A Taste of
The Vinorium

Issue: 81 / Sunday 1 September, 2019

Karakoram, Himalaya. Stu is the one in the middle (circa 21,000ft) 
and it’s still a long way to the top…

We’ve reached September and there’s a real sense of autumn in the air. Of course, we officially wait for the clocks to strike midnight on September 23.  However, and at home, the flame red foliage of my Virginia Creeper signals an early start. I confess, the heat of the August Bank Holiday weekend was not for me – I am ready for autumn and very much looking forward to the nostalgia which it delivers. There are drawbacks; the nights are longer than the days and the miles which my bike and I have travelled together throughout the past six-months plummet. It’s back to long roller sessions in the garage or my HQ warehouse after a day’s work, but needs must.

Each year when I returned from months climbing in the Karakoram, Himalaya, I was often greeted by September summers with the warmth clinging on to mid-October. It remained mostly dry which was great for my cycling. In those days, I would cycle in the region of 350 miles per week. The first cycle after coming back from months at high altitude was always the best. Feeling exhausted and losing up to two stone in body weight, descending from 25,000ft to sea level was incredibly beneficial for my first timed session on the bike – Forest Gump in lycra! Previous times would be obliterated and impossible to match after a week back at home…

These are fond memories but now firmly in the past as my work-life balance has decisively shifted away from spending 6-8 months climbing with odd weeks of work intermixed. Even then, I would spend my weekends either climbing in the Scottish Highlands or Grindelwald Switzerland. I would leave work on Friday evening, drive throughout the night to ensure I reached the first peak by sunrise, climb all weekend and still manage to arrive back at work by 9:00am on Monday, albeit a little dishevelled.

The bad news is, time flies and at some point (unless you are a professional mountaineer) you must work to feed yourself and put a roof over your head. The good news is, you are the pilot and very much in control of your future. I no longer take holidays save for the week which we close during Christmas and New Year. I am happy to work fifty-one weeks of the year and genuinely do not feel the need for a break. Because of this, I am aware that some of team members feel a tad nervous to request their allotted annual leave. Don’t think of me as a holiday oppressor, as I award all my team an additional week’s annual leave after five years of service. For me, I would work the entire year and enjoy the benefits of a supplementary five weeks pay… But, that’s just me.

This year’s summer holidays are behind us, the roads are a busier place to navigate and we are heading towards leaving the EU without a deal. We are regularly receiving communications from many of our customers who reside in Europe. What is happening? And most importantly, can The Vinorium deliver wines post 31 October? Our government is a shambles, pathetic with many unable to tie their own shoelaces let alone steer our country towards a safe economical harbour. They are an embarrassment and I would happily lead the vote to export the lot of them to some distant island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean – A following Tsunami wouldn’t go amiss either. 

Until then and to answer our customers’ questions – we really do not know. In the event of a ‘hard Brexit’, the UK would require a new trade policy which may involve joining the WTO and setting new tariffs for wine imports. Some commentators, including Jancis Robinson, have suggested these might be as high as 32% whereas others believe that the rates may be set at the same level as existing imports to the EU.

Inevitably, the Pound will crash which would be great for international buyers however, there’s no benefit if we cannot deliver into mainland Europe, which is a real, short term threat. We will keep you all posted but my advice is to buy from The Vinorium with confidence, take advantage of the weakened Pound and we will happily store your wines until this wee storm is over.

It has been close to three months since 23,000 bottles set sail from Australia and New Zealand. Save for one pallet incorrectly arriving in Hong Kong (we received theirs!) and a prized pallet of 2016 Standish The Relic being left behind in Adelaide (quite how is a huge mystery), they have arrived safely from the long journey. It is a substantial exercise for our UK bond to physically land the cases, count them all, provide identification references, prepare all out-going deliveries and place the remaining stock away for safe keeping.

Our HQ warehouse and shop are starting to swell, with many new and exciting wines including the Garden Series from Two Hands, the amazing wines from Jaysen Collins along with wines from his old school friend Dan Standish. Dan’s 2017 collection looks impressive and we plan to tackle the quartet over the coming weeks.

Last years Lamella Shiraz sold-out before the team had time to snaffle and decant a bottle. The same mistake was not made this year with my tasting note for the 2017 below. The team and I are looking forward to sampling Dan’s Lamella against Hutton Vale Farm Shiraz. Both wines are produced from the same grapes, but Dan has taken their fruit to a new stratosphere.

