A Taste of
The Vinorium

Issue: 74 / Sunday 7 July 2019

 

Written by Stuart McCloskey

Sorcha Holloway, a good friend of The Vinorium and the woman behind UK Wine Hour recently attended the Wine Summit in Portugal. Amongst Sorcha’s daily tweets was the opening statement to the summit’s audience from Lisa Perotti-Brown MW which caught our eye. “Wine Scores, Consumers love them, experts hate them.” We are far from prolific Tweeters, but I couldn’t resist tweeting “What utter nonsense. Experts rely on them. In fact, without them, most would not have a job!”

This got us thinking about the role of critics and the wine press within the industry. How important are they to the customer and how subjective is the scoring? To some degree, scores are incredibly important as many critics have a lot of weight in the industry, some having the power to make or break a winery. It was Robert Parker’s 99 points awarded to Wild Duck Creek’s Duck Muck that catapulted this small, family run winery into the centre of the world wine stage. Hugh Johnson has spoken about the impact that Robert Parker has had on the industry, to the level that his opinion had for a time, influenced the way that winemakers were producing their wines. It was Robert Parker who first started to champion the big, extracted, powerhouse wines that were emerging from the USA during the 80s and 90s. During that time, his influence was so strong that some producers were intentionally pushing their wines with longer maceration and greater oak influence, in order to produce a wine that appealed to the Robert Parker palate and chase those valuable “Parker points”. 

This changed the wine industry for some time and the style of wines that were being produced globally, which and on the face of it, is quite extraordinary that one man carried so much power. I recall a buying trip to the Rhône (many years back) and vividly remember a discussion I had with Andre Brunel regarding Parker’s tight grip on world wine styles. Andre was not shy in coming forward with his lack of respect for Mr Parker and was comfortable with disclosing that one of the ‘top’ Southern Rhône producers effectively created a sample to suit Parker’s palate whereas the final, finished wine was entirely different. To save embarrassment, I will not mention the producer, but they regularly scored 99-100 points for their barrel samples!

Although now officially retired, Parker’s Wine Advocate website has been left in the capable hands of Editor in Chief, Lisa Perotti-Brown MW aided by a team of very capable reviewers including their Australian specialist Joe Czerwinski, a huge fan of Dan Standish wines, which we will come back to later in our article. There has been an obvious power-shift away from The Wine Advocate with many reviewers defecting to Vinous which was founded by Antonio Galloni (himself a former Wine Advocate employee) including the high-profile departure of, and in our opinion, the best wine communicator, Neal Martin. Clearly, there is no love lost between Parker and Galloni after former lawyer, Parker launched a lawsuit against Galloni for withholding tasting notes and for alleged fraud and defamation but dropped the case a month later. Poaching Neal Martin must have been a solid kick in the delicates for Bob however, and from the Wine Advocate’s humble beginnings, Parker sold a major stake in The Wine Advocate in December 2012 for US$15m to a group of Singaporean investors. Jeb Dunnuck also left to pursue his own ambitions of launching JebDunnuck.com and the ability to taste and report on whatever he chooses.

Today, it would be accurate to state there has not been a natural replacement for Robert Parker. Many, including us, considered Neal Martin as the expected leader, but and following his shock departure, not one critic carries the ultimate position as ‘maker’ or ‘breaker’ which is a blessing. Of course, some producers have a strong relationship with a critic which is perfectly understandable as this simply comes down to human nature and the enjoyment of working with those who understand you and what you are attempting to achieve. Earlier this year Team Vinorium encountered several UK critics / reviewers under the one roof. Most were interested in our wines and wanted to learn more however, one insisted on pouring for himself, had no interest in learning and raced through twenty-four wines in under 2 minutes. To us, this shows an unpalatable level of disrespect and an arrogance which is unjustifiable. Given his behaviour, we would prefer not to work with him and certainly would never entertain the idea of sending samples…

