Issue #121, July 2020

 

A time to reflect on the past six months and unveil our future plans...

Written by Stuart McCloskey

I have intentionally avoided writing about the Coronavirus yet, it is a topic that cannot be avoided.  Especially this weekend, as it is not often that an issue becomes so widespread that it threatens our way of life. Equally, the impact on our business and the greater hospitality industry has been profound. Without stating the obvious, July marks the second half of the year, which provides the perfect point in time to step back, evaluate our year so far and to share how my team and I have coped during the lockdown and to what affect the pandemic has had on our wine company.

Vast swathes of our nation went into lockdown on the evening of 23 March. I recall vividly that evening as I was preparing for my final beekeeping lesson. Instead, I sat riveted, glued to my television screen watching our Prime Minister, Boris Johnson address our nation which was an extraordinary scene. The following morning, I drove the same thirty miles to my office but, I was alone on the roads. I was concerned for my team – how were they feeling with the sense of the unknown and are they feeling anxious with the eerie silence as they drove to their place of work.

That morning was a blur as adjusting to unfamiliar circumstances was strange to say the least. The hospitality industry was forced to shut down with the direct impact on the wine industry being profoundly damaging. By choice, this is not an area of sales we have canvassed – the competition for wine list space or entire listings is fierce and a fool’s game in my opinion. Respectfully, those servicing the restaurants, clubs, bars, desirable accounts such as Wimbledon and the theatres along with all major sporting events are far from foolish, but they operate within a broken model which I have previously covered.

It is still early days for sections of our industry to fully assess the level of damage yet, we are now seeing the fallout post COVID-19 lockdown with Fields, Morris & Verdin consulting its staff over the future of the company. FMV is a significant company which represents around £40 million of Berry Brothers & Rudd’s £188 million turnover (BBR purchased FMV in 2003). We have worked with FMV for many years as their list of agencies is very impressive (Ridge and Dog Point to name two). They have always favoured their restaurant customers with much of their list out of bounds to independent wine merchants or allocations so tiny, they are pointless to buy. I am sad for the staff as many have been with FMV for a very long time. Ordinarily, most would be re-employed swiftly but I fear this will not be the case until the hospitality industry returns fully (if that is possible). I believe FMV will not be the first casualty which is a worrying outlook…

My team and I were sitting on the morning of the 24th sipping our tea and coffee and wondering if we would be OK as a business. Like many, we have worked tirelessly to build ‘The Vinorium’ brand and reputation however, fate was out of our hands. International trade sales to Asia had declined significantly due to their own pandemic struggles, with the team and I adjusting accordingly – Would domestic and international private customer sales follow the same pattern? Which would be perfectly understandable.

In short, the answer was a resounding no as our inboxes were filling and filling at a much faster rate than normal with online orders, which amazed us all. Many industries must readjust their financial expectation for this year and perhaps several to come, but and as I write (the 2 July) life at The Vinorium is incredibly positive and our future brighter than ever. I am blessed to be surrounded by an incredible, agile team and to have friends and customers who believe The Vinorium is their first point of call when they are seeking wine. The faith you have in us and our wine selection is truly humbling. As ever, and from the bottom of Team Vinorium’s very big heart, we are so grateful to have you all as customers.

We have enjoyed a tremendous run of years with our sales for 2017, 2018 and 2019 reaching £12.130 million and profits after tax standing handsomely around £2.950 million. We have been awarded 2018 and 2019 IWC & Decanter Australian Wine Merchant of the Year which we are immensely proud of. Sadly, and due to the COVID-19 restrictions, there is no IWC entry this year – we submitted our Decanter entry on Wednesday and look forward to sharing the judges’ decision mid-September.

The first quarter started well with the occasional bump in the road which you would expect. Sales to our global ‘private’ customer base increased slightly on 2019 versus a £55,000 drop in trade sales. Our gross profit dropped by £5,582 which is a smidgen in the grand scheme of things nonetheless, it certainly keeps you focused for quarter two. Trade sales and particularly to customers in Hong Kong, Macau and China reduced significantly with only the tail end of a large Clarendon Hills Astralis parcel selling.

