Issue #118, June 2020

Firstly, and importantly, I hope that everyone is keeping safe and well during this difficult period. For many, the past three months have moved at a snail’s pace and I am sure pockets of our society cannot wait for 2020 to end, which is perfectly reasonable. For us, we have been kept super-busy with your generous orders (thank you as ever) and we cannot believe that we are close to reaching the halfway point of the year. We plan to share a look back at the past six-months in our weekend read (3-5 July) and our plans for the coming months.

Despite the struggle of many of our industry colleagues, we now forge ahead with the plans for our new HQ. The development has taken a change of direction and we believe for the better. Actually, I am being rather modest as our plans are incredibly exciting and the opportunities limitless – I have said too much…

We have sold huge amounts of stock since the beginning of the year, which has provided us with the opportunity to look at the logistics of where our stock is stored. Short-term we are happy to use London City Bond’s various storage facilities, who I must say, have provided an excellent service during the lockdown. Mid to long-term we are seeking something closer to home – perhaps our new HQ would serve the purpose and facilitate both duty paid and bonded goods. 


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."


A case of 12 In Bond is just £66.00

12 bottles inclusive of duty and VAT is £111.34, adding on standard delivery (directly from LCB) totals just £10.53 per bottle!


Presently, Magda and I are looking to increase our list of ‘exclusivities’ by a considerable number. Several new agencies have been agreed, which I will share during our weekend read (3-5 July). Ultimately, and save for a few exceptions (and exciting, one off parcels), we will be delisting all wines which are not exclusive to us – the process has already started with Deep Woods and Hentley Farm and many of our older stocks will not be returning, unless they wish to shift UK importers.  

So, and in line with our plans, we must start selling off stocks which are not exclusive to The Vinorium. Stocks of Clarendon Hills are substantial – some 4,500 bottles are lying under bond which must be sold and as quickly as possible. It is an unusual exercise to run and certainly to declare, that and for some of the wines on offer, we are selling at our cost price. Oddly, this is not an exercise to increase profits. Instead, this is an exercise to close-down one of our bonded accounts. Consequently, there are some smashing deals to be had, which will be offered in a few weeks to our trade clients as all stocks must be sold.   


I would like to take this opportunity to highlight a few key notes:


•  Our free of charge delivery policy (for orders exceeding £100) does not apply for wines being delivered from our bonded account. In this case, the savings far outweigh the small cost of delivery. We simply pass on LCB’s delivery charge.

• The wines have been stored at the same LCB location for a very long time. Please expect warehouse dust and grubby cases (The Astralis cases are in pristine condition).

•  Please also expect a few label nicks and wrinkles. The wines are in excellent condition but time in a temperature-controlled warehouse does create a few label issues, and particularly for those which are stored in cardboard cases (the majority of the Clarendon stock).

•  All wines are priced under bond and offered per case of 6x75cl, unless otherwise stated. Our website automatically calculates duty, VAT and LCB’s delivery charge which will aid you during the check-out process. This delivery charge is £15.00 for up to 12x75cl. There are a few postal areas which have a higher delivery cost; Isle of Wight, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Isle of Man. 

• Finally, would you be so kind and place your orders online as the office is unmanned until 8:30am, Monday. I would hate for you to miss out on the bargains.


As ever, my very best wishes to you all,



"A timeless wine of unbridled power and purity. The Grand Vin attracts global attention as the ultimate expression of Clarendon Hills greatest vineyard. 


Clarendon Hills Astralis 2007

Jay Miller ( "Clarendon Hills’ flagship is the 2007 Syrah Astralis. It is an exemplar of what old vines and a great terroir can achieve in a less than great vintage. Aromas of pain grille, pencil lead, tar, underbrush, meat, licorice, and blackberry lead to a burly, masculine version of Astralis. It has tremendous grip, plenty of fine-grained tannin, layers of savory fruit, and 10-12 years of aging potential. Patience will be required."

James Halliday "Expected development of deep red-purple colour; the bouquet and palate are so complex and powerful, it is difficult to tease out any single components, but black fruits, licorice, tar, savoury spices, cedary oak are all in play. While full-bodied, the wine has good balance and length. The long cork is of high quality and perfectly inserted.."

* 6 cases available *

New Case Price - £495.00 per case of 6 IB
(equivalent to £82.50 per bottle)

Nearest World Competitor - £899.00 per case of 6 IB


Clarendon Hills sources wines from this stately vineyard to produce a single site Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and old-vine Grenache all detailed by the Hickinbotham family name. Richly compact soils provide depth and a vineyard unique signature across the varietal spectrum. Highly elevated in the sub district of Clarendon - the vines ripen later than most and develop individuality as a result.

