Intrinsic Chardonnay 2018
Stock of Owen’s 2016 Intrinsic Chardonnay flew out the door, which and those lucky enough to have secured a stash, will agree to the fact that this was something very special indeed. I awarded 98++ and declared it, “One of the best ‘young’ Aussie Chardonnays I have sampled in a very long time. Almost speechless.” The price is irrelevant (albeit under thirty quid) as this wine aligns with many Grand Cru Burgundies any day of the week. Our allocation has increased for the 2018 however, 300 bottles is modest, but it does amount to 25% of Owen’s total production. The remainder has already sold out domestically!
To quote Owen, he declared the ’18 as a “stellar wine” farmed organically and from a “perfect vintage.”
Whole bunch pressed, cooled, then to barrel for 12 months. Nothing added, nothing taken away, always unfined, unfiltered and just as we like it, untinkered. The ’18 is sealed with a Diam 30 cork against the ’16 screwcap…
** Available for delivery End August 2020 **
97++ to 98 Points - Stuart McCloskey “Different and rightfully individual, but I can see glimpses of my old friend. The nose is evocative and builds with more aeration. Grilled, creamy nuts, buttery pastry, crème pat, fresh vanilla pod underpinned with confit lemon, crisp orchard fruits and the most striking mineral freshness imaginable. The palate is a little subdued but that’s ok with me as this beauty will last a decade or more. It’s textural, satiny, fleshy and elegant in a muscular sense. I love the salinity, purity and that same buttery pastry. The acidity is racy and the pithy structure chewy and delightful. Supremely sophisticated and yet again, in a class all of its own by an indescribable sense of completeness. One of the highlights of my year and I am pinching three dozen for sure. Do not overchill, decant for 20-30 minutes and ideally serve in Zalto Bordeaux glassware or similar. Drink now to 2030+ (I believe this will be 99 points in 5-8 years)”
98 Points - Magdalena Sienkiewicz "Tasted after decanting. Perhaps a little more feminine compared to the exuberant 2016 but nevertheless, the Intrinsic Chardonnay 2018 is a wine of sheer depth, which is simply incredible for such a young wine. It’s beautifully aromatic with abundant nectarines and apricots unfolding in the glass together with citrus oil, crystalline minerals and a whiff of vanilla. The tremendous texture is where this wine really shines as it covers every facet of your palate with incredible precision and velvety softness. The graceful acidity only aids a sense of poise and seamless balance, harmonising the textural, creamy sensation. This real beauty proves irresistible today but will reward those with an unyielding degree of patience."
The New Incredible Vintage
"The most intense Margaret River Chardonnay I have experienced in a very, very long time…"
The Pennant wines stand at the pinnacle of the Oatley family’s winemaking expression with just two varietals being produced: Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. They are handmade wines nurtured by the winemaking talent of Larry Cherubino and produced in very limited quantities. Both varietals are selected from the very best barrels from the most prized vineyard blocks before earning the Pennant label. Larry is not afraid to skip a vintage or two which places heightened demand on physical releases. The Pennant remains our biggest selling ‘premium’ Chardonnay with our previous vintages selling out within a matter of weeks.
We’ve received a bombshell announcement – our allocation is a mere 30 six packs which we could sell ten times over. We’ve sampled the 2018 and it’s offered on a pre-arrival basis (ETA 4-5 weeks). All six packs will be delivered in their respective, splendid wooden cases. At this stage, we are only offering the wine by the case.
'The Pennant' Chardonnay 2018
** Available for delivery End August 2020 **
97++ 98 - Stuart McCloskey “The 2018 Pennant is an intense power play between citrus and minerality with neither side conceding. The aromatics soar from the glass with freshly zested lemon followed by white flowers, minerals and quartz. The palate is powerful, deeply concentrated and delivers wonderful mouthfeel. The energy is quite astonishing – I love the citrus verve coupled with palate staining minerality. This is a real showstopper which is fearless and entirely unapologetic, but I must add, it is perfectly balanced. A wine which delivers maximum sensory overload and one which dazzles the taste buds. Incredibly inviting now, but I cannot wait to see how this develops with a decade in the bottle. The most intense Margaret River Chardonnay I have experienced in a very, very long time… Do not overchill, decant for 20-30 minutes. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware (highly recommended) for the ultimate impact!”
