Issue #157, June 2021

We have received a raft of EU cancellations following last week’s rather glum news concerning our continued inability to ship wines to the EU (without you incurring huge delivery costs, albeit for a specialist wine delivery service). As a business owner, I am disappointed to see several, big cancellations however, I am entirely on your side and fully support the decisions. Alas, we are all the victims of Brexit, but and on a positive note, I am sure we will be able to offer a seamless EU service next year (I have a plan!)

Consequently, we have placed the stock from all cancelled orders back onto our website with some notable re-releases including ten cases of 2019 Lamella (This entire Lamella offer is presented as per the original purchase). Given we have allocated the 2019 to all buyers of the 2018, we thought it only fair (team discussion and vote) that these cases are offered on a first-come-first-served basis. Likewise, and our second most popular Chardonnay, the 2019 Fire Gully is available too. We can also offer 24 bottles of the 99 point (Lisa Perrotti-Brown / Robert Parker.com) 2006 Clarendon Hills Romas Grenache… You will find the price very attractive and well below the recognised market level (the closest being £72.00 per bottle). In fact, a score like this from Lisa / The Wine Advocate normally commands a much higher price…

 

2019 Standish Lamella

 

2006 Clarendon Hills Romas Grenache

 

2019 Fire Gully Chardonnay

97 Points - Stuart McCloskey “Pristine, crystalline – the purest of bouquets. Close your eyes and imagine taking a morning walk through an Amalfi lemon grove with a zip of sea breeze in the background, honeydew melon too. The texture is sublime. In fact, this sings ‘texture’ from the rooftops and I love it. The balance is perfect, the acidity pitch, perfect. I cannot find one single fault. The flavour fans out wonderfully. Very impressive with lip smacking salinity on the finish. I'm gushing and must stop! I would happily pay thirty-plus quid for this beauty – I honestly would. Super sexy and moreish. Drink now to 2025.” 

97 Points - Magdalena Sienkiewicz "This wine greets you with a welcoming perfume of lemon oil, minerals and white flowers. There is sweetness from ripe apricots which completes this rather exuberant nose. The palate is equally complex and mouthcoating without any heaviness. The purity of fruit is exceptional given all its intensity and vibrancy. Melon, white nectarines and sweet citrus lead on to an impressively long finish filled with crystalline minerals. This will suit those looking for a riper, more textural style of Chardonnay destined for immediate enjoyment rather than cellaring.  The story goes that the winemakers at Pierro created this wine for their own enjoyment and they continue to drink the Fire Gully on their respective days off. This is utterly delicious, pure and unadulterated – the quality is sky high and the price a bargain. I call for more sensational Chardonnays such as this one to enjoy immediately upon delivery!"

We have a difficult situation with one of our major Asian trade customers who has requested that all of his stock, which we have been storing in the UK is sold toot sweet as business in Hong Kong is super-slow, something we can confirm as we have only witnessed the tiniest shoots of recovery since the pandemic hit. Principally, we are going to act as his broker and sell as much of his wine as possible. We will take no commission and we aim to sell at the prices he paid. However, and with his instructions, large stock volumes are being sold with substantial discounts. Certain wines will sell quickly to our trade customers (large parcels of top 2015 Bordeaux). Smaller offerings are now available via our website (they are mixed with current stocks) and include some great wines from 20152016 and 2017. Each vintage is a direct link to all available stocks. In terms of provenance – each wine was purchased during their respective En-Primeur campaigns (through The Vinorium) and shipped directly to LCB, Vinotheque. The condition of each wine is perfect.

Also, all of his 2017 Standish wines are also being offered below our ‘normal’ sales price. The volumes are large, hence the favourable pricing. Important note: These cases are only available under bond and by the six pack. All cases are stored with LCB, Vinotheque and can be either delivered to your home, kept in under bond storage (in your own sub account which is managed by The Vinorium) or transferred to another UK bond. We are not discounting our own HQ stocks and have removed our under bond stock from the website to ease any confusion. We will offer any unsold 2017 Standish to the trade in a few weeks. Over the coming weeks, I plan to highlight key wines with new additions, if the trade do not snap them up.

