A Taste of 
The Vinorium

Issue: 89 / Sunday 10 November, 2019

Magda and I took along a dozen wines to September’s premium Australia tasting entitled ‘Australia Redefined' which was organised by the team at Wine Australia UK. The concept being that all entrants on show must sell for upwards of £20 per bottle (retail price). It was predominantly geared towards the trade and press however, there was an evening slot for private customers (over 50% of all attendees were Vinorium customers) who were able to meet some of the charismatic winemakers including Sam Barry (Jim Barry Wines), Bruce Tyrrell (Tyrrell’s Wines), Justine Henschke (Henschke) and who could forget Chester Osborn from d’Arenberg…

I confess, UK trade tastings are not my favourite events as the cost (table, samples and time) versus returned orders, which and to this date equals zero, makes our presence rather pointless. Of course, some brands / importers feel the need whatever the commercial outcome however, after eight hours of pouring wine with an increase in lower back stiffness and my feet screaming for a good massage, I would rather sit at my desk in comfort and save a little money.

But ‘Australia Redefined’ was different and most enjoyable. Not from a point of income as this event kept-up our perfect record of a clean order sheet, but more from an attendance perspective. Allow me to explain. The wine trade is predominantly male (but the balance is changing) with a very specific uniform based on age groups. The more senior representatives insist on wearing pink or red chinos, white or blue shirt and a dark blazer. Despite the indoor environment, scarves often adorn their shoulders. The younger wine models insist on super-tight, super-skinny jeans which must be airbrushed on. Ankles on show (of course), no socks and loafers. It’s like a Grattan’s catalogue catwalk show!

Under normal circumstances, arms appear from the crowd with an empty glass dangling at the end of a limb. A monotone grunt for “number 4 please” comes from the empty glass, we pour, they sniff, sip and fight around the spittoon to dribble the remnants out (note to those who cannot aim – DO NOT wear a white shirt!). What I always find fascinating is the lack of information they require. Often, they are sampling Vinorium wines for the very first time and haven’t got a bloody clue what they are tasting, save for the grape variety which is written in the tasting brochure. Why do they attend if they have no interest in the wine? Got it – it’s an auditioning room (with a little wine play-acting) for the next series of Made in Chelsea.

I believed I digressed a little. The event was well attended by the press – Perhaps they were lured with the prerequisite of sampling premium Aussie wine. We thought we would offer a flavour of Tasmania with representation from Hughes & Hughes, Glaetzer-Dixon and Domaine Simha with a dash of the Margaret River and the Yarra Valley (courtesy of Hoddles Creek, Soumah & Nocturne). Without exception, an Australian wine tasting must have Shiraz and we took along some beauties including Craig Stansborough’s After Five Wine Co, the goliath that is 2016 Standish The Relic and one of the finds of the year(s), Hutton Vale Farm Shiraz.

The press were all positively charming, engaged, personable, thirsty for knowledge and thankfully, followed their own fashion sense. Magda and I spent much of the day pouring and talking with the likes of Susie Barrie MW, Jancis Robinson MW, Matthew Jukes, Alistair Cooper MW, Richard Bampfield MW, Team Decanter, and Aussie favourite, Mike Bennie who works closely with our very own Dr Edge. I thoroughly enjoy listening to their reactions and thoughts on our offerings. Most are honest, and I find little, if any argument with their respective assessments. After all, these are some of the finest palates in the world.

Regardless of status, personal preference with styles, use of oak, alcohol levels etc, everyone is looking for balance and ideally, a wine that delivers in all areas. Succinct, neat & tidy, personality, and nothing OTT. Given the volume of wines in the room, some (if they formed part of a group) split their duties. Team Jancis MW divided their sampling between Shiraz and Chardonnay. Alistair Cooper MW taking the red option with Jancis MW taking Chardonnay. Matthew Jukes can motor his way through the entire room and sampled every wine on our table. Usually, Matthew is a non-talker – a head down sipper and scribbler which I would say does not show Matthew at his best.

I get it – You have little time to talk when you plan to sample the entire room however, and I am sure without consideration, it may appear rather elitist.