Clarendon Hills Hickinbotham Syrah 2004

Robert Parker "One of McLaren Vale’s most astonishing Syrahs is Clarendon Hills’ amazing 2004 Syrah Hickinbotham. Its inky/blue/purple hue is accompanied by aromas and flavors of creme de cassis, smoked meats, melted licorice, coffee beans, graphite, and bacon fat. Extremely full-bodied, powerful, and rich, with moderately high tannin, huge structure as well as massive concentration and intensity, but a sense of elegance, balance, and equilibrium."

New Case Price - £151.95 per case of 6 IB
(equivalent to £25.32 per bottle)

Nearest World Competitor - £240.00 per case of 6 IB


Forming a part of Blewitt Springs vineyards, they are globally unique. The unparalleled combination of 95+ year old, pre phylloxera vines planted in the oldest geology on planet earth - surveyed at 1600 million years old - produces rare and exotic exhibitions of Grenache, not seen anywhere else in the world.

Clarendon Hills Romas Grenache 2005

Jay Miller ( "The 2005 Grenache Romas Vineyard delivers more complexity than the Onkaparinga, both aromatically and on the palate. An enticing perfume of damp earth, truffle, clove, black cherry, and blackberry is followed by a full-bodied, powerful, structured wine which will need a decade to reveal its full potential. Although it oozes with fruit and can be enjoyed now, it merits extended cellaring."

* 69 cases available *

New Case Price - £132.95 per case of 6 IB
(equivalent to £22.15 per bottle)

Nearest World Competitor - £153.50 per case of 6 IB​


Planted in 1965, in 2 inches of rich red loamy top soil. The slab of pure rock that lies beneath limits the vigour of the vines and appears to concentrate all components of the fruit - flavour, colour, tannin.

The vineyard produces an intensely complex and the most structured of all Grand Cru Syrahs. It demands time to unwind and reveal its glamourous mineral focus with racy nuance.


Clarendon Hills Piggott Range Syrah 2007

Jay Miller "The 2007 Syrah Piggott Range offers a kinky, sexy bouquet of earth, bacon, game, incense, and assorted black and blue fruits. Rich and layered, this is a dense, packed, and impeccably balanced powerhouse that will require 8-10 years to reveal its full potential. This lengthy effort will easily provide pleasure through 2027."

New Case Price - £160.50 per case of 6 IB
(equivalent to £26.75 per bottle)

Nearest World Competitor - £190.00 per case of 6 IB​


Clarendon Hills Onkaparinga Grenache 2007

Jay Miller "My favorite of the 2007 Grenache cuvees is the 2007 Grenache Onkaparinga. Aside from being the most approachable, it has the most enticing perfume with its notes of underbrush, incense, lavender, black cherry and blackberry liqueur. Velvety but with some underlying tannin, it has succulent fruit, impeccable balance, and a lengthy finish. It will benefit from 1-2 years of cellaring but can be enjoyed now."

New Case Price - £73.95 per case of 6 IB
(equivalent to £12.32 per bottle)

Nearest World Competitor - £98.00 per case of 6 IB​


This Syrah site typically expresses itself with florals, apricot stone fruit elements and smoked bacon with consistent quality of fruit each year. Stunning intensity, ripe tannins and good acidity ensure its long life in a bottle.


Clarendon Hills Liandra Syrah 2003

Stuart McCloskey "The nose is complicated and covers a gamut of possibilities from hung game, Crème de Framboise, dried blood orange and earthy dark berries. I have to say this wine would not be out of place in a Southern Rhône line-up – big styled Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Incredibly dense and sweet in the mouth drenched with black fruits and violets leading to sweet liquorice. Leather and meat stick their noses out towards the long finish. I bet this wine was fearsome on its release. Today, less-so but built for those who like a richer style. Decant for 1-2 hours and served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware."

* 21 cases available *

New Case Price - £265.00 per case of 12 IB
(equivalent to £22.08 per bottle)

Nearest World Competitor - £408.00 per case of 12 IB​

Clarendon Hills Liandra Syrah 2004

Robert Parker "The 2004 Syrah Liandra was fashioned from 100-year-old vines grown in clay and sandy soils. Its inky/purple color is followed by a big, sweet nose of creme de cassis, blackberries, tar, and hints of smoke and bay leaves. Full-bodied, opulent, and rich with low acidity as well as sweet tannin."

