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South Australia

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Darenberg The Hermit Crab Viognier Marsanne 2018 (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.

Viognier 62%, Marsanne 38%.

d'Arenberg The Hermit Crab 2018 – fiche technique

ABV = 13.5%.

£12.40

Darenberg The Money Spider Roussane 2019 (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.

100% Roussanne.

Residual sugar = 3.9g/litre (ie dry).

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 (2018 sheet - 2019 sheet imminent).

d'Arenberg The Money Spider 2019 – fiche technique

ABV = 14.0%.

£13.75

Mount Horrocks Watervale Semillon 2017 (1x75cl)

Awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their June 2019 feature, Weekday Wines (see blue link below).

Mount Horrocks Watervale Semillon 2017 - June 2019 Decanter review

Mount Horrocks Wines is run by proprietor/winemaker Stephanie Toole. Stephanie restricts production to approximately 3,500 cases per annum in order to achieve her aims of quality and single vineyard expression. Stephanie describes her wines as 'essentially hand made food wines with an emphasis on structure as well as generous fruit flavours'. All grapes are 100% estate grown from three separate vineyard sites totalling nearly 10 hectares which, in 2014, were 'A grade certified' by Australian Certified Organic (ACO). Her persistence with classic, no-compromise winemaking and a fully integrated organic approach to growing and making sets Mount Horrocks wines apart from the mainstream.

The 2017 harvest was later than previous years, after a cool and slightly wetter summer and growing period. The grapes were hand harvested in the cool of the morning, when the grapes were in pristine condition.

100% estate-grown and certified organic, the grapes are carefully hand-harvested in the cool of the morning and sent straight to the winery where they are destemmed, crushed and gently pressed. The free-run juice is isolated and settled prior to fermenting in French oak barriques, one-third of which are new.

Each barrel is stirred weekly for three months then left on gross lees for a total of nine months when Stephanie conducts a series of tastings to determine the final blend. Once assembled it is bottled without fining.

100% Semillon.

Very pale white gold. Dried wildflower and lightly stewed apple over nuanced spicy oak. Crisp, lightly savoury, lemony Semillon with texture and length. Layered and flavoursome yet relatively light and bright for what is a wood-aged white, the pristine fruit shining through on the finish, balanced by chalky acidity. Sips nicely on its own but truly shines with grilled white fish or poultry. Worth cellaring through to 2028.

ABV = 12.5%.

£19.25

Pauletts Polish Hill River Chardonnay 2018 (1x75cl)

Click this link for a video tasting of all three of the Pauletts Semillon, Chardonnay and Shiraz.

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 Chardonnay, here's Pauletts' own data sheet/fiche technique:

Paulett Polish Hill River Chardonnay 2018 - fiche technique

Chardonnay 100%.

A lightly oaked Chardonnay from Clare Valley in South Australia. A beautiful gold in colour, with aromas of ripe peach and nectarines. The palate is silky with lovely citrus and stone fruit flavours and well integrated oak which gives weight, structure and notes of vanilla and honey. The weight of the wine is perfectly balanced by the refreshing acidity which leads into a subtle, yet lasting finish.

Exel note: there's such a variation in Chardonnay styles, we thought we'd guide a little more: this is neither at the Chablis/Tasmania/cool-climate/ super-high-acidity end of the spectrum, nor at the fatter/Napa/Meursault end. It's pretty much bang in the middle: it has peachy/apricot-ty ripeness but also quite a whack of citrus. Oak/vanilla is noticeable but only light. There is good weight/depth, but still pretty high acidity. The video tasting says rather more!

ABV = 12.5%.

£14.30

Pauletts Watervale Clare Valley (Helmsford) Semillon 2017 (1x75cl)

Click this link for a video tasting of all three of the Pauletts Semillon, Chardonnay and Shiraz.

"Should your travels take you to the Clare Valley, and it should be on every wine lover’s bucket list, a visit to Pauletts’ cellar door is a must with its sweeping views to the west and a great range of some of the region’s best wines. This is the inaugural release from the Pauletts Watervale vineyard and, on the strength of this wine; it is bound to raise a few eyebrows for both its quality and value for money. It is a wine that shatters the myth of Semillon being a bit of an ugly duckling in its youth. Pale straw in the glass with inviting aromas of lemon, grapefruit and citrus fruits, hints of lemon curd, crushed stone, citrus blossom, clotted cream, apple pie and light wafts of jasmine, dried mandarin rind, hay and proving dough. In the mouth it is lip–smackingly pure with pitch– perfect balance between ripe fruit and acid drive. Flavours of ripe lemon and grapefruit glide across the palate with a silky, suave gait underscored by hints of soft spice, creme fraiche, key lime pie, citrus blossom, straw, crushed quartz, almond butter and green apples. Sure, the Hunter Valley may be the benchmark for the variety in Australia, but when a wine is as delicious and regionally distinct as this, who cares. Drink up… preferably with a platter of South Australian seafood." Adelaide Review, of the 2015 vintage.

