Tasting Utopia

Eight months on we retaste the Utopos Shiraz and MSG wines. Sadly, both Cabernet Sauvignons are long gone, but we have the 2019 to look forward to later this year.

As the team left for their Christmas break in 2019, Magda and I promised to dedicate much of the New Year to finding and introducing a long list of new, Aussie wine producers. Despite the pandemic and all the commercial uncertainties which ensued, we kept firm and delivered on our promise. We delivered a raft of great producers with all commercial relationships formed by the year end and our orders delivered or on the water…

 

Coulter / Elderton / Ghost Rock / Grey Sands / Gemtree / House of Cards / Mulline / Rymill / Shadowfax / Topper’s Mountain / Utopos / Wantirna

 

We still have some unfinished business to take care of as our samples table remains full, which bodes well for this year. I truly believe we have brought you some real gems, wines that overdeliver in every aspect which is one of our most important buying principles. You would be amazed at the number of new producers that failed to meet the grade, and some very well-known ones too. A large proportion of the wines received the ‘chop’ as their style lacked interest or were better suited to the warmer, Australian climate. The fashion in Australia is to produce linear styles – grapes are picked earlier and the use of oak kept to a minimum which is perfectly fine. However, we desire wines that provide textural enjoyment and lots of interest. Too many examples delivered water-like texture with a squeeze of citrus juice.

Difficult conversations follow as it is not easy informing a wine producer that their cherished wines are not suited to The Vinorium. Some are graciously accepting, others less so. Some simply ignore our communication, which we appreciate.

One ‘new’ winemaker set The Vinorium’s 2020 year on fire and his name is Kym Teusner. Kym is widely regarded as an excellent winemaker and his Teusner label wines are enjoyed globally. But, we discovered Kym’s new wine venture Utopos which was a magnificent encounter.  

 

Clearly, the site and vines are special and I was itching to understand why I had not come across them before (albeit under a different label) or had I? I asked the question and Kym provided the answer. 

 
 

A great deal of my time was spent snooping around the Barossa trying to source grapes from established growers for Teusner Wines in the early days.  It was in this endeavour that I first came across the vineyard that we now call Utopos.  We were already sourcing fruit from vineyards adjacent to this property for Teusner that were making some of our very best Shiraz wines (Albert and Righteous) so I knew the ability of the geology and microclimate of the area to produce outstanding reds.  I instantly fell in love with the site and the way that it was planted.  I so desperately wanted to play with the fruit that was growing here.  However, the owner of the property was signed into pretty tight contracts with Penfolds and wasn’t willing to jeopardise that to sell me a bit of out of contract.  He did nothing to lessen my desire, however…  Bragging to me that the Cabernet Sauvignon was some of the only Barossa fruit to make Bin 707 grade etc etc.  So I was forced to just dream about it every time I drove past to visit my other growers in the area. Until the day in late 2014 that the owners decided it was time to slow down and move into town and put the property up for AuctionAll of the big names from around the area were at the auction.  Standing on one of the highest points of the area overlooking some of the most beautiful views in the Barossa. I was so desperate to have it – these properties rarely become available over multiple generations - so I just went in with all guns blazing and put in my best offer as first bid.  It was the one and only bid and the property was ours!”

 

I would urge you to read the full Utopos story / Q&A
as it’s a wonderful read…

 

Magda and I were genuinely speechless by the original sample line up which arrived at our HQ mid-summer. The quality to value ratio (our cost and yours) is quite extraordinary which left us with the biggest headache with regards to launching Kym’s Utopos collection. How do you launch such beautifully made wines, wines which should all retail for north of fifty pounds per bottle without making the remainder of the portfolio look flat and unexciting, which they are far from…?

So, we re-sampled and launched the collection over a series of days. Launch one; 2017 and 2018 Shiraz. Launch two; 2017 and 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon and the final launch; 2018 and 2019 MSG. To spice up the drama and suspense, we took the decision to launch each varietal blind – not a word was written with regard to the producer or the name of the wine and no label or bottle image was unveiled. Quite a risk when we had committed to an order of 1,800 bottles.

Each launch received fifty percent of our allocation on a pre-arrival special and then we set them ‘live.’ Gobsmacked would be an understatement, as each launch sold out in less than two hours. We felt compelled to add the remainder as so many customers missed out on the opportunity to purchase. All 1,800 were sold before the wines left Australian waters.

