Riding the crest of this new wave, Romain Guiberteau has emerged as one of Saumur’s brightest talents. He is the third generation at this Estate and oversees the now organic viticulture as well as all the winemaking responsibilities.
Guiberteau gave up a promising career outside the realm of wine to return to his family’s vineyards (where he was fortunate to inherit an assortment of top-notch, old-vine holdings including some choice parcels in Saumur’s de facto grand cru, Brézé). To date the Domaine is 9.4 hectares in total with 7 hectares in Brézé!
Dell and his wife Linda Morice established their northeast Tasmania wine venture in 2005 following the purchase of Golders Vineyard at Pipers Brook. The couple then spent the next 15 years together, developing their close-planted 4hectare site into one of the State’s most exciting and widely respected producers of cutting edge, single vineyard wines. It was a project born out a fierce passion for detail and manual farming. Multiple clones, high density planting, frugal yields always with an eye on the future trajectory of the Sinapius Estate wines.
“Domain de l’Oratoire St-Martin is one of the Southern Rhone Valley’s most conspicuous overachievers, making wines that are far above their humble appellations. All of their wines go into the bottle with no filtration and only a light fining. This is the type of estate that brings smiles to consumers who happen upon their wines. They are reasonably priced and qualitatively equivalent to wines selling at two or three times the price.”
At Marcoux the talented team of sisters Sophie and Catherine Armenier are gracefully carrying on the heritage of the Armenier family, which has been making Châteauneuf du Pape for700 years! Marcoux craft wonderfully pure, refined and textured examples that faithfully reflect the vintage in which they are produced.This is a timeless Estate whose delectable wines capture in Tanzer’s words, “…the essence of Chateauneuf du Pape”
Mas de Libian is located in Saint Marcel d’Ardèche on the hilly western slopes of the Rhône, at the tip of the visually stunning gorge of the Ardèche. The vineyards’ altitude provides cool evenings, which when coupled with the rocky limestone terroir and the bracing Mistral guarantees their wines vibrancy and freshness, traits for which this bohemian Domaine is highly respected.
Alain Graillot has the sort of vineyard that makes the wine traveller thirsty. It is the kind of place that simply looks like it makes great booze. Gnarled yet well-manicured vines reach up from a sea of smooth, rolled stones, each about the size of a child’s fist. Maxime Graillot no longer stands in the shadow of his celebrated father. Today he has the senior winemaking role at Domaine Alain Graillot and is carving out his own place in the history of the Northern Rhône.
Pierre Gaillard has great vineyards, infectious passion, makes good decisions and possesses a dirt-under-the-fingernails grit which means that most of the hard work has been done before the fruit arrives in the cellar. The quality of fruit he harvests, allied to his fine touch in the cellar, results in some of the most evocative, flavoursome and stylish northern Rhône wines going around.
The wines of Remejeanne proudly speak of their place – high up in the hills with soils comprised of sand and limestone. The result is a range of fresh, highly refined Côtes du Rhônes brimming with fruit and character. They are far cooler and purer than many of the Côtes du Rhônes produced at lower altitudes and on alluvial soils and this stylistic difference suits us right down to the ground.
From 1996, Denis Mortet no longer used weed killers or chemical fertilizers. He ploughed the soil and vine shoots were crushed on-site to make an organic soil-enricher. He left Arnaud a solid base in the vineyard to enable him to work well right from the start, fine-tuning it increasingly each year with experience and observation. Before being made in the cellar, wine is made in the vineyard with loose, excellent soils, which enable vines to plunge their roots down deeply.
Mortet uses horses, ploughs less to protect the structure of the and works organically and sustainably in the vineyard. Lastly, there remains one essential procedure that is trimming with clippers. Arnaud invests heavily in taking on staff during the summer, 2017, they trimmed with clippers 12 of the 16 hectares and that’s enormous!
