Issue: 82 / Sunday 8 September, 2019
The team and I have been busy this week refining plans for our inaugural portfolio tasting with doors opening on Saturday 28 September. The toughest aspect centred around the final selection as our full collection is far too large to show them all. To highlight the issue - we would require a team of 34 staff just to pour our full Australian list which is not possible. Subsequently, and keeping honest to the title of our tasting ‘Australia Unearthed’ we will not be showing wines outside of our speciality save for two great New Zealand producers, Valli and Devotus, both exclusive to The Vinorium.
We have deliberated long and hard to whittle down the final selection - 120 wines have been chosen, which and for those non-wine professionals, is a large number to get through during your allotted morning or afternoon slot. Those attending will shortly receive a pdf brochure describing the event in detail. We are sticklers for detail and have planned the day to the nth degree. So much so, we have created an advisory route around the tasting in the hope you will get the best from each wine you sample. Of course, you are free to roam and sample whatever you wish, in whatever order. However, and a cautionary word, it would be unwise to sample Shiraz prior to Pinot Noir!
All attendees will be issued with coloured wrist bands. Blue band wearers (only) will have access to Table 4 ‘The Icons’ which will include some great wines; ’99 Henschke Hill of Grace, ’08 Penfolds Grange, Run Rig, Clarendon Hills Astralis, to name a few. The ten wines on show total an eye watering £5,528.00. Those who missed out on the fifty icon tickets will have plenty to cheer about as the remaining 110 wines total £19,345.00. In total, 720 bottles are being shipped to the venue, 67 Pall Mall and we expect to open at least 600.
Our tasting will be our first opportunity to physically meet with many of you rather than continuing with our online relationship. You will also have the opportunity to meet with some of our winemakers who are flying over for the event. We welcome Craig Stansborough and Mark Slade, who will be pouring their own wines including their brilliant After Five Wine Co Shiraz & Grenache. We also thought it a wonderful opportunity to delve into their full range, which they have kindly agreed to. Many wines are not listed with The Vinorium – We will be canvassing your views on the range.
Guest tables are a great way to offer diversity and for you all to meet producers or representation from each winery. Jon will be pouring wines from Hentley Farm including, and a first, their Black Beauty Sparkling Shiraz. Keith Henschke, the owner of Hentley Farm, has been adamant not to export his prized fizz but we’ve managed to twist his arm. Jon will also be showing Deep Woods’ ‘new’ reserve wines – the ‘18 Chardonnay and ’17 Cabernet Sauvignon. Expect to queue behind team Vinorium as we have not sampled this pair!
Steve Worley, winemaker at one of our newest agencies, Soumah Wines, will be on hand with his stunning wines. The ’17 Equilibrio Chardonnay is off the charts and one of my personal favourites. Steve will also be showing two wines from LOME (Viognier Roussanne Marsanne and his Shiraz). These two are also on our list of samples to try.
We have also organised a mixed guest table showcasing some absolute belters from Clonakilla, Cullen, John Duval and Grosset. We will be showing the 99-point and recently awarded (James Halliday) Shiraz of the Year, namely the ’17 John Duval Entity.
Magda has been liaising with customers who purchased the 2016 as we have fairly allocated the 2017 on a like-for-like basis. We have a little of the ’17 available. Drop Magda an email if you would like to take advantage of the 2016 & 2017 pairing. Both Chardonnays from Cullen (Red Moon & Diana Madeline) are fabulous and are worth seeking out, as is Clonakilla’s famous Shiraz / Viognier blend. All three wines command a retail price of £70+. We will be looking forward to hearing your feedback on the entire table, and of course, the order books will be open!
Team Vinorium will be scattered around the room with tables full of our most recent arrivals including the magnificent Tassie producer, Domaine Simha. Both wines from Sailor Seeks Horse will be available for sampling, as will the ‘new’ and full line-up from Nick at Glaetzer-Dixon. The full range from Hughes & Hughes will be there, along with the ’17 Dr Edge Pinot Noir which is coming into its stride. We are looking forward to hearing your views on Hoddles Creek – We are pouring Franco’s full range. Those hungry for Shiraz will be greeted with the full 2017 suite from Dan Standish along with JC’s Own, Hutton Vale, John’s Blend and Two Hands. Kay Brothers features as does their unreleased, special anniversary edition of Amery Vineyard Block 6 Shiraz 2017. You will be the first to sample this epic wine outside of the winery, which is a lovely gesture from their team.
