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…
What good is the warmth of summer, without the cooling of wine to give it sweetness…
Scrumptious Summer Trio
1 x Domaine Naturaliste Floris Chardonnay 2017
1 x Hoddles Creek Estate Chardonnay 2017
1 x Hoddles Creek Estate Pinot Gris 2018
RRP £56.40 per 3 pack
Special Price £51.45 per 3 pack
Domaine Naturaliste Floris Chardonnay 2017
96+ Points - Stuart McCloskey “Floris is my midweek favourite and the ‘best’ value Chardonnay in our collection. Decant, pour into good glassware and your guests will believe you are sharing a thirty-quid bottle of wine with them – I kid you not. The aromatics leap from the glass in a wave of anise / fennel, confit pear, fresh ginger, oh so floral and finishes with a zip of lime acidity. The fruits are powerful and the palate saturated with minerality. Glossy with a super-long zesty finish. Simply, an excellent wine. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware. Do not overchill”
95+ Points - Magdalena Sienkiewicz "Intriguing perfume. Beautifully floral, almost like burying your nose in a bouquet of freshly cut flowers, complemented with fennel and lime. More generous fruit on the palate with juicy pears adding lovely roundness to the texture. There are no harsh edges here. The textures are seamless and an underline of minerals and citrus leaves your palate refreshed and invigorated."
Hoddles Creek Estate Chardonnay 2017
96 Points - Stuart McCloskey “Certainly, one of the best value Chardonnays in our portfolio as the flavours and structure command a much higher price. The nose opens with grapefruit, an orchard full of ripe, yellow stoned fruits, quartz and a lovely undercurrent of spice. Similarly, the palate offers grapefruit and yellow stoned fruits. Complexity comes via wild fennel and lip-smacking salinity which I love - lots of minerality too. Impeccable balance, refreshing, focused, full of energy and not a step out of place. Just a joy… Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware. Do not overchill!”
96 Points - Magdalena Sienkiewicz "What a treat from Franco D’Anna and his team. The Estate Chardonnay offers great quality and outstanding value. Generous and appetising perfume brimming with ripe nectarines and grapefruit with a great streak of minerals. The flavours on the palate follow suit and mirror the mouth-watering aromas. Simply scrumptious! A full bottle will be gone before you notice…"
Hoddles Creek Estate Pinot Gris 2018
Stuart McCloskey "A highly enjoyable Pinot Gris to sample. We believe the method behind the wine should be appreciated as much as the wine itself. In Franco’s (owner / winemaker) own words “After making Pinot Gris conventionally since 2002, I was fed up making the same boring wine. Not only did I loath to make it, I didn’t enjoy drinking it. I guess that energy flowed to the wine. In 2013, I decided to try something different, and instead of trying to take the colour out, I would make it as I think it should be made. Wine is really risk and reward. I really didn’t like the grape so I decided to take some risks that we wouldn’t normally take. We began experimenting and each year we try push those boundaries a bit further”. Circa 90% of the blend is handpicked into bins. As soon as it’s picked, we foot stomp the bins to release the juice so it can be in contact with the skins. No sulphur is added. We then chill the bins down to 12 degrees and wait for fermentation to begin. Near the completion of ferment, we press straight into old white barriques to finish fermentation”.
“The remainder is handpicked then immediately destemmed. We then let it soak for 24 hours at 12 degrees. Fermentation will kick off naturally. Normally we press this after 7 days on skins or until it’s dry. So essentially, we are treating this like a red wine. We make it this way to try get a balance between aroma and tannin ripeness. The stalks from the first treatment adds some fine tannins and obviously you get a lot more tannin from the second treatment. We try and find a balance in between depending on the year”.
We love Mike Bennie’s (The Winefront) assessment and struggle to add anything meaningful which hasn’t already been said (save for serving with chargrilled Scottish (West Coast) langoustine and do not over chill…)
“It’s a tightly wound expression, slender in shape, refreshing with tangy acidity, fragrant in red berry and floral perfume, though flavours are a touch washed out in the fray. That being said, the chalkiness to texture, the chew and bite of skinsy fruit personality, and the general ease of drinking, all play a part in ‘recommendation’ here. It’s a paired back release this year, more ‘Provençale rose’ than Radikon Kisi, but the drinkability and general sense of deliciousness is all there”.
