Issue #163, August 2021

With the Summer Holidays in full swing, this Sunday’s Weekend Read is simply a short message to wish you all a wonderful time with plenty of sunshine.

We have prepared a retrospective look at the year to date, highlighting some of our most popular wines and articles for you to review and enjoy on the quiet.

Team Vinorium

 

Interesting stats

(based on the first 7 months of the year)

 
 

Top 3 most
viewed articles

 

No.1  - Australia's Old Vines

"For a young country like Australia to have something older than the 'old world' is a great wine story for us 'new world’ producers." Jaysen Collins, of JC's Own & Massena

 

No.2 - Mike and Melissa from Gemtree provide a fascinating insight into biodynamics

"Our organic and biodynamic credentials have roots as deep as our decades-old vines because we firmly believe it is our responsibility to improve the land for future generations. Healthy soils lead to a healthy ecosystem and that rewards both us and you with the gems from which we craft our fine wines." Gemtree

 

No.3 - Exclusive interview with Erin Larkin

We spent time (lots of time) with Erin Larkin – the highly regarded wine writer, judge, regional taster for the Halliday Wine Companion and a regular contributor to the Halliday Wine Companion Magazine. 

" ...it turns out I have a pretty good palate, so I worked on that, hard – tasting every day"

 

This year, we launched in the UK for the very first time…

 

Back in January, we welcomed Shadowfax wines who joined our growing list of wineries based in the ‘cool’ Victoria. Their Macedon Ranges wines are simply superb and will soon be joined by their Geelong range. Watch this space…

 

Shadowfax Midhill Chardonnay 2019

97-98 Points - Stuart McCloskey “The bouquet is explosive but does require a little aeration (30 minutes in a decanter will do the job nicely). Lemon oil, citrus, limestone and chalk aplenty – it’s so fresh and taut (the zippy acidity really crackles), which are all terroir indicators referencing this wine’s elevated (550m) site in the Macedon Ranges. The palate feel, fruit, structure and acidity are all in harmonious chorus. Similar to the bouquet, the palate strides forward with citrus in abundance – almost lip smacking. The texture is deeply satisfying with satiny ribbons of lemon curd and Yuzu. The vineyard was planted back in 1993 which aids the wine’s tremendous concentration. The finish is racy and super long… A wonderful Chardonnay that speaks of its surroundings. One for the cellar and I very much look forward to revisiting the wine over the coming years. Drink now to 2035. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware.”

£34.95 per bottle

 
 

Shadowfax Macedon Ranges Chardonnay 2019

97+ Points – Magdalena Sienkiewicz "The perfume is so inviting with an abundance of citrus and minerals infused to perfection. The aromas are super pure but intense at the same time (give it a few minutes in the glass). Notes of lemon oil, chalk and oyster shell build up with aeration, together with a lovely touch of nougat, ginger and nashi pear. The flavours follow suit with elegance. It is generous, but equally composed, super smooth and even slightly viscous (amazing texture). No wonder this is the go to wine of team Shadowfax. Sampled using Zalto Bordeaux glassware following 30 minutes of decanting."

Customer Review

"This is seriously impressive given the fact that this is the Shadowfax entry level offering. Elegant and refined with a gorgeous creamy texture. What more can you ask for from a Chardonnay if only Burgundy could offer entry level wines of this quality."

£23.75 per bottle

 
 

Shadowfax Macedon Ranges Pinot Noir 2019

96-97 Points – Magdalena Sienkiewicz "This wine really opens up and expands when decanted, even one hour makes a difference. The aromas reveal wild, dark berries, juicy cherries and raspberry with a wonderful lift from rose petals and mint. There is a good dusting of sweet spice too along with pencil lead and gentle cedar notes. Pretty fruit opens the palate with a little citrus zing, juicy cranberries and a good bite of blood orange. The palate feel is generous, succulent and unforced. The finish is long and the tannins powdery. It’s delicious today, but I’m super curious to see how it develops over the next 5 years. Sampled using Zalto Burgundy glassware."

£23.75 per bottle

 

Shadowfax Macedon Ranges Pinot Gris 2019

96+ - 97 Points – Stuart McCloskey “Sourced from their Little Hampton vineyard which rests at 750 metres above sea level. The bouquet is a profusion of spices melded with poached pear, cardamon, cinnamon and lemon zest. Floral too and incredibly fine (signing of higher altitude purity). The palate is super refined, unrushed and unforced – wonderfully natural. The fruit sits towards citrus with a little baked apricot in the background. Flowers provide a lovely blanket, a new dimension – salinity finishing the flavour profile off perfectly. Very elegant indeed. Surprising density given its age. An exceptional Pinot Gris – very classical and would comfortably lie in one’s cellar for a decade or more. Drink now to 2035. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware.”

£21.95 per bottle
10 bottles remaining

Shadowfax Minnow Roussanne 2019

96 Points – Stuart McCloskey “If there were a wine that screams of summer, this is it. The bouquet is a heavy profusion of sun-drenched, baked apricots, fresh vanilla pod, creamy fresh yoghurt and lemon oil. Aromatically perfect! The palate is riveting and offers a wonderful sense of energy. This is not a mouth filling viscous illustration. Instead, it’s high toned on the palate, light on its feet – the fruits and acidity are framed perfectly. Touches of baked apricot combines with a little saline character adding an extra layer of complexity. I detect pear after a minute or two – such a long finish. This is sampling much better than the first bottle shipped across the pond. Sadly, I have made a huge mistake as I should have purchased much more. Superb value. Drink now to 2025. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware.”

£19.95 per bottle
11 bottles remaining

 
 

February saw another exciting début, this time a husband-and-wife team from Margaret River. House of Cards are 100% organic and arguably, they are some of the best value wines you will find in Margaret River.

