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Syrah/Shiraz

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Martin Meinert, The Graduate Syrah 2017 (1x75cl)

** IMMEDIATE STOCK SOLD, MORE AROUND 18th OCTOBER! **

Awarded a Gold medal and 95 points at the 2020 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details and review).

For other 2020 DWWA winners, click here.

Meinert Wines produces a small and personalised range of wines in limited quantities from both the hillside Devon Crest vineyard outside Stellenbosch as well as a number of vineyard sites across the Cape Winelands. One such wine is the Meinert Sauvignon Blanc sourced from the cool climate region of Elgin, an area also renowned for apples and pears. Each wine is created with much thought and care to ensure uniqueness and individual character.

Meinert's Family Collection wines are unique bottlings from small lots made for family, friends and loyal customers, and one such wine is The Graduate Syrah. While traversing the Cape’s many vineyards in order to find ‘that’ unique vineyard, they by chance, stumbled across gnarled Syrah vines basking in the sea breezes of Hermanus. In true fashion, these grapes are always the last to ripen and when allowed to take their own course, yield an interesting and unique wine. This wine bears testament to not only the graduation of the vines from soil to glass, but also its custodian, Brendan Butler, a Cape Wine Master.

Meinert are not allowed to mention this on the wine’s back label as the SA Wine & Spirit Board prohibits pretension of single vineyard status unless so certified. However, the grapes are sourced from a single Syrah block in the Upper Hemel-en-Aarde overlooking the coast and are farmed with much love and a surgical-precision attention to detail yielding truly remarkable fruit.

The Syrah grapes are always the last come into the cellar, and after careful hand harvesting, the fruit is transported by means of refrigerated truck to the Meinert cellar in Devon Valley. A portion of the fruit is whole-bunch fermented where whole bunches are placed into stainless steel red wine fermenters and covered with de-stemmed and partially-crushed berries. The balance is fermented traditionally following careful destemming and berry sorting. Fermentation took eight days to complete where after the wine was left on its skins for a further 5 days. The individual components are matured for 12 months prior to bottling in a combination of seasoned barrels and Flexcube tanks. Only 3,000 bottles were made.

100% Syrah.

With the grapes hanging on the vine late into the harvest season, the tannins are always supple and silky and supported by an elegant fruit profile of blueberry, blackberry, plums and true Syrah pepper tones. A minimalist approach to vinification ensures the ultimate expression of terroir that pairs superbly with venison carpaccio and hearty beef steaks. This wine is ever charming in its youth but will develop further with careful cellaring for the next 8 – 12 years.

ABV = 13.0%.

£18.25

Berton Reserve Barossa Shiraz 2017 (1x75cl)

The 2015 vintage was awarded 95 points and a Platinum Best In Show at the Decanter World Wine Awards (www.decanter.com(see blue link below).

Berton Reserve Shiraz 2015 - August 2017 Decanter review

Established by Bob and Cherie Berton in May 1996, Berton Vineyard's estate covers 30 hectares of land located on gently rolling hills at 450 metres above sea level, in a subregion of Eden Valley in South Australia. The superb Reserve Shiraz and Reserve Chardonnay wines are still sourced from this plot. In 2007, Bob purchased the Yenda winery in the heart of the Riverina. This state-of- the-art facility has the capacity to process 20,000 tonnes and enables Berton Vineyard to produce value for money wines which sit alongside their premium single vineyard offerings.

The grapes come from the Barossa Valley, in South Australia. Situated at a latitude of 34° South, the region is made up of rolling hills and valley floors. The growing season often sees hot, warm weather with temperatures of 35°C, which can result in vine stress, helping to concentrate the flavours in the berries. The wide diurnal temperature differences help to retain balancing acidity. Some of the grapes come from Berton's original vineyard in the Eden Valley, where the climate is cooler. The vine age is varied, but all vines have been spur pruned and are generally trained on a single wire cordon trellising system. The vines are planted at approximately 1.8 metres apart with 3.6 metres between the rows, to allow machinery access. The soil styles in the vineyards are varied, ranging from clay, to limestone and sandy soils, with each terroir adding its own characteristic to the final wine.

In 2017, the vineyard saw a wet winter followed by mild summer conditions, which provided the vines with good access to water and a long ripening period. This combination resulted in a great season. Cool nights allowed excellent flavour development in the grapes resulting in wines with concentrated flavours and balancing acidity. Harvesting took place during the last few days of April and first week of May.

The wine was fermented in stainless steel tanks with regular skin submersion in order to extract the required colour and flavour from the grapes. After fermentation, the wine was pressed off into stainless steel tanks where it completed malolactic fermentation in the late autumn. The wine was then racked off into both French and American oak barrels resulting in a rich, spicy complex Shiraz.

