Issue: 25 / Sunday 20 May, 2018
The new releases have arrived
The long wait is over as our new Deep Woods releases arrived safe and sound from the Margaret River this week. Unquestionably one of the ‘hottest’ wines amongst our portfolio which led to a complete sell-out. Not surprising when one considers the overall quality of their entire range versus brilliant pricing. Their chief winemaker, Julian Langworthy is widely regarded as one of the most talented winemakers in Australia, an opinion we certainly share. We know Julian and his wife Alana well and are fortunate to be the exclusive UK agent for their ‘solo’ project, Nocturne. We will be shipping their truly stunning Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Nebbiolo Rosé (the ‘best’ Rosé I have ever tasted) during July.
Last year, Julian received the highest Australian wine accolade, the Jimmy Watson Award and Ray Jordan's 2017 Winemaker of the Year. Under his leadership, the winemaking team has continued to refine and explore the Deep Woods style, culminating in over 25 trophies and more than 70 gold medals awarded across major national and international wine shows.
Inevitably, local and global demand has increased considerably which has placed enormous pressure on available stocks for both their domestic and international markets. Consequently, and with a deep sigh, our own allocations are squeezed along with the cessation of their entry level Side by Side Chardonnay which found favour with many of our customers.
Enough of the dull commerciality! Our new arrivals are, as expected, brilliant. We sampled them last year and will wait a few weeks before we open a bottle of each wine (we like to give the wine a few weeks rest before re-sampling). My full tasting notes will be ‘live’ soon after. In the meantime, we have added all their respective awards and critics thoughts and scores.
If I were to pick-out one wine (a quick sell-out last year), the 2014 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon would be the one. The Winner of the 2016 Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy - affectionately known as the 'Jimmy' which is widely considered to be Australia’s most prestigious wine award, with hundreds of entries in its class each year. The list of accolades continues; Gold Medal and the Trophy for Best Cabernet Sauvignon or Blend of Bordeaux Varieties, Max Schubert Trophy for Most Outstanding Red Wine in Show and Top Gold at the 2016 Royal Adelaide Wine Show. Without doubt, THE best Aussie Cabernet Sauvignon we offer but stocks are extremely limited.
Deep Woods Reserve
Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
• 2016 Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy
• Top Gold at the 2016 Royal Adelaide Wine Show
• Gold Medal and the Trophy for Best Cabernet Sauvignon
• Max Schubert Trophy for Most Outstanding Red Wine in Show
18.5 Points - Jancis Robinson "Dark crimson. Forest-floor aromas. Wonderfully managed tannins – absolutely glorious, I’d love to see this blind with a classed-growth bordeaux. Completely dry, exceptionally long finish. Fabulous!"
97 Points - James Halliday "Elegance and purity personified. The varietal expression is pitch perfect, cassis standing proud, its handmaidens fine-grained tannins and cedary French oak. It is an effortless wine, no more than medium-bodied, and needs no further elaboration. Shades of Xanadu."
98 Points - Ray Jordan "These Reserve Deep Woods cabernets have been on the top shelf for some time now and this is another cracker that is as good as any produced so far. A striking feature is the balance and how well the oak tannin and fruit have come together into a powerful collective that effortlessly punches out to the long finish. The most elegant and stylish yet and a marvellous statement of what this part of Margaret River can do."
96 Points - Decanter "Julian Langworthy shows his style with this 2016 Jimmy Watson Trophy winner. Densely packed with layer upon layer of blackcurrant, mulberry and bramble flavours; plush, velvety, seamless and long."
£48.95 per bottle
Deep Woods Reserve
Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
96 points - James Halliday "From the oldest estate vines at Yallingup, plus grapes from a nearby grower, crushed and destemmed, small batch fermentation, 16 months maturation in new and used French barriques. A perfumed, brambly bouquet leads into a medium-bodied palate that caresses the mouth with blackcurrant, redcurrant and herbs."
£45.95 per bottle
Deep Woods Reserve
Block 7 Shiraz 2015
96 points - James Halliday "Partly from the first planting at Deep Woods in '87, partly from an adjacent, mature vineyard. Whole bunches, cold soak and partial barrel fermentation are all in Julian Langworthy's arsenal, then a selection of the best French barriques that have matured the wine for 14 months. Deeply coloured, it is full-bodied, yet dazzlingly light on its feet on the finish and aftertaste, fruit, tannins and oak all on the same lines of the same page."
£34.95 per bottle
Hillside Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
The palate displays flavours of summer plums and dark berries with notes of sweet spice and dark chocolate from the use of both new and seasoned French Oak. It is medium-bodied wine with fine, elegant tannin and persistent length. A true representation of Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon.