 

House of Cards Introductory Case - 4 Pack

House of Cards was established in 2011 after owners Elizabeth and Travis returned to Yallingup from travelling overseas where Travis completed vintages in New Zealand and Canada. Their goal for the winery was simple; to passionately create single vineyard wines of exceptional quality.

This pack provides this perfect introduction to House of Cards with a mix of their Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

1 x House of Cards Kings in the Corner Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2018
1 x House of Cards The Royals Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
1 x House of Cards The Royals Chardonnay 2019
1 x House of Cards Three Card Monte Sauvignon Blanc 2018

SAVE £10.00 (RRP £98.50 per case)
£88.50 per case

 
 
 

Chris Coulter spent many years working for large winemaking companies including McGuigan and 1847, but he always had a nagging desire to produce his own wine and eventually took the leap and created Coulter Wines. Chris sources fruit from premium growers in the Adelaide Hills, Barossa Valley and Riverland. His small batch, minimum intervention wines are simply superb.

 

Coulter Wines C1 Chardonnay Adelaide Hills 2019

97+ – 98 Points - Stuart McCloskey “What an explosive and heavenly bouquet filled with candied peel, citrus oil, sea spray, fennel seed and confit lemons. The sweet and alluring scent of jasmine creeps in with more aeration. Take a sip, swallow, sit back and enjoy the complexity. The palate feel is simply glorious, expansive, richly textured, powerful (without being heavy), multi-layered and almost endless. Crystal-like definition kicks in and provides structural finesse along with mouth cleansing acidity (more confit lemon than searing grip). There’s pristine detail on show and the finish goes on for many minutes.  Again, we finish with sea spray, confit lemon and mineralité. In summary, this is perfectly balanced, a joy to drink today but has the structure to evolve for another 6-8 years and delivers waves of textural finesse. Very, very, very good indeed. Do not overchill. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware”.

£24.95 per bottle

 

Coulter Wines C4 Experimental Syrah Eden Valley 2019

97 Points - Stuart McCloskey “The fruit was sourced from the Eden Valley and picked on a very hot day (42 degrees). No oak, only stainless steel which I like as it provides some freshness to the fruit component. The bouquet requires a little time to open (I suggest 1-2 hours in a decanter) – earthy, sweet beetroot juice followed by mocha / coffee, blackcurrant and blueberry. The wine is approachable now and will age for 6-10 years. In truth, I am in two minds as to how this wine will develop and when ‘best’ to enjoy it. Today, it provides joyous flows of blue / black fruits wrapped in crushed velvet, it’s incredibly charming and overly pleasing. Blueberry / blackberry compote dominate with a swish of liquorice. This is one of those voluptuous, seamless, velvety-textured charmers that creeps up on you without you knowing. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware”.

£24.95 per bottle

 

Coulter Wines C5 Barbera Adelaide Hills 2019

95+ - 96 Points - Stuart McCloskey “Blue and black fruits in abundance, gift-wrapped in a velvety robe of sweet spice (black liquorice too). Like the Shiraz, this is another charmer and will please all those seeking textural richness, generosity and fun. On a serious vinous note, this maybe quaffable, but the wine has a serious edge. The lasting fruit flavours impress, there’s ample texture and acidity that is always an important component to a good Barbera (but not too much). Harmonious in a word… Decant for an hour. Served using Bordeaux Zalto glassware”

£19.50 per bottle
24 bottles remain

 

New collections from
Barossa’s Greats

 

It seems an age since we launched the new, 2019 collection from Standish (14 February). We prepared and decanted the wines the day prior to sampling however, our plans were put out of sorts.... Read more

 

Special Four Pack

1 x Standish Lamella Shiraz 2019  
*** Only available in this special four pack ***

99-100 Points - Stuart McCloskey “The ’19 Lamella is without question a powerful and concentrated release. The bouquet offers warm earth, espresso, violet, mineral, lead pencil, bay leaf, dried herbs wrapped in a blanket of concentred black raspberry and dark, brambly fruits. Iron ore and that unmissable drift of marine unfurl beautifully along with a stronger accent of graphite. The palate is, as one would expect, full bodied and hurtles forward with enormous power and the backbone of a blue whale. This is monolithic in stature, but the wine’s symmetry is masterful – the breadth, depth and length all categorised as ‘incredible.’ The oak is seamlessly integrated, the balance perfect and the acidity adding a faultless nip of freshness. Waves of multi layered black fruits infused with minerals, with glimpses of lavender emerging. There’s an exotic quality to the fruit which adds to the hedonistic pleasure. The sheen is to die for and I love the textural brilliance. It’s one of those rare wines which leaves you in amazement. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware. Drinking window; Alas, this is one for the cellar and requires a decade to unfurl, but and with 24 hours in the decanter, this will provide you with a special moment in your life. This will be perfect in 20-30 years and will live on for 50-70 years (if not a century).” 

1 x Standish The Standish Shiraz 2019

99-100 Points - Stuart McCloskey “We decanted the full suite at 4:00pm on Wednesday 10 February with round one of my sampling taking place the following day at 10:30am. The bouquet is a mesmeric and heady mix of dark cocoa, mocha, graphite, iodine, mineral accented black and blue fruit (almost liqueur-like), Crème de mûre, mulberry, woody spice box, so exotic, blood orange and all brushed with a wand of dried lavender. A little musk on round two with the dried spice box on the finish. The palate is extremely dense, full-bodied and demands your attention. As with Lamella, this packs a concentrated punch, but carries no excess weight. The fruits are sweet, expansive and reach those hard to find areas. Monolithic but with so much grace and skill on show. Spice cake and violet pastille interwind with damson and blueberry compote. Black cherry too with the faintest whisper of vanilla. The mineral laced fruit component builds and builds as does the power that knocks you sideways. This is exquisitely balanced with tannins that provide a little edgy grip. The finish is never-ending as it keeps giving. More spice and I adore the marine / saline tinge. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware. Drinking window; Yet another one for the cellar and requires a decade to truly unfurl, but and with 24 hours in the decanter, will provide you with a special, vinous moment. Unless you’re below the age of 30, this will outlive us all…” 

