Mesta, produced by Bodegas Fontana, is an exciting and relatively new brand with all the fruit grown on organically farmed vineyards in Uclés, a high altitude DO in Central Spain. The wines offer expressive and delicious varietal fruit, crisp acidity with great length and balance, and represents terrific value.
The Mesta was a powerful association of shepherds in Medieval Castile, controlling the routes for herding sheep (hence the label) across the country. The vineyards are nestled deep in the land of the Mesta, and are still passed over by flocks on their annual migration, an authentic reminder of ancient rights and a cultural cue for continuing co-existence with nature.
Located in the Nagano prefecture between Japan’s Southern & Central Alps, Mars “Shinshu” is Japan’s highest whisky distillery. This site was chosen for it’s plentiful, soft, granite filtered water and the cool temperatures, which slow maturation.
The Mars “Tsunuki” Distillery is the mainland’s southernmost whisky distillery. The location has
a very warm climate in summer and a moderate winter. These different climatic conditions from
the Nagano region, allow Mars Whisky to create a
new single malt with very specific characteristics.
JUST LANDED IN AUSTRALIA – LIMITED STOCK
Komagatake ‘Tsunuki Ageing’ Single Cask
A single cask, single malt whisky. Distilled at Shinshu Distillery and aged at Tsunuki Ageing Cellar.
Displays an excellent balance between sweetness from the Bourbon barrel and its peat character with citrus characters like orange and kumquat. A full body leads to a sweet finish with a hint of roasted nuts and biscuits.
‘Komagatake ‘Shinanotanpopo’ Single Malt
A single malt whisky. Distilled and aged at Shinshu Distillery.
Floral notes and ripe fruit, like plum and fig, are evident on the nose. The palate is elegant with soft texture, and there is a delicate smokiness from the malt, with a hint of citrus, vanilla and spicy sweetness.
‘The Lucky Cat-Mint’ Blended Whisky
A blended whisky. Distilled, blended and aged at Shinshu Distillery.
This whisky has a clean light gold colour with sweet honey, a hint of hay and spices on the nose. It has soft sweet vanillin flavour with a little touch of wood. Finish is balanced and very smooth and minty.
Luigi Pira 2013 –
The essence of Serralunga in a superb vintage
The next sentence could pretty well be cut and pasted from almost any previous Pira offer – just substitute the vintage. As usual, the 2013 Luigi Pira Langhe Nebbiolo gave us a strong preview to the now-known exceptional qualities of this as a great Barolo vintage. Giampaolo Pira has continued his remarkable consistency of quality, and the movement away from letting any small-oak impact in the expression of his utterly distinctive Serralunga terroirs. This is a powerful set of Serralunga classics, and each wine individually celebrates its heritage with its own set of fascinating complexities and driving elements – all under the generally darker fruits, smoky, stocky Serralunga banner.
2013 is likely a great vintage. These wines do look like 2010 to me. Although Giampaolo notes the tannins are more forceful than usual, it’s hard to notice them amongst the volume and multitude of elements in these wines – they almost seem soft. Acids are fantastic.
While the Barolo wines are each from the in-focus 2013, this time we also make a particular feature of the current Langhe Nebbiolo. While I note that the term ‘baby-Barolo’ is creeping into the trade vernacular, which will of course lead to this term’s devaluing, I also point out emphatically that if it ever applies to a wine, this is it. Year after year. And we already know that 2015 will be one of those years…
Nebbiolo & Barolo normale
2015 Luigi Pira Langhe Nebbiolo
Entirely taken from the following Pira vineyards in Serralunga, so an incredible pedigree. A true declassification, not a commercial line that takes wine in from wherever. Quite a bargain really.
This is very good – it could be Barolo for some people, this has a little more of the red fruits (and cherry skin) notes early, but it soon goes to its Serralunga roots, with the darker notes, some of that x-factor sappiness and the mineral drive and essential austerity. I’ll cellar some of this.
David Ridge, 2 stars
2013 Luigi Pira Barolo Serralunga
Also a montaggio of the famous Pira vineyards, and certainly some parts of these, dating back to the 1950 plantings, are in this highly reliable Serralunga signature.
Immediately striking, and thinking first La Morra, choc and raisin, then it opens to cherry, sappy, fennel-seed. ‘Tar & roses’ character is gorgeous. Now smoke/porcini stock. Good length. Perfect. Authentic.