Historically, and during the annual En-Primeur campaign, the Châteaux of Bordeaux would not release their wine until Bob Parker released his scores. High scores and those with the potential to receive 100 points (once bottled) would command the highest ‘opening’ prices and demand would almost certainly outweigh supply. Those who scored in the low 90s were simply pushed aside save those which offered good value. There is now a race for critics to be the first to arrive in Bordeaux and release their scores. The Châteaux themselves are clearly happy to canvas the scores and opinions of any critic regardless of their respective background and skillset. This year’s campaign was fascinating from the perspective of behaviour and pricing. Château Calon Ségur is a case in point with their ’18 increasing by 20% in price compared to the 2017. The opening price of £864.00 was a record for the Château. Why? High scores from the critics with Antonio Galloni awarding 96-99 points. Lisa Perotti-Brown MW awarded 96-98 points, and Jeb Dunnuck awarding 97-100.

With the odd exception, allocations were cut and for the very best wines, severely. Granted, some producers yields were markedly reduced, which would affect allocations. However, this is also a great opportunity for négociants to overlook long, historical relationships in favour of a crass way to conduct themselves. “Yes, Stuart, I am aware you purchased 120 bottles of the 2017 Calon Ségur however, I can only offer you 48 of the 2018”. “Also, Stuart, what other wines will you purchase to support your allocation of one of the top wines of the vintage?” “I have a huge list of overpriced crap that you have no chance of selling but, hey, I am going to take this opportunity and take you for every penny you have (if you’re desperate of course!)”.  This may answer the question regarding our lack of 2018 En-Primeur communication this year. We’re far from desperate, have no intention of buying and passing on overpriced crap for a small allocation of the most prized wines.

Wretched behaviour which is the reason we have refused all 2018 allocations this year…

Mrs Perrotti-Brown MW - Would this behaviour exists if it were not for critic’s scores?

The wine industry has seen a seismic shift away from ‘Parker’ style wines in favour of balance and a fresher style. Personally, I am not convinced Parker is the culprit. Instead, and like all cyclic fashions, the 80s & 90s are cool once again, as will fruit-bomb wines in the future. In jest, we recently commented about James Suckling’s late arrival to the world of Australian wine. Last week, James and his small team released the biggest Australian wine tasting report covering some 2,700 wines which is impressive. Their mission was to discover what's new and fresh in this wine continent – as if we didn’t know.

We have looked through the tasting notes and scores which is always a fascinating exercise and note the producers with the best reputations score well, while those ‘new & fresh’ producers score less favourably with a few exceptions. Tasting blind eliminates bias whether psychological or not. Conversely, perhaps the best producers scored high simply down to the fact that are the ‘best’.

James awarded just a single hundred pointer, two wines achieved 99 points and only seven wines 98 points. Amongst the 98 point wines was a producer that we have been shouting about for three years and even though Suckling remains consistently tardy in his discovery of one Australia’s most respected producers, we couldn’t agree more with his comments on Deep Woods Reserve Chardonnay 2017, stating “The Deep Woods Reserve Chardonnay 2017 set the bar high with Jack (James’ colleague on the trip) declaring “this smells like Chevalier-Montrachet!” It received 98 points. 

Drawing the James Suckling Aussie roadshow to a close. We’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and would like to acknowledge his efforts however, and what I will say – James, you are rather late to the party and all the razzamatazz surrounding ‘new discoveries’ is simply daft to the point you regrettably make yourself look like a buffoon.

For us as an Australian specialist, perhaps the most important critic is James Halliday, who is without question the most influential and respected authority on Australian wine. James is not the most generous critic, awarding not a single wine 100 points and only seven wines 99 points since 2016, but this makes it more special when he does. His annual awards are some of the most anticipated in Australian wine and to be crowned Winemaker of the Year, New Winery of the Year or any of the accolades that James dishes out has an incredible impact, escalating demand for the wines, which is a sign of the respect the industry has for his opinion. We do wonder though, how well known is James in the UK and Europe? In Australia he is known as the Godfather of wine and there is no-one who carries more weight in the Australian wine industry.

