97 Points - Stuart McCloskey “The nose offers swathes of complexity, coupled with reductive flinty notes. Lemon oil in abundance which I love. The wine is broad on the palate, concentrated and fans out magnificently with a fine border of acidity. Weighty, nutty and the waxy expression is very appealing and not at all heavy. Sweet stone fruits complement the savoury edge – Zips of lemon and lime acidity delight. Unashamedly ripe and struts its stuff with much confidence. Moreish and mouth-watering. Has cellaring potential but has immediate appeal. Served with Zalto Bordeaux glassware and Queen’s Somebody to Love played at full blast. Fermented with 100% wild, indigenous yeast and fermented in French Barriques of which 27% were new with the balance 1 and 2 years old. It was then matured for 10 months in barriques.”
97 Points - Stuart McCloskey “I love the nose with its steely freshness – racy and cool climate, sweetened with a whiff of poached pears. The palate is much fuller than the Upper Ngumby and will appeal (enormously so) to those seeking a richer style. There’s a lovely combination of depth and mouth-watering freshness. The fruit is evidently sweeter and fills the mid-palate gloriously. Stony minerality keeps the wine in perfect check. This is a chardonnay on full parade, just bumptious and proud to be. A touch of salinity on the super long finish. Bloody brilliant – it’s as simple as that. Drink now to 2025.”
98 Points - Jeb Dunnuck (robertparker.com) "The 2016 Syrah il Padrino Bien Nacido Vineyard is also inky colored and has a distinct marine-like character in its smoked black fruits, crushed rock, iodine, and peppery herb aromas and flavors. It's deep, rich and concentrated, yet stays fresh and balanced. As always, it’s in the same qualitative ballpark as the Larner Vineyard yet has a singular, distinctive character."
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97+ Points - Stuart McCloskey "A stupendous Pinot Noir from Devotus, which is getting better and better with each passing week. Wonderful aromatics of plums, spice, sour cherry, petal, cedar and warm earth. The palate is medium-bodied, tensile, layered, incredibly balanced with fine, grained tannins. The sweet entry is adorable which would lead most to the wrong conclusion; this is a regal, fine-boned Pinot Noir executed perfectly by a supremely skilled winemaker. Furthermore, a wine which happily outshines any Burgundy at this price level. My advice is that fans seeking energy, quality, and a laser-like focus should flock to this fabulous wine. Only 2,502 bottles produced. Served using Zalto Burgundy glassware."
97 Points, Stuart McCloskey “An intoxicating nose offering a wealth of oak, eucalyptus, mint, leather, dusty earth, cedar, violets, vanilla and blueberry and blackberry liquor. The palate is medium-bodied, with fleshy, black and red fruits laced with exotic spices. Kirsch-soaked cherries, dark plums and creme de cassis are framed with fine grained tannins. Lots of detail with a long finish. Hints of tobacco and mint. Lovely freshness. At this price, it must be one of the cheapest great wines in Australia. Fantastic value and comes highly recommended. Decant for 2-3 hours. Served in Zalto Bordeaux Glassware.”
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97 Points - Stuart McCloskey “A thrilling, single vineyard Shiraz which has been meticulously crafted by the skilled hands of Craig Stansborough. The site is around 260-280m above sea level with vines planted in 2000 and is own rooted, clones are heritage and 1654. The nose is heady and aromatically perfumed with intense black raspberry, crème de cassis, bramble and fennel seed. The warm earth notes keep it grounded (forgive the pun!) as do the cedar notes. Vanilla kicks in after many hours in the decanter (we decanted for 6). Read more...
97++ Points - Stuart McCloskey “Sourced from the very first planting of Chardonnay in the Adelaide Hills and continues to be revered as one of Australia's greatest Chardonnays. The current bottle price of $115.00 supports its domestic reputation. Struck match fades with a few minutes of aeration to reveal a whole spectrum of aromas ranging from confit lemon, sea spray, freshly squeezed lemon and lime, lots of minerality and a background of beeswax. The palate is flawless, everlasting with the weight and crystalline delineation of a Grand Cru Burgundy. It’s certainly not shy in coming forward but does offer enough restraint not to be too overwhelming. There’s a lovely satin texture with a killer line of acidity running through its core. More savoury than fruity with white toast, cashew and creamy chalkiness / oiliness which coats the palate. Harmonious and the little bottle age has done it wonders. Clearly, we should seriously re-consider our price! Drink now through to 2030. Served with Zalto Bordeaux glassware.”