£17.95 per bottle
Deep Woods Reserve
97 points – The West Australian Wine Guide "Continues the evolution of Deep Woods to premier Chardonnay producer in Margaret River. This is high-class stuff that gets the whole kid gloves treatment from winemaker Julian Langworthy. Whole bunch pressing after hand-picking, a mix of new and used French oak and lees stirring. It all creates texture and layered complexity. Such an elegant and persuasive chardonnay that captures the new expression of the region. Cellar: 7 years."
£35.95 per bottle
Hillside Chardonnay 2015
92 points - James Halliday "A number of batches picked, each whole bunch-pressed to used French oak barrels for wild fermentation and 6 months maturation on lees. Very much a la mode, reducing the impact of oak to the texture, not flavour, picking the grapes at the crucial moment to ensure maximum varietal expression (no wannabe sauvignon blanc), yet retain crisp acidity, and offering a Margaret River chardonnay at a mouthwatering price."
£17.95 per bottle
Deep Woods Harmony Rosé 2017
• China Wine & Spirits Awards: Best Value 2018
• Perth Royal Wine Awards: Gold 2017
• Margaret River Wine Show 2017: Gold Medal
• James Halliday's Best Australian Red Wines Under $25
95 Points - James Halliday "Light pink with a shimmer of salmon. Produced from a blend of shiraz and tempranillo, and has a proud history of high quality predecessors. The length of the wine is prodigious, offering strawberry, red cherry and raspberry, cut and shaped by persistent acidity."
£14.95 per bottle
Deep Woods Estate Rosé 2017
• Margaret River Wine Show 2017: Gold Medal
95 Points - James Halliday "The pale but bright hue opens the door for this blend of shiraz and tempranillo, chiefly tank-fermented, a small portion fermented in barrel. Its fragrant bouquet is attractive enough, but doesn't quite prepare you for the intensity and drive that spears through to the finish and aftertaste. Wild strawberry and hints of forest make this a very special rose."
£21.95 per bottle
Deep Woods Reserve
Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
• Gold Perth Wine Show 2015
• Gold Qantas Wine Show of WA Mt Barker 2015
• Trophy & Royal Melbourne Wine Show 2015
• Gold Best Cabernet Sauvignon
96 Points - Stuart McCloskey "A wonderful nose bursting with blackcurrant leaf, eucalyptus and cassis. Medium to full bodied, beautifully polished with fine, silky tannins. The black fruit is ripe, crisp and coats the mouth though with elegance. This is a world class cabernet sauvignon, which would put many ‘top’ 2013 Bordeaux to shame. Delicious now but would certainly reward 5+ years in the cellar."
97 Points - James Halliday "Exceptional crimson-purple; Julian Langworthy has a rare touch, particularly with cabernet and chardonnay, an unlikely couple outside Margaret River, and even within it when Julian's wines are on show. This has the elegance and symmetry of Bordeaux in good vintages had before they were all pumped up on Parkeresque steroids."
£46.50 per bottle
Dog Point Section 94 2015
97 Points - Stuart McCloskey "Dog Point's Section 94 has always been a favourite of mine and can, in correct cellaring conditions, mature wonderfully over a decade. This is another example of a medium to full-bodied, textural style of Sauvignon Blanc. The grapes for Section 94 come from a single, low cropping vineyard parcel first planted in 1992. The fruit is hand-picked, whole bunch pressed and aged in older French oak barrels for 18 months. Every vintage has a funky edge which you either love or not. Those seeking simplistic Kiwi fruit pops should avoid at all costs as this is a serious, large scale wine that deserves a little respect. The aromas are taut, tightly wound with the ‘funk’ reducing with 20/30 minutes in a decanter (highly recommended). Tropical no - Yellow stone fruits in abundance with a vein of minerality appearing mid-palate. There’s a real intensity which is exceptional and rarely found with the majority of New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs. The finish is endless… In short, brilliant!"
Egly Ouriet is a producer we have followed and supported for more than a decade however, the surge of popularity with grower Champagnes combined with their cult status has led to significant shifts in pricing, which from a qualitative perspective is justified in our books. In the hands of skilled vigneron, Francis Egly produces some of the best Blanc de Noir money can buy, from any producer and should be on everyone’s ‘must try list’.
Egly Ouriet Blanc de Noirs Grand Cru NV
99 Points - Stuart McCloskey
(Disgorged July 2015, Lees: 72 months)
In short, this is simply the greatest Blanc de Noir (100% Pinot Noir) which money can buy. Produced from an ancient vineyard planted in 1946 and spends an incredible 72 months on its lees, which adds considerable complexity to what is already something quite extraordinary. This is truly a treat and stirs the depths of your soul (if you are one of the lucky few).
