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`Cullen Vineyard` Margaret River Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon 2015 (1x75cl)

Awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their December 2017 edition review of Margaret River (Australia) (see blue link below).

Cullen Sem/SB 2015 - Dec 2017 Decanter review

Cullen Wines is a certified biodynamic, carbon neutral and naturally powered estate, with their philosophy summed up in three simple words; ‘Quality, Integrity and Sustainability’. It is one of the oldest and most awarded family wineries in Wilyabrup, in Western Australia’s famous Margaret River region. First established in 1971 by Dr Kevin and Diana Cullen and now run by their daughter Vanya, the winery has built an outstanding reputation for fine certified biodynamic wines that receive critical national and international acclaim. All wines produced are sourced from grapes grown on the Cullen and adjoining Mangan Estates. Both are certified biodynamic, to allow the soil to be nurtured and the wines to reflect their sense of place.

Fruit is sourced exclusively from the Cullen Vineyard. The soils are old, granite and gravely sandy loam, overlaying lateritic subsoils. The vineyard is certified biodynamic and vines are dry-farmed. Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon are trained on a Lyre trellis due to their high vigour giving a great area for the leaves and fruit to grow on and enabling fruit to reach proper physiological ripeness.

2015 presented excellent growing conditions. From October to March weather was mostly dry with little rainfall. A warm ripening period resulted in fruit arriving at the winery in superb condition. Good rains enhanced the growing season with luckily no rainfall at all during the harvest period. Low yields and ideal ripening have resulted in elegant and perfumed wines of great purity.

The fruit was hand-harvested, and barrel-fermented using natural yeasts, with no acid additions and limited fining. 74% of the wine was aged in new French oak for five months, adding complexity and depth to the wine.

This wine shows a delightful combination of fresh cut grass, spicy and vanillin oak aromas supported by tropical notes. Vibrant fruit flavours are lifted by citrus notes. A very complex wine with lovely stone fruit nuances and toasty characteristics.

£20.65

Berton Vineyard Winemakers Reserve Vermentino 2016 (1x 75cl)

Awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their November 2017 edition review of Australia's "Other" Whites (see blue links below).

Berton Vermentino 2016 - November 2017 Decanter review

Berton Vineyards Winemakers Reserve Wines have been chosen by their winemakers as wines that stand out year after year.  They believe the Vermentino variety is perfect for the warmer regions of Australia due to its ability to retain freshness and acidity in warmer climates. Fruit for this Vermentino is sourced from two vineyards - from the Riverland and the Riverina.  The Riverina fruit has ripened really well over the past two years so this was used for the majority of the blend. For the 2016 vintage the fruit from Riverina was picked early due to rain in late January and the Riverland portion was harvested later.

The two parcels were kept seperate during the fermentation process, before being clarified and blended prior to bottling.

Both vineyard contribute to the final flavour of the wine. The Riverina vineyard lends delicate flavours of citrus and pear to the final wine whilst the Riverland vineyard adds tropical aromas and riper flavours of lychee and kiwi fruit. The resulting wine has aromas of tropical fruits combined with hints of pear and citrus which jump from the glass and follow through tp the palate creating a wine that is rich with a great depth of flavour and crisp acidity.

This dry, light-bodied wine is a perfect match for seafood and goes particularly well with calamari.

£10.05

Brokenwood Indigo Vineyard Chardonnay 2016 (1x 75cl)

*** SEE AVAILABILITY AND ORDERING NOTE AT FOOT OF PAGE ***
 
Awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their December 2017 edition review of cool-climate Australian Chardonnay (Victoria and Tasmania) (see blue links below).

Brokenwood Indigo Vineyard Chardonnay 2016 - December 2017 Decanter review

Decanter review - individual reviewer comments

Established in 1970, Brokenwood Wines has evolved from a weekend venture for self-professed hobby winemakers into one of Australia’s most reputable wine labels. It was founded by a trio of Sydney-based solicitors, Tony Albert, John Beeston and James Halliday, who paid a then record price of $970 per acre for a 10-acre block in the foothills of the Brokenback Ranges. The original block was destined to be a cricket ground for the local community but was instead planted with Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz. The first vintage was picked in 1973 and while none of the original partners claimed to know anything about viticulture, the wine received praise, and attracted a loyal following from the first vintage.
 
