Issue #140, December 2020
Written by Stuart McCloskey
Our penultimate weekend read of 2020 with next weekend being our Christmas farewell, until the team and I return on the 4 January.
I thought I would start with a little housekeeping. International sea freight and land deliveries are the bane of Shontelle’s working life and are now a major thorn in our daily operation which runs from our HQ as slick as a formula one pitstop crew. Unfortunately, the world around us is falling apart due to Covid and God knows what else. We have seen enormous delays with all of our direct shipments from Australia. Port strikes have created a tsunami effect as by the time the vessel arrives in the UK, many are three to four weeks behind schedule. Our London gateway is turning vessels away resulting in further delays.
Domestically, it would be accurate to state that our UK courier, DHL is drowning in parcels. We are fortunate to have the same collection driver who has been tremendous over the years. We respect each other and ensure that we accommodate each other’s daily needs. Given our relationship, we are privy to the inner workings of our local depot, which is the same throughout the UK. Essentially, Black Friday and general online sales have almost crippled the country’s ability to collect, distribute, and deliver parcels in an acceptable timeframe.
Drivers are leaving their respective depots with 120-170 parcels which is an impossible number to deliver on a daily basis. As the days pass, the number of undelivered parcels simply builds to a point where a complete breakdown takes place. I am not defending DHL for one minute as they have the capacity to adapt and to protect their clients and workforce, which they fail at. I feel for their drivers, and ours, Tony, who works bloody long hours and not for a great deal of money.
The UK high street has been dying for years with Covid being the final nail in the coffin for countless businesses, which have sadly closed. Retail habits have been changing for years with many failing to adjust to the pace required, or at all. Online retail provides convenience, opportunity and safety thus making it the appropriate choice for the masses. However, and save for Amazon and perhaps the likes of John Lewis, those trusting on the network of couriers are being let down as the infrastructure (chiefly commercially) is not able to support the demand.
Year on year, The Vinorium online sales increase, which is very much inline with effort and application. A successful online company does not receive orders without an extraordinary level of commitment, and this commitment is daily. The Vinorium online sales rose (2017 to 2018) by 51.7%. 2018 to 2019 we saw an increase of 31.7%. This year (January to the end of November) we have increased by 50.3% helped enormously by the lockdown months of April, May and June – we saw online sales increase by 84.8% which is a substantial number. December, the most important retail month for all independent wine merchants is currently seeing a 47.6% increase compared to the same month 2019 which is tremendous. Of course, and before I move on, I must thank you all for your continued support which is always appreciated and never taken for granted.
My team and I have never failed to pick, pack and despatch one single order – every order received this year has left our HQ warehouse on time, which I believe is a marvellous achievement and is testimony to the great team who support me. This will never change as our ethos is to never fail a customer regardless of how big or small their order may be. However, we are now seeing a situation which we have no physical control over, which in turn, frustrates the hell out of me, but I must make peace with situations beyond us.
Shontelle is fabulous, drilled and does not take well to waffle. She is tireless when a parcel is delayed or lost and woe betide anyone who attempts to fob her off with blarney… Everyday she arrives at work early, she will be late to lunch and is often one of the last to leave. Why? Because she cares about you and your wines. Can we kindly show Shontelle the same level of respect please? It would be lovely to see some kindness or empathy. Many customers are truly fabulous and have been diamonds when matters have taken an unfortunate turn. Alas, some have been less than acceptable, which and regardless of the time of year, is just needlessly rude. My team mean the world to me and unlike many employers, I do not tolerate anyone who treats my staff with disrespect. Your order will be cancelled and you will be blacklisted for life – it’s as simple as that. The world desperately needs to find peace and the biggest hug of love imaginable. Let’s make an effort to communicate with respect as it doesn’t cost anymore time – it may even lower your blood pressure and brighten up your day…
On that note, please, please allow 48-72 hours for all your online orders. Many are being delivered within 24 hours however, I fear the final two week run-in to Christmas may scupper our best laid plans… Moreover, I would urge you not to place orders on Tuesday 22 (we will dispatch if you insist) as I am concerned your wines or gifts will not arrive in good time. Now, you don’t often hear an online retailer advising you to stop buying!