James Halliday "Expected colour development; interesting wine, with an almost slippery mouthfeel and lemon pepper seasoning to its spicy red berry fruits; balanced tannins, borders on elegance."

* 59 case available *

New Case Price - £113.95 per case of 6 IB
(equivalent to £18.99 per bottle)

Nearest World Competitor - £135.00 per case of 6 IB​


The Moritz vineyard was planted in 1975 in a fine sandy soil with pebbled ironstone top soil. Consistent vineyard characters include roasted coffee, vibrant fruit and black olive tapenade. The quality can be seen by the density of concentration. The deep and lingering flavours of the vineyard flow.


Clarendon Hills Moritz Syrah 2003

Robert Parker "The exceptionally fragrant, dark purple 2003 Syrah Moritz Vineyard boasts an extraordinary perfume of acacia flowers, blackberries, cassis, roasted meats, and subtle wood. With fabulous concentration, an expansive, savory texture, well-integrated acidity, alcohol, and wood, and a remarkable finish with plenty of sweet tannin."

* 19 cases available *

New Case Price - £271.50 per case of 12 IB
(equivalent to £22.62 per bottle)

Nearest World Competitor - £419.00 per case of 12 IB​


Clarendon Hills Moritz Syrah 2004

Robert Parker "An amazing performance, even better than last year’s showing from tank, the 2004 Syrah Moritz is produced from one of Clarendon Hills’ youngest vineyard sites (planted in 1975). The wine was aged in 42% new French oak for 18 months prior to being bottled unfined and unfiltered. Gorgeous aromas of flowers, blueberries, cassis, and meat jump from the glass of this cuvee. With huge body and a rich, intense style, Bratasiuk claims it is his hypothetical blend of a Cornas and Hermitage, although it possesses more fruit than most of those wines."

* 41 case available *

New Case Price - £149.00 per case of 6 IB
(equivalent to £24.83 per bottle)

Nearest World Competitor - £170.00 per case of 6 IB​


Clarendon Hills Moritz Syrah 2006

Jay Miller ( "The vintage was an excellent one, not quite as exceptional as 2005, but there may be cases in which selected 2006s may eventually outshine their 2005 counterparts. All of the 2006's fell within their predicted ranges (mostly near the high end) so I will keep my comments brief. Clarendon Hills 2006 Syrahs are superb. They appear to be less structured and more forward than the 2005's and will be more approachable early on."

* 35 cases available *

New Case Price - £135.75 per case of 6 IB
(equivalent to £22.62 per bottle)

Nearest World Competitor - £183.00 per case of 6 IB​


Clarendon Hills Moritz Syrah 2007

Jay Miller ( "The more statuesque 2007 Syrah Moritz delivers a complex perfume of meat, hung game, Asian spices, incense, and blueberry. Mouth-filling and structured on the palate, this well-balanced effort has superior grip and concentration."

* 1 case available *

New Case Price - £104.95 per case of 6 IB
(equivalent to £17.49 per bottle)

Nearest World Competitor - £115.00 per case of 6 IB​


Deep crimson. Spicy mulberry, blackberries, bitumen and cigar. Coco and herb edged fruit sits in the glass and opens with air. Opening with dark chocolate and cherry nuance, the peaty background comes of age and styles the graceful personality of this vineyard. Classy, savory-flavored tannin, Deep crimson. Spicy mulberry, blackberries, bitumen and cigar. Coco and herb edged fruit sits in the glass and opens with air, a modest weight makes for a seductively structured and velvet textured cuvee.

"Bloody amazing for the money…"


Clarendon Hills Brookman Merlot 2006

Stuart McCloskey "The ‘06 Merlot is the most surprising from our retrospective tasting. The nose is rich and plush with blackberry liquor, black cherry compote, sweet spice, tar and warm earth. With more aeration – roasted coffee, tobacco and bitter chocolate. Far from tired and amply fleshed-out with fabulously ripe, sweet fruit (sous-bois) which moves slowly across my palate. The acidity is low and the tannins are melting away. Today, a wine in complete harmony and offering swathes of silkiness. Drink now to 2025. Decant for 1-2 hours (no more) and served in Zalto Bordeaux glassware. Bloody amazing for the money…”

Magdalena Sienkiewicz "Tasted immediately after opening. Sweet raspberry, cinnamon and spice with a little tar towards the end, keeping the sweetness in check. An array of forest fruit, and earthiness begin to overtake the sweet berry aromas with more aeration. The palate is harmonious with ripe fruit integrating with warming earthiness. Age has been kind to this wine with acidity and tannins softening, giving us a serene smooth experience. It’s an impressively generous Merlot which may turn many sceptics to appreciate Brookman for its plentiful fruit and incredibly smooth texture."