In 1975, a new winery was built to accommodate the growing production. Growth was steady until the boom of 1978, when six new partners joined, allowing the purchase of the nextdoor (and now famous) Graveyard Vineyard. Originally destined to be a cemetery for the Parish of Pokolbin, it was never used as such and instead planted with Shiraz & Cabernet Sauvignon. The Graveyard Vineyard Shiraz is Brokenwood’s flagship wine, which is still sourced exclusively from that one vineyard. 
 
In the same year, Brokenwood sourced fruit from outside the Hunter Valley for the first time - Cabernet Sauvignon from Coonawarra - which was blended with Hunter fruit to make a premium red, creating the style that has been synonymous with Brokenwood for the last 20 years. In 1982, the company extended its range to include white wines, notably the jewel of the Hunter Valley, Semillon. Brokenwood was then capable of producing high quality white wine, which, since 1983, has been a significant part of its total production. Brokenwood’s single vineyard philosophy has grown to capture the essence of its premium sites throughout Australia.
Consistently listed as a 5-star winery, Brokenwood is home to the aforementioned Graveyard Vineyard Shiraz, the highly-acclaimed ILR Reserve Semillon, and the popular Cricket Pitch Range.
 
An almost-perfect combination of soils, aspect, vine clones and vine age on the Indigo property makes for a stunning Chardonnay with minimum winemaking input, allowing the Beechworth region and and Indigo terroir to express themselves fully. A very cold and wet winter of 2015 meant a late budburst, but set the vines up for a great spring. A warm summer did mean irrigation was necessary and picking was very condensed. The last grapes off were nearly a month ahead of previous years, but this worked out favourably as there was a heat wave in early March. Overall, 2016 was a quite excellent vintage.
 
Whole bunch pressing, wild ferment in new French oak have come together in spectacular fashion. The wine was fermented in 30% new French oak. with the 70% balance being older oak, from a variety of cooperages.
 
At Indigo, careful winemaking and being very hands-off has resulted in a perfect green tinted yellow colour. Whole bunch pressed and a wild ferment has meant excellent complexity on nose and palate. Nutty elements with distinctive Beechworth ‘oat meal’ Chardonnay lift. A vintage with low ‘struck match’ but long grapefruit flavours and tropical acidity. Perfect Chardonnay which is drinking well now but will improve with further bottle age.
 
** This wine is now available for purchase once more. Stocks are arriving in early January and are effectively unlimited. Please order as you will and we will supply in mid-January **
£35.00

Cape Mentelle Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (1x 75cl)

Awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their December 2017 edition review of Margaret River (Australia) (see blue link below).

Cape Mentelle Sem/SB 2016 - Dec 2017 Decanter review

Cape Mentelle takes a minimal approach towards this classic Margaret River blend. The aim is to preserve as much fruit intensity and regional character as possible, whilst providing a full flavoured distinctive white wine. The style accentuates the fresh fruit characters of both varieties with the added complexity and palate weight offered by a small portion of barrel fermentation.

The fruit comes from the perfectly suited cooler southern half of the Margaret River region, from their three vineyards of the Wallcliffe-Trinders, Crossroads and Chapman Brook. The typical soils of these vineyards are geologically ancient, free draining, sandy loams with a high percentage of lateritic gravel. The vines are vertically trained, spur or cane pruned and canopy manipulations are frequent to allow good air flow and dappled sunlight on the fruit.

When harvesting sauvignon blanc and semillon the emphasis is placed on capturing vibrant fresh flavours with clean acidity. Fruit is harvested at night to take advantage of the cooler temperatures. Extended fermentation takes place at very low temperature in stainless steel tanks with about 8% of the blend fermented in new oak barriques. The 2016 blend was assembled after four months on lees; the team decided to preserve the exceptional vinosity and perfect texture by bottling the wine unfined in July 2016.

The nose on this wine has varietal sauvignon notes revolving around cassis buds, juniper berries and cracked black pepper. It then opens to complex fruit ranging from zesty white grapefruit to hints of lychees, lifted by ethereal floral notes of jasmine and passion fruit flower. The palate is juicy clean, slightly saline, on notes of passionfruit and citrus. The fresh pithy acidity and mineral character, reminiscent of fine absinthe, fresh ginger and gentian bitters give the wine a lot of vinosity and personality, well balanced by the honey notes and creamy texture of the semillon and showing exceptional length.

This wine goes well with crab cakes, fresh oysters au naturel and warm bruschetta with fresh buffalo mozzarella amongst many other dishes. Because of the wine's strong personality, it will allow a bold marriage with cheeses, especially well-aged, slightly crystallized ones such as a mature Parmigiano-Reggiano.