98 Points - Magdalena Sienkiewicz "Tasted after decanting. Another terrific release from Robert Oatley and one I’ve been looking forward to after two years of absence. The previous vintage released was the 2015 (voted the Best Chardonnay at Halliday’s 2020 Wine Companion Awards) and the 18’ is yet to be released. What a treat…
The Pennant Chardonnay 2018 screams quality and confidence. The perfume is admirably intense with rich citrus, white nectarine and plenty of sea minerals. So vibrant. The palate is truly unctuous and brimming with flavours matching the aromas and broadening further and beyond. A good lick of minerals and pink grapefruit balance the overall richness. Finally, a dusting of spice emerges on a super long finish. This is expansive and flamboyant without any clumsiness whatsoever. Let it breathe and immerse yourself in it’s remarkable intensity."
£195.00 per case of 6
Every purchase of 6 bottles will include the original wooden case
12 cases (6x75cl) available
Robert Oatley The Pennant Mudgee Chardonnay 2013
Hand selected limited release
Winemaker "Specific rows on three carefully selected Oatley vineyards at 450 to 520 metres made the cut for this outstanding modern Australian chardonnay. With a cross-section of old and new clones, hand selected and harvested at a couple of degrees lees potential alcohol than normal, this is a fascinating wine with a wide drinking window. Basket pressed, tight grained low toast French oak and natural yeast fermentation. Stone fruit and citrus with notes of marzipan and hints of honey. Slate-like mineral acidity on the intriguing finish."
Was £28.95 per bottle
Now £25.95 per bottle
Robert Oatley The Pennant
'Frankland River' Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
97 Points - James Halliday "The colour is deep crimson-purple, and the bouquet waves a warning that this isn't to be undertaken lightly. Despite all its power and drive, the wine is superbly balanced and focused, blackcurrant fruit framed by impeccably trimmed tannins, cedary oak is equally poised. A great cabernet."
Was £34.50 per bottle
Now £30.75 per bottle
40 Bottles remain of Domaine Naturaliste's Award Winning Chardonnay
Artus Chardonnay 2017
"Domaine Naturaliste’s 2017 Artus Chardonnay and Vasse Felix’s 2017 Heytesbury Chardonnay received the highest scores from Margaret River at DWWA 2019, both receiving 98 points and a Platinum medal."
Platinum Medal at Decanter World Wine Awards 2019
98 Points - Decanter "Big vanilla and toasty brioche nose. High toast, new oak on the palate with a great depth of ripe tropical fruit flavour, plus a rich vein of pineapple acidity that carries the youthful fruit. Everything is in place for this to evolve gracefully."
Was £37.95 per bottle
Special Offer Price £33.65 per bottle
End of the line
Great wines at great prices…
once they’re gone, they’re gone
Gibson Wines voted No.11 in The Real Review's Top Wineries of Australia 2020
Bin End - Gibson Barossa Vale Shiraz 2003
94 Points - James Halliday "Exceptional focus and structure; seamlessly woven tannins and quality oak through abundant black fruits; medium-bodied, just where it should be."
Bin End Stock - please expect a few nicks and wrinkles on some labels
Special 6-pack price - equivalent to £10.55 per bottle
Was £119.70 per case of 6
Now £63.30 per case of 6
Gibson Old Vine Collection Grenache 2003
94 Points - Robert Parker "With an extraordinary elegance and cool climate Grenache character (the vines are 93 years old), the 2003 Old Vine Collection Grenache is not terribly dissimilar from an old Rayas Chateauneuf du Pape. "
Was £29.95 per bottle
Now £25.00 per bottle
Gibson Old Vine Collection Grenache 2004
94 Points - James Halliday "A very pure bouquet, the palate no less so; unmistakable grenache sweetness, but doesn't descend into jammy confectionery mode; oak and tannins are afterplay to the main action."
Was £29.95 per bottle
Now £25.00 per bottle
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."
Was £84.50 per bottle
Now £68.50 per bottle
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.