It is quite humbling to know that our own opinions carries weight with our customers, as trust is important and something we pride ourselves on. We have always made it a rule to be objective and honest with our own tasting notes and scores. Regularly, we find that our own tasting notes will sell a wine above the critics scores, which we have seen with Standish wines. Joe Czerwinski from the Wine Advocate awarded three of Dan’s wines 99 points and one 98. Granted, demand from trade brokers was enormous however, and given we are not huge fans of their glory-hunting work, we chose to keep the majority for our private customers. We awarded our first 100 points to an Aussie wine to the Standish Schubert Theorem which quickly created sales of £38,000 and placed it on our sell-out list.

It would be fair to say that in this country; it is Decanter magazine that is the most recognised publication and certainly the most influential when it comes to UK consumers. It is no coincidence that the Grant Burge Meshach has been one of the biggest sellers in our under bond sale as Meshach 2012 was awarded the gold medal at this year’s Decanter World Wine Awards. Last week, we received a call from Decanter HQ querying why we are selling the House of Arras Late Disgorged 2003 for under £58.00 when it is sold for almost £100 everywhere else? When Decanter came out naming both the Late Disgorged and the Grand Vintage as 1st and 2nd place in the category of Australia’s best sparkling wines, the influence this had was clear with both now close to selling out!

Of course, scores are subjective and several critics may award one wine different scores, but they do act as an essential guide line. As a rule of thumb, a wine that scores 95 or above will be worth hunting out, 96-97 will be outstanding and the 98-100 is something truly special. My advice would be to align your own palate with a critic(s) as this is where you will find the best match. Relying on scores alone is a dangerous risk and will often leave you with a large hole in your wallet and without the satisfaction or memory of a great wine. Read the tasting note rather than the score…

I believe critics love scores and would struggle to find employment without them. Why list each report in numerical order? I would also love to know how many people search for wines with scores of less than 90 points. Would the Wine Advocate’s annual subscription take a battering if the WA team chose to release notes and reports without scores? Of course. Moreover, I am sure the invitations to top Châteaux, Domaines and wineries around the world would reduce significantly. Primarily,they are invited as each producer is seeking a published opinion and (hopefully) a high score.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW – You are the editor-in-chief of one of the world’s most revered wine reference websites… You have the job title to put your money where your mouth is…

 

2017 Deep Woods
Reserve Chardonnay 

 

As quickly as our allocation of the Reserve Chardonnay 2017 arrived, it left our HQ and sold-out. Quite by surprise, we received a second allocation, which we kept a secret and away from our website until its physical arrival into the UK. The demand for this wine has almost been unprecedented with a customer waiting list that unfortunately outweighs the size of our second allocation.

We have experienced problems with oversubscriptions in the past and must learn by our mistakes. Our portfolio tasting in September being significantly over subscribed to a degree that surprised even us, and led to the unfortunate situation of having to disappoint many of our loyal customers.

Not wishing for a repeat of this, we feel that the only fair way to offer the second allocation (Only 180 bottles) of Deep Woods Reserve Chardonnay 2017 is on a strictly first come first served basis and in an effort to ensure that as many of our customers have the chance to purchase a case, we are limiting purchases to a maximum of one, six-pack case per person.

"This smells like Chevalier-Montrachet....
Step aside Burgundy"

Deep Woods Reserve Chardonnay 2017

Royal Adelaide Wine Show 2018 - Gold
Best Chardonnay Trophy & Most outstanding white wine Trophy

Margaret River Wine Show 2018: Gold

Perth Royal Wine Awards 2018: Gold

Royal Hobart Wine Show 2018: Gold

Royal Melbourne Wine Awards 2018: Gold

Sydney Royal Wine Show 2018: Gold

 

98+ Points - Stuart McCloskey “Ultra-pure and textbook Julian Langworthy. Developing in the glass with lemon oil & zest, floral, a touch of new oak. The palate is tensile, reserved and offering breathtaking balance and precision rather than power. The wine exudes confidence with effortless ease. The texture is glossy / svelte with judicious touches of mouth-watering salty acidity. Thrilling and by far one of the most structured Chardonnays in our portfolio. Magisterial achievement and a benchmark Australian Chardonnay. Unapologetically Margaret River but for quality, comfortably Grand Cru Burgundy… Such is the skill; I would love to see Julian crafting Pinot Noir” Served in Zalto Bordeaux (The most essential wine tool to own) and I suggest decanting for 20-30 minutes. Drinking window from 2019 to 2030.

