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Balnaves Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 (1x 75cl)

Awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their April 2017 edition review of New World Cabernets (see blue link below).

Balnaves Coonawarra Cab Sauv 2011 - April 2017 Decanter review 

The Balnaves' family vineyard is situated at the southern end of the famous Coonawarra 'Terra Rossa' strip. Planted in 1975, the vineyard is 48 hectares in size and has been in the family for three generations. The predominant variety planted is Cabernet Sauvignon. Winemaker Pete Bissell was the Qantas Winemaker of the Year 2005 and Balnaves was James Halliday's Winery of the Year in 2008.

Blended from Walker, Quarry and Avery vineyards, the wine spent 19 months in 100%, tight-grain French oak, in a mixture of hogsheads and barriques. The barrels were made by St Martin, Saury, Taransaud and Sylvain cooperages, before bottling in December 2011. 

Deep rich red in colour, the nose is intense with aromas of ripe cassis, liquorice, and some spicy leather notes, combined with fine smoky French oak. The palate is solid and structured with a fine tannin finish.

£22.80

Berton Reserve Barossa Shiraz 2014 (1x75cl)

The non-yet-available 2015 vintage has been awarded 95 points and a Platinum Best In Show at the Decanter World Wine Awards (www.decanter.com): see their August 2017 DWWA supplement (see blue link below).

Berton Reserve Shiraz 2015 - August 2017 Decanter review

The 2015 vintage is not yet available anywhere in the UK: it is the intention of both producer and UK sole supplier to sell through the 2014 first with the 2015 vintage arriving in mid-October. 

For those unable or unwilling to wait, Exel discussed the relative merits of the 2014 and 2015 vintages with Berton owner, Bob Berton, in person, a few weeks ago at the London Wine Fair. It is Bob's view that the 2014 is the equal of the 2015 but was simply not submitted for review at the previous DWWAs.

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.

£12.30

Berton Reserve Barossa Shiraz 2015 (1x75cl)

** HERE AND IN STOCK!! **

Awarded 95 points and a Platinum Best In Show at the Decanter World Wine Awards (www.decanter.com): see their August 2017 DWWA supplement (see blue link below).

Berton Reserve Shiraz 2015 - August 2017 Decanter review

Established by Bob and Cherie Berton in May 1996, Berton Vineyard has been 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.

Shiraz 93%, Durif 4%, Cabernet Sauvignon 3%. 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.

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. 

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.

£13.20

Berton Reserve Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 (1x75cl)

Awarded 96 points and rare Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their April 2017 edition review of New World Cabernet Sauvignons (see blue link below) in which it emerged as the runaway Number One.

Berton Reserve 2014 - April 2017 Decanter review

It's on or Christmas List because ... you continue to love it (9 months since release), we love it and, as sales approach 2,000 bottles here this year, we just couldn't leave it out of our Christmas celebrations! Did you know they also do a cracking, DWWA-winning Reserve Shiraz in the same series (which we've listed it at the bottom of this page)? Alan, our Financial Director also has a penchant for Berton's (slightly cheaper!) Black Shiraz. which, at a tenner, is tip-top.

Sourced from vineyards in the prized Terra Rossa region of Coonawarra: here the warm days are moderated by offshore breezes and the rich red loam over well-draining limestone soils are the foundations for Coonawarra's justified reputation for producing premium-quality Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.

This Coonawarra beauty (97% Cab Sauv) has an intense, ripe berry bouquet with hints of chocolate and liquorice. The palate is brimming with crushed blackcurrant fruit flavours enhanced by subtle eucalyptus and mint notes characteristic of this region and is beautifully complemented by elegant French oak notes.

£13.20

Berton Winemakers Reserve The Black Shiraz 2015 (1x75cl)

Selected for its deep colour and intense flavour, this rich, dark red Shiraz has lifted aromas of dark cherry, blackberry and delicately integrated oak. The generous and concentratd palate is velvety with firm tannins and flavours of ripe cherry, plum and mocha over hints of smoky oak.