March was a super month. So much so, we reported stronger sales compared to Christmas 2019 which is unheard of. Then, we entered the most extraordinary period of sales in our history which I am delighted to share with you. Before I reveal, it is worth noting that month on month, 2019 was our most successful year in terms of number of sales and revenue through our e-commerce website.

We operate a physical shop however, we are e-commerce specialists and it has taken many years to get to this level. The investment (both in terms of time and finances) is staggering and certainly makes you question one’s own commercial sanity. At the core of our company is a passionate team that love wine and who love to share stories about their wonderful collection of wine producers. We enjoy sharing our tasting notes and tales of day to day life however, this sadly would not cover our bills.

We analyse everything we do without losing the personal touch. Behind the scenes is the world of search engine optimisation (SEO as it is commonly referred to), which is the art of organically ranking high on a search engine without paying for it (Google Ads). Fundamentally, it is the process of optimising your online content so that search engines show you as a top result for searches of certain keywords. For example, open Google and type ‘Standish Lamella.’ Hopefully, the first two listings are given to The Vinorium – one listing for the 2017 and one for the 2018. We do not profess to understand Google’s algorithms and the level of alleged SEO expert advice is quite staggering with much of it costing a small fortune and yielding little if any return.

Time is the key along with unique content. Spending hours per day, every working day of the year will provide a degree of success. Of course, having a great list of winemakers will help too however, what do you do if many are unknown to your particular audience (as many of our producers were to you)? That’s the fun of spreading the word – telling the world that you are working with someone special and unheard of outside their domestic customer base. This takes time but the rewards are fabulous and not necessarily financial as sharing great wines with friends, new and old, is a joy in itself. But, and to bring back commerciality, here’s a little insight into the importance of our SEO work.   

I will use the same ‘Lamella’ example. Many of you will be aware that we are Dan and Nicole’s (Standish) UK agent and we have an excellent relationship with them both. Our 2018 collection was substantial and came to some $400,000 which and as with all our winemakers, we paid in advance of shipping which is super rare in our industry and clearly favourable to our hardworking producers. Lamella is rare and as I penned in our weekend read 117, is fast becoming Australia’s most sought after wine. We recently received a fabulous email from a customer in Australia who declared, “Standish wines are unicorns here in Australia.”

Remarkably, online visitors from Australia have risen significantly during the past six months with 3,300 users visiting various pages on our website. We have received 70 orders from Australia, which I accept is not a huge number, but given our respective locations is significant. Some orders were from Aussie’s sending their loved ones gifts during the lockdown period and some contained cases of 2018 Standish Lamella which we are now shipping all the way back to Australia. In fact, our Standish page has been visited 10,298 times this year. You just wait until November when Sarah Ahmed’s (writing for Decanter) huge spread is published – I will be sure to reveal the results this yields. This week, international trade demand is returning and guess what every email is requesting? Lamella of course… Some traders we know, many we do not and that is down to our SEO work, as tireless as it is…  

 
 
 
 
 
 

"DHL delivered 96.28% of our parcels on time which I think is bloody marvellous given the circumstances."

Precisely £879,922 of wine was sold during the months of 1 April to 30 June, thumping the same period 2019. As declared, 2019 was a fantastic year however, and despite the dreadful repercussions of the pandemic, we have arrived at the halfway point some £190,000 up on 2019 which is a magnificent position to be in, and of course, thanks to you all. So, let’s dig a little deeper and share more of the statistics…

Google organic sales increased by 88% and produced £56,923 in value. We keep organic Zalto sales separate, which and despite my rather glum news towards the footer (keep your focus here!) sales increased by a staggering 276%. Total Zalto sales for the first six months totalled £48,991 equating to 756 units (individual or six pack). We do receive small amounts of orders via Bing and Yahoo but and without sounding unappreciative, they are too insignificant to mention in detail.

Our weekend read inspires which is wonderful to see. It is often the home where we share stories from our winemakers and musings from our HQ. Sales have increased to £103,084 and our mid-week offers / highlights have yielded £80,285 yet another increase over 2019.  Our existing customers have been incredibly generous and are popping back more regularly with sales increasing by 54%. You kindly placed 1021 website orders without a prod from the team and I (600 in 2019). You spent £201,445 of your hard earned money during this period with an average order value of £197.30.

