Is a home to our personal favourites and a reference point for something a little special. The criteria is simple; outstanding quality, drinks amazingly well, super-value or (preferably) a combination of all…
"This is one of the best wines
that Deep Woods Estate makes"
Julian Langworthy, Chief Winemaker
Deep Woods Estate Hillside
Cabernet Merlot 2014 (Case of 6x75cl)
95+ Points - Stuart McCloskey “Singing beautifully and a wine which will put a big smile on your face. Undergrowth, cedar, blackcurrant, dried herbs and mint scream from the glass. Admirable, drinkable, fresh and crammed with juicy red and black fruit. Blackcurrants, leather, earth, mint, briar and cedarwood wash across my palate with such grace. The wine finishes with a whisp of silky tannins. In short, a bloody good bottle of Aussie Cab / Merlot for the money. Pair with Lionel Richie’s ‘Love oh Love’ – Make sure you turn up the volume as it’s a beauty…"
Super-duper special six pack price
£83.70 per case of 6
That's £13.95 per bottle!
"Perfectly balanced with citrus notes and minerals... remarkable wine for so little money."
Deep Woods Side by Side
Chardonnay 2018 (Case 6x75cl)
94++ points (99 points for value) - Stuart McCloskey "Quite a shock if truth be known as the quality here is incredibly high (given the price, not Deep Woods excellent winemaking skills). The nose is a little closed at first but unfolds nicely after 5-10 minutes in the glass. The palate offers ripe fruit all perfectly balanced with citrus notes and minerals. Immensely appealing and quite a remarkable wine for so little money."
Super-duper special six pack price
£67.50 per case of 6
That's £11.25 per bottle!
2014 Majella Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon
97 Points, Stuart McCloskey “An intoxicating nose offering a wealth of oak, eucalyptus, mint, leather, dusty earth, cedar, violets, vanilla and blueberry and blackberry liquor. The palate is medium-bodied, with fleshy, black and red fruits laced with exotic spices. Kirsch-soaked cherries, dark plums and creme de cassis are framed with fine grained tannins. Lots of detail with a long finish. Hints of tobacco and mint. Lovely freshness. At this price, it must be one of the cheapest great wines in Australia. Fantastic value and comes highly recommended. Decant for 2-3 hours. Served in Zalto Bordeaux Glassware.”
£21.00 per bottle
After Five Wine Co. Barossa Shiraz 2017
97 Points - Stuart McCloskey “A thrilling, single vineyard Shiraz which has been meticulously crafted by the skilled hands of Craig Stansborough. The site is around 260-280m above sea level with vines planted in 2000 and is own rooted, clones are heritage and 1654. The nose is heady and aromatically perfumed with intense black raspberry, crème de cassis, bramble and fennel seed. The warm earth notes keep it grounded (forgive the pun!) as do the cedar notes. Vanilla kicks in after many hours in the decanter (we decanted for 6). The palate is medium-bodied and offers a lovely sense of nimbleness. The tannins are fine and weave perfectly with the fruit. The combination spreads across your palate with such ease. A Barossa Shiraz which is svelte, controlled, neat & tidy. Nothing is overdone – it’s just a joy to experience such great winemaking. Remarkably approachable but I do believe this will be showing at its best in 5-8 years’ time and will go on for a good decade. Immensely appealing. Served with Zalto Bordeaux glassware”
£24.95 per bottle
Petaluma Tiers Chardonnay 2016
97++ Points, Stuart McCloskey
“Sourced from the very first planting of Chardonnay in the Adelaide Hills and continues to be revered as one of Australia's greatest Chardonnays. The current bottle price of $115.00 supports its domestic reputation. Struck match fades with a few minutes of aeration to reveal a whole spectrum of aromas ranging from confit lemon, sea spray, freshly squeezed lemon and lime, lots of minerality and a background of beeswax. The palate is flawless, everlasting with the weight and crystalline delineation of a Grand Cru Burgundy. It’s certainly not shy in coming forward but does offer enough restraint not to be too overwhelming. There’s a lovely satin texture with a killer line of acidity running through its core. More savoury than fruity with white toast, cashew and creamy chalkiness / oiliness which coats the palate. Harmonious and the little bottle age has done it wonders. Clearly, we should seriously re-consider our price! Drink now through to 2030. Served with Zalto Bordeaux glassware.”
£26.95 per bottle
Noble Cuvee Brut 2000
Presented in its own beautiful gift box
98 Points - Stuart McCloskey "Fully mature as one would expect and all the better for it. The nose is incredibly inviting with lemon peel, orchard fruits, brioche, poached pear and finishes with deep honey notes with touches of caramel and Fino Sherry. Despite being practically 20-years of age, the palate is razor sharp, full of energy, broad and textural which are the hallmarks of great Grand Cru vineyards (Avize and Cramant). The wine offers an indescribable sense of completeness – Imagine spiced, poached pears melded with a brioche richness, paired with candied fruits and a killer thread of acidity. A Michelin Star pudding if this could be translated into a bowl… Dazzling and a highly addictive Champagne. Truly exceptional. Possibly disgorged November 2012 but that is not clear on the bottle. Served at warehouse temperature and using Zalto Universal Glassware."
£58.50 per bottle per bottle
Hutton Vale Farm Shiraz 2014
97+/98+ Points - Stuart McCloskey “A pure bouquet of blackberry intermixed with warm, dry earth, musky herbs, menthol, graphite and pen ink. To be honest, you would run out of superlatives as the bouquet is endless and constantly changes with more aeration. The tannins are a touch chalky contrasted with magnificent layers of perfectly ripe, black fruits. Far from being heavy or clumsy – quite the contrary. A shrill of redcurrant on the entry followed by a wave of brooding, briary fruit laced with sweet spices falling to Provençal herbs and touches of menthol. The Mount Edelstone connection (one of Australia’s greatest single-vineyard wines) plays a significant role, but I wonder how much nature has shaped this wine? So natural and so effortless. A remarkable wine…Decanted for 4 hours and served using Zalto Bordeaux Glassware. Drink now or over the next decade and beyond.”
Best Chardonnay at the 2020
Halliday Wine Companion Awards
Robert Oatley The Pennant
Margaret River Chardonnay 2015
98 Points - James Halliday "Hand-picked from specific rows, whole-bunch pressed to French oak for wild fermentation, and 9 months maturation prior to bottling. Rigorous selection of five barrels. Pale straw-green; this is remarkable as is the vibrant freshness and poise of the palate, the flavours running from pink grapefruit to white peach, the length admirable."
97-98 Stuart McCloskey “A powerful nose of lemon oil, white flowers, sweet pastry, leading to lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and wet stones. The palate is medium-bodied, crystalline and delivers finesse over power. Currently, a wine filled with tension which runs to its core. That said, and with the benefit of time in the bottle and glass, spicy, citrus and stone fruits unfold with more aeration. Even a tinge of heat coming from fresh ginger. Complexity is the greatest component with a ten-year cellaring journey ahead which will be fascinating to follow. It’s great to see a Margaret River Chardonnay which isn’t afraid to be expressive from the get-go. I would cellar for 3-5 years for that real “wow” factor. Sensuous, zesty and a finish which is everlasting. Brilliant winemaking…Served at warehouse temperature and using Zalto’s Bordeaux glassware. PS: Impatience has gotten the better of me as this wine arrived only thirty-minutes ago. In hindsight, I would decant for 20-30 minutes. I’ll resample in a few weeks which is not too much of a hardship.”
