Issue: 67 / Sunday 28 April, 2019
The Vinorium has enjoyed back-to-back financial successes with sales reaching £7.656 million and profits (after tax) totalling a healthy £2.008 million. 2019 has started strong and we are on course to produce our best set of financials to date. E-commerce sales for the months January to April have increased by 47.5% with overall sales increasing by 49% (compared to the same four-month period, 2018).
Our success starts with working with great winemakers who share the same, unwavering ethos as The Vinorium. My team is extra-special – honed athletes working in the theatre of wine and of course, there is you, loyal customers who have offered a solid level of support and friendship over the years.
We are an energetic and incredibly ambitious company and we are now at the stage to take The Vinorium to the next, commercial level. Our global reputation is excellent with over 50% of our daily sales coming from new customers. It is important to add that we do not advertise (beyond our website and social media channels). The list of new exclusivities, which will be unveiled throughout the course of this year is staggering. The sheer quality and depth to our Australian portfolio is a thing of beauty and something my team and I are immensely proud of.
Today, we unveil the opportunity for customers to share our success and to also enjoy a share of our profits.
How the Profit Share Plan Works:
• You invest a minimum of £5,000 to a maximum of £250,000.
• The Investment Return: We offer 10% against your original capital outlay.
• Investment Period: Eighteen Months. You will automatically receive
your original capital outlay along with the 10% return.
• There are no management, storage or any other charges
levied against your investment
There are two questions which need answering. How will your money be invested and how can The Vinorium guarantee such an attractive return given the plethora of low-return investments being offered in the market today?
Your investment will be used wisely, to increase our portfolio of exclusivities along with a substantial increase in our stock holding, which currently stands at £1.9 million and is completely funded by The Vinorium with no borrowings, debts, loans or the use of an overdraft facility. In short, your investment will be allocated to purchasing a collection of wine, which and given our understanding of HMRC’s ‘wasting asset exemption’ your investment will not be subject to Capital Gains Tax.
In return for your investment, we will simply share the profits (in this case 10%) of our sales – It’s an attractive proposition for investors but and for a point of reassurance, a figure we are more than comfortable with.
Q: How do I apply to join The Vinorium Profit Share?
A: Simply, email Stuart directly and he will liaise and send the application
Q: Are you offering the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) or Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS)?
A: No, as and after much research, we have decided that both schemes (although with benefits for the investor and the business) are either a little convoluted or restrictive.
Q: Is there a timeframe involved with The Vinorium Profit Share?
A: Yes. We have a fixed figure in mind, and we will close the scheme (for 2019) as soon as this figure has been reached.
Q: I have more questions. Who can I contact?
A: Please contact Stuart directly either by email or telephone
T: +44 (0) 1622 859 161
Our Exclusive Q&A with Stuart Pym
from Flowstone Wines
Flowstone is the creation of Stuart Pym who has enjoyed a long and illustrious wine career spanning some 30 years. We first came across Stuart’s wines when he founded Suckfizzle in 1996 and then Stella Bella in 1999. In 2013 he handed over the Stella Bella winemaking reins and moved to Flowstone in a permanent capacity and we’ve been tracking down him and his wines ever since. Stuart is a perfectionist and his attention to detail is quite extraordinary, resulting in perhaps the best wine(s) made in Margaret River today. Accolades have come in thick and fast including the prodigious winner of James Halliday’s Best New Winery, 2015 and of course, receiving 97 points for his 2011 Sauvignon Blanc and 2012 Sauvignon Blanc, which is the highest score achieved for this varietal.
Your roots run deep down Margaret River soils. What is life in Western Australia like?
I have lived nearly all my life in Western Australia (grew up in Perth), except for 3-4 years in Melbourne, and been in Margaret River full time since 1991. WA, as it is known (and jokingly said to stand for “wait awhile”, because we are usually behind in things), is known for its fantastic sunny weather, beautiful beaches, and sparse landscape. The south west corner is the most verdant, and nature rich part, with stunning forests, beautiful coastal landscapes, and now wine, and the great social diversity this brings. Western Australians have a very “outdoor” approach to life, and we just get things done, because we have to, as the rest of Australia has forgotten where we are…we love beating them in sport. Perth is the most isolated capital city in the world!!
Margaret River celebrated half a century of winemaking since it was put on the world wine map in 1966. How did the region / industry change over the years? Where do you think it’s heading?