Our top fifteen customers (non-trade) spent a whopping £90,072 with an average order value of £437.00 which is truly staggering.

We’ve gone one step further and were able to ascertain that your average bottle spend was £50.00. Of course, we would never reveal who you are however, I believe we should create a special, annual club… I will have a think and will revert personally.

We have a mysterious group of new customers who spent £47,394. We call these ‘direct’ as they simply type in ‘The Vinorium’ and land on our website. Perhaps a recommendation or they saw our name on the back of a wine label. My explanation is as elusive as how they found us!  Talking of new customers - 904 traceable, new customer orders have been received, netting a total revenue of £149,916 which is a joy to see. Some were destined for corporate Zoom tastings which became all the rage six weeks back, a healthy proportion were gifts for loved ones and the remainder just seemed to love our Aussie range. Magda and I have been busy too with combined sales of £1,008,481.

All in all, website orders increased by 62% (we do not advertise or outsource any work) and the total number of parcels leaving our HQ (not our bonded warehouse) saw a jump of 52%. During lockdown, the UK turned to the internet for home deliveries. The pressure on the delivery network and for those poor drivers working within it, was and still is enormous. At times, drivers have more parcels to deliver than there are hours in the day. Our preferred courier, DHL delivered 96.28% of our parcels on time which I think is bloody marvellous given the circumstances. Front line workers should be given medals – our network of delivery drivers should be awarded a serious pay rise and more respect.

 
 

Fun Facts and the cost of
delivering wine to you…

(1st Jan – 30 June)

 
 
 
 

We could comfortably fill 300 baths with all the wine we have sold.

 

16 miles of tape has been used to seal your orders – Almost three times the height of Mount Everest!

 

We have used the equivalent of 17 acres worth of cardboard boxes; they would fill 8.5 football pitches!

(All of our boxes and bottle inserts are biodegradable)

 

Packaging costs: We have spent £11,854 to ensure your parcels arrive safely.

 

We offer free UK delivery (from our HQ) for all orders exceeding £100.00. It’s free for you but costs us £26,117.

 

Our 3 Busiest Website Days

Thursday 11th June & Thursday 18th June generated the most income by way of website orders totalling £30,628 during both days!

Sunday 5 April saw more visitors than any other day of the year (thus far).

Website Traffic Stats

Visitors to our website increased by 42.52% with quarter one showing a 22.29% increase however, quarter two shows a huge jump with an increase of 56.89%.

Most Used Devices

21,045 unique visitors used a mobile device

20,990 unique visitors used a desktop computer

2,392 preferred a tablet device

The Power of Google

Google visitors increased by 84.3% with quarter one seeing a 38.8% rise. Quarter two rose by a staggering 124.6% (18,501 users compared to 8,237 in 2019)

Our Most Visited Web Pages

1. ‘Buy Wine’ with 59,940 unique page views.

2. Our homepage with 51,345 unique page views.

How Many Visitors have we Welcomed this Year?

44,510 unique visitors compared to 31,230 in 2019   

Our Top 10 Visitors by Country

UK - 28,381

USA - 3,906

Australia - 3,300 

France - 677

Hong Kong - 595

China - 502

Singapore - 437

Japan - 411

Denmark - 398

Germany - 394

Our Top 10 Unique Page Views by Producer

Two Hands - 11,851 page views

Standish - 10,298 page views

Wild Duck Wines - 5,206 page views

Kay Brothers - 4,410 page views

Eastern Peake - 3,839 page views

Greenock Creek - 3,458 page views

Vinden Wines - 3,286 page views

Nocturne - 2,958 page views

JC’s Own - 2,727 page views

Soumah - 2,640 page views

 

The Most Viewed Wine of 2020 (so far)

 
 

2018 Standish Lamella

Stuart McCloskey  "The bouquet is exceedingly floral with a strong marine influence. Warm earth, espresso, violet, mineral, lead pencil, and mint are just some of the components which create the glorious and ever evolving bouquet. There is more structure from the acidity and tannins which keep the voluptuous, ripe, and supremely concentrated black fruits in perfect check. Ethereal in weight. Fine boned with an immense future ahead of itself. Not as amiable as the Andelmonde but this is precise winemaking aligned with nature itself.  The finish is epically long. Drink before bed (do not clean your teeth) and you’ll be tasting it when you rise. Just incredible. Truly so. Decanted for 3.5 hours and served with Zalto Bordeaux glassware. Drinking window from 2020 to 2050++."Tasted 06.05.2020