Last week we received 70 Sainsbury’s vouchers, each one provided valued at £100.00. This is far from a lifeline but will provide 70 families who have been classified as at risk of not being able to provide for their families some relief and I hope, some warmth in the knowledge that society cares. I received a lovely letter from the Headmaster – I thought I would share a few paragraphs…
“Your generous donation will allow Goodwin Academy to support these families in these trying years, directing the resources to where they are most desperately needed, and ensuring that all our students have the chance to celebrate the Christmas that we believe all children deserve. Your kindness will do a great deal of good to our community. More than that, it means that we can place children and young people in need at the heart of the work we are able to do. On behalf of Goodwin Academy, and its parents and students, I offer my heartfelt gratitude.”
It is all go at the ranch as we juggle daily life with bringing 2021 plans to fruition. A new website, an entirely new administrative and stock management system, a new finance package (linked to our bespoke website), the launch of our wine club, the launch of our support to UK independent wine merchants and our new HQ to mention just a few. Life at The Vinorium is never dull and we strive to make each day enjoyable.
I will provide a thorough look at the year that was in January’s directors report, which and for those of you new to The Vinorium, provides a comprehensive look at our operation. The list of new Aussie agencies has grown substantially this year with a full, 20-foot shipping container docking at port on or around 16 December. One pallet was destined for all our Christmas tables – Our new Tassie producer, Ghost Rock disgorged two fabulous sparkling wines for our customers however, and as per the above statement, this has been stuck on the water. It may arrive, but I am doubtful.
New agencies from Shadowfax, House of Cards and Coulter Wines also rest inside the container along with our second order from the extraordinary producer, Utopos. However, much of the stock has already been snapped up by canny buyers. I have been liaising with Kym (the winemaker) regarding sampling his 2019s, the possibility of producing an exclusive wine for The Vinorium, a blend of his best parcels of Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon and producing joint label wines which are accessible upon release, provide sensational value and overdeliver on quality. Kym has agreed to airfreight a set of 2019 tank samples to the UK however, these are fragile and may spoil en route. If so, we will need to wait until late January to sample his new wines. Kym has agreed to produce a Shiraz / Cabernet blend – only one or two barrels will be produced, mind you. It is also agreed (if I can get a flight) to blend our joint label together as I know exactly what I want to achieve (being our first ‘own’ label creation). We have placed a small order for more of his extraordinary 2017 and 2018 Shiraz wines as Kym’s 2019s will not be arriving until October / November 2021. Be mindful, both of his current Cabernet Sauvignons have sold out domestically and we have a tiny amount available.
I received contact from Dan Standish who has been super busy in the vineyards with shoot thinning and working under vine. Dan says, “So far it is looking like an exceptional lead up to vintage 2021 with average rains giving us some relief after the past few drought years.” The main thrust of our communications centred around our allocation for his 2019s which Dan states to be “looking outstanding, maybe a little more concentrated than the 18s”. Dan has created 4 cuvées: The Relic, The Standish, Lamella and The Schubert Theorem. Sadly, no Andelmonde this year. Yields for 2019 and 2020 are tiny, nonetheless, and despite my earlier fears, we will be able to provide like for like allocations against your 2018 orders. These will be released in due course (mid-late January 2021). Regrettably, but envisaged, there will be a price increase – circa 9% from the winery however, the biggest issue is the currency level. Last year we purchased at 1.91. Today (Thursday) we would be buying against the Australian dollar at 1.76 which is a significant drop. A no-deal Brexit will only make the situation worse as I am sure we will crash against all global currencies. Our final price can only be confirmed once we have purchased the Aussie dollar… The 2018s have sold well with two wines soon to be joining the sold out list. All under bond stock of Lamella has sold out with a mere 45 bottles remaining on our shelves. The 100-point and newly crowned ‘Australian Wine of the Year’ by Nick Stock / James Suckling.com sees The Schubert Theorem on the same course. Three cases are available under bond with just 44 bottles remaining at our HQ warehouse…
As expected, our reintroduction of Zalto glassware has reignited sales, and to a feverish pace. Three pallets (some £40,000 in cost) arrived on the 19 November. We have sold through 60% of the stock with some glassware now sold out. Some curious facts: The majority of Zalto orders arrive from new customers who very rarely purchase wine from us. On the other hand, Vinorium customers rarely purchase Zalto glassware – it’s quite a headscratcher, don’t you think? Everyone has the right to drink from whatever vessel they so choose however, and from someone who has purchased most wine stemware, Zalto is by far the best. I believe the best investment to any cellar is your choice of glassware. The wrong stemware can ruin a wine or will, undoubtedly subdue the finer nuances which we convey in our tasting notes. The wrong glass can dampen the most expensive wine, but the right glass will elevate most. Supply is now a real problem – currently, we are unable to purchase more as the factory is down by 50% capacity. In addition, they do not know what the import costs will be post the Brexit shenanigans. What on earth were people thinking when they voted to leave!
