Issue #136, November 2020

 

Musings From Australia

Part 1

We are receiving some scary figures reflecting the tiny yields which some of our producers are reporting for their 2020 vintage with some reporting a reduction by as much as 60%. We also understand that the 2019 and 2020 vintages are exceptional with the Barossa jumping with joy. Imagine… a better Standish vintage!

This week, we have been liaising with all our winemakers with regards to their yields, how good to great their respective wines are showing and just a general catch-up. Lots of videos from our producers too, which we look forward to sharing. 

 A number of 2019 wines have already arrived, with many more on the water. At the same time, samples of 2020 wines are emerging slowly with many releases lined up between March-April 2021. 

We begin our series of vintage reports with notes from Ben Mullen of Mulline Vintners, whose 2019 Single Vineyard wines featured in the ‘Best of Varietal’ series at the latest Halliday’s Wine Companion Awards. Mulline’s Fumé Blanc blew our socks off and we openly tip their Syrah as one of the finest ‘cool’ expressions of the undisputed Aussie staple we have had the pleasure of savouring.

We also include a great overview of 2019/2020 in the mighty Barossa Valley, kindly provided by our good friend and custodian of the region, Howard Duncan. He is the man behind Artisans of Barossa and Greenock Creek propelling both to their well deserved international recognition.

 

Mulline’s first ever harvest was in 2019. This was a very exciting time for us but we also had to balance managing new vineyards and multiple sites throughout two of the sub-regions of Geelong, ensuring fruit was picked at the correct time and then processed in the winery quickly – it was all quite a challenge.

An exciting, very important first job for me was the planning and sourcing fruit for the wines.  Having the knowledge of all sites we had sourced fruit from previously, along with the wines we had tried, meant a few phone calls and emails were needed to lock in some fruit for us. (A maximum of 2T of each variety was all we could afford for the very first release!) This enabled us to start building some great connections and relationships with people that grow the grapes.  This way, the range could continue year in, year out for the future of our brand and the single site wines we produce.  There is a lot that still depends on the growing season and crop levels, which we saw in 2020 was very small and harder to predict.  So, there was consistency for our customers and then in turn they get to know these great vineyard sites in Geelong.  As a winemaker, I love to show the complexities and personalities from all of these great sites! 

The 2018/2019 growing season was very typical for our region.  We had lower than average rainfall throughout Winter and Spring 2018 which meant the limited amount of growth and crop size was going to be low. 

Due to the lower rainfall, some irrigation occurred in Dec/Jan and lower crops showed some more intense flavour profiles for some varieties.  Moorabool Valley sites we source from (Sutherlands Creek and Bannockburn) which are inland from the coast, suffered more due to the heat and harder soils, whereas the Bellarine site (Portarlington) had the cooler sea air and slightly more rainfall due to the Peninsula being more exposed.

A heat wave in late February meant the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay were harvested in the same week, and then two weeks later the Syrah and Sauvignon Blanc were taken off the vines 6 days apart.  All were picked on flavour and tannin in the grapes.

The aim for the wines was to keep freshness and vitality to the fruit and lower natural acids meant the whites saw no malolactic fermentation to keep the drive on the palate.  The reds saw the lower end of the spectrum with whole bunch, andwere a little shorter on skins than normal, to keep the tannin structural but not overpowering the fruit and weight of the wines.

In 2019 we made 6 wines for the harvest, the 4 Single Vineyard wines and 2 Geelong regional blends (Pinot Gris and Rosé).  All wines have been well received, and it is an exciting start to our new label.

Ben Mullen – Winemaker

£32.95 per bottle

Portarlington Chardonnay 2019

97+ - 98 Points - Stuart McCloskey “The bouquet is inviting with poached apples and pears (lightly spiced), lemon oil and lots of sea spray which builds fabulously with more aeration. A wine of great delicacy with the balance between fruit, structure and acidity pitch perfect. The palate is chiselled and laser-like with racy acidity. Saline, lemon, green apple and flint. Very sophisticated and intellectual, but natural all the same. The focus and purity feel unforced – very contemporary. Bottle age will develop this wine into an absolute beauty. It certainly has the pedigree and structure to offer at least a decade. Oh so graceful and the finish lasts for minutes… I predict this will score 98 to 99 points with a few years bottle age.”