98 Points - James Suckling "This smells like Chevalier-Montrachet. There’s a wondrous note of flint that rises out of the glass, soon to be followed by quartz, riverbed, lemon curd, cloves, nutmeg and honeysuckle. It’s incredibly luscious and full-bodied, yet, despite all the odds, an arrow-dart of perfectly tuned acidity pierces through the myriad of citrus fruit and spices. A stupendous, spellbinding chardonnay that will take any wine lover’s breath away. Step aside Burgundy. Drink now or hold for a very long time."

98 Points - Decanter (Sarah Ahmed) "Sweet rock melon aromas. Nice focus, with the palate holding back before catapulting the fruit long and hard. Grapefruit oil and roast lime notes. Terrific clarity and zestiness, with verve and coolness. Very Margaret River! Not trying to be Burgundy. Terrific purity and charge, with restraint." 

Winemaking: The ’17 Reserve Chardonnay is an assemblage of two central Wilyabrup vineyards with a small amount of fruit from the Karridale area. The fruit was hand-picked and then chilled to maintain pristine condition. A minimalist approach in the winery included whole-bunch pressing, wild fermentation and sparing lees stirring in a mixture of new and seasoned French oak. The individual parcels were kept separate and aged on lees for 9 months until the final wine was blended for bottling

£35.95 per bottle

 

Explore the range

Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

96 Points
James Halliday

Royal Queensland Wine Show 2017 - Gold
Royal Sydney Wine Show 2017 - Gold
Wine Show of Western Australia 2017 - Gold

£45.95 per bottle

Only 7 bottles available

Reserve Shiraz 2015

96 Points
James Halliday

Margaret River Wine Show 2016: Gold

£34.95 per bottle

Reserve Chardonnay 2016

97 Points
James Halliday

Royal Queensland Wine Show 2017 - Gold
Royal Adelaide Wine Show 2017 - Gold
Perth Royal Wine Show 2017 - Gold
Wine Show of Western Australia 2017 - Gold
National Wine Show of Australia 2017 - Gold
Royal Hobart Wine Show 2017 - Gold

£35.95 per bottle

 

Hillside Cabernet
Sauvignon 2016

4 Gold Medals

China Wine & Spirits Awards 2018 - Gold
Margaret River Wine Show 2018 - Gold
Perth Royal Wine Awards 2018 - Gold
Wine Show of Western Australia 2018 - Gold

£17.95 per bottle

Hillside Chardonnay 2015

95 Points
James Halliday

China Wine & Spirits Awards 2018: Gold

£17.95 per bottle

 

Hillside Semillon
Sauvignon Blanc 2018

Royal Melbourne Wine Awards 2018: Gold

£17.95 per bottle

 

Harmony Rosé 2017

95 Points
James Halliday

China Wine & Spirits Awards:
Best Value 2018
Perth Royal Wine Awards 2017: Gold Margaret River Wine Show 2017: Gold 
James Halliday's Best Australian
Red Wines Under $25 

£14.95 per bottle

Estate Rosé 2017

95 Points
James Halliday

 Margaret River Wine Show 2017: Gold

£21.95 per bottle

 

One of Australia’s best kept secrets is Julian Langworthy’s lesser known but certainly no less impressive solo project, Nocturne that he runs with his wife Alana. How Julian manages to balance a career as not only the Chief Winemaker at Deep Woods but also overseeing the entire Fogarty group which owns Deep Woods and two other wineries is unknown to us, and this is before you add a solo project into the mix. Nocturne has already caught the attention of the “Godfather” of Australian wine, critic and writer James Halliday which, given that he’s the world’s leading authority on Australian wine is no surprise. As yet however, Julian’s Nocturne wines remain comparatively unknown on the world stage and have prices that reflect this by selling for almost £10 a bottle less than Deep Woods.