Perhaps we should rename our 2020 Wine of the Year with the biggest faux pas of 2020, as and embarrassingly, I neglected to send my email to my team which declared Yarra Valley producer, Soumah, as my ‘Best Value Winery of 2020.’ Of course, I could have moved on and not openly declared my silliness however, and whilst I hang my head with indignity, I would hate for Soumah to miss their spot on the podium.
I believe the descriptive term of ‘Best Value Winery’ may conjure more negatives as ‘value’ is rarely associated with quality. Next year, we may rename the award from ‘Top to Bottom’ as this perfectly describes what is required to win the Number One spot. Undeniably, Soumah overdelivers on each wine that they produce. Our list of their wines is plentiful, as we can never say ‘no.’
Their top ‘Equilibrio’ tier are deeply impressive with their Chardonnay earning 98 points and their Pinot Noir 97-98. Both wines are young and will develop into, two serious contenders. I am smitten by their Hexham Pinot Noir and The Butcher (Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Nebbiolo) blend. There is not one Pinot Noir that I drink more of than Hexham – It will be such a treat over Christmas.
As I mentioned in my tasting note “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.” If there was one wine to serve (regardless of money) over Christmas, this is the one… Their Cabernet Sauvignon is a riot of flavour and drinks wonderfully after 4-6 hours in the decanter. It’s serious, but the waves of fruit are incredibly appealing and satisfying.
Their Chardonnays are equally impressive and will develop over the coming years – despite their price tags, both the Hexham and Upper Ngumby should be taken seriously. Soumah d'Soumah Chardonnay is comfortably on a par with a twenty-quid Chablis – Just a little aeration and served using a Zalto Bordeaux glass will lift this wine.
So, my deepest apologies to team Soumah for being such a plonker. We are proud to represent you in the UK and we love your entire collection…Very well done indeed.
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”.
£35.95 per bottle
Decanter World Wine Awards 'Best in Show' 2020
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.”
£35.95 per bottle
97 Points - Stuart McCloskey “A blend of 44% Syrah, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon and the curious addition of 23% Nebbiolo, which I originally thought would provide a less than exciting drinking experience. However, I was completely wide of the mark as it’s bloody marvellous and packed to the rafters with fresh, juicy fruit. I sampled the ’18 over two days and directly from the bottle – both occasions providing a fabulous experience. The nose reveals cassis, blackcurrant, dark plum, violet, blood orange and leather. The palate is complex, layered and follows the same synergy as the bouquet. The fruit is ripe and wrapped with lithe tannins. The acidity being judicious and the oak regime (10 months of which 25% is new) provides a fresh bite of structure. I love the suede-like texture; it’s so evocative and inviting. There’s intensity and abundant flavour without the slightest sign of heaviness or any notion of being a cumbersome hodgepodge. It’s surprisingly approachable now, and with a quick hour or two in the decanter will provide a thoroughly satisfying experience. Unquestionably, worth every penny. Drinking now to 2030. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware.”
