As I write, precisely 4,782 bottles of Utopos have been sold, which on the face of it, may not appear overly remarkable. However, when you consider our first introduction (August 2020) combined with the sales value of each bottle, which is significant compared to many independent merchants’ average bottle sales value, the figure is compelling.

Relationships are a two-way street, and our interpretation may differ greatly from Kym. Moreover, and unbeknown to team Vinorium, we may be falling below his own expectations. So, in our ever ‘not afraid to ask or tell’ manner, we asked Kym for his candid thoughts on Utopos in the UK. 

What can I say???  From day one my dealings with everyone at Vinorium have been effortless, professional and totally enjoyable!  Even more enjoyable when their first order of this brand new label sold out before it even hit the shores of the UK and they doubled down with another order!  Their launch of Utopos Wines and market activation was second to nothing that I have ever experienced before!  Since then, in a time of unequalled world chaos, we have seen the growth of our Utopos wines through Vinorium eclipse those in every other export market.  I can’t express the depth of my excitement when thinking about the future of my relationship with Vinorium.

Without exception, much of this success is down to you placing faith in our recommendations, which we are ever grateful for. We are humbled by your trustworthiness which we repay by never offering wines that we genuinely do not appreciate. Occasionally, we receive the odd email suggesting that we are perhaps, overegging our praise which customers are perfectly entitled to say. Here is the perfect riposte, as we are never driven by colour / fashions / style or price point. In fact, and if I am being completely honest with you, our offerings are selfish and purely based on what we like / love and adore. The Vinorium is not the home for mediocrity and will never be…   

Of course, some styles may not appeal to all, but our tasting notes are detailed and accurately reflect the wine(s) - the choice of glassware and one’s mood can change how the wine is perceived by you. Customer reviews for Utopos wines (available for all to see on our website) have been positively glowing, which is fabulous to read.

We have communicated and provided tasting notes for Kym’s new, 2019 collection however, and at the time, I was a little concerned with the matter of ‘bottle shock’ which can mute flavours and their aromas. Thankfully, this is a temporary condition and more common than many appreciate. This condition is more common in recently bottled wine or wine that has been shipped over a long distance. The pressure of airfreight can and does provide another layer of potential issues as we see far too many bottles that have leaked, or have protruding corks. 

Ordinarily, we prefer to rest samples for at least four weeks however, commercial pressures occasionally dictate when they are assessed. Kym kindly sent two sets of samples with the latter resting in the cooling dark since their arrival in February. Personally, I am fascinated to see the difference which I will share along with my original tasting notes.

A short summary from Kym

I am loving the 2019 wines.  I see them as a combination of the best parts of the 2016 and 2018 vintages.  Bright acidities, firm and supportive tannins with amazing richness and fruit weight that envelops the palate.  They truly are wines that are drinking well upon release but will be so much better with some time maturing in bottle.  2019 saw drought conditions throughout winter that led to very low yields across the entire Barossa.  Spring frosts were followed by warm windy flowering conditions and resulted in even lower crop levels.  Warm to hot ripening conditions ensured nice ripe fruit with full phenological ripeness.  The resultant wines are concentrated and intense in every way.

 
 

2019 Utopos Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz Blend

Without doubt, this is a beautiful creation for Vinorium customers only. Call it a world exclusive and not necessarily an annual release as each component must be magnificent to create a greater ‘one’. Kym and I also wanted to provide a subtle change to the bottle and label décor which signifies how special we believe this wine to be. Only 1,200 bottles were produced.