In the winery everything begins with natural yeasts. Vatting time lasts between 18 and 20 days, barely a fortnight for small quantity wines like Chambertin. The use of cap punching and sulphur are considered. Oak selection is left to the expertise of Mortet’s coopers and maturation lasts anywhere between 16 and 18 months. All of this means the wines can be enjoyed young while possessing all the characteristics for ageing.
Growing up in a pioneering wine family meant there was a high likelihood that Andrew Marks would end up in a life of wine. There he could have stayed but a strong spirit and curious palate led him to formal wine studies at the University of Adelaide, a long stint at the prestigious Penfolds, and vintages in France, Spain and the USA before returning to Gembrook in 2003. While working alongside Timo Mayer at Gembrook, Andrew set up his own successful label The Wanderer that allows him to explore other sites and varieties. His other love is the Melbourne Gin Company set up in 2012 and featured in Melbourne’s bars and restaurants. Andrew is warm and generous, and determined to do justice to the vineyard, the history and the legacy that is Gembrook Hill.
Andre Bondar has a post-graduate degree in wine making as well vintage gigs in Oregon, California, Tyrell’s in the Hunter and Tintara, Padthaway & Mitolo in McLaren Vale. From 2006 he was at Nepenthe and when he finished in 2012 he was the head wine maker. He credits a vintage spent with the great Alain Graillot in Northern Rhone as highly influential. Bondar is redefining what is possible producing wines that focus on balance, freshness & texture whilst retaining a uniquely Australian sense of place.
Peter Schell is not only making some of the most exciting wines in the Barossa, he is also transforming our assumptions about this region. His choice of site and his intuitive, hands-off work in the winery continues to yield dramatic and certainly anti-formulaic results. While Schell’s wines remain quite unlike the traditional Barossa norm they remain saturated with what we often call ‘sense of place’. As such, they offer the textural openness and generosity that is the mark of the region, its climate and ancient soils, yet not at the expense of definition, tannic freshness and line.
Anyone with even a passing interest in cool-climate Australia will already know that Garagiste is one of the Mornington Peninsula’s brightest rising stars. Barnaby Flanders created the Garagiste label following his amicable split with Allies co-founder David Chapman (who continues with the Allies label). ‘Barney’ now focuses on a snug range of small-batch wines from fruit sourced from the highly prized Merricks Grove vineyard, the Silverwood vineyard (Balnarring), and the Hugh Robinson vineyard in Moorooduc. Garagiste, the main label, is ably supported by delicious entry-level wines under the Le Stagiaire banner. Barnaby and Cam (Marshall) manage all aspects of the viticulture and winemaking themselves and a range of succulent, finely tuned and elegantly crafted cool-climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay is what results. We’ve been on the look out for a quality Mornington producer for ages, one that isn’t a slave to fashion and doesn’t charge like a horde of agitated wildebeest. Garagiste fits the bill very nicely indeed.
Rully is the most exciting village in the Cotes Chalonnaise. It is effectively a continuous south, south-east facing slope of clay and limestone the same attributes of the Cote d’Or’s best vineyards. Historically the region has sold much of it’s fruit to large negociants who blended the fruit away. This is still the case today, but there are a number producers making interesting and exceptional wines.
The wines of Vincent Dureuil-Janthial set the benchmark for the Rully appellation. Not only is he a gifted winemaker, but he is blessed with older vine vineyards. The estate consists of 20ha, 16 in Rully including 1.7ha of chardonnay in Le Meix Cadot the largest of the 1er Crus and 2ha from the eastern vineyard Mazieres from where the fresh, mineral infused Rully Blanc comes. The rest resides in Mercurey, Puligny-Montrachet & Nuits-Saint-Georges. The family have existed in Rully since the 14th century.
Dureuil-Janthial is intensely dedicated to his vines, yields are limited and only harvested when perfectly ripe, physiologically and phenolically. In the winery reds are de-stemmed and left to slowly macerate at cool temperatures so as to gently extract colour and tannin while preserving freshness. Whites are pressed directly and undergo fermentation in new barrel. The exclusive use of Chassin barrels combined with stainless steel vats enables Vincent to express the best of his terroir.
