Issue #122, July 2020

Written by Stuart McCloskey

There is no question that Australian wine today polarises serious wine drinkers and collectors, both within Australia and in their major export markets. Gone are the days that key Australian wines were manipulated to attract the attention of important wine critics. Thankfully, those overly ripe behemoths are as extinct as are the critics who lauded them. Instead, balance, aromatic complexity and a wine’s ability to communicate its terroir are today’s wishes. 

Our planet is on a collision course with everyone required to change their way of life. Back in 2005, I was climbing in the Karakorum Himalaya as part of a small team. One member, David Hamilton, one of the UK’s top high altitude climbers, with thirteen Everest summits under his belt, spoke of the impact of global warming which was clearly evident on the huge Chomolungma Glacier in Arandu of Baltistan, which hosted our base camp. David recalled an earlier trip (some 15-20 years previous) and pointed to a distinct line on the side of this vast seven thousand metre mountain, which we were climbing. This dark line (which lay some 100ft above us) once played home to his own base camp – for a glacier of this scale to melt by such a depth was incomprehensible and proves that some of the remotest parts of our world are dying.

I am sure you are wondering what on earth a melting glacier in the Karakorum has to do with wine. Directly, very little, as drinking wine in Pakistan is not readily available. There was one little pizzeria in Islamabad which we always visited before heading into the mountains. Beer and wine were served but very much on the ‘hush’ – a few years later a bomb ripped through it, killing far too many good people.

Wine production is exposed to the effects of climate change from the physical health of the vines to the end taste and quality. Grapes are extremely sensitive to climate and this is much of what makes wine so beautiful, but there are as many negatives as positives. Taking the current trajectory into account, many Australian wine producers are very worried. Living in hot climates has changed their dietary requirements – simple, fresh food being the preference over richer dishes. The same conditions are easily visible with winemaking and wine styles produced. We are fortunate to receive many samples throughout the course of the year. Some are experimental batches / attempts / blends which we reject simply as they do not suit our palates which is linked to our inclement climate. Domestically, they sell out as many Aussie wine drinkers are now seeking increased diversity with light and bright flavours being more important than heavier styles. 

We are also witnessing a substantial shift in preference to ‘cooler’ regions such as Victoria (Beechworth, Yarra Valley, Macedon Ranges, Mornington Peninsula), Tasmania and the Margaret River, all of these regions enjoy heavy winter rainfalls and cool sea breezes during the summer months. We are now enjoying our British summer, these are certainly getting warmer with each passing year. Interestingly, we are also witnessing our own domestic shift towards the aforementioned ‘cooler’ regions which and from the perspective of a wine buyer, is great to see. This challenges Magda and I to find producers who are ahead of the ‘cool climate’ curve with well established vineyards, farmed organically (at the very least) or with biodynamic wine principles in place.

This week, the team and I sampled the wines from Topper’s Mountain (New England, NSW) which were an absolute joy (and now a ‘new’ agency for The Vinorium which we are delighted with). Their 2019 Hill of Dreams Sauvignon Blanc was outstanding. It’s an orange wine made with minimal intervention to express its place of origin and is jam-packed with complex flavours and texture. However, what makes this wine extra special is the fact that this was the only fruit that survived the devastating bushfire that wiped out the rest of Topper’s Mountain vineyard. A ‘survivor’ wine with 516 bottles produced…

Producing wines from cooler regions has its own problems - ripeness, frost damage and exposure being a few. Without sounding disrespectful, which is far from my intention, producing great, balanced wine from these regions separates the men from the boys. We work with some magicians including; Mulline, Vinden Wines, Eastern Peake, Cobaw Ridge and Hoddles Creek who are producing a mesmerising collection of great wine and are all offered at lower prices than I believe they are truly worth. Next week, we will be relooking at Nelly and Alan’s trio from Cobaw Ridge, whilst today we are introducing the fantastic new collection from Soumah. 