 
 

Bannockburn Fumé Blanc 2019

98 Points - Stuart McCloskey "The bouquet is ultra-pure and sings with honeyed quince, touches of apple, apricot and warming ginger with more aeration. The palate is confident, unforced and a joy to sample. More complex than most Australian Sauvignon Blancs and full of charisma. I love the youthfulness which provides good bite and pithiness, although the palate offers much depth and breadth. Sumptuous in parts despite its infancy. Very impressive and certainly one of the best examples of Aussie Sauvignon Blanc currently available. Long, incredibly satisfying, juicy, moreish and sophisticated. This will be incredible in 5 years.”

£32.95 per bottle

 
 

£32.95 per bottle

Bannockburn Syrah 2019

98 points - Stuart McCloskey “The fragrance is quite extraordinary and certainly one of the sexiest with blueberries, blackcurrant and damson – an entire hedgerow of ripe black fruits.  The palate feel is velvety and the sweet fruit saturates every facet. This is far from a ‘big’ blousy wine as Ben’s careful hands are again on show. The freshness is astonishing as are the perfectly judged oak and acidity. Incredibly fine and filled with lots of verve. Amazing purity and I wouldn’t be surprised if key critics (those who appreciate this style) make this wine the next Aussie (Syrah) cult. Perfect balance and the approachability is difficult to comprehend. Very, very beautiful and an amazing UK debut.” 

 
 

Sutherlands Creek Pinot Noir 2019

97++ / 98 Points - Stuart McCloskey “So pure and wonderfully delicate. The bouquet is alluring with cinnamon stick, warmed earth, forest floor, sweet spice and violet – very Burgundian and Ben’s time with one of Burgundy’s great, Domaine Dujac is clearly on show. The tannins are super-fine, almost whispery. Wonderful transparency (there is no hiding with this style), sweet fruit and pangs of freshness. The fruit is spiced and feels exotic – a twist of black pepper to balance the sweetness. Harmonious and beautiful being the most accurate description. The finish is long and seamless. Wonderfully accessible but 4-6 years of bottle age will unlock the wine’s true complexity. A real triumph…”

£32.95 per bottle

 
 
 

A Message from the
Barossa Valley

Notes on the 2019 / 2020 Vintage

 

Written by Howard Duncan, Chief Operating Officer for Artisans of Barossa and Brand Director for Greenock Creek.

“I think the story of the 2019 Barossa vintage will be the same no matter who you hear it from. Winter 2018 was dry, spring was drier (with a few frost events), and summer 2019 had you wondering if it would ever rain again. And whilst all that put the kibosh on decent yields, it did wonders for quality. January was bloody hot, with 11 days over 35 degrees…but we were saved by a cooler February with daytime temperatures around the average and overnight minimums about 2 degrees cooler than normal. The crop ripened early, and nicely, and we had vintage done and dusted by the end of March – probably the earliest any of us can remember. In a region predisposed to growing great quality fruit and making awesome wine, the low yields, tiny berries and great harvest conditions put the icing on the cake and most I talk to rate their 2019 reds as exceptional, with stunning flavours, impenetrable colours and great structure. If only we had more to share around…which leads me to share an insider’s tip. If you’re looking to buy 2019 Barossa reds, get in quick!

Fast forward to October 2020 and we’ve managed to survive a second dry year in 2019, and having a fair slice of the country on fire, plus a global pandemic that closed the Australian borders to the world, and even the borders between the states. From a weather perspective, 2020 has been nothing but a winner. The 2020 vintage conditions were the best I’ve seen in 20 years – warm and dry days, and cool nights, and an easy pace to vintage. Yields were even lower than 2019 (hard to believe), but quality possibly a step up from 2019 – two tough years, but two great years. Post vintage, we got some great autumn rains to refresh the vines, and through winter and spring we’ve been getting more rain that we’ve seen since 2016. The vineyards look happy, and everyone has their fingers crossed for a gentle run through flowering in the hope that a couple of lean years are rewarded with some good yields and great quality.