Today, our final delivery of the 2017 and 2018 Shiraz are being offered along with remaining stocks (numbers are tiny) of both MSGs. As I alluded to earlier, both Cabernets are beauties from the past as we must wait for the 2019 to arrive later this year (we’ve received a tank sample which was incredible).

In total, we have sold 2,691 bottles (timed at 11:53am on 24.02.2021) netting a sales value (ex VAT) of £75,000+ which is astonishing. Thank you, Kym, for such amazing wines, huge thanks to Lady Luck for finding these beauties and of course, I remain indebted to you all for purchasing them.

We are the 2018 and 2019 IWC Aussie Specialist of the Year (2020 was cancelled due to the pandemic). This week they have opened the doors again to all entrants, which we will partake in. We are also entering ‘consumer campaign of the year’ as we believe the Utopos launch should receive this lovely accolade – we will keep you updated over the coming months.

So, and back to my opening ‘ Eight months on we retaste the Utopos Shiraz and MSG wines’ – here are our updated reviews along with our original notes. We have also included some of your evaluations which I am keen to share with you all and the IWC.

As ever, I raise my glass to wish you good health and much vinous happiness, Stu

 

2017 Utopos Shiraz

98++ Points - Stuart McCloskey “A remarkable wine with ribbons of silky tannins weaving magic amongst the lakes of ripe, blue and black fruit. In every sense, it is perfectly formed. The bouquet provides the same ‘goosebump’ moment, as if I were sampling for the first time. There’s little change from violets, liquorice stick, blackberry pastille, cola, Indian ink and cold iron – warm earth emerges with more aeration. The floral character has heightened and there’s a marine character – white pepper on the finish too. Texturally, there’s a sense of wonder to this wine. The fruit sails effortless across the palate – rich but far from confected. There’s an earthiness from the tannins which grounds the fruit component. The balance is impeccable. I previously mentioned the wine as being a ‘skyscraper’ – I have changed this view. Yes, it is substantial but it is far from being monolithic. As anticipated, the flavours match those found on the nose with violets, blackberry pastille and flowers leading the way on what is a wondrous journey. Sweet spices, a core of juicy acidity and the grip of silky, earthy tannins are a perfect marriage. There’s an overriding sense of gracefulness which did not show last year.  The equilibrium is utterly captivating and the precision on point. A brilliant wine. Decant for 4-6 hours. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware. Drinking now (quite amazingly) to 2040.” Sampled 25.02.2021. 

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.” Sampled August 2020. 

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." Sampled August 2020. 

£34.95 per bottle

£165.00 per case of 6 In Bond

 
 

2018 Utopos Shiraz

98++ Points - Stuart McCloskey - “As before, the nose is more concentrated than the 2017 – quite considerably and hasn’t changed from the profusion of violets, blackberry, blueberry compote, Indian ink, asphalt. Cooling graphite and cold steel which I love. Mint is emerging with savoury bay leaf. I detect some saltiness / salinity on the finish which is another big tick. The palate has picked up the pace against the 2017 (who said there is no vintage variation in Australia!). Unlike many of Australia’s cult wines (RunRig is a perfect example), this is not overdone, cooked or out of sorts.  This is rich, luxurious and delivers an unstoppable wave of ripe blue and black fruits. Almost exotic. The cooling feel to the fruit is a masterstroke as is the whisper of freshness and filigree tannins.  Amazingly balanced, extremely long and I did not spit a drop (excuse any typos). A monumental, powerfully structured wine with the potential to age for decades. Decant for 4-6 hours. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware.” Sampled 25.02.2021

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.” Sampled August 2020

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." Sampled August 2020

£34.95 per bottle

£165.00 per case of 6 In Bond

 
 