Unravelling the story behind the exotically named Soumah, it is in fact an abbreviation of South of Maroondah, hinting at its location in the heart of Yarra Valley. Their wines however are far from exotic and instead they brim with a cool climate character and provenance of the majestic Yarra Valley. The perfect state of balance, calmness and composure of Soumah wines is expressed across the range, with their flagship wines receiving the graceful name; ‘Equilibrio.’

Steve Worley, whom we had a blast with at our 2019 portfolio tasting was planning his entire European trade trip around our Australia Unearthed II, armed with an excellent line-up of wines. Amongst the new Single Vineyard releases, we were looking forward to revealing the brand new introduction to our range, the 2015 Wild Savagnin, an ancient variety which has been around since the first Millennium and is a parent of many modern grapes. But most importantly, we were set to unveil the new flagship Equilibrio wines, the 2018 Chardonnay and 2019 Pinot Noir.

As many of you will recall, our inaugural introduction of 2017 Equilibrio Pinot Noir went down a storm and sold out within four weeks. The wait has been far too long (no 2018 vintage was produced) this has only raised the anticipation for this release, which is now physical and ready to be sent to you.

We asked Steve to provide an insight to vintage conditions “The vintage was a challenge to say the least; frost in October, the spectre of bushfire all round us at Christmas and then a pandemic that really turned everything on its head. For a while we were unsure whether we’d be categorised as an essential service and may have had to close the winery, so there was a rush of contingency plans developed. It didn’t come to that thankfully but we did have to operate in a bubble over vintage which came with plenty of its own challenges. Ironically the weather gods and the season in general were terrific. After heat in December we had a very cool January and February. From veraison, cool temperatures continued and the good rains that we’d had through January set us up perfectly for a wonderfully extended ripening period. Chardonnays are looking magnificent, the Pinot Noir clones all had very small berries/bunches and great flavours and numbers …there is excellent colour and we are expecting wines with terrific structure and balance.

Most exciting of all is our Nebbiolo. The vines are now mature and behaving so. The bunches are smaller and flavour development magnificent.

We reached the baume we were after in the second week of April (13.0 Be) and then left it to hang for the acid to gently decrease and flavours further develop. A perfect crop of about 2.5kg per vine was harvested on the 22nd April. This has undergone a moderate temperate ferment … never getting above 28C with twice daily pump overs and is now locked down in tank on skins where it will stay for a further 60 days before pressing to our suite of large format oak - a total of 100 days on skins then 24 months in oak!

My personal philosophy with Nebbiolo is that the single most important element is time - time in the vineyard (vine maturity), a lengthy pre-ferment cold soak to fix colour as best as you can. A cool warm extended ferment, time on skins (sometimes nervous times). Time in barrel (24 months plus) and time in bottle! Our 2016 Nebbiolo is just entering its drinking window and is just going to get better for the next 10 years. As harmony develops between the fruit, earth, acid and tannin the power and intensity will just increase. Last time I cracked a bottle, a couple of weeks back, I could see all those elements starting to weave their magic so I’m really excited to see where this wine will travel over the coming years.”

A personal message from team Soumah to you all…

Hi all, I hope you are well during these extra strange and challenging times. We are just exiting lockdown at the vineyard with our cellar door and restaurant reopening following two months of forced closure. I’m terribly sorry I couldn’t make it across to see you at what would have been a terrific event and here’s hoping that there is some return to normal soon so that we can reschedule. In the meantime, make sure you get the lovely team at The Vinorium to hook you up with some extra special Aussie drops to help you through.

Since writing, the state of Victoria has (as of Thursday 9 July) enforced another lockdown for six-weeks. Let’s support team Soumah by clearing us out this weekend which will force us to purchase again!

 
 

of YARRA VALLEY

"If I had to provide a brief statement to describe their wines – I would state, they are truly splendid and offer compelling drinking without the need to stress one’s wallet. From bottom to top, I believe these to be perfectly tuned with a satisfaction level of 100/100. They are not ‘pretenders’ and over deliver with pure energy. The winemaking is skilful and the fruit, pure and natural. All in all, Soumah offer great drinking at affordable prices."