As for COVID, South Australia has fared fairly well with less than 500 cases and sadly, 4 deaths to date. We’re thankful for strong leadership and decisive action from our state government. But that has come at a personal and economic cost with national and state borders closed whilst we aim to ride this thing out to the point of eradication. It’s been tough on those with family interstate who we haven’t seen since early this year, but there’s hope we’ll have more state borders open by Christmas. The Barossa has lost a bit of its international flavour, with the usual stream of travellers from here, there and everywhere strangely absent. And vintage 2021 just won’t be the same without the energy that comes from an influx of international wine junkies keen to get their hands dirty in the wineries. We miss the global human interaction that comes with working in wine, and I reckon we’re all looking forward to a time we can fling open the doors to the country and welcome folk to the Barossa, or to again getting on a plane and travelling to the other side of the world.”

 
 
 

Artisans of Barossa Six Origins Shiraz 2018

The first Six Origins project release from the extraordinarily strong 2018 vintage focuses on the Barossa’s hero – Shiraz. Six winemakers have each been charged with producing a wine that presents as a distinctive expression of Barossa Shiraz determined primarily by its origin.

True to the spirit of Artisans of Barossa, decisions around vineyard selection, picking date and winemaking practices remained the privilege of the winemaker, but each wine was most definitely crafted to ensure the final result is a pronounced reflection of its vineyard origin.

The 2018 Six Origins by Artisans of Barossa features six Shiraz wines produced from six Barossa vineyards by six artisan winemakers. 

Case contents

1 x 2018 High Eden Shiraz
Peter Schell, Spinifex Wines
95 Points - James Halliday

1 x 2018 Light Pass Shiraz
Jason Schwarz, Schwarz Wine Co.
96 Points - James Halliday

1 x 2018 Keyneton Shiraz
Greg and Allison Hobbs, Hobbs of Barossa Ranges
96 Points - James Halliday

1 x 2018 Angaston Shiraz
Corey Ryan and Simon Cowham, Sons of Eden
95 Points - James Halliday

1 x 2018 Gomersal Shiraz
John Lienert, Jack West Wines
95 Points - James Halliday

1 x 2018 Ebenezer Shiraz
John and Tim Duval, John Duval Wines
96 Points - James Halliday 

£205.95 per case of 6

£158.25 per case of 6 In Bond

 
 

Artisans of Barossa Grenache Project 2019

A special mixed six pack of wines made by Peter Schell of Spinifex, John and Tim Duval of John Duval Wines, Jason Schwarz of Schwarz Wine Company, Greg and Allison Hobbs of Hobbs of Barossa, and Simon Cowham and Corey Ryan of Sons of Eden. The project also welcomed Phil Lehmann from Max and Me Wines as a special guest winemaker for last year’s project. The results are outstanding and a superb reflection of the 2019 vintage, considered to be another standout year for Barossa red wine. 

£155.00 per case of 6

£115.75 per case of 6 In Bond

 
 

Our Wine of the Week

 
 

Keltern Chardonnay 2018

Hawkes Bay, New Zealand

 

The Keltern vineyard has truly established itself as one of New Zealand’s premier sites for Chardonnay with an incredible track record of awards and accolades. Forming a part of Villa Maria’s flagship range together with the Ngakirikiri Cabernet Sauvignon, Keltern Chardonnay and its reputation dictates a domestic price of $79.99 (£40.95). Irrespective of its price tag, the domestic market is strong thus the Keltern rarely leaves its homeland.

The new 2018 release sees a label makeover which we think worked out fantastically well, as it’s very smart indeed. Our shipment had just arrived and together with the 2017 Keltern which arrived earlier in the summer, they are offered in the UK exclusively by The Vinorium.

 

97+ Points - Magdalena Sienkiewicz "The 2018 Keltern burst with energy as vibrant perfume oozes form the glass. Buttered popcorn, citrus oil, ripe peaches and minerals make for a super expressive nose, but it needs at least 15 minutes in a glass to unfurl. The flavours coat every facet of the palate with great weight revealing further complexities. Creamy cashew nuts add character and richness while sweet nectarines are counterbalanced by a savoury edge. Lengthy and simply scrummy, I can see this becoming my new go-to New Zealand Chardonnay."

97 points - Sam Kim "Stunning and elegant, this is exquisitely composed and expressed on the nose showing white flesh nectarine, grapefruit, fig and lemon pith characters with nuances of spicy oak and flint. The palate exhibits exceptional concentration and focus, wonderfully enhanced by refined texture and perfectly pitched acidity. It’s splendidly poised and brilliantly structured for a long haul. At its best: 2022 to 2030."