There are many more wines to disclose however, I will keep these under wraps until we publish our tasting catalogue. For fun, there will be one wine, served blind, which you will pour yourself. The best tasting note submitted, along with identifying the wine (grape variety(s), vintage and region) will win a three-pack. The winner will be published in our weekend read of 6 October.
We originally planned to show the wines from US producer, Orin Swift with a pre-prepared oral Q&A with the winemaker, and man of mystery, Dave Phinney. Sampling his distinctive range whilst listening to our Q&A (like watching snooker whilst listening to the dulcet tones of John Virgo!), but, and for reasons provided above, this is no longer an option, however, the questions which we put forward to Dave are now ‘live’ on our website. It’s a ten-minute interview and worthy of your time. We also prepared a small offer on existing vintages which are ‘live’ and available to all…
To close and most importantly, to save any embarrassment, please contact the team if you are unsure of your participation or number of allocated tickets. Tickets have been allocated for the morning and afternoon sessions, if you are unsure which you are attending, please contact the team. Respectfully, non-registered persons will be refused entry if you are not on our list – no allowances will be made. 150 customers currently wait patiently on our reserve list. Please contact the team if you are unable to make the event as it would be a crying shame to have numerous no-shows on the day!
I appreciate that many of our customers wish to attend and reading about the amazing selection will only heighten your disappointment. However, worry not, as we are planning a much larger tasting mid-2020 with a location that can accommodate double the number of wines and tables. This will be a chargeable, ticketed event as my team and I have realised, that offering complimentary tickets is the best way to create a week of hair-pulling mayhem.
Listen to our exclusive 10 minute audio interview with Orin Swift winemaker Dave Phinney.
(Please note this video will open in a new window)
Orin Swift 8 Years in the Desert 2016
collectors presentation box
8 bottle presentation box containing '8 Years in the Desert 2016'
each with a limited edition label.
- Only 3 presentation boxes available -
Dave Phinney (Winemaker) - It’s hard to believe that this fall will be my twenty first harvest in the Napa Valley. Some of those vintages I remember fondly, others I’d like to forget. What may be harder to believe is that this harvest also marks the twentieth year that Orin Swift has been in business. Twenty years. It makes me feel old. But I love it, maybe now more than ever. As many of you know, the first commercial wine I made for Orin Swift was Zinfandel. But none of you have ever tried it. None of you have tried it because it was never bottled. I sold it on the bulk market. I would argue that Zinfandel may be the most difficult varietal to tame. But when you get it right it rewards you like no other. If winemaking is a series of challenges Zinfandel has them all in spades. So, in 2009 I took a break from Zinfandel and its challenges. It would end up being an eight-year break. Eight years in the desert. It was never if but when would we make Zinfandel again. That when is now.
So, with no further ado, we proudly give you 8 Years in the Desert. A blend of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Syrah and small percentages of other red varietals.
Lisa Perrotti-Brown "Dark garnet with a lucid rim, the wine exhibits aromas of briar fruit, ripe blackberry and dark plum with a tinge of minerality and charred meat. Brawny on the entry, it has an equally big mid-palate with complex flavors of ripe brambly fruit, a touch of earth and notes of espresso bean. Still massive through to the finish with soft drying tannins, the unique varietal characteristics of the blend clearly reveal
themselves over time."
Was £630.00 per case In Bond
Now £585.00 per case In Bond
Also available by the bottle
Orin Swift 8 Years in the Desert 2017
Was £41.95 per bottle
Now £35.50 per bottle
Orin Swift Machete California Red Wine 2016
Violet ink in the glass, a nose of black plums, cassis, and cacao engage. The robust entry consists of a progressing palate of blackberry and boysenberry compote, a reduction of dark plum and ripe figs, and pure Amarena cherry. Flashes of vanilla and traces of minerality evolve into chalky tannins and a smooth lingering finish.