98-99 Points - Stuart McCloskey “The aromatics are sexy and engulf the senses with crème de cassis, ripe raspberry coulis, blackcurrant compote, framboise, sloes, cold stones, with a smidgen of iron, lead pencil and a dash of seaweed on the finish. You would not believe its vintage by the power of the aromas. The palate follows the same opulence and drenches you with super-ripe fruit which keeps you salivating. A solid core of tannin and acidity counterpoint perfectly. This is very impressive and shows Wild Duck Cabernet Sauvignon in a completely different light (the ’01 vs. the ’08 could not be further apart). I love the waves of exquisitely ripe black raspberry. The density and richness of fruit is impressive, as is the flawless texture, but the wine’s ability to keep fleet of foot is remarkable. The finish is formidable and very, very long. 99 points if I can take a bottle home! Decanted for three hours and served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware. Drinking now to 2030+”
International Wine & Spirits Competition Gold Medal 2019
97+/98+ Points - Stuart McCloskey “A pure bouquet of blackberry intermixed with warm, dry earth, musky herbs, menthol, graphite and pen ink. To be honest, you would run out of superlatives as the bouquet is endless and constantly changes with more aeration. The tannins are a touch chalky contrasted with magnificent layers of perfectly ripe, black fruits. Far from being heavy or clumsy – quite the contrary. A shrill of redcurrant on the entry followed by a wave of brooding, briary fruit laced with sweet spices falling to Provençal herbs and touches of menthol. The Mount Edelstone connection (one of Australia’s greatest single-vineyard wines) plays a significant role, but I wonder how much nature has shaped this wine? So natural and so effortless. A remarkable wine…Decanted for 4 hours and served using Zalto Bordeaux Glassware. Drink now or over the next decade and beyond.”
96 Points - Stuart McCloskey “Certainly, one of the best value Chardonnays in our portfolio as the flavours and structure command a much higher price. The nose opens with grapefruit, an orchard full of ripe, yellow stoned fruits, quartz and a lovely undercurrent of spice. Similarly, the palate offers grapefruit and yellow stoned fruits. Complexity comes via wild fennel and lip-smacking salinity which I love - lots of minerality too. Impeccable balance, refreshing, focused, full of energy and not a step out of place. Just a joy… Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware. Do not overchill!”
96 Points - Magdalena Sienkiewicz "What a treat from Franco D’Anna and his team. The Estate Chardonnay offers great quality and outstanding value. Generous and appetising perfume brimming with ripe nectarines and grapefruit with a great streak of minerals. The flavours on the palate follow suit and mirror the mouth-watering aromas. Simply scrumptious! A full bottle will be gone before you notice…"
99 Points - Stuart McCloskey
"A wine which offers a special level of purity from the outset and riveting from beginning to end. The nose is flamboyant, intensely perfumed and layered beautifully with plum, liquorice, asphalt, turning to roasted coffee with more aeration. The palate is seamless and washes sweet fruit across every facet with effortless grace. Sweet raspberry, cassis, violets with a touch of background spice. The tannins are fine with perfectly judge acidity, neither of which interrupts the super-long finish. This wine highlights Paul’s natural skill to understand the correlation between vineyard, grape to wine, which is often amiss. A captivating wine of ethereal grace, magical beauty opposed to a dense powerhouse. A US Syrah masterpiece for sure and will only get better over the next decade (sampled using Zalto Bordeaux glass)"
95++ Points, Stuart McCloskey "Whilst writing, I am sipping on a new wine from the Stella Bella stable. Otro Vino Chardonnay which and to quote them translates to ‘Other wine. Adventurous, creative, exotic, and explorative hand-crafted wines.’ I like it. In fact, I like it very much. It lacks the concentration of the Suckfizzle, but the same winemaking philosophy is matched. Sea spray, citrus and offers a lovely texture. A more detailed tasting note will be released soon. Highly recommended and should really be retailing for at least five pounds more a bottle.