 
 

2017 Standish The Standish (6x75cl)

99 Points - Stuart McCloskey  “Sampled after 12 hours in the decanter. The bouquet mirrors my earlier note with pen ink, lead pencil, iron ore, graphite, warm earth, violets and dark plum – A touch more charge than Lamella. For me, the overriding factor being the coolness of fruit and the absolute purity which I find overwhelming. The palate follows that same tell-tale line of perfect symmetry. The fruit is concentrated and provides wonderful depth however, it’s the graceful character which knocks me back. The balance is truly beguiling with few global winemakers possessing the talents to handle the concentration whilst providing the effortless lift of a butterfly. I am genuinely in awe. Cooling as an evening breeze by the ocean shore. Truly special. Drinking now, but it’s a baby, to 2040+.” Tasted 24 Nov 2020

98+/99 Points - Stuart McCloskey “Despite the huge reviews for the 2016, I personally prefer the 2017. In fact, I would declare all 2017 Standish wines superb and more to my liking. The 'The Standish' Shiraz is made from fruit farmed by the Laycock family in the Greenock sub-region of the Barossa Valley. Earlier releases from the now extinct Andelmonde and Borne Bollene came from this site – How wonderful would it be to see their return. Tell-tale Standish nose of pen ink, lead pencil, iron ore, graphite, warm earth, violets, dark plum and vanilla. Unbelievably harmonious for such a young wine – Seamless and graceful with satin-like tannins. The palate is sweet with black raspberry liquor, spice and offers a touch of relief with a core of crushed rocks. More and more notes build with time. It’s almost a life-long journey of an ever-changing scenery. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, this is another stunning wine from Dan Standish. Decanted for 4 hours and served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware.” Tasted 12 July 2018

WAS £306.90 IB per case of 6

NOW £258.95 IB per case of 6

 

2017 Standish
The Relic Shiraz Viognier (6x75cl)

99 Points - Stuart McCloskey “Sampled after 12 hours in the decanter. If truth be known, I struggled with this wine when it first arrived and refrained from offering my tasting note. Today, it joins the remainder of the collection as a strong family member, which has felt lost without it. Sweetness juxtaposes with savoury meatiness – a firm nod to the Northern Rhône. Heady aromas of anise, fennel seed and ink combine with the sweetest of black fruits and then comes a board of charcuterie. The length is astonishing and finishes with sweet fennel and studded salami. Wait a minute and then enters spice tinged citrus fruit with a faint tinge of blood orange… Umami, ocean-esque and sea kelp are more pronounced with aeration. To put simply, this is a contender for one of the greatest Northern Rhône wines (albeit from Oz) you will ever enjoy. Natural, unforced and certainly the longest lived ’17 Standish wine. Drinking now, but it’s a baby to 2050.” Tasted 24 Nov 2020

WAS £306.90 per case of 6 IB

NOW £258.95 per case of 6 IB

 

2017 Standish
The Schubert Theorem (6x75cl)

99+ Points - Stuart McCloskey  “Sampled after 12 hours in the decanter. Almost nirvana on the nose and very difficult to project into words. The emotional experience overwhelms. A profusion of Indian ink, lavender, violets, vanilla, cold coal and cold stone infuse harmoniously with saturated damson, plum, mulberry and the sweetest of black raspberry. A little sweet spice unfurls in the background – think Kulfi. The palate is full bodied, richly structured and packed with the sweetest of black fruits rising to plum and anise. Minerality provides relief as does a perfectly judged line of acidity, albeit caressing in texture. Here is perfection mixed with profoundness in equal measures and this will appeal to those seeking a touch more extravagance. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware. Drinking now, but it’s a baby to 2040+.” Tasted 24 Nov 2020

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." Tasted 12 July 2018

WAS £306.90 per case of 6 IB

NOW £258.95 per case of 6 IB

 

Regrettably, all 137 cases of the 2015 Eileen Chardonnay quickly sold, with all stock heading to domestic customers. Accolade Wines have contacted us this week to book in a delivery, meaning our Eileen wines are set to arrive a week ahead of schedule. We expect to take receipt on Monday 14th June. We will begin despatching all with (first) names beginning A-L on Wednesday 16th June and M-Z on Thursday 17th June. Please contact the team this weekend if you would prefer an alternative date.. Accolade also kindly dispatched a few House of Arras samples for the team and I to try (their ‘A’ Premium Cuvée, a new ‘A’ Blanc de Blanc and Brut Elite Cuvée, 1301 which is based on the 2013 vintage). We will sample these next week and may release the wines in a little offer…

Do you remember last weekend’s read, in which I gently berated our shipper Hillebrand? Allegedly (and I use this term with clenched teeth) our five pallets containing Glaetzer-Dixon and JC’s Own have been held (for the past two weeks), along with the rest of the container, by five sample bottles, for another importer. Yes, five bottles. Apparently, they were missing their VI1 import documents. Not one person at the world’s leading shipper (clearly, this title will be remembered in the past tense as was England’s World Cup win) had the foresight to check incoming documents, which is what they are paid to do. Shontelle has pulled most of her hair out at their continued maladministration, which is beyond comprehension. We will be releasing both producer’s wines towards the latter part of next week.