David Ridge, 2 stars
“…is soft, open-knit and expressive, all of which make it an excellent choice for drinking over the next few years, while the red cherry and plum flavours retain their vibrancy. The tannins are remarkably soft for a young Barolo. 89-91pts” Galloni, Vinous Feb 2017
The Barolo cru
2013 Luigi Pira Barolo ‘Margheria’
Very typical Margheria; the darkest of the Pira Barolos and similar to other makers, in its density and muscular persona. Lots of sand in this vineyard, amongst the chalk, and the raciness eventually cuts through a big wine.
Big, cola, black cherry, cherry cola, charcoal, masses of feel and flavor, but clearly big tannins too. Almost dark Bordeaux or Napa in nature. Aromatics and palate both expand sideways, with mint and spice elements coming in. Fresh, zippy and tannic.
David Ridge, 2+ stars
2013 Luigi Pira Barolo ‘Marenca’
Consistently my favourite Pira. Often one of the best (most interesting/thrilling) Barolo’s of the entire zone. Pira shares this cru with Angelo Gaja (who use theirs for ’Sperrs’, along with some Margheria). So this is the only wine labelled Marenca.
This has that nervy, mineral drive all the way through. Tobacco, cherry, cherry liqueur, porcini, pepper and brown spices. Opens to clear faded rose characters. Gets exciting. This is full on. Challenging for a long time yet. This is fabulous, important and almost endless. Very fine acid right through to the finish. Easy
David Ridge, 3 stars
2013 Luigi Pira Barolo ‘Vigna Rionda’
In theory, this is the most celebrated vineyard in this northern part of Serralunga, and while this wine has never been doubted for character, it was often criticised for oakiness. They needed 12 years plus to work through this oak and shine. A problem no longer, this is undoubtedly a significant Barolo.
Quite different to the others, this is all concentric layers, much like big Burgundy. Fantastically complex and fascinating. Opens a bit to cherry-skin, sappy and cherry liqueur. Time. An exquisite, tingling finish.
David Ridge, 3+ stars
Brezza 2013 –
Classical wines from a serious Barolo vintage
These Brezza wines, having certainly moved into the big league of producers with a decade of consistent high rankings, remain firmly in the more traditional school. Concrete tanks, long macerations (around 30 days) and big wood, characterize the gentle, traditional flow in the cellars beneath the Hotel Barolo.
2013 vintage is clearly regarded as a likely great. It is on a par, in many opinions, with 2010.
We open with Brezza’s compelling 2015 Langhe Nebbiolo; partly because it’s just so interesting, and also because it comes from a vintage which will also be recognised as a great. Wines like this, offer us a sneak peek at the coming greatness, and we should take the hint.
The regular or normale Brezza Barolo, continues a series of strong performances by this epitome of Barolo character and value.
The crus follow, and this year we are again able to offer all three of the wines the craftsman Enzo Brezza offers from their own Barolo comune vineyards. Each is distinctive and each promises authenticity and a long, illustrious future.
In short, 2013 is definitely a vintage not to let go past without partaking. Secure an allocation and an ex-ship price by contacting us immediately.
2015 G. Brezza Langhe Nebbiolo (vino lok glass stopper) – limited stock available now
We have to admit to resisting, for a couple of years, Enzo’s entreaties to bring this in. Was it…is it, an ultra-light red or an ultra-heavy rose? A remarkable wine, which captures Nebb’s character, radiant fruit, some complexities, textures and zip – and yes, some tannins – in a racy, fresh, lighter-weight mold. You’d better have a look at this somehow; it is one benchmark or model for easy-use Nebbiolo, going ahead.
“This is effectively a declassification of Barolo comune wines, most of it from the cru Rue, with those gorgeous rose and strawberry fruits and a classy, sappy overlay. Really great acid/tannin thing achieved here. The mind turns to the restaurant balcony just overhead, and pink veal drizzled with tuna mayo. Well mine does!” David Ridge
2013 G. Brezza Barolo
Brezza’s normale is always a good cross between the serious (cellarable) and approachable. Enzo uses a small amount of nearby Monforte d’Alba (Bricco San Pietro adjoining Bussia) to supplement the majority Barolo comune (San Lorenzo, Ravera & Fossati) in a wine with lovely ‘fading flowers’ strawberry, cherry-skin, young leather, rosemary and mint.