£16.55

Cullen `Mangan Vineyard` Margaret River Semillon 2014 (1x 75cl)

Awarded 94 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their November 2017 edition review of Australia's "Other" Whites (see blue links below).

Cullen Mangan Semillon 2015 - November 2017 Decanter review

Cullen Wines is a certified biodynamic, carbon neutral and naturally powered estate, with their philosophy summed up in three simple words; ‘Quality, Integrity and Sustainability’. It is one of the oldest and most awarded family wineries in Wilyabrup, in Western Australia’s famous Margaret River region. First established in 1971 by Dr Kevin and Diana Cullen and now run by their daughter Vanya, the winery has built an outstanding reputation for fine certified biodynamic wines that receive critical national and international acclaim. All wines produced are sourced from grapes grown on the Cullen and adjoining Mangan Estates. Both are certified biodynamic, to allow the soil to be nurtured and the wines to reflect their sense of place.

Although the weather in 2014 leading up to and during the vintage was warm, the fruit produced by all varieties was exceptional. There was no rain in January, February and not even until the end of harvest in March. The resulting low yields, balanced pH and great acid levels translated into wines of great flavour and style.

Harvest in 2014 delivered Semillon fruit of outstanding quality. The grapes at the Mangan vineyard were hand picked and sorted before being pressed and naturally fermented with no acid additions and limited fining.

This wine has ripe tropical and citrus notes which are prominent on the nose. The palate shows attractive florality, white peach, citrus and pineapple nuances with an underlying minerality.

£19.35

Cullen `Mangan` Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2015 (1x 75cl)

Awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their December 2017 edition review of Margaret River (Australia) (see blue link below).

Cullen Cullen S-SB 2015 - December 2017 Decanter review

Cullen Wines is a certified biodynamic, carbon neutral and naturally powered estate, with their philosophy summed up in three simple words; ‘Quality, Integrity and Sustainability’. It is one of the oldest and most awarded family wineries in Wilyabrup, in Western Australia’s famous Margaret River region. First established in 1971 by Dr Kevin and Diana Cullen and now run by their daughter Vanya, the winery has built an outstanding reputation for fine certified biodynamic wines that receive critical national and international acclaim. All wines produced are sourced from grapes grown on the Cullen and adjoining Mangan Estates. Both are certified biodynamic, to allow the soil to be nurtured and the wines to reflect their sense of place.

The Mangan vineyard is dry farmed and maintained using a biodynamic approach to viticulture. Soils are old, granite and gravely sandy loam, overlaying lateric subsoils. The vineyard is located adjacent to the Cullen vineyard in Wilyabrup. The vines are cane and spur pruned.

The 2016 harvest left many wine growers happy.  The resulting wines have a wonderful aromatic quality and elegance, particularly the Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc.

All grapes were dry farmed, hand-harvested and sorted before crushing. The Semillon was fermented entirely in stainless steel tanks to preserve freshness and 9% of the blend was aged in one year old oak barrels for four months.

The wine has complex aromas of tropical fruit, freshly cut grass and lemon citrus. The palate has a lovely creamy texture and displays intense notes of limes, lemon and peaches. These pure fruits are sustained on a long crisp finish.

£19.55

Dalrymple Cave Block Chardonnay 2015 (1x 75cl)

Awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their December 2017 edition review of cool-climate Australian Chardonnay (Victoria and Tasmania) (see blue link below).

Dalrymple Cave Block Chardonnay 2015 - December 2017 Decanter review

Free draining soils and steep slopes results in this Chardonnay vineyard producing low yields of intensely concentrated fruit. A cool to mild spring and early summer, with above average rainfall, gave average yields which were well matched for ripening with a healthy canopy. A mild to warm air system settled over Tasmania just prior to harvest in March and for 3 weeks they experienced only blue skies and mild temperatures, perfect for finishing off the final stages of ripening while also maintaining fine acid that had developed through the cooler months.

The fruit was meticulously picked by hand, before whole bunch pressing to a mix of new and older French oak barriques. Winemaking included a parcel of wild fermentation, light lees contact and partial malolactic fermentation.

Delicate aromas of lemon curd and preserved citrus are immediately apparent with hints of roasted cashews and ground ryegrass seed adding some softer depth and complexity. A fine acid palate, that is the hallmark of the Cave Block, provides drive through the palate with mealy texture providing depth and balance to vibrant citrus fruit characters. The finish is clean and long with lingering notes of nectarine skins and roasted kernels.