Shiraz 100%.

The Reserve Shiraz is deepest dark red with a very youthful and vibrant garnet hue. The aromas are powerful and complex with a wealth of fruit ranging from ripe black cherries and blackberries with hints of eucalypt and spice. The rich and full palate displays soft flavours of plum skin, mulberry and hints of vanilla and blackberry, These abundant flavours are underpinned by fine vanilla from the oak and defined by exciting spicy tannins.

ABV = 14.5%.

£14.25

Berton Winemakers Reserve (The Black) Shiraz 2018 (1x75cl)

Established by Bob and Cherie Berton in May 1996, Berton Vineyard is one of Hallgarten's most important partners. The estate covers 30 hectares of land located on gently rolling hills at 450 metres above sea level, in a subregion of Eden Valley in South Australia. The superb Reserve Shiraz and Reserve Chardonnay wines are still sourced from this plot. In 2007, Bob purchased the Yenda winery in the heart of the Riverina. This state-of- the-art facility has the capacity to process 20,000 tonnes and enables Berton Vineyard to produce value for money wines which sit alongside their premium single vineyard offerings.

2017 in Padthaway saw a wet and slightly warmer winter, which resulted in later bud burst than usual. The ripening period was slow and gradual with perfect weather conditions to allow flavours and colour to develop to full maturity.

Predominantly sourced from the vineyards in Padthaway, South Australia, where the soils are sandy loam over clay, formed on old lagoon sediments. These sandy soils lead to poor nutrient and water retention which helps to concentrate the flavours in the fruit. The vines are grown on single wire trellises, ensuring an open canopy. Drip irrigation is used in the vineyards to manage the water supply and reduce evaporation, as water is applied directly above the roots.

The parcels of fruit were fermented in stainless steel vertical fermenters for four to six days at temperatures maintained between 26 to 30°C. Wine was then bag pressed at 1° Baumé and left to ferment until dry. It was then racked onto French oak for malolactic fermentation. The wine was clarified via centrifuge into stainless steel storage. Once all parcels were completed, the final cuvée wascarefully blended and prepared for bottling.

Grape Shiraz 92%, Cabernet Sauvignon 5% and Durif 3%.

The Winemakers Reserve Black Shiraz is an extreme example of this Australian Shiraz with deep colour and aromas of blackberry and plum over toasty coffee and spicy oak. The palate is full flavoured and intense with rich plum, blueberry and mocha notes. The tannins are ripe and dense imparting great structure and length to the palate.

ABV = 14.5%.

£10.20

Caballo Loco Grand Cru Limari 2015 (1x75cl)

Awarded a high 17 points (of 20) on Jancis Robinson's Purple Pages (www.JancisRobinson.comreviewer Alistair Cooper MW - in Feb 2020 (see blue link below).

Caballo Loco Grand Cru Limari 2015 - jancisrobinson.com May 2020 review

Awarded 86 points and Recommended status by Decanter in their October 2020 panel tasting of South American Syrah (see blue link below).

Caballo Loco Grand Cru Limari 2015 - October 2020 Decanter review

The Caballo Loco Grands Crus were created by Valdivieso to show the different wines that are fundamental components of the icon Caballo Loco wine. For this reason, specific wines from specific valleys wine were born, where each strain/blend reflects the maximum expression of that valley.

One can arguably see these wines as understudies for the "true" Caballo Loco, but they are more than that, being quite superb - and full-throttle - wines in their own right, made with all the care, attention and know-how of the NV/"solera" version.

This Grand Cru Apalta represents all the fruit power and smoothness of the Limari Valley, showcasing the excellent Syrah (100% here) of this region.

For full details, see the blue link below for the excellent fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers themselves.

Caballo Loco Grand Cru Limari 2015 - fiche technique

A big, full-bodied wine with delicious aromas and flavours of ripe red cherries, coffee and dark chocolate. It has a luxurious texture and a lingering finish.

ABV = 15.0%.

£24.15

Darenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz 2016 (1x75cl)

Awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter in their November 2019 edition expert tasting (by Matthew Jukes) of Australian Premium Shiraz (see blue link below).

d'Arenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz 2016 - November 2019 Decanter review 

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.

Dead Arm is a vine disease caused by the fungus Eutypa Lata that randomly affects vineyards all over the world. Often affected vines are severely pruned or replanted. One half, or an 'arm' of the vine slowly becomes reduced to dead wood. That side may be lifeless and brittle, but the grapes on the other side, while low yielding, display amazing intensity.

d'Arenberg's own tasting notes for this wine are excellent, so please click the blue link below to see all this wine's details.

d'Arenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz 2016 - fiche technique

100% Shiraz.