“Brezza’s 2013 Barolo is ethereal, mid-weight and gracious, all qualities that make it an excellent choice for drinking now and over the next few years. Dried cherry, sweet tobacco, spice and crushed flowers add lovely aromatic lift throughout. This is an attractive entry-level offering from Brezza. 88 pts” Galloni, Vinous Feb 2017
The Brezza cru –
Contrasts within a comune
These three Barolo cru are fascinating contrasts; quite different wines from three corners of Barolo comune. Moving more or less left to right, from almost into La Morra, Sarmassa and the occasional release of the super-charged portion of the Bricco Sarmassa are big wines of relative softness and generosity (like La Morra generally). Characters are typically mulberry, sweet licorice, ripe fennel seed, and various flowers and spices. The palate tends to expansive, but has a monumental structure underpinning and tightening this all up. Further into the centre of the comune, where the soil profile begins to alter from the richness-inducing Tortonian marl of the Barolo valley, to the lean, mean sandstone and chalk dominated Helvetian origins of the Serralunga valley, the classical Cannubi walks a tightrope. The red fruits, spice and roses can be quite generous at an early stage, as a Sandrone or one of Chiara Boschis’ wines often are, but Brezza’s rarely so. It’s almost always very shy and for some time. But the real glories lie some years down the track for each of these wines. The exquisite structures, ethereal notes and utter finesse take some time to become apparent. Then in the north-east corner of the comune we find the emerging beauty of Castellero. This cru is actually separated from Castiglione Falletto by just a final, almost cheeky finger of (Monforte’s) Bussia, but really does look Castiglione, with its cranberry, cherry, mint and orange notes and almost severe structure. The ‘spine’ is a notable feature. After a few years of using his Castellero in the Barolo normale, Enzo reverted to offering it as a separate cru from 2010. Good move.
2013 G. Brezza Barolo ‘Castellero’
On the other side of the Barolo to Alba road from Cannubi is Castellero, almost into the neighbouring comune of Castiglione Falletto, and very much similar in style to the red fruits and acid drive of Castiglione wines. This is a cru really gaining in reputation for a serious persona. Critics can be wildly divided when assessing these, so it’s held back a bit in repute. But eventually…
“Dark cherry, pine, mint, blood orange and spices give the 2013 Barolo Castellero much of its exotic, resonant personality. Beams of tannin and acidity add to the wine’s energetic personality. The 2013 could use a few years to soften, but it is quite tasty, even today…the most impressive of these 2013s today. 92 pts” Galloni, Feb 2
2013 G. Brezza Barolo ‘Cannubi’
As usual, the great Cannubi presents a bit shy at the moment, and all of its characteristic radiant red fruits and brooding lushness are subdued for now. This is exactly why Cannubi is both challenging and great. It always seems to pick up weight, almost unlike any other Barolo. The eventual complexities are bewitching.
“Sweet red cherry, blood orange, mint, rose petal and sweet spices give the 2013 Barolo Cannubi a very pretty, exotic range of expression. Medium in body and silky the 2013 will drink well with minimal cellaring. The 2013 is a bit light and at times fleeting, but it is attractive just the same. 90 pts” Galloni, Vinous Feb 2017
2012 G. Brezza Barolo ‘Sarmassa’
Nothing shy about the voluminous Sarmassa again! This time opening remarks are ‘Pomerol’ and after the lushness of the characteristic Pomerol (and La Morra) mulberry, the red fruits kick in, followed by porcini and spice. Heavily textured on the palate, with plenty of length, but it’s balanced, savoury and long.
“The 2013 Barolo Sarmassa is the most inward of the 2013 Barolos. Smoke, iron, savory herbs and a host of ferrous notes abound. Powerful and also a bit rough around the edges, the 2013 is very much closed in on itself today. If it softens, the 2013 might merit a higher score, but today it is unyielding, even within the context of young Barolo. 91 pts” Galloni, Vinous Feb 2017
Bruno Giacosa –
Surely one of Italy’s Greatest Producers?
“I can think of no Italian producer whose wines have given me as much pleasure as the Barbarescos and Barolos from Bruno Giacosa. He is one of a handful of producers whose wines I will purchase without tasting them first.”
Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate #144
2011 Bruno Giacosa Falletto Barolo Vigna Le Rocche Riserva
This reminds me of the perfect 2000. Aromas of blackberries, violets, smoke and sliced plums. Subtle, classic beauty for the nose. Full-bodied yet tight and refined. It starts off very slowly, but the finish comes after one minute of tasting. Spellbinding wine. So savoury and salty. Extraordinary.
2012 Bruno Giacosa Falletto Barolo
A young wine that builds on the palate with plums, spices, cedar and hints of chocolate. Turns to hazelnuts. Full to medium body, but this builds on the palate. Juicy and chewy with caressing tannins. Love the way it grows on the palate. Better in 2019.