2018 Utopos Mataro Shiraz Grenache

* Only 45 bottles remain *

98+ Points - Stuart McCloskey “The 2018 blend is comprised of 50% Mataro, 25% Shiraz, 25% Grenache. Unquestionably one of the most hedonistic MSGs I have ever sampled. The bouquet is like a racehorse on the gallops being held back by its jockey – The power is extraordinary whilst being restrained. Ripe, dark berries radiate from the glass with black raspberry, sweet spices, liquorice, blueberry, blackcurrant pastille, smoke, asphalt and minerals bringing the bouquet to a tremendous finish. The palate is a celestial blend of power and elegance – the texture is cashmere-like. The sweet, pure fruit (blueberries and blackberries rule) flows with such ease – nothing is forced. There’s a little tightness from the tannins and acidity which provides composition to the wine. I detect a little lavender pastille, musky earthy spice on the finish which will develop with more time. The purity is striking, the length is endless, and Kym’s ability to provide a wine with such power and grace is an outstanding achievement.  Drinking now (A dream for those seeking hedonistic gratification) and will age gracefully over the coming 1-2 decades. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware.” Sampled 26.02.21.

97-98 Points - Stuart McCloskey “The 2018 blend is comprised 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” Sampled August 2020.  

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." Sampled August 2020.

£34.95 per bottle

 

2019 Utopos Mataro Shiraz Grenache

* Only 27 bottles remain *

98 Points - Stuart McCloskey “The 2019 blend is comprised of 50% Mataro, 35% Shiraz and 15% Grenache. The bouquet is a colossal, brooding skyscraper which needs coaxing with aeration (I suggest decanting for 6-8 hours). Sweet spices, blue and blackberry liqueur, asphalt, baked earth, bitter chocolate, liquorice, lavender and a heavenly twists of blood orange on the finish. The palate could not be any different; lithe, agile, elegant and full of freshness – the spine of acidity is a masterstroke and keeps the palate salivating. The fruit is juicy and the flavours open up like a peacock’s tail. Mineral-laced blueberry compote, floral pastille, lavender, some warmth and depth from black liquorice. Perhaps some sweet cherry on the finish too – white pepper after minutes. The tannins are supple and add the faintest of grip. This is such a fascinating wine, one which plays a hedonistic bouquet off against a palate which is in the hands of an angel. Drinking now (decant for 6+ hours) and will age gracefully over the coming ten or more years. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware.” Sampled 26.02.21.

97-99 Points - Stuart McCloskey “The 2019 blend is comprised 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).” Sampled August 2020

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." Sampled August 2020

£34.95 per bottle

 

We share some of your views…

 

David W – 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon

"On the last evening before London was placed into Tier 2 Covid restrictions, we made the most of being able to still have people come into our home and had dinner with both of my partner’s sisters and their partners.  We drank (quite) a few different wines over the evening but the clear stand out was the bottle of Utopos Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 that had only arrived a few days earlier.  It was sensational; dark, deep and brooding with beautiful aromas, smooth and well-integrated tannins and such a long finish.  A stunning label and look too.  It was such a fitting wine to share with our nearest and dearest ahead of the restrictions coming in."

 

Andrew D - 2017 Shiraz

"The colour was, as expected, deep, and the smell rich. The first taste was lush with black fruits up front. I liked it so much I topped my glass up immediately. That’s when it all went wrong. 

My wife came in and asked what I was drinking. She doesn’t much like red wine but I seemed so enthusiastic she said she’d try a small glass. Unfortunately, she liked it. A lot. So now she wanted a full glass. Still no aeration by the way. I mentioned I was getting a little spice in amongst the fruit. My wife said it was surprisingly good and could I top her glass up?So now we were two thirds through the bottle and still no aeration, or matching food for that matter. There was no point decanting what was left so we scooped the remainder and agreed it was a darned fine bottle of wine. Would it be better decanted and left for 4 hours? Probably. Would it have been better to drink it more slowly? Definitely. But the main lesson learned in appreciating it more?

Don’t open a bottle when the wife is around as Utopos is just too good to share!!!"

 

Simon M - 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon

"My immediate impression was of a large mouthful of slightly minty drinking chocolate. It has a very viscous mouthfeel and the most appreciated warmth - like a much missed hug (in current conditions) around a bonfire. I think it needs more time (obviously) - but will be difficult to resist - and hopefully some more 'medicinal' flavours will emerge. Can well imagine returning for more."

 

Jamie R - 2017 Shiraz

"Smells like ink from a Sharpie - Tessa age 8"

 

Scott D - 2017 Shiraz

"The Utopos 2017 shiraz is the gleaming beacon in the
abyss that has been 2020."