£27.95 per bottle

 
 
 

Pre-Arrival Offer

 

In one word – Iconic

& the most collected Australian Chardonnay

The Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay is a timeless representation of the Margaret River region and to many, Australia’s most iconic wine.

In 1972, legendary Napa Valley winemaker, Robert Mondavi, identified the future site of the Leeuwin vineyard as being ideal for the production of premium wine and provided early mentorship to Denis and Tricia Horgan in the transformation of their cattle farm into Leeuwin Estate

The unirrigated Block 20 Vineyard is planted with the Gin Gin clone and is the mother vineyard for Margaret River Chardonnay. Now more than 40 years old, many cuttings from this vineyard were used to establish the region’s wineries, with the pristine fruit definition and winemaking philosophies of Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay inspiring other local producers to follow suit.

For years, demand both domestically and internationally has always outweighed availability with global importers guarding their allocations. Many, adopting the Bordeaux négociant way of selling, by insisting on buyers taking larger quantities of the lesser famed Prelude Chardonnay, which has kept us away from offering their wines.

We sampled the most recent ‘Prelude’ release, which was delicious, but straight forward and stands as the estate’s second wine – similar to that of Château Lafite Rothschild and Carruades. Of course, the price differences are huge but the sentiment for us is familiar. The ‘Grand Vin’ being wonderful whilst their second wine is rather too expensive, particularly compared to some of their illustrious neighbours. The Prelude would retail for £31.00 which is respectable but fails to compete when compared to Soumah EquilibrioNocturneFlowstone Queen of the Earth and to one of our favourites, Hoddles Creek 1er Cru which never ceases to amaze us…

The UK importer is now owned by a good friend of The Vinorium who has kindly provided a small (very small) unattached allocation of the majestic duo that are the 2016 and 2017 vintages. Both have received 99 points from James Halliday. The respected Aussie critic, Ray Jordan goes a step further and awards 99+ points for the 2016.

 

For the very first time, we are excited to offer both the 2016 and 2017 on a first come first served, pre-arrival basis.

 

• The wines are due to arrive at the end of January 2021

• We ask that you kindly check out only with these pre-release wines in your basket.

• If you also require wines from our current, physical stocks, please could you complete a separate order for these.

 
 

 Leeuwin Art Series Chardonnay 2016

164 bottles were available

Now only 76 bottles remain

99+ points Ray Jordan "A marvellous wine that continues to mark the subtle shift to a style of more elegance and minerally finesse. There is such gorgeous texture and middle palate complexity here, with precise delivery through to a very long finish. Spices with floral notes, a touch savoury and understated mealiness that is part of this wine's DNA. What a fitting wine to mark the 50th anniversary of Leeuwin Estate." (Best drinking: Now to 2032)

99 Points - James Halliday "The perfumed perfection of the bouquet and the wonders of the palate, with its ever-shifting mosaic of white stone fruit, rock melon, grapefruit, Granny Smith apple and custard apple reign supreme. Oak? Yes, it's there, although subtle. Acidity? Yes, the giver of life now and into the future."

£69.95 per bottle

** Available for delivery end January 2021 **

 

 Leeuwin Art Series Chardonnay 2017

Chardonnay Varietal Award Winner

99 Points - James Halliday "This achieves another step up the quality ladder for Leeuwin Estate, seemingly impossible. There's been no change in the vinification, nor in the vineyard. The change is an increase in the inteansity of the flavours, and hence their length and aftertaste. It's an extraordinary wine, among the greatest of Burgundy (and elsewhere in the world). Whatever you expect from its future development will be delivered."

** Available for delivery end January 2021 **

 
 

 Leeuwin Art Series Shiraz 2017

60 bottles were available

Now only 26 bottles remain

James Halliday "Open and closed fermenters with 20% whole bunches, plunged/pumped over daily, pressed to new and used barrels for a total of 18 months in oak. Deep, bright purple-crimson; after early (10 years±) hesitation about the synergy that might be gained from this marriage of wine and place all doubts were comprehensively answered. Lovely medium to full-bodied blackberry and co flavours."

£26.95 per bottle

** Available for delivery end January 2021 **

 
 

Exactly 206 Vinorium customers purchased the amazing wines from Utopos hailing from the following countries:

Australia, Croatia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Spain and of course, the UK.