Scrumptious Summer Trio 6 Pack
2 x Domaine Naturaliste Floris Chardonnay 2017
2 x Hoddles Creek Estate Chardonnay 2017
2 x Hoddles Creek Estate Pinot Gris 2018
RRP £112.80 per 6 pack
Special Price £102.90 per 6 pack
Scrumptious Summer Trio 12 Pack
4 x Domaine Naturaliste Floris Chardonnay 2017
4 x Hoddles Creek Estate Chardonnay 2017
4 x Hoddles Creek Estate Pinot Gris 2018
RRP £225.60 per 6 pack
Special Price £205.80 per 6 pack
Our Wine of the Week
"The palate is sensual, exquisitely balanced and displays genuine finesse. "
from just £10.53 per bottle
94+ to 95+ Points - Stuart McCloskey "A straight down the line winner. The bouquet has developed beautifully with a mix of cedar, pencil shavings and leather infused with mint, juniper and blackberry. The palate is sensual, exquisitely balanced and displays genuine finesse. The graphite infused fruit melds with cedar, cigar box and leather. It’s far from powerful and all the better for it – a wine which simply unfurls at its own pace (a charming claret comes to mind). Fully mature and fresh, thanks to the screwcap closure. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware but sadly missing a slab of rare, Highland dry-aged beef which would pair wonderfully. I have been a tad mean with my score, the price is pulling me slightly downwards but and for quality / flavour alone, it deserves a higher score…”
96 Points, Magdalena Sienkiewicz "Great perfume emerges from the glass with leather, cigar box and pencil shavings, as well as crème de cassis and a faint whiff of eucalyptus, which has clearly diminished over the years but not entirely. Screwcap has definitely helped to preserve all those lovely notes while allowing for further evolution. In fact, Kay Brothers were one of the very first to move entirely to screwcaps in the early 2000s. The palate shows great tertiary characteristics however, the most impressive is the composure and self-control as it travels through the palate with perfect weight and impressive length. Remarkable, especially given its age and considering this is only an entry level wine from Kay Brothers. It certainly proves their excellent and longstanding reputation. An extra point for outstanding value."
OUT OF STOCK
Grant Burge Shadrach Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
97++ Points - Stuart McCloskey “Sourced from the famed Corryton Park vineyard, high in the cool-climate Eden Valley in the Barossa Ranges. A decade on, the wine is deep and brooding with leather, liquorice, tobacco, cough-candy and warm earth unfolds from my glass – the bouquet is riveting. The palate is medium-bodied, fresh with a sweet opening of blackberry, raspberry and anise. There’s a lot of scaffolding in place which has held this wine in good order nonetheless, the palate is developing beautifully with many shades and dimensions on show. The tannins are dusty and the finish is honestly endless, but does eventually fade to dried blood orange. A lovely Cabernet experience… Decanted for 3 hours and served using Zalto glassware.”
£40.50 per bottle
Also available In Bond @ £189.55 per case of 6
Every purchase of 6 bottles will include the original wooden case
"Immensely grown-up and would not be out of place in a Grand-Cru white Burgundy line-up"
Cobaw Ridge Chardonnay 2017
98 Points - Stuart McCloskey “The nose is immensely grown-up and would not be out of place in a Grand-Cru white Burgundy line-up. A wondrous bouquet of honey, beeswax, citrus, apple, jasmine flower, and limestone. The palate is equally captivating, tensile and the biodynamic principles provide an almost perfect sense of naturality. Balletic is its movement from fruit to structure. So glorious and completely unforced. The wine’s intricacy is quite remarkable, and the complexity offers an intense, satisfying experience. This is a flat-out great wine regardless of its origins. Deeply impressive and will be mesmeric in a decade. Decant for 20 / 30 minutes and served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware. Do not overchill…”
£29.50 per bottle
Wild Duck Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2001
Only 70 cases produced. Sourced from 100 buckets of visually perfect fruit. 90% Cabernet, 5% Merlot and 5% Malbec. Some Cabernet Sauvignon from the original 5 rows is added.
98++ Points - Stuart McCloskey “The bouquet purrs effortlessly with cedar, old-school pencil box, mint, blackberry, macerated cherries with a little background smokiness - more Pauillac than Heathcote with a sensuous ‘Margaux’ feel to it. The palate is medium-bodied and oozes charm. The balance is sublime as the wine dances gracefully across my palate. The sweet, black fruits are flanked by filigree tannins with mahogany, graphite, and liquorice taking me straight back to Bordeaux. Almost 20 years and now at its peak. Supremely effortless and a wine which will take you on a wonderful voyage (do not spoil the moment by serving with food). Just glorious for me and sourced with perfect provenance, as it was stored at Wild Duck Creek’s cellar until 2020. Served in Zalto Bordeaux glassware. Decanted for 2 hours (no more please).”