 

Alan R

“Green is not my favourite colour but Utopos certainly is. It has exceeded my expectations and thanks for your guiding reviews to what was essentially a blind purchase of each variety. Happy days”

 

Tomas L

“SPECTACULAR. That's the exact word. I could say: balanced acidity, intense flavour, long finish, blah, blah, blah.... But, spectacular. All other words are superfluous. In my opinion there is no need to decant. I'm testing it right now, wonderful”.

 

Richard B

“As I’m a model of clean living and patience, my review is:  I’m staring at the label, finding the notion of Utopia somewhat distant right now, and wondering if that’s sufficient justification to open a bottle for breakfast”.

 

Nick W - 2017 Shiraz

“And you were right, the ‘17 is a very different beast to the ‘18, this was evident as soon as the wine entered the decanter. The vanilla tones missing, a more typical Barossa aroma. Save the odd (small) taste over the afternoon we managed to wait 5 hours. The wine really did open up and come into its own. Like the ‘18 the tannins have been expertly intertwined especially as such a young age. Bold yet elegant, red fruit profile that continues almost forever. The disappointment of the empty bottle is tempered by the knowledge it won’t be our last. (Lucky us!!)

&

My wife’s review “(I dropped a glass off to the office as she was still in a call). She bounded down the stairs and pronounced “what the hell is this, it’s bloody brilliant!!”

Fab work! Dad and my brother have been raving about the ‘19 and ‘20 vintage, and the weekend read hasn’t dampened our enthusiasm for what you’ll find next”.

 

Patrick M

“All the Utopos wines are stunning. I expected the 17 Shiraz to be stunning but the MSG, both in 18 and 19, are as good as I have ever tasted. The Cab is also clearly terrific though I think these will benefit hugely from a couple of years in the cellar. I have left my 18 Utopos Shiraz with you for now as I don’t want to be tempted to drink too many bottles before their time”.

 

Howard T

“By way of background, I use a 50 point scoring system which allows me to compare all of the wines I’ve tasted …5 categories , each out of 10 points.

Nose: 9/10  - incredible dark fruit intensity. Pronounced on opening and still present 10 hours later on drinking !

Palate:  9/10 –  Ripe dark fruits of the forest….but still a freshness.

Structure: 9/10 – Acidity bodes well for ageing and tannins soft even at this young age. Full bodied but not over alcoholic / oaked

Complexity: 7/10 – Not particularly complex as fruit is the driving force , but will be fascinating to see what and how secondary and tertiary favours evolve 

Finish: 9/10 -  Smooth / long finish

Conclusion (43/50) : Slightly sceptical - but decanted for 8-10 hours as instructed and delighted I did. The fruit bomb at 11.00 had settled down beautifully by dinner time. I usually score wines poorly on the nose (lack of imagination my wife tells me !) but this was different and the flavour of the fruit was excellent and translated smoothly onto the palate.  The structure and balance are superb and I would be very optimistic that the complexity will develop very nicely over the next 10-15 years if it can survive that long in the cellar ! Reckon it will be a 45+ pointer. Brilliant value for money as advertised and actually just excellent in its own right."

 

David M – 2018 MSG

“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 anymore.  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 L

“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 L

“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!”

 

Ian E-W (A view from a fellow wine merchant)

“As I opened my first bottle of Utopos Cabernet Sauvignon and put the glass to my nose, my first thought (as opposed to a ‘musing’) was “Oh ! – BUGGER !” - as I raced to place another order – having at that point only bought one bottle of each Utopos wine.  The next three minutes were spent feverishly logging into my Vinorium account, seeing that there were five bottles remaining (with a huge sense of relief) and then trying to key an order - only to find that someone else had clearly been doing exactly the same thing and had beaten me to the punch - by seconds. Thereafter a slump of frustration and disappointment ensued, which was only partially assuaged the next day when Magda informed me there was at least some more 2018 Cabernet due in in January…..  But I have indeed missed out on the 2017.  “BUGGER !” is not a musing - but it was my visceral reaction.