Stuart McCloskey

 
 

Flagship Range
EQUILIBRIO

 
 
 
 

Equilibrio Pinot Noir 2019

97-98 Points - Stuart McCloskey “The most intense Pinot Noir of the trio. The dark fruit is lightly spiced and the most seductive of the trinity – sweet cherry and orange peel are unmistakable. The palate is incredibly fresh and juicy. I love the infusion of cranberry and redcurrant combined with the iron rich finish. Ripe and showing a more exotic side to Soumah’s winemaking. Lots of finesse and already showing bags of charm and character, but its glory years are yet to come. I am going to be harsh and award 97-98 points. It’s not there yet but I have no doubt it will be within 5-8 years”.

97+ Points - Magdalena Sienkiewicz "Tasted 3 hours after decanting. Deeper and darker in colour, vibrant crimson. Sour cherry and spice jump to the forefront of the lavish perfume. The palate is incredibly vibrant and luscious, showing great detail and polish. The tannins are super-fine and they melt away as you experience a long and intensely fruity finish. This is a certainly the most exuberant Pinot Noir of the entire Soumah range however, it is also one to be enjoyed best mid-term – it needs time more than the others. Amazing potential to go up a notch."

£35.95 per bottle

 
 

Equilibrio Chardonnay 2018

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. The nose is steely, full of freshness and is signing from the rooftops with waves of energy. The palate is brooding, sensual and perfectly made. Mineral and cool climate influences. Incredibly pure with super clean citrus at its centre. Very Burgundian but with a charm all of its own.  The step up in quality is abundantly clear. Sophisticated. Salted citrus on the incredibly long finish compliments the creamy oak overlay. Do not overchill and decant for 20-30 minutes. Drinking now to 2030. Bottle age will reward those who are patient.”

98 Points - Magdalena Sienkiewicz "The nose is closed but shows glimmers of its purity - cold steel, minerals, wet stones with touches of salinity. The palate is taut and will unveil so much with 3-5 years of bottle age. Nonetheless, the palate offers extraordinary depth particularly with aeration (decant for 30 minutes). Citrus leads to a never-ending finish and creamy overtones. Long on class and elegance. Burgundy fans will find much pleasure in this wine and discover it’s very own, distinctively sophisticated personality. It has a bright future ahead, but only if you are patient enough."

£35.95 per bottle

 

Single Vineyard Range
UPPER NGUMBY VINEYARD

ELEVATION: 90 – 110 Metres

ROW ORIENTATION: North South

VINEYARD FIRST PLANTED: 1997

SOIL: Sandy Clay Loam

PINOT CLONES AND ASPECT:
MV6 – 1997 Eastern; 115 – 1999 Eastern;
(Western Hill Protecting From Hot Afternoon Sun)

CHARDONNAY CLONES AND ASPECT:
I Clone – South; Dijon 277, 95, 96 – East

 
 
 
 

Single Vineyard Upper Ngumby Pinot Noir 2018

96–97 Points - Stuart McCloskey “The nose is more classical – herbal, rusty metal, cranberry, warm earth, leather and tea. The flavour profile is expansive and impeccably pure. Less flamboyant compared to the Hexham but the open-knit complexity is a delight. Finely tuned with a delicacy and a gentleness which I really enjoy. I am intrigued to see how this develops over the coming 5 years. Ambitious yet sensitive winemaking. Unforced and natural. Admirable length and will offer immediate pleasure”.

97 Points - Magdalena Sienkiewicz "Intense aromas of ripe fruit, pomegranate, sweet spice and dried herbs emanate from the glass. I adore this perfume – an intoxicating mix of sweet and savoury. The palate is just as vibrant which is such a delight. Abundant fruit gives a nice touch of ripeness and sweetness laced with gentle acidity – all in perfect balance. So soft on the finish. Simply put, this is cracking Pinot Noir which instantly puts a smile on your face. An absolute steal for the price, as is the entire Single Vineyard range."