Domaine Dureuil-Janthial is a super estate of the Cote Chalonnaise and Vincent a rising star of Burgundy. 2016 was a difficult vintage and its reflected in the price of Burgundy but not here. The wines are fresh, textured and elegant and could easily come from a more prestigious appellation in the Cote d’Or but without the price tag. This shipment has just arrived and in normal circumstances this exceptional grower would be appearing on our wine lists. For the time being they are in our shops. Enjoy!
Voyager Estate, nestled in the Stevens Valley within the greater Wallcliffe sub-region of the Margaret River, was founded by the visionary Michael Wright in 1991. The oldest vines were planted in 1978, the gravel soils (free draining with a high mineral content), aspect and maritime influence make up the foundations of Voyager’s elegant wines. Wright was a soil fanatic and spent years profiling neighbouring properties to ascertain the right soil composition to bear grapes that would produce world class wines. To this day Voyager’s vineyards remain based on this original profiling, resulting in a beautiful natural balance with moderate vigour and yields.
Michael Wright passed away in 2012 and the baton passed to daughter Alexandra Burt who has matched her father’s attention to detail with an environmental conscience that has opened another important chapter in the history of the Estate. Steve James, viticulturist under Cliff Royle and Voyager veteran of 15 vintages now looks after both wine production and the vineyards. This wholistic role has led to significant, quality driven change. Specific clones are soil matched and each plot is micro-managed. On my visit to Voyager for their 40th Anniversary celebrations it was very apparent the James and his team have an intimate knowledge of the vines.
Current transition towards organic certification with plans to have the entire vineyard certified organic by 2023. Balanced and sustainable viticulture using composts and seaweed extracts is enhanced by a meticulous approach to winemaking. Hand harvesting, state of the art sorting table to refine fruit selection and small batch fermentation play a big part in the subtlety, freshness and finesse found in the wines of Voyager Estate today.
The Rheingau was historically Germany’s most revered vineyard region and once produced the world’s most expensive wines. You only need to glance at a wine map of Germany to see why. The Rheingau is a series of sheer, south facing, rocky slopes that maximise exposure to the sun and protect the vines from the bitter northern winds. It is this confluence of natural elements that enables Riesling to perfectly ripen at this very marginal, northern climate.
Based in the town of Kiedrich, Weil’s wines are fuelled by the three epic, high altitude, south facing vineyards of Klosterberg, Turmberg and most famously, Gräfenberg, all situated in the foothills of the Taunus Mountains. From these historic sites, Wilhelm Weil, a pioneer of ‘earth to glass’ wine growing, guides Rheingau Riesling to its most seamless, precise expression and in doing so produces some of the world’s most inspirational Rieslings. They are exotically fruity, steely, lemony and mineral wines that reflects the terroir of vineyards that are side by side.
2018 (offered today) was a warmer year with strong yields, producing ripe and expressive wines. In the hands of Robert Weil there is something exhilarating about the delicious fruit, jaw sapping mineral salinity and exhaltant mouth feel of each sip. I love Riesling and I love Robert Weil wines. The instantly recognizable powder blue label, the confidence I feel when I serve these wines at all price points, happy days in the restaurant! Enjoy!
“Robert Weil has been one of the icons of German wine culture for many years. Nothing but the finest Rieslings are produced. And as more than 100 years ago, the wines are distinguished in terms of their origins and their style.”
Stephan Reinhardt. The Finest Wines of Germany
Ricky Evans, Tasmanian born, studied Oenology at the University of Adelaide before working in the Barossa and the Napa Valley. He always wanted to make wine in Tasmania so in 2010 he secured a position as winemaker at Bay of Fires Winery under Edd Carr.
In 2013 a vintage of kind yields, Ricky secured 2 tonne of pinot grapes from a Rosevears Vineyard, hence forth the name Two Tonne. With the slogan ‘Small parcels, Big love’ Ricky Evans has epitomized what we want from the hands on grower; exciting and hard to get small batch wines.