1 x Standish The Relic Shiraz Viognier 2019

99-100 Points - Stuart McCloskey "Demure and beguiling are the best, two words to describe the bouquet. I am fascinated by the perfume which offers the full spectrum of ‘marine’ influences ranging from salinity to sea kelp, to hot oyster shell melded perfectly with cold stones, iron ore, black liquorice to milky earl grey. The palate is extremely well poised and ineffably pure. Despite the wine’s muscularity, this still manages to provide such grace and femininity which I find beguiling. Clearly this beauty is finely chiselled, agile and perfectly controlled despite its fleshiness. I love the whispers of white pepper which linger for an age. Ripe, black fruits tinged with orange rind flood the palate. Totally effortless, sensual, precise and without fault. An astonishing wine and one that will provide fifty years of pleasure. I cannot wait to resample in six months. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware.”

1 x Standish The Schubert Theorem 2019 

99-100 Points - Stuart McCloskey “The ’19 Schubert Theorem provides a bouquet which is quite frankly haunting in its beauty and leaves me struggling to find a starting point. The perfume is so exotic and is juxtaposed between mineral laced black fruit to a heady mix of wildflowers. Damsons, mulberry, cold steel, sea kelp, graphite, violets, lavender are just a few of the aromatics – this is quite honestly bottomless with its offering. The unerring sense of purity is staggering. The palate is saturated with super concentrated blueberry, blackberry and plum complemented by this overwhelming sense of mineralité. The palate feel is sensual and seductive – almost creamy in texture, but this camouflages the seriousness of the wine’s structure, which is huge. The chalky tannins provide a little relief as do the whispers of lavender, black liquorice and a marine undercurrent that I adore. There’s a density and richness that is obvious, but with no excess weight. A towering and remarkable wine, which simply leaves me in awe… . Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware. Drinking window; Another one for the cellar but can be approached with 24 hours in the decanter. In many ways, this is already a perfect wine, but in 20-30 years’ time, will provide something otherworldly. Until then, be satisfied with perfection…”

£342.00 per case of 4

13 x cases available

 

View all Standish wines
including 2017s and 2018s

 
 

 The New 2019 Collection

Including the first release made
especially for The Vinorium

Customer Review

"In a word..... Wow!
From the first sip I was blown away by this wine!"

Utopos Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz Blend 2019

Sampled 21 July 2021. Stuart McCloskey “I am not persuaded by my opening sentence, “And now to the most structured of the trio” - this is particularly evident when you dive straight in. The bouquet is intense with a Smörgåsbord of ripe, black fruits – blackberry, blueberry, violet and potpourri come rushing from the glass whilst minerals, Indian ink, liquorice and traces of brine and kelp provide unfathomable layers of complexity. I like how the wine builds in intensity – every swirl of the glass provides a new facet to consider. The fruit radiates but with a degree of restraint – the wine feels tighter and perhaps more classical compared to the single varietals. I detect more mineralité and tension – lovely freshness too. Perhaps less flamboyant than the other two. Regal and beautiful - a wine which provides precision and has no need to show off. For many, this will be irresistible in its youth, but a decade in bottle will provide exquisite drinking.  I certainly prefer this to my original sample. 70% Cabernet Sauvignon 30% Shiraz. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware.”

Sampled February 2021. 98 – 98+ Points - Stuart McCloskey “And now to the most structured of the trio, which is not a negative. The bouquet is brooding to put it mildly and needs aeration (4-6 hours minimum) to reveal its glorious aromatics. Savoury at first with a marine / kelp character which I am immensely fond of. Intensely mineral – the black fruits are mineral soaked too. A little liquorice creeps in which compliments the cold iron ore character marvellously. Scorched earth and blueberry compote on the finish. Tightly wound, focused, providing a firm grip with not a single hair out of place is the best way to describe the intellect of this wine. The flavours offer an intriguing assortment from Chinese five spice, a soupçon of clove, anise, cinnamon bark infused with damson, plum and black raspberry – quite delectable when you bring the collection together. The mineral rich finish is a dream. Unquestionably, this is a multi-layered, multidimensional masterpiece that really needs time in the bottle to fully develop (I suggest 5-10 years minimum, but it does drink rather well today if you heed the decanting notice). This is just superb with a bright and very long life ahead. I am looking forward to re-sampling in the next 6-12 months as I am conscious this has just been bottled and endured a long journey to our tasting room – my ‘opening’ score reflects this fact. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware.”

Sampled 21 July 2021. Magdalena Sienkiewicz “Perhaps the most intriguing Utopos wine of the new trio. There is a lot of nuance flowing continuously from the glass with graceful confidence. I love the way the Cabernet Sauvignon (70%) and Shiraz (30%) are amalgamated. What you are presented with is a splendid structure with the grip from Cabernet and a supple plushness from the Shiraz. Clearly, it will be fascinating to watch its evolution for many years to come. Whether opening this now or laying it down, patience will be rewarded. Decant for at least 4 hours (the longer, the better) and sip over a long evening. If you only fancy a glass or two, no problem – seal the decanter and enjoy the following day.”

Sampled February 2021. 98+ Points - Magdalena Sienkiewicz “The perfume is deep and evocative offering an alluring mixture of cherries, redcurrants, blackcurrants, cranberries, aromatic spice mix and plenty of minerals. There is a gentle sweetness on entry before the wine expands and reveals supple textures flowing with perfectly judged weight. I love the way it straddles between the wonderful characteristics of each variety, marrying all nuances beautifully. In fact, I kept coming back to my tasting notes over a few hours to adjust them with the newly emerging aromas and flavours, but it’s too early to give them the justice they deserve. Above all, simply sit back and allow the wine to blossom in the glass, decanter or indeed the cellar, then enjoy the journey. Sampled over several hours on the first and second day after opening, using Zalto Bordeaux glassware”.