£19.95 per bottle

 
 

Single Vineyard Upper Ngumby Chardonnay 2018

96+ Points - Stuart McCloskey “The Upper Ngumby vineyard is within the confines of Yarra Glen, sloping gently east. It is protected from the late afternoon sun by the Christmas Hills, rising up to the west. The fruit was barrel fermented with 100% wild yeast, matured on lees for eight months with some secondary fermentation to create depth and finesse, which team Soumah succeed effortlessly. The nose offers a mix of lemon zest, minéralité and ozone. Serenely pure in two words. The palate is long and sophisticated. Full of drive, vigour and energy – lovely freshness and very moreish. This will flourish with more time in the bottle, drink now to 2025.”

96+ Points - Magdalena Sienkiewicz "Elegant struck match on the nose reveals white nectarine with aeration. Although it is slightly leaner than Hexham, there is still an incredible sense of precision here. The palate is textural bliss as it balances effortlessly between ripe stone fruit, citrus and minerals. Svelte and perfectly composed – a testament to Soumah’s great vineyards and skilful winemaking. Delicious today, but a little rest in the cellar will be rewarded."

£19.95 per bottle

 

Single Vineyard Range
HEXHAM VINEYARD 

ELEVATION: 110 – 150 Metres

ROW ORIENTATION: North South

VINEYARD FIRST PLANTED: 1997

SOIL: Sandy Clay Loam

PINOT CLONES AND ASPECT:
MV6 – NorthWest; 777 – North East;
Pommard – South West; 115 – North West

CHARDONNAY CLONES AND ASPECT:
Mendosa – South West; Dijon95 & 76 – South West

 
 
 

Single Vineyard Hexham Pinot Noir 2018

97 Points - Stuart McCloskey “I love the bouquet which is so inviting with a mix of soured red fruits, dried orange peel and an entire pantry full of sweet spices – there’s a little Christmas feel to the aromas which I find wistful. The flavour spectrum is immensely pleasing and follows a similar pattern to that of the nose. Sweet and sour fruit intermixed with a Smörgåsbord of spice cuddled with filigree tannins. Fleshy, ample and mouth-filling with palate drenching satisfaction. Very moreish is an understatement. The best Aussie Pinot Noir you are likely to find at twenty-quid. Simply delicious and faultless for the money. Drink now to 2025, but there is no need to wait.”

97 Points - Magdalena Sienkiewicz "Burying your nose into a glass of Hexham Pinot Noir is a delight. Bags of spice, clove in particular, with more sweet spice, a healthy waft of wonderful forest floor and wild forest fruit. Texturally, the Hexham is another triumph. Flavours dance on the palate with effortless grace and melt away into a soft finish. Do not mistake elegance and softness for lightness – it carries a perfectly judged intensity and balance. A real charmer and huge kudos for outstanding value."

£19.95 per bottle

 
 
 

Our Wine of the Week

 
 
 

"Bumptious and proud to be...
Bloody brilliant – it’s as simple as that"

Single Vineyard Hexham Chardonnay 2018

97 Points  - Stuart McCloskey “I love the nose with its steely freshness – racy and cool climate, sweetened with a whiff of poached pears. The palate is much fuller than the Upper Ngumby and will appeal (enormously so) to those seeking a richer style. There’s a lovely combination of depth and mouth-watering freshness. The fruit is evidently sweeter and fills the mid-palate gloriously. Stony minerality keeps the wine in perfect check. This is a chardonnay on full parade, just bumptious and proud to be. A touch of salinity on the super long finish. Bloody brilliant – it’s as simple as that. Drink now to 2025.”