Dave Phinney (Winemaker)
I was driving home from San Francisco, probably going too fast, and I saw what I thought was a cop ahead of me. Then I realised it was an old police car that had been resold. As I pulled alongside it, there was this postal worker with his arm hanging out the window, smoking a cigarette. On the side of the car, someone had keyed the word "KILLERS." I thought that's pretty graphic and cool. We did the photo shoot at the dumps in Calistoga because it's like a moonscape out there. We were going to key "MACHETE" onto the side of the car and have the model behind the wheel, holding a machete out the window, but I quickly realized that wasn't going to work. We shot for two days and had about 10,000 shots. We ended up doing a series of 12 different labels, and you'll notice that the model is always around the same size or high up in the frame. She's always in a position of power. That was most important to me.
It's always been a goal to showcase Petite Sirah in a dynamic blend, so we searched for the right vineyard throughout Northern California to give us a matrix that creates layers and depth. Machete blends Petite Sirah with Syrah and Grenache, and the result is a wine that has the attitude to go with 12 individual labels.
Was £45.55 per bottle
Now £41.95 per bottle
Orin Swift Slander California Pinot Noir 2016
Bright ruby in the glass, the aromatics concentrate—cherries, raspberries, dried rose petals, a touch of sweet oak and a hint of forest floor. The entry is silky with a classic Pinot Noir palate: loads of ripe red fruit, savory undertones and a principled backbone of acidity. Balanced, lean and complex, the wine finishes softly at length.
Dave Phinney (Winemaker)
In the third vintage of Slander, we were on the receiving end of a beautiful harvest , especially for Pinot. Similar to previous vintages, this blend is primarily a mélange of hill side Santa Rita Hills fruit. This year also included a new source of Pinot — our first foray to the William Wesley vineyard in Annapolis on the Sonoma Coast—which turned out to be one of the best lots of Pinot we’ve ever had. At the end of trials, Dave picked up a glass and said , “Now this is the type of Pinot I want to drink.” Do you agree?
Bright ruby in the glass, the aromatics concentrate —cherries, raspberries, dried rose petals, a touch of sweet oak and a hint of forest floor. The entry is silky with a classic Pinot Noir palate: loads of ripe red fruit, savory under tones and a principled backbone of acidity. Balanced, lean and complex, the wine finishes softly at length.
Was £45.55 per bottle
Now £41.95 per bottle
Orin Swift Abstract California Red Wine 2016
17 Points - Richard Hemming (JancisRobinson.com)"Wonderfully rich nose with black cherry, tea leaves, dried herbs and liquorice. Packs a serious punch but the aromatic complexity matches the structural intensity. Rich, ripe and potent."
Dave Phinney (Winemaker)
The Label I travel internationally and spend a lot of time in airports, so I'll buy about 10 magazines from whatever country I'm in. For Abstract, I was inspired by a photo of a collage that an Italian designer had tacked up in his living room, and for the next three years, I spent time on planes ripping out images from magazines--just things I liked. When I had enough great images, I pieced them together. It was not easy at all. It took about two weeks. I would come into the office at night, working on a big table. After the third day, we closed off that part of the office for fear that someone would open a door and a gust would blow everything apart. Every night I'd take a picture as a safety measure. When it was done, we got on a big ladder and shot it. That was the only easy part.
I like the complexity we get by using fruits from different geographical locations. Abstract is a Grenache-based blend with Syrah and Petit Sirah and it represents all of California - all of the pieces, climates and features that tell a story of the state. I start with over 100 different lots of wine, searching for the right components of the blend. Individually, they're good wines, but together, they tell a full, complex story, like a collage.