The Lamella is a transcendent Shiraz. An authoritative wine of incredible density and purity combined with a feeling of elegance maintained through careful and sensitive winemaking. Currently, we carry good stocks of the ’17 however, this is due to a restriction on trade sales which is being lifted at the end of the month. The 600 bottles of the 99-point 2016 The Relic have all but sold-out, with the exception of 55 bottles which are available for immediately delivery.

The beautifully crafted wines from Craig Stansborough's (Grant Burge Chief Winemaker) personal project, Purple Hands are here too and come highly recommended. We have purchased two wines from their After Five Wine Co with the Shiraz sourced from Craig’s own Stansborough vineyard.

The Old Vine Grenache is produced from vines sourced from the Zerk Grenache Vineyard, a family owned and run single site, planted by the Zerk family in 1961.

The third vineyard that Purple Hands source fruit from is the Woodlands Vineyard, which Craig and Mark uncovered in 2012, discovering 468 exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon vines hidden at the back of an old vineyard across the road from the Zerk Family Vineyard. After some investigation by a historian, they discovered that the vineyard was planted some time during the mid-1800s with the Cabernet Sauvignon estimated to have been planted sometime between 1880 and 1890 and thought to be some of the oldest Cabernet vines in Australia.

It is these ancient vines that make up their Planta Circa Ancestor Vine Cabernet Sauvignon and our third purchase from Craig. Magda has done a cracking job of pre-selling our allocation with only 74 bottles remaining. James Halliday has recently awarded 98 points and describes the 2017 as “a great cabernet vintage for this great vineyard." We firmly believe that all three wines are unrivalled at their respective price points.

Our new Tasmanian agencies arrive at HQ later this week, which is incredibly exciting for the team. We believe we have the finest collection of Tassie producers (under the one roof) outside of Australia. They include; Hughes & Hughes, Mewstone, Sailor Seeks Horse and Domaine Simha, which and for me personally, is one of the finds of the year. Explosively brilliant wines and I adore them all. Our new order from Nick Glaetzer is being shipped in two parts. Part one includes his new releases; 2018 Avancé Pinot Noir, 2016 Rêveur Pinot Noir and 2017 Mon Père Shiraz and a NEW wine for us, the 2018 Überblanc Riesling. Part two leaves mid-month with a pallet of Nick’s 2019 Sur Lie Chardonnay which we believe to be magnificent and super-value.

We have also added Pooley Wines to our list of exclusivities, which we are immensely proud of. Pooley is one of the leading family-owned wineries in Tasmania, renowned for their exquisite Single Vineyard examples of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Riesling. Our opening order, which leaves Melbourne mid-month is respectful but modest. Sadly, and given the small numbers, Pooley Wines will not be available to sample at our events – We simply do not have the stocks. 

Again, Magda is doing a sterling job with informing our customers of these exceptional wines, and stocks are starting to dwindle. Earlier in the year, the entire team sampled the range with the delightful John Pooley with their Single Vineyard wines standing out. They’re all exquisite. The Cooinda Vale Chardonnay once formed an integral component of the famous Yattarna Chardonnay from Penfolds. Since 2016 Anna Pooley (winemaker) has kept the fruit separate to produce a single expression from this immaculate site. Their Butcher's Hill Chardonnay is another beauty. Similarly, the fruit from this block was once used for Penfold's Yattarna Chardonnay…

From the Yarra Valley we unveil the wonderful wines from Hoddles Creek, another ‘NEW’ exclusivity for us. On Thursday, the team and I sampled Franco’s 2017 1er Pinot Noir which reawakened our spark for his wines. You must understand it often takes six-months from sampling to taking receipt of our first order. We need to reacquaint ourselves and as quickly as possible. All of Franco’s wines are heavenly, very pure and offer exceptional drinking for their respective price tags. Next week we will be re-tasting most of the range with the ’17 Syberia Chardonnay being the first on my list. It will be my third bottle and is one of the ‘best’ Chardonnay’s in our entire portfolio. Insanely good (my tasting note will be published next week).

Whilst many of you have holidayed, we have not rested as we bring even more exclusivities, which will be arriving later this year… From the combined skills of Dan Standish & Jaysen Collins comes Massena. Their 2018 Surly Muse Viognier / Marsanne is bloody brilliant. The Surly Muse reflects the technique of ageing 'surlie' (on lees) for an extended period, giving palate texture and phenolics. Combining the rich texture of Marsanne with the heady aromatics of Viognier gives a white blend with body and freshness.