97 Points - Magdalena Sienkiewicz "So elegant yet full of energy. The perfume is simply beautiful with poached pears, citrus and crystalline minerals.  Generosity describes this wine perfectly, as the palate offers breadth and magnitude without an overpowering element.  Rich flavours flow in perfect balance with sweet fruit, zesty citrus, salty minerals, creamy nuttiness and an appetising savoury finish, which is super long. This will put a smile on many faces as this is one of those utterly brilliant Chardonnays which won’t require a bank loan.  Clearly, the ’18 Hexham has great potential to evolve, but it is an absolute delight today."

£19.95 per bottle

 
 

Single Vineyard Hexham Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

96++ Points - Stuart McCloskey “A wonderful nose following a morning in the decanter. Deep violets resonate in my glass along with a fresh herbal lift intermixed with ripe dark fruits, iron ore and sweet spice. The palate is sweet, expansive and impressive. Again, clean, ripe, juicy and brimming with damson, plum, blackberry, cedar and a lovely undercurrent of minerality. Incredibly satisfying with perfectly polished tannins – I love the freshness. A real triumph for the money. Decant for 2-3 hours and enjoy over the next decade.”

£19.95 per bottle

 
 

Single Vineyard Hexham Viognier 2018

Winemaker "An apricot and spicy ginger bouquet following through to a textured, rich, apricot and musk palate while finishing clean, with a great line of length. Our climatic advantage of warm days and cool nights, coupled with planting numerous Viognier clones, creates layers of intensity. A small amount of HTK clone planted at 9,000 vines per hectare adds to the concentration. The fruit was hand picked, whole-bunch pressed and fermented in barrel. Our ‘Golden Lox’ has to be picked just right. Picked too late; no structure. Picked too early; no apricots. And, ripening very fast; we have less than a 24 hour window to get it just right!"

£18.95 per bottle

 
 
 

Single Vineyard Hexham Nebbiolo 2016

Winemaker "The Yarra Valley with its hot but short summer, and cool nights throughout, could be the ideal location for Nebbiolo. After some research, we planted a number of clones on a north-west slope to give the large purple bunches every opportunity to ripen slowly in the autumn breeze. We hand-picked the fruit and fermented the juice in tank. After fermentation, we left the wine on skins for 90 days to help soften the tannins. We then racked the wine to seasoned puncheons (500l barrels), where it aged gracefully for 18 months. The wine has a light crimson colour with the bouquet of violet and rose, with a faint tobacco and tar foundation. It is elegant in the mouth, almost light with red berries and truffle, and finishing with firm tannin supporting the ultimate length of the wine."

Our own tasting note is coming next week...

£21.95 per bottle

 
 

Single Vineyard Hexham Wild Savagnin 2015

Winemaker "This is an ancient variety having been around since the first Millennium and is a parent of many of today’s modern grapes. We have been successful making our Savarro from this variety but wanted to see what a wine made from this ancient grape would have tasted like a thousand years ago. So we set forth to create a minimal intervention wine with 100% full solids, wild barrel fermentation. This natural process has developed a degree of untamed attitude. The wine still has the trademark citrus acidity but is fused with the brooding flavours of age old tradition."

£21.95 per bottle

 

d'Soumah Range
SELECT VINEYARDS

Made with fruit sourced from Soumah's own and other premium vineyards throughout the Yarra Valley.

 
 
 

d'Soumah Chardonnay 2019

94++ Points - Stuart McCloskey “Clearly, young is stating the obvious but I love sampling embryonic wines which provide pleasure today and in the future. The Soumah team picks this particular Chardonnay as early as they can to ensure a fresh line of citrus fruit and crisp natural acidity, which and if read alone would offer a degree of understatement. The joy of this young wine comes from its silky structure and palate feel which are achieved through barrel fermentation (specifically maturing gracefully for eight months prior to bottling). The nose offers a little poached pear and apple with a light sprinkling of sweet spice. The palate is crisp, clean, full of energy and lovely precision. Stony / minerals rather than dry. There’s a chewy grip which is admirable. Impressive with a few years of improvement ahead of it. Certainly, worth buying.”