Samples have arrived from the Fogarty Group including Lake’s Folly (you will be pleased to know, Sandy), Dalwhinnie from the Pyrenees region of Western Victoria - a super premium producer of Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Margaret River producer, Evans & Tate. It’s going to be a busy week as the new collection from Greenock Creek has arrived too – lots of new wines are released for the first time. They are slowly changing their style which is welcome news – the move away from behemoth monsters started with the 2018s. The 2019s are promised to be fresher and lighter which I am looking forward to sampling. As ever, I will keep you posted. We started sampling Brand & Sons Coonawarra Cabernets, which are a dream. Expensive, but the nose of their 2016 Family Reserve is mesmerizing. We shall tackle the remainder next week as Sam Brand is keen to hear our thoughts.

I hope we can come to a compromise on the price as these are a dream for all lovers of Cabernet…

For months, we have been working with the Western Australian wine division as they are keen to expand their UK reach through The Vinorium. We expect to receive in the region of 100 samples over the coming weeks, which will be a great day. I wonder if we should open our HQ shop and let you all sample them (who would travel to Kent on a Saturday for a fabulous WA tasting? No charge, but the numbers of attendees would need to justify the work from our end – drop the team a quick email). 

For years, I have wanted some of the great Aussie wines to be pitched against their global counterparts - Standish versus Guigal being a fine example. Team Western Australia love the idea of running such an event (WA wines only) and we are firmly going to bat. I asked Erin Larkin to host the show from the Aussie end, she is over the moon, and I will host / coordinate from London. The UK room will be home to some of the most respected wine press (those who understand Aussie wines). The WA collection will be pitched against the top Bordeaux, Burgundy and USA wines. I would like to serve them blind however, the finer details still need polishing. I will see if I can offer two places to Vinorium customers which I am sure WA would agree to. We will create a fun application as these two tickets will be like gold dust. Essentially, and if all goes to plan, you will be party to history – when great Western Australian wine competed shoulder to shoulder with the ‘best’ wines from the aforementioned regions. A take on the 1976 Judgment of Paris tasting but being respectful to world wine legend, Steven Spurrier who sadly passed earlier this year. I will keep you posted.

Last week I promised to provide my Global Cabernet Sauvignon comparative tasting overview however, it has been a frenetic week to put mildly. I am half-way through my notes – I plan to finish them off over the weekend, which is looking mightily splendid with wall-to-wall sunshine (night-time rain for our gardens would be just perfect!).

As ever, keep safe and well.

Cheers, Stu

 
 
 

It's mid-twenties and the ideal time to discuss Rosé wine

This is an outstanding Rosé. In fact, it's a flat-out exceptional wine… Clearly, time in the bottle (2018 vintage) has provided layers of complexity, structure, lovely weight, grip and a finish which goes on for as long as the Margaret River summer.

 

Nocturne Nebbiolo Rosé 2018

£18.75 per bottle

 

The 2019 has the same DNA, but and if you are anything like me, the 2019 needs a little more bottle age to hit the same giddying heights. That said, I was swooning in my chair as the ’19 is one of the world’s best Rosé wines. It’s brooding and provides mouth coating charisma. I adore the chalky-like phenolic structure. This is one wine which should be judged on great skill and winemaking – its tinged, brick orange colour is of no consequence (albeit wonderfully attractive). This is the one for me. Grab some and split your purchase 50/50 with a little enjoyment this year, with the remainder to enjoy over the coming 3-5 years. Truly amazing wine… Owen Latta is an absolute genius.

 

Eastern Peake Pinot Taché 2019 

The perfume is filled with sun-blushed berries, orchard fruit, wild flowers and a faint whiff of smoked sea salt. Delicately sweet wild strawberries open the palate which expands to reveal a breadth of effortless, savoury textures.

£20.95 per bottle

 

Throw away the prosecco and opt for
some great, Tassie fizz

 

Ghost Rock Zoe Brut Rosé 2016

* Weekend special £20.95 *

From £24.50

96+ Points - Stuart McCloskey “60% Pinot Noir / 40% Chardonnay. I like the nose very much as it wafts from my glass with a crescendo of red berries, pomegranate, crisp green apples and chalk. The palate is super fresh and comes across more succulent and fuller compared to the Cuvee Catherine. The mousse is rich and the mid palate weight adds further depth and a lovely mouthfeel. The fruit is fresh and sings with ripe raspberry, wild strawberry, pomegranate and a little bitter orange rind on the long finish… I detect a little chalkiness and salinity too, which brings a welcome distinction to the fruit. The balance is textbook and the structure provides some girth. I like it very much, but I feel the cold, outside temperature and driving rain is playing havoc with my senses (take note to my score!) - the colour and flavours talk to me of the summer and not the deep winter. Unquestionably, this drinks fabulously now, but I would like to see a further five years bottle age. Served using Zalto Universal glassware. Do not overchill.”