The same decanted wine was sampled circa 24 hours later (overnight we placed a tight clingfilm seal over each decanter)…

Summary: The bouquet is explosive and speaks loudly of its terroir –Iron, flint, incredibly muscular and alluring. Very Côte-Rôtie but with a lick more sweetness. The palate is expansive and drenched with ripe black / blue fruits. I love the bitter espresso and liquorice finish. I feel a tad mean with my score as this is an incredible wine, and just starting out on life. I truly believe this will be perfect in a decade or two and will achieve 100 points. But, and for now, an almost perfect score will suffice.

My Overall Score: 99 Points

£74.50 per bottle
or £359.15 per case of 6 In Bond

 
 

The Next Six Months

 
 

Last week I shared our objectives to significantly increase our Australian portfolio. Samples are now arriving by the day and the team and I plan to tackle them from Monday onwards. Typically, only the wine buyers and a select few sample new wines however, we differ as the entire team sample at the same time as Magda and I (In truth, they drink whilst we professionally use our spittoons). Another perk being that all opened wines are shared equally amongst the team to be enjoyed with their evening suppers. We are expecting one hundred samples which is going to be tricky to share as there are only six of us and James is abstaining for the month… I will share our findings weekly and hopefully provide updates of new exclusivities.

It is time to develop a new website and we are already in the mix. The front and back end functionality are being completely rewritten and designed which will offer all our customers a higher level of interaction and their own personal cellar space. It is a complex build and we hope to launch it later in the year.

 

I paused the plans for our new HQ and vineyard as I was unsure of how lockdown would affect our company. Pleasingly, the entire design and build team are now frantically bringing the development to fruition. I am bursting to tell you about the ‘new’ plans, but I will bite my tongue for a wee while longer.

The building has been designed to provide enhanced space for our expanding operations, to support our ambition and growing workforce. An existing agricultural barn will be demolished in August 2020 and replaced with a 75 metre energy efficient folding concrete building, based on the principles of a hyperbolic paraboloid roof. This contemporary scheme will comprise of a beautiful and spacious office, tasting rooms, small winery and a warehouse. Set adjacent to protected woodlands it will feature a meadow grass roof, to create a building which looks as though it has emerged from the ground and is fully integrated within the existing landscape.

The design reflects The Vinorium’s ethos which is about creating an enjoyable working environment for our staff. The heart of the building offers a welcoming area for retail and living, that includes wine storage, wine tasting, communal dining and a soft area for collaborative working, all with views out to the beautiful North Downs. Additional facilities include an outdoor sundeck and fire pit to create a uniquely domestic workspace for the team. Every opportunity has been taken to create a building which showcases ecological initiatives in the beautiful Kent countryside and contributes positively to the environment.

Biodiversity is supported not only by the green roof but also by the inclusion of bird and bat boxes, beehives and a reflecting pool. Honey will be produced on site alongside a small amount of wine made from the on site vineyard. Our half acre organic garden and fruit trees will support the team throughout the year and provide sufficient food to cater for our events.

 
 
 

Have a great weekend and I look forward to sharing ‘sampling’ news with you next week.

My very best wishes,

Stu

 

The end of the line for...

Personally, I believe Zalto to be the best stemware I have ever used – the finely tuned, handblown glassware makes my wines sing so gloriously and I do not believe I will find a suitable replacement. The Vinorium is one of the UK’s leading sellers and we are a huge advocate of their craftsmanship however, we have come to an impasse regarding their new prices. At the core, we are being pushed towards selling at their RRPs with all commercial discounts being taken off the table. To retain our sales margins, our retail prices would increase by 10 to 33% which I object to (as I am sure you will). Coercing one of your best UK customers is commercially unwise and will inevitably lead to a collapse in a previously good relationship. Sadly, and I am genuinely unhappy to see Zalto go, we have ceased trading with them (effective immediately). Given the above six-month sales figures, all remaining stocks are likely to sell-out quickly – Bordeaux singles have already sold out. 