This iconic wine always displays the power and intensity of McLaren Vale Shiraz, yet has an elegance and refinement that few other wines from the region possess. It’s vibrant and lifted on the nose with bustling red fruits and savoury spice. The palate is long, linear and pure with tightly wound tannin and mouth-watering acidity. Beneath the layers of blueberry, pomegranate and satsuma plum is an intriguing core of earth and crushed rocks. If stored correctly, this wine should age for 15+ years.

ABV = 15.0%.

£33.85

Domaine Cazes, Cotes du Roussillon Rouge John Wine 2018 (1x75cl)

Domaine Cazes is situated in Rivesaltes in the Roussillon. With 220 hectares of vines planted, Domaine Cazes is the largest certified organic and biodynamic estate in France. It was founded in 1895 by Michel Cazes and the wines are made by the fourth generation of winemakers, headed up by Emmanuel Cazes. The family makes a range of interesting dry wines alongside the regional specialities, Vin Doux Naturels. They took the decision to move to organic and biodynamic viticulture in 1997. Based on their view that the natural environment needs natural preparation, they plough the soils and use only natural ingredients as treatments, arranging their work according to the lunar calendar.

Maison Cazes is set in the sunniest French region. Since the family started farming biodynamically, they have found that the vineyards are healthier and the vines are stronger, with longer roots. Vines grow on clay and limestone soils, covered by galets roulés (the famous 'pudding stones' also found in Châteauneuf-du-Pape). The low-yielding vines are about 30 years old, and produce 30 hectolitres per hectare.

This wine is from a terroir of clay-limestone with some schistose materials as well as siliceous pebble. Soil perfectly suited for the production of high quality wines.

A minimalist work in term of winemaking. The maceration is gently managed around 25°C, with 1 or 2 pump-overs per day. After 10 days the tank is emptied, and presses are kept separate to avoid any bacterial contamination. The wine is stored in a full tank for malolactic fermentation.

50% Syrah, 40% Grenache, 10% Mourvèdre.

ABV = 13.5%.

£14.65

Errazuriz Aconcagua Costa Syrah 2017 (1x75cl)

** THIS WINE IS HELD IN NO OR LOW STOCK (SEE AMOUNT HELD BELOW) BUT MORE IS QUICKLY BROUGHT IN TO ORDER. ORDERS PLACED BY 9am EACH MONDAY WILL BE WITH US FOR DESPATCH ON THE THURSDAY. **

Awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their October 2020 panel tasting of South American Syrah (see blue link below).

Errazuriz Aconcagua Costa Syrah 2017 - October 2020 Decanter review

The Errazuriz Estate was founded in 1870 when Don Maximiano Errazuriz planted his first vineyards at Panquehue in the Aconcagua Valley - 100 km north of the Chilean capital. Recognising that this valley, with its cool, rainy winters, hot, dry summers and moist Pacific Ocean breezes, was ideal for growing grapes, Don Maximiano sent for the finest clones from France and with tenacity and perseverance transformed this barren land into a world class vineyard.

Today, the tradition of quality lives on with Don Maximiano's descendant, Eduardo Chadwick. Eduardo is the fifth generation of his family to be involved in the wine business. Eduardo has overseen the modernisation of the winemaking technology at this historic Estate whilst maintaining a distinct identity for its wines. Dedicated to producing estate grown wines of superior quality, Errazuriz has built a reputation as the 'Premier Family Wine Estate of Chile'.

Errazuriz's philosophy is best expressed by Don Maximiano who said, "from the best land, the best wine." Vina Errazuriz believe in the concept of terroir and strive to produce the finest wines by controlling every stage of the winemaking process, from grape growing in the Aconcagua and Casablanca valleys, to winemaking with the most natural techniques. An emphasis is placed on the delicate handling of the wines, with the aim of producing wines with elegance and complexity.

The Errazuriz Winery was established in 1870 when the founder Don Maximiano Errazuriz first brought vines to the area. The beautiful original 1870 building still stands with the spectacular underground cellars still being used. Two brand new winery buildings were completed in 2010; one for Max Reserva wines and one for thef lagship wines. The Don Maximiano Icon Winery is an architecturally stunning masterpiece with oak fermenters and environmentally friendly ground-source heating/cooling. Sitting alongside the original 1870 building, these new developments show the importance of respecting our heritage whilst having a clear vision for the future. Both were showcased by Jancis Robinson and Hugh Johnson in the 7th Edition of The World Atlas of Wine as benchmark examples of a state-of-the-art modern winery. In October 2017, Errazuriz became Chile’s first recipient of the Robert Parker Wine Advocate Extraordinary Winery Award for Best Chilean Winery 2017.