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 Semillon, here's Pauletts' own data sheet/fiche technique:

Paulett Watervale Clare Valley Helmsford Semillon 2017 - fiche technique

Semillon 100%.

A beautiful clean and crisp Semillon from the Clare Valley in South Australia. A lovely lemon-green colour, the nose is bursting with fresh lemony citrus and white blossom aromas. On the palate the wine is refreshing with a crisp aciduty and flavours of lemon, lime and green apple. The acidity and freshness of flavour combine on the palate which finishes long and elegant.

ABV = 14.0%.

£14.30

Peter Lehmann Hill & Valley Eden Valley Riesling 2019 (1x75cl)

** Important general tasting point: this wine - and many other fine Rieslings from South Australia - have quite strong aromas/tones of petrol/diesel/kerosene/machine oil (take your pick). This is not a fault. There's nothing wrong with the wine. For a bit more detail and some chemistry, see here. It's an aroma (and lesserly, a flavour) that is repugnant to some customers, and utterly addictive to others (a bit like chilli in food). Do please note before buying this wine; indeed, many customers buy this wine specifically for the 'petrol hit'! **

The 2015 vintage was awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their April 2018 edition review of Australian Riesling  (see blue link below). This vintage has now just depleted (it's amazing it lasted as long as it did), but the 2016 seems equally excellent!

Peter Lehmann H&V Riesling 2015 - April 2018 Decanter review

Peter Lehmann, with 33 vintages already under his belt, started his own winery in 1979, partly as a means of helping with the glut of grapes then afflicting the Barossa. "I'll take your grapes and turn them into wine," he told the desperate growers, many of them conservative farmers of Silesian descent who regarded their old vines as part of their patrimony. "But I'll only be able to pay you when I sell the wine." They gratefully accepted. Without this deal, it is widely thought that the Barossa would have lost a huge chunk of its old vines. The 'Hill & Valley' wines are made from fruit selected, often from single vineyards, in the Barossa Valley and from the higher reaches of the adjacent Eden Valley.

The grapes were sourced from John and Liz Stanton and Mark and Deborah Petney's vineyards on the Eastern slopes of Eden Valley. This east-facing side is particularly cool as it lies over 400m above sea level on acidic sandy soils, ideal for enhancing the natural acid balance of an exceptional Riesling.

Several frosts at budbursts and a windy flowering period combined with below average rainfall throughout the growing cycle saw smaller crops in many vineyards in the Barossa Valley and Adelaide Hills. A warmer than average January accelerated the ripening of the reduced crops which was followed by a slightly cooler February, allowing the fruit to ripen evenly and maintain good acid retention. While the 2019 vintage brought lower yields, the conditions throughout summer ensured the grapes had great intensity.

The grapes were harvested during the cool of the night, preserving freshness and quality. After crushing, the juice was kept chilled and was immediately separated from the skins to retain delicacy in the final wine. The wine was clarified and bottled following a two week cold fermentation in stainless steel.

100% Riesling. 

A fresh, lively Riesling with a delicate green tinge and hints of freshly picked limes and orange peel. The palate shows great fruit purity with a refreshingly crisp, dry finish. Although ready to drink now, it can be aged with confidence for a few years.

ABV = 11.0%.

£13.65

Shaw + Smith M3 Chardonnay 2018 (1x75cl)

** SOME STOCK as below, MORE ON THURSDAY 10rd SEPTEMBER **

Awarded 94 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their June 2020 edition article, Aussie Chardonnay: 20 Wines To Snap Up (see blue link below). 

Shaw + Smith M3 Chardonnay 2018 - June 2020 Decanter review

Established in 1989 by Martin Shaw and Michael Hill Smith MW, Shaw + Smith's aim is to make contemporary, high quality wines that stand among the best of their type in Australia. The wines are made exclusively from fruit grown in the Adelaide Hills, one of Australia's coolest and most exciting regions. Shaw + Smith specialise in grape varieties suited to cooler climates, such as Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, and also make fantastic wines from Shiraz and Pinot Noir.

Fruit was sourced principally from the Shaw + Smith vineyard at Lenswood, which lies at 500 metres above sea level. Low yields were achieved by aggressive pruning and pre-harvest bunch thinning. All fruit was hand picked to avoid any fruit damage.

The grapes were chilled overnight, whole-bunch pressed, and then fermented in new and used French oak (one third of which was new). The wine was matured for nine months in oak with some lees stirring, then two months in tank on lees prior to bottling.

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

Shaw + Smith M3 Chardonnay 2018 - fiche technique

100% Chardonnay.

The M3 opens with aromas of white flowers, grapefruit, and white peach. Notes of brioche and toast add complexity to the elegant fruit. The palate is long and flavoursome, with great texture and bright acidity. Savoury, toasty nuances from the oak are beautifully integrated and linger on the finish.

ABV = 13.0%.

£24.85
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