£26.95 per bottle
"...there’s a little Christmas feel to the aromas which I find wistful. Simply delicious and faultless for the money"
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."
£19.95 per bottle
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.”
£19.95 per bottle
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”.
£19.95 per bottle
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.
£19.95 per bottle
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 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... read more.
£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
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)..read more”
£15.95 per bottle
Soumah Single Vineyard 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!"
12 bottles remain
£18.95 per bottle
Our 2020 Hall of Fame Winner -
Standish Wine Co
Standish Lamella Shiraz 2018
Stuart McCloskey "The bouquet is exceedingly floral with a strong marine influence. Warm earth, espresso, violet, mineral, lead pencil, and mint are just some of the components which create the glorious and ever evolving bouquet. There is more structure from the acidity and tannins which keep the voluptuous, ripe, and supremely concentrated black fruits in perfect check. Ethereal in weight. Fine boned with an immense future ahead of itself. Not as amiable as the Andelmonde but this is precise winemaking aligned with nature itself. The finish is epically long. Drink before bed (do not clean your teeth) and you’ll be tasting it when you rise. Just incredible. Truly so. Decanted for 3.5 hours and served with Zalto Bordeaux glassware. Drinking window from 2020 to 2050++." Tasted 06.05.2020
The same decanted wine was sampled circa 24 hours later (overnight we placed a tight clingfilm seal over each decanter)…
Summary: The bouquet is explosive and speaks loudly of its terroir –Iron, flint, incredibly muscular and alluring. Very Côte-Rôtie but with a lick more sweetness. The palate is expansive and drenched with ripe black / blue fruits. I love the bitter espresso and liquorice finish. I feel a tad mean with my score as this is an incredible wine, and just starting out on life. I truly believe this will be perfect in a decade or two and will achieve 100 points. But, and for now, an almost perfect score will suffice.
My Overall Score: 99 Points
Sold out In Bond
45 bottles remain in our HQ
Standish The Schubert Theorem 2018
100 Points - JamesSuckling.com "Mica-laced soil from the Schubert Vineyard in Roenfeldt Road, Marananga and fermented as 50% whole clusters. The site has six parts and all are made as a single parcel and then the wine is assembled. There’s distinctive complexity of fruit here with all shades of red, blue and purple through to black. There are also ripe dark peaches and nectarines as well. There’s a spicy edge, too, with some almost flinty, graphite notes. The palate has such intensity and power and really long, deep black fruit builds through the finish. Impeccable depth of tannin here. Rich blood plum flavors, intersected with blackberry. So saturated in flavor, so long and full of energy. The vinous intensity on the finish is spectacular. This is something really special. Try from 2024."
Stuart McCloskey "The nose is an intense experience which unfurls with iron ore, marine, kelp, licks of salty wet stone, graphite, packed with black fruits and a lovely floral lift. The palate is medium-bodied, a touch more edgy, and perhaps speaks more of terroir than fruit. The marine influence continues through to the palate prescribing more umami flavours. Briary, with more pronounced acidity and fine tannins. Ink on the finish and incredibly complex. A real intellectual wine and deeply impressive. Decanted for 3.5 hours and served with Zalto Bordeaux glassware. Drinking window from 2020 to 2050++ but I would ignore for 5-10 years." Tasted 06.05.2020
The same decanted wine was sampled circa 24 hours later (overnight we placed a tight clingfilm seal over each decanter)…
Summary: Not the slightest sign of oxidation as the aromatics explode from the glass. Iron ore, marine, kelp, licks of salty wet stone, graphite are still present as is espresso, dried orange peel, fennel seed and warm, baked earth. The palate is super-concentrated – a tsunami of saturated fruit covers every millimetre. The mineral tone is a work of genius, An extraordinary wine in every sense.