• Our largest order consisted of 66 bottles with a value of £2186.70.

• Our first shipment containing 1,800 bottles sold out quicker than any wine we have ever offered (Standish wines are now in second spot – Kudos to Kym who openly declared “Dan Standish I am chasing you down”).

Save for those resisting temptation, all your orders have been smiling at you in your home cellars and begging to be opened. Some customers could not resist and have declared the demolition of several bottles (one even shared a bottle with their daughter which accompanied her chicken dippers and ketchup lunch!)

As most wines sold out during our unveiling weekend we immediately contacted Kym and placed a top up order for any remaining wines from the vintage. He was bowled over at the immediate success of his wines in the UK and further provided us with everything he had left.

Sadly the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon had completely sold out, however we are bringing across the stunning 2018. Moreover Kym kindly provided 50 cases of each Shiraz 2017 and 2018. We don't expect these to last long! 

 
 

How to enter:

We would love to hear all 206 customer reviews and offer a handsome mystery six-pack as a tempter for putting your pen to paper. The winner will be based purely on the luck of the draw from our bin!

There is no need to embellish too much as we are very happy to receive comments along the lines as “A brooding mistress of devilish wonder” or “I opened it last night to commune with the world’s four major religions however, I have just created my own” perhaps “What the world has been waiting for”… Anything along these lines would be great, as would a more detailed response.

May we have all your comments by Thursday 12 November. We will share them all (unless you say to the contrary). We will announce the winner on Sunday 15.

Send us your notes / thoughts / musings on Utopos Wines

 

Feedback Highlights

 

DAVID

"Funny old year, 2020.  Haven't seen friends very often, haven't seen my parents at all.  I have been really missing sharing a lovely bottle of wine with great company.  But not any more.  This MSG from Utopos is absolutely made for the current circumstances.  Wonderful, expressive, earthy, voluptuously fruity.  A wine that, for the first time this year, was so good that I felt mainly great relief that I didn't have to share it...."

 

MARTIN

"A surprise announcement, a long wait....and then blessed delivery.
Tortuous wait to taste, for alas too young now. 
A Christmas bauble resplendent in green and dusky cream
Sleep well, for your time will come to give me a hangover!"

 

JULIAN

"The wine was beautiful.  Smooth with undertones of vanilla and everything you would expect from a fantastic shiraz. 

The only problem was, when I tried to buy more, it was sold out!"

 

Read the best story / Q&A we have shared to date…

Utopos  Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

 

"captivating... the balance is perfection. Thoughtful and will charm the pants off you!"

98 Points - Stuart McCloskey “A dense and powerful bouquet which requires 6-8 hours to reveal its magic. A thoroughly fascinating profile of aromas ranging from black cherry, mulberry, violet, graphite, menthol, ocean spray, kelp – a real marine influence which I find captivating. The palate oozes with layer upon layer of rich, brooding dark fruits infused against a backdrop of cedar, sweet spice, lead pencil and fine-grained, ripe tannins. This wine feels noticeably pure and the winemaking so natural. Nothing is forced with the fruit allowed to express itself – the balance is perfection. The 2017 provides an abundance of generosity and is thoroughly delicious now but has the backbone to live on for at least 10-15 years. The wine grows in the glass (more violets) and the silken finish brings this wine to a perfect close. Thoughtful and will charm the pants off you! 90% Cabernet Sauvignon 10% Shiraz. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware”.

98+ Points - Magda Sienkiewicz "Tasted after 7 hours of decanting. Love the nose - mulberry and blackberry fruit with hints of mint, pencil shavings, ink and a glorious waft of liquorice courtesy of the inclusion of Shiraz (10%). Expressive and dense, but certainly controlled and well-judged. Ripe fruit gives a delicious, gently sweetened entry before the wine begins to expand on the palate. Crème de cassis, liquorice, graphite with hints of tobacco and dark cocoa begin to emerge from this beautiful Cabernet as it continues to to gain depth and nuance in the glass. Opulent and layered with incredible elegance which carries through to an impressively long finish. Beautiful Cabernet Sauvignon. An absolute delight today, it will be cherished for years to come."

Utopos  Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

33 Cases Available

** Available for delivery w/c 18th January 2021 **

 

"I believe this is the most lavish Cabernet Sauvignon I have sampled. A wine of genuine pedigree and class."