This will not remain the case for long as Julian’s reputation alone is enough for these wines to sell for equivalent prices once the Nocturne name has gathered momentum, but for the time being, these wines remain a steal. We are lucky to be in the privileged position of being the only worldwide merchant to offer these wines outside of their cellar door and will remain the only UK merchant to have exclusive access to Julian’s Nocturne Wines. We are pleased to be ahead of the game, but it may be only a matter of time before these amazing wines are discovered by everyone else!

Nocturne Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

97 Points
James Halliday

 2018 Halliday Cabernet Winner: Margaret River Best of Region

Margaret River Wine Show Trophies
Best Red Wine of Show 2018 
Best Single Vineyard Red 2018

£27.95 per bottle

 

Nocturne Nebbiolo Rosé 2018

96 Points
James Halliday

£18.75 per bottle

Nocturne Chardonnay 2017

97 Points
James Halliday

£27.95 per bottle

 

Meet the masterminds behind one of
Margaret Rivers most talked about wines 

Our September dinner with Julian and Alana Langworthy quickly sold-out with a third of the table purchasing tickets without ever ordering either Deep Woods or Nocturne wines from The Vinorium. This is not entirely unusual as many merchants offer dinners as a form of income however and given the intimacy of the planned dinner (and non-profit making ticket price) we would like a table filled with fans of either or both wines.

We are hosting a combined trade / consumer tasting & presentation with Julian and Alana Langworthy on the 10 September (venue 67 Pall Mall). Tickets are available for as little as £25.00 each. Timings being 11:00am to 2:00pm.

After a break, Alana and myself will be hosting another dinner commencing at 6:30pm 10th September (venue 67 Pall Mall).. 10 tickets are available at the same, discounted price of £100.00 per person. It’s a wonderful and intimate atmosphere to enjoy the entire evening with likeminded fans and of course, the opportunity to speak directly to Alana throughout the course of the evening. The surroundings are formal and certainly beautiful but the evening will be conducted with a sense of Aussie casualness.

Please note; these tickets are only available to customers who have supported Deep Woods or Nocturne wines.

Meet Julian & Alana for an exclusive tasting at:

 

DAY TASTING

Rub shoulders with some of
the UK’s top Wine Press

Open to all Vinorium customers

Tuesday 10th September 
11:00am to 2:00pm

Only 25 tickets available

£25.00 per ticket

 

A Special, 3 Course Dinner &
Tutored Tasting with Julian, Alana & Stu

Available to Nocturne/Deep Woods customers only

Tuesday 10th September
6:30pm to 11:00pm

Only 11 Tickets available

£100.00 per ticket

 
 

Joining the elite band of
Margaret River super stars

Watershed is without question one of our most awarded wineries from Western Australia. Their stunning A1 Chardonnay is sourced from a single block right in the heart of what is known as the “golden triangle” of Chardonnay production within the region.

Watershed’s Awakening Block is arguably one of Margaret River’s single best sites that sees Leeuwin Estate, Voyager Estate and Xanadu as its neighbours and is responsible for one of Watershed's highest scoring wines, joining Deep Woods as one of the elite band of producers that have received 98 points for a white wine.

The 2016 vintage Awakening Single Block Chardonnay has not only been awarded such an incredible score by James Halliday but this year was also named as being the ‘Best of the Best’ Varietal Winner at the Halliday Wine Companion awards.

Recently, the Awakening Block has been bought by Vasse Felix who are looking to increase their production and had purchased a portion of the vineyard as it “produces excellent Chardonnay”. The fruit from the Awakening Block will be incorporated into Vasse Felix’s flagship Heytesbury Chardonnay. 

The last two releases from this stunning site released under the Watershed label are offered exclusively by The Vinorium (UK).