Was £33.95 per bottle
Now £31.95 per bottle
Orin Swift Blank Stare Sauvignon Blanc 2017
Dave Phinney (Winemaker)
Pale yellow with a chartreuse tint, the wine opens with bright aromatics of lime zest, lemon, green apple and a touch of honey. The entry is refreshing with ripe pineapple and grapefruit, framed by a nervy backbone of satiating acidity. A mid-palate of white peach and a hint of pith melds seamlessly into a long, energetic finish of wet stone and key lime.
The 2016 Blank Stare was our first venture into the cooler Russian River Valley to make a different expression of Sauvignon Blanc from its Napa Valley sister, Veladora. For 2017, we wanted to continue crafting a wine with livelier acidity and a distinctive minerality —akin to old world Sauvignon Blancs — while still retaining our signature style. Sourced mainly from hand picked blocks in the Laguna Ranch and Mac Murray Ranch vineyards, this vintage is truly representative of its locale.
Pale yellow with a chartreuse tint, the wine opens with bright aromatics of lime zest, lemon, green apple and a touch of honey. The entry is refreshing with ripe pineapple and grapefruit, framed by a nervy back bone of satiating acidity. Amid - palate of white peach and a hint of pith melds seamlessly into a long, energetic finish of wet stone and key lime.
Was £31.95 per bottle
Now £29.50 per bottle
Orin Swift Palermo Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
Lisa Perrotti-Brown (RobertParker.com) "Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, the 2015 Palermo Cabernet Sauvignon (mainly Cabernet Sauvignon with splashes of Merlot and Malbec) opens with notions of crushed red currants, blackberries and mulberries with touches of Indian spices, sandalwood and menthol. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has a wonderfully spicy undercurrent with loads of red and black fruits and a chewy frame, finishing long and perfumed. 24,000 cases produced."
Dave Phinney (Winemaker)
I was looking through National Geographic and I found this photo by Vincent Musi. He's been a regular contributor to them forever. It's a shot of a kind of mummified priest in a 16th-century catacomb in Palermo, Sicily. There is such a sense of power and dignity and reverence to the image, and I thought that's kind of how we think about great Cabernet - that we just really respect it. I think it makes a statement about the wine, which I like to call, "Separate among equals."
I'm proud that some of the same wine that goes into Mercury Head and Papillon goes into Palermo. They are not "kick-outs," we just have more that we need. Palmero could be considered our most approachable Cabernet and it's a true representation of Napa. It changes every year, but I get the great fruit from all over, usually Rutherford, Saint Helena, Atlas Peak, Coombsville and other places, too.
Was £45.55 per bottle
Now £40.95 per bottle
A Spotlight on New Zealand:
A country of purity, strength
We are delighted to present our second vintage as exclusive agents to Devotus from husband-and-wife team, Don & Valerie, who meticulously work a small vineyard (a mere 2 hectares) of old Pinot Noir vines planted originally by Neil McCallum of Dry River and situated directly next-door to the famed Martinborough winery.
When we asked Don, 'Why Pinot Noir?' he replied "Pinot Noir is a high risk grape. Give it only average attention in the vineyard and you will be totally punished as a winemaker. The wine will be boring and mediocre. It does however respond wonderfully to the right treatment. Valerie, my wife, felt the same way, so we decided to go 100% with this grape with a totally all-or-nothing approach in the vineyard. It really is a situation where if you want the most reward, then you have to take the most risk. We could have grown a much easier white grape variety in our vineyard like most other NZ vineyards, yet that would have been a pretty boring, safe and rational decision.".
Their tireless attitude towards their work is one which continues to impress us massively. Don’s unrelenting dedication to the highest level of viticulture shows a level of commitment to their passion that speaks in volumes through their wines, as well as the painstaking attention to detail including individual labelling and numbering each bottle, all done by their own hands.
We are chuffed to represent the entire range of Devotus, including the new introduction, Aprentis of Devotus, which sees its first ever premiere outside of New Zealand. Aprentis is sourced from the younger parts of Devotus’ single estate vineyard, where the vines range between 6 to 19 year old. Don & Valerie did a great job separating these vines creating its own unique style. They have called the final wine the ‘Aprentis’, as in the future the fruit from these vines will become a part of the Devotus blend. Until that day, we have much to enjoy in the little sibling.