Was £19.95 per bottle
Now £17.25 per bottle
Kay Brothers Cuthbert Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
95 Points - Joe Czerwinski (RobertParker.com) "Prettier and more aromatic than the very good 2015, the 2016 Cuthbert Cabernet Sauvignon hints at violets and mint on the nose and adds hints of cherries to the cassis fruit. Medium to full-bodied, it's supple, almost silky on the palate, with a finish that's simultaneously mouthwatering and firmly tannic. It should drink well for at least a decade."
Was £23.95 per bottle
Now £21.75 per bottle
95 Points - Bob Campbell
"First release of a new Marlborough chardonnay. Full-flavoured, with salty, briny, citrus, toasty yeast lees and spicy oak flavours. Lively, tangy wine with a pleasing texture and lengthy finish. Intensity and power suggest good cellaring potential. Clearly one to watch."
Was £31.95 per bottle
Now £29.75 per bottle
Bonny Doon Le Pousseur Syrah 2013
92 Points - Jame Suckling "Tight and structured with green peppercorns, dried flowers and dark fruits that follow through to a medium to full body, firm tannins and a fresh finish. From biodynamically-grown grapes."
Was £24.95 per bottle
Now £21.95 per bottle
Muddy Water Slowhand Pinot Noir 2013
95 Points - Bob Campbell "Made from grapes organically grown on the oldest blocks (planted in 1993). Mellow, integrated pinot noir with savoury, 'forest floor' bottle-aged characters adding extra complexity to bright plum, cherry, floral and spicy oak flavours."
Was £36.95 per bottle
Now £35.50 per bottle
Understandably, each year our producers are keen for The Vinorium to collect their new allocation, which is as exciting for us as it is you. Our decisions are based on the samples provided and/or sales from the previous year – it is difficult to revert to a winemaker with less than positive news, particularly if we are not a fan of the new collection. It is awkward and uncomfortable as we hate to let our hardworking winemakers down, but we are resolute in our approach. In short, we do not buy if the wine is not fantastic.
One producer is going through a seismic transformation which is particularly exciting to be part of, Greenock Creek from the Barossa Valley. As we previously reported (please read our full introduction), Greenock Creek is under new ownership. They are firmly putting the wheels in motion to expand their global reach. We have been provided with the freedom to represent these incredible wines throughout the UK, Europe and the USA which we will do with much vigour and with huge smiles on our faces, as these wines are simply fantastic.
More recently, they have replaced some of their staff and (in our opinion) put in some fabulous personnel – One major addition works for several Aussie producers and we know him well. Greenock Creek wines are big, bold and adored domestically however, we respectfully believe they need to find a degree of refinement and ‘polish’. This has been acknowledged and actioned with the new 2018 collection, which are in the air and heading to our HQ. Now, it is over to you to take advantage of. Both duty paid by the bottle and under bond by the case have all received discounts.
Mike Bennie, The Wine Front "While tasting through a suite of 2017 Greenock Creek releases I kept gravitating back to the non-shiraz wines, specifically the cabernet sauvignon and mataro that were sent. This is one of the wines that sees French oak at Greenock Creek. Unfined-unfiltered to bottle. Bold, luscious and assertive style of cabernet sauvignon but it holds its muscular physique well. Rich cassis, new leather, lavender, woody spice and sandalwood characters emerge. Tannins are chewy, slightly woody, and finish the wine in chomps of wood spice and slight bitterness, though that feels apt after the thick, generous front and mid-palate stuffed with ripe fruit and lavish flavour. Strap in."
Was £34.95 per bottle
Special Price £28.50 per bottle
Winemaker "Cranberry red with brick red hues. Blackberry and prune with savoury spices. Aromatic and spicy. Red currants and bitter cherries are supported by a high and defining tannin profile creating a flinty aspect the wine. Black berry fruits evolve towards the finish and are meet by anise and sage flavours carried by a cranberry acid line. Hand harvested and de-stemmed without being crushed. Fermented in concrete open fermenters for 7-10 days with 4 pump overs to maintain a fermentation temperature of 20-22’C. Drained and pressed though our wooden basket press before being transferred into seasoned American oak for 27 months. Bottled un-fined and unfiltered.