2013 Bruno Giacosa Falletto Barolo Vigna Le Rocche
This is incredibly powerful and structured with so much tannin backbone and ripe fruit. Aromas of plums and hazelnuts. Full-bodied and chewy. Fabulous finish. Needs three to four years to come together. Great wine.
2015 Bruno Giacosa Nebbiolo d’Alba
An excellent vintage for Nebbiolo harvested later than the other varieties. This is from the Roero zone with its rich strawberry and orange fruits. Many shoppies and sommeliers buy this as soon as they can get their hands on it because its as good as many a Barolo and is a Giacosa Nebbiolo at economy prices.
The ‘Azienda Agricola Falletto’ Winery comprises twenty hectares of vineyards within the Serralunga d’Alba, La Morra and Barbaresco areas. The Asili’ Vineyard is regarded as Barbaresco’s Grand Cru.
2011 AA Falletto di Bruno Giacosa Barbaresco ‘Asili’ Riserva This is the jewel; the rare red label Riserva, one of the world’s most sought collectibles. “The bouquet shows enormous depth and power with a generous presentation of dark fruit, cassis, balsam herb, cola, licorice, tar and lingering smoke.”
93 + erobertparker.com
“Most impressive today on the slowly mounting, elegant, mouth-saturating back end, which features big fine-grained tannins and outstanding rising length. Real essence of nebbiolo.”
96 + Galloni Vinous
“This is an incredible wine…” 99pts jamessuckling.com
Custard & Co –
Set in the middle of apple growing country in the south-west of WA, Custard & Co strive to be different, making true, whole apple cider from local fruit.
Revelling in all that nature throws at them and using spontaneous wild yeast from the apples at each pressing, their caustic-free open fermentation process takes somewhere between 4 and 12 weeks, with the occasional hugging of the tanks by Mr. Custard for additional love.
With no concentrate or flavouring, Custard & Co create real apple ciders. From the sparkling Original to the yeasty Scrumpy, they allow seasonal fruits to naturally affect the textures and flavours of the cider, something they embrace with open arms.
Wild yeasts, open fermentation and good times!
Vintage Dry Apple Cider 5.5% ABV
An old-school, lip-puckering reminder of the good old days, this crisp, dry cider is best enjoyed with friends.
Scrumpy Apple Cider 6% ABV
Scrumpy is simple. Unfiltered, uncarbonated and open fermented.
Original Apple Cider 4.5% ABV
A light, sparkling, 100% filtered cider with huge stone fruit flavours created by Custard’s own wild yeast strain. Perfect with a slice of lemon, over ice.
The goal set by founder, Mark ‘Lord’ Ward, is to bring consumers back into the world of drinking vermouth through the aperitif/digestif occasion. Available in Australia, New Zealand and the UK, Regal Rogue is turning heads and leading the charge in this mission to bring the category back into vogue through simple serves over ice, mixed and reverse classic cocktails. Regal Rogue is an award winning brand with a family of varietals including Lively White, Bold Red, Wild Rosé and Daring Dry presented in 500ml bottles.
The World’s Drinking Vermouth!
Regal Rogue is a celebration of 100% Australian wine with native Australian aromatics. With 30% less sugar than traditional vermouth, the Regal Rogue range is classed as semi-dry, creating the ultimate quaffing aperitif. All of the wine used, is sourced from boutique vineyards in regions renowned for their specific grape styles and then blended with the native Australian aromatics. With influence from a 60 year heritage of blending vermouth in Turin, Italy, this process creates utterly unique recipes in order to produce a fresh, quaffable family of distinct wine aperitifs.
Regal Rogue Daring Dry is an extra-dry aperitif, led by savoury and light salty notes creating a umami finish. Marrying a grassy Sauvignon Blanc from South Australia with native anise myrtle, quandong and native thyme, followed by white pepper, gentian, olive leaf and juniper.
Signature tipples – RR Daring Dry over ice with tonic and an olive or caper for an aromatic long serve or 1:1 with vodka as a dripping martini and a caper on the side for cured meats and cheeses.
Regal Rogue Lively White is a semi-dry aperitif, bursting with citrus and floral notes. Marrying a Hunter Valley Semillon with native lemon myrtle, desert limes, finger limes and native thyme with elderflower, lemongrass, grapefruit and chamomile.
Signature tipple – RR Lively White over ice with tonic, lemon, lime and rosemary as a long drink ideal for afternoon snacking or light seafood.
