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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 Reserve Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 (1x75cl)

The 2014 vintage was 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

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.

Good winter rainfall was a perfect start to the 2016 growing season. Above average temperatures resulted in early budburst with most varieties. The mild to warm and dry conditions continued with good rainfall in both November and December producing ideal conditions for véraison. February saw the arrival of hot dry weather and with no rainfall or disease pressure, ripening accelerated rapidly resulting in an early harvest for the reds. The 2016 reds are stand outs - rich ripe juicy wines with great length and great depth of colour.

The grapes come from two parcels of fruit within the same vineyard, in the prized Terra Rossa region of Coonawarra. One block is on a slightly more elevated area of the vineyard, which produces more subtle fruit characters. The warm days are moderated by off-shore breezes and the rich red loam over free draining limestone soil is the foundations for the Coonawarra's justified reputation for producing premium quality Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.

The grapes were fermented in stainless vertical sweep arm fermenters for 10 days between 22 ° and 28°C on premium French oak until dry. Each parcel of wine was then pressed at 0.5 Baumé through a bag press and clarified via centrifuge into stainless steel storage tanks. The parcels were then transferred into new and old French (90%) and American (10%) oak barrels for 12 months. Only the best parcels were selected and carefully blended to arrive at this exceptional wine.

Cabernet Sauvignon 99%, Shiraz 1%.

This shows intense and generous black fruit aromas with hints of chocolate, eucalyptus and mint. The Reserve Coonawarra Cabernet has an impenetrable black colour with a vibrant garnet hue. The aromas are powerful and complex with a wealth of fruit ranging from ripe blackcurrant and blackberries with hints of nutmeg and cinnamon. The rich and harmonious palate displays abundant flavours of prune, plum jam and mint, underpinned by fine toasty French oak and defined by a soft yet dense tannin profile.

ABV = 14.5%.

£13.75

Berton Winemakers Reserve (The Black) Shiraz 2017 (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%, Durif 8%.

Densely hued, this is a rich and fleshy Shiraz with generous minty blackberry, chocolate and mint flavours over hints of cedar oak. 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

Clarendon Hills Blewitt Springs Grenache, McLaren Vale 2005 (1x75cl)

Rather than our writing, and your reading, a wordy paragraph all about Clarendon Hill, try this.

Winemaking: Low yielding, dry grown vines planted in 1920 are hand picked and a wild yeast fermentation is cultured thereafter. Typically ferments run for a few days and all pressings are the returned to the barrel and bottled onsite without fining or filtration.

Maturation: 18 months, within a hierarchy of 1-5 year old tight-grained, first-class French oak barriques that are specially produced for Clarendon Hills. Racking occurs as required. Each barrique is individually examined repetitively to gauge the site’s expression and organic evolution.

100% Grenache.

Nose: Lifted and layered. The evolving nose reveals at first, fresh forest berries with a mixture of softly perfumed rose petal aromas, whose mixture of Turkish delight and strawberries and cream is truly attention grabbing. On decant, a vineyard-unique salty/brine character begins to nuance with subtle anise and earthy notes to create an entirely more dramatic and sophisticated expression. An entirely hedonistic perfume whose suggestion of effortless power and wealth becomes apparent with time.

Palate: Layers of playful cherry, boysenberry and red currant fruit play throughout a long, orchestral finish. The extremely fine boned, talcum like extract presents itself as it appears to ‘tap the brakes’ across the mid-palate before finishing across a long, creamy finish. Mouth-watering, bright natural acidity highlights the exquisite fruit quality whose balance of savoury, raw fruit like, character is neither sugary or jamy. Its just sweet.

A note on age and vintage:

Clarendon Hills state, of their current 2013 Blewitt Springs, "The remarkably concealed yet omnipresent super fine tannin will safely sustain this gorgeous 95-year-old, single-vineyard example for another decade" (ie from 2018). The 2005 vintage in McLaren Vale was incredibly strong (and its ageworthiness greater still). See the Parker vintage guide here (click blue link below) which rates 2005 as the best McLaren/Barossa year of the 40 listed there and 'ready to drink'.

South Australia vintages, Parker

... so, in 2020, this sits very well within a similar 15-year, quality drinking window.

We would make the point that this is an aged New World Grenache: its aged flavours are distinct and not for everyone, but this is a bottle very much in condition for those that appreciate aged Grenache, and, at that, one of the greats of the New World. We greatly recommend decanting and a few hours of breathing. 

ABV = 14.5%.

£36.00 £27.00

Dandelion Vineyards Menagerie of the Barossa Grenache/Shiraz/Mataro 2017 (1x75cl)

Awarded a Gold medal and 95 points at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details)

For other 2019 DWWA winners, click here.

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.'

At the end of the old vine garden path at Dandelion Vineyards, there is a historic ‘Menagerie’ field blend of three grape varieties, adjoining blocks of Grenache, Shiraz and Mataro at Gomersal in the Barossa.

