Joe Czerwinski (RobertParker.com) releases his 2017 & 2018 Standish scores.
In July 2019 we wrote about the importance of world critics (our article can be viewed here) and their impact in the wine market. Joe Czerwinski, writing for one of the world’s most prominent platforms; RobertParker.com, communicated his recent trip to Adelaide. Here, he sat as the International Judge at the Royal Adelaide Wine Show for the second consecutive year. Joe took advantage of his visit to South Australia and spent several days touring around Barossa visiting a number of wineries including Torbreck, Mitolo, Peter Lehmann and Seppeltsfield and our very own Standish Wines. We understand a report on Clare Valley will follow shortly.
Ordinarily, we could quickly reveal Joe’s scores for the Standish wines but (and given the above article) we thought we would share the upside of his report and the impact we have received during the course of the past 48 hours. We physically took stock of the 2017 collection from Dan and his winemaking partner and wife Nicole during August of this year. We received a little flurry of trade orders but small compared to the 2016s. Fast forward to Joe’s article and we received more trade emails requesting allocations for the 2017 Lamella and Relic than we have physical stock. Why?
The short answer would be that The 2017 Lamella was the standout for Joe and equalled Torbreck’s Run Rig with 98 points. Of course, Run Rig is double the price…
“The star of this year's lineup is the 2017 Lamella Shiraz, sourced from a single dry-grown Eden Valley vineyard in the vicinity of Henschke's Mount Edelstone and Hill of Grace vineyards. It shows a healthy dusting of cracked peppery and dried spices but also layers of red and blue fruit and savory notes of black olives and espresso. Full-bodied and silky but taut, it ideally needs another 2-3 years of cellaring to soften the tannins on the long, dusty finish.”
Joe elaborated “After reviewing the stunning 2016s last year, I was excited to try the 2017s and 2018s at Dan Standish's small winery. The 2017 vintage, said Dan, was his biggest ever, yet he bottled the least wine. "With its long, slow, even ripening, it's probably the ideal vintage to show the different [Barossa] subregions," he said. Each of the named wines comes from a specific vineyard in a different part of Barossa. The Relic comes from Krondorf, Schubert Theorem from Marananga, The Standish from Greenock, Lamella from Eden Valley and Andelmonde from Light Pass. Generally, the wines see about 20% new oak (all French), with the proportion of whole clusters varying, depending on the vintage and the vineyard. Also depending on the vintage, Standish bottles all, some or none of the wines, with any barrels that don't make the cut being sold in bulk. After his blockbuster 2016s, the 2017s come across as slightly less complete yet still delicious, while the 2018s—"a typical Barossa vintage," according to Standish—look extremely promising.”
The Relic came a close second with 97 points which also equalled Torbreck’s The Laird (circa £500 per btl). “Standish's 2017 The Relic Shiraz-Viognier includes 2% Viognier, just enough to soften the wine's considerable tannins and add a floral element on the nose. Gorgeous scents of brambly blackberries and anise lead into a wine that's full-bodied and plush, long and silky, adding hints of cocoa and espresso on the finish.”
The plot thickens as demand for the unreleased 2018 collection has been quite extraordinary. We do not expect to take delivery until early summer 2020 however, we are able to advise of Joe’s scores which are as follows: The Standish and Lamella received 98-100 points. It is important to note these are barrel samples with in-bottle scores available at a later date. Joe has indicated that both wines have the potential to receive 100 points. The Lamella “Another potentially perfect wine” and The Standish “This seamless beauty is a candidate for perfection.”Of course, any wine which receives 100 points increases significantly in value. The Relic received 96-99 points and The Schubert Theorem 96-98 points. We are thrilled to see the return of the Andelmonde Shiraz which is sourced from a vineyard not far from the winery in the Light Pass subregion of Barossa Valley.
Stu is liaising closely with Dan on the new allocations for The Vinorium. Although the exact numbers of 2018s are yet to be confirmed, we do envisage we will be in a position to offer the 2018s towards Christmas or early January 2020 on a pre-arrival special. We will send an official offer when we know the exact allocation.
We have suspended all trade sales associated with the 2017s until our private clients receive the first opportunity to purchase the newly scored wines. As we did for John Duval The Entity Shiraz, customers who support (your orders previous to this email will be included) will receive first dibs on the 2018s and we hope on a like-for-like basis. We will offer unsold, high scoring 2017s to trade customers on Monday 9th December.