£34.95 per bottle

 

£165.00 per case of 6 IB

 

2019 Utopos 4 pack

Contains
1 x Utopos Shiraz 2019

Sampled 21 July 2021. Stuart McCloskey“I love the colour – midnight aubergine if I were designing a colour for Farrow & Ball. The bouquet has obvious similarities to my first note. The brooding character is unquestionably the charm. If I am being honest, it is difficult to encapsulate into words – lots of hand movements but the words have obviously left me. I find the aromatic conundrum utterly fascinating – I could spend an entire day swirling and sniffing. I am drawn to the ocean with warmed oyster shell, sea kelp, ocean spray, all working harmoniously with Indian ink and graphite. Über sophisticated and undoubtedly showing better than my February sample. The palate provides all the classic Barossa signatures – perhaps with a touch of amplification without, and I stress, any clumsiness. The palate feel is sensual, but it does take time to discover (I suggest a long decant of at least 6-8 hours). Contrary to my original note, I do not believe this is to be ‘opulently hedonistic.’ Yes, the fruit is ripe (as are the tannins) but it’s the coiled tension which provides an intellectual perspective along with lots of ‘energy’. The length is astonishing with touches of spice entering minutes later. At this price, this delivers the complete package – a real jewel…. Drinking from now to 2040+. Ideally, tuck a case away for 10-15 years. Keep the other case available and sample a bottle every 2-3 years.”

Sampled February 2021. 98 – 98+ Points - Stuart McCloskey “Monolithic and will be revered by those seeking unadulterated hedonism. Wow, so explosively rich – I was left speechless after my first sip. Anyhow, I am jumping the gun and must discuss the bouquet which provides a completely different aspect. Brooding, incredibly dense but there’s either a coyness or reticence which I am struggling to put my finger on. Warmed oyster shell, sea kelp, warm earth, graphite and a deep sense of mineralité. Totally fascinating and a wine which will develop an unfathomable number of aromas if you have the endurance to enjoy a glass over 24 hours. The palate is full-bodied, unpretentious, explosive, very rich, firm with taut grip from fine grained tannins (very much required to keep a handle on the ripe, dense fruit which could run amok without some control). Today, this provides the merest of glimpses into the incredible depth of flavours. The ripe, black fruits are multi-layered and drench the palate with oodles of wild blueberry compote, the sweetest of raspberry along with mulberry, sloe and damson. To say the finish is epically long would be an understatement, the same applies to the enriching perfume which keeps evolving. As I stated at the beginning – this is opulently hedonistic, yet it provides an intellectual fragrance (so savoury and very ‘marine’ against a bing-bang-bosh of excessively ripe fruit). This is simply magnificent but does need time in the cellar to come together. Again, this is another 2019 Utopos which I look forward to re-evaluating in 6 months. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware.”

Sampled 21 July 2021.  Magdalena Sienkiewicz “The Shiraz has clearly evolved since my last tasting. The abundant fruit comes forward with swagger and confidence.  The nose is brimming with delightfully ripe red berry fruits and sweet spices. The mineral notes continue to triumph and underpin the expressive perfume wonderfully. The palate follows suit in what is undeniably a complex and deeply satisfying wine. It epitomises precisely what we crave in superb expressions of Barossa Shiraz and it is bound to put a huge smile on many faces whilst, at the same time, our pearly whites are stained black / blue.  Another joy, which is a big understatement.”

Sampled February 2021. 98-99 Points - Magdalena Sienkiewicz “Even after 24 hours in a decanter (sealed overnight), the perfume is super vibrant and ultra-concentrated. Deeply mineral with iron ore, tons of fruit and fragrant spices. It is difficult to pin down each and every flavour which tantalises the taste buds. The sheer power and tension is impressive as it is not over the top at all and it holds together with much confidence and composure. This is clearly a very young wine, but you must admire how complete it is today. Many iconic wines require years, sometimes decades to offer a pleasurable drinking experience and reveal their beauty. This is different, deeply impressive and it will certainly be wonderful to watch its progress. Sampled over several hours on the first and second day after opening, using Zalto Bordeaux glassware”.

1 x Utopos Cabernet Sauvignon 2019

Sampled 21 July 2021. Stuart McCloskey “The ’19 Cabernet Sauvignon shone from the get-go and resampling is merely a gratifying experience rather than a necessity. Little has changed (as one would expect) – the perfume is utterly beguiling with an intoxicating mix of ripe, black and blue fruits juxtaposed, and perhaps now the more dominant flow of coal, graphite, steel, liquorice, camphor and the most wondrous marine lift.  Although very young, everything about this wine gets the heart racing – the perfume, the balance, the freshness, the gossamer sheen of silk which glides across the palate with amazing grace. The tannins and acidity provide the faintest touch of crispness and merely provide a gentle arm of support rather than towering structure. Utterly spellbinding and comfortably one of my favourite Aussie Cabernet Sauvignons and my favoured ‘19 Utopos wine. Masterful, in a word.  Decant for 4 hours. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware. Drinking window – there is no harm is awakening this beauty today however, a decade will provide a heavenly vinous experience.”