Regal Rogue Bold Red is one of the world’s first dry red vermouths (a semi-dry aperitif) led by aromatic spice and rich dried fruit. Marrying Hunter Valley Semillon and Barossa Valley Shiraz with native pepper berry, wattle seed and native thyme followed by cinnamon, clove, star anise, nutmeg and ginger.
Signature tipple – RR Bold Red over ice with tonic, ginger ale or beer, an orange wedge and slice of ginger as a long drink or in a reverse classic manhattan, led with Regal Rogue.
Regal Rogue Wild Rosé is a semi-dry aperitif, led by tropical fruit and fruit spice notes. Marrying a Shiraz Rosé Blush from the Adelaide Hills and native illawarra plums, rosella and strawberry gum with rhubarb and kina.
Signature tipple – RR Wild Rosé over ice with sparkling wine, a lemon wedge and mint sprig as a spritzer. Ideal with tropical fruits for that cheeky mid morning aperitif moment.
Toast like Royalty, Live like a Rogue!
John Vickery has been instrumental in shaping the history of Riesling in Australia. Over half a century’s worth of experience has given John Vickery an understanding of Riesling grapes that is un-matched. It is this knowledge, combined with his reputation for extraordinary attention to detail, that has produced Australia’s finest Rieslings.
The Vickery label is more than just a legacy for his stellar career and countless awards; it is the preservation of his winemaking methods and extraordinary knowledge of this most noble grape variety, that will be passed on for generations to come for the benefit of all lovers of classic Australian Riesling.
Vickery’s hallmark approaches were cool fermentation and careful handling and it was in the latter years with the introduction of refrigeration and air bag presses, that John was best able to capture the Riesling grape’s fine delicate flavours.
With more than fifty Trophies and an incredible four hundred Gold Medals (and a Jimmy Watson for good measure) John Vickery is recognised as an inspiration and benchmark for many young (and old) winemakers. Highlights of his career include winning the 2007 Wolf Blass Riesling Award at the Canberra International Riesling challenge. He was humbled to be judged by his peers as Australia’s Greatest Living Winemaker in a survey conducted by Epicure in 2003. But he considers his most rewarding contribution to the Australian Wine Industry, being the first to re-introduce the screw cap with the 1998 Richmond Grove Watervale and Barossa Rieslings. This was by any measure, the single most significant event in the improvement in quality of Australian Riesling.
In 2007 John was awarded the Medal of Order of Australia for ‘service to the wine industry as an oenologist, particularly through the development of innovative methods for Riesling production.’
As the youngest son of two wine industry icons, Peter and Margaret Lehmann, Phil’s path into the Australian wine industry may have been somewhat predetermined. Initially weathering the irresistible pull of the industry, Phil took a detour from wine and completed an Honours Degree in Electrical Engineering at Adelaide University, intermingled with a few harvest stints with his family’s business at Peter Lehmann Wines.
The allure of a career in winemaking could only be ignored for so long, and Phil began a two year international pilgrimage throughout Napa, Stellenbosch and Burgundy. It was during this time he realised wine could be far more than simply a drink, or a job, but rather an essential part of a life’s rich tapestry, weaving the seasons, culture, people and history of a region, into a greatly fulfilling life. After heading back to Australia, Phil promptly completed formal winemaking study with a graduate diploma in Oenology at the University of Adelaide.
Phil is not only Peter Lehmann’s son, who was a most respected winemaker and Johns greatest friend, but Phil also happens to be John’s protégé for Vickery wines.
Their shared history is the beauty of this partnership – Phil, like John, understands the vital importance of fruit quality and depth of flavour to make great Riesling, and revels in the opportunity to learn from Australia’s greatest Riesling winemaker.
Stanton & Killeen
Stanton & Killeen Wines appoints Déjà Vu Wine Company as its National Distributor
Stanton & Killeen Wines announced today a new distribution partnership has been formed with Déjà Vu Wine Company, effective August 17, 2016.
The announcement follows Stanton & Killeen’s recent complete vineyard rejuvenation, enabling the 141-year-old wine company to create environmentally sustainable pathways to deliver unsurpassed fruit quality, thus a significant improvement in wine quality.
Wendy Killeen, CEO of Stanton & Killeen Wines, said there were strong synergies between Stanton & Killeen and the Déjà Vu Wine Company.
“The timing of the new partnership with Déjà Vu Wine Company is perfect as we release the new vintage wines from our beautiful vineyards. We’re excited to join forces with this dynamic and progressive operation lead by Andrew Cameron, Peter Crannage and their team.” Ms Killeen said.