Hutton Vale Farm, Eden Valley - 100% Shiraz
98 Points - Joe Czerwinski (RobertParker.com) "The star of this year's lineup is the 2017 Lamella Shiraz, sourced from a single dry-grown Eden Valley vineyard in the vicinity of Henscke's Mount Edelstone and Hill of Grace vineyards. It shows a healthy dusting of cracked peppery and dried spices but also layers of red and blue fruit and savory notes of black olives and espresso. Full-bodied and silky but taut, it ideally needs another 2-3 years of cellaring to soften the tannins on the long, dusty finish."
98-100 Points - Stuart McCloskey "Even at this stage, the ’17 Lamella is spectacular and bursts from the glass with an intoxicating and heady mix of pen ink, lilac flower, violets, cassis liqueur and liquorice with the faintest whiff of nori. The palate is full-bodied, ineffably complete with an overall mouthfeel akin to velvet - juicy with a super-lavish, creamy texture. The fruit component comes across cool and clearly handled sensitively. Layers of fruit wash across my palate. With aeration (4-5 hours) the dark fruits meld with wood smoke and dried herbs – ever changing in the glass. The tannins are virtually unnoticeable, as is the oak which is quite extraordinary. Granted, this wine offers an entire day of immediate pleasure, but it will be perfect in a decade. I cannot wait to see how this evolves over the coming years. Utterly magnificent and a privilege to sample such a remarkable Aussie masterpiece. Breathtaking in its infancy… Decanted for 4-5 hours and sampled using Zalto Bordeaux Glassware"
£306.90 per case of 6 In Bond
Hongell Family Vineyard, Krondorf - 98% Shiraz 2% Viognier
97 Points - Joe Czerwinski (RobertParker.com) "Standish's 2017 The Relic Shiraz-Viognier includes 2% Viognier, just enough to soften the wine's considerable tannins and add a floral element on the nose. Gorgeous scents of brambly blackberries and anise lead into a wine that's full-bodied and plush, long and silky, adding hints of cocoa and espresso on the finish."
£306.90 per case of 6 In Bond
Roennfeldt Road, Marananga - 100% Shiraz
96 Points - Joe Czerwinski (RobertParker.com) "Mulberries and blueberries appear alongside a hint of white pepper on the nose of Standish's 2017 The Schubert Theorem Shiraz, sourced from Marananga. It's full-bodied, firm and structured, loaded with mixed berries and balanced by savory undercurrents of espresso and black olive. It finishes long and mouthwatering yet also dusty and tannic. Give it another 2-3 years in the cellar and drink it over the following decade or so."
99-100 Points - Stuart McCloskey "An extraordinary colour ranging from midnight black to a rim of purple. The nose is intoxicating and utterly beguiling with lavender, violets, vanilla, coal, cold stone, ink, iron ore and graphite. The palate is full-bodied, richly structured, incredibly layered and beautifully defined - The Château Latour of Australia as this befits ‘the iron fist in a velvet glove’ perfectly. It’s quite extraordinary how a wine of such scale and age is so harmonious. The flavour profile and length are unending. The texture silken. The sweet entry finding its way to an iron ore and salty finish is fascinating (my last sip offered coffee notes). It is easy to understand why this was wine of the day (a difficult achievement given the calibre of the room). One of Australia’s immortal wines which has the potential to outlive most of us. Remarkable. Decanted for 2 hours and served using Zalto’s Bordeaux Glassware."
£306.90 per case of 6 In Bond
Laycock Family Vineyard, Parbs Road, Greenock - 100% Shiraz
96 Points - Joe Czerwinski (RobertParker.com) "Lifted, herbal notes of mint, thyme and sage appear on the nose of the 2017 The Standish Shiraz. They're followed by waves of raspberries and more raspberries, fleshing out the full-bodied palate and lingering onto the long, silky finish, where they're joined by savory roasted-meat and espresso notes. While almost approachable now, a few years in the cellar surely wouldn't hurt."
98+/99 Points Stuart McCloskey “Despite the huge reviews for the 2016, I personally prefer the 2017. In fact, I would declare all 2017 Standish wines superb and more to my liking. The 'The Standish' Shiraz is made from fruit farmed by the Laycock family in the Greenock sub-region of the Barossa Valley. Earlier releases from the now extinct Andelmonde and Borne Bollene came from this site – How wonderful would it be to see their return. Tell-tale Standish nose of pen ink, lead pencil, iron ore, graphite, warm earth, violets, dark plum and vanilla. Unbelievably harmonious for such a young wine – Seamless and graceful with satin-like tannins. The palate is sweet with black raspberry liquor, spice and offers a touch of relief with a core of crushed rocks. More and more notes build with time. It’s almost a life-long journey of an ever-changing scenery. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, this is another stunning wine from Dan Standish. Decanted for 4 hours and served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware.”
£306.90 per case of 6 In Bond