Mike Bennie (The Wine Front) "A wine that proudly shows the colour of the grape, asserting that texture, detail, structure and complexity are a by-product of thoughtful winemaking with pinot gris. ‘Whole bunch fermented’ says a sash on the label now too.
It’s a tightly wound expression, slender in shape, refreshing with tangy acidity, fragrant in red berry and floral perfume, though flavours are a touch washed out in the fray. That being said, the chalkiness to texture, the chew and bite of skinsy fruit personality, and the general ease of drinking, all play a part in ‘recommendation’ here. It’s a paired back release this year, more ‘Provencale rose’ than Radikon Kisi, but the drinkability and general sense of deliciousness is all there."
*Every purchase of 6 bottles will include the original wooden case
97++ Points - Stuart McCloskey “Sourced from the famed Corryton Park vineyard, high in the cool-climate Eden Valley in the Barossa Ranges. A decade on, the wine is deep and brooding with leather, liquorice, tobacco, cough-candy and warm earth unfolds from my glass – the bouquet is riveting. The palate is medium-bodied, fresh with a sweet opening of blackberry, raspberry and anise. There’s a lot of scaffolding in place which has held this wine in good order nonetheless, the palate is developing beautifully with many shades and dimensions on show. The tannins are dusty and the finish is honestly endless, but does eventually fade to dried blood orange. A lovely Cabernet experience… Decanted for 3 hours and served using Zalto glassware.”
98+ Points - Stuart McCloskey “The bouquet soars from the glass with an infusion of mineral, honey, lime, quince, caramelised apple, roasted pineapple and sweet spices. This is one of those rare wines which provides as much olfactory pleasure as does the taste itself – quite magical. The palate offers wonderful intensity but is far from being clumsy. Highly elegant given its soaring presence. Texturally, similar to a German Auslese (not to be confused with the sweetness level). The complexity is beguiling… The palate is silken and counterpoints perfectly from stones, salt, minerals to a juicy ripeness which leaves me drooling for more. I could honestly get carried away with this wine. The best NZ Riesling I have had the pleasure to sample – I am in awe. Serve around 11 degrees (fridge cold is too cold) and enjoy late afternoon / early evening in the sunshine. Do not serve with food – Enjoy the moment which food will interrupt. Amazing now but I would love to re-sample in ten years. Served using Zalto universal glassware”
97+ Points - Stuart McCloskey “Reductive at first but diminishes with a little aeration. I’ll start with my conclusion; overall a Chardonnay which is flamboyant, generous and thoroughly moreish, which will please those who are seeking a fuller style of wine. The value is off the charts – I believe most would be happy to pay north of thirty-pounds. With aeration (20 minutes or so) the wine unfurls with notes of creamed cashew, lemongrass, freshly juiced lemons, spice and wet, hot stones. Layer-upon-layer of fruit washes across your palate. Wonderful creamy richness juxtaposed with grip and acidity. Oodles of finesse with a finish which is endless. A real showstopper with the quality and structure to age gracefully over the next decade. A WOW for the money. Incredible value. Served with Zalto Bordeaux glassware.”
Vinorium Award - 2019 Best Value Wine of the Year: Bronze
97 Points - Stuart McCloskey “A heavenly nose of cassis, plum, soy, graphite and lots of mineralite at play here. With time, cedar / pencil box aromatics unfold. The palate speaks more of finesse than power. Incredibly complex and not overly tannic. The entry is sweet, ambitious with ripe, silky black fruits. Texturally, and impossible to miss, is the sense of finesse and grace which weaves its magic and is seldom seen in the Barossa. Cedar and graphite-infused fruit emerge but I keep coming back to the wines beguiling poise. Svelte and sensuous with a little wood dust which adds a lovely texture. The finish seems endless – clove and fennel seed leading to orange peel? I could go on, but I must stop. In short, this is a brilliant and uncompromising Barossa Cabernet Sauvignon. Think expensive Bordeaux Second-Growth and you’ll be right on the money”. Served in Zalto Bordeaux glass.