“We look forward to championing Stanton & Killeen in the industry. The brand has an enviable reputation with visibly strong family values, not to mention superb quality table and fortified wines,” Mr Cameron said
“A 5 red star Halliday rating and 141 years of continuous family ownership will also help sell the story of such a credible brand.”
Stanton & Killeen Wines have produced highly sort after wine from the Rutherglen region for more than 140 years. With continuous family ownership in a wine region that is world renowned for full-flavoured reds and fortifieds, long-term relationships have been cultivated alongside vines that are many decades old.
For nearly three centuries, the Bocelli family has crafted classic Italian wines from their small estate in Lajatico, Tuscany. While the operation is currently managed closely by world-famous opera singer Andrea Bocelli and his brother Alberto, a renowned architect, the spirit of family-style continues with the full-time involvement of Cinzia, Alberto’s wife, and their son Alessio. To this day, you would not be surprised to find Edi Bocelli, best known as “Mamma” keeping a watchful eye on the fields and carefully hand-tying the prized family vines.
The family farm was settled in 1730 by Bartolomeo Bocelli. From the very beginning, the Bocelli family has been a people of the land, cultivating grains, animals, honey, olive oil, and of course, wine. In the 1930’s, Alcide Bocelli, the grandfather of Alberto and Andrea Bocelli, became increasingly serious about expanding the vineyards and modernizing the operation. This work was continued by his son, Alessandro, and Alessandro’s wife Edi; and today by Alberto and Andrea Bocelli. The winery has old vines, some well over 70+ years, and has grown classic Tuscan varietals such as Sangiovese, Canaiolo, Colorino, Malvasia, and Trebbiano, and through careful analysis, determined that their terroir was exceptionally suited for Cabernet Sauvignon.
The Cabernet vines were planted 10 years ago, and are now producing exceptional fruit with distinctive elegance and “cool climate” character.
The estate’s top wines now contain Sangiovese and Cabernet, and the white wine, primarily Trebbiano, is not exported, and made only for local consumption.
In 2011, for the very first time, the Bocelli family expanded its production through partnerships with other exceptional growers, and hand-selected some of the best sites in Italy to produce a fresh, easy-to-drink Sangiovese, and a delicate and classy Prosecco. With further expansions and new partnerships through 2014, exciting new products are becoming available to the international market.
Kumeu River 2013’s
—The Wine Advocate 31/03/16
It seldom happens, but occasionally tasting notes go missing in action. And in this case, it couldn’t have happened to a more important set of notes. Amidst the shuffle between my old Singapore laptop and a new American one, I neglected to copy over one of the Kumeu River tasting note files. Sod’s law, it just so happened that this was one of the greatest, if not the greatest, vintage of Kumeu River wines I have ever tasted. I remembered so distinctly tasting these incredible wines, but for months was flummoxed as to where my notes could be. I frantically searched and re-searched until it finally occurred to me to look on my old laptop.
A lot of fruit went MIA in the spring before that vintage, during a devastating frost in September 2012, unfortunately never to return. The Brajkovichs sent a helicopter up to circle the vineyards for five hours, searching for warm air to push down on the vines, but there was to be no respite for the nascent buds during that icy night. Over two-thirds of the 2013 Kumeu River Chardonnay crops were lost.
“The 2013 vintage was unique because of the perfect ripening conditions and dry weather,” commented winemaker Michael Brajkovich. “It was also very small and concentrated. Frost reduced our Chardonnay yield by 70%, and the overall vintage was only 50% of average. These wines are therefore very concentrated and intense, with firm and angular acidity which will take a while to evolve. They will be long-lived and of exceptional quality. 2014 is also very high in quality, but not as concentrated, and is tasting easier on the palate already. So, in some respects I think it better than 2013, but in terms of longevity 2013 will be legendary in my view. 2014 is certainly better than 2011 and 2012, with 2010 also being exceptional along the lines of the 2013 because of extremely low yields caused by frost. 2014 is more similar to the very good years of 2009 and 2006, and warmer than the high-acid year of 2007.”
I am certainly relieved to have found these notes. With such small quantities available of the top Kumeu River 2013 Chardonnays, I hope our Chardonnay loving readers will be able to scope out a few bottles – these 2013’s couldn’t come more highly recommended.
Lisa Perrotti-Brown, The Wine Advocate
The Acclaimed Best Gin
At The Ultimate Spirits Challenge
—New York 01/05/16
West Winds, the craft gin company from Margaret River in Western Australia, have just announced their arrival to the gin world, with The Cutlass taking out the Chairman’s Trophy for best gin at the Ultimate Spirits Challenge. The Cutlass took home the Chairman’s Trophy ahead of much fancied opposition, beating far more well known gin houses including Beefeater, Hendricks, Plymouth and Fords.