Previously, the super-limited ‘Reserve’ was tied to their estate wine however, we are now able to offer all wines ‘untied’. Additionally, and for a limited time only, we have reduced the 2018 ‘Reserve’ price as we are keen for you to appreciate one of New Zealand’s greatest Pinot Noirs.
Martinborough, North Island
Aprentis of Devotus Pinot Noir 2018
Deep ruby red colour with depth, lighter on the edge. On the nose this wine entices with aromas of dark fruit (plums) and red floral notes. There are layers of aromatics consisting of earth, spice and dark cherry. Medium-full bodied, the palate has a core of rich, sweet and luscious red fruit flavours. There are dark herbs, a fine-grained tannin structure with balanced, refreshing acidity. Overall style is one of low intervention, a pure expression of the 2018 vintage, of the Martinborough Terrace, and particularly of the vineyard.
£28.95 per bottle
Very deep ruby-red colour, a little lighter on the rim. The nose has interwoven aromas of dark-red berry fruits, cherries and plums, along with fresh herbs, ripe whole bunch stems, and spice. Medium-full bodied, the palate is big, with dense ripe red fruit, savoury whole bunch stems, dark herbs, with some spice and earth. Persistent tannins provide structure to balance the mid palate weight. Overall style is one of low intervention, a pure expression of the 2018 vintage, of the Martinborough Terrace, and particularly of the vineyard.
£36.95 per bottle
Devotus Reserve Pinot Noir 2018
Visually very dark ruby-red colour. The nose is proportioned with aromas of red cherry and concentrated dark-red berry with savoury notes of whole bunch stalk, earth, and dark herbs. Medium-full bodied, the palate is concentrated, with a dense core of dark red fruits (ripe plums and dark cherries) and herbs. There is a firm structure, with fine-grained tannins, balanced with fresh acidity.
£53.50 per bottle
Central Otago, South Island
We are delighted to introduce our newest agency, Valli, from the beautiful Otago region of New Zealand. Established in 1998, Grant Taylor launched his Valli label with the aim of creating true representations of Otago’s sub-regions with unflinching intensity and purity. Gibbston was planted first followed by Bannockburn, Waitaki Valley and Bendigo. Tasting the wines is a true lesson in exploring Otago’s regionality and terroir, not too dissimilar to a Burgundian exercise.
Valli’s estate vineyard in Gibbston is the first vineyard in the valley to be planted in the true north-to-south direction. This maximises the amount of sunlight hours the vines receive, contributing dramatically to the uniform ripening of fruit, a critical factor in Pinot Noir quality. The vineyard soils are mainly schist derived, windblown alluvial loess. Gibbston, one of the coolest sub regions of Otago, has one of the slowest ripening seasons. A key factor in quality Pinot Noir from such a cool area is long hang time, that is the amount of time the grapes are on the vine; this allows them to develop elegance and complexity of flavour. Sometimes the Gibbston Vineyard is not picked until early May.
Valli Vineyards Gibbston Pinot Noir 2017
97 Points - Sam Kim (Wine Orbit) "A profound pinot; the captivating bouquet shows dark cherry, blueberry, violet, cedar and game characters with a hint of dried herb note. The palate is concentrated and weighty, while remaining poised and refined, backed by velvety mouthfeel and fine tannins. Gracefully powerful and alluringly seductive. At its best: 2019 to 2030."
£42.50 per bottle
The location of Valli’s Bannockburn Vineyard is only 20km from Gibbston in the Cromwell basin, but the difference in climate is responsible for creating markedly different wines. The Bannockburn wines reflect this warmer area by displaying darker fruits, by being denser, more powerful and with longevity based more on their tannin structure, as opposed to Gibbston wines which are based more on their acidity. The soils are also windblown loess over gravelly schist but with sandier, deeper topsoil, which allows for free draining. Climate, rather than soil, attributes to the main difference in the wines.