Sampled February 2021. 99 Points - Stuart McCloskey “This is blessed with an incredibly intense, powerful nose, which and after a few hours in a decanter unveils the sweetest of mineral soaked fruits (blackberries, boysenberries, mulberry and a compote edge to the blueberry). There’s an exotic sweetness to the aromatic spices which flow with star anise and candied violets. Graphite in profusion along with black olive tapenade, salinity and wafts of camphor and liquorice. The palate is equally intense and powerful, and yet there is a sense of wonderful definition and heavenly focus that marks it out differently from many young Aussie Cabernets. This is the creamiest, richest and certainly the most voluminous wine in the 2019 Utopos collection which unfolds with layer upon layer of the most luxurious silky fruits. Wonderfully structured too. The tannins are velvety, and I love the freshness which adds brightness to the mouthfeel. I detect a little minerality on the epically long finish. No wonder grapes from this hallowed vineyard found their way into Penfolds Bin 707. This cannot fail to impress and will comfortably cellar for 15-20 years. Simply magnificent. Decant for 4-6 hours. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware.”

Sampled July 2021. Magdalena Sienkiewicz “It was showing beautifully when sampled earlier in the year and it is showing equally glowing now. Consequently, I’m struggling to add to my previous notes. The only new observation being that this beautiful wine is clearly not closing down. Instead, it keeps giving and in bucket loads. It’s a stunning, complex and utterly compelling Cabernet. Quite simply sensational and the perfume intensifies with more time in the glass – so alluring. Utopos comfortably makes my list of top 10 favourite Cabernets and it is one which I can enjoy far more often than other top wines. Just a beautiful wine.”

Sampled February 2021. 98+ - 99+ Points - Magdalena Sienkiewicz “Wonderful deep colour. The perfume is superbly concentrated with combinations of red and black fruit, liquorice and mint. The tension is simply incredible – you’ll find supple sweetness, rich fruit, coolness of the iron, sweet spices, as well as notes of herbs and flowers. Dark fruity chocolate also comes to mind. Black berries and rich cherry liqueur open the palate which is just as multi-dimensional and layered as the perfume. What a magnificent wine. I think this has the edge for me in the Utopos line up at this stage and I’m dying to see how it develops. No rush though, as this is a real beauty even in its youth. You could probably write a book on all its flavours and aromatic nuances but I will step back and allow you to discover this sensational wine for yourself. Decant, sniff and sip over a long, relaxing evening. Sampled over several hours on the first and second day after opening, using Zalto Bordeaux glassware”.

1 x Utopos Mataro Shiraz Grenache 2019

98 Points - Stuart McCloskey “The 2019 blend is comprised of 50% Mataro, 35% Shiraz and 15% Grenache. The bouquet is a colossal, brooding skyscraper which needs coaxing with aeration (I suggest decanting for 6-8 hours). Sweet spices, blue and blackberry liqueur, asphalt, baked earth, bitter chocolate, liquorice, lavender and a heavenly twists of blood orange on the finish. The palate could not be any different; lithe, agile, elegant and full of freshness – the spine of acidity is a masterstroke and keeps the palate salivating. The fruit is juicy and the flavours open up like a peacock’s tail. Mineral-laced blueberry compote, floral pastille, lavender, some warmth and depth from black liquorice. Perhaps some sweet cherry on the finish too – white pepper after minutes. The tannins are supple and add the faintest of grip. This is such a fascinating wine, one which plays a hedonistic bouquet off against a palate which is in the hands of an angel. Drinking now (decant for 6+ hours) and will age gracefully over the coming ten or more years. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware.” Sampled 26.02.21.

97-99 Points - Stuart McCloskey “The 2019 blend is comprised of 50% Mataro, 35% Shiraz and 15% Grenache and was decanted for 24 hours (sealed overnight). The magic that surrounds the 2019 Shiraz vintage has been fever pitch, with some of our producers declaring the vintage as tiny but simply perfect. The addition of 35% Shiraz provides wonderful colour to the wine (deep black moving to beetroot on the rim). The bouquet has amplified from the ’18. The aromatic elixir is enormous in scale. Wild autumn hedgerow drenched in mixed berries, warming spices, spiced cherries, kirsch, pastille, warm Christmas cake, tar and finished with white pepper. The fruit saturates the palate, but it does require 3-5 years before unleashing its full throttle glory. The concentration is superb with bright red fruit tones providing lift, energy and a lovely freshness – minerals and spices too. The best and most complete Aussie MSG I have sampled to date. Exuberant and hypnotic drinking. While this can be enjoyed now (minimum of 8-12 hours of decanting) this is really one for the cellar (10-20 years).” Sampled August 2020

96-98 Points - Magdalena Sienkiewicz "Both MSG wines were sampled over the course of two days with the decanter sealed tightly overnight. They opened up beautifully and showed best on the second day. A touch more exuberance on the nose in the 2019 MSG. The composition here is 50% Mataro, 35% Shiraz and 15% Grenache. Lush fruit with juicy cherries and blueberries leading the way with a whiff of vanilla and warm earth. The palate bursts with juicy berries coupled with a delicious underline of minerality. Utterly delicious, so much so I had to refill before finishing the tasting note. The wine travels across the palate seamlessly and with perfect weight. The structure is impressive and will merit 10+ years of cellaring." Sampled August 2020.

and 1 x Utopos Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz Blend 2019

£139.80 per case of 4

 
 
 

Including the inaugural wine in a Rare Batch series

Artisans of Barossa Rare Batch Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

This Cabernet is made by Phil Lehmann and it is the inaugural wine in a Rare Batch series planned by the Artisans. Phil is the son of the late, great Peter Lehmann and has carved his own successful career away from home, in Stellenbosch and Burgundy, before he returned to Australia to work at Yalumba and with our very own Kym Teusner. Today, Phil is the senior winemaker at WD Wines (a group including the famed Coonawarra estate; Parker) and together with his wife Sarah, they own and manage Boongarrie Vineyard in Eden Valley, which produces Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz of exceptional quality. 

This dry-grown patch of 20 year old vines yields small crops of intensely flavoured fruit and at 460 metres above sea level, cooling breezes temper the heat of the day to produce superb Cabernet wines of exceptional character and texture. This is the origin for their ‘Rare Batch’ Eden Valley Cabernet Sauvignon crafted by Phil, exclusively for the Artisans. Only 200 dozen were produced and when our small allocation for The Vinorium boarded the vessel, the remainder sold-out domestically.