Sampled 21 July 2021. Stuart McCloskey “I am not persuaded by my opening sentence, “And now to the most structured of the trio” - this is particularly evident when you dive straight in. The bouquet is intense with a Smörgåsbord of ripe, black fruits – blackberry, blueberry, violet and potpourri come rushing from the glass whilst minerals, Indian ink, liquorice and traces of brine and kelp provide unfathomable layers of complexity. I like how the wine builds in intensity – every swirl of the glass provides a new facet to consider. The fruit radiates but with a degree of restraint – the wine feels tighter and perhaps more classical compared to the single varietals. I detect more mineralité and tension – lovely freshness too. Perhaps less flamboyant than the other two. Regal and beautiful - a wine which provides precision and has no need to show off. For many, this will be irresistible in its youth, but a decade in bottle will provide exquisite drinking.  I certainly prefer this to my original sample. 70% Cabernet Sauvignon 30% Shiraz. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware.”

Sampled February 2021. 98 – 98+ Points - Stuart McCloskey “And now to the most structured of the trio, which is not a negative. The bouquet is brooding to put it mildly and needs aeration (4-6 hours minimum) to reveal its glorious aromatics. Savoury at first with a marine / kelp character which I am immensely fond of. Intensely mineral – the black fruits are mineral soaked too. A little liquorice creeps in which compliments the cold iron ore character marvellously. Scorched earth and blueberry compote on the finish. Tightly wound, focused, providing a firm grip with not a single hair out of place is the best way to describe the intellect of this wine. The flavours offer an intriguing assortment from Chinese five spice, a soupçon of clove, anise, cinnamon bark infused with damson, plum and black raspberry – quite delectable when you bring the collection together. The mineral rich finish is a dream. Unquestionably, this is a multi-layered, multidimensional masterpiece that really needs time in the bottle to fully develop (I suggest 5-10 years minimum, but it does drink rather well today if you heed the decanting notice). This is just superb with a bright and very long life ahead. I am looking forward to re-sampling in the next 6-12 months as I am conscious this has just been bottled and endured a long journey to our tasting room – my ‘opening’ score reflects this fact. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware.”

Sampled July 2021. Magdalena Sienkiewicz “Perhaps the most intriguing Utopos wine of the new trio. There is a lot of nuance flowing continuously from the glass with graceful confidence. I love the way the Cabernet Sauvignon (70%) and Shiraz (30%) are amalgamated. What you are presented with is a splendid structure with the grip from Cabernet and a supple plushness from the Shiraz. Clearly, it will be fascinating to watch its evolution for many years to come. Whether opening this now or laying it down, patience will be rewarded. Decant for at least 4 hours (the longer, the better) and sip over a long evening. If you only fancy a glass or two, no problem – seal the decanter and enjoy the following day.”

Sampled February 2021. 98+ Points - Magdalena Sienkiewicz “The perfume is deep and evocative offering an alluring mixture of cherries, redcurrants, blackcurrants, cranberries, aromatic spice mix and plenty of minerals. There is a gentle sweetness on entry before the wine expands and reveals supple textures flowing with perfectly judged weight. I love the way it straddles between the wonderful characteristics of each variety, marrying all nuances beautifully. In fact, I kept coming back to my tasting notes over a few hours to adjust them with the newly emerging aromas and flavours, but it’s too early to give them the justice they deserve. Above all, simply sit back and allow the wine to blossom in the glass, decanter or indeed the cellar, then enjoy the journey. Sampled over several hours on the first and second day after opening, using Zalto Bordeaux glassware”.

£34.95 per bottle

or £165.00 per case of 6 IB

 

2019 Utopos Shiraz

Sampled 21 July 2021. Stuart McCloskey “I love the colour – midnight aubergine if I were designing a colour for Farrow & Ball. The bouquet has obvious similarities to my first note. The brooding character is unquestionably the charm. If I am being honest, it is difficult to encapsulate into words – lots of hand movements but the words have obviously left me. I find the aromatic conundrum utterly fascinating – I could spend an entire day swirling and sniffing. I am drawn to the ocean with warmed oyster shell, sea kelp, ocean spray, all working harmoniously with Indian ink and graphite. Über sophisticated and undoubtedly showing better than my February sample. The palate provides all the classic Barossa signatures – perhaps with a touch of amplification without, and I stress, any clumsiness. The palate feel is sensual, but it does take time to discover (I suggest a long decant of at least 6-8 hours). Contrary to my original note, I do not believe this is to be ‘opulently hedonistic.’ Yes, the fruit is ripe (as are the tannins) but it’s the coiled tension which provides an intellectual perspective along with lots of ‘energy’. The length is astonishing with touches of spice entering minutes later. At this price, this delivers the complete package – a real jewel... Drinking from now to 2040+. Ideally, tuck a case away for 10-15 years. Keep the other case available and sample a bottle every 2-3 years.”