Vinorium Award - 2019 White Wine of the Year: Silver
97+ Points Stuart McCloskey "Sharply focused, linear with a vibrancy which I wasn’t expecting. The floral character comes to the fore which compliments the nashi pear, peach, melon and suggestion of jasmine brilliantly. The palate is expansive with swathes of buttered citrus fruits underpinned with a core of minerals. I’ll be brutally honest, I was expecting a voluptuous Barossa bombshell. Instead, I received an unexpected balancing act between litheness and precision which is extremely impressive. This is one of those rare wines which floats on the palate but delivers to every millimetre. Drinking beautifully now (decant for 20 mins) but will cellar for 8-10 years."
97 Points - Stuart McCloskey “A wonderfully infused perfume of fresh, sliced pear, fennel, orchard fruits, white flowers, smoky minerals a faint whispering of wild honey. As JC set out to achieve – the palate offers substantial texture and grip from the tannins. Lots of nerve to admire too. I will say this wine is far more serious than JC lets on! It’s taut, focused, unadulterated, and packed with ripe, apple, pear, quince, and soupçon of honeysuckle… There’s a lovely line of juicy acidity which runs straight through the core and compliments the salty / smoky mineral finish perfectly. The length is to be admired. Very impressive and will thrill those who are seeking great northern and southern Rhône wines on a budget, which is a tad unfair on JC and this fabulous wine. Super-impressive and I'm taking a 12-pack home… Do not over chill and served in Zalto Bordeaux glassware. Drinking from 2020-2025+”
98-100 Points - Stuart McCloskey "Even at this stage, the ’17 Lamella is spectacular and bursts from the glass with an intoxicating and heady mix of pen ink, lilac flower, violets, cassis liqueur and liquorice with the faintest whiff of nori. The palate is full-bodied, ineffably complete with an overall mouthfeel akin to velvet - juicy with a super-lavish, creamy texture. The fruit component comes across cool and clearly handled sensitively. Layers of fruit wash across my palate. With aeration (4-5 hours) the dark fruits meld with wood smoke and dried herbs – ever changing in the glass. The tannins are virtually unnoticeable, as is the oak which is quite extraordinary. Granted, this wine offers an entire day of immediate pleasure, but it will be perfect in a decade. I cannot wait to see how this evolves over the coming years. Utterly magnificent and a privilege to sample such a remarkable Aussie masterpiece. Breathtaking in its infancy… Decanted for 4-5 hours and sampled using Zalto Bordeaux Glassware"
97+ Points - Stuart McCloskey "The bouquet offers a warming hug of autumn extending from wild, dark berries, plums, dried orange rind to a background of sweet spice. The palate is ample and full of character. The fruit is ripe but far from being overdone – plums, dark cherry, quite floral, violets and a soupçon of Asian spice. The tannins and acidity integrate flawlessly – the balance is perfect. Very much in its infancy and will be sublime in 5 years. Just a joy to drink, wonderful. Served with Zalto Burgundy glassware.”
98 Points - Stuart McCloskey “The nose is immensely grown-up and would not be out of place in a Grand-Cru white Burgundy line-up. A wondrous bouquet of honey, beeswax, citrus, apple, jasmine flower, and limestone. The palate is equally captivating, tensile and the biodynamic principles provide an almost perfect sense of naturality. Balletic is its movement from fruit to structure. So glorious and completely unforced. The wine’s intricacy is quite remarkable, and the complexity offers an intense, satisfying experience. This is a flat-out great wine regardless of its origins. Deeply impressive and will be mesmeric in a decade. Decant for 20 / 30 minutes and served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware. Do not overchill…”
96+ Points - Stuart McCloskey “Floris is my midweek favourite and the ‘best’ value Chardonnay in our collection. Decant, pour into good glassware and your guests will believe you are sharing a thirty-quid bottle of wine with them – I kid you not. The aromatics leap from the glass in a wave of anise / fennel, confit pear, fresh ginger, oh so floral and finishes with a zip of lime acidity. The fruits are powerful and the palate saturated with minerality. Glossy with a super-long zesty finish. Simply, an excellent wine. Served with Zalto Bordeaux glassware. Do not overchill"
Top Rated Shiraz - 2020 Wine Companion Awards
Decanter World Wine Awards: Platinum 2018
98 Points - James Halliday "From two old vineyards in McLaren Vale with an average age of over 80yo, wild yeast open-fermented, plunged, basket-pressed. Deeply coloured, this plum, blackberry and dark chocolate wine has countless layers of tightly wound fruit, the gently savoury finish providing flavour and texture balance beyond compare. Oak? Yes, it's there somewhere."