The winemaking side of this beautiful part of the world has developed very quickly into one of Australia’s powerhouse regions, and there is no sign that we are slowing down. There is great diversity in the vineyard sites, both geologically and climatically, so we can create a wonderful array of wines. Most of the producers are small, so can develop a fantastic understanding of their site, and what it can produce. This then allows them to really work with that vineyard to get the absolute best out of it that they can. We are very pragmatic and realistic about what works in this region, and what doesn’t. There is also an exciting development of very small hands-on producers – like Flowstone, where I am the only worker - and more esoteric styles of producers happening, so the wine offering is very diverse and engaging.
There is an interesting push for the development of acknowledged sub-regions within Margaret River. This does seem to be driven by one group, rather than the industry association.
Given the growing number of wineries in the Margaret River, is there a good sense of community between the winemakers? Do you exchange views/experiences? Do you swap wines?
There is generally a good community spirit between the winemakers. The region is quite large, approximately 100kms x 30kms, so there tends to be the northerners and the southerners…most producers are very happy to swap wines, although there are a few that don’t.
Your career in wine spans over 30 years. What inspired you to become a winemaker? Are there any other winemakers, past and present, who had a profound influence on you?
Why winemaking?...gravity…I fell in to it. My parents planted a small vineyard in Margaret River in the mid-70s. In the early 80’s, after completing my phys ed degree, I was wandering around doing nothing, so came down to help. I also started my wine studies by correspondence in 1983. That was where it started…since then I have worked at Voyager Estate, Devil’s Lair, started Suckfizzle and Stella Bella with my partner, and worked with those brands, and now Flowstone. There is one winemaker that has had a significant effect on me – Janice McDonald – winemaker and my life partner.
With such an incredible career in winemaking, how does Flowstone differ from your previous projects (please expand on your past projects too)? Is Flowstone the pinnacle of your aspirations?
Flowstone is solely me. I make the wines I like, and I am the only worker. It is my self-indulgence…I am responsible for everything, from pruning, to winemaking, to sticking the labels on, to visiting people that sell my wine. There is a wonderful feeling of fulfilment when you harvest grapes from your vineyard on your property that you planted, make the wines in the shed (winery) on site, bottle the wines in that shed, and store the wines there. The first time the wines leave our property is when they are sold.
We hear that there is little or no demand for mature wines in Australia (especially whites) and therefore, no culture for ageing wines. Your wines have stunning longevity. Do you feel you lead a lone fight?
I am not sure that is true, it is just that there is not a lot of older wine in the general market place. I suspect this may be business driven, as there is a lot of money tied up in wine, and it does need to be recouped at some stage…a business viewpoint would say the sooner the better. There is good activity in the auction market for older wines. There are also a small number of producers that make a point of selling older wines. Flowstone is one of them, as I feel it is better for the wine, and the consumer…they get to taste the wine as it should taste.
Julia Harding MW loved your 2011 Sauvignon Blanc at the Australia Trade Tasting this year. In Julia’s words, “the biggest surprise was the Flowstone 2011 Margaret River, made in a reductive style/smoky style and still so vibrant”. Can you comment on the age-ability of your Sauvignons, as many consumers are conditioned to drink Sauvignon in its youth?
Julia’s comments were music to my ears. I have always loved the Sauvignon Blancs from Sancerre and Pouilly Fume, and the Flowstone wine is modelled more on those styles more than anything new world. I think most people’s perception of Sauvignon Blanc are driven by the bright fresh style from Marlborough. Sadly, the understanding that Sauvignon Blanc can be more than that seems to have been lost. I am championing that cause…
We hear that you have expanded the list of varieties you’re working with, which now include the unusual Savagnin variety. Do you also plant more Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon? Do you have a favourite grape to work with?
You are obviously referring to a wine I have called Moonmilk. The white is a blend of Savagnin, Viognier, Gewurztraminer and Sauvignon Blanc. It is primarily Savagnin. I jokingly refer to it as the wine where I have taken all the varieties that are very difficult to sell, and blended then together, and then let them hang out with a tiny bit of Sauvignon Blanc. Savagnin is in Australia under false pretences. In the early 2000s planting material was brought in to Australia from Spain thinking it was Albarinho. There was quite a lot of interest in this, and about 60 people planted it. In 2009 it was DNA tested, and proved to be a variety called Savagnin, that no-one had heard of, and is confusingly similar in name to Sauvignon Blanc. So, a bit of a total mess really. Savagnin does have a spiritual; home on the east of France, in an area called the Jura, where it makes a very distinctive wine called Vin Jaune. The variety is also known as Savagnin Blanc, and Traminer (without the Gewurz)…
The Moonmilk wine is a bit of a fun blend of most of these varieties, and is in a lovely fresh, warm afternoon drinking style. I do have a red to partner it, made of Shiraz, Grenache and Viognier.