96+ - 97 Points - Stuart McCloskey “The bouquet fills the room with layers of sweet spice, violets, liquorice, raspberry, bay leaf – there’s a cool mineral feel and a resemblance to a maturing Pinot Noir which intrigues. The palate is supple, succulent, and layered with spiced, sweet red and black fruits roll gently into the arms of supple, ripe tannin. The flavours keep coming with currant, bay leaf and a smidgin of dried herbs – liquorice too. Bitter coffee and dried mint creep in after a few minutes. The density is admirable – I enjoy the chew. There’s a touch of salinity rather than obvious acidity which provides relief from the richness. This is certainly a suave, seductive number and provides immediate pleasure, but does have the quality to carry on for another 5-7 years. I would suggest a few hours in a decanter before dipping your toes in. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware.”

96-97 Points - Magdalena Sienkiewicz "From the first glance, it shows as a serious wine with its deep, dark colour. Opulent aromas radiate from the glass with mulberries, blackberries, cedar, iron, pencil lead and a whiff of violets. The flavours are equally lush saturating the palate with impressive intensity. Dark fruit is enriched with layer upon layer of savoury textures, bitter chocolate and spices. The coolness of iron and graphite refresh the palate beautifully. A remarkably dark and brooding Cabernet. Please decant for at least 2-3 hours and enjoy over a long afternoon. Alternatively, cellar for 5+ years. Sampled using Zalto Bordeaux glassware, which brings out more savoury complexities I find."

£22.50 per bottle

 
 

Artisans of Barossa Grenache Project 2020

Beginning in 2017, The Grenache Project present each vintage six wines made by six winemakers from one Barossa vineyard in an experiment designed to explore the influence of winemaking on the terroir of a single Barossa Grenache vineyard. The Project has received acclaim from some of Australia’s most respected wine commentators, and each new release is eagerly anticipated.

The Project continues in 2020, exploring a 45 year old vineyard site at Light Pass to the east of the Barossa Valley floor, and welcoming a new winemaker – Craig Stansborough from Purple Hands. Craig together with Greg and Allison Hobbs, Pete Schell, Tim and John Duval, Simon Cowham and Corey Ryan, and Jason Schwarz make up the six winemakers who push the boundaries in the art of small batch Barossa wine.

£155.00 per case of 6

 

Artisans of Barossa Small Batch Graciano 2018

96+ Points - Magdalena Sienkiewicz "It’s great to see Artisans venturing onto alternative varieties, which is no gimmick here as they know their craft. It includes a dash of Tempranillo (14%). The perfume exhibits the purest form of red and black cherries which dominate the nose in a most alluring way. A touch of violets and crushed minerals complement the bursting cherries. The palate follows suit although it displays a much more savoury tone than expected. A great touch of cooling minerals, dried herbs and a perfectly judged zip of acidity add a lift to the flavoursome, round structure. Those juicy cherries linger forever with a little black liquorice and minerals. Sampled without decanting and using Zalto Bordeaux glassware, which brings out more savoury complexities I find."

£21.95 per bottle

 
 

Artisans of Barossa Barrel Blend Shiraz 2019

This wine is blended from barrels selected by the winemakers from each of their cellars. Each parcel of wine is selected for its rich and generous character, deep black fruit and spiced flavour, and smooth texture. The hallmarks of top-class Barossa Shiraz.

Fruit was sourced from vineyards across the northern and western sub-regions of Barossa Valley, including Moppa, Ebenezer, Greenock, Marananga, and Eden Valley.  A portion of the fruit was fermented whole bunch providing savoury texture, with the balance on skins for 8-10 days. The wines were aged in seasoned French and American hogsheads for approximately 12 months.

£17.50 per bottle

 

View all wines from Artisans of Barossa

 
 

It’s been a long time coming, but finally we are thrilled to present Nick Glaetzer’s new collection...read more

Including two brand-new introductions

 

Glaetzer-Dixon Nouveau Chardonnay 2019

Stuart McCloskey “The bouquet is far from reserved and provides a heady and powerful mix of beeswax, oak, soaked oatmeal, fresh vanilla pod, peach and a wonderful floral kick. Freshness arrives in the form of lemon (more verbena than zest). The palate is medium to full-bodied, expansive and not overworked – There’s a natural flow and rhythm from start to finish. The palate is perfectly balanced with a penetrating line of acidity running through the centre.  The texture is silken and flavours ripe, which translates to immediate enjoyment. Stone fruits wash across the palate (nectarine / peach) lifted by minerals and citrus... read more

£23.50 per bottle

Glaetzer-Dixon Goldpunkt Riesling 2018

Winemaker Notes: Hand-harvested from a single-vineyard site in the Coal River Valley, the Glaetzer-Dixon Goldpunkt Riesling was fermented dry and kept sur lie for 30-months before bottling. White flowers, red apples and toasty honey-suckle aromas. Nervy mineral acidity opens to ripe grapefruit and white stone fruit, ending with more minerality and mouth-watering tannin. Inspired by the Grosse Gewäch (“GG”) rieslings from the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, the complex minerality of this wine also draws on winemaker Nick Glaetzer’s experience working at Weingut Eugen Müller in the Pfalz region of Germany.