Ricky has positioned himself well for the growth of his project sourcing fruit from a number of vineyards, Three Wishes near Batman Bridge (which he leases), and Native Point also on the Tamar River. In 2017 he planted his own vineyard on family land at Swan Bay and secured the lease on the former Ryanna Vineyard at the back of Waverley (close to White Hills).
In both the Two Tonne line-up and the more accessible Ziggurat range, Evan’s pinot’s show brilliant light and shade. Hands off elevage, little intervention no filtration and minimal additions allows the fruit and vineyard to shine, a theme that carries through to excellent regional examples of Riesling and Chardonnay. “I want flavour. I want the wines to be generous. But purity is first and foremost what I’m trying to find.” – Ricky Evans
Domaine de l’Arlot, with its hillside vineyards and 19th century gardens, has what many consider to be the most beautiful estate in Burgundy. Since the late 1980s this producer has also been responsible for some of the prettiest red Burgundies going around. The perfume, silkiness and flickering clarity of these wines is born of the l’Arlot vineyards, and the Prémeaux terroir in general. Prémeaux has always stood apart from the rest of Nuits-Saint-Georges and made wines that are altogether more fine and elegant than those produced further North, around the town itself. L’Arlot brings the finesse of this terroir to the fore with their approach to wine growing and élevage. Biodynamic farming, perfect, well-sorted fruit, gentle extraction and whole bunch use, all play their part. Every step, from vineyard to bottle, is tailored to underline purity and finesse.
The Loire Valley is a diverse region covering a large area of Central France. The diversity of grape varietals, excellent value and high proportion of small scale wine makers devoted to farming organically make it one of my favourites. From the crisp floral whites of Muscadet and Sancerre to the fuller bodied Chenin Blancs to the fresh light reds that are Cabernet Franc. Today’s offer includes Sauvignon Blanc and Rose from one of Sancerre’s big guns Gérard Boulay, in the village of Chavignol. Then in Montlouis we have the textural Chenin Blancs of François Chidaine and across the river in Vouvray, Domaine Huet.
To round things off, the stunning Cabernet Franc from Domaine des Roches Neuves (also his great value Anjou Chenin Blanc) and the brilliant value wines of Jo Landron in Muscadet. Finally a delicious Cheverny Sauvignon Blanc from Domaine du Salvard. Enjoy and remember if there is anything not listed that you would like please email us!
Stuart Hooper was a successful businessman with a passion for everything about wine. He envisioned creating a vineyard that would produce Australian wine of a quality to emulate the great regions of France.
In the early 1970’s Stuart selected a plot of land in the Moorabool Valley near the township of Bannockburn. A promising site with the desirable soil composition consistent with quality viticulture and a rich history of premium wine grape production dating back to the 1870’s. The initial plantings were shiraz vines. Before long, more land was acquired, more vines and varieties planted – the story had begun.
Although Stuart has since passed, Bannockburn Vineyards remains in the Hooper family, with his daughters as custodians to ensure his philosophy is preserved, providing the cornerstone of all that we do at Bannockburn today.
Burgundy wine (French: Bourgogne or vin de Bourgogne) is wine made in the Burgundy region in eastern France, in the valleys and slopes west of the Saône, a tributary of the Rhône. The most famous wines produced here —those commonly referred to as “Burgundies” — are dry red wines made from pinot noir grapes and white wines made from chardonnay grapes.
Red and white wines are also made from other grape varieties, such as gamay and aligoté, respectively. Small amounts of rosé and sparkling wines are also produced in the region. Chardonnay-dominated chablis and gamay-dominated beaujolais are formally part of the Burgundy wine region, but wines from those subregions are usually referred to by their own names rather than as “Burgundy wines”.
Burgundy has a higher number of appellations d’origine contrôlée (AOCs) than any other French region, and is often seen as the most terroir-conscious of the French wine regions. The various Burgundy AOCs are classified from carefully delineated grand cru vineyards down to more non-specific regional appellations. The practice of delineating vineyards by their terroir in Burgundy goes back to medieval times, when various monasteries played a key role in developing the Burgundy wine industry.