We’ve taken all three wines from their Stonegarden range which includes Grenache Mataro Shira blend, a 100% Grenache and their Riesling. Stonegarden is one of the most famous vineyards in South Australia. These vines were planted in the 1940s and have been some of the most sought-after fruit in the region ever since. Please liaise with Magda if you would like to receive a pre-arrival offer.

From the Macedon Ranges, Victoria we warmly welcome Josh Cooper whose entire range wowed the team. Josh produces a trio of Chardonnays, two exquisite Pinot Noirs and a Shiraz which stopped us in our tracks – We’ve taken them all. His wines are pure, soulful and honestly breathtaking. I cannot wait for November to arrive…

We are sampling our way through Nelly and Allan Coopers wines (founders of the acclaimed biodynamic Cobaw Ridge winery) and parents to the aforementioned genius. So far, so good in our opinion with a touch more flamboyance than their sons wines. From the Hunter Vale, we have received samples from Vinden Estate. Angus Vinden (winemaker) sources fruit from some of the Hunter's greatest vineyards with a focus on Semillon and Shiraz. Finally, we have received the full suite from Yarra Valley producer, Seville Estate, which and from its first vintage, quickly established itself as one of Australia’s finest producers and was last year crowned James Halliday's "Winery of the Year". 

I could go on, but I am conscious that you need to cut the grass and prep the rib of beef (the ’17 Lamella would partner beautifully).

Until next week,

Stu

Our Wines of the Week

(We were too spoilt for choice)

Hoddles Creek
1er Yarra Valley Pinot Noir 2017

Top Rated Pinot Noir at the 2020 Halliday Wine Companion Awards

97+ Points - Stuart McCloskey "Franco’s 1er Pinot Noir always comes from a block from his top paddock vineyard called 'SRM'. This block faces West but runs down to the South. This is the only block which sees the inclusion of around 20-25% whole bunches in the ferment. There’s a heavenly, very pure bouquet – crushed wild strawberries intermixed with a melange of red berry fruits, anise, a tartness coming from cranberry scents and a lift from aromatic violets and rose petal. Everything is pulled together with a lovely minerality bordering salinity. The palate is medium-bodied and tensile. Wonderful judgment between the fruit, filigree tannins and perfectly pitched acidity. As with the nose, the purity is breathtaking. There’s a captivating sense of weightlessness – Feminine and highly intellectual. The never-ending finish of blood orange sorbet is a joy. Franco should seriously consider a rebrand from 1er to Grand Cru as this is special. Drinking now to 2025 and would benefit from a further 1-2 years in the bottle. Decanted for one hour and served using Zalto’s Burgundy glassware."

£30.50 per bottle

 
 

Standish Lamella Shiraz 2017

98-100 Points - Stuart McCloskey "Even at this stage, the ’17 Lamella is spectacular and bursts from the glass with an intoxicating and heady mix of pen ink, lilac flower, violets, cassis liqueur and liquorice with the faintest whiff of nori. The palate is full-bodied, ineffably complete with an overall mouthfeel akin to velvet - juicy with a super-lavish, creamy texture. The fruit component comes across cool and clearly handled sensitively. Layers of fruit wash across my palate. With aeration (4-5 hours) the dark fruits meld with wood smoke and dried herbs – ever changing in the glass. The tannins are virtually unnoticeable, as is the oak which is quite extraordinary. Granted, this wine offers an entire day of immediate pleasure, but it will be perfect in a decade. I cannot wait to see how this evolves over the coming years. Utterly magnificent and a privilege to sample such a remarkable Aussie masterpiece. Breathtaking in its infancy… Decanted for 4-5 hours and sampled using Zalto Bordeaux Glassware"

£64.95 per bottle

 
 

Q&A with Franco D'Anna of Hoddles Creek Estate

Exclusive to The Vinorium

 

Run by Franco D’Anna, Hoddles Creek are responsible for producing some of the finest Chardonnay and Pinot Noir to come out of the Yarra Valley and are privileged to occupy one of the very best sites in the region. This is purely coincidence as the D’Anna family, who originated from Italy, bought the property in the 1950s, about a decade before planting began again in Yarra Valley after years of the industry being in decline. The Hoddles Creek property is located in the Upper Yarra Valley which is much cooler than the rest of the region, making it perfectly suited to growing premium level Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and as a result, the Hoddles Creek wines have been some of the finest to come out of Yarra Valley.