 

Watershed Awakening Single Block Chardonnay 2016

Halliday Wine Companion  Awards 
'The Best of the Best': Varietal Winners - Best Chardonnay 2019

98 Points - James Halliday "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."

Was £33.95 per bottle
Now £27.95 per bottle

 

Explore the range

 

Watershed Awakening Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

96 Points
James Halliday

The most awarded wine in our portfolio
The 2014 Cabernet has now won 13 gold medals and 8 trophies

£45.95 per bottle

Watershed Awakening Single Block
Chardonnay 2017

£29.50 per bottle
Now £25.50 per bottle

 

Watershed Senses Chardonnay 2016

96 Points
James Halliday

2018 Melbourne International Wine Competition - Gold
2017 Wine Show of Western Australia - Gold

£17.95 per bottle

Watershed Senses Sauvignon Blanc 2015

"Excellent intensity. Lemongrass and ripe stone fruit flavours meet gravel and sweat. Super fresh and lively. Textural finish."

£17.95 per bottle

 

Senses Viognier 2011

"Viognier, with a viscous, creamy mouthfeel highlighted by textured cashew nuts on the finish."

£18.95 per bottle

Shades Chardonnay 2016

James Halliday "Brisk and lively with stone fruit and citrus aromas and flavours contesting primacy. Ready tonight."

£14.50 per bottle

 

Watershed Shades Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2017

Margaret River Sauvignon Blanc of the Year -
2018 Melbourne International Wine Competition

£14.50 per bottle

 

New arrivals /
Back in stock wines

 

Our wines in the press

 
 

House of Arras Late Disgorged 2003

Decanter "Following 12 years on lees, this blend of two-thirds Chardonnay with Pinot Noir is a truly magnificent wine. Incredibly fresh for its age, it is intensely savoury, with notes of truffle, cream and lemon curd. Long, with the capacity to age for several years, this is a special occasion wine with a price-tag to match."

99 Points - Stuart McCloskey "Extraordinarily left on the lees for 12 full years and disgorged June 2015. This is far from a New World gimmick - Mind-bogglingly brilliant and without question, the greatest sparkling wine outside of Champagne and better than many within. A sublime blend of 61% Chardonnay & 39% Pinot Noir which offers a profusion of aromatics and flavours. The wine delivers mouth-filling generosity with nutty honeycomb, toasted brioche, bread (a factor of the extended lees contact), toasted grains, caramel and citrus notes. I detect some ocean sea salinity which makes sense given the marine location. Clearly, the wines maturity is for all to see however, the purity and finesse is quite staggering. A towering masterpiece, riveting, difficult to share as several glasses is never enough and I honestly can't imagine it getting any better. Truly epic and the New World benchmark. Almost perfect! Served using Zalto universal. Only 2,200 bottles produced."

98 Points - James Halliday "First fermentation in stainless steel. Gleaming straw-yellow; 6.5g/l dosage, disgorged June 2015, and has acquired exceptional length to its toasted, buttery brioche, honey, spice and nut flavours. Despite its age, it has kept its freshness and vibrancy thanks to its core of acidity."

£57.95 per bottle

House of Arras Grand Vintage 2008

Decanter World Wine Awards 2019 Platinum
​Decanter World Wine Awards 2017 Gold
 International Wine & Spirit Competition Gold 2017
Gold Medal – 2017 Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships
Trophy Best Sparkling- 2018 Royal Melbourne Wine Awards 
Trophy Best Sparkling White - 2018 Sydney Royal Wine Show
96 points & James Halliday's annual Top 100 wines 2018

Decanter "A compellingly rich, savoury, sumptuous fizz with a fine mousse, yeasty autolysis and saline minerality. A touch of oak adds a wonderfully taut note and some dry-roasted but flavours to the palate, while the finish is long and elegant.

17 Points - Julia Harding MW "Fine yeasty/biscuity nose but there’s also a mineral/stony character that comes through. Creamy texture, lemon cream and so much bight freshness with orange zest on the finish.
Delicious: complex and still so fresh."

