Issue: 35 / Sunday 5 August, 2018
James Halliday 2019 Winemaker of the Year: Julian Langworthy
“What is one word that describes a great wine? I think many people would say balance. And that's what his [Langworthy's] wines have beyond compare."
After sampling 9289 wines for the 2019 James Halliday Wine Companion Awards (recognised as the industry benchmark for Australian wine), many gathered on Wednesday evening at a ceremony held at the National Gallery of Victoria for the gala dinner awards ceremony. We have often spoken of Julian Langworthy and declared last year that we believe he is the ‘best’ Aussie winemaker which is why we were so thrilled to work with Julian’s ‘solo’ project Nocturne, which leaves Adelaide for our shores next week.. Many of you have enjoyed Deep Woods wine where Julian is head winemaker and will share in the knowledge that Julian is a world class winemaker and his wines are something very special indeed. I spoke with Julian’s wife, Alana on Thursday morning and asked how they are both feeling. “Thrilled of course, and we did party in style last night, so a bit tender this morning”.
James wrote the following…
“My selection of Julian Langworthy as Winemaker of the Year caused me to ponder on the three greatest winemakers of the 20th century: Maurice O’Shea of Mount Pleasant Wines, Colin Preece of Seppelt’s Great Western and Max Schubert of Penfolds (Schubert’s masterwork, Grange). They plied their trade in a market where fortified wines, largely sold in saloons and hotels, reigned supreme. The one thing they had in common was the balance of their wines underlying their longevity.
Each had a substantial winery that provided support, although that support had its limits. Schubert was able to make the epic voyage to Spain and France in 1950 to study first-hand the making of sherry – it was from that journey that Grange, a Penfolds-banned wine during ’51–’61, saw its almost accidental birth; Preece had personal issues with some of the numerous members of the Seppelt family, with relations souring to the point where he felt compelled to resign; O’Shea was rescued by a number of members of the McWilliam clan – the McWilliams first buying half the shares in Mount Pleasant, and ultimately the other half in the aftermath of the Great Depression.
If you take a broad view, these hugely talented winemakers were incidental to their employers’ financial needs, but left in limbo for much of their careers (Schubert was brought out of retirement when the marketing gurus belatedly realised his value). There was no expectation that any one of these winemakers would have any knowledge of, let alone responsibility for, the commercial value or the financial cost of their wines. How different to the wine world of today.
Julian Langworthy is chief winemaker for the Fogarty Wine Group (FWG), the fastest growing wine business in Western Australia. He reports to the Group General Manager, and is responsible for the stylistic direction of all of the FWG wineries and their individual brands. He mentors and manages a team of 12 winemakers and, in conjunction with the Group Chief Viticulturist, is responsible for all fruit purchases – this is in addition to more than 300ha of estate vineyards spread from Hunter Valley in New South Wales to Margaret River in Western Australia.
Julian has particular responsibilities for Deep Woods, with an extensive promotional role for its profile interstate and internationally. He plays a lead role in brand planning, providing wine business acumen and support for the marketing team. He has broad-based human resources responsibilities, including coordination for all site compliance issues, and others too many to mention.
Are his winemaking skills and palate on par with the greats of the 20th century? It’s a question without an answer. But if he is to be compared with the best of today, the answer is an emphatic yes. His wine show successes (and the team he has led) have gold medals flying around the room like confetti, with trophies (including the biggest of all, the Jimmy Watson) equally plentiful. And most of all, he is universally admired and liked by all who have had contact with him and/or the great wines he makes”.
2019 Halliday Wine Companion
Awards by Varietal
1025 chardonnays were tasted for the 2019 Halliday Wine Companion. Of that number, 46 were awarded points of 97 or greater. Examples from regions on both sides of Australia have a strong foothold in this year’s top chardonnays and include Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula and Yarra Valley, the Eden Valley and Adelaide Hills. Margaret River, somewhat unsurprisingly, walks away with this year’s winning chardonnay
Exclusive to The Vinorium: 2016 Awakening Single Block A1 Margaret River Chardonnay
98 Points “The soaring intensity and precision of the wine obliterates any comment about the oak. It is one of those uncommon chardonnays that demands you give it time, the more the merrier. Grapefruit is the masthead, but it gathers around it a suite of flavours that keep its energy and drive on track”
Exclusive to The Vinorium: 2016 Deep Woods Reserve Margaret River Chardonnay
97 Points “Five gold medals in the second half of '17 will have been added to by the time of publication. Mainly sourced from Wilyabrup, the wine has a special type of phenolic grip (not limited to white wines) that makes the taster incapable of doing anything other than swallow it (bad phenolics have the opposite effect). A special wine, with perfect fruit/oak balance”
Exclusive to The Vinorium: 2015 Flowstone Queen of the Earth Margaret River Chardonnay
97 Points “Whole-bunch pressed, fermented in French oak (25% new), mlf, matured for 11 months, occasional stirring, plus a further 30 months in bottle before release. I know of no other Aus maker of chardonnay who holds the wine for 30 months prior to sale. Gleaming straw-green; there are few chardonnays from '15 with the intensity and freshness of this wine It is as fresh as a daisy, and despite its power and concentration, moves with athletic grace across the palate and aftertaste A beautiful chardonnay.