I have not planted any more Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon, but I do now lease the vineyard where my Sauvignon Blanc comes from, which also has Chardonnay. So, Flowstone is totally self-sufficient for Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. I have planted a little bit of Touriga, so we are now self-sufficient with that as well.
My favourite variety to work with is Chardonnay, although Sauvignon Blanc is sneaking up on it.
We know that it’s a very busy time for you at the moment. How is the harvest going? Anything of particular note from the current vintage?
Unlike the rest of Australia, we have had a cool Summer, so vintage is late, and slow. We are currently in a bit of a break between the reds and whites. The end of the white harvest was a bit frantic, but the wines from the good vineyards look to be very good. There will be some ordinary wines from the lesser vineyards, but that does not concern us.
Reds will probably start to come in next week, and they look to be very good, especially if we continue to get the lovely warm and fine Autumnal weather we are currently getting. We don’t need any rain.
What do you drink after a long, hot day spent working in the vineyard?
If there is half a cause for celebration, Champagne, otherwise I probably lean to more textural Sauvignon Blancs like Flowstone, and progress to Chardonnay…..and reds from there…
Do you have any exciting plans or projects lined up in the background which you can share with us? Any interesting experiments?
Nothing really new planned, although I do have one stray barrel of wine in the cellar. I have four rows of Touriga on my vineyard, and the rocky end was picked quite late, and fermented separately. When I tasted it after vintage, I thought…”wow, that looks like Vintage Port!!”. I got the wine analysed, and it was 15.9% alcohol, and 16 g/l of sugar, so half way to being a Port. For a bit of fun, I bought some 20 year old brandy spirit, and fortified it to 20% alcohol. It is still sitting in a barrel now, and it will be interesting to see how it turns out, and if anyone wants to buy it. I told you Flowstone was a piece of self-indulgence…
Finally, would you like to pass any message to our world-wide customers?
I would like to thank them all for being passionate about wine, and keeping an open mind to all the wonderful wine styles of the world….and if it takes the Flowstone Sauvignon Blanc to remind them of what Sauvignon blanc can be, well that is my pleasure.
"A vintage which flirts
* En Primeur 2018 - Wines available for delivery Spring 2021 *
A vintage which flirts with perfection but lacks the consistency of great vintages. That said, critics are not shy with their praises and respective scores with a plethora already being awarded perfection or near to it! Yields are low, scores are high – It’s now down to the Chateaux to ensure pricing is sensible…
We will offer a weekly roundup of all releases however, and if you prefer to receive all major releases as they happen, please drop us an email and we will be delighted to add you to our En-Primeur bulletins.
Château Laroque (St Emilion Grand Cru) has been tipped as the ‘bargain’ buy of the campaign which is released @ £215.00 IB per case of 12.
Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW of The Wine Advocate awards an astonishing 95-97 points which places Laroque alongside (points wise) Beychevelle, Pavie Macquin, Hosanna, Clos Fourtet, Valandraud which will be at least double / treble the price… 96-98 pointers include Châteaux Montrose, Lynch Bages, Haut Bailly and Calon Segur (some critics’ declaring Calon Segur with 99-100 points).
“Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2018 Laroque is a little closed to begin, slowly unfurling to reveal fragrant black cherries, wild blueberries and blackberry preserves scents with hints of crushed rocks, underbrush and violets plus a waft of Marmite toast. Full-bodied and jam-packed with bright, crunchy black and blue fruits, it has a firm line of ripe, fine-grained tannins and loads of freshness, finishing very long and layered. Impressive! Being aged in oak barriques, 50% new, the blend is 97% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc.”
95-97 Points - Jeb Dunnuck “A blend of 97% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc representing just 41% of the total production, the 2018 Château Laroque is still resting in barrels and oak tanks. Its deep purple color is followed by a classy bouquet of ripe black cherries, cassis, graphite, licorice, and crushed rocks. Deep, medium to full-bodied, with a beautiful mid-palate and ripe, silky tannins, it's an incredible success for the estate, which is firing on all cylinders today thanks to the talented David Suire!”
In 2018, grapes were hand-harvested from September 28th to October 12th for the Merlot and on October 16th for the Cabernet Franc. Net yields were 46 hl/ha. Berries were fermented in rectangular, cement vats with a 25 to 30-day cuvaison. The extraction techniques included both pigeage and remontages. Softness is the rule and the goal here is to adapt specific methods to each terroir. Malo was conducted in barrels in which the wine spent three months on its lees. The barrels are all from top coopers including Taransaud, Ana Selection, Stockinger and Boutes. 50% were new and 50% second-fill. The final blend is likely to be 97% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc. 14.5%.