The grapes for the Aconcagua Costa Syrah are sourced from the Aconcagua Costa vineyard, located 12 kilometers from the Pacific Ocean. Planted by Viña Errázuriz in 2005 and 2009, the soil is composed by a thin layer of loamy texture and placed on a base of clay and metamorphic rock (slate/schist), providing the mineral notes present in the wines that are grown in these vineyards.

After a winter of historical records in terms of temperatures and rainfall, temperate and dry conditions followed during the months of August and September. As spring and summer unfolded, we experienced dry conditions, as well as constantly warm temperatures, especially during November and January, which created ideal circumstances for optimal flowering, fruit set and veraison, in addition to a harvest in excellent sanitary conditions. March brought relief to the usually warm summer temperatures, allowing the grapes to continue a gentle ripeness process, preserving their acidity and freshness.

Grapes were hand-picked between March 11th and March 28th, and carefully transported to the winery in small boxes of 15 kilos approximately, to avoid damaging the grapes. Once there, they were carefully inspected, crushed and deposited in stainless steel tanks, where they went under alcoholic fermentation with native yeasts. The total maceration time (in contact with the skins) was between 8 to 20 days; 10% whole clusters. During 14 months, 10% of the wine was aged in new French oak barrels, while 75% was aged in French oak barrels of second and third use. The remaning 15% was aged in foudres.

See also the blue link below for the excellent fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers themselves.

Errazuriz Aconcagua Costa Syrah 2017 - fiche technique

100% Syrah. 

The 2017 vintage of Aconcagua Costa Syrah displays a bright, intense, deep ruby red color with violet hues. The nose reveals pink pepper, blueberries, fresh raspberries, with hints of dill and incense, while the palate has soft hints of incense and a spicy profile, framed by notes of fresh black fruit. A wine with soft and elegant tannins, whose entrance stands out with a refreshing acidity, showing nerve and juiciness. A linear and deep wine with very fine grained tannins.

ABV = 13.5%. 

£15.60

Errazuriz Max Reserva Syrah (Shiraz) 2016 (1x75cl)

** THIS WINE IS HELD IN NO OR LOW STOCK (SEE AMOUNT HELD BELOW) BUT MORE IS QUICKLY BROUGHT IN TO ORDER. ORDERS PLACED BY 9am EACH MONDAY WILL BE WITH US FOR DESPATCH ON THE THURSDAY. **

Awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their October 2020 panel tasting of South American Syrah (see blue link below).

Errazuriz Max Reserva Syrah 2016 - October 2020 Decanter review

The Errazuriz Estate was founded in 1870 when Don Maximiano Errazuriz planted his first vineyards at Panquehue in the Aconcagua Valley - 100 km north of the Chilean capital. Recognising that this valley, with its cool, rainy winters, hot, dry summers and moist Pacific Ocean breezes, was ideal for growing grapes, Don Maximiano sent for the finest clones from France and with tenacity and perseverance transformed this barren land into a world class vineyard.

Today, the tradition of quality lives on with Don Maximiano's descendant, Eduardo Chadwick. Eduardo is the fifth generation of his family to be involved in the wine business. Eduardo has overseen the modernisation of the winemaking technology at this historic Estate whilst maintaining a distinct identity for its wines. Dedicated to producing estate grown wines of superior quality, Errazuriz has built a reputation as the 'Premier Family Wine Estate of Chile'.

Errazuriz's philosophy is best expressed by Don Maximiano who said, "from the best land, the best wine." Vina Errazuriz believe in the concept of terroir and strive to produce the finest wines by controlling every stage of the winemaking process, from grape growing in the Aconcagua and Casablanca valleys, to winemaking with the most natural techniques. An emphasis is placed on the delicate handling of the wines, with the aim of producing wines with elegance and complexity.

The Errazuriz Winery was established in 1870 when the founder Don Maximiano Errazuriz first brought vines to the area. The beautiful original 1870 building still stands with the spectacular underground cellars still being used. Two brand new winery buildings were completed in 2010; one for Max Reserva wines and one for thef lagship wines. The Don Maximiano Icon Winery is an architecturally stunning masterpiece with oak fermenters and environmentally friendly ground-source heating/cooling. Sitting alongside the original 1870 building, these new developments show the importance of respecting our heritage whilst having a clear vision for the future. Both were showcased by Jancis Robinson and Hugh Johnson in the 7th Edition of The World Atlas of Wine as benchmark examples of a state-of-the-art modern winery. In October 2017, Errazuriz became Chile’s first recipient of the Robert Parker Wine Advocate Extraordinary Winery Award for Best Chilean Winery 2017.