That day, Matthew engaged on every wine as did the vast amount of respected palates. For example; Richard Bampfield MW spent an age with us, which I find fantastic and puts a zip into my stride. Every attending importer and producer needs to hear feedback but quite often, we all must wait. That said; Matthew Jukes was clear in his views and whilst shaking my hand, pointed and declared Hutton Vale Farm Shiraz as one of his 100 Best Australian Wines, a lovely nod to the quality of this very famous albeit unknown producer of great Shiraz. This week, JancisRobinson.com published their first article, written by Alistair. Surprise, surprise, guess which wine he chose as a standout and from our table, and taking the top spot? Hutton Vale Shiraz of course… 

This superseded Nick Glaetzer’s Mon Père Shiraz 2017 which was declared “a lovely half-way house between Old and New World”, The After Five Co which was viewed as “Chocolate, cream and oak intertwined with smoke and stewed plums and fine tannins. Classy but a real powerhouse” and the epic 2016 Relic received a less-than epic score “definitely in a ripe style with extreme concentration. This will have its admirers, and it is impressive and showy. However, the alcohol is a little prominent for me on the finish”. The same wine received 99 points from Joe at RobertParker.com! Always remember, your opinion is the most important. Take guidance but always trust yourself…

Hutton Vale was scored higher than Halliday’s sell-out Wine of the Year and 99-point, 2017 John Duval Entity. What did Alistair think of our Hutton Vale Farm? “Mocha and coffee notes with dried figs. Full-throttle palate with mocha, and incredibly refined tannins – such concentration of fruit, and yes, that alcohol is hefty but it carries it beautifully. The acidity lifts it and keeps it going … a menthol twist leads to a harmonious finish

How is this unknown producer/wine taking the top spot I hear you ask?  The answer is super simple albeit rather lengthy in reply.

Owned by the Angas family, Hutton Vale Farm has an incredible story with an ancestry steeped in Australian history dating back to George Fife Angas who founded South Australia. However, it was the mention of the Mount Edelstone vineyard which piqued our interest, one of the most famous and revered sites in Australia, which is now owned by the Henschke family. 

It was Ronald Angas, (the Great-Grandfather) who originally planted the great Mount Edelstone vineyard in 1912 and unusually for the time, planted 100% Shiraz. Ronald managed the vineyard and began selling the fruit to the Henschke family until they eventually sold it to Henschke in the 1970s. During the 1960s Ronald had taken cuttings from the Mount Edelstone vineyard and planted the Hutton Vale Farm vineyard just one kilometre north. At the same time, he planted single vineyard blocks of Riesling and Grenache which were followed by a further block of Shiraz (from the same root stock) and a single block of Cabernet Sauvignon during the 1990s.

The first vintage was in 1987 with John Duval, the Penfolds Grange winemaker at the time who was also a family friend, who had promised to show the family how good the fruit was. The wines are now produced by Kym Teusner of Teusner wines who first became familiar and developed an ambition to work with the Hutton Vale fruit whilst at Torbreck.

The vineyard contains some of the most sought-after fruit in the region, the sheer quality of this fruit continuously confirmed by some of Barossa’s best producers who source grapes from the Hutton Vale Farm vineyard for their flagship wines. Wolf Blass platinum label had previously won the title of world’s best Shiraz using fruit from the Hutton Vale vineyard which is an incredible statement to be able to make. But perhaps even more impressive is that Dan Standish uses 100% Hutton Vale Farm Shiraz for his Lamella.

We love this wine and I personally find the quality and sympathetic approach to farming and winemaking at the highest level. The wine itself, is something very special indeed and I would implore you to give it a bash. I have reduced the price for the week to assist your temptation…

Cheers, Stu

 
 

Our Wine of the Week

Sunday 10 November, 2019

Hutton Vale Farm Shiraz 2014

97+/98+ Points - Stuart McCloskey “A pure bouquet of blackberry intermixed with warm, dry earth, musky herbs, menthol, graphite and pen ink. To be honest, you would run out of superlatives as the bouquet is endless and constantly changes with more aeration. The tannins are a touch chalky contrasted with magnificent layers of perfectly ripe, black fruits. Far from being heavy or clumsy – quite the contrary. A shrill of redcurrant on the entry followed by a wave of brooding, briary fruit laced with sweet spices falling to Provençal herbs and touches of menthol. The Mount Edelstone connection (one of Australia’s greatest single-vineyard wines) plays a significant role, but I wonder how much nature has shaped this wine? So natural and so effortless. A remarkable wine… Decanted for 4 hours and served using Zalto Bordeaux Glassware. Drink now or over the next decade and beyond.”

£35.95 per bottle


 
 

Hutton Vale Farm Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Winemaker - "Machine picked and destemmed to open fermenters where it was inoculated with selected yeast strains and fermented warm (peaking at around 24C) over 5 to 7 days. During this time the ferment was hand pumped over (by actual humans) twice a day for 45 minutes each time. It was then drained and pressed to tank to ferment to dryness. Malolactic fermentation was completed in thick staved French Oak puncheons (40% new) with maturation for 30 months. A further 20 months in bottle saw them finally ready for release. 

