Issue #139, November 2020

We love all our wine producers however, there are three which rocked our vinous world in 2020. Standish Wines, Utopos and our third, which we are delighted to unveil today, Gemtree

 
 

It’s been more than 25 years since you and Melissa began winemaking together at Gemtree and 40 years since Jill and Paul (Melissa’s parents) bought the vineyard. How has Gemtree changed and developed over the years you have been there? 

The Gemtree story began in 1969 when Melissa’s grandfather, Ernest Allan Rivers, moved from market gardening in the suburbs of Adelaide to plant a vineyard in the McLaren Vale region. The generations preceding Melissa did not use biodynamic practices in the vineyard - that has been the biggest change. Their focus was wholly on the economics of the business whereas Melissa has focused more on the long-term health of the vineyard as well as minimising the detrimental impact of operations to the environment. 

You have been working together for a long time now, since Melissa introduced a winemaker into the family! Is it always harmonious working as a husband and wife team? Do your children spend much time in the vineyard with you? 

We don’t always agree, and robust discussions are part and parcel of how we operate but we view this as positive. Having our own personal views encourages us to consider other options before agreeing on the final decision. It works well that we both have our own areas of expertise and respect each other’s talents in these areas. The vineyard is located across the road from the winery, so we have our own separate business entities and offices, but we come together often for chats and decision making. 

Our eldest son, Elliott aged 19, works in our Tasting Room and at a high-profile restaurant in our region whilst studying a Bachelor of Business, majoring in hospitality. He has developed a good appreciation for wine, and we are looking forward to creating a pathway for him to join our business permanently in Tourism/Hospitality. 

Our second son, Riley aged 17, finishes school this year. He has worked in the vineyard and also done a vintage in the winery. He currently works 1 day a week in the winery, will work in the vineyard over summer and do another vintage at Gemtree in 2021. He has enrolled in a Winemaking/Viticulture degree next year. Our youngest child, April aged 11, hasn’t been put to work yet! We will encourage our children to gain experience in other businesses knowing that the door is open for them to join us if, and when they are ready. 

Mike, you’ve spent some time working elsewhere in McLaren Vale and France. Where have you made wine previously and did this affect your winemaking style at Gemtree? 

My apprenticeships were undertaken with Chester Obsorn at d’Arenberg Wines and with Warren Randall from Seppeltsfield. I also worked two French vintages in the Languedoc and Provence regions. All these experiences had a major impact on ultimately guiding the wine styles I wanted to make. When you spend 25+ years in one place you form an intimate relationship with the land and your surroundings. Throughout my adult drinking life, I have become more attracted to finer and elegant styles of wines globally. This has driven me to make wines that reflect those styles with the trademark McLaren Vale flavour. 

 

Tell us about your two vineyards, what are you growing and what makes them such special places to make wine? 

We have a vineyard in McLaren Flat and one in McLaren Vale. The Flat vineyard is at the base of the Mount Lofty Ranges with higher elevation to the McLaren Vale vineyard which is quite close to Maslins Beach and benefits from cooling sea breezes. They have varied soil types, aspects and topography so each block is unique and managed differently. Both are grown on ancient soils, so the geology has a role to play also. We grow Savagnin, Chardonnay, Verdelho, Albarino, Fiano, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Tempranillo, Grenache and Mourvèdre (Mataro). 

 
 

Biodynamics 

 

Melissa provided a fabulous video explaining the biodynamic principles you practice at Gemtree. Your passion for organic and biodynamic farming shines through in everything you do at Gemtree. Where did you learn about these methods and what benefits have you seen from the years of putting these into practice in the vineyard and winery? 

When we first started practicing biodynamics, there were only a handful of other producers in South Australia doing the same. They were happy to share information with us; so that was a good start point. We began to attend workshops, joined the Biodynamic Agriculture Association (Melissa is now a Board Member), and read lots of books. Then, a lot of trial and error occurred! The benefits of practising biodynamics have been profound. The soils are healthy and full of life, the vines are more resilient and balanced, the fruit has better colour and flavour. On top of that, it is a safer more harmonious place for our employees to work in, our practices are aimed at improving the environment and the wines have wonderful flavour, balance and fruit expression. 