£26.50 per bottle

13 bottles remaining

 
 
 

"Avancé is on steroids"

"The intensity is off the scale for
a wine of this value"

Glaetzer-Dixon Avancé Pinot Noir 2019

Stuart McCloskey “My first comment being that this is a very different style to the previous Avancé vintage. The fruit component both on the nose and palate provides pillowing cushions of voluptuousness. If served blind, the bouquet reminds me of a plush, high-quality Pinot Noir from Sonoma. The perfumes exudes blood orange (unmistakable), black raspberry, spiced infused red fruits with some darker depths coming from black plums, damsons infused with a saline solution. My glass is supercharged with lavender, more sweet spice and a kirsch-like character. Avancé is on steroids. Take a sip and wait for the galloping flavours to hit you – The intensity is off the scale for a wine of this value (and clearly why we have lost 60% of our allocation). This flows with exotic richness, but I must emphasis the lightness of touch, the freshness and the salinity which adds a layer of grown-up sophistication – this is far from clumsy. Succulent, moreish and drenched with unbelievable goodness. A little floral-pastille character provides more layers of complexity. This is a full-throttle Tassie Pinot Noir which is going to create, quite the stir. I did not expect this – I am shocked and brimming with a huge smile. Drink now to 2030. Served with Zalto Burgundy glassware (I failed to decant and look at the result)…”

£22.95 per bottle

 

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Including FIVE brand-new introductions

 

Gemtree Wines Obsidian Shiraz 2019

Sampled July 2021. Stuart McCloskey “Pull up a chair as this is going to be a long one! What an incredible bouquet, exquisite in fact. Occasionally, you get the opportunity to sit down with a wine which provides a story – similar to a novel that you can’t put down. You race through the chapters as you wish to reach the climax, and when you do, you are saddened by having rushed the experience. Here is no different, but I would suggest spending the entire afternoon and evening with this one. The bouquet is utterly thrilling and lucid – the fruit is deep, sweet and contrasts between mulberry and damson, leading to blueberry compote and then moving to red varietals. Sweet spices exude with cinnamon and anise. The floral lift from lavender and violets is beautiful and the white pepper seasons the bouquet perfectly. Even at this tender age, the palate is a textural dream, there’s grip from the tannin and bountiful amounts of acidity – plushness too. Very Margaret River in this aspect. It’s incredibly succulent with a fresh cool feel to the fruit, the brightness is mouth-watering from start to finish. This is ultra-pure, vibrant, perfectly poised and full of detail, almost classic-like, but the depth and intensity of the fruit removes that label. Mulberry, boysenberry and ripe raspberry flow along with a cooling mineral feel. The tussle between power and finesse is a gentle one but fascinating nonetheless – incredibly skilful winemaking and viticulture. Without being too obvious, the biodynamic influence is centre stage and shows the world how amazing natural wines can be. As I stated at the beginning, get comfortable, decant for a few hours, drink this on the ‘cooler’ side of room temperature and bask in a beautiful wine. Profoundly beautiful and a story in its own right… Drink now to 2035. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware.”

Sampled July 2021. Magdalena Sienkiewicz "Sampled following 2 hours of decanting. Beautifully complex aromas with visibly more coolness and mineral richness when comparing directly to its ‘little’ brother, Ernest Allan Shiraz. The purity of fruit, ranging from blue to red and black, is spellbinding while the cool iron and wafts of graphite clearly lead the way. The palate follows suit with great focus and precision. Not a hair out of place. Superb balance and composure given the depth. Bracing acidity adds to the flawless structure and will allow the Obsidian to evolve gracefully over many years to come."

Winemaker Notes: The 2019 Obsidian Shiraz is a deeply concentrated wine expressing dark chocolate and boysenberry flavours with intriguing hints of French oak. This is a Shiraz of varietal purity and expression. The palate is powerful and long with an elegant finish. Dark fruit flavours, which are mouth filling and generous, combine with a tight framework to keep the wine focused. The Obsidian is best decanted before serving to fully enjoy its balanced complexities.

£42.50 per bottle

£199.10 per case of 6 IB

 
 
 

Gemtree Wines Small Batch Grenache Duo 2020

1 x Small Batch Oak Barrel Ferment (SBO) Grenache 2020

Mike Brown “Only 1098 bottles were made of 2020 SBO Grenache (oak barrel ferment) with fruit sourced from organically grown Grenache vines planted in 1946. This rare Grenache has a beautiful perfume lift, it’s all about red fruits. Berries and cherries with a hint of five spice and clove. Deliciously earthy and harmonious with soft plush fruit that entwines the purity of Grenache.”

1 x Small Batch Concrete Egg Ferment (SBE) Grenache 2020

Mike Brown “This rare Grenache has a lovely hint of citrus peel. Deep, rich and textural, 2020 concrete egg Grenache presents the complete package. Where Oak Grenache is upfront and bold, Egg Grenache shows restraint yet depth, with a textural weight that defines its identity.”

£61.00 per duo

 
 

Small Batch Marsanne 2020​

Sampled 22 July 2021. Stuart McCloskey “To one of my favourite varietals, Marsanne which I love in most guises. The bouquet develops with some aeration with mineral accented orchard fruit, poached pear, a little zip and lift from lemon, the faintest suggestion of fennel seed / anise and a resonating finish of minerals. Suave, calming, gentile, thoughtful and reflective best describes the wine’s presence.  The mineral and floral notes repeat across the palate – wonderful definition and impressively focused. So natural and unforced – a real charmer. The textural element is incredibly soothing – back to that gossamer sheen of silk which gently drapes across the entire palate. Dreamy in an understated sense and one of those wines which deserves time to itself. The combination of depth and finesse is admirable. Drink now to? That’s a good question and one I am unsure of. This wine will age with the most graceful of arcs however, I am not sure at what point it will hit its peak. Perhaps 2025 / 2026. Let’s see… Do not overchill. Serve using Zalto universal glassware.”

Sampled 22 July 2021. Magdalena Sienkiewicz "The Small Batch Marsanne keeps getting better with every bottle, this one being the third. Vibrant aromas of pears and juicy red apples whet the appetite. The perfume is completed with an elegant whiff of spice and delicate florals. Leave the glass for 10-20 minutes and you will notice the aromas expanding and revealing more spice. The texture is bliss, as there is an undeniable depth delivered in a wonderfully serene and balanced stream.  More like a tide you want to be swept away with. This is super smart, sophisticated and quite simply superb."