Sampled February 2021. 98 – 98+ Points - Stuart McCloskey “Monolithic and will be revered by those seeking unadulterated hedonism. Wow, so explosively rich – I was left speechless after my first sip. Anyhow, I am jumping the gun and must discuss the bouquet which provides a completely different aspect. Brooding, incredibly dense but there’s either a coyness or reticence which I am struggling to put my finger on. Warmed oyster shell, sea kelp, warm earth, graphite and a deep sense of mineralité. Totally fascinating and a wine which will develop an unfathomable number of aromas if you have the endurance to enjoy a glass over 24 hours. The palate is full-bodied, unpretentious, explosive, very rich, firm with taut grip from fine grained tannins (very much required to keep a handle on the ripe, dense fruit which could run amok without some control). Today, this provides the merest of glimpses into the incredible depth of flavours. The ripe, black fruits are multi-layered and drench the palate with oodles of wild blueberry compote, the sweetest of raspberry along with mulberry, sloe and damson. To say the finish is epically long would be an understatement, the same applies to the enriching perfume which keeps evolving. As I stated at the beginning – this is opulently hedonistic, yet it provides an intellectual fragrance (so savoury and very ‘marine’ against a bing-bang-bosh of excessively ripe fruit). This is simply magnificent but does need time in the cellar to come together. Again, this is another 2019 Utopos which I look forward to re-evaluating in 6 months. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware.”

Sampled July 2021. Magdalena Sienkiewicz “The Shiraz has clearly evolved since my last tasting. The abundant fruit comes forward with swagger and confidence.  The nose is brimming with delightfully ripe red berry fruits and sweet spices. The mineral notes continue to triumph and underpin the expressive perfume wonderfully. The palate follows suit in what is undeniably a complex and deeply satisfying wine. It epitomises precisely what we crave in superb expressions of Barossa Shiraz and it is bound to put a huge smile on many faces whilst, at the same time, our pearly whites are stained black / blue.  Another joy, which is a big understatement.”

Sampled February 2021. 98-99 Points - Magdalena Sienkiewicz “Even after 24 hours in a decanter (sealed overnight), the perfume is super vibrant and ultra-concentrated. Deeply mineral with iron ore, tons of fruit and fragrant spices. It is difficult to pin down each and every flavour which tantalises the taste buds. The sheer power and tension is impressive as it is not over the top at all and it holds together with much confidence and composure. This is clearly a very young wine, but you must admire how complete it is today. Many iconic wines require years, sometimes decades to offer a pleasurable drinking experience and reveal their beauty. This is different, deeply impressive and it will certainly be wonderful to watch its progress. Sampled over several hours on the first and second day after opening, using Zalto Bordeaux glassware”.

£34.95 per bottle

or £165.00 per case of 6 IB

2019 Utopos Cabernet Sauvignon

Sampled 21 July 2021. Stuart McCloskey “The ’19 Cabernet Sauvignon shone from the get-go and resampling is merely a gratifying experience rather than a necessity. Little has changed (as one would expect) – the perfume is utterly beguiling with an intoxicating mix of ripe, black and blue fruits juxtaposed, and perhaps now the more dominant flow of coal, graphite, steel, liquorice, camphor and the most wondrous marine lift.  Although very young, everything about this wine gets the heart racing – the perfume, the balance, the freshness, the gossamer sheen of silk which glides across the palate with amazing grace. The tannins and acidity provide the faintest touch of crispness and merely provide a gentle arm of support rather than towering structure. Utterly spellbinding and comfortably one of my favourite Aussie Cabernet Sauvignons and my favoured ‘19 Utopos wine. Masterful, in a word.  Decant for 4 hours. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware. Drinking window – there is no harm is awakening this beauty today however, a decade will provide a heavenly vinous experience.”

