97+ Points - Stuart McCloskey "What a welcome back after a three-vintage absence (for me, not the wine!). Waves of plums, mulberries, black cherries and hints of blood orange wash effortlessly across your palate. There is an intense core of rich dark fruits perfectly framed by fine tannins which is impossible not to admire. Certainly, an intriguing Pinot Noir which straddles styles and certainly would not be out of place with some of Sonoma’s ‘top’ Pinot Noirs. Utterly joyful and quite honestly soars above many of its New Zealand peers. Served in a Zalto Burgundy glass but I do feel a little unkind with my score – Perhaps another point (98+) if I had the patience to decant which I would highly recommend."
92-94 Points - Jay S Miller (erobertparker.com)
The 2005 Shiraz 1914 is similarly styled to the 1928, but with slightly greater depth and concentration. It can be enjoyed over the next 10-15 years. The J. J. Hahn wines are made by Rolf Binder from two vineyards separated by 50 yards, one planted in 1914 and the other in 1928. Both were tasted from barrel samples. They were aged in American oak, 30% new.
Violet ink in the glass, a nose of black plums, cassis, and cacao engage. The robust entry consists of a progressing palate of blackberry and boysenberry compote, a reduction of dark plum and ripe figs, and pure Amarena cherry. Flashes of vanilla and traces of minerality evolve into chalky tannins and a smooth lingering finish.
2018 was a complex year for olive trees as the climate was challenging and did not follow normal patterns. After a warm and rainy winter, April began with low temperatures (down to -4ºC) and snow. Damage was limited at Capezzana, where only a few branches dried out due to the temperature. The rest of spring was rainy, supplying good water reserves. The rain stopped at the beginning of May, when there was a period of sunshine and fresh wind. This, along with more rain at the beginning of June, encouraged a good fruit set and by the end of June the olives were already set and well developed.
Decanter World Wine Awards: Gold 2017
Gold Medal – 2017 Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships
Gold Medal – 2017 International Wine & Spirit Competition
99 Points - Stuart McCloskey "Extraordinarily left on the lees for 12 full years and disgorged June 2015. This is far from a New World gimmick - Mind-bogglingly brilliant and without question, the greatest sparkling wine outside of Champagne and better than many within. A sublime blend of 61% Chardonnay & 39% Pinot Noir which offers a profusion of aromatics and flavours. The wine delivers mouth-filling generosity with nutty honeycomb, toasted brioche, bread (a factor of the extended lees contact), toasted grains, caramel and citrus notes. I detect some ocean sea salinity which makes sense given the marine location. Clearly, the wines maturity is for all to see however, the purity and finesse is quite staggering. A towering masterpiece, riveting, difficult to share as several glasses is never enough and I honestly can't imagine it getting any better. Truly epic and the New World benchmark. Almost perfect! Served using Zalto universal. Only 2,200 bottles produced."
98 Points - James Halliday "First fermentation in stainless steel. Gleaming straw-yellow; 6.5g/l dosage, disgorged June 2015, and has acquired exceptional length to its toasted, buttery brioche, honey, spice and nut flavours. Despite its age, it has kept its freshness and vibrancy thanks to its core of acidity."
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."
** Special 6-pack price - equivalent to £12.50 per bottle **
91-93 Points - Jay S Miller (erobertparker.com)
The 2005 Shiraz 1928 is opaque purple-coloured with an expressive bouquet of cedar, pencil lead, mineral, violets, tar, blueberry, and blackberry. This is followed by a medium-to full-bodied wine with gobs of ripe fruit, spicy black fruit flavors already exhibiting complexity, a harmonious personality, and a lengthy, fruit-filled finish.
92 Points - Robert Parker
The 2004 Syrah Liandra was fashioned from 100-year-old vines grown in clay and sandy soils. Its inky/purple color is followed by a big, sweet nose of creme de cassis, blackberries, tar, and hints of smoke and bay leaves. Full-bodied, opulent, and rich with low acidity as well as sweet tannin.
This is the fourth release of an Oliver's Taranga Reserve Shiraz, selected from the best parcels of old vine Shiraz, which were planted in 1948. The Australian wine critic James Halliday awards it 93 Points which is incredible given our price tag!
93 points - James Halliday
Good colour; a powerful but supple array of black fruits, dark chocolate and mocha; firm but fine tannins; good oak. Vines planted 1948.
97 Points - James Halliday "The vineyard was planted in '94 to clones 114 and 115, believed to have mutated into a single 'Sangreal' clone. Always made with 50-70% whole bunches, and 60-70% new oak maturation for 18 months. While the power of the wine is typical Farr, this vintage bestows a measure of linearity, a sinuous line to the palate that links and loops around the complex flavours of forest floor/spice and wild strawberry."