Winemaker Notes: This variety originated from the Northern Rhone region in France. The wine is deeply coloured and rich with aromas and flavours of lemon, white flesh peach, creamy oak and cloves alongside the signature honeysuckle character. Oak fermented by wild yeast; the wine had the yeast lees stirred in the older oak barrels daily for three months to build texture. The wine has generous flavours with a clean and fresh finish. As a young wine its fresh vibrancy is perfectly paired with pork and as they age, the wines become richer, perfect for oilier fish, game poultry or creamy pasta dishes. This wine is best served chilled.

£25.95 per bottle

£116.35 per case of 6 IB

 
 

April's Dance Sparkling NV

April’s Dance is named after the youngest member of the Brown family (daughter of Melissa and Mike). Just like its namesake, April’s Dance is lively, joyful and full of fun. It dances and twirls in your glass and on your palate. A blend of Chardonnay and Savagnin, the fruit is always the first to be hand-picked, ensuring we retain that delicious zing. This sparkling is made in the traditional method, fermented in the bottle and left to rest a few months on lees, before being disgorged and recapped. The result is a sparkling wine that carries the freshness and youthfulness of the early-picked fruit through to the glass. April’s Dance is completely hand-made, hand-labelled (with love) and only a limited number of bottles are produced each vintage.

Mike Brown “The crisp nashi pear, apple and fresh citrus aromas are the first to engulf your senses. This is a vivacious wine that was plucked at the perfect instant of ripeness, the crunchy nashi pear, lemon and apple fruit of McLaren Vale Savagnin and Chardonnay make for a refreshing and compelling sparkling with bright acidity, creamy bead and well-toned dosage.”

Sampled 22 July 2021. Stuart McCloskey “Team Gemtree have nailed the description for the bouquet - Nashi pear, apple and fresh citrus aromas unfurl with such grace and poise. I also detect delicate floral notes that linger. Composed from Savagnin and Chardonnay and plucked at the perfect instant of ripeness (I stole this from Mike’s description!). The wine shows outstanding clarity – I enjoy the mineral-tinged character. The palate follows a similar vein with gentle citrus and orchard fruit characters (the faintest appearance of honeysuckle) unfolding at a gentle pace. The fruit is underpinned by chalky minerals, which give the wine an impression of smoothness / chalky creaminess if that makes sense. Spritz and vitality is evident, but I am left with a sense of calmness rather than verve. I especially like the way the wine evolves in the glass. Lovely clarity and balance - I can see myself enjoying the entire bottle in the garden along with a dozen Scottish langoustines. Drink now to 2023. Served using Zalto Universal glassware.”

Sampled 22 July 2021. Magdalena Sienkiewicz "What a delight. Orchard fruits with gentle citrus and mineral undertones. The delightful dose of ripeness and refreshing minerality achieves a lovely balance, which in turn gives us a truly enjoyable glass of deliciousness. The finish turns delicate and refined, with lovely floral notes that linger on the close. Well-concentrated yet energetic, finishing very long and taut with firm cut and a resonating mineral note. Perfect as a refreshing aperitif particularly during the warm summer days."

£28.95 per bottle

 
 
 

Ernest Allan Shiraz 2019

The previous 2018 sold out completely in 8 weeks

Ernest Allan Rivers was a market gardener and vigneron; he was also the grandfather of Melissa Brown, Gemtree’s proprietor and biodynamic viticulturist. Ernest Allan Shiraz is a wine that celebrates and validates the relationship between the earth and the vine. The fruit for Ernest Allan is derived from five iconic soils of The McLaren Vale region: clay, loam, sand, limestone and ironstone. These soils produce stellar quality grapes with great consistency year on year.

In terms of vinification, it follows the same process as The Obsidian. The only distinction is in the oak maturation, where a higher proportion of old/second use oak is used (50%). Nevertheless, Ernest Allan Shiraz spends 15 months in French oak (225L barriques) in total. No fining, but a gentle filtration was applied.

Mike Brown “The 2019 Ernest Allan Shiraz is a wine of exquisite, complex and intense aromatics, with blackberry, cinnamon, cherry liqueur and creamy oak nuances. Mulberry and red berry fruits overlay a rich and deeply textured full-bodied palate displaying harmonious balance.”

Sampled July 2021. Stuart McCloskey "This has been opened for 48 hours (although not decanted) and sampled after the Obsidian. The bouquet pulls you in as the fruit is incredibly deep and brooding – extraordinary concentration. In short, the palate is broad and loaded with ripe, black fruits – the tannins are suede like. The overall feel is impeccable and moreish and a very different animal compared to the Obsidian. In long, this straddles potency and finesse, with a masterful touch – quite a skill. There’s a date-like richness with minerality and florality, providing lift. This flows with charisma and ribbons of silk, those seeking textural paradise need to look no further.  I will add a caveat – the tannins do provide a framework which keep building, but I believe this is very much needed to balance the plushness. Yet again, this is driven by purity and nothing dominates. There’s a stony minerality which is fascinating and works a treat alongside the dark, inky fruit. A magnificent wine and one which will keep delivering for a decade or more… Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware."

Sampled July 2021. Magdalena Sienkiewicz "Sampled over 2 days. The perfume evolved from incredibly plush, red berry fruited scents on the first day to a whole medley of blackberries, redcurrants and cherry liqueur the following day. Pen ink, graphite and a healthy dusting of spice fortify the energy and exuberance. The texture is impeccable - 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 poise."

£32.95 per bottle

£151.35 per case of 6 IB

 

View all Gemtree wines

 
 

The new collection from Two Hands and the
UK unveiling of Barr-Eden Estate

 

A special preview:

 

The New Two Hands Collection