£33.95 per bottle
6 packs come in Original Wooden Case
Winner of a Trophy, Platinum Medal & 6 Gold Medals including; Gold at the Decanter World Wine Awards 2018
Soumah Equilibrio Chardonnay 2017
97+ / 98+ Points Stuart McCloskey “The concept behind Soumah’s Equilibrio range is to promote the very best barrels, clonal mix and new oak integration to create a few cases that will benchmark the potential of each vintage. A faint whiff of sulphur / gunflint. Tightly coiled and flirts between mineral and flint. With time, lemon oil expands the aromatics along with the most delicate, white flowers – a lovely sense of harmony. The palate has a beautiful tension and is far from flamboyant. Yuzu, freshly squeezed lemons, crushed stones / stony minerality provide a perfect crystal-like delineation. Reserved but far from miserly. More succinct, precise and as per its name, effortless equilibrium. It is tempting to drink now, but I would find a dark corner and ignore it for 2-3 years for that special experience. Better still, come back in a decade. In short, it is a very, very fine wine”. Served at a cool warehouse temperature & utilising Zalto’s Bordeaux glassware
(I recommend decanting for 30 minutes too)
£35.95 per bottle
The Undisputed Wine of the Day
from our inaugural Tasting
2017 Standish The Schubert Theorem
The Schubert Theorem Shiraz originates from an east-facing vineyard on the Roennfeldt Road, Marananga, arguably the most famous address in the Barossa Valley.
99-100 Points - Stuart McCloskey "An extraordinary colour ranging from midnight black to a rim of purple. The nose is intoxicating and utterly beguiling with lavender, violets, vanilla, coal, cold stone, ink, iron ore and graphite. The palate is full-bodied, richly structured, incredibly layered and beautifully defined - The Château Latour of Australia as this befits ‘the iron fist in a velvet glove’ perfectly. It’s quite extraordinary how a wine of such scale and age is so harmonious. The flavour profile and length are unending. The texture silken. The sweet entry finding its way to an iron ore and salty finish is fascinating (my last sip offered coffee notes). It is easy to understand why this was wine of the day (a difficult achievement given the calibre of the room). One of Australia’s immortal wines which has the potential to outlive most of us. Remarkable. Decanted for 2 hours and served using Zalto’s Bordeaux Glassware."
£64.95 per bottle
or £306.90 per case of 6 In Bond
Muddy Water Chardonnay 2016
97+ Points Stuart McCloskey "My third bottle and my opinion has not changed. An ineffably complex bouquet which builds and builds with more aeration in the glass. Emphatically, mineral-dominated, which combine perfectly with Amalfi lemon peel and orchard fruits (quince). The palate is full of energy, exhilarating, tightly coiled and perfectly balanced. The wine is chiselled, builds slowly and would benefit from decanting. Richness does not come in the form of fruit. Instead, the wine's fullness comes in the form of texture (phenolic weight) which is undeniably attractive (a nod to the painstaking work carried out in the vineyard). Wet stones wash across my palate but it’s the salinity which I love and sets this New Zealand Chardonnay apart from all the others. There’s a killer line of acidity which will ease with more time in the bottle. Wonderfully alive, memorable and a breathtaking wine. Wow! Served in Zalto Bordeaux glassware." Drink now to 2026
£24.95 per bottle
or £22.95 when you buy a case of 6
(We were too spoilt for choice)
1er Yarra Valley Pinot Noir 2017
Top Rated Pinot Noir at the 2020 Halliday Wine Companion Awards
97+ Points - Stuart McCloskey "Franco’s 1er Pinot Noir always comes from a block from his top paddock vineyard called 'SRM'. This block faces West but runs down to the South. This is the only block which sees the inclusion of around 20-25% whole bunches in the ferment. There’s a heavenly, very pure bouquet – crushed wild strawberries intermixed with a melange of red berry fruits, anise, a tartness coming from cranberry scents and a lift from aromatic violets and rose petal. Everything is pulled together with a lovely minerality bordering salinity. The palate is medium-bodied and tensile. Wonderful judgment between the fruit, filigree tannins and perfectly pitched acidity. As with the nose, the purity is breathtaking. There’s a captivating sense of weightlessness – Feminine and highly intellectual. The never-ending finish of blood orange sorbet is a joy. Franco should seriously consider a rebrand from 1er to Grand Cru as this is special. Drinking now to 2025 and would benefit from a further 1-2 years in the bottle. Decanted for one hour and served using Zalto’s Burgundy glassware."
£30.50 per bottle
Standish Lamella Shiraz 2017
98-100 Points - Stuart McCloskey "Even at this stage, the ’17 Lamella is spectacular and bursts from the glass with an intoxicating and heady mix of pen ink, lilac flower, violets, cassis liqueur and liquorice with the faintest whiff of nori. The palate is full-bodied, ineffably complete with an overall mouthfeel akin to velvet - juicy with a super-lavish, creamy texture. The fruit component comes across cool and clearly handled sensitively. Layers of fruit wash across my palate. With aeration (4-5 hours) the dark fruits meld with wood smoke and dried herbs – ever changing in the glass. The tannins are virtually unnoticeable, as is the oak which is quite extraordinary. Granted, this wine offers an entire day of immediate pleasure, but it will be perfect in a decade. I cannot wait to see how this evolves over the coming years. Utterly magnificent and a privilege to sample such a remarkable Aussie masterpiece. Breathtaking in its infancy… Decanted for 4-5 hours and sampled using Zalto Bordeaux Glassware"
£64.95 per bottle
John's Blend Margarete's Shiraz 2014
97+ Points - Stuart McCloskey "The ’14 Margarete’s Shiraz burst from the glass with warm earth and mint. With more aeration the aromas move towards a lovely savouriness of smoked charcuterie, well-hung game, charcoal and liquorice. The nose is full of drama whereas, and quite by surprise, the palate is reserved which is really pleasing. The individual components completed primary & secondary fermentation in new, French oak hogsheads. The wine matures for a further twenty-six months prior to bottling (Aug 2016). The tight grains of the French oak come through a treat and add a lovely textural element and framework to the fruit. The wine is masterfully controlled and full of sappy red & black fruits – cassis and redcurrant coming to the fore. Again, with more aeration, the wine moves towards a savoury characteristic. There is a level of concentration to be admired however, it’s the wines sense of completeness and harmony which is beautiful. The acidity is mouth-watering and the finish is truly endless. Such is the complexity, I could spend an entire evening with the same bottle and write ten, separate tasting notes. Its potential is exciting and I look forward to sampling a bottle in 5-10 years. Today I award 97+ but know there’s much more to come. Drink from now through to 2035. Decanted for 5 hours and served with Zalto’s Bordeaux glassware.
£31.95 per bottle
Reynella Basket Pressed Shiraz 2014
96+ Points - Stuart McCloskey "Tasted blind. Unmistakeably Shiraz with a wonderfully pure perfume of warm earth, graphite, blueberry compote and seasoned perfectly with wild fennel and rosemary. The palate is grippy (a touch edgy) counterposed with flawless, silky tannins. Dark plum, more blueberry compote turning to violets, savoury, spice and white pepper. Expansive, seductive and far from lacking structure. A wonderful long finish – almost marine in its influence. Decanting and aeration are the key. I suggest 2-3 hours which is ample time and served using Zalto Bordeaux Glassware. Drinking now through to 2030."
£22.95 per bottle
2005 'Goose Yard' Block Shiraz
97 Points - Stuart McCloskey "What a glorious nose of smoked, warm earth woven gracefully together with dark chocolate and fruit notes of mulberry, blueberry compote and raspberry. The palate is savoury, and you would be mistaken if (and based on the intensity of the wines perfume) you were in for a monolithic whack around the chops. Instead, lithe with layers of fruit unfurling against a backdrop of silky tannins. Yes, the fruit is voluptuous, but each sip finishes remarkably fresh. I detect mocha, roasted coffee, warming spices, graphite, liquorice, the faintest slap of leather with a solid grind of cracked pepper. Real pedigree on show and real positive surprise. At 14 years of age this wine is just embarking on its plane of drinkability. Beautiful now through to 2030+ when I believe you will have something very special in your cellar. Sampled using Zalto Bordeaux glassware. Decant for 3-4 hours prior to serving."