320 dozen made”
ETA November 2018
View previous vintages
By Farr Cote Vineyard GC Chardonnay 2015
97 Points “The very close-planted vineyard adds an extra layer of power and complexity that one expects from the best Farr Chardonnays. The vintage, too, has played a role. This stands tall in the pantheon of top-end Aus chardonnays, planting its own stake in the ground through sheer length.”
£69.95 per bottle
While the reputation of sauvignon blanc has experienced somewhat of a battering in recent years, the finer examples demonstrated not only a variety of aroma and flavour, but also structure and texture. Region plays a big part of this. This year’s best sauvignon blanc comes from across Australia with Adelaide Hills, Pemberton, Geelong and Margaret River all represented
Exclusive to The Vinorium: 2015 Flowstone Sauvignon Blanc
95 Points “From a single vineyard in Karridale, whole berries pressed to old barriques and a 600l demi-muid for 11 months with lees stirring. Green-gold; a barrel-fermented sauvignon blanc that challenges normal beliefs and practises, made possible by the quality of the grapes. It marries honeyed richness and complexity, honey and crystallised grapefruit skin with dancing acidity”
£20.95 per bottle
Australia’s pinot noir can easily hold its ground against the French burgundies. There is still much scope for the pinot noir’s growth however. Victoria’s Yarra Valley produced an outstanding vintage, with several examples receiving 98 points (3). Tasmanian pinot noir was also excellent.
Exclusive to The Vinorium: 2017 Dr Edge Pinot Noir
97 Points “MV6, 777 and 115 clones, 60% from the Derwent Valley, 30% East Coast and 10% Tamar Valley. The bouquet is multifaceted, with no single message from the single vineyard group, the palate moving onto another tier, but carries with it the higher-toned red fruits of clone 115 (compared to MV6 last year). It also achieves a lightness of touch without any sacrifice of line or length. This is the serious business of enjoyment, not the science of dissecting small pieces of a large puzzle”.
ETA November 2018
2015 Tolpuddle Vineyard Pinot Noir
97 Points “Bright, clear crimson; a very complex bouquet with perfumed and alluring fruits, charcuterie and red flowers, reflecting whole berry/whole bunch vinification. Amazing power and length to the palate, the spicy tannins pure class. Wow.”
£50.95 per bottle
This category incorporates wines that feature more than 15% of a variety other than cabernet. The strength of these wines speaks to the quality of Australian cabernet, and includes cabernet sauvignon shiraz, cabernet shiraz and cabernet merlot.
2014 Hardys 165th Anniversary Edition Cabernet Shiraz
Coming soon and exclusively offered by The Vinorium.
99 Points “From the best cabernet sauvignon from Frankland River, Margaret River and Coonawarra fused with 100yo shiraz from McLaren Vale's Upper Tintara district, the varieties evenly split. Hand-picked, open-fermented, wild yeast, basket-pressed and aged 18 months in French oak (30% new). A vibrant crimson hue with a core of pristine fruit, although this remains in the savoury spectrum, leads onto a complex palate full of energy, the tannins as fine and strong as silk, outlandishly long finish. A heart-skipping wine, exquisitely detailed and elegant”.
Featuring a painting by
In late 1982, John Olsen one of Australia's greatest artists, was invited by the Director of Hardys Wines, to Reynella and the McLaren Vale to produce some artworks destined to decorate the Hardys winery. John Olsen was inspired to create a series of sketches reflecting the vineyards, winery scenes and the personalities that he encountered along the way. The fame of John Olsen grew over subsequent years and the collection of sketches, still exhibited at the Reynella Winery today, took on more significance.
We would love your feedback
With a global customer base, our website has become an integral part of our day-to-day life. Thankfully, and whilst we rest, thevinorium.co.uk works twenty-four-seven with only the occasional glitch. Currently, and across team members, we spend at least one hundred hours per week updating, amending and developing new content for the website,which is a considerable time investment. We feel our website performs and performs well which is supported by a 52.5% increase in online sales compared to the same period (January to 31 July) 2017.
Nonetheless, we are tireless and continually seek better working solutions for Team Vinorium and a complete, flawless experience for our customers. As such, we will be launching our new website in January 2019 with a bespoke App. We have spent the past two weeks drafting designs and concepts but and before we proceed with the full development, we would love to hear your views. What are we missing? What would make your experience better? Would you like to see more of a food element? Your thoughts regarding The Vinorium App would be greatly received.
Please email the team firstname.lastname@example.org with your suggestions.