Château Tour Saint-Christophe 2018
96-97 Points James Suckling “Blueberry and blackberry character with hints of white pepper and chalk. Salty, too. Full-bodied, tight and polished with fantastic texture and length. Very closed and tight with gorgeous tannin quality”
£135.50 per case (6x75cl)
The much anticipated
2016 Bordeaux have arrived
With the 2018’s arriving during the spring of 2021, much attention has turned to the fabulous 2016 vintage, which is physically available and ready to be delivered. The world’s leading critics published their reports and in-bottle scores
during the past months…
11 wines were awarded 100 points
“First and foremost, 2016 is a truly great vintage for Bordeaux, and unquestionably in the same category as 2000, 2005, 2009, 2010 and 2015”.
“Every Bordeaux lover out there should have 2016s in their cellars”
Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, The Wine Advocate
8 wines were awarded 100 points
“While 2016 is an incredible vintage that produced a lot of outstanding and some extraordinary wines throughout Bordeaux, the greatest wines of this amazing year sing not so much about the vintage, or even their communes, but about their vineyards.”
Neal Martin, Vinous
5 wines were awarded 100 points
“It goes without saying that 2016 boasts numerous wines pulled from top drawers, and readers will find many notes where I remark that the 2016 constitutes the best I have ever tasted at the property since my first primeur, the rather middling 1997 vintage”.
Antonio Galloni, Vinous
7 wines were awarded 100 points
“The best 2016s are powerful, richly layered, vibrant and stunningly beautiful, not to mention incredibly delicious and alluring. For so many wines and estates, 2016 is an epic vintage.”
In Store and available
by the bottle and under bond
Simply click on the wine that interests you to read the full scores / tasting notes & to buy.
Château Larrivet Haut Brion Rouge
Château Malescot Saint Exupéry 2016
Les Pagodes de Cos d'Estournel
Domaine Naturaliste Artus Chardonnay 2016
97+ Points - Stuart McCloskey “The wine demands some aeration and reveals a crystalline, mineral-driven bouquet with nashi pear, white flowers, oatmeal and a whiff of smoky sulphide. The palate is certainly complex with flavours ranging from stonefruit, lemon peel and touches of anise. Concentrated but at the same time supremely measured and seamless. The palate offers a lovely glossy texture and is incredibly satisfying. Flavours expand from citrus notes, limestone, smoked almond to more oatmeal. Everything is kept in check with a healthy wash of acidity. A wine of immense potential and will only improve with more cellaring (3-8 years). I love this. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware”.
Being called the newest buzz in Margaret River, Domaine Naturaliste is the project of Bruce Dukes, a highly experienced winemaker with a career spanning over 25 years. Bruce Dukes is a trained Agronomist with a master’s degree in Viticulture and Oenology from the University of California and knowing that truly great wine is created from the ground up, credits his time spent studying Agricultural Science at the University of Western Australia with shaping his values and practices.
Whilst completing his degree, Bruce worked as assistant winemaker for Francis Ford Coppola at Niebaum-Coppola in the Napa Valley and has also had a significant stint at the great Pierro Winery closer to home in Margaret River. Bruce approaches winemaking with the passion of an Agronomist, beginning with a deep understanding of soils and sustainable farming practices, it is Bruce’s belief that a holistic approach reaps the greatest rewards, both for the wine and the environment.
Domaine Naturaliste vineyards are located in the heart of the highly regarded Wilyabrup sub-region, located on the north eastern coast of Margaret River. The vines are 7 km inland from the magnificent Indian Ocean. The gravelly loam soils provide a stable foundation for the 20 year old grapevines, allowing them to achieve perfect balance. The maritime climate is characterised by cool wet winters, and long gentle summers, with Karri Trees that dominate the landscape here providing shelter from the prevailing westerly and south-westerly winds that blow in from the Indian Ocean making the area a pristine environment for growing high quality grapes.
Sailor Seeks Horse is one of the Apple Isle's most exciting new producers and we are over the moon to announce our exclusive partnership with husband and wife team, Paul (the viticulturalist) and Gilli (the winemaker).
Paul and Gilli produce two, beautiful wines - Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from their estate vineyard, planted in 2005. Both wines are exquisitely balanced, effortless and incredibly detailed. We awarded 99 points for their 2017 Pinot Noir with the ’17 Chardonnay half a point behind.
They are released in perilously small quantities, sell-out quickly and cannot be found outside of Australia (until now)
Next Week: We plan to unveil both wines with the opportunity to pre-order.