£51.50 per bottle
Wild Duck Creek Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2008
98-99 Points - Stuart McCloskey “The aromatics are sexy and engulf the senses with crème de cassis, ripe raspberry coulis, blackcurrant compote, framboise, sloes, cold stones, with a smidgen of iron, lead pencil and a dash of seaweed on the finish. You would not believe its vintage by the power of the aromas. The palate follows the same opulence and drenches you with super-ripe fruit which keeps you salivating. A solid core of tannin and acidity counterpoint perfectly. This is very impressive and shows Wild Duck Cabernet Sauvignon in a completely different light (the ’01 vs. the ’08 could not be further apart). I love the waves of exquisitely ripe black raspberry. The density and richness of fruit is impressive, as is the flawless texture, but the wine’s ability to keep fleet of foot is remarkable. The finish is formidable and very, very long. 99 points if I can take a bottle home! Decanted for three hours and served in Zalto Bordeaux glassware. Drinking now to 2030+”
Was £51.50 per bottle
Our Previous Wines of the Week
JC's Own Freestyler Marsanne 2019
97 Points - Stuart McCloskey “A wonderfully infused perfume of fresh, sliced pear, fennel, orchard fruits, white flowers, smoky minerals a faint whispering of wild honey. As JC set out to achieve – the palate offers substantial texture and grip from the tannins. Lots of nerve to admire too. I will say this wine is far more serious than JC lets on! It’s taut, focused, unadulterated, and packed with ripe, apple, pear, quince, and soupçon of honeysuckle… There’s a lovely line of juicy acidity which runs straight through the core and compliments the salty / smoky mineral finish perfectly. The length is to be admired. Very impressive and will thrill those who are seeking great northern and southern Rhône wines on a budget, which is a tad unfair on JC and this fabulous wine. Super-impressive and I'm taking a 12-pack home… Do not over chill and served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware. Drinking from 2020-2025+”
£21.50 per bottle
Stella Bella Otro Vino Chardonnay 2017
95++ Points, Stuart McCloskey "Whilst writing, I am sipping on a new wine from the Stella Bella stable. Otro Vino Chardonnay which and to quote them translates to ‘Other wine. Adventurous, creative, exotic, and explorative hand-crafted wines.’ I like it. In fact, I like it very much. It lacks the concentration of the Suckfizzle, but the same winemaking philosophy is matched. Sea spray, citrus and offers a lovely texture. A more detailed tasting note will be released soon. Highly recommended and should really be retailing for at least five pounds more a bottle.
£15.50 per bottle
Pegasus Bay Riesling 2009
98+ Points - Stuart McCloskey “The bouquet soars from the glass with an infusion of mineral, honey, lime, quince, caramelised apple, roasted pineapple and sweet spices. This is one of those rare wines which provides as much olfactory pleasure as does the taste itself – quite magical. The palate offers wonderful intensity but is far from being clumsy. Highly elegant given its soaring presence. Texturally, similar to a German Auslese (not to be confused with the sweetness level). The complexity is beguiling… The palate is silken and counterpoints perfectly from stones, salt, minerals to a juicy ripeness which leaves me drooling for more. I could honestly get carried away with this wine. The best NZ Riesling I have had the pleasure to sample – I am in awe. Serve around 11 degrees (fridge cold is too cold) and enjoy late afternoon / early evening in the sunshine. Do not serve with food – Enjoy the moment which food will interrupt. Amazing now but I would love to re-sample in ten years. Served using Zalto universal glassware”
£27.95 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
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.”
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
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
"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”.
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.
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)"
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."
£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
Previous Wines of the Week that have sold out
"The texture is silken and the amplitude breathtaking. This really pushes the Aussie Chardonnay envelope."
NEW: Eastern Peake Block i10v5 Chardonnay 2015
98-99 Points - Stuart McCloskey “The bouquet unfurls with a dramatic perfume ranging from crème patissiere, brioche, spiced apple and pear, barley sugar and struck mineral rocks (rhubarb with more aeration with a strong presence of lemon and lime zest). The palate is medium to full-bodied, expansive and delivers a wave of creamy fruits underpinned with perfectly judged acidity – wonderful freshness. The texture is silken and the amplitude breathtaking. This really pushes the Aussie Chardonnay envelope and shows Owen’s skills perfectly – Natural, fearless and a winemaker who doesn’t give a toss about fashion. The wine’s texture is off the scale and this is the defining factor compared to many feeble, afraid examples. Incredible and I love it… Served with Zalto Bordeaux glassware. Decant (highly recommended) for 20-30 minutes and please do not overchill this extraordinary wine….”
£36.95 per bottle
(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."
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. "