The Ultimate Spirits Challenge isn’t just a standard one off event, it incorporates a designated year-round facility and a tasting team of industry big-wigs including Don Lee, Jeff Bell, Joaquin Simo and Dave Wondrich. The Cutlass scored 97 out of a possible 100 points, with the judges’ tasting notes accentuating how good this spirit really is.
‘Sea breeze and airy mountain herbs dominate the nose with an underlying note of bergamot and pine. Robust, earthy and herb-forward on the palate with a deep minerality and a hunt of luscious lemon. Finishes bold and dry.’
Not to be outdone, The Captain’s Cut, The Broadside and The Sabre all received notable mentions, affirming to the rest of the world what a world-class tipple they make.
With a recent best in show being awarded to The Broadside along with recognition as Australia’s Gin Distillery of the Year at The New York International Spirits Competition, West Winds imminent Ginvasion of the U.S. market is supported by a veritable shipload of awards.
Today, Domaine Clarence Dillon, has the unique privilege of producing five rare and exceptional estate wines of unequalled reputation as well as their second wines. Domaine Clarence Dillon’s expertise, founded on five centuries of history, is reflected in every wine produced by the estate.
In 2005, seventy years after Clarence Dillon’s arrival, his great-grandson, Prince Robert de Luxembourg, began writing a new chapter of the Dillon family’s history by establishing Clarence Dillon Wines to produce and sell the first premium brand wine in Bordeaux: “Clarendelle”.
Through the creation of Clarendelle, Clarence Dillon Wines and Domaine Clarence Dillon wish to shed a new light on the tremendous potential and savoir faire of this region, that have made it a benchmark for the entire world. With this outstanding terroir, passionate and qualified men and women, and an expertise handed down over centuries, all the necessary ingredients were there for the creation of a top-end Bordeaux brand. It is in the pure tradition of the Domaine Clarence Dillon estate wines that the oenologists at the family-owned company also elaborate Clarendelle, with the traditional Bordeaux varieties. Bringing out the finest characteristics of the vintage, skilful blending leads to high quality year after year.
The red wines come primarily from the Saint-Emilion, Haut-Médoc, and Pessac- Léognan regions (including the Domaine Clarence Dillon estates). The white wines come mainly from the Graves (including Pessac-Léognan).
With Clarendelle, consumers can confidently choose the best of Bordeaux. Focusing on quality, balance, and elegance, it is only fitting that Clarendelle should reflect the philosophy of Domaine Clarence Dillon: combine tradition with innovation in order to extract the quintessence of an exceptional terroir and produce comprehensive families of authentic wines that are defined by their complexity and elegance. The wines are aged during many years and only introduced to the market when considered to be mature and able to fully express the complexity of their bouquet.
Capel Vale on
the East Coast
Deja Vu Wine Company to represent Capel Vale on the East Coast.
We are pleased to announce that, effective February 1st, 2016, Deja Vu Wine Company will take on the representation of the wines from Capel Vale in the eastern seaboard states of NSW, QLD, VIC and ACT.
We are thrilled to be representing such a well known premium wine brand from WA. In the past the wines of Capel Vale have been distributed by Fine Wine Partners in NSW, VIC and QLD.
At Capel Vale, they will continue to work from their extensive vineyard holdings to produce regionally distinct, premium wines from the Geographe, Mount Barker, Pemberton and Margaret River regions.
We will be in contact with you very soon, and in the meantime, for any enquiries please contact your sales representative or our contact below are as follows.
T: 1300 655 732
F: 1300 656 166
Déjà vu Wine Company are pleased to announce the arrival of their first shipment of Mars Whisky from Japan. Déjà vu Sake Co have been appointed exclusive importers for Mars and the whisky will be sold and distributed by Déjà vu Wine Co throughout Australia and New Zealand.
The Hombo family, owners of Mars Whisky, first took out a license to distil whisky in 1949, although it was not until 1960 that it started making whisky – and not in Kagoshima, but at a purpose built plant in Yamanashi.
This was run by Kiichiro Iwai, who had been Masataka Taketsuru’s immediate superior at the turn of the century and who was responsible for sending Taketsuru to Scotland in 1919 to learn how whisky was produced. Sadly when Taketsuru returned from Scotland, the firm was in administration. He went to join Yamazaki, founded Nikka, and the rest is history.