97 Points - Magdalena Sienkiewicz "An exuberant and complex nose of perfectly ripe dark berries supported by freshly roasted coffee, a touch of chocolate and aromatic piping tobacco. All-in-all, a nose suggesting you’re in the presence of a mighty fine wine. The palate starts with a lovely sweet entry followed by a savoury depth. The balance is superb, as flavours are wide-ranging from mulberry and raspberry to more prominent notes of espresso, dark chocolate with a touch of graphite minerality. The length is very impressive and finish seems endless. After three hours in my glass I detect more pronounced notes of liquorice and leather notes. A complex and refined Barossa Shiraz. Really lovely and a wine which surprised me."
£122.50 per case of 6 IB
"Just magnificent and for me, the best
Chardonnay in our portfolio…"
2015 Eileen Hardy Chardonnay
Tasmania, Yarra Valley and Tumbarumba
98+ Points - Stuart McCloskey “A stunning bouquet offering a profusion of aromatics ranging from vanilla, lemon zest, Seville orange marmalade, wet limestone to maritime salinity and finishing with freshly grated, spicy ginger. The wine has put on some weight with a lovely silky textural feel, but far from viscous. Harmonious and exquisitely judged to be succinct. Flavours are more difficult to pin down at this stage, but one thing is certain, it’s effortless and washes across my palate with consummate ease. I love the spice, salinity – very maritime which changes with more aeration. Fascinating is the wine's development in the glass. As I mentioned in my previous notes - This would shame many white Burgundies at double the price. This is simply a beautiful Chardonnay which offers more potential for those with patience. Just magnificent and for me, the best Chardonnay in our portfolio. The value is unbelievable. I recommend drinking this superb wine from now to 2028. Sampled using Zalto Bordeaux glassware” Tasted 9 May, 2019
98 Points - Stuart McCloskey "Less expressive than some 2015’s however, decanting for thirty minutes to an hour and serving in a large Burgundy glass brings this wine alive. The wine is silky, graceful with mouth-coating waves of life affirming minerality. Real breadth and depth here with a laser-like focus. I love the juicy yellow stone fruits and spices. I imagine this will be utterly spectacular in another 6-8 years. It is the nectar of the Aussie Gods and would shame many a white Burgundy at double the price. I recommend drinking this stupendous wine from now to 2028 and beyond (in good cellar conditions)." Tasted 27 March, 2018
“Eileen Hardy Chardonnay is, in my view, the Grange of Australian white wines”.
Domaine Naturaliste Artus Chardonnay 2016
97+ Points - Stuart McCloskey “The wine demands some aeration and reveals a crystalline, mineral-driven bouquet with nashi pear, white flowers, oatmeal and a whiff of smoky sulphide. The palate is certainly complex with flavours ranging from stonefruit, lemon peel and touches of anise. Concentrated but at the same time supremely measured and seamless. The palate offers a lovely glossy texture and is incredibly satisfying. Flavours expand from citrus notes, limestone, smoked almond to more oatmeal. Everything is kept in check with a healthy wash of acidity. A wine of immense potential and will only improve with more cellaring (3-8 years). I love this. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware”.
£35.95 per bottle
Being called the newest buzz in Margaret River, Domaine Naturaliste is the project of Bruce Dukes, a highly experience winemaker with a career spanning over 25 years. Bruce Dukes is a trained Agronomist with a master’s degree in Viticulture and Oenology from the University of California and knowing that truly great wine is created from the ground up, credits his time spent studying Agricultural Science at the University of Western Australia with shaping his values and practices.
Whilst completing his degree, Bruce worked as assistant winemaker for Francis Ford Coppola at Niebaum- Coppola in the Napa Valley and has also had a significant stint at the great Pierro Winery closer to home in Margaret River. Bruce approaches winemaking with the passion of an Agronomist, beginning with a deep understanding of soils and sustainable farming practices, it is Bruce’s belief that a holistic approach reaps the greatest rewards, both for the wine and the environment.
Domaine Naturaliste vineyards are located in the heart of the highly regarded Wilyabrup sub-region, located on the north eastern coast of Margaret River. The vines are 7 km inland from the magnificent Indian ocean. The gravelly loam soils provide a stable foundation for the 20 year old grapevines, allowing them to achieve perfect balance. The maritime climate is characterised by cool wet winters, and long gentle summers, with Karri Trees that dominate the landscape here providing shelter from the prevailing westerly and south-westerly winds that blow in from the Indian Ocean making the area a pristine environment for growing high quality grapes.
Glaetzer-Dixon Réveur Pinot Noir 2015
97-98 Points - Stuart McCloskey “Ethereal is a good place to begin and certainly one of the best bottles of Pinot Noir I have drunk sub fifty-pounds. You would be mistaken to believe this wine has a decade of aging behind it due to the tawny rim. The bouquet is astonishing, and again would deliver a verdict of a mature wine; dried rose petals, cherry, warm minerals and a lovely savoury undercurrent. Close your eyes and think autumn with a splash of wild strawberry. The palate is fresh, medium-bodied, precise, with acidity judged to perfection. The wine fans-out with a lovely garden savouriness with bay leaf, cedar and finishes with dried, blood orange. As with many wines, I am drawn to the wines texture and this is ultimately blessed. It’s simply effortless, harmonic and will fill you and your glass with serenity”. Served in a Zalto Burgundy glass
97 Points - Peter Robinson - "In a word, stunning! This is the style of Pinot I absolutely love and may well go down as one of my all-time favourites. It’s purity is simply exquisite, everything perfectly judged and in balance, the fruit and oak working in perfect harmony. Served in a Zalto Burgundy glass, (and a wine like this deserves no less,) the aromas concentrate with sweet, candied cherry, redcurrent and cranberry, and a gentle hint of oak. This continues seamlessly through to a palate of pure silk, black cherries and rose petal. This wine is the essence of Pinot, expressive and elegant, a complete joy. It is the overall texture, balance and precision of this wine that makes it a triumph and a must for any lover of Pinot Noir."
* For one week only, we have decided to discount all the Glaetzer-Dixon wines as we feel that everyone should get a chance to taste these amazing bottles.
£37.95 per bottle
World Class Cabernet Sauvignon
Corryton Park takes its name from a stunning property established over 150 years ago in the southern part of the Barossa Valley near Mount Crawford. It was established by Grant Burge as a super-premium Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard that was to become unrivalled within the Barossa. One of the highest and coolest sites in the Barossa region, it provides perfect conditions for creating world-class Cabernet with finesse, depth and complexity, which it achieves effortlessly.
The Corryton Park vineyard is always picked as small, separate batches that are crushed and fermented separately to highlight the innate variations between different clonal plantings and microclimates across the vineyard. After primary fermentation, the wines are carefully evaluated and several parcels are selected to remain on skins for up to 30 days for a process called extended maceration, which sees the wines develop richness of flavour and softening of tannins. After pressing and racking, the wine was matured in French oak hogsheads for a minimum of 18 months.
Grant Burge Corryton Park Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
98 Points - Stuart McCloskey “A heavenly nose of cassis, plum, soy, graphite and lots of mineralite at play here. With time, cedar / pencil box aromatics unfold. The palate speaks more of finesse than power. Incredibly complex and not overly tannic. The entry is sweet, ambitious with ripe, silky black fruits. Texturally, and impossible to miss, is the sense of finesse and grace which weaves its magic and is seldom seen in the Barossa. Cedar and graphite-infused fruit emerge but I keep coming back to the wines beguiling poise. Svelte and sensuous with a little wood dust which adds a lovely texture. The finish seems endless – clove and fennel seed leading to orange peel? I could go on, but I must stop. In short, this is a brilliant and uncompromising Barossa Cabernet Sauvignon. Think expensive Bordeaux Second-Growth and you’ll be right on the money”.
Served in Zalto Bodeaux glass.
97+ Points - Stuart McCloskey
“A stupendous Pinot Noir from Devotus, which is getting better and better with each passing week. Wonderful aromatics of plums, spice, sour cherry, petal, cedar and warm earth. The palate is medium-bodied, tensile, layered, incredibly balanced with fine, grained tannins. The sweet entry is adorable which would lead most to the wrong conclusion; this is a regal, fine-boned Pinot Noir executed perfectly by a supremely skilled winemaker. Furthermore, a wine which happily outshines any Burgundy and this price level. My advice is to fans seeking energy, quality, and a laser-like focus should flock to this fabulous wine”. Only 2,502 bottles produced.