* 12 cases available *

New Case Price - £76.95 per case of 6 IB
(equivalent to £12.82 per bottle)

Nearest World Competitor - £92.00 per case of 6 IB​


Clarendon Hills Brookman Merlot 2007

Jay Miller ( "The wines made from Bordeaux varietals begin with the 2007 Merlot Brookman which spent 18 months in 85% new French oak. A glass-coating opaque purple color, it exhibits a superb nose of toast, pencil lead, spice box, black currant, and blackberry. This leads to a medium to full-bodied wine with a supple texture, excellent grip, and complex, savory flavors. This lengthy effort will round out with an additional 3-4 years of cellaring."

* 1 case available *

New Case Price - £76.95 per case of 6 IB
(equivalent to £12.82 per bottle)

Nearest World Competitor - £180.00 per case of 6 IB​


This is the sister wine to the 'Romas Grenache' (Romas is the steepest section of the Blewitt Springs site - always reserved and bottled uniquely for its superiority/individuality) and also the 'Onkaparinga Grenache'. Its fruit driven character and firm texture slowly diminishes toward a Classical old world like state where understated power and highly sophisticated, savoury elements speckle the completely integrated and svelte palate.


Clarendon Hills Blewitt Springs
Grenache 2004

Robert Parker "As usual for this cuvee, the 2004 Grenache Blewitt Springs possesses an extraordinary, exotic, flamboyant personality that causes Roman Bratasiuk to say it’s his “Dolly Parton-styled wine.” Terrific notes of blackberries, raspberries, and rich kirsch liqueur are accompanied by an opulent, flamboyant wine with tremendous viscosity and richness as well as a lusty, heady finish."

* 32 cases available *

New Case Price - £103.50 per case of 6 IB
(equivalent to £17.25 per bottle)

Nearest World Competitor - £267.00 per case of 6 IB​


Clarendon Hills Blewitt Springs
Grenache 2005

Josh Raynolds (Vinous) "Deep ruby. Explosive raspberry, blackberry and blueberry scents, along with suave Asian spices and fresh rose. Mouth-filling red berry flavors offer impressive clarity and silky texture for such volume. Velvety tannins add shape to this dense, strikingly sweet fruit bomb. I'd be tempted to drink it now, just to wallow in the seductive fruit."

* 33 cases available *

New Case Price - £77.50 per case of 6 IB
(equivalent to £12.91 per bottle)

Nearest World Competitor - £132.00 per case of 6 IB​


The common thread is impressive fruit power delivered with purity and finesse – these wines are svelte,
very well balanced"



Despite being metres apart from the sister ‘Hickinbotham Grenache’ site; the ‘Clarendon Grenache’ vineyard is located on the South/South Westerly side of the hill. Both vineyards are made exactly the same way, yet we receive two completely unique and somewhat polarising expressions. As a result of the cool/shaded Southern aspect: the Clarendon Grenache site typically expresses asian spiced red fruits and ‘Garrigue herb’ qualities. 


Clarendon Hills Clarendon Grenache 2003 

Robert Parker "The dark ruby-colored 2003 Grenache Old Vines Clarendon Hills exhibits a big, sweet nose of kirsch liqueur, raspberries, dusty soil, pepper, and herbs."

* 27 cases available *

New Case Price - £171.25 per case of 12 IB
(equivalent to £14.27 per bottle)

Nearest World Competitor - £265.00 per case of 12 IB​


Clarendon Hills Clarendon Grenache 2004

Robert Parker "The 2004 Grenache Clarendon Hills exhibits a lovely dark ruby color along with a big, sweet kiss of black cherry liqueur intermixed with hints of tobacco leaves and resiny pine forest scents. Aromatic, smooth, velvety textured, and sexy, this is a full-bodied, delicious Grenache."

* 70 case available *

New Case Price - £77.95 per case of 6 IB
(equivalent to £12.99 per bottle)

Nearest World Competitor - £200.00 per case of 6 IB​


Clarendon Hills Clarendon Grenache 2005

James Halliday "Bright, clear purple-red; offers a rich tapestry of succulent fruit in a blood plum spectrum, the oak evident but not over the top, finishing with soft tannins."