Hoddles Creek are one of the hottest names in the region right now and we are thrilled to be able to bring the wines exclusively to the UK and introduce a wine of such magnificent quality to all our customers.

We got in touch with Franco D’Anna for an exclusive interview to get his thoughts on his life, the region and how he manages to produce such incredible wines.

 

"Without a doubt, as a collection of wines we make the most consistent and exciting examples compared to any other regions."

Franco D'Anna

You are from an Italian heritage but your family had owned the Hoddles Creek property in Yarra Valley since the 1960s. Where did you grow up?

My parents were born in Italy, and arrived in Australia in the late 1950s. We have always been involved in food and wine, both in Italy and also in Australia. My siblings and I grew up surrounded by our family work, although it’s not really work when it involves food and wine. We lived in Melbourne and would come up to Hoddles Creek on weekends to help run the farm. Back then, there were no vines, only some cattle and an expansive vegetable garden which would need tending. 

What was family life like growing up? Were meal times a typically Italian occasion with the whole family eating and drinking together?

Family life always involved keeping the Italian traditions that my parents and their parents had in Italy. To this day, we still make our own salami, our own passata and grow our own vegetables on the farm. Meal time always included too much food and good wines. I always remember, that regardless of what wine was on the table we were all allowed to taste. I cannot remember when we had a dinner that didn’t involve food and wine. I’m trying to impart the traditions we learnt from a young age to my children so we don’t forget our heritage. It’s always important to remember and reflect where you have come from so you don’t forget the past. It is amazing now to think that now we have done a full circle and some of these traditions are now quite popular in Australia. 

Has your family and heritage influenced your winemaking style today?

At Hoddles, we almost have a European model of running the winery and vineyard. All my staff work both in the vineyard and winery, so they can understand why we are so particular about growing good fruit. Our motto here is ‘vineyard is king’ which really means it all starts in the vineyard and in the winery we just nurture the wines along. When I first started out, I graduated with a viticulture degree as I wanted to get the core ingredient right before I understood winemaking. Winemaking really isn’t that difficult, in fact it is harder to do nothing than always looking at the wines and trying to manipulate them. When I started winemaking, I knew nothing and to this day I still make wine the same way. It’s about doing the simple things really well.

You have spent time working vintages in several regions across the world, including Piedmont and Burgundy. If you could produce wine in any region of any country, where and what would that be?

I love making wine at Hoddles, it sounds stupid but I love this place. I’ve grown up on the farm and have a really strong attachment to it. I enjoyed working overseas but really I went over for a specific reason. I worked at Passopisciaro on Mount Etna in Sicily to look at natural wines and native Italian varieties. I worked in Piedmont to understand tannins, which we have been trying to get more, finer tannin in our wines. In Burgundy, it was about looking at winemaking with a different set of eyes. When you’re making your own wine from fruit that you’ve grown, you tend to be a bit safe, so I wanted to see what other people were doing. Winemaking is risk and reward. To be safe, you make boring wines, you need to really push the boundaries sometimes to make great wine.

Can you tell us a little about your 1er Cru range and the idea behind them? The labels suggest that they are quite Burgundy inspired. Were you influenced by your time spent in Gevrey-Chambertin?

We started that label for a bit of a laugh. Wine is so serious sometimes we just wanted to have some fun with the label. We made a Pinot Blanc in 2008 that didn’t look like anything that was grown from Australia as it tasted from the land rather than the sun. From that, we made a Chardonnay and a Pinot Noir that are really well sought after. The Pinot Noir made Langton's Classifiaction from the very time it was eligible. So, it was fun doing a label like that but the wines are serious and up there for the best examples in Australia.

How do you feel about new world regions still being compared to Burgundy for Pinot and Chardonnay? Do you think that it is time that these regions are recognised as being great producers in their own right?

I’m not sure a Burgundian producer would compare their wines to Australian wines, so I’m sort of the same. Everything is so different in regards to terrior that I’m happy to make wines that reflect their place and don’t really bother comparing them to wines from other regions.

What can you tell us about the Yarra Valley and the people who live there? What is it about the region that makes the wines so special? 

The Yarra Valley is quite a diverse grape growing area. It is really split into two regions; Lower Yarra and Upper Yarra. The Upper Yarra is perfect for growing Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and other delicate varieties. It is higher in altitude with cooler nights so acid retention is great. We are based in the Upper Yarra and quite fortunate that my parents found a place that would be perfect for grape growing some 36 years after purchase. Our winemaking community is really close knit, and we share ideas and taste to try benefit the region as a whole. I’m president of Wine Yarra Valley which includes nearly all the wineries and vineyards. My generation has a sense of ownership of where we want to take this region and work hard together to make it happen. 

