succulent and a touch grippy with a nice, bitter twist. Really lovely, really good.”
96++ - 97 Points - Stuart McCloskey "The blend changes with each passing vintage. The ’14 includes Tempranillo, Nebbiolo, Tanat, Shiraz and Viognier. The perfume is brooding and laced with fauna and flora complimented with ribbons of dark, ripe red fruits (Very much reminds me of red fruits found in high quality, bitter chocolate). The palate is incredibly fine, the tannins silken, the structural element wonderfully feminine. All-in-all, exquisitely balanced, refined and full of charm. The rose hip / petal, wild mint and liquorice combination is a joy to taste. Profound it is not, but I am truly smitten by its overall charisma. This would be wonderful if paired with rare loin of venison served with a sweet berry and juniper sauce. En pointe now and will keep for a few more years, but this is one to be enjoyed sooner rather than later… We sampled using Zalto’s Universal glassware."
97+ Points - Stuart McCloskey “I love it – it’s as simple as that. The colour is a riot of autumn – fallen Ginkgo biloba leaves and honey. So beautiful. The bouquet reminds me of Paul Lato’s uber-expensive Malvasia which I adore equally. Baked Russet apple filled with sweet spices and honey tincture. A little caramelised pineapple and cinnamon come through with more aeration. The bunches were de-stemmed and crushed, but the skins were included in the fermentation, creating wonderful mouthfeel and texture. The grip and tang of the Russet being a perfect description. This wine speaks fluently of minimal intervention to express its place of origin. There’s exceptional length and depth – Everything about this wine should be admired, including the fact that these grapes were rescued at the last minute from the Tingha Plateau Bushfire that ravaged their vineyard in February 2019. I love the honesty and I love the skill and dedication. Unfiltered, unfined and a miniscule 516 bottles produced. Served using Zalto Universal glassware. Drinking now to 2023/25. Do not overchill and there’s no need to decant.”
Winemaker Notes: Although four years old this wine is still youthful fresh and firm. Plums, blackberries and layers of spice re supported by a very good acidity and significant but elegant tannins. Serious wine to drink with food will benefit from a couple of hours of decanting.
Winemaker “Although massively structured, the best examples show remarkable elegance, typical aromas of sour cherries and tar and almost never ending cellaring potential.
Our Nebbiolo shows aromas of tar, rose hips, sour cherries, dark cherries, liquorice and heaps of flint. This can’t be anything else but Nebbiolo! Juicy and fresh on the palate yet with a strong backbone braced by high acidity and succulent smooth tannins. Cherries, currants and cranberries are accompanied by liquorice, black pepper and hint of earthiness. Long and tight finish. Wine with considerable ageing potential.”
96++ 97 Points - Stuart McCloskey “Tempranillo is a temperamental beauty which places so many demands on the winemaker - from warmth and sun for perfect ripeness as well as cooling evenings to retain freshness. AKA, perfect conditions. Topper’s sits 900 metres above sea level which aids the deliverance of daytime warmth and cooling air of the night time. The nose is fully mature and alluring with saddle leather, tobacco, cedar, rose hip, blood orange and dark cherry cola. The palate texture is perfecto – crushed velvet with ribbons of sweet and sour cherry, cola, smoke and sweet spice. The tannins are svelte and the acidity adds a judicious slap of freshness. There is much to like - superb energy and a very long, sappy finish. We sampled in Zalto’s Bordeaux and Universal glassware with the latter being our preference. It’s in its prime, but will keep for a few years longer (although I really don’t see the point personally).”
Winemaker “Juicy, elegant and already quite approachable Tempranillo. Cherry cake, dark cherries, black berries underlined with a hint of mint and dash of cinnamon on the nose. High acidity gives the wine freshness and long finish which is balanced by ripe and smooth tannins. Sour and sweet on the palate with flavours of sour cherries in chocolate, black berries, black cherries and vanilla. Typical Tempranillo – smooth and quaffable yet serious and complex.”
The Robert Oatley Signature Series draws on a remarkable portfolio of vineyards nurtured by the winemaking talent of Larry Cherubino showcasing Australia’s most successful wine styles and regions. Bob Oatley’s mantra was that all wines should be a “darned good drink”, and the high quality Signature Series delivers immediate appeal, with satisfying flavours over an elegant frame. Each wine embodies the grape varietal and region in which it was grown. This wine is soft, fleshy-textured Shiraz displaying blueberries and spice, supple tannins and stylish French oak influence.
The Robert Oatley Signature Series draws on a remarkable portfolio of vineyards nurtured by the winemaking talent of Larry Cherubino showcasing Australia’s most successful wine styles and regions. Bob Oatley’s mantra was that all wines should be a “darned good drink”, and the high quality Signature Series delivers immediate appeal, with satisfying flavours over an elegant frame. Each wine embodies the grape varietal and region in which it was grown. This wine is a soft, fleshy-textured Shiraz displaying blueberries and spice, supple tannins and stylish French oak influence.