95 Points - Jay Miller (erobertparker.com)
The 2004 Shiraz “H.J. Reserve” was aged for two years in 100% new French oak. It was sourced from the estate’s 65-year-old vineyard with a minuscule yield of 1 ton per acre. Opaque purple, it has an enticing bouquet of toasty oak, smoke, saddle leather, espresso, mocha, blueberry, and blackberry liqueur. Medium to full-bodied and opulent, the wine has super-succulent black and blue fruit flavors, well-concealed tannins, and a very long, 60-second finish. Because of its superb balance, it will evolve for at least a decade and provide pleasure through 2030. However, for those unable to delay gratification, it will make a great companion to a giant slab of prime rib.
95 Points - Campbell Mattinson (The Wine Front)
It’s much like last year’s release with just a bit more weight. It’s a better wine as a result. This is a powerful, sturdy red, built Tonka Tuff, with blackcurrant, black olive and bay/gum leaf notes rumbling throughout. In flavour terms it’s almost into gravel territory, and indeed almost into coffee grounds/bitter chocolate. Ropes of muscular tannin pull assuredly through the fruit,. This will be a 25 year+ wine. It is excellent.
Steven Spurrier - “Eileen Hardy Chardonnay is, in my view, the Grange of Australian white wines”.
98+ Points - Stuart McCloskey “A stunning bouquet offering a profusion of aromatics ranging from vanilla, lemon zest, Seville orange marmalade, wet limestone to maritime salinity and finishing with freshly grated, spicy ginger. The wine has put on some weight with a lovely silky textural feel, but far from viscous. Harmonious and exquisitely judged to be succinct. Flavours are more difficult to pin down at this stage, but one thing is certain, it’s effortless and washes across my palate with consummate ease. I love the spice, salinity – very maritime which changes with more aeration. Fascinating is the wine's development in the glass. As I mentioned in my previous notes - This would shame many white Burgundies at double the price. This is simply a beautiful Chardonnay which offers more potential for those with patience. Just magnificent and for me, the best Chardonnay in our portfolio. The value is unbelievable. I recommend drinking this superb wine from now to 2028. Sampled using Zalto Bordeaux glassware” Tasted 9 May, 2019
95 Points - James Halliday
D654 McLaren Vale Clare Valley Frankland River. Open-fermented, basket-pressed. McLaren Vale dark chocolate and black fruit richness, the Clare Valley providing some mint and fine, firm tannins, Frankland the pepper, violets and soft black fruit finish. The sum of the parts is greater than the whole, brought together and bonded on the full-bodied palate by persistent, ripe tannins that also add texture.
97+ Points - Stuart McCloskey
More intense, open-knit and richly textured compared to the 2015 although, both vintages are matched by their exquisite balance. The wines aromatics (honeyed citrus fruits, waves of minerals and a little maritime note) unfold with 20 minutes in a decanter (advised for ultimate satisfaction). The palate is medium to full-bodied, ripe and endlessly long. The play between textured weight and acidity is fantastic – A perfect marriage of cohesion and completeness. Given my experiences with mature Eileen Hardy Chardonnay’s, the ’14 is difficult to pin down to specific flavours. This wine is more to do with sensation as the palate feel is incredible. I do feel the 2015 has the slight edge and will become one of their best vintages over the past three decades however, there is something irresistibly special about the 2014.
For richer, oaked Sauvignon Blancs such as The Fuder, white Graves or Semillon/Sauvignon blends. For young and non-vintage Champagne we recommend Zalto Universal. However, the Zalto Universal is a very good all-rounder, designed for all types of wines but may not maximize the potential of certain wine as much as the Bordeaux or Burgundy glass.
This is a sumptuous wine, defined by its aromatic complexity and finesse. Predominately grown in the Red/Brown earth of the Barossa’s western ranges, the soil profile creates masculine tannins and richness through the palate. Lower yield limiting soils provide a large fruit concentration. This label’s colour reflects the red soils of the Barossa’s western ranges where all the best Two Hands vineyards are located.
96+ Points - Stuart McCloskey
99 Points - Joe Czerwinski (RobertParker.com)
Everything about Standish's 2016 The Relic Shiraz-Viognier is remarkable, starting with the ridiculous color. It's so dark, so purple, so vibrant. Then the nose boasts soaring florals and stone fruits, while the palate delivers fresh blueberries and dried spices. It's full-bodied but creamy-textured, with supple tannins and concentrated fruit that lingers on the plush finish. Just awesome stuff.