The grapes for Max Shiraz primarily come from Max vineyards in the Aconcagua Valley. Located in the interior of the valley, the vineyard soils have a predominantly silty texture and are of colluvial origin. The special conditions of nutrition and drainage of the diverse soils help control plant vigor, producing balanced fruit loads with small bunches and berries.

The challenging vintage of 2016 performed different scenarios through the season, with a cool spring and a warmer than average summer. A rainy and cool October was followed by pleasant spring days in November, promoting a healthy flowering and fruit set. At the beginning of the summer temperatures gradually increased, reaching during January temperatures higher than the historical averages. February was warm, with oncoming sunny weather interspersed with cool morning fog, prevailing through to the end of the growing season. All of this conditions delivered wines of outstanding vivacity and character.

The grapes were handpicked early in the morning and inspectedon a double selection table, crushed, and desposited into stainless steel tanks for fermentation. Maceration period ranged from 12 to 25 days. The wine was aged for 12 months in French oak barrels, 25% of which were new.

See also the blue link below for the excellent fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers themselves.

Errazuriz Max Reserva Syrah 2016 - fiche technique

100% Syrah. 

Beautiful and bright ruby red with violet highlights. The wine shows aromas of red fruits such as raspberries, cherries accompanied by notes that remind of blueberry tart, along with a hint of tobacco and black pepper. In the palate it feels fresh and juicy, with a medium to long persistence, fine tannins and a pleasant sensation that surrounds the palate.

ABV = 13.5%. 

£12.35

Finca Las Glicinas, Terciopelo Syrah 2018 (1x75cl)

** ARRIVAL & AVAILABILITY **

 

The Terciopelo is not yet here given its release from the cellars in Argentina only very recently.

 

21 Sep - It has just passed through the Panama Canal. It will be here in mid-October (in good amount). With these "deep water imports", there is always the possibility of a hold-up on the high seas (storms, canal waits, not pirates) and customs delays when it arrives into the UK. If we've already taken customer money, such delays (after a long wait already) rankle a bit. We can't change the origin, routing, or timing uncertainty of the Terciopelo ... but we can decline taking any funds until it's cleared customs. And we do want to put it on offer now: customers will be curious and invariably want to secure it when they read of it. 

 

To this end, we are deploying our usual waiting list approach. That is, send us an email to/at communications@exelwines.co.uk, telling us how much you require. We will duly reserve some for you when it arrives. A few days before it does, we'll be in touch, asking you to go on-line and buy it and we can then arrange delivery.

 

IMPORTANT:

 

- If seeking to buy other wines from us, do please keep the Terciopelo apart from them in ordering. That is:

 

- Please buy those other items online as one action. Send us an email re the Terciopelo as another.

 

- Please don't email your overall order: since online sales are immediate and emails over a weekend are not, there is a good chance low-stock items will have been depleted by the time the email can be acted upon

 

- If you want to make other ordered wines wait for the Terciopelo's arrival for carriage reasons, we can hold them for you (although it is not preferred).

 

- However, please note that a late arrival of the Terciopelo does not see the other wines sent to you separately to offset the delay. At the prices we offer, we can't do this any other way. A 'delayed free postage' option would means we'd have to charge ~£2/btl more for the wine!

 

Awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter in their October 2020 panel tasting of South American Syrah (see blue link below).

 

Finca Las Glicinas, Terciopelo Syrah 2018 - October 2020 Decanter review

  

See also our video tasting of this wine and our other Outstanding from this review.

 

Finca Las Glicinas (FLG) is a family business dedicated to growing quality grapes to produce premium wines, and to producing wines with selected vines from our own terroir. Our vineyards are located in Alto Valle de Uco, more specifically in the region of Paraje Altamira, La Consulta, in the Department of San Carlos, in the Province of Mendoza. Their signature wines include Malbec, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay and some complex blends which have a distinct identity, typical of the estates of Paraje Altamira.

The family adventure of Finca Las Glicinas began in 2003 when, fascinated by the beauty of the landscape, they decided to acquire a Malbec vineyard, which had been planted in the year 1999 in the heart of Paraje Altamira. They were inspired and guided by an old family winemaking tradition, which started many generations ago in the Piemonte region of Italy.

The premium Terciopelo line of FLG's red wines are principally characterized by their complexity. With these wines, the scrupulous selection from the vines in the vineyard is followed by the meticulous processing of the wines at the winery. These are mineral wines. Their fruity and floral notes, harmoniously combined with the wood/oak in which they are aged, gives them a classical elegance. An enforced bottle storage before release adds to that quality. Currently available in the Terciopelo line are this Syrah plus a Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and a delicious and complex red blend.