Yarra Valley has a reputation as being a hub of creativity in winemaking. Does it feel like this as a winemaker there? Does the region have a good sense of community among winemakers?

The circle and trends of winemaking I think really start in the Yarra. From moving away to big broad sun filled chardonnay to having chardonnay with precision, acidity, and reflects where it has grown, really started in the Yarra. Same goes with whole bunch in reds, the Yarra was one of the first regions really to adopt it. Saying that, you don’t know how far you’ve pushed the boundaries until you have gone too far. Some of these trends are coming slightly back into the middle. Our community as winemakers in the Yarra is unmatched compared to other regions. We want to work together to increase our knowledge of how to become better.

The Hoddles Creek Estate is based in the Upper Yarra Valley. Do you feel that it is superior to the rest of the region? Could you tell us a little about the terroir?

The Upper Yarra is really split into two soil types. The red volcanic soils which are quite fertile and the duplex great loams which are great for water retention. I think it’s only superior in regards to what varieties we can grow up here. We can’t make great Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz as it’s too cool and wet. Both areas have their advantage. Upper Yarra is perfect for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir as it retains the delicacy of the varieties, our acids hold really well and we can get perfume in Pinots that the Lower Yarra can’t get. 

Do you feel that the region produces some of Australia’s finest Pinot Noir and Chardonnay?

Without a doubt, as a collection of wines we make the most consistent and exciting examples compared to any other regions. Our climate in the Yarra is perfectly suited to these varieties. As the climate warms, growers are looking for vineyards that are cooler. As a relatively young region, we have the advantage of finding new sites that counteract warmer years.

We are really excited to also get our hands on the Syberia, Road Block and PSB single block wines as well. Could you tell us about what it is that makes each block so special? How did you identify these as being superior in the first place? How do the two single block Chardonnays differ? 

Syberia is a beast of a block. It’s a 10 acre vineyard planted on a steep slope facing east with the row orientation East-West. It was different to plant like this when it was established as people were always looking for the warmer slopes. We really don’t do anything on it, it naturally crops at 3 tonnes per hectare with soils that make the vine work quite hard. Road Block was originally planted to Sauvignon Blanc and I pulled it out and replanted to Chardonnay. I just had a feeling it would make a great Chardonnay block. It’s our lowest altitude block, but one of the coolest. It’s terraced into the East side of the hill and protected by a line of trees at the bottom. So it only really sees morning sun, which means the fruit doesn’t ripen too quick and has great balance and poise. PSB is a close planted block that runs down to the south and next door to our 1ER block. Less fruit per vine results in greater intensity with still having the hallmarks of Upper Yarra, namely perfume and structure. These three blocks were not intended to be planted to make a single block wine. We have made them over a long time and they always were a little different with their own personality. I think that’s what makes them exciting and gives great joy in the winery to make wines so different from the same place.

We are building one of the best collections of new world Pinot Noirs in the country and yours are a fantastic addition to our range. Would you say that the PSB Pinot Noir is the “jewel in your crown”?

PSB and 1ER Pinot Noir are equally positioned. Both are different but very unique. This is the second release of PSB for us and every time I look at it I’m always fascinated how it is evolving. The fruit is amazing, so we don’t kill it with oak or whole bunch. To me it’s very important to really understand site, and for us site is the most important. 

Your wines see very minimal intervention. How important is a minimalist approach of winemaking to you?

We don’t really need to do anything as the vineyards are so good. There are no additions of acid, enzymes or fining to any of the wines so we can concentrate on working in the vineyard rather than doing winemaking trials! None of the reds are filtered and all made by gravity. Minimalist approach to winemaking is very important as you retain the balance that was out in the vineyard. Every time you fine wines, you are taking something out and affecting the balance. I think it’s another reason why our wines age for so long. Plus I couldn’t think of anything worse than manipulating wines, fining is about correcting the mistakes you make in the vineyard or through vinification. I’d rather have wines that have personality than making something that tastes all the same.

What do you personally like to eat and drink? Do you have an all-time favourite wine?

I could eat pasta three times a day I think! I love cooking, so normally weekends are about sitting down with a nice glass of wine and cooking something that the family enjoys. All time favourite wine would be Soldera for me. It’s a wine that speaks place rather than variety and has a fantastic history in Italy as being one of the early pioneers.

