Issue: 14 / February, 2018
We are thrilled to announce our latest UK exclusivity with one of Margaret River’s premium producers, Watershed, which has not set foot on our shores before... The full unveil will be closer to the wines arrival (early May with any luck).
Whilst we wait, here’s a little flavour of what to expect: Their 2016 Single Block Chardonnay has won gold medal after gold medal, trophies galore and 98 points from James Halliday. The 2014 Awakening Cabernet Sauvignon won the trophy for Best Cabernet at both the 2016 and 2017 Perth Royal Wine Show. This is the first time a Cabernet of the same vintage has won this prestigious award in successive years.
At the very recent 2017 Royal Adelaide Wine Show both the 2014 and 2015 vintages collected Gold Medals. The quality of Watershed’s Cabernets is further underlined by the 2010 Awakening Cabernet Sauvignon receiving 98 points, the equal highest score, in James Halliday’s 2018 Australian Wine Companion. We are shipping both
the 2010 and 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon vintages.
We are also shipping several wines from their ‘Senses’ and ‘Shades’ range, which we believe will offer some amazing drinking for their respective price tags.
And All That Is Happening...
We are also working with Accolade Wines who is the number one wine company in Australia and the UK by volume, and the fifth largest wine company in the world. Their Australian portfolio is impressive including some great names – Houghton, Petaluma, St Hallet, Grant Burge and Hardys. Currently, we have taken the UK exclusivity for the 2015 Hardys Eileen Hardy Chardonnay, which is something very special indeed.
The 2015 is one of the highest awarded Chardonnays and received a glowing review and a score of 98 points from James Halliday.
Make no mistakes; this is a very serious chardonnay, meticulously crafted and built for the long-term (10+ years should you require and resist). The stock has just landed in the UK and we are hoping to be in a position to send our first offer in a few weeks. Please feel free to contact Magda if you would like first dibs and be ahead of the general release.
We’ve also snaffled their remaining ten cases of the brilliant 2012 Hardys Eileen Hardy Tasmania Pinot Noir. Qualitatively speaking – This is on-par with Yarra Yerring and By Farr’s Pinot Noirs however, a little patience is required as these need retrieving from their Oz cellars, which is underway.
On the subject of Yarra Yerring - Alas, we have to sit tight for at least 12-18 months and wait for the 2015’s to be released for international export. Their charming export manager, Sacha is in complete agreement with me as this staggered release philosophy is far from a good idea. How can a winery build a brand in international markets if we all have to wait four years before we see the follow-on vintage? I am rather annoyed if truth be known as I was desperate to get my hands on the ’15 Dry Red No:1 which has hit an all time high (I believe Halliday awarded 99 points too). Anyhow, let’s diarise
June / July 2019 for the next release!
We are eagerly anticipating a haul of samples from one of Yarra Valley’s ‘top’ producers, Hoddles Creek Estate. Franco (Hoddles owner / winemaker) and I have been exchanging emails regarding representing their very best wines in the UK, which he is delighted with. The plan is to represent Franco’s 1er Cru range (Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and a very, very good Pinot Blanc), perhaps both single block Chardonnays - Syberia & his Road Block Chardonnay (a blind tasting will be the acid test on these two) and his PSB Pinot Noir.
We are sampling their Estate, Wickhams and Gippsland wines too. We will let you know how the tasting goes.
Alternatively, we could share this important tasting with some of our readers / customers? Effectively, you will join Magda and I and decide on which wines we will exclusively represent (no pressure!). This can be organised on a Saturday (no date can be set until they arrive from Oz) and will take place at our HQ in Kent. Drop Magda an email if you wish to join the tasting panel.
We received a great email from one of our trade customers based in Hong Kong.
“Your Fox Creek is f***ing so good, worth that money far away, I am drinking it, do you still have”.