Served using Zalto Burgundy glassware.
Viticulture: This wine was grown from our 22 year old vines consisting of Dijon clones (667, 777, 114, & 115) and the Abel clone. Devotus vines were non-irrigated and their farming methods are natural. Weeds are controlled with mechanical cultivation and crops grown within the vineyard (such as barley, oats, clover and lupin) to plough back into the soil for organic vine nutrition.
Vinification: Picking by hand was completed on 28th March 2016 with sugar levels at 23.4°Brix (average across clones). After careful sorting 50% of the whole bunches were included in the ferment. Cold maceration was held at 8°C for 3 days. Fermented with wild yeasts from the vineyard. Peak fermentation temperature was 30°C. Total on skin contact time 11 days. Matured in French oak barrels for 11 months (no new oak).
No fining. No filtering.
Trophy win for Nocturne
Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
2018 Halliday Cabernet Challenge Winner:
Margaret River Best of Region
The Nocturne Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon continues a dream run from Julian and Alana Langworthy, winning the third Halliday Australian Cabernet Challenge that was judged in late 2018.
Alana Langworthy says "We are super excited to be recognised as this year's pinnacle of Australian Cabernet Sauvignon. Winning the Halliday Cabernet Challenge is a dream come true and an amazing triumph for our single vineyard Nocturne wine."
The Cabernet Challenge provides an opportunity for Australian producers of Cabernet Sauvignon to participate in a varietal competition of great national and
Chair of Judges Corrina Wright says: "To be able to taste the best of the best in Cabernet around the country is a quite an honour. It was a hard-fought battle to choose the winning wine, with a lot of discussions and a number of worthy Cabernets from across the country vying for the title. Cabernet in Australia is in a good place, and it seems to be getting better and better every year. I commend, to you, the regional
finalists and winners."
Our Wine of the Week
(Exclusive to The Vinorium)
“A wonderful Cabernet Sauvignon which offers a distinct regional feel and is just staring to come-around. The wine opens with a beautiful perfume of dark fruits, cassis, warm earth and lead pencil. Medium-bodied, bright and balanced to perfection, which is very much Julian’s style. After 1-2 hours in the decanter, the 2017 unfolds graciously with sublimely polished fruit. Most impressive are the wines expansive flavours which, and after swallowing, are endless. From sweet cassis (with a dash of menthol) to ink and then onto spice, which leads to fennel seeds. There’s wonderful aromatic freshness and lift and I am very much looking forward to seeing how the wine develops over the coming years. Served in Zalto’s Bordeaux glassware”.
Stuart McCloskey 96-98 points
(I believe this will comfortably arrive at 98 points in a few years).
“After 12 days on skins and a peak ferment temperature of around 25 degrees Celsius, the wine was pressed to tank and settled briefly, before being transferred to a combination of new (25%) and two-year-old barrels to undergo malolactic conversion. This wine was racked only once in this time and, after 15 months in oak, was emptied from barrel, settled, clarified and bottled. The Sheoak vineyard makes expressive, medium-bodied Cabernets that bear some semblance to a modern version of luncheon claret. I am as happy with this Cabernet as any I have been involved in making. While it’s amazingly accessible on release, two to three years’ further maturation will really make this amazing wine shine”. Julian & Alana Langworthy
"I consider Dan Standish the reigning
king of Barossa Shiraz"
Joe Czerwinski (Robertparker.com)
“This is an extraordinary wine that surpasses the majority of great Australian Shiraz (Including recent releases from Grange and Hill of Grace)”
Stuart McCloskey (The Vinorium)
Dan’s 2016 Relic featured in last Saturday’s special Christmas tasting (the event will feature in Sunday’s Weekend Read). It was outstanding, so much so, it demanded another opening. For arguments sake – let’s call it a closer assessment!
We are incredibly fortunate to be Dan’s exclusive UK agent as we believe he produces the most luxuriously balanced Shiraz to emerge from the Barossa. 1151 bottles have sold since 1 October 2018, which is some going as we acknowledge, Dan’s wines command a fine wine price tag, but are fully justified.
We have previously reported Joe Czerwinski’s (Robert Parker.com) scores and reviews for each of Dan’s four wines. Joe considers and to quote “Dan Standish the reigning king of Barossa Shiraz. On a conference-room table at Peter Lehmann, surrounded by other top-quality wines, his 2016s completely bowled me over for their intensity, complexity and harmony” Three wines achieving near perfection with 99 points and one, The Schubert Theorem Shiraz 98 points. A view we respect.
Standish The Relic Shiraz Viognier 2016
99 Points - Stuart McCloskey
"98% Shiraz & 2% Viognier. First question; does a mere 2% Viognier add something to the overall wine? Yes, and abundantly so. The floral aromatics soar from the glass and interplay beautifully with the blueberry compote, blackberry, liquorice, grilled meat and a smidgeon of black olive tapenade. The palate offers dark chocolate, sweet, dark fruits and musky dried herbs. Again, the floral character from the Viognier is evident. With time in the glass the wine offers smokey, peppery game notes with an obvious gunflint and mineral character. Creamy textured but nonetheless, concentrated and dense. Svelte tannins which glide seamlessly across my palate. Quite surreal given the wine’s sheer saturated density. Mind blowing, hedonistic and unquestionably one of Australia’s truly great shiraz wines . A snip of warmth from the alcohol (16% of alcohol) and the only reason why I cannot, at this stage, award 100 points. Let’s see how the wine develops over time but let me be clear. This is an extraordinary wine that surpasses the majority of great Australian Shiraz (Including recent releases from Grange and Hill of Grace). Served in Zalto Bordeaux, decanted for three hours (needs much longer) and will drink beyond 2035."
99 Points - Joe Czerwinski (RobertParker.com)
"Everything about Standish's 2016 The Relic Shiraz-Viognier is remarkable, starting with the ridiculous color. It's so dark, so purple, so vibrant. Then the nose boasts soaring florals and stone fruits, while the palate delivers fresh blueberries and dried spices. It's full-bodied but creamy-textured, with supple tannins and concentrated fruit that lingers on the plush finish. Just awesome stuff."
£64.95 per bottle
£311.70 per case (6x75cl) In Bond
Sleepy Hollow Chardonnay 2016
97 Points - Stuart McCloskey "By far, the standout wine from the Talbott samples which I received. The nose unfolds with some aeration but retains its tight, mineral and steely fresh character – a nutty character unfolds after a while. The palate offers a degree of richness but has a tight and elegant core which is most attractive. Buttered citrus, stone fruits and tropical layers in abundance with touches of toast and oak. The mouthfeel and textural grip are impressive which support the wine’s overall harmonious balance. Lovely acidity and vitality which contrasts beautifully with the ripe fruit and toasty, mealy flavours. This is just beginning to show its full potential and will comfortably cellar for 5+ years. Excellent and served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware."
Paul Lato Il Padrino Syrah 2014
99 points Stuart McCloskey "A wine which offers a special level of purity from the outset and riveting from beginning to end. The nose is flamboyant, intensely perfumed and layered beautifully with plum, liquorice, asphalt, turning to roasted coffee with more aeration. The palate is seamless and washes sweet fruit across every facet with effortless grace. Sweet raspberry, cassis, violets with a touch of background spice. The tannins are fine with perfectly judge acidity, neither of which interrupts the super-long finish. This wine highlights Paul’s natural skill to understand the correlation between vineyard, grape to wine, which is often amiss. A captivating wine of ethereal grace, magical beauty opposed to a dense powerhouse. A US Syrah masterpiece for sure and will only get better over the next decade (sampled using Zalto Bordeaux glass)"
Glaetzer-Dixon 2017 Avancé Pinot Noir
96+ Points - Stuart McCloskey “The Pinot Noir for the ’17 Avancé was sourced from three vineyards in Southern Tasmania’s Upper Derwent and Coal Valleys. Sweet, succulent entry with an abundance of red cherries, wild strawberry, plums and sweet spices all laced together with bright, perfectly judged acidity. Medium-bodied, with pure silky tannins. The quality of racy, plush fruit is exquisite however, it’s the wines overall balance and completeness which stands out the most. You will have to look very hard to find a better buy for the money.