What do you love most about being a winemaker?

Being able to make something that people enjoy. We get the opportunity to grow something and turn it into a product which is unique and always alive. So many other jobs are thankless or quite boring. I love opening the gate to the farm in the morning and hate leaving the place. 

We understand that you are planting some new vines. What split of varieties are you planting? How many acres are you adding to the estate? Will the new plantings produce new wines or become part of the existing range? 

I have purchased the property next door to Hoddles which had been in the same family since 1969. It was land that I couldn’t pass up as it’s such a beautiful place. Sometimes you see a patch of dirt and fall in love with it, so I was rapt when I could finally secure it. We will plant about 50 acres on it. At the moment, I think it will be mainly Pinot Noir. It has a lovely aspect down to the south and is identical to our 1ER and PSB blocks. The first vines will be planted in a few months. I’m not sure which range the fruit will go in. Initially it will go into Wickhams Road (our second label) until I can understand the fruit. Once the vines mature, I’m sure the quality will be there to go into the Estate range. The fruit will dictate where it belongs.

What does the future have in store for Hoddles Creek?

Hopefully playing more golf! I’m happy doing what I’m doing and not rushing to change things dramatically. We are always evolving and looking at better ways to do things. At the moment it’s an exciting place to be. 

1er Chardonnay 2017

95 Points - Campbell Mattinson, The Winefront "This is swish. Straw-yellow in colour, stone fruit riddled, shy on the nose but textural and alive on the palate. A gentle creaminess, spice notes, slate even, honeysuckle and toast. Extremely pure. Flowing robes of flavour. Grapefruit-like bite to the aftertaste, as a distinct positive. It’s still gathering itself but already it’s a treat to drink. A beautiful, beautiful wine."

£30.50 per bottle

Also available In Bond @ £139.00 per case of 6

 

Syberia Chardonnay 2017

97 Points - Gary Walsh, The Wine Front "Struck match, lime, grapefruit, almonds, chicken stock, flickers of cool green. Fine and composed, surges through the mouth, grips on tight, and doesn’t let go. So long. Flint, chalk, crunch, texture, subtle bitterness. It’s all here. It’s very Adult Chardonnay. Racy. A nudge and wink to those in-the-know. Outstanding."

96 Points - James Halliday "Bright straw-green; the complex bouquet has a positive touch of funk, as does the palate, but it's here that all the parts of the wine are fused together. The seamless flow of white peach, melon and grapefruit is given context by delicate cashew oak and fine acidity."

£35.95 per bottle

Also available In Bond @ £166.40 per case of 6

 

PSB Pinot Noir 2018

95+ Points - Gary Walsh, The Wine Front "A single vineyard wine, close planted to Pommard and MV6 clones. I liked it from first sniff. Cherry, spice, subtle biscuit oak, a distinct sweet earth/mineral thing happening, and some dried herbs and flowers. Medium-bodied, good amount of flavour, particularly impressive tannin – fine, thick and graphite – pulls the ripcord of juicy acidity on the long finish. Complex. Composed. Cracking. My kind of Pinot Noir. Tasted May '19"

£35.95 per bottle

 

Hoddles Creek Roadblock Chardonnay 2017

95 Points - Campbell Mattison, The Wine Front "Fabulous chardonnay. The cup runneth over. Slick, spritely, satiny and sustained. There’s flavour, there’s finesse, there’s a flourish to the finish. Lemon, lime, a sorbet-like aspect, nectarine and white peach, with a classy clip of spicy-sweet cedarwood oak. There’s almost a bacony aspect here, a smoked meat note, rosemary even, though it’s exquisitely pure of fruit. Potential for positive development is huge."

New single block wine for Hoddles Creek Estate. Originally the block was planted to Sauvignon Blanc, then pulled out and replanted with the Mendosa clone of Chardonnay on 101-14 rootstock. Different style to the Estate Chardonnay, 1ER and Syberia. Picked early (11.5 baume), whole bunch pressed to tank over night to settle the vineyard dust, then transferred to older barriques for fermentation.

It's a very cool block, facing East it only sees the morning sun and planted on a steep block with the rows terraced. Even at low sugars, we get ripeness and richness through the mid palate as flavour is well ahead of sugar in the ripening phase. The wine should age gracefully for 7-10 years.