Valli Vineyards Bannockburn Pinot Noir 2017
96 Points - Sam Kim (Wine Orbit) "It is irresistibly expressed on the nose showing dark berry, raspberry, dried herb, toasted almond and olive characters. The palate is equally engaging and gratifying with sweet berry flavours and multi-layered mouthfeel, finishing superbly long and flowing. Sophisticated, comforting and stunning.
At its best: 2019 to 2027."
£42.50 per bottle
The Bendigo Pinot Noir is the newest addition to the Valli stable of Single Vineyard Pinot Noirs. Several years ago, Grant was involved in the largest-ever plantings at Bendigo, across 5 different sites, and quickly identified "Chinaman's Terrace" as his favourite. The higher elevation of this site means slightly cooler temperatures, which is important in these warmer sub regions, and good airflow, helping to prevent rot and mould. The wines from this very warm part of Otago have been described as "big friendly beasts." They are dark, rich, lush wines capturing the rock-reflected heat and ripeness of this special site.
Valli Vineyards Bendigo Pinot Noir 2017
97 Points - Bob Campbell "A delicious example of Bendigo pinot noir in an almost opulent style with plump, dark-fleshed plum, dark berries with floral and spice notes. A beautifully layered, powerful wine that's accessible now but has a promising future."
97 Points - Sam Kim (Wine Orbit) "This is flatteringly classy; the gloriously perfumed bouquet shows Black Doris plum, spiced cherry, vanilla, cedar and dark mushroom characters, leading to a sumptuous palate that is silky and mouth-filling. Richly fruited and delectably textured, this charismatic pinot offers both refinement and opulence, promising to evolve splendidly. At its best: 2019 to 2027."
£42.50 per bottle
New Zealand’s newest and most exciting wine growing region where, like Burgundy, the soils are limestone based. After only a few commercial vintages, Valli are already seeing incredible consistency in the perfume and minerality of the wines. Slightly cooler than Central Otago, the Waitaki Valley is not cropped as heavily, and planted with early ripening clones from Dijon and Pommard.
Valli Vineyards Waitaki Pinot Noir 2017
95 Points - Sam Kim (Wine Orbit) "Engaging and complex, the inviting bouquet shows red/black cherry, fragrant spice, thyme, nutmeg and floral characters. The palate is wonderfully weighted and rounded, delivering sweet berry flavours and silky texture, magnificently complemented by spicy nuances and fine tannins. Elegant, stylish and delicious. At its best: now to 2025."
£42.50 per bottle
Valli Vineyards 2017 Four Bottle Pack
1 x Valli Vineyards Bendigo Pinot Noir 2017 - 97 Points
1 x Valli Vineyards Gibbston Pinot Noir 2017 - 97 Points
1 x Valli Vineyards Bannockburn Pinot Noir 2017 - 96 Points
1 x Valli Vineyards Waitaki Pinot Noir 2017 - 95 Points
£170.00 per case of 4
Muddy Water Chardonnay 2016
97+ Points Stuart McCloskey "My third bottle and my opinion has not changed. An ineffably complex bouquet which builds and builds with more aeration in the glass. Emphatically, mineral-dominated, which combine perfectly with Amalfi lemon peel and orchard fruits (quince). The palate is full of energy, exhilarating, tightly coiled and perfectly balanced. The wine is chiselled, builds slowly and would benefit from decanting. Richness does not come in the form of fruit. Instead, the wine's fullness comes in the form of texture (phenolic weight) which is undeniably attractive (a nod to the painstaking work carried out in the vineyard). Wet stones wash across my palate but it’s the salinity which I love and sets this New Zealand Chardonnay apart from all the others. There’s a killer line of acidity which will ease with more time in the bottle. Wonderfully alive, memorable and a breathtaking wine. Wow! Served in Zalto Bordeaux glassware." Drink now to 2026
£24.95 per bottle
or £22.95 in cases of 6 or more
New Arrivals & Back in Stock
New: Muddy Water Hare's Breath Pinot Noir 2013
96 Points - Bob Campbell "Attractively scented pinot noir with cherry, violet, cassis, fresh herb and subtle chalk-mineral flavours. A bright, fresh, high-energy wine with a backbone of fruity acidity that helps drive a lengthy finish. Delicious now but shows potential."