A wine of pure and total pleasure. Just gorgeous and not to be missed”.
Served in Zalto Burgundy glass (Highly-Recommended by the way! ), drinking beautifully now but will develop over the next 3-6 years.
Powell & Son 2017 Roussanne Marsanne
97+ Points Stuart McCloskey "Sharply focused, linear with a vibrancy which I wasn’t expecting. The floral character comes to the fore which compliments the nashi pear, peach, melon and suggestion of jasmine brilliantly. The palate is expansive with swathes of buttered citrus fruits underpinned with a core of minerals. I’ll be brutally honest, I was expecting a voluptuous Barossa bombshell. Instead, I received an unexpected balancing act between litheness and precision which is extremely impressive. This is one of those rare wines which floats on the palate but delivers to every millimetre. Drinking beautifully now (decant for 20 mins) but will cellar for 8-10 years."
Chanin Wines 2014 Sanford & Benedict Chardonnay
99 Points Stuart McCloskey "Almost a repeat of my introduction from the 2013 vintage - “In short, this is one of the most astonishing Chardonnays which I have enjoyed for many years”, however the 2014 just eclipses the stunning 2013. A difficult wine to describe as superlatives do little, if any justice. Incredibly graceful, almost a weightless elegance, feminine, magnificently detailed bouquet which expresses minerality like no other US chardonnay. The palate is developing all the time with a core of minerality. Presently, this is a wine that is all about finesse and elegance, as flavours will develop with a little more bottle age. Utterly magnificent! (Please decant)."
UK Exclusivity -
2015 Eileen Hardy Chardonnay
98 Points Stuart McCloskey "Less expressive than some 2015’s however, decanting for thirty minutes to an hour and serving in a large Burgundy glass brings this wine alive. The wine is silky, graceful with mouth-coating waves of life affirming minerality. Real breadth and depth here with a laser-like focus. I love the juicy yellow stone fruits and spices. I imagine this will be utterly spectacular in another 6-8 years. It is the nectar of the Aussie Gods and would shame many a white Burgundy at double the price. I recommend drinking this stupendous wine from now to 2028 and beyond (in good cellar conditions)"
2014 DuMol Finn Pinot Noir
99-100 Points Stuart McCloskey "The nose is very intense and does require a good hour in a decanter to unlock its captivating bouquet of dark berries, bilberry and sous-bois. The palate is medium-bodied exquisitely balanced with ultra-fine tannins. At times the ‘Finn’ comes across as something very powerful, at other times sensory. Certainly, a mercurial Pinot Noir which washes effortlessly across your palate. Extraordinary, a moving wine and nigh on perfection."
Gramercy Cellars 2013 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Greg Harrington MS & Owner / Winemaker Gramercy Cellars response to Stu's review
“Thank you so much for the amazing write up about our Reserve Cabernet! I sincerely appreciate it”.
100 Points Stuart McCloskey "Wow what a bouquet – This is such a fantastic Cabernet Sauvignon which reminds me of a top Pauillac - Château Pontet Canet / Latour come to mind. The aromas soar from the glass - Exotic, seductive with vibrant scents of cassis, black currents, graphite and cedar. I detect a little menthol in the background. The palate is rich and coats every facet. The filigree framework of tannins are seamless and support the wine beautifully. There’s a beguiling sense of purity which is something rarely seen. The finesse, poise and focus is quite extraordinary. Overall, the wine is effortless with layer upon layer of perfectly ripe fruit. The complexity builds with time in the decanter and I cannot wait to come back to this wine over the next decade or two. I cannot see how this utterly majestic wine could possibly improve therefore, I have no alternative but concede perfection and add it to my legends list..."
Anthill Farms 2014 Campbell Ranch Pinot Noir
Stuart McCloskey - We thought the 2013 was something special, however the 2014 could well go down as one of the greatest ‘young’ Pinot Noirs to ever pass our lips. The ’14 is blessed with an incredibly intense, powerful nose - the perfume is extraordinary, almost exotic. Although young, the palate is showing beautiful structure, filigree tannins and is utterly sensuous. This is an irresistible Campbell Ranch, a little fatter and more generous than the previous two vintages. Effortless, mercurial, brilliant and will be better in 2-3 years...
2012 Wolf Blass Black Label
£55.00 per bottle
£250.95 per case of 6 In Bond
98+ Points Stuart McCloskey Textbook aromas of pencil lead, blackcurrants and touch of wood smoke intermixed roasted meats, dried herbs, ground pepper and blackberries. The 2012 possesses great purity and the quality of the fruit is clearly evident as is the winemaking skill. The wine is elegant and impeccably balanced – Not a hair out of place. Silk-like tannins compliment the deeply layered fruit and the seamless acidity keeps everything in check. The finish seems eternal, which is exactly what you want it to be. Simply stunning, an absolute joy to drink now (3-4 hours in a decanter)
but will live well into 2030+.
£152.50 per bottle
£750.00 per case of 6 In Bond
...& better than Domaine Romanée Conti @ £11,500 IB per bottle?
Gérard Basset is arguably one of the greatest wine professionals of his generation. Gérard is a former World Champion Sommelier and the only person ever to simultaneously hold the Master of Wine, Master Sommelier and MBA Wine honours. He also holds an OBE, as well as the prestigious titles of 'Best Sommelier in the World 2010' and 'Decanter Man of the Year 2013', and is universally known in the trade for having one of the best palates.
Gérard awards 98 Points and describes it as “Beautiful savoury nuances where delicate hints of umami complement minerally red and black fruit. Incredible complexity and amazing silky texture. For me (GB), this is the wine of the vintage, showing supreme elegance in all aspects. Extremely rarely do I give 99 or 100 points to very young wines, but I could easily have broken my own rule here. Exceptional!”
We have been waiting to sample / drink this wine for a very long time and had the indulgent pleasure of sharing a bottle this week – Wow, what an extraordinary wine.
98+ points Stuart McCloskey “This wine is clearly built for the long-term and demands a little respect in terms of aeration (if you choose to drink now). A wonderfully precise, extremely pure bouquet unfolds immediately however the mineralité and oyster shell took a good hour to come through. The palate has a wonderful structured and as one expects, perfectly proportioned. This is a breathtaking bottle of Burgundy full of elegance and finesse. Buy a bottle, set aside for a decade and then enjoy a perfect 100 pointer”
Here's how the Clos de la Roche Grand Cru
stacked up to the other 2014s (February 24 2016).
(*Prices are current market values)
98 Points | Joint First
Louis Jadot, Clos de la Roche Grand Cru Buy Today @ £750.00 IB per case of 6
Domaine Leflaive, Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru @ £4,200+ IB per case of of 6
Valmur Chablis Grand Cru @ £2,200.00 IB per case of 6
Les Clos Chablis Grand Cru @ £900.00 IB per case of 6
Domaine Armand Rousseau,
Chambertin Grand Cru @ £6,500.00 IB per case of 6
Domaine de la Romanée-Conti,
La Tâche Grand Cru Monopole @ £16,000.00 IB per case of 6
Domaine de la Romanée-Conti,
Romanée-Conti Grand Cru Monopole @ £11,500.00 IB per bottle
Michel Chapoutier needs little introduction as one of the greatest winemakers in the Rhone however, few know of Domaine Bila-Haut, Michel’s Roussillon property which he purchased in 2000. He purchased land in the village of Latour de France, known for its stony soil terraces and rich geological background. Here, incredibly old vines with low yields deliver minerality and complexity for Carignan, Grenache and Syrah vines. The white from the Domaine is the product of north-facing slopes, granite and calcareous soils, and a blend of Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris and Macabeo grapes. The red wine comes from vines high above the Agly Valley where soils are composed of gneiss and schist from the Devonian period. Hand-harvested Carignan, Grenache and Syrah grapes reveal a well structured, warm wine very much in the spirit of the Roussillon.