95 Points - Magdalena Sienkiewicz "Sampled without decanting. D’Soumah Chardonnay is a blend of fruit sourced from their own sites and select cool-climate, mature vineyards in the Yarra Valley.

The front label confidently boasts that this is “ new age, citrus crisp Chardonnay with texture and finesse.” Well, I couldn’t agree more. The nose offers complexity beyond its price point with the palate following a similar line. It will suit everyone looking for a seamless, textural Chardonnay with balance above all. Such an exciting wine, comparable to the thrill of looking through a telescope and seeing a new star beginning to form itself."

 

£15.95 per bottle

 
 

MIXED CASES

 

Sample the entire range in this sublime mixed case

Contains:

1 x Soumah Equilibrio Pinot Noir 2019
1 x Soumah Equilibrio Chardonnay 2018
1 x Soumah Hexham Pinot Noir 2018
1 x Soumah Hexham Chardonnay 2018
1 x Soumah Upper Ngumby Pinot Noir 2018
1 x Soumah Upper Ngumby Chardonnay 2018
1 x Soumah Wild Savagnin 2015
1 x Soumah Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
1 x Soumah Nebbiolo 2017
1 x Soumah Viognier 2018
1 x Soumah d'Soumah Chardonnay 2019

£250.45 per 11 pack

 

Contains:

1 x Soumah Equilibrio Chardonnay 2018
1 x Soumah Hexham Chardonnay 2018
1 x Soumah Upper Ngumby Chardonnay 2018
1 x Soumah d'Soumah Chardonnay 2019

£91.80 per 4 pack

 
 

1 x Soumah Equilibrio Pinot Noir 2019
1 x Soumah Hexham Pinot Noir 2018
1 x Soumah Upper Ngumby Pinot Noir 2018

£75.85 per 3 pack

 
 
 

A true story from this week at The Vinorium.

Whilst we are blessed with many, many customers who we hold dear to our Vinorium heart, this week we heard from one customer who we are keen to pass on to Majestic!  We have sold thousands of Zalto glasses, and we are huge fans ourselves, but this week we received the oddest complaint.  A customer had weighed all of his (individually handblown) Zalto glasses and was so disappointed to find that one was around 10g heavier than the others that he wanted us to collect and refund this for him!  He even sent us a video to prove the weight difference!  It’s a first for Zalto too.

 
 
 

The return of the 98 Points - 'Best Value Red of 2018' 

Leung Estate's
Ma Maison Pinot Noir

Including a very limited parcel of their Cuvee Jade Pinot Noir

 
 

Leung Estate Ma Maison Cuvee Jade Pinot Noir 2015

18.5+/20 Points - Raymond Chan "Full dark-red colour with some black hues and depth, a little lighter on the rim with some garnet. The nose is soft and harmoniously integrated with deep aromas of ripe, dark-red berry fruit interwoven with hints of dark herbs and spices, along with some undergrowth and earthy complexing detail. The fruit remains to the fore and is the feature, showing freshness and vitality. Medium-full bodied, the palate has rich and sweet flavours of dark-red berry fruit with hints of plums. The fruit is fresh and aromatic, lifted by red floral fragrances and herbal elements. The fruit lusciousness grows and enriches the mouthfeel, and the palate possesses fine-grained tannin extraction with soft, integrated acidity. The wine is well-balanced and carries to a soft, harmonious, rich, sustained finish. This is a rich, sweet-fruited Pinot Noir with dark-red berry fruit with floral notes, subtle herb detail on a plush, balanced, fine-grained palate. Match with duck and pork, lamb or beef over the next 6+ years. A barrel selection wine, named after the Leung’s daughter-in-law. A blend of 50% clone 777, and 25% each clone 5 and 10/5, fully destemmed and fermented to 14.0 alc., the wine aged 9 months in 20% new oak. 861 bottles made."