98-99 Points - Stuart McCloskey "The 2018 vintage produced wines with an extra level of richness (versus the ‘17) resulting in less Shiraz. The composition is 98% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Shiraz. The aromatics are profound even at this stage. Indian ink, blood orange, plum, whispers of leather, freshly sawn cedar and I am swaying between a sense of mineralité or ocean (perhaps both?). I am certainly consuming more than I am spitting which isn’t too difficult as the creamy, sweet fruit coats every millimetre of my palate. I believe this is the most lavish Cabernet Sauvignon I have sampled, but it is important to add a note concerning the polish, the exquisite sense of detail and precision. It is easy to produce an exaggerated unbalanced wine. This, on the other hand, is simply majestic – a wine of genuine pedigree and class. The ripe layers of blackberry, boysenberry and mulberry are flanked by ripe tannins which add the perfect level of balance. The mineral rich finish is a masterstroke. Sublime. Decanted for 8 hours and guzzled using Zalto Bordeaux glassware. Heavenly now and will be for at least 15-20 years."

97-98 Points - Magda Sienkiewicz "Tasted after 7 hours of decanting. The perfume is so inviting and rather luxurious. An abundance of ripe fruit dominates here with a touch of violets and ink. Only 2% Shiraz was added to the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon. On the palate, a rich array of red and black fruit is laced with a dusting of exotic spices. Great zing of blood orange with a gently bitter bite of a dried zest. The tannins are fine grained and the level of detail is outstanding. This must be one of the leading Aussie Cabernet Sauvignons at this price. Beautiful, beautiful wine. More generosity of fruit and perhaps more feminine compared to the muscular 2017 Cabernet. Alluring with great concentration and wonderful harmony."

£209.70 per case of 6

Utopos Shiraz 2018

45 Cases Available

** Available for delivery w/c 18th January 2021 **

 

"In some ways, it possesses the same DNA found in the ’18 Standish collection."

99 Points - Stuart McCloskey “This is simply off the charts in terms of aromatic concentration. Save for the Standish collection, this is as concentrated as it gets. The bouquet is brooding and invites you in with an intense and warming hug filled with spiced dark fruits, wonderful florals (more so than the 2017), violets, confit blue and blackberry, graphite, Indian ink, asphalt – I could quite honestly keep going! The palate is drenched with sweet, ripe black fruits underpinned with a little tart berry quality which contrasts perfectly. Bitter notes of coffee and chocolate, crushed redcurrant, wood smoke, and that tell-tale floral / blackberry pastille. The concentration is extraordinary and I love the chew from the tannins which is very much needed. There’s lots of sweet spiced fruit too and the sense of symmetry is beguiling. In some ways, it possesses the same DNA found in the ’18 Standish collection. Yet another ‘as good as it gets and should be north of fifty-quid.’ I should award 100 points… Decant for 4-6 hours. This will live for 20-30 years and I imagine will be at its best around 2040.”

98-99 Points - Magda Sienkiewicz "Sampled after 4 hours of decanting. The perfume is truly opulent and incredibly inviting. The intense nose bursts with dark plums and plentiful berries (cranberry, blackberry and more), cassis liqueur, ink with a whiff of liquorice, dried herbs and a gentle floral lift. In fact, it is so complex that you will discover something new each each time you go back to it. The palate is lavish and impressively complete for such a young wine. Layers of fruit wash across my palate with a delectable sweet entry which later transforms to a savoury edge. A lick of graphite adds to the immense depth of this wine and the length is truly breathtaking. It’s incredible how a wine of such scale remains utterly unctuous without losing its composure. Utterly magnificent today, it will evolve beautifully for decades, but only if you have unyielding levels of patience. "

£209.70 per case of 6

Utopos Shiraz 2017

48 Cases Available

** Available for delivery w/c 18th January 2021 **

 

"I should award 100 points as I have never sampled a wine this good, at this price level"