For weightier style reds we recommend the Zalto Bordeaux glass, 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 wines depth and concentration. The Bordeaux glass is the ideal choice for Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Zinfandel, Bordeaux or Rhone style blends and many other red wines. Surprisingly, it is also the glass of choice for oaked Chardonnay as well, the shape of the bowl accentuating the balance of ripe fruits and oak.
95 Points - James Halliday
There is definite synergy in the blend, even it if it's the Yarra Valley that provides most of the flavour and the glue; grapefruit is in the driving seats, but there's a special texture to the mouthfeel, part fruit, part oak-derived.
97-98 Points - Stuart McCloskey “Ethereal is a good place to begin and certainly one of the best bottles of Pinot Noir I have drunk sub fifty-pounds. You would be mistaken to believe this wine has a decade of aging behind it due to the tawny rim. The bouquet is astonishing, and again would deliver a verdict of a mature wine; dried rose petals, cherry, warm minerals and a lovely savoury undercurrent. Close your eyes and think autumn with a splash of wild strawberry. The palate is fresh, medium-bodied, precise, with acidity judged to perfection. The wine fans-out with a lovely garden savouriness with bay leaf, cedar and finishes with dried, blood orange. As with many wines, I am drawn to the wines texture and this is ultimately blessed. It’s simply effortless, harmonic and will fill you and your glass with serenity”. Served in a Zalto Burgundy glass
97 Points – James Halliday
Margaret River, Coonawarra. Full red-purple; a potent, powerful cabernet, the focus on blackcurrant fruit, complexity provided by bay leaf/black olive/mint nuances; French oak is where is should be (on the shoulder of the fruit) and the tannins, while firm, hold no terrors.
Nick Glaetzer's incredible 2014 La Judith Shiraz smells something like pfeffernüsse and cherry preserves, offering layered aromas of cracked pepper, star anise, cinnamon, nutmeg and red fruit. It's medium to full-bodied, feeling bigger and more expansive than its modest 13.7% alcohol, while being rich, silky and long. The oak, entirely new, has been nicely absorbed into the wine, contributing spice and texture without getting in the way of the fruit. It's a tour de force of Tasmanian Shiraz, albeit one produced in micro quantities of 232 bottles. If Mon Père is Saint-Joseph, this is Hermitage.
98 Points - James Suckling
Fabulous aromas of slate, rust, iron, and dried strawberries. Full body, firm tannins, wonderfully polished. Fine and caressing. Complex flavors too. A wonderful finish. Dusty texture as well. This is a small production wine from the family’s best vineyards of the Manzanar farm with pure slate soils.
** Available for delivery End June / Mid July 2019 **
97 Points - Sam Kim (Wine Orbit) "A profound pinot; the captivating bouquet shows dark cherry, blueberry, violet, cedar and game characters with a hint of dried herb note. The palate is concentrated and weighty, while remaining poised and refined, backed by velvety mouthfeel and fine tannins. Gracefully powerful and alluringly seductive. At its best: 2019 to 2030."
Winemaker "Deep garnet hue with a fascinating array of aromas from mineral and floral to earthy/animal and baking spice/wild thyme. The fruit shines through on the palate with bright cherry, blackberry and mulberry complimented by a rich earthy vein. The savoury characteristics from a cool and exceptionally low cropping vintage are sensational when married with the classic Gibbston silky, fine tannins and electric acidity. Perhaps our most intriguing Pinot to date from this vineyard with vine age playing an important role in capturing a special vintage. This punchy young wine gives immediate gratification but it has all the hallmarks of a wine that is very worthy of cellaring and will show even more exciting features for many years to come."
97 Points - Stuart McCloskey
The 2015 L’Avion (90% Roussanne 10% Chardonnay) is substantial, unctuous and as I have previously commented, I would love to place this alongside Château Beaucastel Roussanne Vieilles Vignes & Sine Qua Non in a blind tasting. Wine destined for L’Avion must go through three cuts. First, only the two older blocks of Roussanne are eligible for L’Avion followed by the best, evenly “Rousse” or sun-tanned clusters which are selected. Finally, only their favourite barrels for L’Avion make it to bottling on the label, which translates to a tiny production of a mere 500 cases. The result being a mesmerising kaleidoscope of honeysuckle, acacia flower, tangerine peel all supported by a fine thread of minerals and piquant acidity. It is simply amazing that a wine of this full-bodied richness can retain perfect definition and refinement. Needless to say, this is a stunning wine and a rare glimpse of something very, very special at this price level.
97+ Points - Stuart McCloskey