The development starts on Monday 20 August.
We work with the late Robert Modavi’s son, Tim (see Tim’s 100 Point 2015 Continuum) and Tim’s own children who produce great Chardonnay and Pinot Noir at RAEN. We recently had the incredible opportunity to purchase a mature collection of Robert Mondavi’s iconic Cabernet Sauvignons, together with the stunning 1999 Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc Botrytis and the extremely rare IO Santa Barbara County Rhone Blend, which have all been lying in perfect condition since their respective bottlings.
This week, many of Magda’s customers snapped-up much of the collection which included multiple vintages (as far back as 1979) of the iconic Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Quintessa, Magnums of ’07 Oakville Cab / Sauv along with multiple vintages of Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. We held a few bottles back of the 1998 & 2008 along with a small quantity of the sensational 1999 Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc Botrytis which we sampled this week. Wow!
1998 Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon
98 Points - Stuart McCloskey “The fruit (a blend of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cabernet Franc, 4% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot) was handpicked from selected Napa Valley vineyards, located in the renowned Oakville District, home to Opus One and Will Harlan’s Promontory and The Mascot. A brick core with a thin orange rim. A complex, refined nose of leather, tobacco, wild woodland (Burgundian) with an overall sense of welcoming warmth (and not through the alcohol which sits at 14%). It’s one of those wines which continually evolves in the glass – Iodine and warm oyster shell after a minute or two. The palate is utterly sublime, focused with a filigree framework of tannins. Cedar, sandalwood, tobacco with just a dash of sweetness on the finish. My only criticism being the finish is a tad dusty but nonetheless, does not detract from the overall sense of harmony. Magnificent and to be enjoyed now”.
Note: Not decanted (unnecessary) and served in a Zalto Bordeaux glass (invest in this glass as it’s amazing for many of our Chardonnays). Please do not serve with food as it’s simply too good!
Super-Duper Special Offer from our good friends at Hardys
Hardys wish for Vinorium customers to enjoy their ‘top’ wines and spread the word – It’s as simple as that.
2012 Eileen Hardy Pinot Noir
£117.00 IB per case of six
Highest Scoring James Halliday Vintage…
97 Points - James Halliday "Sourced from the Coal River and areas of southern Tasmania; hand-picked, and fermented with 25% whole bunches, 75% destemmed; matured in French oak barriques (25% new). It has absolutely outstanding colour and has an exhilaratingly pure expression of varietal fruit in a predominantly red fruit spectrum, with some darker notes adding to the flavour complexity. The balance is faultless, the oak evident but not intrusive, the finish very long. Great as it is now, it will be even better in 5-10 years time."
2013 Thomas Hardy Cabernet Sauvignon
£152.25 IB per case of six
(Original Wooden Case)
The Vinorium & Hardys are the only world sellers by the case. Hardys @ £338.99 per case of six hence the super-duper deal!
97 Points - James Halliday "Margaret River, Coonawarra. Full red-purple; a potent, powerful cabernet, the focus on blackcurrant fruit, complexity provided by bay leaf/black olive/mint nuances; French oak is where it should be (on the shoulder of the fruit) and the tannins, while firm, hold no terrors."
£152.25 IB per case of six
Only released to Vinorium customers
World RRP @ £338.99 IB per case of six
Decanter World Wine Awards: Platinum 2018
97 Points - Decanter "Floral, dark plum, chocolate and coconut nose, the palate has lashings of sweet dark blackberry fruit, lovely well judged oak, very elegant structure and long satisfying finish of chocolate and spice."
All wines are immediately available from our UK bond, LCB
LCB’s home delivery service is available but there is a charge
(insignificant compared to the cracking prices)
Given the continued and glorious sunshine – We feel every fridge should have at least one bottle of…
2015 Eileen Hardy Chardonnay
Only £29.95 per bottle
*All stock coming from our HQ – Free delivery on all orders over £100.00
Steven Spurrier “Eileen Hardy Chardonnay is, in my view, the Grange
of Australian white wines”.
98 Points - Stuart McCloskey "Less expressive than some 2015’s however, decanting for thirty minutes to an hour and serving in a large Burgundy glass brings this wine alive. The wine is silky, graceful with mouth-coating waves of life affirming minerality. Real breadth and depth here with a laser-like focus. I love the juicy yellow stone fruits and spices. I imagine this will be utterly spectacular in another 6-8 years. It is the nectar of the Aussie Gods and would shame many a white Burgundy at double the price. I recommend drinking this stupendous wine from now to 2028 and beyond (in good cellar conditions)."
98 Points – James Halliday "From Tasmania, the Yarra Valley and Tumbarumba. Gleaming straw-green; manages to effortlessly combine power and intensity with elegance and glorious varietal fruit expression. White stone fruit is at the very heart of a palate that aspires to perfection. Quality French oak and minerally acidity play their parts, albeit largely forgotten in the wealth of fruit.