 

You are clearly experts in this field (with Melissa as ‘Godmother to the sustainable farming philosophies’) and the largest biodynamic producer of wine in Australia. Please can you educate us on the methods and help to dispel some of the myths that surround this? 

We don’t claim to be experts. Yes, we have more experience than those converting to biodynamic, but rather than being experts we prefer to think of ourselves as further along the journey. Biodynamic can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be depending on how far you want to delve into the effects of the lunar cycle on our activities here on earth. The most important thing to us is that we are building up our soil fertility and resilience of the vines which we consider to be of paramount importance in dealing with the effects of climate change. Biodynamic farming is a holistic approach, which means it is about looking after the whole farm and not just the crop grown. So, increasing biodiversity, incorporating animals and thinking about the impact of your practices on the environment should all be taken into consideration. 

The biodynamic philosophy also acknowledges the important role that farmers play in the community. By growing nutrient rich food that nurtures the health and brain function of community members, farmers can have an impact on society. If farming is focused on economy more than ecology this can have a negative impact on how society functions. We make wine so don’t have as much of an impact as a farmer growing fruit and vegetables, but we lead by example and show it is possible to run a successful business being more socially and environmentally responsible than conventional farming methods. 

The purity and elegance of your wines speak for themselves but did you initially need some convincing to move into Biodynamic principles back in 2007? 

In 2005, we had a trial underway farming a block of Petit Verdot organically. This was initiated by Melissa who was heading down the organic path at home and wanted to put it into practice in the family vineyards. Around this time, Mike attended a conference in the Barossa Valley on Shiraz and participated in a tasting of biodynamic wines. He was blown away by the purity and quality of the biodynamic wines and suggested to Melissa that we should give it a go at Gemtree. Melissa had come across biodynamics while at University on a field trip to Cullen Wines in Margaret River so had a basic idea of what it was about. Convincing Melissa’s father was a challenge, but persistence paid off! 

 

You have lots of illustrious neighbours, most of whom do not follow the same principles as you guys. What do they think about your methods? Are there friendly debates with your neighbouring winemakers? Moreover, are you seeing them swaying to your way of winemaking? 

Rather than criticise others and their methods, we prefer to lead by example. Life is all about choices and every human being has a right to follow their own path, whatever that may be. There are some incredibly good wines out there that are farmed conventionally, and we are not so dogmatic that we won’t drink conventional wine. McLaren Vale has the highest percentage of organic/biodynamic vineyards in the country, so we are leading the way. The Sustainable Winegrowing Australia (SWA) program was developed in McLaren Vale and we then shared it with the rest of Australia. SWA is the Australian wine industry’s sustainability program – set up to support growers and winemakers in demonstrating and improving the sustainability of their businesses. The program covers the fundamental components of sustainability (environmental, social and economic) and can be applied to both the vineyard and winery. It provides benchmarking tools and resources to enable planning, evaluation, control and communication. SWA is all about best practice and McLaren Vale has the highest percentage of participants in the program than any other region in Australia. 

 
 

All about McLaren Vale
and life at Gemtree 

 
 

In our rush to escape the British winter, why should we all be throwing stuff into a suitcase and jumping on the next flight to McLaren Vale? 

Because it is the best place in the world to live (and visit)! We are on the Fleurieu Peninsula and our beaches are surrounded by beautiful cliffs with soft white sand and clear blue waters. They are also reasonably unpopulated! The McLaren Valley is surrounded by rolling hills and ranges. Vineyards are prominent and some of the region’s Tasting Rooms have stunning views, Gemtree included, which takes in a view across the vines all the way to the sea. Small villages like McLaren Flat and Willunga add character to the region. We not only grow great wine here, but also amazing produce and we have some of the best restaurants in South Australia in our locality. With over 80 cellar doors, art galleries, outstanding restaurants and beautiful bike and walking trails to explore, there is something here for everyone. Combine all of that with being only 45 minutes from Adelaide (our capital city) and its easy to comprehend why McLaren Vale is such a wonderful place to visit. 