My Overall Score: 99-100 Points
3 cases remain In Bond
44 bottles remain in our HQ
More gems from Barossa Valley
International Wine & Spirits Competition Gold Medal 2019
Hutton Vale Farm Shiraz 2014
97+/98+ Points - Stuart McCloskey “A pure bouquet of blackberry intermixed with warm, dry earth, musky herbs, menthol, graphite and pen ink. To be honest, you would run out of superlatives as the bouquet is endless and constantly changes with more aeration. The tannins are a touch chalky contrasted with magnificent layers of perfectly ripe, black fruits. Far from being heavy or clumsy – quite the contrary. A shrill of redcurrant on the entry followed by a wave of brooding, briary fruit laced with sweet spices falling to Provençal herbs and touches of menthol. The Mount Edelstone connection (one of Australia’s greatest single-vineyard wines) plays a significant role, but I wonder how much nature has shaped this wine? So natural and so effortless. A remarkable wine…Decanted for 4 hours and served using Zalto Bordeaux Glassware. Drink now or over the next decade and beyond.”
Where Dan Standish sources fruit for his Lamella
31 bottles remain
Utopos Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 (6x75cl)
98-99 Points - Stuart McCloskey "The 2018 vintage produced wines with an extra level of richness (versus the ‘17) resulting in less Shiraz. The composition is 98% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Shiraz. The aromatics are profound even at this stage. Indian ink, blood orange, plum, whispers of leather, freshly sawn cedar and I am swaying between a sense of mineralité or ocean (perhaps both?). I am certainly consuming more than I am spitting which isn’t too difficult as the creamy, sweet fruit coats every millimetre of my palate. I believe this is the most lavish Cabernet Sauvignon I have sampled, but it is important to add a note concerning the polish, the exquisite sense of detail and precision. It is easy to produce an exaggerated unbalanced wine. This, on the other hand, is simply majestic – a wine of genuine pedigree and class. The ripe layers of blackberry, boysenberry and mulberry are flanked by ripe tannins which add the perfect level of balance. The mineral rich finish is a masterstroke. Sublime. Decanted for 8 hours and guzzled using Zalto Bordeaux glassware. Heavenly now and will be for at least 15-20 years."
Sold out in Australia
Last cases are due in January 2021
6 cases remain
JC's Own Sierra Nevada Foothills Pinot Noir 2016
Jaysen Collins (winemaker) - "I'm going to be honest, winemaking was not my first choice of career - I'm a frustrated 5"7 wannabe point guard that had dreams of making it as a basketballer in the NBA. If only I was another foot taller I kept telling myself.
What's this got to do with wine you ask? I've always wanted to spend some time in the USA amongst the basketball culture, see some games, buy some pimped out shoes - but life in general sometimes delays these goals. In 2015 I finally got to spend an extended amount of time on an amazing holiday property in California, right amongst the Sierra Nevada range. I have travelled back every year since and have come to know this vineyard like a second home... read more
18 Bottles remain
£21.50 per bottle
Powell & Son Roussanne Marsanne 2017
97+ Points Stuart McCloskey
"Sharply focused, linear with a vibrancy which I wasn’t expecting. The floral character comes to the fore which compliments the nashi pear, peach, melon and suggestion of jasmine brilliantly. The palate is expansive with swathes of buttered citrus fruits underpinned with a core of minerals. I’ll be brutally honest, I was expecting a voluptuous Barossa bombshell. Instead, I received an unexpected balancing act between litheness and precision which is extremely impressive. This is one of those rare wines which floats on the palate but delivers to every millimetre. Drinking beautifully now (decant for 20 mins) but will cellar for 8-10 years."