98-99 Points - Stuart McCloskey “The integration of fruit, acid, tannin and oak is amazing especially considering the wine is so young. It needs time in a decanter (4-6 hours, perhaps longer) to unlock the bouquet which unfurls with floral notes, violets, blackberry pastille, cola, Indian ink, iron and mineral driven earthy aromas too. The combination of power and finesse is bewitching as is the densely packed fruit which weaves magic on my palate. The fruit is rich, but impeccably balanced. Expansive whilst retaining seamlessness. A skyscraper but one which offers agility. A depth which is already impressive yet has a very long way to go. The flavours match those found on the nose with violets, blackberry pastille and flowers leading. Sweet spices, a core of juicy acidity and the grip of silky tannins compliment. There is no end to this wine – it just keeps giving. I am genuinely left speechless considering the price for this bottle. This is my second bottle and my notes are equal. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware. Drink now (you must decant) and this will certainly get better and better over the coming 10-20 years. I should award 100 points as I have never sampled a wine this good, at this price level however, and wrongly so, I am reluctant for this one reason.”

99+ Points - Magda Sienkiewicz "Sampled after 4 hours of decanting. The perfume oozing from the glass immediately stops you in your tracks. Clearly you are in presence of an extraordinary wine. Predominantly Shiraz with a dash of Mataro (10%), the nose is super-expressive with a vast array of fruit, blueberry liqueur and intoxicating notes of iron, pen ink, lead pencil, graphite, warm earth and violets. The palate is extremely juicy and mirrors the rich aromas in a impressive harmony. Incredibly complex, yet you can’t escape the sense of elegance and polish to the minute detail. Such a compelling wine of soaring quality and allure. Mesmerising and breathtaking, this wine takes a firm place in my top 5 Shiraz wines of all time. I can’t resist an extra plus for extraordinary value."

£209.70 per case of 6

Utopos  Mataro Shiraz Grenache 2019

10 Bottles Available

 

"The best and most complete Aussie
MSG I have sampled to date."

97-99 Points - Stuart McCloskey “The 2019 blend comprises of 50% Mataro, 35% Shiraz and 15% Grenache and was decanted for 24 hours (sealed overnight). The magic that surrounds the 2019 Shiraz vintage has been fever pitch, with some of our producers declaring the vintage as tiny but simply perfect. The addition of 35% Shiraz provides wonderful colour to the wine (deep black moving to beetroot on the rim). The bouquet has amplified from the ’18. The aromatic elixir is enormous in scale. Wild autumn hedgerow drenched in mixed berries, warming spices, spiced cherries, kirsch, pastille, warm Christmas cake, tar and finished with white pepper. The fruit saturates the palate, but it does require 3-5 years before unleashing its full throttle glory. The concentration is superb with bright red fruit tones providing lift, energy and a lovely freshness – minerals and spices too. The best and most complete Aussie MSG I have sampled to date. Exuberant and hypnotic drinking. While this can be enjoyed now (minimum of 8-12 hours of decanting) this is really one for the cellar (10-20 years).”

96-98 Points - Magdalena Sienkiewicz "Both MSG wines were sampled over the course of two days with the decanter sealed tightly overnight. They opened up beautifully and showed best on the second day. A touch more exuberance on the nose in the 2019 MSG. The composition here is 50% Mataro, 35% Shiraz and 15% Grenache. Lush fruit with juicy cherries and blueberries leading the way with a whiff of vanilla and warm earth. The palate bursts with juicy berries coupled with a delicious underline of minerality. Utterly delicious, so much so I had to refill before finishing the tasting note. The wine travels across the palate seamlessly and with perfect weight. The structure is impressive and will merit 10+ years of cellaring."

£34.95 per bottle

Utopos  Mataro Shiraz Grenache 2018

31 Bottles Available

 

"The palate oozes with the same sophistication found with the Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignons."

97-98 Points - Stuart McCloskey “The 2018 blend comprises of 50% Mataro, 25% Shiraz, 25% Grenache and was decanted for 24 hours (sealed overnight). I will confess that most MSGs disappoint me and another confession, I rarely choose to open a bottle at home which will certainly change after sampling the 2018 and 2019 duo. The ’18 is a splendid example of extraordinary power juxtaposed with elegance. I can detect the Shiraz component which provides a wonderful floral lift, violets, confit blue and blackberry which meld harmoniously with liquorice, graphite, warm asphalt and French oak of which 40% is new. The palate oozes with the same sophistication found with the Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignons. The layers of fruit cascade and blend perfectly with silken tannins and just the right level of acidity. Beautiful texture and mountainous structure. While this can be enjoyed now (minimum of 8-12 hours of decanting) this is really one for the cellar (10-20 years) and will mature into something quite sublime” 