 
 

There’s nothing more thirst quenching than a great Riesling…

 

Latta Vino Granite Riesling 2019

* Weekend special £17.95 *

From £21.00

97 Points - Stuart McCloskey “The bouquet is immensely appealing, offering scents of orange and rose blossom, orchard fruit, quince, spring flowers and a little citrus. More classical and missing those petrol aromas found in some Aussie Rieslings. Clearly, the wine is young, incisive but carries itself with much confidence. Bracing acidity is missing which allows the pure fruit flavours of apricot and tangerine peel to shine. Rose petal and jasmine (essence-of-Gewürztraminer) which is fascinating. The profile is pure, spiced and I love the dash of white pepper and phenolic grip on the finish. The finish is very long indeed and will develop for a decade or more in the bottle. I’m detecting some salt after a minute or two and more white pepper. Incredibly charming, thoughtfully produced and one of the most classical renditions of this varietal found in Australia. As ever Owen bottles unfined, unfiltered and untinkered…”

Customer Review – Thank you, Nick

“It is Australian Riesling but not as you know it. Crisp, clean with delicate fruit and sweetness. Very balance and more akin to Germany than Clare valley. Very, very delicious - a top notch find The Vinorium!”

 

Surely, it’s too hot for Shiraz!

 

Coulter Wines C1 Chardonnay Adelaide Hills 2019

* Weekend special £21.95 *

From £24.95

97+ – 98 Points - Stuart McCloskey “What an explosive and heavenly bouquet filled with candied peel, citrus oil, sea spray, fennel seed and confit lemons. The sweet and alluring scent of jasmine creeps in with more aeration. Take a sip, swallow, sit back and enjoy the complexity. The palate feel is simply glorious, expansive, richly textured, powerful (without being heavy), multi-layered and almost endless. Crystal-like definition kicks in and provides structural finesse along with mouth cleansing acidity (more confit lemon than searing grip). There’s pristine detail on show and the finish goes on for many minutes.  Again, we finish with sea spray, confit lemon and mineralité. In summary, this is perfectly balanced, a joy to drink today but has the structure to evolve for another 6-8 years and delivers waves of textural finesse. Very, very, very good indeed. Do not overchill

 
 

House of Cards The Royals Chardonnay 2019

* Weekend special £24.50 *

From £28.50

97+ - 98 Points - Stuart McCloskey “This is blessed with such a wonderful bouquet, all pervading with razor sharp accuracy. The nose has developed gloriously, I initially sampled yesterday. Mineralité, limestone, and a little marine influence works wonders with yuzu (there’s a tropical character emerging), orange blossom and heavenly scents of jasmine. Simply amazing! The palate provides saline on the entry, bottomless layers of minerals, citrus with razor sharp acidity. The defining act being the balletic balance which is a marvel. Minutes later, traces of warming, fresh ginger, fennel and lime zest creep in. Extraordinary length. This is a magnificent wine and one which offers astonishing value. Do not overchill and decant for an hour. Drink now to 2030. I believe this will be hitting its full stride in 5 years.

 
 

Domaine Naturaliste Discovery Chardonnay 2019

* Weekend special £13.85 *

From £15.50

94+ Points - Stuart McCloskey “An incredibly appealing Chardonnay which oozes charm and offers superb value. Stone fruits intermingle with a little grapefruit, lemon oil and that wonderful jasmine character which appears to be the Domaine Naturaliste signature. Textural and the flavours fan out fabulously – the finish is admirably long which emphasises the excellent quality to value ratio. Pristine and no shortage of fruit. Overall, so enjoyable, so much pleasure.” Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware.”

95 Points - Magdalena Sienkiewicz "Lively aromas of ripe stone fruit - pears and white peaches jump to the forefront with delicate citrus and florals playing a supporting role. The palate mirrors the perfume beautifully and combines its vibrancy with harmonious generosity. Intensely fruity and filled with class, which is most impressive given that this is Domaine Naturaliste’s introductory wine. Clearly, this offers outstanding value without compromising the quality. Sampled after decanting and using Zalto Bordeaux glassware."

 

One for the barbecue and a
great pairing with rare ribeye…

 

Domaine Naturaliste Rebus Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 

* Weekend special £17.50 *

From £19.50

96+ Points - Stuart McCloskey “The bouquet is brimming with freshness and brooding with cedar, graphite, violets, liquorice and dark fruits with juniper, cassis, plum and damson being the main contenders. The flavours expand and draw you in with aeration (I suggest 2-3 hours in a decanter). The palate is medium bodied, the tannins svelte and the acidity providing freshness. There is an effortless quality to this Margaret River Cabernet which provides bags of flavour and wonderful length. Lots of finesse. Remarkably unforced and will suit fans of young Pauillac (those fans will pick up the lead pencil character)

*All Weekend Specials end 9:00am Tuesday 15 *

 
 

29 specially curated mixed cases
awaiting discovery

We have actioned one of the requests (received by more than a dozen customers), and that was to offer more mixed cases. So, your wishes have been granted with a new, and impressive line-up