** Delivery is more likely to be a fortnight on this item. **

£27.00

Dandelion Wonderland Of The Eden Valley Riesling 2015 (1x 75cl)

High in natural acidity and bone dry, this wine is fresh and bright with intense smells of lime skin, citrus blossom, green apple, ripe guava and cinnamon spice. On the palate, there is crisp lime sorbet, stone fruit including apricot and classic mandarin, developing into rich lemon meringue. Wonderful racy minerality.

£21.80

Darenberg The Hermit Crab Viognier Marsanne 2016 (1x75cl)

The nose of this wine displays an enticing mix of white stonefruits and sweet pineapple with an underlying hint of ginger. The palate is luscious and flavoursome, again nectarine and peach are prominent, with a twist of candied citrus rind. These sweet flavours evolve through the palate into more savoury flavours reminiscent of raw almonds and spice. A generous, textural wine with a surprising finesse on the finish.

£11.35

Darenberg The Money Spider Roussane 2016 (1x 75cl)

The nose exhibits a whole array of characters from stone fruits and tropical notes through to nuttiness and an ever so delicate hint of Indian spice. The palate is robust! A luscious mix of pulpy fruit, green mango and papaya. These full flavours gently give way to honey blossom nuances and savoury pistachio notes which linger to a very long finish, adding refinement to the palate.

£12.31

Darenberg The Olive Grove Chardonnay 2015 (1x75cl)

Family owned d’Arenberg is located in the breathtaking McLaren Vale in South Australia, and produces an enviable range of wines. From humble beginnings, these wines quickly gained cult status amongst imbibers and judges alike – it’s a deft combination of winemaking tradition and vinous innovation. A tall order for some, but one that d’Arenberg takes in their stride as they continue to push the boundaries and get under the skin of each individual vineyard in order to get the best from the vines. This is backed up by an engaging consumer-friendly approach to the ‘deadly serious fun’ of wine.

Since European settlement in the 1840's, olive trees have thrived in McLaren Vale. They are alongside roads, in gardens and occasionally, in the middle of our Chardonnay vineyards blocking our harvester!

Small batches of grapes are gently crushed, chilled, and then basket pressed. To add complexity and mouthfeel, the wine is fermented and matured in a mixture of French and American oak for seven months.

This is a chardonnay that sits comfortably between the fat, buttery, hot chardonnays of yesteryear and the more austere, tight styles that have evolved in more recent times. This can be attributed to the fact that part of the fruit is sourced from McLaren Vale, lending sunshine, stone fruit and lusciousness to the glass, and part from the Adelaide Hills, which adds savouriness, citrus and elegance. Oak treatment is fastidious, predominantly older French, to add some spicy, brioche like notes without too much interference with the fruit. Importantly though this ageing in barrel on lees adds another dimension of texture to the wine resulting in a rich creamy mid palate. Acidity kicks in at just the right time, tightening the wine up and ensuring we are left with a lingering citrusy and slightly saline fruit character.

 

£11.35

Darenberg The Stump Jump Chardonnay 2016 (1 x 75cl)

Family owned d’Arenberg is located in the breathtaking McLaren Vale in South Australia, and produces an enviable range of wines. From humble beginnings, these wines quickly gained cult status amongst imbibers and judges alike – it’s a deft combination of winemaking tradition and vinous innovation. A tall order for some, but one that d’Arenberg takes in their stride as they continue to push the boundaries and get under the skin of each individual vineyard in order to get the best from the vines. This is backed up by an engaging consumer-friendly approach to the ‘deadly serious fun’ of wine.

It is rumoured that the inventor of the Stump Jump plough, which enabled a ploughshare to jump over tree roots, had poor eyesight and required regular tests to ensure he could still operate machinery. The design of this label is inspired by an optometrist's eyechart and serves as a makeshift sobriety test. If you can hold the bottle at arm's length and still read the front label, you can enjoy another glass!

The grapes used in this wine underwent gentle crushing, temperature controlled fermentation and basket pressing prior to bottling.

This is a fruit driven yet refreshing Chardonnay. Loads of stonefruit, pear drop, florals and tropical notes. The palate is sleak and long but with enough generosity to round out any harsh edges. A touch of spice and woodiness is added from the subtle use of old French oak, no chariness or sweet coconut character mind you. Clean and fresh and immensely slurpable.