Today, these wines have gained serious recognition and several of Michel’s recent vintages have received scores of 97-100 from Jeb Dunnuck (eRobertParker.com). Jeb launched "The Rhône Report" publication and website in 2008 and began releasing a quarterly newsletter reviewing Rhône variety wines from around the world before writing full-time for Robert Parker...
Domaine de Bila Haut Haut Cotes de Roussillon Villages Latour de France Occultum Lapidem 2014
92 Points - Jeb Dunnuck (robertparker.com) - Another terrific vintage for this cuvee, the Syrah and Grenache-dominated 2014 Cotes du Roussillon Villages Latour de France Occultum Lapidem was harvested between the 12th of September and the 3rd of October with miniscule yields of 28 hectoliters per hectare. Completely destemmed and aged all in concrete tanks, its ruby opaque color is followed by complex notes of garrigue, leather, plums and violets. Medium to full-bodied, elegant and layered, with a great texture, this fruit-forward, balanced Roussillon is already hard to resist, but will continue drinking nicely for 6-7 years.
Previous Wines of the Week that have sold out
Henschke Keyneton Estate
97 Points - Stuart McCloskey “A lovely range of colours from balsamic black to a rim of tawny and brick red. The assortment of aromas is quite extraordinary – Blackberry conserve following decanting to smoked meats, tea, liquorice, menthol, cedar, soy, wood smoke following 1-2 hours of aeration. The palate is graceful, sensual, supremely elegant and balanced to perfection – very Margaux in texture. The entry is sweet, but less extravagant than many would expect, which I believe defines this amazing wine. Classic and straddles the new and old world effortlessly. It is difficult to pin exact flavours – the focus centres around unforced, unpretentious splendour (perhaps a little dried orange peel). Silky with a touch of tannin grip. This is a beautiful wine and shows Henschke skill to perfection. Granted, this is not for the cellar and should be consumed over the coming 1-3 years. It’s sad to see the end of a beautiful wine but is as nature intended. Do not serve with food (it’s too special). Decant for 1 hour and use Zalto’s Bordeaux glassware”.
Soumah Equilibrio Pinot Noir 2017
Platinum Medal at Decanter World Wine Awards 2019
& Top Rated Pinot Noir at the 2020 Halliday Wine Companion Awards
98 Points - Stuart McCloskey “A Yarra Valley Pinot Noir of exquisite beauty and delicacy. The bouquet is opulent and invites you into an exotic medley of dark fruits, sous-bois, a flicker of sweetness from dried strawberry, savory herbs and a lovely lift from a floral perfume. The palate is flawless – Not a hair out of place. The tannins melt like sorbet as the red stone fruits wash across your palate. The winemaking is effortless which shows in the finished product. The cohesion is divine, as is the texture. It is important to note this is far from a delicate flower as the fruit and structure are impressive. This will turn all Pinot Noir haters into lovers. An astonishing wine for the price tag and will certainly be high on our ‘2019 wine of the year’ list. So far, one of the best show stopping Yarra Valley Pinot Noir’s I have tasted. Sadly, we are almost sold-out, and it arrived on Friday. Even more alarming is the fact that we will have to wait until the Autumn of 2020 for the 2019 (no ’18 I'm afraid). Drinking beautifully today and I'm not convinced further cellaring will benefit. Let’s test it! Sampled using Zalto’s Burgundy glassware”
John Duval Entity Shiraz 2016
97+ Points - Stuart McCloskey "John Duval has a special place in Australia’s wine history and it’s easy to understand why. The perfume is full of charisma and covers a myriad of aromas from plum, sweet exotic spice, a faint whiff of warm earth, blood orange, vanilla, liquorice to an entire collection of black and purple fruits, which go onto flood the palate. There are some high-toned notes from cherry to dried cranberry offset with a wonderful creaminess. The tannins are perfectly woven – As silky as a spider’s web. The finish is long, super-satisfying with touches of blood orange. Reminiscent of Standish in some respects - Faultless winemaking and pure expressive fruit. Impossible to fault for the money. Sampled using Zalto Bordeaux glassware"
John Duval “My aim with Entity is to produce an elegant Shiraz true to the Barossa. The 2016 Entity again includes some 40% Eden Valley Shiraz to help maintain the elegance and style of Entity. Traditional, low intervention winemaking techniques were employed with Entity, allowing the wine to be approachable in its youth, but with ample structure and fruit depth to allow great potential for improvement in the bottle under good cellaring conditions, for at least 10-12 years. Oak Maturation: 100% barrel matured for 15 months, with 33% new fine grain French oak hogsheads (300 litres) and the balance in 2, 3 and 4 year old hogsheads.”
97 Points - James Halliday "Deeply coloured; this is at once full-bodied and legant, not a common marriage in young red wines with decades in front of them. The flavours are all black: blackberry, blackcurrant, black cherry, earth and licorice. The old vines have also provided ripe tannins, the whole theme resonating with oak a la Grange."
Deep Woods Reserve Chardonnay 2017
• Royal Adelaide Wine Show 2018: Best Chardonnay & Most outstanding white wine
• Margaret River Wine Show 2018: Gold
• Perth Royal Wine Awards 2018: Gold
• Royal Hobart Wine Show 2018: Gold
• Royal Melbourne Wine Awards 2018: Gold
• Sydney Royal Wine Show 2018: Gold
98+ Points - Stuart McCloskey “Ultra-pure and textbook Julian Langworthy. Developing in the glass with lemon oil & zest, floral, a touch of new oak. The palate is tensile, reserved and offering breathtaking balance and precision rather than power. The wine exudes confidence with effortless ease. The texture is glossy / svelte with judicious touches of mouth-watering salty acidity. Thrilling and by far one of the most structured Chardonnays in our portfolio. Magisterial achievement and a benchmark Australian Chardonnay. Unapologetically Margaret River but for quality, comfortably Grand Cru Burgundy… Such is the skill; I would love to see Julian crafting Pinot Noir” Served in Zalto Bordeaux (The most essential wine tool to own) and I suggest decanting for 20-30 minutes. Drinking window from 2019 to 2030."
** Limited to six bottles per customer **
Muddy Water Pinot Noir 2016
96 Points - Magdalena Sienkiewicz "Quality-driven, the Muddy Water maxim is ‘hand-crafted…no compromise’ which is prominent across the range. Everything about their Estate Pinot Noir translates to great quality you often find at a higher price tier. Deep colour, fantastic aromas of ripe blackberries, morello cherry, kirsch and autumn leaves with lingering hints of nutmeg are indeed signs of no compromises here. The cascade of sweet fruit on the palate is followed by expansive, well-rounded textures evolving from the initial sweet fruit to a broad, savoury finish. Full malolactic fermentation gives it a beautifully soft and well-integrated acidity. The wine spent 16 months in barrel before racking, blending and bottling, which aids complexity. Bottled unfiltered in order to retain as much natural flavour as possible." Served in a Zalto Bugundy glass.
97 Points - Peter Robinson "Superb value, the nose is incredibly inviting with aromas of sweet black cherry, damson, red plum, and blackcurrant combined with hints of sweet spice, violet and some background agricultural earthiness. The aromas are extremely succulent, the Zalto Burgundy glass enticing everything out of this wine, concentrating the aromatic complexity into a harmonious whole. The overall balance and texture is quite magnificent, touches of the sweet spice continuing on the palate along with dried cranberry lead into a slightly savoury but almost endless finish. This wine seriously punches above its weight and is incredible for the price." Tasted 12th April 2019
Our first ever Aussie 100 pointer
& our Wine of the Week
100 Points - Stuart McCloskey “The colour is quite extraordinary – midnight black with a rim of dark beetroot. The nose is powerful, hedonistic and exotic with aromatic blueberry compote, crème de mure, black raspberry, liquorice and a lovely scent of wild flowers. With more time in the glass dark, roasted coffee, bitter chocolate and warm earth come into play. Given the colour and powerful aromatics, one would expect an explosive palate however, you would be wrong. The fruit is sweet, mouthcoating and thick but the sense of seamlessness and balance is staggering. Black and blue fruits dominate juxtaposed with perfectly framed tannins, which I have to say are softer than the Peruvian Vicuña. I keep coming back to the wine’s silkiness, balance and persistence – Truly remarkable for a wine of such an age. Yes, the wine poses extraordinary density, but Dan’s deft touch is truly breathtaking. The detail in this wine is fascinating and the length is simply off the charts. This is a wine of serious pedigree and one of the greatest, young wines I have ever tasted from Australia (and I have sampled many thousands). The true essence of great Australian Shiraz and my first Aussie 100 pointer. Decant for 4-6 hours and please use Zalto’s Bordeaux glass. Drinking from 2019 to 2040”.