For this wine, the Terciopelo Syrah 2018, see the blue link below for the excellent fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers themselves.

Finca Las Glicinas, Terciopelo Syrah 2018 - fiche technique

Syrah 100%.

Visually, intense purplish-red with bright flashes. On the nose, Tercioplelo Syrah 2018 presents a complex array of aromas of both red and black berry fruits. The spices, typical of Syrah, are melded with notes of tobacco and cocoa from the oak. On the palate, freshness particularly stands out, with excellent acidity and a full, rounded mouthfeel. This is a wine of great structure and complexity, whose subtle mineral notes distinctly express its origin in the terroir of Paraje Altamira.

ABV = 14.6%.

** PLEASE SEE AVAILABILITY SECTION ABOVE! **

£21.50

Fowles Wine Are You Game? Shiraz 2015 (1x75cl)

The Fowles family are what you could affectionately call a wild bunch! At Fowles, they are a motley crew of raconteurs and entrepreneurs, auctioneers, law men, farmers, hunters and wine makers. From the frontier land, their forefathers (and mothers) founded what is now Bendigo Bank. Since then, they've gone wild, settling into a life on the land. Vigneron, hunter and farmer, Matt Fowles raises the bar, swapping the vitriol of the courtroom for the vineyards of the Strathbogie Ranges. Matt leads a team of characters making wine with character.

Fowles Wine own and manage 360 acres of vines across two vineyards called Upton Run and Billi's in the Strathbogie Ranges. The rugged and beautiful Strathbogie Ranges are located an hour and a half drive northeast of Melbourne. It is here, in vineyards peppered with massive ancient granite boulders, at elevations between 430 and 550 metres above sea level that the vines from which they source Strathbogie fruit grow. The style and character of Fowles Wine reflects their cool climate location. The white wines have great fruit intensity, minerality and are light and fresh, while the red wines are highly perfumed, intensely coloured and powerful, yet restrained and elegant.

~90% Shiraz, 6% Grenache, ~4% Viognier.

To see the winemakers' excellent notes (technical and tasting) on this wine, please click the blue link below.

Fowles Wine - Are You Game? Shiraz 2015 - fiche technique

ABV = 14.5%.

£12.75

Glaetzer Amon-Ra Shiraz 2011 (1x75cl)

Amon-Ra Shiraz is an iconic wine that epitomises Ben Glaetzer’s passion to create wines that are full flavoured, multi layered and intense but still elegant, stylish and finely balanced. In Egyptian mythology, Amon-Ra is considered to be the king of all gods. The temple of Amon-Ra was believed to be the first temple to ever plant a monoculture vineyard to produce wine for the citizens of the temple. The eye on front of the label is the all-seeing eye of Horus or wedjat ("whole one") - a powerful Egyptian symbol of protection. It is represented as a figure with six parts, corresponding to what Egyptians regarded as the six senses; touch, taste, hearing, sight, smell and thought. Ben created Amon-Ra Shiraz to appeal to all these six senses.

Exceptional old vine fruit was sourced from the famed Ebenezer sub district at the northern tip of the Barossa Valley. Vine age 50—130 years old.

This wine was fermented in 1 and 2 tonne open fermenters, as well as being hand plunged 3 times daily. It was matured for 16 months in 100% new oak hogshead barrels (95% French and 5% American) and matured on its lees to maintain fruit profile and animation. Amon-Ra is bottled unfiltered to ensure minimal intervention with the wine’s natural characteristics.

The Amon-Ra is deep purple, almost black in colour. It is highly perfumed with dried spice, espresso, plum and blackberry on the nose. On the palate there is awesome balance which is combined with tremendous depth. This is a wine that will develop beautifully with long term cellaring over decades.

ABV = 15.5%.

£54.00

M Chapoutier Cote Rotie Les Becasses 2016 (1x75cl)

The Chapoutier family motto Fac et Spera – "do and hope" – sums up their patient and daring approach to winemaking. They must be patient with nature, that uncontrollable force, and the winemaker must be daring in his decisions. Michel Chapoutier’s distant ancestor Polydor Chapoutier first bought vines in the Rhône Valley in 1808, and today history and tradition abound at this vast estate that stretches from Côte Rôtie in the north, to Luberon in the south. The M. Chapoutier vineyards in the very best sites of the Rhône represent the quintessence of the range.

So strong is Michel’s commitment to treat the terroir with respect that Chapoutier now owns the largest biodynamic vineyard in Europe. It is his personal conviction that “the complexity in a wine comes from the level of microbiological activity around the vine roots”. Soils on the Chapoutier estate never see pesticides or herbicides, floral growth amongst the vines is essential, and the natural cycles of earth, sun and moon are also considered, as vines respond to these. A consistent approach is crucial. 