£105.00 per bottle
We received an unexpected call from Champagne Salmon purely on the basis of our relationship and offerings from Egly Oureit. The twist being what Francis is to Pinot Noir, they are (so they pitched) to Meunier. For correctness and to keep up with the cool kids, Pinot Meunier is no longer – Simply Meunier is the new way forward!
Samples arrived which we shared with a group of ten private customers, the best way to canvas opinion in our books. Stu led the tutored tasting with opinions shared amongst the group. We finished with an exercise which we always find fascinating – what would each customer pay for each Champagne?
Rejecting one customers pricing policy (we’re sure he would not pay more than fifty quid for a bottle of Château Latour) along with the highest prices (interestingly, from a serious Egly fan which promises a positive result) the table was firstly, unanimous in the overall quality of each bottle and more importantly, would happily purchase them all. Their overall pricing ranged from a 20 to 40% increase against their respective physical sales price, which is a super result for all.
Stu loved them and described the 100% Meunier range as “pure, unmanipulated, beautifully honest examples which showed Meunier at its best”.
Consequently, The Vinorium is formally Champagne Salmon’s UK exclusive agent and our first order is leaving their cellars next week. We expect to launch our chosen selection week of 4th June which will include full details of each wine. The 2015 Chaumzy Rouge is fantastic and we estimate will sell-out once sampled – It’s that good!
Club Tresor Millesime 2012 Brut
Coteaux Champenoise Chaumuzy Rouge 2015
Coteaux Champenoise Chaumuzy Blanc 2015
Champagne Salmon 100% Meunier Brut
Champagne Salmon Rosé 100% Meunier Brut
What's Sold Out This Week
• 2015 Chateau Mouton Rothschild. All 180 bottles sold out
• 2015 Chateau Lafite Rothschild. All 156 bottles sold out
• 2007 Spinifex Esprit - 60 bottles sold out
• 2002 Glen Eldon Dry Bore Shiraz - sold out
Hoffmann Vineyards Shiraz 2010
“The mist, the solitude, the forbidden allure: I almost felt like a spy. I was there to taste some of Australia’s most astonishing red wines, yet I hardly dared tell anyone I was going. When I owned up later, and shyly admitted how much I liked them, I was met with near-incredulity. At least once, I was asked to confirm what I’d just said. These are the great wines you aren’t, in right-thinking circles, meant to like: too rich, too much alcohol, too many “Parker points”. They swim like bandit trout against Australia’s current tide of early-picking righteousness and buttoned-down restraint. But, sorry folks, great they are.” Andrew Jefford. Decanter Magazine on-line November 26th 2012
Although Kiwi by birth, Chris Ringland is synonymous with Barossa Valley and specifically, Barossa Shiraz. Today, his iconic wine, formerly known as Three Rivers, is one of Australia's most prominent. The annual production is scarce and the demand world-wide, which makes Chris Ringland Shiraz very difficult wine to come by…
The ‘Hoffman Vineyard Shiraz’ is a collaboration between Chris Ringland and Adrian Hoffmann, who sources Shiraz from the family vineyards situated in Ebenezer – sub-region in Northern Barossa long recognised as “the Golden Mile”, where some of the most famous vineyards are found in close proximity and their unique terroir are the source of outstanding fruit - rich, powerful, sweet-fruited and supple-textured - often used in production of the iconic Penfolds Grange. Adrian, a fifth-generation Hoffmann family vigneron, selects individual Shiraz blocks from his own vineyards and those of neighbouring grape growing families.
Hoffmann Vineyard Shiraz encompasses Chris's signature Shiraz style from the Barossa Valley. Aged for over five years in new French oak, with deep brooding fruit and powerful palate weight Hoffmann Vineyard Shiraz is a barrel selection blended to age gracefully for 20-30 years.
This wine will easily attain maturity over the next 15 to 20 years aging gracefully into the future. In the mean time, at least a few hours in the decanter can be considered mandatory to maximise the full potential.
• 2100 Bottles
• 100 Magnums
• 6 Double Magnums
• Individually numbered bottles
• 49mm hand select cork finish
99+ Points - Lisa Perrotti-Brown (erobertparker.com)
Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2010 Hoffman Vineyard Shiraz possesses an extraordinary nose of cassis, crushed blackberries, earth, Bovril and yeast extract with licorice, spice box and dried herbs hints. Full-bodied, rich and densely packed, with a lovely backbone of ripe tannins and great freshness, the long finish here is just incredible. A true "wow" wine, this complex beauty certainly has the potential to hit "perfection" with a little more time in bottle.