Pegasus Bay Chardonnay 2016
Grant Burge Corryton Park Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
97 Points - Stuart McCloskey “Reductive with aromas still very much in development. That said, this impeccably made wine is centred around textural elegance, satiny structure, mid-palate depth and an effortless sense of cohesion. Decanting for a short while is essential as the oxygenation takes it from the ordinary to immensely appealing. Layer upon layer of fruit and white flowers harmonises beautifully with oatmeal and a beautiful vein of minerality. This is more tensile, finer than many, which adds an intellectual quality found with high-quality Burgundy. This is a superb Chardonnay from one of New Zealand leading producers. I recommend a drinking window from now to 2025 but would not be surprised to this peaking beyond 10 years.. Sampled in Zalto Bordeaux glassware and comes highly recommended”.
Presenting the multi award-winning winery Bay of Fires, Tasmania and quite simply the best Chardonnay I have ever sampled at this price level
Bay of Fires Chardonnay 2015
96+ Points - Stuart McCloskey "Hand-picked from the Coal River Valley, East Coast and Derwent Valley, whole bunch-pressed, fermented in French oak from five different coopers. Deep aromas of gunflint and ripe, yellow stone fruits harmoniously fused with layers of mineral complexity and a touch of nutty oak. Medium to full-bodied and a silk-like mouthfeel. The palate is drenched with ripe stone fruits and a density, opulence, energy and drive which is quite extraordinary given the wine’s value. Every grape is assessed for its quality and character, hand-picked with care and thoughtfully considered for its winemaking potential. Each fruit parcel is kept separate, which ensures the core of its flavour components are captured at precisely the right moment. Each batch of wine is matured in the finest oak, resulting in a wine that is deeply impressive. Please do not miss this wine's exhilarating complexity and pedigree. Truly remarkable for the price and quite simply the best Chardonnay I have ever sampled at this price level. Magnificent. Superb now and enjoy to 2023. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware."
Leung Estate Ma Maison Pinot Noir 2015
98 Points - Stuart McCloskey “An incredibly exciting wine from the boutique winery based in Martinborough. Dark, brooding with a wonderful perfume - full of the aromas of Autumn. Damson, cinnamon, spice and a touch of woodsmoke. The palate exudes intense, luscious and concentrated flavours of sweet, ripe damson, plum, spiced cherry and black fruits. The quality of the fruit enriches the fleshy mouthfeel which is so satisfying and moreish. Lots of drive and energy too. The texture is luxurious and balanced perfectly with fine-grained supporting tannins. A superb wine which flows seamlessly and lasts on the palate forever. Just beautiful” Zalto Burgundy glass is a must!
Viticulture & Winemaking: There are eight clones of Pinot Noir in the vineyard. They are close planted and have a low fruiting wire, giving very small vines which produce intensely flavoured fruit. Most clones are harvested and fermented separately, except for 15 rows that contain a mixture of the Dijon clones that are treated as one parcel and co-ferment for added complexity.
Churton Special Blend Pinot Noir 2016
96+ points Stuart McCloskey “A fabulous mature nose of undergrowth, earth and balanced beautifully with a dash of spicy red fruits and rosehip, which could easily be interpreted as a high-class Burgundy. There’s lots to discover on the palate – time in the glass / decanter reveals a real depth and complexity rarely found at this price level. The palate is subtle, silky with a lovely sweet entry. Layers of fruit continue to build leading into blood orange, cranberry and a touch of warm spice. A beautiful wine with perfectly judged acidity and ultra-fine tannins. This is a model of pure sensitivity –simply, a faultless joy. Served using Zalto Burgundy glass. Drinking window: Now to 2023”
Churton manage their vineyard according to principles of biodynamics and organics. Each parcel of Pinot Noir is hand-picked and kept separate in their winery. It is gently destemmed and tipped into fermenters. The fruit is handled very minimally until it starts fermenting. Fermentation is through indigenous yeast and once fermenting, must is plunged only twice daily. At the end of ferment the Pinot Noir remains on skins for up to another two weeks prior to pressing. Total time on skins is usually 28 days (a lunar month). The 2016 Pinot Noir was aged in used French oak barrels for 18 months.
Kaesler Stonehorse Shiraz 2004
(2005 has sold out)
94 points Magda Sienkiewicz "Although Stonehorse Shiraz is an ‘introduction’ to Keasler’s range before Old Vine, The Bogan and the flagship Old Bastard, this is by no means an entry-level wine. Deep plum in appearance with a beautifully fragrant nose of Asian plum, soy, sea kelp, leather, cloves and star anise. The palate has a flattering sweet entry with the fruit flowing effortlessly across my palate. There is nothing cooked or overdone with the ’04. After spending over a decade in a bottle, the unquestionable power of Barossa Shiraz has softened into a smooth, well-rounded and generous elixir. The palate follows suit with soy, leather and an obvious nod towards complex Asian flavours, which is so pleasurable. Very impressive, super-long – the flavours carry on for minutes. Everything is just-right. Secondary fruit flavours have matured nicely, levels of acidity and filigree tannins are on-point. Clearly, superb value”.
House of Arras 2007 Grand Vintage
97+ points Stuart McCloskey "Fruit (Chardonnay 78% & Pinot Noir 22%) for the ’07 Grand Vintage was hand-picked from cold climate Derwent Valley, Freycinet & Coal River Valley vineyards prior to gentle whole bunch pressing, from which only free run juice was collected. Primary fermentation was undertaken on light lees, followed by 100% malolactic fermentation. Disgorged after 8 years.
Served using Zalto’s Universal Glass (please do not use a flute!). Everything is sensational from start to finish with the level of richness juxtaposed with perfectly carved acidity. The nose is incredibly expansive with aromatics soaring from the glass, which gain with intensity with more air contact. The palate is deep, evolved, explosive with superb textural depth. My palate is washed with waves of red fruit, wild flowers and honeyed brioche, which are layered to perfection with minerals, a touch of citrus peel and nutty yeast autolysis character – Just divine. Without question, a very fine sparkling wine which offers sophistication and a wealth of pleasure. Thrilling and will continue to be so for a further 10+ years…"
Henry's Drive 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon
Stuart McCloskey "Robert Parker once called the ’02 Henry's Drive Cabernet Sauvignon “Sexy, hedonistic and Australia’s version of a hedonistic vintage of Lynch Bages” which is a powerful statement. Today, there is a typical Pauillac nose of cedar wood, pencil lead and cigar-box. Lots of new saddle leather too. The palate is very elegant, beautifully balanced with slightly dusty tannins – the texture smooth and sensuous. This is Cabernet Sauvignon which offers sophisticated drinking pleasure. Still impressive and never fails to put a smile on my face (including several Oz winemakers who have taken a bottle whilst visiting). A stupendous wine showing all the hallmarks of a mature Claret. Just a joy.