Sampled February 2021. 99 Points - Stuart McCloskey “This is blessed with an incredibly intense, powerful nose, which and after a few hours in a decanter unveils the sweetest of mineral soaked fruits (blackberries, boysenberries, mulberry and a compote edge to the blueberry). There’s an exotic sweetness to the aromatic spices which flow with star anise and candied violets. Graphite in profusion along with black olive tapenade, salinity and wafts of camphor and liquorice. The palate is equally intense and powerful, and yet there is a sense of wonderful definition and heavenly focus that marks it out differently from many young Aussie Cabernets. This is the creamiest, richest and certainly the most voluminous wine in the 2019 Utopos collection which unfolds with layer upon layer of the most luxurious silky fruits. Wonderfully structured too. The tannins are velvety, and I love the freshness which adds brightness to the mouthfeel. I detect a little minerality on the epically long finish. No wonder grapes from this hallowed vineyard found their way into Penfolds Bin 707. This cannot fail to impress and will comfortably cellar for 15-20 years. Simply magnificent. Decant for 4-6 hours. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware.”

Sampled July 2021. Magdalena Sienkiewicz “It was showing beautifully when sampled earlier in the year and it is showing equally glowing now. Consequently, I’m struggling to add to my previous notes. The only new observation being that this beautiful wine is clearly not closing down. Instead, it keeps giving and in bucket loads. It’s a stunning, complex and utterly compelling Cabernet. Quite simply sensational and the perfume intensifies with more time in the glass – so alluring. Utopos comfortably makes my list of top 10 favourite Cabernets and it is one which I can enjoy far more often than other top wines. Just a beautiful wine.”

Sampled February 2021. 98-99 Points - Magdalena Sienkiewicz “Wonderful deep colour. The perfume is superbly concentrated with combinations of red and black fruit, liquorice and mint. The tension is simply incredible – you’ll find supple sweetness, rich fruit, coolness of the iron, sweet spices, as well as notes of herbs and flowers. Dark fruity chocolate also comes to mind. Black berries and rich cherry liqueur open the palate which is just as multi-dimensional and layered as the perfume. What a magnificent wine. I think this has the edge for me in the Utopos line up at this stage and I’m dying to see how it develops. No rush though, as this is a real beauty even in its youth. You could probably write a book on all its flavours and aromatic nuances but I will step back and allow you to discover this sensational wine for yourself. Decant, sniff and sip over a long, relaxing evening. Sampled over several hours on the first and second day after opening, using Zalto Bordeaux glassware”.

£34.95 per bottle

or £165.00 per case of 6 IB

2019 Utopos Mataro Shiraz Grenache

Sampled February 2021. 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 August 2020. 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 "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

or £165.00 per case of 6 IB

 

2019 Utopos 4 pack

Contains 1 bottle of each 2019 Utopos wine

£139.80 per case of 4

 
 
 

When will my 2019 pre-arrival order be delivered?

All duty paid orders (from our HQ warehouse) will be dispatched on Monday 26 July for arrival on Tuesday 27 July.

DPD will contact you by text/email with your tracking details.

Wines that are heading to our bonded warehouse, LCB, are due to land w/c 26 July. Once cleared, the team will be in touch.