£35.95 per bottle

Also available In Bond @ £166.40 per case of 6

 

Estate Chardonnay 2017

Featured in Langton's 'Top Six': The Best wines of 2018

95 Points - James Halliday "This is Wickhams Road's twin playing games with you, for there is that little bit more of every facet of Wickhams Road present in this wine, even its colour is that little bit greener. It's the extra dimension of the faintly reductive aftertaste that draws me back for more."

Campbell Mattinson, The Winefront "White peach, custard powder, more spritely stuff like lemon zest and green olive, perhaps a touch of spice. Light and fresh, some lactic/cheese flavour and stalks, with fine acidity and chalk dust texture, and a savoury finish of good length. It’s a good release, though perhaps a bit different in style this vintage."

£17.50 per bottle

Also available In Bond @ £74.00 per case of 6

 

Estate Chardonnay 2018

93+ Points - Gary Walsh, The Wine Front "Juicy and peachy, spiced oatmeal, fennel and a little stuck match. It’s flavoursome with ripe pear and nectarine flavour, flinty texture, an appealing grapefruit cut to the acidity, and a long, well-defined chalky finish. Feel the quality of quiet confidence. It’s a great thing to drink even as a young wine, though a couple of years will help it along too."

£17.50 per bottle

Also available In Bond @ £74.00 per case of 6

 

Estate Pinot Noir 2018

Gary Walsh, The Wine Front "Red fruits, hazelnut and spice, floral perfume. It’s light and perhaps a diffuse, at least as a young wine, but does deliver flavour, fine emery tannin, mouth-perfume, with a savoury autumnal finish of good length. Almost certain to build complexity and depth."

£17.95 per bottle

Also available In Bond @ £76.40 per case of 6

 

Estate Pinot Gris 2018

Mike Bennie, The Wine Front  "A wine that proudly shows the colour of the grape, asserting that texture, detail, structure and complexity are a by-product of thoughtful winemaking with pinot gris. ‘Whole bunch fermented’ says a sash on the label now too.

It’s a tightly wound expression, slender in shape, refreshing with tangy acidity, fragrant in red berry and floral perfume, though flavours are a touch washed out in the fray. That being said, the chalkiness to texture, the chew and bite of skinsy fruit personality, and the general ease of drinking, all play a part in ‘recommendation’ here. It’s a paired back release this year, more ‘Provencale rose’ than Radikon Kisi, but the drinkability and general sense of deliciousness is all there."

£18.95 per bottle

Also available In Bond @ £81.40 per case of 6

 
 
 

Tasmania’s great superstars 
Pooley Wines join our ever growing list of exclusivities

 

As you probably recall, our negotiations carried on for months, with the first newsletter mention announcing our talks with Pooley wines dating back to April - the main issue coming largely from the scarcity (or shall we say, an extremely limited access to) their Single Vineyard wines which are offered almost exclusively to Pooley’s own wine club members back in Australia. Finally, we managed to twist John Pooley’s arm, who convinced the family to allow 136 x bottles of each Single Vineyard wine to Vinorium customers.

Pooley Wines is a multi-award winning family winery located in the heart of the famous Tasmanian wine producing region of the Coal River Valley. Pooley Wines are recognised as one of the leading producers of premium cool climate wines (not only in Tas, but in Australasia) winning over 100 awards since Margaret Pooley’s first vintage in 1988.

Members of the Pooley family have been actively involved in the business for three generations with their longstanding passion and commitment to fine wine being your assurance of uncompromising quality. They are also proud to be recognised for their environmental approach to wine making by becoming the first and only fully credited environmentally sustainable vineyards in Tasmania.

As Nick Glaetzer revealed in our Q&A – Pooley is one of his personal highlights of Tassie gems, which many locals also treasuring them highly.

* All wines are available for delivery: early November 2019 *

(Given their reputation we expect these wines to sell out pretty quick!)

Single Vineyard wines
Strictly limited to 6 bottles per customer

 

Pooley Wines Cooinda Vale Pinot Noir 2018

The aroma exhibits rich and ripe red fruit, extreme vibrancy of red currants, cranberry, cherry, vanilla and rhubarb with a light fennel note and orange zest lingering. The aroma then extends onto the palate with the added complexity of a toasty char, poached rhubarb, bitter raspberry and violet notes. Combining into a long, soft textural mouth feel. A fine line of silky tannin keeps you going back for more.