After hand picking selected bunches of the Menagerie field blend on 22nd April, winemaker Elena Brooks let the whole bunches ferment together in open top fermenters with ambient yeasts. Punching down of the cap took place over 14 days, before basket pressing in old French oak barriques. The wine was then matured for a further 12 months in the oak barrel, before bottling without fining or filtration to capture the vinous essence of the blend.

See also blue link below for the excellent technique/technical note from the winemakers at Dandelion Vineyards..

Dandelion Vineyards Menagerie Of The Barossa Grenache/Shiraz/Mataro 2017 - fiche technique

80% Grenache, 15% Shiraz, 5% Mataro (ie Mourvèdre).

The wine is deep red with youthful violet hues, with a nose that offers an intriguing mix of rose petals and lifted red fruits, berries and a hint of cinnamon and Asian spice. The palate offers wild cherry, damsons and mulberries, coupled with an impressive structure balanced by spicy oak. The wine is opulent, with intense red berries balanced by soft velvety tannins and supple oak.

ABV = 14.5%.

£14.56

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.

Small batches of grapes are gently crushed and then transferred to five tonne headed down open fermenters. These batches remain separate until final blending. Foot treading is undertaken two thirds of the way through fermentation. The wine is then basket pressed and transferred to a mixture of new and used French and old American oak barriques to complete fermentation. The barrel ferments are aged on lees; there is no racking until final blending and no fining or filtration.

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

Darenberg The High Trellis Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 (1x75cl)

Family owned d’Arenberg is located in the breath-taking 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.

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.

100% Cabernet Sauvignon.

d'Arenberg The High Trellis Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 – fiche technique

ABV = 14.5%.

£14.25

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

Pauletts Polish Hill River Cabernet Merlot 2016 (1x75cl)

** TUES 7th APRIL - PLENTY MORE STOCK JUST ARRIVED AND AVAILABLE! **

Awarded 94 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their April 2020 edition expert tasting of Global Bordeaux blends (see blue link below).

 

Pauletts Polish Hill River Cabernet Merlot 2016 - April 2020 Decanter review

Clare Valley is one of Australia`s oldest wine regions and is probably best known for its Riesling wines. Polish Hill River is a sub-region one and a half hours drive north from Adelaide. Named after the Polish settlers of the mid 1800s, the climate is ideal for premium grape growing with a combination of consistently good winter rains, hot summers tempered by cool nights and a long ripening period.

Pauletts' reputation for producing wines of finesse, elegance and intensity is justly deserved with consistent skill and care from vintage to vintage. Neil Paulett graduated from the Roseworthy oenology course in the early 1970s and spent a further ten years honing his winemaking skills at Penfolds before buying his own property in the Clare Valley. Located some 90 minutes north of Adelaide, this lovely property now extends to 150 hectares with 47 planted with vines. Since the first vintage in 1983 there have been many accolades both at home and internationally. These wines are a true reflection of the region and are of outstanding quality.

For this, their (red) Bordeaux blend, here's Pauletts' own data sheet/fiche technique:

Paulett Polish Hill River Cabernet Merlot 2016 - fiche technique

This Cabernet-dominated Bordeaux blend shows the depth and intensity gained from a cool micro-climate. A fruit-driven wine which is rich and spicy with truffle and vanilla on the nose. The palate is beautifully balanced and packed with sweet cherry, plum, blackcurrant and liquorice. Subtle oak ageing adds to this superbly structured wine with supple tannins and a long, intense and satisfying finish.

Cabernet Sauvignon 70%, Merlot 30%.

ABV = 14.9%.

£14.30

Rocland Estates The Chocolate Box Grenache/Shiraz/Mataro (GSM)  (Cherry Chocolate) 2016 (1x75cl)

Deep russet red in colour, the nose shows earthy aromas of damp leaves and savoury oak, leading to ripe black cherries and stewed rhubarb. On the palate there's warm, controlled spice with some delicious cinnamon notes, over a robust, crunchy fruit Grenac

ABV = 15.0%. 

£16.00

S.C.Pannell Old McDonald Grenache 2017 (1x75cl)

Featured in an article by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their December 2018 edition, 10 Wines to Try Before You Die (see blue link below).

SC Pannell Grenache 2017 - December 2018 Decanter review

Stephen Pannell is one of the best and brightest of the new generation of Australian winemakers, having spent a decade working as chief red wine maker at Hardys before striking out on his own in 2004. Steve has worked all over the world, including in Italy with Aldo Vajra in Barolo and in France for Domaine Dujac and Pousse d'Or. His broad experience has helped shape his approach to winemaking and his wines are true expressions of the grapes and vineyards of McLaren Vale. In October 2015, Steve was named Winemaker of the Year by the consumer wine magazine, Gourmet Traveller Wine.