£10.02

Bonsai Shiraz Cabernet High Eden Berton Vineyard 2013 (1x75cl)

This intense, rich and full flavoured Shiraz blend with well integrated oak, shows lovely plum fruit, coffee, chocolate and white pepper on the palate. The flavours are supported by juicy soft tannins to create a beautiful layering of texture and taste, that continues to a long lingering finish.

£20.25

Bonsai Shiraz Cabernet High Eden Berton Vineyard 2015 (1x75cl)

This intense, rich and full flavoured Shiraz blend with well integrated oak, shows lovely plum fruit, coffee, chocolate and white pepper on the palate. The flavours are supported by juicy soft tannins to create a beautiful layering of texture and taste, that continues to a long lingering finish.

£21.90

Branson Coach House Shiraz 2005 (1x 75cl)

It's on our Christmas List because ... it is a hidden gem that we adore and this will possibly be your last chance to indulge in one of the Barossa Valley's greatest wines from this phenomenal vintage. It would be fair to say that, speaking collectively, it's our Favourite Red of the Year. We bought stock of this some time ago, knowing its potential: it has exceeded all of our expectations now that it's entered its peak condition/drinking window. It is well rounded and full bodied with superbly integrated tannins, black fruit character and a trademark hit of spice. It envelopes your tastebuds with its velvety texture and rich flavours - one glass simply isn't enough! If you want to treat/indulge yourself to something really special - and rare - this Christmas, you won't go wrong with Branson Coach House 2005. If you want a slightly more conservatively-priced but serious, big, ready-aged, Australian Shiraz, why not try the Shirvington Shiraz 2006?

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

Branson Coach House 2005 - fiche technique

The small, intimate winery of Branson Coach House was established in 1998. Together with other investors, Richard Mintz and Michael Twelftree, of Two Hands Wines, purchased the vineyard and winery in 2001 with the sole aim of creating and establishing one of Australia's greatest estate grown and made wines. The winery and vineyard are located in the Western Barossa. The emphasis on single-vineyard, estate-grown wines drives Branson Coach House's philosophy: to keep yields low, and to practice "minimal intervention." This means that from the vineyard until bottling, the fruit is carefully monitored, but that the unique terroir of the region will be at the forefront of the wine.

Originally planted in 1990, the Branson Coach House vines thrive in the trademark, red clay soil of the Western Barossa. The results are truly phenomenal — power, intensity and the ability to age gracefully. The release of its first vintage, from 2002, led to quick admiration from influential wine enthusiasts. The emphasis on single-vineyard, estate-grown wines drives Branson Coach House's philosophy: to keep yields low, and to practice "minimal intervention." This means that from the vineyard until bottling, the fruit is carefully monitored, but that the unique terroir of the region will be at the forefront of the wine.

This is a stunning, single vineyard, Barossa Shiraz that spent 20 months maturing in French oak that would be a fanatstic addition to your cellar or wine rack. It is now a mature, thoroughly drinkable wine and is a stunning glass to enjoy with a special meal.

A simply outstanding Barossa Shiraz-Syrah. Really deep colour with a brown hue. Sweet blackberry, fresh morning coffee and toast with a hint of truffle rush to my nose. Dense, concentrated and savory on the palate. Soft tanins, complex layers of black fruits, spices and smoky flavours but still spectacular balance. A masterpiece, doubly so at this price.

£36.00

Brokenwood Cricket Pitch Red Blend 2014 (1x75cl)

Medium colour and density. Aromas of red cherry, spice and sweet oak. Mid-weight palate with Cabernet Sauvignon cedar up front leading to soft Shiraz richness. Some vanillin on both nose and palate with a long sweet finish. Excellent fruit flavours and balance being the features that will be maintained under the screw cap packaging.
A drink now style that will further soften with medium term bottle maturation.