36 Bottles remain
£40.95 per bottle
Our Top Newcomer of the Year 2020
Gemtree Wines Small Batch Grenache 2019
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+”
The solo project of Julian & Alana Langworthy – Nocturne
Nocturne Wines Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
98 Points - Stuart McCloskey “A truly fabulous bouquet which unfurls with such grace – Violets, an abundance of mineral-laden black & blue fruits, fresh pencil shavings, menthol, ink and some warmth (more from the quality of the vintage rather than alcohol). The palate is softly spoken, tannins lacy and svelte - oodles of textural finesse. Perfect symmetry which is something special for such a young wine. Medium-bodied, ultra-fine and screams quality - there isn’t a hair out of place. Ethereal, alluring, sensual and offers a lovely regal quality. As good as any recently released Aussie Cabernet. Just magnificent. Truly so… Decanted for 2-3 hours and served with Zalto Bordeaux glassware. Drinking wonderfully now however, this will be mesmeric in a decade…”
One of our best value Chardonnays from Margaret River
Domaine Naturaliste Floris Chardonnay 2017
96+ Points - Stuart McCloskey “Floris is my midweek favourite and the ‘best’ value Chardonnay in our collection. Decant, pour into good glassware and your guests will believe you are sharing a thirty-quid bottle of wine with them – I kid you not. The aromatics leap from the glass in a wave of anise / fennel, confit pear, fresh ginger, oh so floral and finishes with a zip of lime acidity. The fruits are powerful and the palate saturated with minerality. Glossy with a super-long zesty finish. Simply, an excellent wine. Served with Zalto Bordeaux glassware. Do not overchill"
Featured in our Top Wines of 2020
Wild Duck Creek Roussanne 2017
97+ Points - Stuart McCloskey “A fabulous Roussanne from Wild Duck Creek which has taken me by surprise – this is sampling magnificently and I'm not entirely sure why this has passed me by…Served at warehouse temperature (13-15 degrees) which is spot on and helps the bouquet to unfurl with delicate aromatics of honeysuckle, peach, orchard fruits, spiced apple and a background of fresh hay – a faint waft of fresh ginger in the background. The textural palate feel is weighty, luxurious and balanced amazingly. Perfect, if I am being honest. There’s a lovely grippy textural feel which adds structure to the satin like texture. Fruit is pointed towards an autumnal orchard with touches of stone fruits, spiced honey and fresh ginger. I enjoy the savouriness with a little hay coming across too. A streak of acidity keeps the palate alive and complements the richness wonderfully. In summary; opulent, magnificently textured, super long, full of energy and will certainly appeal to those seeking all of the above. Magnificent. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware. Drink now to 2030.”
Hunter Valley Shiraz from the talented hands of Angus Vinden
Vinden Wines Basket Press Shiraz 2018
96 points - Stuart McCloskey “A more lavish feel to both the nose and fruit profile. Clearly, made for immediate enjoyment, but with the structure to age well for 8-10 years. That tell-tale warm red clay soil emanates from the glass, with oodles of plush, dark fruits. Ripe, sumptuous with touches of cassis, oak and espresso. The palate is equally friendly and greets you with a wash of crisp, ripe red & dark fruits. The tannins are impeccably balanced and work in harmony with the zap of acidity. There’s heaps to like about this wine as it’s so accessible, flavoursome and friendly. Another 12-24 months in bottle will do it a lot of good. I could even imagine this dunked in an ice bucket for ten minutes and served on a warm, summer evening. Just a joy. Served in Zalto Bordeaux glassware.”
Sold out In Bond
42 bottles remain
Outstanding wines from Hoddles Creek Estate, Yarra Valley
Hoddles Creek 1er Chardonnay 2017
97+ - 98+ Points - Stuart McCloskey “It’s taken some time for this beauty to develop and certainly has a bright future ahead. Do not overchill and allow the wondrous bouquet to unfurl to crisp yellow stone fruits, lemon oil, its rich with minerality (wet chalk), buttered citrus, spring flowers and nashi pear. I adore the bouquet which I find so evocative. I could happily spend the day swirling and sniffing without the need to taste (it’s that alluring). The palate is tight knit, finely boned, endlessly long and built with cellaring in mind. The elegant textural element is wonderful. The purity and balance are exceptional. Tensile whilst providing fleshy orchard fruits...read more
Hoddles Creek Syberia Chardonnay 2017
97 Points - Gary Walsh (The Wine Front) "Struck match, lime, grapefruit, almonds, chicken stock, flickers of cool green. Fine and composed, surges through the mouth, grips on tight, and doesn’t let go. So long. Flint, chalk, crunch, texture, subtle bitterness. It’s all here. It’s very Adult Chardonnay. Racy. A nudge and wink to those in-the-know. Outstanding."