The nose of the 2017 Utopos Cabernet, before I even tasted the wine, was a “Wow” moment for me. By definition and by preference, I am absolutely NOT a Cabernet drinker. I would be guessing that I drink Pinot at a ratio of 10:1 vs Cabernet or Bordeaux blends.  And even Nebbiolo at a ratio of 5:1 vs Cabernet or Bordeaux blends. I do like old left bank Bordeaux - but modern young Bordeaux typically leaves me cold. I really don’t enjoy monolithic blocks of fruit and oak. I love complex, sensual aromatics - and on the palate I seek freshness and purity way ahead of richness and weight.  So young, modern Cabernet, it’s fair to say, really ain’t my grape.  I almost didn’t buy any Utopos, for that very reason.

So - for me to have a genuinely ‘Wow’ moment – from a Cabernet at all - was a genuine shock.  A revelation even, there is no other word for it.   

I admit I have had the odd “Cabernet moment” over the years of course: Latour 2010 from barrel was one such – and sipping Sassicaia 1985 which IS a mind-blowing Cabernet Sauvignon was another.  Or Haut Brion 1982 and 1989 (if you excuse me the mention of a Bordeaux blend)   But - from a £30 bottle of Cabernet from Australia I would never in my wildest dreams have imagined the sensory overload of saline, briny, maritime freshness, followed by the sweet cep mushroom, cherry, truffle and mocha that literally jumps from the glass.  Or the ethereal, swirling, racy, creamy, orange-to red cherry-to deepest mulberry flavours - and the endless granitey-cocoa finish.  I don’t know where the 2017 Utopos will be in a decade, but who cares, on the night I opened it - it was literally a perfect wine.  I could not have improved on it. At all”.

I really don’t know whether Utopos’ owners will much approve, but it strikes me that what they made, in 2017, was a Cabernet Sauvignon to (re)convert Pinot Noir drinkers !…….. ;)

 

Ben E – 2018 Shiraz

“I don’t know much about tasting wine, but I know how I feel the following day and I know that after drinking, (sorry sharing) the Utopos 2018 Shiraz, I woke up incredibly happy. It’s the stain of great wine on me and something I’ve only felt a few times previously. The last time was a couple of years back, after a party where they served Domaine Peyre Rose, Clos des Cistes, 1998 from magnums. There was so much sheer energy in that red that night, so much exuberant fruit. This is how I feel about Utopos: the fruit was so high accented providing layers of sweetness. The balance and smoothness of tannins so well judged. My god it was easy to drink, full of gumption,  robust sunlight and perfumes. And in the morning I was just happy”.

 

Adam H – 2017 Shiraz

“The 2017 Utopos Shiraz is a truly magnificent wine. Left to breathe four hours before drinking it opened up nicely and the result is a better developed and more approachable wine than most other quality Australians of similar youth. The familiar notes of leather, cedar, and restrained fruit are all there and present themselves over a remarkable and protracted delivery. Sit back and enjoy, that first sip is going to take a while to fully appreciate! The temptation to open another is almost overwhelming but I have high hopes that this wine will continue to improve in the bottled for at least the next fifteen years so given the paucity of our supply we have put our stock down with a label on the box telling us to try another in five years time”.

 

Philippa H – 2017 Shiraz

“I Tried the Utopos 2017 Shiraz and thought I had fallen gently backwards into the most luscious gustatory blackberry bush imaginable. To think that the rest of the stash is only going to get better than this has had me running for the loft ladder like it was December 1st”.

 

Gavin J – Shiraz 2017

“Perfect drop for a winexistential moment. I have been developed a creeping realisation that some drinking windows put me into ‘he’s had a good innings’ territory.  What to do about it? Drink as well as possible, drink mindfully, uncork at will. In addition, drink wine of such mind blowing  intensity it simultaneously knocks you out of your rumination and reminds you that life is usually ready to burst out so just enjoy the ride. Bit like this one. Expertly sourced and enthusiastically recommended by @thevinorium. In its youth, but I am not, so an ultra long airing was delivered and we tucked in. Holds firm its power with a wonderful elegance. Incredible fruit, monumental structure and already a lovely length. A younger palate was wowed by its Xmas spice.

Well it stoned me to my soul and ain’t no doubt. Here's to staying alive until we crack open the next one”.

 

That says it all, don’t you think?  

 
 

Our pre-arrival offer closes
9:00am 5 March 2021.