Deep red in colour, the nose is distinctly Cabernet-like with mulberry and blackberry fruit and hints of mint backed by French oak, pencil shavings, and wisps of violet. Juicy red berries on the palate are surrounded by velvety tannins, tobacco and spice notes. A long tannin/acid profile to finish is indicative of this wine’s aging potential."

£33.50 per bottle

 

 
 

Hutton Vale Farm Grenache Mataro 2012

Winemaker - “There’s a great story about this Grenache vineyard, planted by Colin Angas in the 1960’s. The soil here was so tough that some of the new plantings, probably 10% of the vineyard block, failed to take to their new home and had to be replaced. New cuttings were hastily acquired…which time revealed to be Mataro! That no one ever thought to start over (yet again) is brilliant fortune as the Mataro makes a ripper partner for the Grenache. 

Across the Barossa, the growing and harvest conditions were ideal. The Grenache (93%) and Mataro (7%) were handpicked on April 10, destemmed and fermented on skins in small open stainless steel fermenters for 6 days with twice daily pump overs. The wine was matured in a combination of 20% new and 80% seasoned French puncheons for 24 months. 

On the nose there’s plenty of ripe plum, strawberry, charcuterie, licorice, leather polish and salted dried herbs. The palate is rich and complex, loaded with a blend of red and black fruits, salted licorice, savoury nuances and a fine tannin line finishing soft and supple.”

£33.50 per bottle

 
 

Hutton Vale Farm Riesling 2017

95 Points - James Halliday "If you ever want to show someone just how glorious the riesling grape can be, serve them a glass of this. It's agenda-free riesling, fundamentally delicious, intense with flavour but not cutting, gorgeous at every turn, cellarworthy if you so desire but in no way is patience a prerequisite. Lime, orange blossom, a gently candied aspect, a slip of pure lemon. It's bold and it's beautiful."

Winemaker - "Colin Angas was quick to realise the potential for the EdenValley to be an exceptional region for Riesling and planted a vineyard on a gentle slope in the 1960’s. Whilst considered a single vineyard, there are two distinct sections. The top section planted on the leanest soils and more exposed to the wind produces very tightly structured fruit with crisp, vibrant acidity. The bottom section, on deeper, more vigorous red soils produces plumper bunches of fruit that showcases more fresh aromatics and citrus zing. 

£17.95 per bottle

 
 
 

Big scores from Jeb Dunnuck
for Two Hands Lily’s & Bella's Shiraz 2017…

 
 

Two Hands
Bella's Garden Shiraz 2017

95 Points - Jeb Dunnuck "The 2017 Shiraz Bella's Garden is a real gem and well worth seeking out for readers who love high-class Barossa Shiraz. Deep purple-hued with a kaleidoscope-like array of red and black fruits, ground pepper, spice, herbes de Provence, and cured meats, this beauty hits the palate with no hard edges, remarkable purity of fruit, and a great finish. It’s impossible to resist today, and I see no need to delay gratification."

£28.50 per bottle

 
 

Two Hands
Lily's Garden Shiraz 2017

96 Points - Jeb Dunnuck "More reserved but no less brilliant, the 2017 Shiraz Lily's Garden comes from the McLaren Vale and spent 18 months in just 9% new French oak. Classic Syrah notes of dark black fruits, damp herbs, scorched earth, and obvious minerality give way to a medium to full-bodied beauty that is flawlessly balanced, textured, and seamless. It’s up with the finest vintages I’ve tasted of this cuvée and will keep for upwards of a decade."

£28.50 per bottle

 
 

Don’t forget our friends at Majestic share the UK allocation with The Vinorium and they offer the wine at £40 per bottle or
£36 as part of a mix six!

 
 

Two Hands
Yacca Block 2016

96 Points - Jeb Dunnuck "In the Single Vineyard series, the 2016 Shiraz Yacca Block Single Vineyard comes from the Eden Valley which is just to the west of Barossa. It offers a gorgeously complex bouquet of black raspberries, toasted spices, blackberries, ground pepper, and dried flowers. Deep, opulent, voluptuous, and incredibly texture on the palate, it has no hard edges, fine tannin, and a great finish. It’s my favorite of the Single Vineyard releases and can be drunk anytime over the coming 10-15 years."

£43.50 per bottle
​or £204.50 IB per case of 6

 

Alongside much admired and loved winemakers like John Duval, Peter Schell (Spinifex), Greg Hobbs (Hobbs of Barossa Ranges), Dan Standish and Jaysen Collins (with their joint project Massena), Jason Schwarz of Schwarz Wine Co is also a member of this great circle called Artisans of Barossa.