 
 
 
 

2017 / 2018 Availability

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

or £165.00 per case of 6 IB

 

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

or £165.00 per case of 6 IB

 
 

And the longer, 2019 vintage report
(written by Kym Teusner)

Wow!  What a bittersweet 24 months it has been!  There’s the obvious challenges, frustrations, fears and sadness bought on by the Coronavirus pandemic that the entire world is still grappling with.  We all feel very fortunate, however, here in Australia. With our geographical isolation making it somewhat easier for our government to control we have really felt minimal impact compared to the rest of the world and we go about our daily lives with relatively minimal disruption. The motorsport tracks were still open and they became my pressure relief valve, hahaha.  Interestingly, it could be said that the pandemic was a major catalyst in fuelling a political bushfire between Australia and her largest trading partner which seemingly continues to burn out of control.  This has added to the daily uncertainties of a large percentage of our population as we all go about our lives trying to find a path through the chaos that has been 2021. On a positive note from our personal perspective, however, business has remained good.  Despite our entire industry losing a major export trading partner and a large percentage of our customers across the globe being forced to close their doors, it seems that we have all continued to relax with a glass of wine at home rather than in a restaurant or bar. Perhaps even enabling us to trade up a level and treat ourselves to a little brightness in the grey.  Like everyone, we’ve had to reassess our business models and work out how best to continue serving our customers but hey, change keeps us alert and bright.

From a viticulture and winemaking perspective, 2021 has been nothing but sweet!  We were all very nervous given the last two, challenge filled and low yielding vintages but as it turned out there was no need for nervousness at all.  Mother nature was very kind. I’d have to go as far as to say one of the most perfect seasons that I have experienced in my 20 year career!  Farmers can always find something to complain about though, so in the spirit of keeping it real, I guess that we could’ve used a touch more rain early in the season but I’m really trying hard to find a complaint if this is the only one.  Reasonable rainfalls through winter led into a very moderate spring and almost perfect  flowering conditions –

very few of our recent challenges – no extreme heat waves, no gale force winds.  Nice.

Being quite dry, however, does bring with it elevated frost risk due to the clear skies and resultant cold nights.  This risk kept us all on edge right through December and January, when we are normally starting to relax from November onwards. With only a few small frost events most of the Barossa sailed through unscathed into a ripening period of warm days and cool nights that allowed long, slow and even ripening.  Flavours came on at lower potential alcohol levels than I’ve ever seen before and we were harvesting fruit with extraordinary balance of chemistry and flavour.  This balance and general vine happiness made itself apparent in the ferments as well, with the fermentations progressing smoothly and cleanly through to complete dryness and malolactic fermentations currently showing the same energy.  Yields across the valley were just on long term average, which in terms of Utopos, means about one tonne per acre….  The wines are fresh, bright and clean with deep vibrant colour, firm but not overbearing tannin and amazing intensity of flavour.  All in all a pretty exciting season that I look forward to guiding through to being in your hands.

Looking back to 2020 we were dealing with the continuing drought conditions which led to a meagre .75 tonnes per acre yield across the Utopos vineyard and has obviously translated into amazingly concentrated wines.  The biggest challenge of 2020 wasn’t the drought, however.  It was the fires.  They were burning throughout the state and brought with them the very sinister risk of smoke taint that can show itself in the short or longer term.  I am happy to report that we have had all of our wines tested by the Australian Wine Research Institute and they are all smoke taint free.  No risk of it raising its head now or in the future.  The wines show absolute typicity of the site, highlighting its tremendous consistency from vintage to vintage.  They have a few more months of rest in barrel before we will start thinking about getting them ready for their transition to their final vessel.

 
 

Those new to Utopos wines – you must read the wonderful Q&A. Essential reading, in our opinion…

 
 
 

When will my 2019 pre-arrival order be delivered?

All duty paid orders (from our HQ warehouse) will be dispatched on Monday 26 July for arrival on Tuesday 27 July.

DPD will contact you by text/email with your tracking details.

Wines that are heading to our bonded warehouse, LCB, are due to land w/c 26 July. Once cleared, the team will be in touch.