(Purchase, leave for a few days for the sediment to settle, decant for 1-2 hours
Jamsheed, 2016 Beechworth Roussanne
97 Points Stuart McCloskey “Unlike many Roussanne’s - The palate has a sense of natural balance and everything is played down, not a hair out of place. The palate is captivating with breathtaking purity and clarity. Structurally, think very expensive Burgundy. Buttered toast and lemon curd which I, quite frankly, find irresistible. The weight and quality of the fruit glides across the palate with much flair. The flavour profiles fan out gloriously towards a mineral-rich finish juxtaposed with candied lemon peel. Total inviting now but will undoubtedly be at its pinnacle in 3-5 years. Thrilling, individual and certainly one of my favourite Roussanne’s”.
Weingut Keller Riesling 2015 Von der Fels
96 Points Stuart McCloskey “The 2015 is just starting to reveal itself with wonderful purity and precision. The nose offers smoked slate, minerals and fresh apple. The palate is highly elegant whilst retaining the energy of a young, supremely tensioned Riesling. Von der Fels is one of the best examples of dry German Riesling available at any price point. The grapes which form Von der Fels come from the younger (20-25 year) old vines of Klaus-Peter’s Grosses Gewächs (Great Growth / Grand Cru) parcels, which are the sites that produce the very top dry wines of Germany. Grosses Gewächs' start around £120 with his top G-Max wines selling globally around £2,200 per bottle. This is a real gem with exquisite precision, refinement and crystalline minerals. Although quantities are strictly limited, this wine is a must purchase if you are a Riesling lover.
Watershed Awakening Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
Limited to 6 bottles per customer
7 Trophies including: Perth Royal Best Cabernet, Best Wine of Show, Best Red Table Wine, Best Western Australian Wine, Best Western Australian Red, Best of 2010 & Canberra National, multi Gold Medals Mundus Vini, Qantas Wine Show, Margaret River and Canberra National firmly places Watershed’s 2010 Awakening Cabernet Sauvignon amongst Australia’s select elite.
98-99 Points Stuart McCloskey “A magical Cabernet Sauvignon which conquers all the senses. Utterly refined, complex wine offering notes of blackberry, violets, crème de cassis laced together with mineral notes. Silky and seamless with ripe fruit gliding across your palate with phenomenal balance and purity. Elegant but with a real sense of energy. The wines pedigree and overall class simply cannot be denied. A truly great wine which will age effortlessly for one to two decades, however there is no reason to delay your enjoyment. There’s not much more I can say than customers lucky enough to enjoy the 2010 will know it right away. What a superb wine this is. Decanted for 3 hours and served in Zalto Bordeaux glassware”.
Stolpman Vineyards 2015 L'Avion Roussanne
97 Points Stuart McCloskey "The 2015 L’Avion (90% Roussanne 10% Chardonnay) is substantial, unctuous and as I have previously commented, I would love to place this alongside Château Beaucastel Roussanne Vieilles Vignes & Sine Qua Non in a blind tasting. Wine destined for L’Avion must go through three cuts. First, only the two older blocks of Roussanne are eligible for L’Avion followed by the best, evenly “Rousse” or sun-tanned clusters which are selected. Finally, only their favourite barrels for L’Avion make it to bottling on the label, which translates to a tiny production of a mere 500 cases. The result being a mesmerising kaleidoscope of honeysuckle, acacia flower, tangerine peel all supported by a fine thread of minerals and piquant acidity. It is simply amazing that a wine of this full-bodied richness can retain perfect definition and refinement. Needless to say, this is a stunning wine and a rare glimpse of something very, very special at this price level."
2017 Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc
95 Points Stuart McCloskey "Hand-picked grapes from eight of Dog Point own vineyards within the Wairau Valley. The fruit is whole bunch pressed, cold settled before fermentation and 2-3 months aging in stainless steel tanks. A portion of this wine is fermented using indigenous yeast and bottled without fining. A wonderfully deep and mineral nose with white and yellow stone fruits with a tinge of herbs. The palate is positively electric with stone fruits and minerals. Extremely pure, shows finesse and elegance as well as a touch of sweetness, but the overall balance is perfect. A wine which straddles New Zealand and the Loire, which is most pleasing as many Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc are too overtly pungent and unappealing. An exceptional Sauvignon Blanc for the price and an utter joy when the sun shines…"
93 Points Stuart McCloskey "A blend of 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Franc aged in 50% new oak. The 2012 Montlandrie puts in a deeply impressive showing for its price tag. The bouquet evolves beautifully in the glass (I suggested decanting for 1-2 hours). Black fruit, iodine, pen ink with a smidgeon of graphite. The palate is medium-bodied with a good backbone of tannins. Denis Durantou’s style is written all over this wine. Focused, lovely poise and delineation. Silky palate feel finishing off beautifully with a grippy presence. Ceratinly an intellectual Bordeaux for the money."
Stolpman Vineyards 2015 Estate Roussanne
95 Points Stuart McCloskey "Layer upon layer of honey, honeysuckle, peaches, apricots, marmalade and butter notes, which cover every facet of your palate. This deeply concentrated yet vibrant wine is one the most mesmerizing versions we have sampled from Stolpman. In fact, and as we declared with the inaugural 2013, this is without a doubt the best US Roussanne money can buy at this price and in the context of value. Simply brilliant."
Dog Point 2015 Section 94
97 Points Stuart McCloskey "Dog Point's Section 94 has always been a favourite of mine and can, in correct cellaring conditions, mature wonderfully over a decade. This is another example of a medium to full-bodied, textural style of Sauvignon Blanc. The grapes for Section 94 come from a single, low cropping vineyard parcel first planted in 1992. The fruit is hand-picked, whole bunch pressed and aged in older French oak barrels for 18 months. Every vintage has a funky edge which you either love or not. Those seeking simplistic Kiwi fruit pops should avoid at all costs as this is a serious, large scale wine that deserves a little respect. The aromas are taut, tightly wound with the ‘funk’ reducing with 20/30 minutes in a decanter (highly recommended). Tropical no - Yellow stone fruits in abundance with a vein of minerality appearing mid-palate. There’s a real intensity which is exceptional and rarely found with the majority of New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs. The finish is endless… In short, brilliant!"
Flowstone 2014 Queen of the Earth Chardonnay
98 Points Stuart McCloskey "A wonderful and super-expressive Chardonnay which possesses staggering depth and richness, yet remarkably light on its feet. The palate is expansive and builds with a little aeration (I highly recommend a decanting for 20-30 minutes). Stuart Pym’s natural touch with his wines is clearly evident – I love the interplay and perfect balance between the fruit, oak, and acidity. Lots of energy on display which will no doubt help with its long and glorious evolution in the bottle. This will bring much, much joy to those who prefer their Margaret River Chardonnay’s with a little more substance and character (rather than the linear style which seems todays fashion). For me, this is as good as virtually any Chardonnay from anywhere and will be a spectacular bottle in another 6-8 years. Best served in Zalto’s Bordeaux glass…"
Dog Point 2015 Pinot Noir
97+ Points Stuart McCloskey "What a welcome back after a three-vintage absence (for me, not the wine!). Waves of plums, mulberries, black cherries and hints of blood orange wash effortlessly across your palate. There is an intense core of rich dark fruits perfectly framed by fine tannins which is impossible not to admire. Certainly, an intriguing Pinot Noir which straddles styles and certainly would not be out of place with some of Sonoma’s ‘top’ Pinot Noirs. Utterly joyful and quite honestly soars above many of its New Zealand peers. Served in a Zalto Burgundy glass but I do feel a little unkind with my score – Perhaps another point (98+) if I had the patience to decant which I would highly recommend."
Robert Oatley 2012 The Pennant
98+ Points Stuart McCloskey "Robert’s 2010 was one of my standout wines of 2017 however, the 2012’s incisiveness and energy gives it the edge for me, which is quite a thrill. The wine needs decanting and opens beautifully in the glass with a stunningly complex nose. Perhaps the maritime climate of Margaret River has captured the very essence of marine life with oyster shell clearly evident on the nose. There is an incredible purity and laser-like focus without losing sense of presence or weight. I would argue the wine's greatest component is its intellect and sense of balance which I rarely come across outside of (great) Burgundy. This is magnificent and a benchmark to all producers in the great Margaret River. Drinking now to 2022. "