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…
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 be benefit from decanting. Richness does not come in the form of fruit. Instead, the wines fulness 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 set’s 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
97 Points - Magdalena Sienkiewicz - Full of energy which bursts from the glass. Exuberant nose, filled with Meyer lemon and salty wet stones, which sets a vivid image of a wild coast line brushed by the oceans spray. A touch of ripe white stonefruit emerging with aeration however, gentle citrus and invigorating minerality take control. The palate offers mouth-watering sea minerals, I guess an expression of the limestone terroir, which makes it a serious contender to the great wines of Burgundy (and extremely good value before any comparisons). Rich and layered textures flow effortlessly but it’s the overall sense of calmness and control which I love the most.
96 points - Peter Robinson "The wine begins with a beautifully inviting aromas of lemon peel, nectarine and white blossom that sit perfectly next to gentle butterscotch, vanilla and a tiny hint of nutmeg in the background. The palate is precise, and offers bright, citrus and orchard fruits with a pure mineral and saline core. A touch of sweet oak adds softness and further layers with a slight viscosity. This wine is incredible value, perfectly constructed, every component having it’s role to play with a focus on the subtleties. Delicious!" Tasted 20th Feb 2019
Chardonnay is an incredible malleable grape, deriving much of its character from the soil and climate. The limestone-infused clay soils mirror the soils of Chardonnay's spiritual home in Burgundy. The block is planted with a mix of clones over 20 years old and grown on their own roots for true expression. The vines are tended entirely by hand; spur-pruned which allows good exposure in the fruiting zone to the sun and warm North West wind that blows through the block. The maturity of these old vines self-regulates the crop load and the clusters are never thinned.
Planting density:1850 vines/ha
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.
Two Hands Charlie's Garden Shiraz 2015
Peter Robinson "Dense, heady black current, blueberry and plum punch from the glass. The aromas are concentrated and tightly knit at first but after a little aeration, open up to reveal some sweet black cherry and violet. The concentration continues on the palate with youthful black berry fruits leading to sweet, clove spice that lingers on the finish. Although young, the tannins are ripe and provide perfect structure to the youthful fruits. This is the Eden Valley addition to the Garden series and when tasted next to the Barossa addition, had a comparative lightness but don’t be fooled, this wine still packs a punch."
£27.50 per bottle
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
Our Very Special Wine of the Week…
A Must-Have Vinorium Exclusivity
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."
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."
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”.
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)"
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…"
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.
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.
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."
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…"
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."
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."
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)."
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."
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."
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. "
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.