96 Points - James Halliday "Bright straw-green; the complex bouquet has a positive touch of funk, as does the palate, but it's here that all the parts of the wine are fused together. The seamless flow of white peach, melon and grapefruit is given context by delicate cashew oak and fine acidity."
2021 Best Chardonnay Wines - Wine Companion Awards
Hoddles Creek Roadblock Chardonnay 2017
98 points - James Halliday
"Planted on a east-facing terraced hill slope. It's quite certain the wine was barrel-fermented with a percentage of new French oak, but it's been soaked up by the fruit. It's an intricately polished wine, the fruit/oak/acid balance sheer perfection, its longevity impossible to guess."
95 Points - Campbell Mattinson
"Fabulous chardonnay. The cup runneth over. Slick, spritely, satiny and sustained. There’s flavour, there’s finesse, there’s a flourish to the finish. Lemon, lime, a sorbet-like aspect, nectarine and white peach, with a classy clip of spicy-sweet cedarwood oak. There’s almost a bacony aspect here, a smoked meat note, rosemary even, though it’s exquisitely pure of fruit. Potential for positive development is huge."
2020 Top Rated Pinot Noir -
Wine Companion Awards
Hoddles Creek PSB Pinot Noir 2018
95 Points - James Halliday "From a close-planted single block of MV6 and Pommard clones. A fragrant, fresh armful of red berries. It's the length of the wine that arrests most attention, although it is accompanied by depth to its blood plum fruit. As usual, Hoddles Creek Estate punches above the dictates of a difficult vintage."
95+ Points - Gary Walsh (The Wine Front) "A single vineyard wine, close planted to Pommard and MV6 clones. I liked it from first sniff. Cherry, spice, subtle biscuit oak, a distinct sweet earth/mineral thing happening, and some dried herbs and flowers. Medium-bodied, good amount of flavour, particularly impressive tannin – fine, thick and graphite – pulls the ripcord of juicy acidity on the long finish. Complex. Composed. Cracking. My kind of Pinot Noir. Tasted May '19"
Mystery Christmas 6 Pack -
To share ....or not!
Allow The Vinorium to be your very own secret Santa this year, with this selection of six of our favourite wines.
These six bottles have been carefully chosen by the team and are guaranteed to provide a delightful surprise on Christmas morning.
Red mystery case of 6
£177.80 per case
White mystery case of 6
£151.25 per case
A vast array of stunning wines awaiting discovery
Please allow 48 hours for all deliveries
Our preferred UK courier, DHL Parcel UK have provided an outstanding service throughout this year, during such an extraordinary time. As Christmas fast approaches, people are turning to online ordering more than ever, leading to record numbers of parcels passing through their network. The Vinorium alone saw a rise of 200% in the last ten days of November.
All orders received by us before 2pm are despatched the same day without fail, but in the past 72 hours we have seen at least 30% of our orders delayed in the DHL system. This is far from ideal and beyond our control. In light of this, please can we ask you to be mindful and allow 48 hours for all your deliveries.
As ever, my team and I remain at your disposal.
Thank you for your kind understanding.
My very best wishes, Stu
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
"The Vinorium has celebrated three Decanter awards for ‘Australian Wine Specialists of the Year’ in a row which we are immensely proud of. This is a celebration of the best wines of 2020 which my team, you and I have all enjoyed."
A warm welcome to Tassie producer, Grey Sands who joins our list of UK newcomers.
A wonderful collection. Fabulous Blanc de Noir. Their Pinot Gris must be the best new world example we have ever sampled. Meet Bob & Rita and their wines
A brand new Vinorium exclusive and the first time they have set foot in the UK.
Established in 1963, Wantirna Estate ranks among the elite in Australia and we are so thrilled to exclusively launch their wines across Europe. We sit down with winemaker Maryann Egan and chat about life at this exciting family run winery.
"Great wine deserves the best glassware"