Steve’s interest in Grenache stretches back to the mid 90s upon first arriving in McLaren Vale. A preference for making medium-bodied wines is where his Grenache love affair began. Given the warm, Mediterranean climate, Grenache grows as well in ‘the Vale’ as any of the more revered Grenache regions including France’s Rhône Valley, Priorat in Spain and Italy’s Sardinia. The Grenache grapes for this wine grow on the 75 year old vines from the Old McDonald vineyard in Blewitt Springs. It is unusual to find 100% Grenache wines, as most of the time it is blended. In Steve’s words the 2017 Old McDonald Grenache is “quite possibly the best Grenache I have ever made”.

The 2017 vintage was very cool and mild, which was ideal for the vines. Good winter and spring rains were followed by a very mild, long summer. The results are wines with ample fruit complexity and great natural acidity.

The Grenache grapes were hand harvested on 4th March, which is early for Grenache. The grapes were traditionally vinified in small open-top fermenters with 20% whole bunch. The wine spent 11 days on skins before gentle pressing. It was transferred to a 4,500 litre, eight-year-old French-oak vat for maturation before being bottled without filtration nine months later.

100% Grenache/Garnacha.

Even though 2017 was a cool year, this Grenache is highly perfumed with an assortment of aromas and flavours including raspberry leaf, pomegranate, Turkish Delight, blood orange and violets. It is succulent, juicy, elegant and light to medium bodied. On the palate, the sandy tannins, that are typical to this varietal, are well integrated and provide a balanced, long finish.

ABV = 14.5%.

£34.25

Shirvington Estate Shiraz 2006 (1x75cl)

Shirvington was founded in 1996 by Paul and Lynne Shirvington (with sons Tony and Mark), with the planting of Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon vines in their first vineyard, Redwind.  The 16 hectares of red clay and limestone soil are located in Willunga, just south of McLaren Vale, that was chosen by the Shirvingtons for the area’s ability to consistently produce outstanding table wines of great character and quality.  Further purchases in 1997 and 2001 saw the development of two new vineyards, Kurrawyba and Manjalda, in McLaren Flat and McLaren Vale itself.

Lynne and Paul, in close collaboration with their viticulturist and winemaker, have been making the highest quality wines from McLaren Vale since the release of their 2001 Shiraz, which received a 98 rating from Wine Advocate. None of their vintages since have garnered ratings in the major wine publications below 90. Indeed, the 2006 vintage received 95 points from Wine Advocate (October 2007): 

"The 2006 Shiraz was barrel-fermented and aged for 14 months in 85% new oak, with the barrels 90% American and 10% French. Saturated purple in color, it reveals a splendid bouquet of smoke, pencil lead, bacon, grilled meat, and blueberry. Supple-textured and opulent, this full-bodied Shiraz offers a range of spicy, complex flavors, superb balance, and enough well-concealed tannin to support 5-7 years of additional cellaring. This hedonistic Shiraz should drink well through 2026." <we note the ageing contradiction>

The growing season leading up to the vintage of 2006 presented varying challenges. Above average winter and spring rainfall brought the threat of downy mildew. Irrigation systems were then stretched to the limit during a hot January and February. Cooler and wetter conditions followed and almost brought the sugar and flavour accumulation to a standstill. Although very challenging, good yields of excellent quality fruit have made this an excellent wine.

100% Shiraz.

The 2006 vintage has an opaque red colour with a purple hue. It shows an amazingly concentrated and intense nose with blueberry and blood plum filling the headspace. These fruit notes are joined with dark chocolate, vanilla bean and golden syrup nuances. The opulent palate has a magnitude of oak-driven, sweet creamy layers, soft and supple tannins and a seamless length, full of liquorice, toasted coconut and cracked black pepper. The Shirvington 2006 is drinking well now but will cellar for many years. Like many 'major' Shirazes/Syrahs, it has thrown a noticeable sediment and will repay careful decanting.

ABV = 15.5%.

£25.00 £24.00

Torbreck RunRig 2003 (1x75cl)

The Highland clans used a “RunRig” system to distribute land amongst their clansmen in a series of widely dispersed holdings, the emphasis not on any one farm, but rather the communal element of the whole.

95% Shiraz & 5% Viognier.

Shiraz from old dry grown vineyards is blended with Viognier, complementing the strengths and complexities of these individual parcels of fruit, whilst giving the resulting wine a further dimension.

From North-Western Barossa Valley (up to 140-year-old vines): Marananga, Moppa, Gomersal, Greenock and Kalimna. 

This Shiraz cuvee spends 30 months in 60% new French oak, while the Viognier is fermented and aged for 6 months in-barrel and added to the blend just prior to bottling.

The 2003 RunRig is immediately impressive. The colour is completely opaque, right to the rim of the glass. The nose is also imposing with magnificent notes of lifted spice. Closer investigation reveals wonderfully multi-dimensional but very condensed aromas at this early stage. A dark, rich and concentrated palate displays the up front flavour of apricot nectar, and flows into brooding cassis, anise and tar. This wine possesses a multitude of different facets and nuances that will constantly change and evolve.

ABV = 14.5%.

£138.00
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