James Suckling "There’s a fresh and lively feel to this rich and layered chardonnay that offers plenty of peach flavour and some mango, too. All delivered in a quite assertive, structured and punchy, taut mode. Drink now."
Winemaker "The 2018 vintage has produced a classic Hawke's Bay Chardonnay. Beautifully fragrant citrus, stone fruit and roasted nuts combine on a finely styled, textured and balanced palate showing good complexity."
Intense aromatics of passionfruit, tropical fruit and background fennel notes lead into a flavoursome, succulent palate in this dry style wine. A classic Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc that is fresh, pure and long on the palate reflecting the growing season and our premium vineyard sites.
96 Points - James Suckling "This shows gorgeous aromas of dark fruit, lavender and stones. Very floral. Medium to full body, lovely integrated tannins and salty, minerally and oyster-shell character. Very unique. No wood. All concrete-aged. Drink now."
Robert Parker "The 2017 Polígonos Gualtallary Malbec was produced with grapes from vines in Tupungato Winelands in Gualtallary. It's riper than the 2018, but the place is so strong that it still shines through in the wine quite clearly, despite the low yields that mean concentration and more ripeness. This is higher in altitude than Altamira, and the heat of the vintage is a little less evident in the wine. There are notes of wild herbs, flowers and berries, a medium-bodied palate, with fine-grained and chalky tannins and a dry, serious finish. 10,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in February 2018.
Luis Gutiérrez (robertparker.com) "There is a sense of purity in the 2018 Q Malbec that seems common to the whole portfolio here - wines that show precision, are clean and show no excess in any direction: ripeness, extraction or oak. It comes from Altamira and Chacayes, where 2018 was very balanced, and this is an exercise of blending over 100 components, as they ferment by soil even within the same vineyard. They fermented with different amounts of full clusters depending on the plot, perhaps 30% on average, and they fermented in concrete and with only 30% of the wine matured in used barriques. It's floral, expressive and perfumed, with a medium-bodied palate where the tannins are fine and there's some grip. The wine is serious but easy to drink. They want the wine to have a similar style to the top range: freshness, purity, cleanliness and texture that says it's from the Valle de Uco."
97+ Points - Stuart McCloskey “There’s a lovely depth to the bouquet which opens beautifully to crisp orchard fruit, lemon zest, toast, baked apple, wild honey, and a cornucopia of spring flowers. As anticipated from Grand Cru fruit, the palate feel is highly textural, broad and multidimensional. It sparkles on the palate with a core of crisp, orchard fruits. The acidity races across one’s palate which works miracles with the rich, honeyed creaminess. Salinity, acidity and minerality drive the wine and provide wonderful tension and a juiciness which I love. Chalk on the super-long finish. A Champagne which surpasses itself and a wine which will be drinking beautifully for the next 7-10 years. Do not overchill and keep it away from flutes. Try Zalto’s Universal glassware as we did (great result).”
97 Points - Magdalena Sienkiewicz "The assemblage is Pinot Noir 75% and Chardonnay 25%. The perfume exhibits beautiful complexities. Roasted apples, pears and flowers jump to the forefront but don’t overshadow the gentle notes of citrus, apricots, ripe figs and toasted almonds. The superb combination of structure, length and vigour are distinctive to a Grand Cru quality which this Grande Reserve isn’t shy of. Similar to its alluring perfume, the palate offers exuberance and complexity without losing the sense of control and elegance. Incredibly smooth given its scale. This Champagne will suit those seeking generosity. This is exactly what we were looking for in our house fizz and delivered at exceptional value."
Aged for many months in the depths of the ocean Cuvée Abyss is a champagne with a distinct air of the sea. Equally, the first taste confirms the perfect quality of it’s origins and reflects the chalky, mineral and sandy character of our terroirs.
Decanter "Bottle-aged for 18 months at a depth of 60 metres under sea, this cuvée is composed of one-third Pinot Noir from Villers-Allerand, one-third Chardonnay from Montgueux and one-third Pinot Meunier from Chamery. Fresh, floral nose with a sea tang to it, but also a bit of reduction just after opening. The palate is elegant but incredibly taut, while the taste has an alluring oxidative element interacting with its white fruit. This is a Champagne that will shine at the dinner table."
34% Pinot Noir, 33% Pinot Meunier and 33% Chardonnay
"Grand Blanc 2013 is a true thoroughbred: perfectly made exceedingly elegant with an amazing and incredibly expressive minerality."
98 points - Decanter "Disgorged June 2019. 100% Chardonnay. Zero dosage. With notes of pear, menthol, gentle spices, and a hint of smoke, the bouquet impresses from the start thanks to its powerful aromatic complexity. With its dense, fleshy texture, this is a superbly flavourful Champagne propelled by very fine bubbles. Here again, there is a hint of reduction on the palate just after opening, but freshness soon comes to the fore, enhanced by a touch of mint on the finish. Power and length underpin this very great Champagne. Bravo!"