 
 

Your tasting room and Ecotrail sound a fascinating place to visit. How did the Ecotrail come about? 

In 2001 Melissa’s parents purchased an old dairy property to plant vines on. There was an area not suitable for planting and we decided to dedicate this area to revegetation. We also installed 6 interlinking dams which is why the site was originally called the Gemtree Wetlands. The first planting comprised 19,000 native plants. There was a degraded creek line full of woody weeds, scrap metal and all kinds of discarded farm equipment. We set about removing the rubbish, clearing the woody weeds and planting natives along the bank. The existing gum trees in the creek line flourished. We approached Greening Australia to give us some guidance on how to develop the site further and formed a joint venture partnership with that organisation that lasted many years. Greening Australia provided a management plan for the site, advised us on what to plant and where, and assisted in recruiting volunteers for an annual planting day known as Arbor Day. In 2011 we installed a walking trail throughout the site and eventually installed 10 information signs along the track to educate visitors about the local environment. We also built picnic shelters and installed a public barbecue for people to use. More recently, we have added emus and a rehabilitation area for rescued koalas. Today, the Gemtree Ecotrail is a 10 hectare area devoted to native flora and fauna that increases the biodiversity on our land and provides a safe haven for native animals. We have planted over 50,000 native trees, shrubs and plants on the site since its inception. This project is another journey and who knows where the next road will lead! 

 

Is there such a thing as a typical day at Gemtree? If so what does it involve? 

There is no typical day (other than during vintage when our mission is to pick grapes and make wine) which is what we love about it! One thing is for sure is that everyone is flat out with so much to do. We have an amazing team of people helping drive our business and many of them have been working with us for many years. There are usually a few meetings as we have learnt that communication and sharing ideas is paramount to running a successful business. We recently established a Gemtree Leadership Team comprising members from admin, winery and vineyard to work on identifying and communicating the Gemtree culture within the team and this has been a great initiative in defining who we are and what we stand for. 

 
 

If picking a favourite wine is too much like asking for your favourite child, could you instead give us some of your top food and wine pairings that we can look forward to trying when your wines arrive in the UK? 

Cinnabar GSM - This wine style loves to match with a variety of flavours. Try experimenting with an array of different taco fillings to find your favourite pairing. 

Bloodstone Shiraz - Serve this wine with barbecued meats and Mediterranean vegetables straight from the char grill. 

Small Batch Grenache – Pair with duck breast with a ruby red sauce of red plums, strawberries, and raspberries or a roasted cauliflower, hazelnut and pomegranate seed salad. 

Small Batch Cabernet Sauvignon - Pour yourself a glass and enjoy while you are waiting for your pot roasted lamb shanks or your Moroccan spiced whole roasted cauliflower to do their magic in the oven. Make sure you save a glass or two to enjoy with the meal! 

The Phantom Red Blend - Braised duck and collard greens or a mushroom and pinto bean veggie burger. 

Ernest Allan Shiraz - Pair with rib eye fillet, duck fat potatoes and steamed greens or a baked mushroom and caraway filo parcel. 

Subterra Shiraz - We’d recommend savouring this wine on its own with a close friend and your favourite album playing in the background. 

 

We were lucky enough to sample your 2019 Subterra Shiraz and it really is something truly special. You’ve described the process as ‘the next level in biodynamic winemaking.’ Can you tell us a bit about this wine and what makes it different? 