Was £34.95 per bottle
Special Price £28.95 per bottle
Casey's Block Shiraz 2017
China Wine & Spirits Awards 2019 - Gold Medal
Winemaker "Purple red blush with garnet hues. Blackcurrant jelly with cherry and coco powder. Generous and fruit driven. Dark chocolate and vanilla bean round out the dense layers of plums and blueberries. Inviting, soft tannins give a sense of plushness to the palate with buttered toast and dried figs to finish. Hand harvested and de-stemmed without being crushed. Fermented in concrete open fermenters for 7-10 days with 4 pump overs to maintain a fermentation temperature of 20-22’C. Drained and pressed though our wooden basket press before being transferred into seasoned American oak for 27 months. Bottled un-fined and unfiltered."
Was £29.95 per bottle
Special Price £24.00 per bottle
Apricot Block Shiraz 2017
Winemaker "The grapes are fermented in large, shallow open masonry fermenters, pumped over, chilled and pressed through a basket press. It is then racked into barrels to undergo natural MLF, keeping the free run and pressings separate to be blended back together prior to bottling. The wine is pumped into seasoned American hogsheads with a small percentage going into new oak barrels. It is then left to mature for approximately 27 months, and is usually not filtered or fined prior to bottling. This rich, dark red wine has complex aromas of spice and fruit, plums, berries and a splash of dark chocolate with a lingering velvety finish."
Was £36.95 per bottle
Special Price £31.50 per bottle
The Sibling Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
Winemaker "Harvested from vineyards in the Northern Barossa sub-region of Ebenezer. The soil profile is sandy clay loam over solid limestone. Layered and full. The fully ripe blackberry and liquor cherry fruits are unpinned with the savoury edges of cigar, leather and dark chocolate. Oak tannins frame the body of the wine adding spiced toast notes, whilst fleshing out the fruit tannin profile to meld with blackcurrant notes, creating a seamless finish. Cherry red with blood orange hues. Raspberry, fig and white cherries with hints rhubarb leaves."
Was £30.50 per bottle
Special Price £25.55 per bottle
Mike Bennie, The Wine Front "Blue berry fruit character overlaid on sweet earth, crushed rock, clove-nutmeg spice and slate-like mineral characters. Tannins shape the wine well and though north of medium bodied, there’s a sense of restraint, purity and freshness to this wine. Long, rolling, soft tannins lend a hand, and the wine has an easy appeal and yet a lot of character and detail. Heartland Barossa stuff done well here."
Was £39.95 per bottle
Special Price £35.50 per bottle
Winemaker "The grapes are fermented in large, shallow open masonry fermenters, pumped over, chilled and pressed through a basket press. It is then racked into barrels to undergo natural MLF, keeping the free run and pressings separate to be blended back together prior to bottling. The wine is pumped into seasoned American hogsheads with a small percentage going into new oak barrels. It is then left to mature for approximately 27 months, and is usually not filtered or fined prior to bottling. A wine of great flavour and depth with an abundance of fruit, currants, raspberry and juniper, wrapped in a mild oaky finish."
Was £34.95 per bottle
Special Price £30.95 per bottle
Cornerstone Grenache 2018
Winemaker "Cherry red with blueberry hues. Aromas of raspberries and red currants with hints of white pepper and strawberry blossoms. Juicy and generous. The vibrant red berried fruits are at the fore with supporting layers of sweet kitchen spices and rhubarb stems providing vibrancy to the mid palate. The oak is playing a supporting role, framing the mineral/stonewashed tannin profile that creates a creamy balance to the wine.
Hand harvested and de-stemmed without being crushed. Fermented in concrete open fermenters for 7-10 days with 4 pump overs to maintain a fermentation temperature of 20-22’C. Drained and pressed though our wooden basket press before being transferred into seasoned oak for 15 months. Bottled un-fined and un-filtered."
Was £29.95 per bottle
Special Price £26.50 per bottle
Winemaker "Harvested from a vineyard in the heart of the Marananga sub-region, which is renowned for producing rich and silky wines. Vibrant and spicy. Concentrated dark cherries, satsuma plums and freshly ground pepper flow through the palate with supporting charry vanilla bean oak. All encased by a rich and silken tannin profile that drives the raspberry infused chocolate creaminess to round out the lengthy finish. Dark cherry red with rustic red hues. Black plum with mixed berry compote and white peppercorns."
Was £22.95 per bottle
Special Price £20.50 per bottle
See our Cobaw Ridge Offer
Read last week's magazine #123