The grapes are entirely hand-harvested at maturity and after destemming, the grapes ferment in concrete tanks. A daily treading ensures a good extraction of the colour and tannins. The temperature does not exceed 33°C. Fermenting lasts between 3 and 4 weeks depending on vintages. Maturing begins after vinification and takes place in oak casks with a proportion of which being new.

Ageing lasts 14-16 months. 80% of the wine is aged in oak barrels with a majority of new wood. The remaining 20% are aged in stainless steel vats which allows us to preserve the purity of the fruit and the floral notes, which are a distinctive feature of great Côte-Rôtie wines.

This wine is 100% Syrah. 

Very intense, purplish red in colour. Quince, peony and then roasted almond on the nose, together with aromas of red fruits, blackcurrant, raspberry and vanilla. On the palate full and round, the wine has a lovely rich character and blackcurrant fruit flavour, with stewed fruits and vanilla on the finish.  

Great with all meats and poultry, roast beef and cooked pork meats. Goes extremely well with cheeses.  

ABV = 13.0%.

£51.25

Montes Outer Limits Zapallar Syrah 2017 (1x75cl)

** THIS WINE IS HELD IN NO OR LOW STOCK (SEE AMOUNT HELD BELOW) BUT MORE IS QUICKLY BROUGHT IN TO ORDER. ORDERS PLACED BY 9am EACH MONDAY WILL BE WITH US FOR DESPATCH ON THE THURSDAY. **

Awarded 89 points and Recommended status by Decanter in their October 2020 panel tasting of South American Syrah (see blue link below).

Montes Outer Limits Zapallar Syrah 2017 - October 2020 Decanter review

Montes was established in 1988 by Aurelio Montes, Douglas Murray, Alfredo Vidaurre and Pedro Grand, with the aim of producing the best wines in Chile from the best regions. The Montes wines are consistently good because they are meticulous throughout the entire production process. The Outer Limits wines were born out of Aurelio Montes' desire to push Chilean viticulture in a new direction. The 45 hectare Zapallar Vineyard in the Aconcagua Valley was Montes' first venture into the 'outer limits'. Due to the balance and concentration in the Outer Limits wines, they can be enjoyed now or allowed to age for a few years, rewarding with a wonderfully complex bouquet.

The Zapallar vineyards are truly coastal, being just 7 kilometres away from the Pacific Ocean, an ideal location for the growth and development of varieties such as Syrah. Montes’ 45 hectares are the only vineyards planted in this area, situated at an altitude of 120 – 150 meters above sea level. The clay-loam, granitic soil provides moderate drainage and gives rise to intense, aromatic wines, exceptionally balanced with body, flavour, and ripe tannins. Zapallar is without doubt an “Outer Limits” terroir, with an extreme climate for winegrowing which has put Montes’ winemaking abilities to the test.

The 2017 vintage was characterised by favourable weather conditions – little rainfall and plenty of sunshine. This meant grapes needed little viticultural intervention to help ripen evenly and without risk of disease. Good weather continued well into the growing season and as harvest approached, temperatures dropped slowly, allowing fruit to retain acidity and develop aromatic complexity. This vintage has delivered fruit of exceptional quality, displaying a level of balanced ripeness not seen in recent vintages.

The grapes were hand-picked early in the morning to preserve freshness and fruit purity. They were then hand sorted at the winery before undergoing a temperature-controlled five day cold maceration at 6-8°C on the skins to extract colour and aroma. The must was then slowly brought up to 26-28°C and inoculated with specially selected yeasts. Fermentation followed taking 10 days to complete. The wine then remained on its skins for a further five days to ensure good colour and tannin extraction. 65% of the wine was then racked off into a concrete egg, which allows continuous contact with the lees. The other 35% was racked off to second-use French oak barrels and aged for 12 months. After ageing, these two portions were blended together and lightly filtered to retain the full character of the wine.

100% Syrah.

This wine is deep ruby red in colour with violet tones. The fruity nose recalls ripe black and red berries with notes of smoke, Serrano ham and coffee. The palate is vibrant and well balanced with very smooth tannins and remarkable structure and volume.

ABV = 14.5%.

£20.15

Orin Swift Machete 2017 (1x 75cl)

The history of Orin Swift Cellars dates back to 1995 when on a lark, David Swift Phinney took a friend up on an offer and went to Florence, Italy to spend a semester “studying”. During that time, he was introduced to wine, how it was made, and got hooked. A few more years of university led to graduation and eventually a job at Robert Mondavi Winery in 1997 as a temporary harvest worker. Deciding that if he was going to work this hard, it would eventually have to be for himself, so in 1998 he founded Orin Swift Cellars; Orin is his father’s middle name and Swift is his mother’s maiden name. With two tons of Zinfandel and not much else, he spent the next decade making wine for others as well as himself and grew the brand to what it is today.