Perhaps it’s time to make our own handblown glassware!

 
 
 

Robert Oatley The Pennant Chardonnay 2013.

9 bottles available

98+ Points Stuart McCloskey “Exquisite, truly so… Sadly, Larry (Cherubino) produced one solitary barrel of this absolute beauty. The aromatics are breathtaking, incredibly penetrating with oyster shell, yuzu, lemon peel with the faintest suggestion of salty sea breeze. Stunning in a word. The palate offers heavenly complexity, amazing depth and a finish which seems to never end. The layers of citrus, slate, mineral and a little salinité are a joy. Huge sensory overload with so much energy. Do not serve too cold and allow 20-30 minutes in a decanter. Nothing short of magnificent and will continue to be so until 2030. Served with Zalto Bordeaux glassware.”

£28.95 per bottle

 
 

A fond farewell to my favourite Chardonnay in our portfolio - Eileen Hardy Chardonnay 2015. 

24 bottles available

98+ Points - Stuart McCloskey “A stunning bouquet offering a profusion of aromatics ranging from vanilla, lemon zest, Seville orange marmalade, wet limestone to maritime salinity and finishing with freshly grated, spicy ginger. The wine has put on some weight with a lovely silky textural feel, but far from viscous. Harmonious and exquisitely judged to be succinct. Flavours are more difficult to pin down at this stage, but one thing is certain, it’s effortless and washes across my palate with consummate ease. I love the spice, salinity – very maritime which changes with more aeration. Fascinating is the wine's development in the glass. As I mentioned in my previous notes - This would shame many white Burgundies at double the price. This is simply a beautiful Chardonnay which offers more potential for those with patience. Just magnificent and for me, the best Chardonnay in our portfolio. The value is unbelievable. I recommend drinking this superb wine from now to 2028. Sampled using Zalto Bordeaux glassware” Tasted 9 May, 2019

£29.95 per bottle

 
 

Majella The Musician Cabernet Shiraz 2016

24 bottles available

James Halliday "A 70/30% blend, fermented in stainless steel and oak, matured for 6 months with minimal oak contact before blending. Great colour; one of life's sweet mysteries is keeping the price identical to that of the first release in '04. It is a joyous wine, revelling in its blend of blackcurrant, blackberry and plum fruit. Made with minimal oak contact, retaining maximum fruit freshness."

£12.75 per bottle

 
 

Deep Woods Estate Single Vineyard
Cabernet Malbec 2017 - 98 points

27 bottles available

Royal Hobart Wine Show 2019 Gold Medal & 1 Trophy 
Royal Perth Wine Awards 2019 Gold Medal & 1 Trophy
Royal Sydney Wine Show 2019 Gold Medal & 1 Trophy 

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."

Was £26.95 per bottle
Now £22.50 per bottle

 
 

Wild Duck Creek Alan's Cabernet 2016

16 bottles available

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.

Now £28.50 per bottle

 
 

Wild Duck Creek Ducks & Drakes Cabernet 2017

21 bottles available

Winemaker Notes "We think of this wine as the sister to Springflat Shiraz, yet its Cabernet Sauvignon. Luscious and textural, Ducks & Drakes delivers all the classic Cabernet Sauvignon characters in a very “Heathcote” style. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon coming from two distinct vineyards each year. Full bodied, luscious and driven, just as Heathcote Cabernet should be. The grapes are fully de-stemmed, then fermented in open fermenters, gently hand plunged and pumped over to soften tannins, then basket pressed into French and American oak hogsheads and puncheons, 40% of which are new. A wine that can be carefully cellared for up to 15 years."

Now £23.95 per bottle

 
 

Kay Brothers Amery Vineyard Cuthbert
Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

22 bottles available

95 Points - Joe Czerwinski (RobertParker.com) "Prettier and more aromatic than the very good 2015, the 2016 Cuthbert Cabernet Sauvignon hints at violets and mint on the nose and adds hints of cherries to the cassis fruit. Medium to full-bodied, it's supple, almost silky on the palate, with a finish that's simultaneously mouthwatering and firmly tannic. It should drink well for at least a decade."