£35.95 per bottle
New: Muddy Water Slowhand Pinot Noir 2013
95 Points - Bob Campbell "Made from grapes organically grown on the oldest blocks (planted in 1993). Mellow, integrated pinot noir with savoury, 'forest floor' bottle-aged characters adding extra complexity to bright plum, cherry, floral and spicy oak flavours."
£36.95 per bottle
The Cornerstone Estate Wine
Muddy Water Pinot Noir 2016
96 Points - Magdalena Sienkiewicz "Quality-driven, the Muddy Water maxim is ‘hand-crafted…no compromise’ which is prominent across the range. Everything about their Estate Pinot Noir translates to great quality you often find at a higher price tier. Deep colour, fantastic aromas of ripe blackberries, morello cherry, kirsch and autumn leaves with lingering hints of nutmeg are indeed signs of no compromises here. The cascade of sweet fruit on the palate is followed by expansive, well-rounded textures evolving from the initial sweet fruit to a broad, savoury finish. Full malolactic fermentation gave it a beautifully soft and well-integrated acidity. The wine spent 16 months in barrel before racking, blending and bottling, which aids complexity. Bottled unfiltered in order to retain as much natural flavour as possible."
£23.50 per bottle
Pegasus Bay Bel Canto Dry Riesling 2015
Stuart McCloskey "Without doubt, the best new world Riesling I've tasted."
James Suckling.com "A very powerful and essence-like expression of pickled lime, preserved lemon and baked peach fruits. The structure is impeccably judged, reining in massive amounts of flavor perfectly."
£20.50 per bottle
New: Pegasus Bay Riesling 2016
93 Points - James Suckling
"Ripe lime and lemon fruits with some candied glacé citrus are cast across flinty and stony aromas. The palate has a long, fluid build of concentrated citrus and stone fruit flavours. Terrific depth. Drink now. Screw cap."
£19.50 per bottle
Pegasus Bay Riesling 2007
The aromas and flavours invoke impressions of ripe stone fruits, such as nectarines and peaches, supported by hints of tropical spices, passionfruit and lycees. There is a backbone of tangy lime- and lemon-like citrus fruits which add a zesty “nervosity”. It has a spine of minerality and crisp acidity which keep it tight-knit and focussed, drying out its lingering after-taste.
£25.00 per bottle
Pegasus Bay Chardonnay 2016
97 Points - Stuart McCloskey “Reductive with aromas still very much in development. That said, this impeccably made wine is centred around textural elegance, satiny structure, mid-palate depth and an effortless sense of cohesion. Decanting for a short while is essential as the oxygenation takes it from the ordinary to immensely appealing. Layer upon layer of fruit and white flowers harmonises beautifully with oatmeal and a beautiful vein of minerality. This is more tensile, finer than many, which adds an intellectual quality found with high-quality Burgundy. This is a superb Chardonnay from one of New Zealand's leading producers. I recommend a drinking window from now to 2025 but would not be surprised to this peak beyond 10 years.. Sampled in Zalto Bordeaux glassware and comes highly recommended”.
£22.50 per bottle
New: Pegasus Bay Chardonnay 2017
96 Points - James Suckling "Impressive, vibrant and flinty white-peach and grapefruit aromas with an array of fresh, spicy, hazelnut-tinged oak. The palate combines a lot of ripe melon and white peaches with smoky, grilled nuts. Great wine that’s packed with interest. Drink now. Screw cap."
£22.95 per bottle
Pinot Noir 2015
96 Points - James Suckling "Super vibrant with plenty of earthy forest floor aromas as well as toasted spices. The palate reveals a core of pristine dark cherry fruit flavor, beautifully judged ripe tannins and a level of effortless depth that singles this out as a consistently great New Zealand pinot noir. Drink now. Screw cap."
£25.50 per bottle
Pegasus Bay Prima
Donna Pinot Noir 2013
96 Points - James Suckling "The refinement and brilliance of the fruit on offer here really sets this wine apart from the regular Pegasus Bay pinot noir. Deliciously rich dark cherry aromas and flavors are presented amid silky, refined and long-form tannins. A great wine, in every respect. Drink now. Screw cap."