One week later, we bid a fond farewell to our entire under bond stocks amassing to 6,852 75cl bottles and 253 magnums to be precise. I would love to see an email from Ken after consuming a few more bottles! On a more serious note, Fox Creek wines offer incredible value and are worth a serious look. Only HQ stock remains which can be viewed by clicking on the following link.
DuMOL En-Primeur Offer: Regrettably, we will not be offering their 2015’s as and to put simply, I am not a fan of their conduct in the lead-up to our meeting and tasting later this month. We loved and purchased the 2014 ‘Finn’ Pinot Noir (amongst many others) with the expectation of receiving a like-for-like 2015 allocation – The way the industry should be respectfully following - however, the 2015 ‘Finn’ has allegedly sold-out due to and I quote “having teething troubles with new software & support staff, meaning that sales of the 2015 ran away - we plan to improve upon this”. Codswallop as I imagine this is down to the 97-99 points it received from Perotti-Brown MW / eRobertParker.com.
I am unconditional in how we operate and conduct our business - I have zero tolerance for such nonsense.
Consequently, our meeting, tasting and any notion of working with DuMOL or their agent has been taken off The Vinorium table, which is an incredible shame as DuMOL produce some of the best Pinot Noir and Chardonnay at any price level.
Nevertheless, I have been invited to California by the Wine Institute of California and will be certainly looking out for some great new wineries which we can work with. I will keep you posted.
Our Wine Dogs of the Week are Hendrix, Perro, Monty & Jack from Greystone Wines, Waipara, NZ
Their 2014 Pinot Noir is a seriously good buy too...
2017 Bordeaux Frost Damage –
The Worst Since 1991
I will be heading to Bordeaux shortly to sample the 2017’s however, devastating frosts have claimed more names as Château d’Angludet joined the growing list of producers who will not be producing a 2017 wine. The Pessac Léognan producer, Château Fieuzal has not produced either a white or red wine and the famous Barsac producer, Château Climens will not be offering a 2017. Some Châteaux have not been affected however, others are reporting substantial damage resulting in lower yields. Fingers crossed we do not see substantial price hikes after three (2014, 2015 & 2016) successful En-Primeur campaigns. Our ‘new’ En-Primeur micro-site is currently being built and will be launched before the campaign kicks off.
Cabernet Sauvignon 2002
Robert Parker once called the ’02 Henry's Drive Cabernet Sauvignon “Sexy, hedonistic and Australia’s version of a hedonistic vintage of Lynch Bages” which is a powerful statement. Today, there is a typical Pauillac nose of cedar wood, pencil lead and cigar-box. Lots of new saddle leather too. The palate is very elegant, beautifully balanced with slightly dusty tannins – the texture smooth and sensuous. This is Cabernet Sauvignon which offers sophisticated drinking pleasure. Still impressive and never fails to put a smile on my face (and that of several Oz winemakers who have taken a bottle whilst visiting). A stupendous wine showing all the hallmarks of a mature Claret. Just a joy.
(Purchase, leave for a few days for the sediment to settle, decant for 1-2 hours and enjoy)
Both of our UK exclusivities are piling on the awards & scores...
Estate Rosé 2017
Margaret River Wine Show 2017
95 Points James Halliday
“The pale but bright hue opens the door for this blend of shiraz and Tempranillo, chiefly tank-fermented, a small portion fermented in barrel. Its fragrant bouquet is attractive enough, but doesn't quite prepare you for the intensity and drive that spears through to the finish and aftertaste. Wild strawberry and hints of forest make this a very special rose”
Harmony Rosé 2017
• China Wine & Spirits Awards Best Value 2018
• Perth Royal Wine Awards 2017
• Margaret River Wine Show 2017
• Royal Queensland Wine Show 2017
• Wine Show of Western Australia 2017
95 Points James Halliday
“Light pink with a shimmer of salmon. Produced from a blend of shiraz and Tempranillo, and has a proud history of high quality predecessors. The length of the wine is prodigious, offering strawberry, red cherry and raspberry, cut and shaped
by persistent acidity”
We are open next week
Saturday 3 March 10am - 4pm