£310.00 per bottle
Bordeaux En Primeur
Its been a rather slow week with En-Primeur releases with few releases that really excites. Regrettably, but inevitable, too many Châteaux are disregarding what the worlds merchants and critics have told them. Granted, there are some good wines however, 2017 is not comparable to either the 2015 or 2016 which were superb. Those Châteaux releasing at the same price level (or close to) will simply fail to sell which clearly has become the norm this week. Only a handful of wines are worth considering!
One of the great Pessac-Leognon properties, Domaine de Chevalier has released their ‘rouge’ at a cracking price and comes highly recommended @ £255.00 IB per case of six representing a substantial reduction compared to the 2015 & 2016 prices.
Jeb Dunnuck 94-97 “Tasted no less than four times, the 2017 Domaine de Chevalier is going to be up with the crème de la crème of the vintage. Based on 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, and 5% Petit Verdot aging in 35% new French oak, its deep purple color is followed by an incredibly classic bouquet of crème de cassis, crushed rock, pipe tobacco, smoked earth, and leafy herbs. Similar in style to the 2008, yet with more generosity and charm, it’s medium to full-bodied, silky, and elegant, with ripe tannin. Give it a few years and enjoy over the following two decades or more”.
Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW 93-95+ “Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2017 Domaine de Chevalier opens with a cedary waft giving way to a good core of crushed black currants, blackberries and mulberries with suggestions of black truffles, tilled soil and black olives plus a hint of smoked meats. Medium-bodied with a good, solid frame of ripe, fine-grained tannins and oodles of freshness, it is elegantly fruited yet well sustained on the mid-palate and long finish”.
From the owners of Château Lafite Rothschild, Duhart Milon is released @ £282.50 IB per case of six which has found favour with Jane Anson of Decanter who awards a credible 94 points. Duhart Milon has an incredibly strong following in Asia with physical vintages hard to come by, and certainly at this price.
A good buy and will reward investors…
Jane Anson “brilliantly elegant, suave Duhart, one of the successes of the appellation for me. This is a classically structured Duhart, a wine that is not overly exuberant but that has a sense of direction and balance, and is well held together. There's a very attractive quality to the tannins, joined by dark bilberry fruits that gain weight through the palate. It doesn't quite have the dense concentration and richness of 2016, but that was an exceptional vintage. This is a wine that I look forward to following as it ages. Around 5% frost on the northwest corner, affecting the Merlot for the second wine (not tasted). But overall the vintage was so early that even though the September rains probably brought alcohol levels down a touch, they did not unduly worry as the fruit was already ripe enough. 3.75pH. 50% new oak. 38hl/ha yield.”
This week has seen many releases however, Château Beychevelle has been the only Château worth our commentary and more importantly, worth buying @ £325.00 IB per case of six which represent the lowest price compared to any other
vintage available today.
93-94 James Suckling “Very fine tannins already with a solid core of blackberry and blueberry character. Hints of flowers. Full-bodied, well-integrated and tight, not to mention fresh and long.”
92-94 Points - Jeb Dunnuck “Only 52% of the production went into the 2017 Château Beychevelle (they normally shoot for 60%), and the blend is 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot and the rest Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc that’s still aging in 60% new oak. This inky purple-colored beauty gives up loads of blue fruits, black cherries, underbrush, and a touch of minerality in a medium to full-bodied, pretty, elegant package that’s very much in the style of the vintage. This estate has been on a serious roll lately, and the 2017 isn’t going to break the trend. Tasted twice”.
1962 Penfolds Bin 60A
Coonawarra Cabernet Kalimna Shiraz
(The physical bottle in question)
The great Penfolds winemaker, Max Schubert is most famous for the creation of Grange however, he kept up with is experimental wines and new styles and used Australia’s domestic show scene as their trailing ground. 1962 represents the birth of Bin 60A which and to quote the wines label “was vintage at Magill and matured in small oak casks prior to bottling at Auldana. It has been awarded thirty three Gold, eight Silver, three Bronze Medals and nineteen Trophies at Australian Wine Shows. A special limited release”
We recently procured a bottle which lay at Penfolds Magill Estate until it was shipped to the UK four years ago. The wines overall condition (label and ullage are close to perfect).
This was snapped-up on the day of arrival for a handsome £3,750.00 but is kept safe at our HQ fine wine bunker until the customer wishes to take possession.
A peek inside the Fine Wine Bunker...
The Winners of Our
Hardys Museum Tasting at Lords
Congratulations to the lucky winners, who will be joining us at the special Hardys museum tasting.
Gents, please bring your cricket whites as England are shocking at cricket and we fear a whooping is on the cards against Pakistan!