Our 2019 Subterra Shiraz began with the careful and considered selection of fruit from our Stage 2 Vineyard. A site that is dark, damp and brooding with a south west facing slope and old gumtrees across the northern boundary, which provide shade and cool the site. The fruit was handpicked and de-stemmed on a biodynamic fruit day, before being transferred into the open fermenter as whole berries. Once the tannins were in perfect balance the skins were hand dug from fermenter to press, where only the free run juice was retained. This wine was then transferred into barrel for primary and secondary fermentation. 

The finest single barrel from this select parcel was isolated from the batch and coated in a thin layer of beeswax to help protect it from the rigours of being buried underground. A wooden chive (traditionally used in old world winemaking) was then inserted into the bung hole to further seal the barrel and protect its precious contents. The barrel was then returned to the vineyard from which its contents were grown, carefully buried in a two-metre deep hole, where it was covered with earth and left to rest. Over the six months that followed, the wine was deeply connected to its immediate surroundings where it acquired the vibrations and energy from the life forces within the geology where it was buried. 

 

How big is your home cellar collection and what gems do you have hidden away in there? 

More than a few dozen but not over the top. If we had to drink it all in 6 months, we could manage that! We love drinking Riesling and have a few hidden gems from Tasmania and Eden Valley. Mike is a big fan of Burgundy, so we do have a few rare bottles hidden away in there. Of course, there is the odd early vintage of Gemtree to remind us where we have come from. 

 
video will open in a new window

Gemtree kindly sent us four videos detailing their wines, family and biodynamic practices. You can watch them all here.

 

Our Gemtree wines are making their way from the port to our HQ. 

We are planning to despatch all orders containing Gemtree wines on Wednesday 25th November for delivery on Thursday 26thNovember. 

Please ensure that you select a delivery date later than Thursday for all orders placed including these wines.

 
 

Gemtree Wines Subterra Shiraz 2019

** Available for delivery from Thursday 26th November **

Please ensure that you select a delivery day at checkout from Thursday onward

99-100 Points - Stuart McCloskey “Great Shiraz weaving its magic with the aid of mother nature and buried under the vines to rest and harmonise before being unveiled to a gobsmacked audience. The bouquet is truly remarkable and as profound as any Aussie Shiraz can get. Wow - Coconut, Chambord liqueur, wild blueberry and cold steel, gallop from the glass – violets, plum and mulberry too. The palate and flavour profiles are something to behold. The fruit and tannins spread across the palate like a peacock unveiling its magnificent tail. This is a serious wine, a wine which should be respected (I confess that I originally scoffed at the notion of storing wine under the earth. How stupid I was). I am not entirely sure what the burying aspect imparts on the wine, but the calmness, composure and balance is so impressive. I love the sweetness to the fruit. I also love the high toned and slightly pithy cranberry element which provides some welcome grip. This is ticking every box on its way to perfection. Decanted for 6 hours and served using Zalto glassware. Drink now to 2050.”

£155.00 per bottle

 
 
 

Gemtree Wines Ernest Allan Shiraz 2018

** Available for delivery from Thursday 26th November **

Please ensure that you select a delivery day at checkout from Thursday onward

98 Points - Stuart McCloskey “A truly exquisite Shiraz which reminds me of Bekkers, which I recently had the pleasure to sample. The aromatic profile is kaleidoscopic in its magnitude and a difficult one to unravel. Coal, pen ink, blueberry, mulberry and plums aplenty. Redcurrants come later as does an edge of bitter coffee. For me, the coolness, unforced feel and overwhelming complexity is the draw. There’s a little smoke on the palate buttressed with effortless waves of cooling fruit. I keep shaking my head whilst telling myself how deeply impressive this wine is (so young too). There’s comforting support from the framework of tannins and a fresh zip of acidity which follows the wine to its very core. This wine celebrates naturality, power, length, charm, character and complexity. A soaring wine and a deeply impressive release from Gemtree. Decanted for six hours and served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware. Drink now to 2040.”