£28.50 per bottle 
or £116.50 per case of 6 IB

 
 
 
 

Take 2: In case you missed it

50% of the stock has been sold

John spent a staggering 29 years at Penfolds, including a 16 year stint as Chief Winemaker. During this time, John was crowned as the International Winemaker of the Year, a two time winner of Red Winemaker of the Year, he was in charge of the entire portfolio and saw Grange named Wine of the Year. The culmination of John’s experience has resulted in his self-named family project, John Duval Wines for which he sources fruit from some of the Barossa’s top sites which he has singled out over the years. In John’s words this project “will never be another Penfolds - it is simply my chance to express my 40 plus years of premium winemaking knowledge using some of the best fruit in the world.”

Strict international shipping embargos are placed on all John Duval wines. For example, UK allocations are forbidden to be sold abroad (save a few cases into Europe).

We have sourced 240 bottles of the award-winning Entity Shiraz 2016 (with the potential of a few more bottles) which was recently awarded the Platinum medal “Best in Show”  at the Decanter Wine Awards. The 2017 vintage, which will be released towards the end of the year, has received 99 Points from James Halliday, which and given the expected release price is a rather extraordinary achievement. How extraordinary you may ask?

To put into context, James Halliday has awarded 99 Points to just seven wines (2016-2017 vintages). It joins our very own 99 Point Deep Woods Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon and the remaining red wines which are unavailable outside of Australia. 

Of course, this wine is going to cause quite a stir once released and demand from trade and private customers will certainly exceed our physical allocation. Also, and to communicate candidly, we envisage huge interest, and outside of our own customer base too. As such, and in fairness to all Vinorium customers, the 99 Point 2017 Entity Shiraz will be offered on strict, like-for-like allocations based on the purchase of the current 2016 release. 

But, we are digressing from the ‘now’ and must return our attention to the superb 2016 which is by no means a shrinking violet. Today, the entire team sampled the wine which we all agreed was excellent. Of course, and with insider knowledge, our thoughts turned to the quality of the Eden Valley fruit component (from Hutton Vale Farm, suppliers to John Duval and Dan Standish).

Perhaps subliminally, Stu (in his tasting note) commented “Reminiscent of Standish in some respects”. We’ll leave that to you and look forward to hearing your personal experiences. All-in-all, we believe this to be an exceptional wine which will continue to develop over the next 10-12 years.

Our Wine of the Week

97+ Points - Stuart McCloskey "John Duval has a special place in Australia’s wine history and it’s easy to understand why. The perfume is full of charisma and covers a myriad of aromas from plum, sweet exotic spice, a faint whiff of warm earth, blood orange, vanilla, liquorice to an entire collection of black and purple fruits, which go onto flood the palate. There are some high-toned notes from cherry to dried cranberry offset with a wonderful creaminess. The tannins are perfectly woven – As silky as a spider’s web. The finish is long, super-satisfying with touches of blood orange. Reminiscent of Standish in some respects - Faultless winemaking and pure expressive fruit. Impossible to fault for the money.
Sampled using Zalto Bordeaux glassware"

John Duval “My aim with Entity is to produce an elegant Shiraz true to the Barossa. The 2016 Entity again includes some 40% Eden Valley Shiraz to help maintain the elegance and style of Entity.

Traditional, low intervention winemaking techniques were employed with Entity, allowing the wine to be approachable in its youth, but with ample structure and fruit depth to allow great potential for improvement in the bottle under good cellaring conditions, for at least 10-12 years. Oak Maturation: 100% barrel matured for 15 months, with 33% new fine grain French oak hogsheads (300 litres) and the balance in 2, 3 and 4 year old hogsheads.”

 

John Duval Entity Shiraz 2016

97 Points - James Halliday  "Deeply coloured; this is at once full-bodied and legant, not a common marriage in young red wines with decades in front of them. The flavours are all black: blackberry, blackcurrant, black cherry, earth and licorice. The old vines have also provided ripe tannins, the whole theme resonating with oak a la Grange."

£26.50 per bottle

 

Under Bond Sale
23 Hours Remain

Ends Monday 8 July at 9:00am