£45.95 per bottle
Villa Maria Taylors Pass Sauvignon Blanc 2018
97 Points - Decanter "With its fresh, sappy, crushed-spring-leaf aromas and limpid, long, vinous yet tender flavour profile, this is great Sauvignon from an outstanding site rather than one of the overt or flamboyant Marlborough Sauvignons that drinkers have become used to (and often bored by). It's charming too, with its whispered sweet-pea floral notes. Pretty and distracting enough to serve on its own on a warm afternoon, but with all the structure and sap to accompany food well, too. Marlborough is moving on.
£15.20 per bottle
Villa Maria Ngakirikiri
Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
100 Points - Sam Kim (Wine Orbit) "Is this perfection? No, it is better than that, if that is possible. The wine is perfectly formed and composed, and is very proper, but it offers more. Exceptional concentration, brilliant structure, impressive fruit purity and layers of delicious flavours with seamless mouthfeel make this stunning wine thought-provoking and sensually awe-inspiring. This predominantly cabernet sauvignon from their Ngakirikiri vineyard in the Gimblett Gravels district exhibits cassis, plum, floral and cedar characters with subtle cigar box, vanilla and game complexity. Powerful and graceful at the same time with plenty of fine, chalky tannins."
£82.50 per bottle
Pinot Noir 2013
99 Points – Bob Campbell "Ripe, dense and fairly deep-coloured Pinot Noir with dark-fleshed plum, dark cherry, violet and liquorice flavours plus a hint of rhubarb on the aroma. Clearly a very complex wine that won’t reveal its full potential for a few years yet. I particularly like the wine’s silken texture and almost chewy body. It must surely rate as one of Dry River’s best ever Pinot Noir vintages."
£58.95 per bottle
95 Points – Bob Campbell
"Unusually rich, fleshy Chardonnay in a mouth-filling and accessible style that makes a change from the rather more steely wine I expect under this label. Quite oaky with ginger, ripe peach, tree fruits and a hint of honey. A real surprise."
£41.95 per bottle
Oak aged for greater complexity
Giesen The Fuder
Matthews Lane Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Winemaker "We hand pick the fruit from Matthews Lane vineyard ensuring each parcel of fruit is in pristine condition. After a yeast starter the juice rests on yeast lees for 11 months in new 1,000L German Oak Fuder Barrels. The use of Fuder barrels in this way ensures our Single Vineyard white wines develop a greater complexity and refinement because oak doesn’t dominate. The ratio of wine in contact with the barrel surface is less than smaller barrels so oak pick up is less. The staves of Fuder barrels are thicker which means the temperature of ferment tends to be warmer and we find the fruit characters gain greater depth and complexity."
£33.95 per bottle
Dog Point Section 94 2015
97 Points Stuart McCloskey "Dog Point's Section 94 has always been a favourite of mine and can, in correct cellaring conditions, mature wonderfully over a decade. This is another example of a medium to full-bodied, textural style of Sauvignon Blanc. The grapes for Section 94 come from a single, low cropping vineyard parcel first planted in 1992. The fruit is hand-picked, whole bunch pressed and aged in older French oak barrels for 18 months. Every vintage has a funky edge which you either love or not. Those seeking simplistic Kiwi fruit pops should avoid at all costs as this is a serious, large scale wine that deserves a little respect. The aromas are taut, tightly wound with the ‘funk’ reducing with 20/30 minutes in a decanter (highly recommended). Tropical no - Yellow stone fruits in abundance with a vein of minerality appearing mid-palate. There’s a real intensity which is exceptional and rarely found with the majority of New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs. The finish is endless… In short, brilliant!"
£21.00 per bottle
Vidal Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2018
Winemaker "Intense passionfruit aromas combine with tropical fruit flavours, as well as some herbal notes apparent in the background. A classic Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc that is fresh, pure and long on the palate. This wine reflects premium vineyard sites within the Wairau and Awatere Valleys."
£13.95 per bottle