98++ Points - Magdalena Sienkiewicz "The perfume is so alluring – tonnes of blackberries, blueberries, plums and cherry liqueur as well as pen ink, Chinese five spice with a gentle whiff of tar and cold iron. It is beautifully leafy, but ripe. I would happily sink in it. The texture is impeccable. Not a single hair out of place. Its power is undeniable and its balance simply mesmerising. The structure offers an astonishing combination of ripeness, coolness, silky texture and multi-dimensional scale. It is rare to see a single wine capable of carrying all these elements, seemingly contrasting, and carry them with confidence and dignity. I was expecting a £50+ price tag which, in truth, I would happily pay (don’t tell Mike!). Difficult to resist today, I’m excited to see it unfurl in years to come. Decant for at least 6 hours or cellar carefully, your patience will be rewarded greatly. Sampled using Zalto Bordeaux glassware."

£32.95 per bottle

 
 
 

Gemtree Wines Phantom Red Blend Ten 2019

** Available for delivery from Thursday 26th November **

Please ensure that you select a delivery day at checkout from Thursday onward

97-98 Points - Stuart McCloskey “A blend of 61% Cabernet Sauvignon and 39% Mataro, which and despite its tender age is singing wonderfully from the decanter (we sampled after 6 hours). The bouquet is incredibly pure and defined by sweet blueberry, mulberry, dried spice, violet, pen ink and a flicker of mint. The palate is wonderfully structured with grippy tannins – a slight huskiness which will soften with some bottle age. Without stating the obvious, there’s a lovely natural feel to the wine. There’s a succulence and coolness to the fruit which I find particularly attractive. Dark plums are in abundance – I detect a little cold metal too. Clearly, a super-classy wine filled with pedigree. Not only a triumphant Biodynamic wine, but a wine which exemplifies modern Aussie winemaking. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware. Drink now to 2035+”

97+ Points - Magdalena Sienkiewicz "Blackcurrants, mulberries and eucalyptus provide a strong hint of Cabernet Sauvignon which makes up the majority of the blend along with 39% Mataro. Although lush fruit dominates the nose, there is great depth and wonderful freshness which screams quality. The palate bursts with fruit, spices and herbs which show great foundations for a long, bright future ahead. Good grip from the tannins, yet they travel through the palate with a velvety touch. Great wine with lots of interest and in fact, I’m dying to see it unfold and flourish. Decant for at least 6 hours or hide it in the cellar, as this will develop beautifully over the next decade or more (in the right conditions). Sampled using Zalto Bordeaux glassware."

£32.95 per bottle

 
 
 

Gemtree Wines Small Batch
Cabernet Sauvignon 2019

** Available for delivery from Thursday 26th November **

Please ensure that you select a delivery day at checkout from Thursday onward

97++ Points - Stuart McCloskey “This comes across more serious and restrained compared to the Grenache – I would recommend 4-6 hours in the decanter. This is powerful and grown-up with a brooding bouquet which does take time to develop. Deep, deep, deep aromas of blackcurrant, blackberry, liquorice, Indian ink, bay leaf, clove and the sweetest of spices. Equally, the palate has a serious side and will certainly benefit from time in the cellar. For now, blackcurrant, blackberry and damson add an autumnal feel against a background of savoury black olive and a little rosemary and fresh sage. The tannins are broad and provide a lovely framework to the fruit. It’s a beautiful wine, calming and cooling. There’s generosity but it’s considered. Thoughtful and reflective winemaking with the power of mother earth on show. Deeply impressive and leaves me feeling reflective. Drink now to 2035. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware”.

97+ Points - Magdalena Sienkiewicz "Sampled after three hours of decanting. The perfume is rich and brimming with blackcurrants, blackberries, liquorice and aniseed. Graphite and ink add extra layers of aromatic depth. The palate is tensile and you can easily sense the underlying power of this wine. Very controlled and dignified, all its dark fruit is wrapped in a blanket of textural bliss. I love the savoury edge and balanced freshness which prevails on the expansive palate and broadens as I taste. With 2-3 years in the cellar (at the very least), it should unveil further complexities which will be very exciting to watch. Serious Cabernet which should be treated as such. Sampled in Zalto Bordeaux Glassware."