96-97 Points - Magdalena Sienkiewicz "Both MSG wines were sampled over the course of two days with the decanter sealed tightly overnight. They opened up beautifully and showed best on the second day. The perfume of the 2018 MSG (50% Mataro 25% Shiraz 25% Grenache) builds up in the glass if you give it time. There is an abundance of cherries, blueberries and mulberry providing lovely sweet aroma married beautifully with notes of chocolate, mint and sage. The texture is swish and supple. Again, the flavours develop steadily as the wine breathes. The length is super-impressive and the overall sense of serenity is wonderful. One of the best, multi-dimensional blends without pushing the boundaries of ripeness or concentration. Elegant and quite simply superb."

£34.95 per bottle

 
 

Huge savings to be made across wines from Australia, New Zealand, USA, glassware, spirits and more. Our advice is to fill your boots and to think about what you will be drinking over the coming months, dare we say it perhaps stocking up for Christmas.

 

Brand New Mixed Cases Available

 
 

2017 Bordeaux SALE

"AN ESPECIALLY MEMORABLE VINTAGE" - James Suckling

A unique parcel crammed with some of the very best releases (Châteaux Montrose, Vieux Château Certan, Cos d’Estournel, Canon, Rauzan Segla, Lynch Bages to name a few). Most, if not all, are being offered below their respective ‘opening’ price and many are the cheapest in the UK market. All wines are immediately available for delivery / transfer…

 

Château Canon 2017

96+ Points - Lisa Perrotti-Brown 

Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2017 Canon bursts from the glass with expressive notions of baked black cherries, kirsch, plum preserves and black raspberries plus hints of red roses, Ceylon tea, black olives and fertile loam. Medium-bodied, the palate is wonderfully elegant and refined, with a soft, finely grained texture and seamless freshness, finishing long and mineral laced. The blend is 77% Merlot and 23% Cabernet Franc and it was aged for 18 months in French oak, 50% new.

£325.00 per case of 6 IB

Château Montrose 2017

98 Points - Lisa Perrotti-Brown

Deep garnet-purple in color, the nose takes some time to unfurl before revealing an impressively flamboyant core of black cherry preserves, warm cassis and baked plums with hints of red currant jelly, dark chocolate, licorice, cardamom and chargrill plus a gentle waft of candied violets. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has fantastic intensity with a very elegant, modest weight, featuring super-ripe, finely-grained tannins and tons of freshness to lift and show-off a stunning array of gorgeous black fruit and fragrant sparks, finishing very long and refined. This is an incredibly classy, poised and sophisticated Montrose!

£450.00 per case of 6 IB

 
 

Château Rauzan
Ségla 2017

93-95+ Points -
Lisa Perrotti-Brown 

Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, the 2017 Rauzan-Ségla leaps from the glass with fragrant exotic spices and dried herbs over a core of blackberries, warm cassis and redcurrant jelly with hints of lavender and crushed stones. Medium-bodied, fine, fresh and elegant, it has soft, fine-grained tannins and wonderful freshness, finishing with an herbal lift.

£260.00 per case of 6 IB

Château Tour Saint-Christophe 2017

93 Points - James Suckling

A spicy, fresh and intense red on the nose with chocolate. Medium to full body and very fine tannins that give a creamy texture. Juicy and long. A blend of 80% merlot and 20% cabernet franc. Want to drink it now, but better after 2022.

£105.00 per case of 6 IB

 
 

Our Bordeaux SALE continues
until the last bottle leaves the room

 
 

What’s coming to The Vinorium
during November…

 
 

• Next week, we sample and release Champagne Leclerc-Briant, Abyss, Brut Zéro (aged on the bottom of the seabed)

• We launch our new Grand Cru house Champagne

• New arrivals from Topper's Mountain (New England) who produce the best Gewurztraminer we've sampled in a long time!

• The truly amazing L’Avion Roussanne is back and is released for sale

• The epic biodynamic collection from Gemtree is released (if you haven't seen Mike's video watch here)

• We welcome an epic Tassie producer, Ghost Rock

• Soumah’s The Butcher arrives and it’s fantastic. Syrah, Cabernet blended with a modern twist of Nebbiolo