£9.30

Dawson James Chardonnay 2011 (1x 75cl)

The 2015 vintage was awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their December 2017 edition review of cool-climate Australian Chardonnay (Victoria and Tasmania) (see blue link below).

Dawson James Chardonnay 2016 - December 2017 Decanter review

However, the more recent Dawson James vintages - alas, including the 2015 - are not UK-available (there is no UK importer) and only the 2011 is to be found this side of the "other Perth". 

Dawson James is the project of Peter Dawson and Tim James, who met in 1976 when they were both working at Hardy & Sons, and where they continued to work alongside each other for 20 years. They have since moved on to different projects, including Willunga 100 in McLaren Vale for Tim, but have collaborated again to produce the Dawson James wines in Tasmania. Their shared passion for Australian art, farming, camping and gastronomy, as well as their dedication to fine Australian wine, have combined in this exciting project, and the wines are the proof of their winemaking wisdom and enthusiasm. The wines come from the Meadow Bank Vineyard, which is located around 60km north-west of Hobart, an area characterised by rugged topography and the fast flowing, pristine waters of the Derwent river.

The Meadowbank vineyard is located in the Derwent Valley in southern Tasmania, and was planted in 1989. The site is 70 metres above the river level and the north-easterly aspect gives it optimal sunlight exposure for grape ripening. The soil is a combination of brown sandy loams over structured clays and sandstone rock. It has a devigorating nature, helping the balanced growth and structure of the vines. Vines are trellised to single cordon and managed to one bunch per shoot, and yields are kept at less than six tonnes per hectare.

Grapes were hand-picked and whole-bunch pressed. Free run juice was transferred to oak sourced from Burgundian cooperages. Primary fermentation in oak was followed by partial malolactic fermentation. The wine remained in oak for nine months, when a selection of barrels was made for the final blend.

The Dawson James Chardonnay 2011 is pale yellow with green hues. Bright lemon and grapefruit with flinty notes on the nose, tightly woven citrus and minerally characters on the palate. The acidity is soft and zesty, and the length is long and moreish.

 

£36.00

Fowles Wine Are You Game? Chardonnay 2015 (1x 75cl)

Awarded 89 points and Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their December 2017 edition review of cool-climate Australian Chardonnay (Victoria and Tasmania).

The Fowles Wine vineyards and winery are located in the dramatic granite landscape of Strathbogie Ranges region of Victoria, Australia. Fowles Wine crafts some of Australia’s finest cool climate wines, winning many of Australia’s most prestigious wine medals and trophies. The Fowles Wine team is energetic and enterprising, continuing to break new ground by proudly taking the Strathbogie Ranges ‘message in a bottle’ to the world with some of Australia’s most exciting wines.

Home to Fowles Wine vineyards and winery, the Strathbogie Ranges is characterised by massive granite boulders – the very boulders that have given rise, over millions of years, to the sandy loam soils in which our vines grow. This is a harsh Australian landscape with soil that is nutrient poor and retains very little water – difficult for farmers to grow livestock, but a wonderful landscape for grape growers seeking to grow fruit with great intensity. Couple these attributes with the cool climate, gentle aspect and glorious summer sunshine and the Strathbogie Ranges is an ideal region for growing grapes and making wine.

2015 was one of ten warmest years on record in Victoria and rainfall was very low. This combination of conditions produced a year of moderate yields and early ripening. The fruit for this wine comes from our family vineyard, Upton Run, high in the Strathbogie Ranges. The grapes were harvested during the cool of night in February 2015 to ensure fruit temperature was low to preserve primary fruit flavours. They picked chardonnay at a number of ripeness levels to achieve balance of flavour, alcohol, and acidity.

This wine was fermented between 13-16˚C. The majority of this wine was fermented in stainless steel tanks to preserve primary fruit flavours, with the remaining wine being barrel fermented to impart layers and texture. We chose to use a variety of yeasts to ferment this wine as they all impart different characteristics and help build complexity. This wine was fermented and matured (for four months) in new and old French oak with lees stirring. Lees stirring is a process where the lees (residual yeast particles) rest in barrel with the wine which promotes an appealing creamy aroma and flavour. We also added a dash of Vermentino (8%) to the Chardonnay to add a cheeky aroma and flavour twist.

This Chardonnay is a bright straw in colour. Aromas of nectarine, white peach, tropical fruits and pear jump from the glass. The palate is full bodied and full of tropical fruit with great texture and a delightful creaminess as a result of four months on yeast lees.

£11.80
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