£50.50 per bottle

* Only 3 bottles available *

 
 

Leung Estate Ma Maison Pinot Noir 2016

17+/20 - Raymond Chan "Garnet-red colour with a dark heart, lighter on the rim with a touch of bricking. The nose is soft and plush with open and accessible aromas of red berry and plum fruit entwined an amalgamated layering of herbs and spices. Medium-bodied, the palate is elegant in proportion with a sweet core of dark-red berry fruit along with liquorice and spice nuances, unveiling subtle herbal elements. The fruit is up-front and softly mouthfilling, and is supported by supple tannin extraction and structure. The acidity is fresh and balanced and adds to the energy. The flavours form an elegant core and lead to a long, lingering finish of spices and herbs. This is an up-front, sweet-fruited Pinot Noir with red berry, liquorice, spice and herb flavours on a supple palate. Match with Asian and Middle Eastern fare over the next 4 years. Clones 667, 777, 5, 115, 114, 10/5, Abel and 113, fermented with a small amount of whole bunches to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 9 months in 10% new oak."

£25.95 per bottle

* 16 bottles available *

 
 

Leung Estate Ma Maison Pinot Noir - 3 Pack

Contains: 

1 x Ma Maison Cuvee Jade Pinot Noir 2015
​1 x Ma Maison Pinot Noir 2016 and ​
1 x Ma Maison Pinot Noir 2014 (Only available in this three pack)

Leung Estate Ma Maison Pinot Noir 2016

17.5+/20 Points - Raymond Chan "Even ruby-red colour with garnet hues on the rim. The bouquet is elegantly proportioned and finely presented with aromas of savoury red berry fruits along with lifted notes of red florals, herbs and earth, unfolding spice and cedary oak nuances. The aromatics are complex and harmoniously interwoven. Medium-full bodied, the palate features a finely concentrated core and line with rich, succulent, savoury red fruits harmoniously melded with subtle notes of herbs, earth, spice and cedar. The mouthfeel is smooth-flowing with fine-grained underlying tannins and integrated acidity lending gentle energy and drive, The wine has sweetness and richness which carries to a long, lingering, harmonious, savoury finish. This is an elegant, harmonious, savoury layered Pinot Noir with a complex amalgam of red fruits, herbs, earth, spices and cedar on a smooth, fine-grained palate. Match with coq au vin and casseroles over the next 4+ years. Clones 777, 113, 114, 115, Abel, 10/5 and small amounts of 667 and Mariafeld, fully destemmed and fermented to 14.5% alc., the wine aged 9 months in predominantly seasoned oak, with a low proportion of new, bottled unfined and unfiltered. 800 dozen made."

£105.00 per pack of 3

* 5 packs available *

 
 
 

238 lines are down to their last bottles. All wines with under 25 bottles are within this category and there's some real gems to be found.

 
 
 
 

Some highlights

"One of the leading producers of sparkling wine in Tasmania, and led by wine maker Ed Carr, Australia’s most awarded sparkling winemaker"

 
 

House of Arras 'A by Arras' Premium Cuvée NV

This elegantly structured wine has a great persistence of flavour and exquisite balance of dosage and acidity. An excellent example of non-vintage style exhibiting beautiful poise and a refreshing natural acidity on the finish.

Predominantly Pinot Noir, which gives the wine red fruit plushness gives the wine lychee like characters, richness and a great backbone. Chardonnay is blended which creates a great elegance of structure and finesse, balancing the rich nature of Pinot Noir. Chardonnay (with age and some degree of oak) expresses the toast, mushroom, biscuit characters whilst the Pinot Noir is forward with flora/aromatic softness and tends to fill the middle palate. It matures relatively rapidly compared to the other varieties and enhances wine aged/complexity, often described as having 'soft acidity' which means more fruit driven and soft/approachable notes.

£19.95 per bottle

* 21 bottles available *

 

House of Arras Vintage Rosé 2007

97 Points - James Halliday "First fermentation 92% in stainless steel, 8% in new French barriques; disgorged Dec '17. It immediately proclaims its class; the flowery/spicy/biscuity bouquet translates directly into the elegant, finely detailed palate. The flavours seem airborne in the mouth before landing on and driving the long finish."