£17.25

Charles Melton Nine Popes 2013 (1x 75cl)

Very complex spicy nose. Sweet cedary notes from the hint of new oak used mingle with a hint of liquorice. The mid-palate is plump with rounded tannins and complex layers of flavour. The finish is long and rewarding.
£29.81

Charles Melton Voices of Angels Adelaide Hills Shiraz 2013 (1x 75cl)

Rich and deep in colour. Its softly perfumed nose illustrates the characters that come from a cool climate fruit source. A gentle structure, it balances the house style richness within a more nimble framework, retaining sweetness but holding back on ‘bigness’. A touch of stalky/whole bunch flavour adds another layer. A rich, deep but elegantly structured wine.
£31.64

Clarendon Hills Blewitt Springs Grenache 2005 (1x 75cl)

This vineyard is in the Blewitt Springs area and always produces deeply coloured and very rich wine with full upfront raspberry fruit and a long aftertaste with abundant tannin in the finish.

£36.00

Dandelion Lionheart Of The Barossa Shiraz 2014 (1x37.5cl)

Intense crimson with youthful purple hues. Lifted blue fruits, plum, macerated blackberries and Christmas pudding-like spice flow out of the glass with spicy pepper, and hints of bramble and dark cocoa. The palate is generous with mouth filling sweet blackberry, raspberry and plums and lashings of sweet spice. Firm but fine tannins and dark chocolaty nuances continue throughout the lengthy palate with youthful finish.

£6.95

Dandelion Lionheart Of The Barossa Shiraz 2016 (1x75cl)

Intense crimson with youthful purple hues. Lifted blue fruits, plum, macerated blackberries and Christmas pudding-like spice flow out of the glass with spicy pepper, and hints of bramble and dark cocoa. The palate is generous with mouth filling sweet blackberry, raspberry and plums and lashings of sweet spice. Firm but fine tannins and dark chocolaty nuances continue throughout the lengthy palate with youthful finish.

£13.50

Dandelion Vineyards `Lioness of McLaren Vale` Shiraz 2013 (1x75cl)

Awarded 88 points and Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their June 2017 edition review of Australian value Shiraz (see blue link below).

 

Dandelion 'Lioness of McLaren Vale' Shiraz 2013 - June 2017 Decanter review

 

Dandelion Vineyards is the venture of self-titled 'typist' Zar Brooks, his winemaking wife Elena and growers Carl Lindner and Brad Rey, with wines made from the Barossa and Eden Valleys, Fleurieu and McLaren Vale. Nick Stock, one of Australia's leading journalists, has described Dandelion as follows: 'Brooks has teamed up with his winemaking wife Elena, a woman whose talents are outweighed only by her tolerance, in an exciting new venture called Dandelion Vineyards. The approach is remarkably simple and sees Elena making wine from a suite of beautiful old vineyards identified by Carl Lindner and Brad Rey across that blessed curve that runs from the Barossa, up through the Eden Valley and Adelaide Hills and down into McLaren Vale.'

Grapes are from an old vineyard in the Barossa with vines over a hundred years old, many on original rootstock. Throughout their vineyards they encourage the humble dandelion amongst the vines as they suppress winter weeds and provide mulch in summer.

Whole bunches were gently crushed and naturally fermented in open fermenters for 12 days, hand plunged twice a day, before careful basket pressing into new (25%) and older French oak barriques to finish fermentation. After 18 months maturation and a racking in the same oak, the wine was bottled without filtration or fining, to capture the essence of the vines.

Deep purple with hints of violet on the edges, indicating youth. Impressive purity of fruit showing lush scents of summer pudding with lifted red fruit, berries and a hint of cinnamon. Black cherries, damsons, mulberries and milk chocolate undertones. Generous mouth filling blackberry, raspberry and plum flavours cover the palate with lashings of sweet spice.

£12.20
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