Jay Miller ( "The 2005 Grenache Clarendon is dark ruby-colored with an enticing bouquet of violets, damp earth, and sappy black cherry. This leads to a ripe, velvety-textured, intensely fruity, structured wine which will evolve for 4-5 years and drink well through 2020."

* 74 cases available *

New Case Price - £77.95 per case of 6 IB
(equivalent to £12.99 per bottle)

Nearest World Competitor - £110.00 per case of 6 IB​


Clarendon Hills Clarendon Grenache 2006

Jay Miller ( "The 2006 Grenache Clarendon is velvety, ripe, and sweet with excellent depth and length. It offers aromas and flavors of earth, violets, spice box and black cherry."

* 51 cases available *

New Case Price - £82.95 per case of 6 IB
(equivalent to £13.82 per bottle)

Nearest World Competitor - £146.00 per case of 6 IB​


Vinorium Award - 2019 Best Value Wine of the Year: Gold
Gold Medal at 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards
Top Gold Medal at 2019 Int'l Cool Climate Wine Show
Gold Medal at 2018 James Halliday Chardonnay
Gold Medal at 2018 Victorian Wine Show
Gold Medal at 2018 Yarra Valley Wine Show
Gold Medal at 2018 Perth Royal Wine Awards
Best White Wine Trophy & Platinum Medal at 2018 Japan Wine Challenge
Gold Medal at Winewise Small Vigneron Awards

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


Sauvignon Blanc 2018

18.5/20 Raymond Chan "Very pale straw colour. The nose is soft with ripe, passionfruity aromas and gentle density. This has lovely harmony. Medium-bodied, the ripe passionfruit flavours are softly presented, and the palate is composed of fine phenolic textures with bright acidity. The integration, balance and togetherness is gorgeous. Luc Cowley reported that 2018 wasn’t an easy vintage, but lessons learnt from 2017 were invaluable." 

£13.50 per bottle

* 8 bottles available *

Soumah Chardonnay Upper Ngumby 2017

Gold Trophy - 2018 International Cool Climate Wine Show

95 Points - James Halliday "Wild-fermented in French oak, matured for 8 months. The richest of the Soumah range, but doesn't rely on sweetness (there is none) nor extraction. The balance and length are both exceptional, the pure varietal expression courtesy of grapefruit and zesty acidity. Will flourish with more time in bottle."

£19.95 per bottle

* 14 bottles available *


Flowstone Sauvignon Blanc 2014

97 Points - James Halliday "Hand-picked, whole bunch-pressed, fermented in used oak and demi-muids with staves, matured for 11 months in oak, plus 15 months in bottle. The complex, vaguely smoky/charry bouquet shifts around radically on the super-intense and complex palate, with citrus and snow pea doing battle with ripe citrus and guava/lychee tropical fruits, the latter prevailing. A salute to the late Didier Dageneau."

£20.95 per bottle

* 8 bottles available *

Château Miraval Cotes de Provence Rosé 2018

"Miraval rosé is a wonderful blend of fruits aromas and freshness, made on an exceptional terroirs in Provence. Miraval 2018 reveals a seductive and pure petal pink color. Full of freshness, it offers elegant aromas of fresh and delicious fruits like redcurrant, supported by slightly lemony, mineral and saline notes. Its long and intense finish is the signature of a rosé with an incomparable elegance."

£14.50 per bottle

* 7 bottles available *


Seresin Zosia Organic Pinot Noir 2011

97+ Points Stuart McCloskey 
“Entering its twilight years, far from tired (drink up by 2022) and full of personality. Everything is in its right place and there is precision all the way to the long finish. I am impressed (very much so) with the wine’s complexity. Wonderfully natural, and this wine perfectly demonstrates that New Zealand Pinot Noir can last a decade in the right hands. The palate is defined, seamless with super-fine tannins."

£29.95 per bottle

* 3 bottles available *

Hardys HRB Shiraz 2013

95 Points - James Halliday 

"D654 McLaren Vale Clare Valley Frankland River. Open-fermented, basket-pressed. McLaren Vale dark chocolate and black fruit richness, the Clare Valley providing some mint and fine, firm tannins, Frankland the pepper, violets and soft black fruit finish. The sum of the parts is greater than the whole, brought together and bonded on the full-bodied palate by persistent, ripe tannins that also add texture."

£16.95 per bottle

* 9 bottles available *


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