£29.95 per bottle

 
 
 

Gemtree Wines Small Batch Grenache 2019

** Available for delivery from Thursday 26th November **

Please ensure that you select a delivery day at checkout from Thursday onward

97-98 Points - Stuart McCloskey “Unquestionably, the sexiest Grenache bouquet which I have come across for a very long time. The profusion of aromatics is heady, heavenly with a wonderous exotic twist of juniper, mint, clove, raspberry and sweet spice – spiced blood orange with a little more aeration. The floral bouquet is something rather special but difficult to pin down at this stage. As a whole, the bouquet invites you in like a temptress – it’s impossible not to be seduced! The palate is equally alluring with ribbons of sweet, soft fruit which cascade effortlessly and naturally. The tannins are willowy and the acidity juicy. The flavour profile is akin to the bouquet with a little salinity and savouriness in the background. Hands down my favourite Grenache and I am utterly stupid for not buying more – what on earth was I thinking? This is so charming, sexy and really doesn’t require more than an hour in a decanter. It will cellar, but from a point of intrigue alone as this beauty is ripe and ready now. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware. Drink now to 2025+”

97-98 Points - Magdalena Sienkiewicz "Very pretty with a deep crimson colour. What stuns the most is the lush and exuberant perfume which is intoxicating, exotic and delightfully sweet. Abundant raspberries, mint, violets, vanilla bean and a touch of spice are incredibly alluring, so much so I would happily wear this perfume. Given the sweetness of its aromatics, the palate is more savoury than expected. Juicy red fruits melt on the palate with a zip of acidity and svelte tannins. The most exciting Aussie Grenache since we discovered JC’s wines. An utter delight filled with energy and charisma. It reveals all its beauty with only 1-2 hours in a decanter and I assure you it will be gone all too quickly."

£29.95 per bottle

 
 
 

Gemtree Wines Cinnabar GSM 2019

** Available for delivery from Thursday 26th November **

Please ensure that you select a delivery day at checkout from Thursday onward

96 Points - Stuart McCloskey  “This is a beautiful wine to drink. Seamless, the fruit is ripe and plush, the tannins pillowy with some lift from a judicious line of acidy. I will say that the tannins and acidity provide wonderful shape and support. All-in-all, everything is perfect for a wine of this quality. It reminds me of putting on a cashmere jumper… The fruit leads with raspberry which provides yin & yang of sweetness and acidity. The texture is striking simply due to the silkiness. I detect a sprinkling of dried herbs and earth. Long and balanced to perfection. Drinking fabulously now and will continue to do so until 2025. Decant for an hour or two. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware

£18.50 per bottle

 
 
 

Gemtree Wines Bloodstone Shiraz 2019

** Available for delivery from Thursday 26th November **

Please ensure that you select a delivery day at checkout from Thursday onward

96 Points - Stuart McCloskey “How daft of me to sample the most junior wine after the magnificence that is Subterra. Another way of looking at it is – is there breadth and depth to Gemtree’s entire portfolio? In short, the answer is affirmative as this is a joyous beauty strutting with confidence, despite its respectable price tag. The nose offers some warmth from clove and sweet spices. Brooding and actually proving more adult than I expected. The palate is washed with sweet, ripe fruit. Interestingly, this wine lacks the ‘coolness’ of its big brothers, but it misses nothing for it. This is a really joyous slap and tickle of delicious quaffable Shiraz (I have omitted using our Aussie friends’ description, ‘smash-able’). It’s drenched with plums, blueberries, blackberries, mint, vanilla, coconut, kirsch and olive all wrapped in a gentle hug of tannin. The length is super-impressive. In fact (and a little secret) I have a few wines at 25 quid which are not as good! Decant for a few hours and serve using Zalto Bordeaux glassware (this will make all the difference). Drink now to 2025+.”

