97+ Points Stuart McCloskey "My third bottle and my opinion has not changed. An ineffably complex bouquet which builds and builds with more aeration in the glass. Emphatically, mineral-dominated, which combine perfectly with Amalfi lemon peel and orchard fruits (quince). The palate is full of energy, exhilarating, tightly coiled and perfectly balanced. The wine is chiselled, builds slowly and would benefit from decanting. Richness does not come in the form of fruit. Instead, the wine's fullness comes in the form of texture (phenolic weight) which is undeniably attractive (a nod to the painstaking work carried out in the vineyard). Wet stones wash across my palate but it’s the salinity which I love and sets this New Zealand Chardonnay apart from all the others. There’s a killer line of acidity which will ease with more time in the bottle. Wonderfully alive, memorable and a breathtaking wine. Wow! Served in Zalto Bordeaux glassware." Drink now to 2026
Dave’s Block is a very special old vineyard perched on an elevated site in Blewitt Springs, McLaren Vale. The soil is classic white sand over clay, the cooler elevation allows the grapes to slowly mature.This very special vineyard was created from cuttings off the Kay Brother’s Block Six, a well known vineyard with 110 year old vines. Previously used as the McLaren Vale component for Ares, Dave’s Block became part of the Single Vineyard Series in 2014 when Ares reverts to showcasing the Barossa Valley.
Winemaker "We hand pick the fruit from Matthews Lane vineyard ensuring each parcel of fruit is in pristine condition. After a yeast starter the juice rests on yeast lees for 11 months in new 1,000L German Oak Fuder Barrels. The use of Fuder barrels in this way ensures our Single Vineyard white wines develop a greater complexity and refinement because oak doesn’t dominate. The ratio of wine in contact with the barrel surface is less than smaller barrels so oak pick up is less. The staves of Fuder barrels are thicker which means the temperature of ferment tends to be warmer and we find the fruit characters gain greater depth and complexity."
The original block that Muddy Waters planted, the Slow Hands name derives from their founding philosophy of meticulous but gentle care be awarded to the vineyard, the vines must be tended by ‘slow hands’. The wine is only made in the best years when the conditions are dry, warm and sunny enough to aid the slow ripening from this block. This slow ripening is one of the defining features that gives the Slow Hands wine its distinct structure and texture, only the finest grapes are selected and the wine is made in very small batches. The wines are described as being an iron fist in a velvet glove, balancing intense power, with a fine, velvety texture delivering sensual blackcurrant, blueberry, plum, bramble and violet, seamlessly combined with gentle, French oak.
Those eagle eyed Decanter readers may have spotted the unprecedented score for a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc (August 2017 Edition).
The Marlborough producer, Auntsfield has been awarded a colossal 98 points for their 2016 single vineyard Sauvignon Blanc, the same score awarded by Decanter for the 2016 Bordeaux En-Primeur’s – Chateaux Mouton Rothschild, Pichon Lalande & Figeac...
96+ Points - Stuart McCloskey
• Royal Queensland Wine Show 2017 - Gold
• Royal Sydney Wine Show 2017 - Gold
• Wine Show of Western Australia 2017 - Gold
Decanter World Wine Awards: Silver 2017
96 points - James Halliday