Often overlooked in favour of the ‘bigger’ names in the Barossa however, this is only to our benefit, as we are pleased to offer two core Schwarz wines, which drink beautifully with over 10 years in the bottle.

Jason Schwarz - “I came to winemaking via a circuitous path. The vineyards I source my fruit from are the lifeblood of my wines. In 2001, from my parent’s vines in Bethany, I put together my first Nitschke Block Shiraz, making only two hogs head barrels. In 2002 I produced my first Thiele Road Grenache and have made both wines every vintage since.”

 

Schwarz Wine Co.
Nitschke Block Shiraz 2005

Jason Schwarz “Located in the quaint township of Bethany, this special block was planted with Shiraz vines by my parents in 1968 and has been hand tendered by them ever since. Low yielding and dry grown it produces fruit of great intensity and depth. I hope you will enjoy this wines as much as I enjoy making it.”

James Halliday “Intense purple-red; floods the mouth with full-on confit black fruits, sufficiently luscious to largely carry the alcohol; heroic style, but a good one, particularly in 20 years or so.”

£19.95 per bottle

£16.75 per bottle in cases of 6 and 12

 
 

"Lots of appealing cherry and raspberry red fruit flavours, and no cosmetic characters; good tannins and length; impressive."

James Halliday

Schwarz Wine Co.
Thiele Road Grenache 2005

17.5 Points – Julia Harding “Made by Jason Schwarz, the son and grandson of pruning champions, based at Bethany. Dry-grown fruit. Sweet meaty aromas. Big and bold with bags of character but manages to remain fresh even with 15% alcohol. Juicy, even a little bit wild and herbal.“

Jason Schwarz "My family first planted Grenache vines here at the end of World War II. With over 70 years of generous attention these beautiful gnarled vines continue to produce fruit of deep character and complexity."

£17.95 per bottle

£13.50 per bottle in cases of 6 and 12

 
 

Jason, in his own words…
discussing his passion for the
stellar varieties of Barossa

“As a Barossan winemaker with a large portion of my wine portfolio made up of Shiraz, you would not be alone in thinking that Shiraz was my ‘red wine of choice’. Certainly, with the diversity of the Barossan terroir and its effect on Shiraz, this varietal is something I thoroughly enjoy making (& drinking) However, I am equally pleased to sit and write about my true red wine passion, Grenache.

There are so many variations to Grenache, which is probably what is most intriguing to me. I love its adaptability to change with the soil and area it is grown in and the Grenache vines are something of a marvel. The old, gnarly vines are so interesting and the way they sit up, erect off the ground always catches my attention. They’re quite fascinating to look at, even when bare, and seem to have such stories to tell. With some of the oldest Grenache vines around the Barossa I’ve no doubt they’ve seen a thing or two!

The complexity and structure of Grenache can be so varied depending on where it is grown, the winemaking techniques used and the age of the vines that you often never know quite what you are going to get. An unsung hero of wine, Grenache has long been overlooked and underestimated. Most commonly known for its beautiful blending features & as the backbone for many red varietals such as GSM, Grenache, providing aromatic spiciness, dark cherries & raspberries adds a complexity and delicacy to this popular blend. However, with juicy supple tannins, delicious aromas of wild strawberries, cherries and liquorice and its dangerous drinkability, Grenache has built itself a reputation in the single varietal category.

Grenache fruit really speaks to me on a winemaking level. It’s hugely resilient to Australian conditions and very drought tolerant as it grows at its best with limited access to water. It thrives on showing its natural characteristics and with my low intervention winemaking style, I’m truly able to let the fruit speak for itself. My winemaking style has evolved over the years and this is certainly reflective in how I make Grenache today. I’m passionate about retaining as much of the vineyard characteristics in the fruit as possible so that my wines are a true reflection of what Grenache is capable of producing.”

 
 
 

New Release:
Deep Woods Reserve
2020 Allocation 

Our 2020 Deep Woods allocations are confirmed, and as previously communicated, ‘Reserve’ Chardonnay & Cabernet Sauvignon are being reduced significantly.

On this occasion we are accepting what is being offered. However, and given the breadth and depth of our Australian portfolio, combined with diminishing allocations, it is highly likely this will be our last Deep Woods offering. 

Given the fading numbers, we have more customers for reserve wines than we do physical bottles, which makes the job of allocating difficult. As such, these are being offered on a pre-arrival basis and strictly on a first-come-first-served basis. Currently, these are being offered in six-packs only. Any unsold stock (which is highly unlikely) will be offered by the bottle.