£40.95 per bottle

 

Pooley Wines Cooinda Vale Chardonnay 2018

A classic from Cooinda Vale the 2018 vintage screams elegance and finesse.
The nose is bright with lemon, vanilla, toast, white peach and cashew. The palate is long and complex, carries racy grapefruit acidity while holding a creamy texture, pristine citrus, cashew, toasty spice and a mineral finish. The structure, length, line and power of this wine is phenomenal. It displays the character and complexity of Cooinda Vale and has the potential for a long and rewarding cellar life.

£40.95 per bottle

 

Pooley Wines Butcher's Hill Pinot Noir 2018

The 2018 vintage was slightly warmer than the long-term average leading to rich and complex fruit coming from the Butcher’s Hill Vines. A layered nose of red plum, ripe cherry, black raspberry, charred wood, cedar spice and light smokey finish. A burst of freshness across the palate with wild raspberry and baking spice showing through, leading onto a light earthy note and fresh cracked pepper. An excellent tannin structure and balanced acid gives a long and rewarding finish.

£40.95 per bottle

 

Pooley Wines Butcher's Hill Chardonnay 2018

The 2018 vintage had a slightly warmer than average year, this led to the richness that Butcher’s Hill is known for, however there were no heat spikes through the ripening period that allowed slow and even fruit development. The resulting wine is reminiscent of Grand Cru Chablis with a great deal of energy, tension and vitality. Partial malolactic fermentation (around 50%) allows the wine to combine and create complexity throughout the palate and the use of larger oak barrels (one third new) allows the penetration of ripe stone fruit and floral notes through the grapefruit acidity lingering with a long flinty finish.

£40.95 per bottle

 

Estate Wines

 

Pooley Wines Pinot Noir 2018

Fresh and Vibrant on the nose with aromas of cherry, raspberry and cranberry, hints of black pepper and vanilla. The palate carries the vibrancy of the nose along with complexities of cherry cola and violets, expressive red fruits, subtle tannin structure and lingering pepper spice.

£23.25 per bottle or £21.75 in cases of 6

 

Pooley Wines Riesling 2018

94 Points - James Halliday "While predominantly from estate vineyards, the wine was also sourced from vineyards in other districts - and was also fermented bone dry. There is more obvious structure and texture, the acidity balanced but with a grainy texture. Paradoxically, in the broader scheme of things, Tribute is the better wine because of the depth of its fruit canvas."

£21.95 per bottle or £20.95 in cases of 6

 
 

Torbreck Large Formats

Our remaining collection of maturing vintages

Once consisting of over 16,600 bottles of all sizes, our collection of fabulous Torbreck wines – from the days when Dave Powell himself was at the helm – is inevitably diminishing. 

The remaining large formats include The Steading GSM blend (all standard bottles are sold out) and The Descendant Shiraz Viognier, which ‘descends’ from the flagship Run Rig and represents the very same assemblage. The Descendant is in fact sourced from Torbreck’s own single vineyard, located next to the winery block on Roennfeldt Road and planted with cuttings taken from the Run Rig growers in 1994.

 

All large formats offer incredible value and all are offered in Original Wooden Cases.

 

Descendant 2004

Imperial (6L)

Our nearest competitor
£407.00 per imperial IB

Our price £325.00
per imperial IB

7 available

Descendant 2005

Double Magnum (3L)

Our nearest competitor
£190.00
per double magnum IB

Our price £175.00
per double magnum IB

3 available

 

The Factor 2004

 Imperial (6L)

Our nearest competitor
£875.00 per imperial IB

Our price £310.00 per imperial IB

10 available

The Factor 2005

Imperial (6L)

Our nearest competitor
£530.00 per imperial IB

Our price £330.00 per imperial IB

3 available

 

The Steading 2002

Double Magnum (3L)

We are the only world stockist

£90.50 per double magnum

13 available

The Steading 2002

Imperial (6L)

We are the only world stockist

£141.50 per Imperial

6 available

 

Special Highlight: The Pict

Rare 100% Mataro (Mourvédre)

 

The Pict 2004

Double Magnum (3L)

Our nearest competitor
£184.00
per double magnum

Our price £140.00
per double magnum

6 available

The Pict 2004

Imperial (6L)

Our nearest competitor
£400.00
per double magnum

Our price £282.50
per Imperial

8 available

 

The Pict 2006

Magnum (1.5L)

Our nearest competitor
£82.00
per double magnum

Our price £54.50
per magnum

13 available

The Pict 2006

Imperial (6L)

We are the only world stockist

Our price £205.00
per Imperial

5 available

 

View all wines from Torbreck