£34.95 per bottle

* 12 bottles available *

 

House of Arras Late Disgorged 2004

99 Points - James Halliday "Well done for putting this price on it. What 15yo Australian table wine at the peak of its powers could offer as much complexity and perfection as this? The balance is perfect."

98 Points - Decanter (Susie Barrie MW) "Following 12 years on lees, this blend of two-thirds Chardonnay with Pinot Noir is a truly magnificent wine. Incredibly fresh for its age, it is intensely savoury, with notes of truffle, cream and lemon curd. Long, with the capacity to age for several years, this is a special occasion wine with a price-tag to match."

£84.50 per bottle

* 48 bottles available *

 

A Firm Favourite of our Customers

St Hallett Old Block Shiraz 2015

95 Points - James Halliday "The apex wine of the portfolio, sourced from a collection of heritage vineyards with an average age of 87yo. Quite fragrant, red and black fruit of surprising freshness and elegance, with unwavering line and length. And there's a spicy complexity too, to add more interest. Sophisticated drinking that will mature gracefully for years."

2015 Old Block is beautifully balanced and elegant. It opens with a fine fruit burst followed by a dense dark fruit core and a long even finish. The tannins are fine and polished, folding into layer after layer of flavour. It is an elegant wine with great complexity that will further unfold over time.

WAS £39.75 per bottle
NOW £34.95 per bottle

 
 

St Hallett Butcher's Cart Shiraz 2015

The Butcher's Cart celebrates an era when the Lindner family, who founded St Hallett, ran a family butchery business prior to producing wine. The grapes are sourced from multiple sites that share a soil type of red-brown earth which commonly delivers a rich and generous wine, these tend to be in the centre and west of the Barossa Valley. Each vineyard's crop is vinified separately and has skin contact for ten days with six pump overs per day. After pressing, the wine is aged in 20% new and 80% previously used American oak barrels for ten months. Displays aromas of dark berry fruit with a hint of nutmeg spice, the palate is rich, with a lingering finish and weighty tannins with black cherry, dark plum and chocolate flavours.

James Halliday "Matured in American oak (20% new). Full crimson-purple; the cart carries a full load of all things nice, dispensing blue and black fruits along the way, and just when you wonder whether that's all to be had, polished tannins and a swish of oak put matters right."

£15.95 per bottle

 
 

A Fond Farewell

"The right glassware can elevate any wine to another level, add value to any bottle... and make an already outstanding wine something unforgettable."

The Zalto range of glassware are beautifully crafted, mouth blown, crystal glasses that are designed to enhance the specific characteristics of different wines. Incredibly light but also strong, Zalto glasses are by far and away the very best glasses to improve any bottle of wine. It is not essential to have an entire range of glassware for every different wine, just two or three different glasses will cover the entire spectrum.

The last of our Zalto stocks

 

Zalto Denk-Art Bordeaux Glass

Only available by the 6 pack
3 packs available

 
 

Zalto Denk-Art Burgundy Glass

£35.95 per glass
30 glasses available

Also available by the 6 pack
14 packs available

 
 

Zalto Denk-Art Universal Glass

£34.95 per glass
21 glasses available

 
 

Zalto Denk-Art White Wine Glass

£33.95 per glass
9 glasses available

 
 

Zalto Denk-Art Champagne Glass

£33.95 per glass
6 glasses available

Also available by the 6 pack
4 packs available

 
 

Zalto Denk-Art Carafe 150

£62.95 per glass
6 carafes available

 
 
 

Read our six-month Review from last weeks Weekend Reading

 
 

Captains Creek Chardonnay - SOLD OUT
Cope-Williams Chardonnay - SOLD OUT

Only a handful of bottles remain

10 x Doug's Vineyard Pinot Noir - 97+ to 98 Points
6 x Old Port Righ Chardonnay - 97-98 Points