Now £23.95 per bottle

 
 

Dr Edge 'North' Pinot Noir 2018

6 bottles available

97+ Stuart McCloskey "North is a thought-provoking mix of East and South – The nose is brooding and offers hints of ‘East’s’ richness whilst being restrained by the classicism from the ‘South.’ Wild dark berries dominate the bouquet along with lifted, floral aromatics and that tell-tale twist of orange peel. Perfectly balanced with filigree tannin, a partnership that is utterly captivating and typifies Peter’s ‘allow nature to make your wine’ attitude. There’s a touch more puppy-fat compared to the other two sites however, everything is woven together with perfection, which and for those who have a little patience, will be rewarded handsomely in five or so years. The finish is sweet and a touch creamy. The length epic. Served with Zalto Burgundy glassware. * My scores are conservative as I feel the entire collection requires a little bottle age and some much-needed R&R (after their long trip) before evaluating fully. I look forward to returning later this year / early 2021"

Was £39.95 per bottle
Now £30.75 per bottle

 
 

Dr Edge 'South' Pinot Noir

 

2017

13 bottles available

95+ Points - Gary Walsh
(The Wine Front) 

"Fine perfume, pretty and floral, strawberries dusted with pepper and spice, smoky autumn leaves and walks in the park. It’s delicate, rose petals over strawberry, cool bell-clear acidity, a playful rasp of tannin, and a spicy strawberry finish of impeccable length. Lacy, delicate wine. Diaphanous and thoroughly charming. Oh yes."

Was £39.95 per bottle
Now £30.75 per bottle

2018

7 bottles available

97++ Points - Stuart McCloskey "The bouquet invites you in with a serene welcoming, coming from delicate scents of raspberries, pomegranate and rose petals with a lifted spritz of orange rind which I like very much. The most classical of the four wines, and of course, youthful. The tannins are a whisper and offer no intrusion to the delicate fruit. Incredibly fine, lithe and full of wonderful freshness. The hallmark of this wine is its structural finesse which is simply exquisite. Built for the mid-term and does require a few years of bottle age (for maximum enjoyment). Served with Zalto Burgundy glassware

Was £39.95 per bottle
Now £30.75 per bottle

 
 

Dr Edge 'East' Pinot Noir

 

2017

7 bottles available

96 Points - James Halliday 

"The Dr Edge Pinots are part of a voyage of discovery, so it is that the East, North and South are all clone 115 (the ‘16s were MV6), and all have identical vinification: half whole-bunch carbonic maceration, half whole berries, once wild fermentation begins, 80% of the bunches are destemmed on top with 20% remaining as whole bunches, matured in French barriques (10% new) for 9 months. Fragrant, with more red fruits, long and silky; reflects the clonal change, driven by the very cool vintage, the tannin sotto voce."

Was £39.95 per bottle
Now £30.75 per bottle

2018

10 bottles available

97+ Stuart McClsokey "Pungent aromatics soar from the glass ranging from sweet, ripe cherries, kirsch, spiced plum, rhubarb, orange rind and a little warmth from cinnamon bark. Medium-bodied, full of life but delicately played which is charming. The wine plays a lovely orchestra of elegance, poise and purity. The fruit component is ripe and wrapped in a cloak of silken textured tannins. The length is highly impressive and will offer beautiful drinking for years to come. My advice is to hide a case for 3-5 years and return to something special. Trust me, your patience will be richly rewarded. Served with Zalto Burgundy glassware.

Was £39.95 per bottle
Now £30.75 per bottle

 
last bottles available
 
 

Current Offers

 
 

Our Josh Cooper sale is well under way with his Cope-Williams Chardonnay completely SOLD OUT and other lines are down considerably. We have delisted Josh Cooper's wines so these are our last stocks available which is an utter shame as they are utterly sublime...

Last available stocks:

29 x Bottles -  Old Port Righ Chardonnay 2018

97-98 Points Stuart McCloskey “Fascinating notes which flit from confit lemon, poached ripe pear, apple, crushed rocks to pastry cream and almond croissant. The palate is tightly coiled, tense and comes alive with yuzu, lemon & lime – a bright streak of acidity runs through the core. This is a wonderful example of a wine which is all about purity and precision rather than leanness which we are seeing far too often. This will shatter the perception of Aussie Chardonnay and will leave no room for argument about its stunning quality. Today, a wine for those seeking unforgettable purity. Epic and will remain so for at least a decade… Ensure you do not serve too cold and decant for 20/30 minutes… Served using Zalto’s Bordeaux glassware, an essential to appreciate great Chardonnay.”