Iwai was a whisky man too, and when the plant in Yamanashi started , Iwai used Taketsuru’s original report to make his whisky. It was unsurprisingly, heavy and smoky. Iwai was also responsible for the design of their pot stills and is considered a pioneer in the history and development of pot still whisky in Japan. He is one of only 4 Japanese, listed in the Top 100 most influential people in the history of whisky in the world.
In 1984, production was switched to the current Mars site, situated at 798m above sea level, in Nagano prefecture high in the Japanese Alps, which had been chosen because of its altitude (to encourage slow maturation) and the availability of soft granite filtered water. A style change was also brought in. This whisky was to be light. The few casks from this period show it to be Japan’s sweetest whisky, filled with soft honeyed fruits.
With the market opening up, Mars opened again in 2011 and currently there are only two blended whisky’s available in Australia – Iwai Japanese Whisky, which is aged in bourbon casks, and the Iwai ‘Tradition’ Japanese Whisky which is aged in bourbon, sherry, American white oak casks and Japanese Mizunara casks, and is a little richer and fuller in flavour.
Home of The Ramones and The Statue of Liberty, setting for some of the world’s great movies – think Taxi Driver, Donnie Brasco, Brewsters Millions, Ghostbusters and who could forget Tom Cruise in Cocktail, New York has always been a leader of the world’s great creative forces – food, drink, art, science…you name it.
And so it is with great excitement that we can tell you that our brutish, navy strength offering, The Broadside, has won Gold at the 2015 New York International Spirits Competition this week.
Further, we have been named as Australia’s Gin Distillery of the Year.
This gong adds to an impressive list of accolades for one of the countries most awarded, and arrested, gin producers and sits alongside TWO Double Gold awards from the San Francisco International Spirits Competition and Golds in London and New York last year.
“This is another huge vote of confidence in the West Winds, and affirmation that we must be doing at least a few things right – kudos to Jason and Paul for their work in the distillery and Jez for creating havoc in the marketplace. And we really couldn’t have wished for better timing as this award has come just as we are preparing the landing party for our Ginvasion of the US which is due in early 2016. That, along with the looming onslaught that is Christmas, should keep the guys well and truly on the straight and narrow. Time to set sail!”
The journey began in the Margaret River region of WA with the founders spending their misspent youth surfing and chasing girls. Mates since then, the region has always been close to their hearts as a wild, clean and pure destination, perfect to just escape from it all.
The West Winds Gins were created by four intrepid and adventurous Australians who wanted to realise a vision – Fast forward to 2010 in suburban Melbourne when 2005 42BELOW World Cocktail Champion Jason Chan took Paul White, Jeremy Spencer, and James Clarke through his vision for two gins. Both styles were entered in the 2011 San Francisco International Spirits Competition, with The Cutlass taking Double Gold and The Sabre a Gold. The prestigious ‘Double Gold’ for The Cutlass was a first for an Australian gin producer and was followed up by a second Double Gold at the 2013 Competition.
ACCORDING TO THE BOYS AT THE WEST WINDS…
“The thirst for knowledge about spirits is growing rapidly and Gin is at the centre of an incredible renaissance in the bar and restaurant world here in Australia.”
DIRECTOR OF DÉJÀ VU WINE CO
“The premium spirits category is an incredibly exciting one and we are really pleased to add such a strong brand to our growing portfolio…”
Contact your representative or call 1300 655 732 for any enquiries.
Lighthouse Gin is the brainchild of Neil Catherall. Born and raised in Masterton, Neil was a beer man and worked as chief engineer at New Zealand Breweries in the 1970s, before spending the next 20 years in finance until he retired with his wife to Greytown in 2001.
Distilled in an old and unassuming apple juicing shed in Martinborough, Lighthouse Gin is sold all over NZ and Britain and now being released in Australia. This small batch, doubled distilled Gin has been a young but heavy hitter on the international spirit market.
“That’s the secret that separates a good gin from a great gin”, he says. “It’s easy to make a gin. But to make a gin that is balanced, is much more difficult and of course, there was a great deal of experimentation to get the balance right – That was the fun part,” he says!
WHAREKAUHAU COUNTRY ESTATE’S LIGHTHOUSE GIN MARTINI
— 2 ½ oz. Lighthouse Gin
— ½ oz. Dry Vermouth
— Meyer Lemon Peel
Place ice into a martini or lowball glass to chill the glass. Pour the gin and vermouth into a shaker over ice. Stir gently for 30 seconds. Strain into glass. Peel a 2-inch piece of lemon peel, curling slightly. Garnish glass with the peel. Serve.
Contact your representative or call 1300 655 732 for any enquiries.