98++ Points - Stuart McCloskey “The bouquet purrs effortlessly with cedar, old-school pencil box, mint, blackberry, macerated cherries with a little background smokiness - more Pauillac than Heathcote with a sensuous ‘Margaux’ feel to it. The palate is medium-bodied and oozes charm. The balance is sublime as the wine dances gracefully across my palate. The sweet, black fruits are flanked by filigree tannins with mahogany, graphite, and liquorice taking me straight back to Bordeaux. Almost 20 years and now at its peak. Supremely effortless and a wine which will take you on a wonderful voyage (do not spoil the moment by serving with food). Just glorious for me and sourced with perfect provenance, as it was stored at Wild Duck Creek’s cellar until 2020. Served in Zalto Bordeaux glassware. Decanted for 2 hours (no more please).”
Vinorium Award - 2019 Red Wine of the Year: Silver
99-100 Points - Stuart McCloskey "An extraordinary colour ranging from midnight black to a rim of purple. The nose is intoxicating and utterly beguiling with lavender, violets, vanilla, coal, cold stone, ink, iron ore and graphite. The palate is full-bodied, richly structured, incredibly layered and beautifully defined - The Château Latour of Australia as this befits ‘the iron fist in a velvet glove’ perfectly. It’s quite extraordinary how a wine of such scale and age is so harmonious. The flavour profile and length are unending. The texture silken. The sweet entry finding its way to an iron ore and salty finish is fascinating (my last sip offered coffee notes). It is easy to understand why this was wine of the day (a difficult achievement given the calibre of the room). One of Australia’s immortal wines which has the potential to outlive most of us. Remarkable. Decanted for 2 hours and served using Zalto’s Bordeaux Glassware."
96 Points - Joe Czerwinski (RobertParker.com) "Mulberries and blueberries appear alongside a hint of white pepper on the nose of Standish's 2017 The Schubert Theorem Shiraz, sourced from Marananga. It's full-bodied, firm and structured, loaded with mixed berries and balanced by savory undercurrents of espresso and black olive.
97+ Points - Stuart McCloskey "Dog Point's Section 94 has always been a favourite of mine and can, in correct cellaring conditions, mature wonderfully over a decade. This is another example of a medium to full-bodied, textural style of Sauvignon Blanc. The grapes for Section 94 come from a single, low cropping vineyard parcel first planted in 1992. The fruit is hand-picked, whole bunch pressed and aged in older French oak barrels for 18 months. Every vintage has a funky edge which you either love or not. Those seeking simplistic Kiwi fruit pops should avoid at all costs as this is a serious, large scale wine that deserves a little respect. The aromas are taut, tightly wound with the ‘funk’ reducing with 20/30 minutes in a decanter (highly recommended). Tropical no - Yellow stone fruits in abundance with a vein of minerality appearing mid-palate. There’s a real intensity which is exceptional and rarely found with the majority of New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs. The finish is endless… In short, brilliant!"
97 Points - Stuart McCloskey “Pleasingly, the wine has put-on some textural weight during the past 12-months. I would add a note of caution as to the choice of glassware. I sampled the wine using Zalto Bordeaux and Universal. The bigger Bordeaux glass is better suited in my opinion as it shows off the luscious richness and textural mouthfeel (not at all heavy) against the Universal glass, which provides less expressive notes and stimulation. The nose offers ripe apricot, confit lemon with a lovely floral array. The palate builds with an impressive level of balance and breadth. The palate is unctuous with layers of honeyed, spiced orchard fruits and honeysuckle, but remains bright and focused. The length is astonishing. Wonderful value and will be drinking perfectly for another 5-8 years.”