£18.50 per bottle

 
 
 

“Eileen Hardy Chardonnay is, in my view, the Grange of Australian white wines."

Steven Spurrier

 
 

Perfectly said Mr Spurrier and something we wholeheartedly agree with. Year on year, I have confidence that team Vinorium samples more top end Australian Chardonnay than any other UK or European wine merchant, this provides my team and I with a unique position. Put simply, we know our onions.

Granted, Penfolds Yattarna, Leeuwin Art Series and Giaconda to name a few, produce world class Chardonnay, which can comfortably compete and beat many from Burgundy. Hardys is a misunderstood brand with many directly fixing on their supermarket range, which is wrong. In short, and at any price point, the 2015 Eileen Hardy Chardonnay represents one of the very best Australian Chardonnays available. At £30.00 per bottle, it has no opposition globally.

Our relationship with Accolade Wines (owners of the Hardys brand) is convivial, but The Vinorium is heading towards new horizons which makes working together difficult. That said, and when we are offered exceptional parcels, we accept with the biggest smiles…

Personally, I feel this is becoming more extraordinary with each passing year. I feel compelled to give it the highest possible score however, I will resist as I believe a further five to ten years in the cellar will provixde absolute perfection. This is just the beginning…

Cheers, Stu

 
 

Eileen Hardy Chardonnay 2015

 

£31.95 per bottle or
£29.95 per bottle when you buy a case of 6

 

99 Points – Stuart McCloskey

Tasted 16th November 2020

"Personally, I feel this is becoming more extraordinary with each passing year. I could write a short book on the bouquet alone, which is hedonistic, breathtaking and takes you on the most magical of journeys. Where to start? Honeyed liquid minerals, wet stones, saline / ocean spray, sweet pastry spice, candied lemon, lemon oil, white flowers (honeysuckle), creamed hazelnuts, anise and buttered white toast in the background. The palate feel is powerful and the amplitude and depth astonishing. The poise, detail and balance are equally exceptional, all adding to a sense of being in the presence of a world class wine, which you are… The fruit is sourced from three cool climate regions; Tasmania, Yarra Valley and Tumbarumba – The Tassie fruit providing wonderful lift and refinement. The utterly extraordinary palate offers immeasurable layers of minerals, stones, sweet, buttered spiced orchard fruit. It’s glossy, silken, almost too perfect as sensations go. A bright line of acidity carries to the core, providing intensity and above all, perfect balance. Oiliness is emerging which adds more fullness and dimension. This wine possesses one of the longest and purist finishes I have ever encountered from an Aussie Chardonnay – the spiced buttered finish held together with grippy acidity is simply magnificent and continues for minutes.  Value aside, certainly one of the best white wines I've enjoyed in the past 3-5 years. I feel compelled to give it the highest possible score however, I will resist as I believe a further five to ten years in the cellar will provide absolute perfection. This is just the beginning… Served at circa 13 degrees (cool garage temperate will be perfect) and using Zalto Bordeaux glassware. Important note: The temperature and your glassware choices are critical."

 

98+ Points - Stuart McCloskey 

Tasted 9th May 2019

“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

 

98 Points - Stuart McCloskey 

Tasted 27th March 2018
"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)."

 

What does Shontelle
(Client Services & Logistics) think?

"Score - 100…

I don’t know that I’ve had a better Aussie Chardy yet. Velvety liquid gold. Too good to share…

I say toora loora toora loo rye aye
Come on Eileen, oh I swear
At this moment, you mean everything to me
You mean everything"

 

"Great wine deserves the best glassware"

 
 
 
 

Our Christmas cut off times

Last orders will leave our HQ on Tuesday 22 December @ 2:00pm

HQ collection available: Cut-off for collection 12:00 noon on Wednesday 23 December

All orders placed after 2:00pm on 22 Dec (unless collecting) will be dispatched on Monday 4 January