 
 
 

"I would love to see this in a blind tasting, pitched against Burgundies at double the price."

 

Deep Woods Single Vineyard Chardonnay 2018

Decanter World Wines Awards 2019 Gold Medal

Perth Royal Wine Awards Gold Medal

 

97+ Points - Stuart McCloskey “Unmistakably Deep Woods with aeronautical precision. Tightly coiled and needs a little time in the decanter / glass to unfurl. The palate offers wonderful symmetry and glides gracefully and with consummate ease. It is young but the sense of depth is impressive – it fans out beautifully with more time in the glass. It offers tension, structure and impeccable balance. I would love to see this in a blind tasting, pitched against Burgundies at double the price. Very classy and the wine’s sophistication versus the price makes it unmissable. It’s a joy now but patience will be rewarded further (I imagine it will be hitting all the high notes in five years). A fabulous wine, magnificent for the money and with a long future ahead. Served using Zalto Bordeaux Glassware.

Pre-Arrival offer £143.70 per case of 6
(£23.95 per bottle)

Price upon delivery - £26.95 per bottle

 
 

"Everything is in balance... Super wine"

 

Deep Woods Single Vineyard Cabernet Malbec 2017

Royal Hobart Wine Show 2019 Gold Medal & 1 Trophy
• Best Blended Red

Royal Perth Wine Awards 2019 Gold Medal & 1 Trophy
• Best Single Vineyard Red Varietal

Royal Sydney Wine Show 2019 Gold Medal & 1 Trophy
• Best Cabernet or Shiraz Dominant Blend

98 Points - James Halliday "An impressive wine all round. All the major attributes are turned up in volume as well as in contrast. Vibrant dark colour, ripe black fruits, plums, cedar, bay leaf, fine chalky tannins plus length. But the most important attribute is the key to all fine wine: balance. Everything is in balance, despite the high volume. Super wine."

Pre-Arrival offer £143.70 per case of 6
(£23.95 per bottle)

Price upon delivery - £26.95 per bottle

 
 

Try both NEW single vineyards wines
in this fabulous mixed case

3 x bottles x Deep Woods Single Vineyard Chardonnay 2018
3 x bottles x Deep Woods Single Vineyard Cabernet Malbec 2017

Pre-Arrival offer £143.70 per case of 6
(£23.95 per bottle)

Price upon delivery - £26.95 per bottle

 

There are some good Rosé wines on the market and then there is Deep Woods Rosé, which is consistently Australia’s finest. The 2017 vintage (for rosé) was undoubtedly the best in Deep Woods Estate’s history. Both wines are blended with varying percentages of Tempranillo and Shiraz with a small proportion of Grenache to produce two wines of great character, delicacy and complexity...

The 2017 Estate Rosé is offered exclusively by
The Vinorium and is not available outside of Australia.

 

Deep Woods Estate Rosé 2017

Margaret River Wine Show 2017 Gold Medal

 

95 Points - James Halliday "The pale but bright hue opens the door for this blend of shiraz and tempranillo, chiefly tank-fermented, a small portion fermented in barrel. Its fragrant bouquet is attractive enough, but doesn't quite prepare you for the intensity and drive that spears through to the finish and aftertaste. Wild strawberry and hints of forest make this a very special rose."

Was £21.95 per bottle

NOW £16.95 per bottle

 

Deep Woods Harmony Rosé 2017

China Wine & Spirits Awards 2018 Trophy
• Best Value 2018

Perth Royal Wines Awards 2017 Gold Medal

Margaret River Wine Show 2017 Gold Medal

James Halliday's Best Australian Red Wines Under $25 

 

95 Points - James Halliday "Light pink with a shimmer of salmon. Produced from a blend of shiraz and tempranillo, and has a proud history of high quality predecessors. The length of the wine is prodigious, offering strawberry, red cherry and raspberry, cut and shaped by persistent acidity."

Was £14.95 per bottle

NOW £10.50 per bottle

 

Online Orders:

With delivery certainty in mind, please place your order(s)
by 3:00pm Thursday 19 December.

Emergency online orders: 12:00 noon Friday 20 December.

 

Weekend Shop &
Christmas Opening Hours

Saturday December 7 & 14 - 10:00am to 4:00pm

Saturday December 21 - 9:00am to 5:00pm

December 23 - 9:00am to 5:00pm

Christmas Eve - from 9:00am to 2:00pm

 

HQ Christmas Hours
(These differ from our shop opening hours).

Our HQ will close from 5:00pm Friday 20 December returning 2 January 2020 (*Telephones & emails will not be staffed during this period).