NOW £29.95 per bottle

 

52 x Bottles - Captains Creek Chardonnay 2018

97+ to 98 Points - Stuart McCloskey "I will start with my conclusion – A stunning wine, thoughtfully produced, complex and incredibly natural. This wine makes me reconsider my rationale behind parting company! The nose is electric and filled with citrus, lemon grass, green olive and saline. The palate is sensual, perfectly judged (and I mean ‘perfectly’). The complexity is beguiling with layer upon layer of spiced tinged citrus fruit balanced by a lovely streak of acidity. I detect a little lemon thyme after a minute or two. Ripe citrus is a dominating factor however, the roundness is the winemaker’s deft touch. The spicy flavours fan out towards a saline finish. This is as good as I am describing. Irksome winemaker but a seriously fabulous wine… Do not overchill and ideally, decant for 20/30 minutes. Drinking 2020 to 2030. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware.”

NOW £26.50 per bottle

 

49 x Bottles -  Doug's Vineyard Pinot Noir 2018

97+ to 98 Points - Stuart McCloskey “A fabulous and powerful nose which oozes with blood orange, fennel, crushed strawberry and cranberry. Lots of minerality with more aeration (I suggest a good hour in the decanter). The palate is broad, textural and the sweet fruit wrapped with filigree tannins. There’s a distinct orange sorbet (orange peel) freshness which is very appealing and harmonises with the cranberry and raspberry notes. As usual, all of Joshua’s wines come across unforced and wonderfully natural – this is a lovely, effortless example of great Aussie Pinot Noir. Moreover, this will be fascinating to watch develop over the coming years. The tongue tingles for minutes (sherbet sorbet)… Another faultless wine from the Cooper stable and deeply impressive. Drink now to 2030”.

NOW £29.95 per bottle

 
 

With the exception of a handful of Colonial Estate, Tatiarra and Wild Duck wines, our In Bond SALE is practically sold out (and we don't expect the rest to hang around for long).

Colonial Estate Émigré 2006 - SOLD OUT
Colonial Estate Explorateur Old Vine Shiraz 2005 - SOLD OUT
Colonial Estate John Speke 2006 - SOLD OUT
Elderton Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 - SOLD OUT
Elderton Estate Shiraz 2005 - SOLD OUT
Fox Creek Reserve Shiraz 2004 - SOLD OUT
Hobbs of Barossa Ranges Gregor Shiraz 2007 - SOLD OUT
Hobbs of Barossa Ranges Shiraz 2006 - SOLD OUT
Kaesler Old Vine Shiraz 2004 - SOLD OUT
Kay Brothers Amery Vineyards Cabernet 2003 - SOLD OUT
Torbreck Descendant 2005 Double Magnum - SOLD OUT
Wild Duck Creek Alan's Cabernet 2006 - SOLD OUT
Wild Duck Creek Springflat Shiraz 2004 - SOLD OUT

 
 

Our Clarendon Hills IB SALE stock is being offered up to the trade next week so make sure you don't lose out on these fantastic wines at unmissable prices!

Our Final Case of Astralis

Clarendon Hills Astralis 2007 (6x75cl) 
NOW £495.00 IB per case 

 
 

Our Purple Hands Baker's Dozen offers (Buy 12 get 1 bottle FREE)
are proving very popular with the following cases available

After Five Shiraz 2017 Baker's Dozen Special (13x75cl)
2 cases available - NOW £275.40

After Five Serata 2017 Baker's Dozen Special (13x75cl)
2 cases available - NOW £294.00

After Five Montepulciano 2018 Baker's Dozen Special (13x75cl)
3 cases available - NOW £249.00

Purple Hands Old Vine Grenache 2018 Baker's Dozen Special (13x75cl)
4 cases available - NOW £231.00

After Five Grenache 2018 Baker's Dozen Special (13x75cl)
10 cases available - NOW £275.40