Syrah 45%, Petite Sirah 40%, Grenache 15%.

To see the winemaker's infomation and tasting notes for this wine, please click on the blue link below.

Orin Swift Machete 2017 - fiche technique

ABV = 15.2%.

£51.10

Paul Jaboulet Aine Cornas Domaine de Saint Pierre 2018 (1x75cl)

** THIS IS AN ADVANCE (pseudo-en-primeur) OFFERING OF THE SOON-TO-BE-RELEASED 2018 VINTAGE. **

** WE HAVE TAKEN A SMALL AMOUNT OF FREE STOCK AND THESE BOTTLES ARE AVAILABLE BELOW. **

 

"Gentle notes of crushed stone accent red-currant fruit on the nose of the 2018 Cornas Domaine de Saint Pierre. There's a sense of tension in this medium to full-bodied wine, which walks a tightrope of ripeness to yield a wine that's velvety and rich yet fresh and vibrant on the finish. 92-94 points." Joe Czerwinski, Wine Advocate, December 2019

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“The 2018 Cornas Domaine de Saint Pierre could turn out to be a real superstar, and it’s an incredibly impressive barrel sample. Lots of dark berry fruits, toasted spice, and cured meat notes give way to a full-bodied Cornas that has ripe tannins, subtle background oak, and a great finish. 92-95 points"Jeb Dunnuck, December 2019

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Jaboulet produces some of the world's greatest wines in the Rhone Valley, with Hermitage La Chapelle being its most famous wine. It was for many years run by Gérard Jaboulet, who was one of the great ambassadors for Rhône wines, tirelessly travelling the world and spreading the Gospel according to the Holy Grail of Hermitage. He died suddenly in 1997 and the firm has been run by Philippe & Jacques Jaboulet, until 2006 when the real estate entrepreneur Jean-Jacques Frey purchased the wine company.

The Frey family has  of long standing in the Champagne region and are owners of Château La Lagune in Bordeaux. Jacques and Nicolas Frey are now involved in the day-to-day running of the Maison Jaboulet, while Caroline Frey (pictured right), the eldest daughter, is at the helm of the wine-making team. Under Caroline’s leadership, in 2006, the vineyards earned Sustainable Farming status while Jaboulet's winegrowing is in the course of conversion towards biodynamic certification. 

Jaboulet produces wine from 26 different appellations in the Rhône. On the right-bank of the Rhone, the vineyard sits on the Eastern slopes of the Massif Central in Cornas, which means ‘burnt earth’ in old Celtic. The abrupt, south-facing slopes form a natural amphitheatre that protects the vines from cold winds. Cornas’ vineyards are very old, dating from ancient times. The first terraces and chaillées (walls) were likely made by Romans. Legend has it that Charlemagne himself tasted the wine when travelling through Cornas in the year 840 and liked it so much that he had some sent on to his residence in Aix-la-Chapelle. Owned by Domaines Paul Jaboulet Aine since 1996, the first vintage of this cuvée is 1996. This estate is located on the top of the hill, near the little chapel of Saint-Pierre. The estate represents 3.9 ha on very steep graphite south-facing slopes.

The autumn of 2017 was exceptionally dry. Winter 2017-18 was moderately watered and did not fully offset the water deficit. The winter season was very cool, temperatures returned to normal at the beginning of April resulting in later budburst. The whole spring was regularly and correctly watered. Temperatures remained and sometimes were above normal. These alternating hot and rainy periods led to very rapid growth of the vine. Phenology progressed very quickly and the season became early. At the beginning of July, temperatures were getting hotter/ the sanitary state of the vineyard was excellent, berries were juicy, well inflated and often larger than last year. The few rains in August allowed to unlock the situation and the harvest of September took place in a summer atmosphere under particularly heavy heat.

Click this link for Wine Advocate's review and opinion of the 2018 Northern Rhone harvest

Grapes were hand-picked, sorted on the plot, in small crates. The vatting period lasted around 4 weeks with gentle extractions. Aged in French oak barrels (20% new).

See the link below for more details of the wine and winemaking from Jaboulet themselves.

Paul Jaboulet Aine Cornas Domaine De Saint Pierre 2018 - fiche technique

100% Shiraz/Syrah. 

For tasting notes, we refer you to the reviews above.

ABV = 13.5% (estimated, not known until bottled).

£44.95
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