Objects in the rear view mirror may appear closer than they are…
Quite the appropriate title to look back at our favourite wines of 2021 and to give homage to the recent passing of Meat Loaf who I grew up listening to. I would describe 2021 as a ‘shocker’ as we were met by a tsunami of continued problems which we had no control over. That said, I shouldn’t groan as all the darkness was met with many brighter moments which wine, friends and family offer. Moreover, we have taken those difficult challenges and turned them into opportunities, which we will present during this year.
For now, we focus on the year that was…
We’ve been working with Jaysen for many years, and it’s never been anything less than a total joy to work with such a genuinely nice guy producing bloody brilliant wines. Despite being hugely respected down-under, especially within the Barossa, he has somehow managed to fly under the global radar and we feel he has missed the level of credit he deserves. He’s a fearless, non-conformist and we have nothing but huge love for how this translates into his wines.
JC is one of the most creative winemakers we work with, he interferes as little as possible and allows the grapes to do the talking. With over two decades of experience this experimental style is far from guesswork and has led to him creating some of the most consistently exciting wines in our range. His wines are about the unadulterated essence of the grape, combining a sense of place and some great looking bottles! You need look no further than his Wermut and the fascinatingly wacky Freestyler blend to find proof of just how far from the ‘expected norm’ he is not just working, but excelling.
It’s easy to see that these wines are where Jaysen is able to really have fun with what he’s doing. Working with talented winemakers on their own, often tiny, personal projects has brought us some of our favourite wine experiences over the years. Because this is entirely his own project he has the freedom to create adventurously different wines in the textural styles he loves and with the funkiest packaging on the market! He is able to enjoy the physical work and get dirty. He can focus on finding special vineyards where he can bottle the juice without too much mucking around.
Jaysen’s message to our customers “It’s great for me that the small amount of wine I make is getting out to more people around the world. I hope that if you do jump in and get some of the wines, that you approach them with an expectation of fun and enjoyment - because that is what I do this for.”
Best Value Producer of the Year
Stumbling across Nick Glaetzer’s operation back in 2018 was nothing short of a happy accident. But there’s nothing accidental about the quality of wines coming out of Glaetzer-Dixon, as you would expect.
Born into an Australian winemaking dynasty, it’s hardly a surprise. Nick’s father Colin was a winemaker at Rutherglen and Great Western before going on to establish his own Glaetzer Wines in the Barossa Valley, Colin’s twin brother is the man behind John’s Blend, and Nick’s brother Ben, another Barossan great.
Nick lived and breathed viticulture from the day he was born, working his first ‘real’ vintages on his father’s vineyards, before going on to work at many of the great Australian wineries including Leeuwin Estate, Wolf Blass, Lindemans, Rosemount, Evans & Tate and Frogmore Creek. Having fallen in love with Pinot Noir and Riesling working vintages in France and Germany, and being blown away by a Tasmanian Pinot Noir at a blind tasting at Leeuwin Estate, Nick seized on this small island’s potential and the rest is history.
We were recently moved to resample some of Nick’s wines as we shared in his joys and pains recollecting the moment he received the venerated Jimmy Watson Trophy for his 2010 Mon Pere Shiraz. This anecdote perfectly illustrates the wines of Glaetzer-Dixon: an incredible standard of quality, with a saddeningly low availability! With such a limited allocation, even as its exclusive UK importer, we simply can’t get our hands on enough of the stuff at any given time.
Quite frankly, we defy anyone to present a range of wines that compare to the Glaetzer-Dixon range for the same value. There are a mere handful of wines that unite in such a chorus of admiration the way that Nick’s do. The range is tensile with profound complexity gaining with the hierarchy of each wine. Nick wasn’t wrong to put his faith into the small, unique island of Tasmania – the risk certainly paid off!
“Blending Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz is a famous part of Australian winemaking history and whilst the individual components of this wine are mighty, the sum of The Peake’s parts is magnificent.”
Thousands of bottles were sampled, re-sampled and consumed throughout the course of 2021, which is a privilege in itself. There were certainly plenty of exciting new wines which we hope to bring to you during the course of this year. Sadly, we sampled far too many wines which did not cut the mustard with the team. Given the sheer volume of wines which I visited, it is actually very easy to pick out my ‘Wine of the Year’ despite super-tough competition. My choice simply comes down to which wine impressed the most – the one wine which races to the front of my memory and stands head and shoulders above the rest. I am not interested in my score (in fact, I did not provide one when we released the wine last year). This purely comes down to the emotional connection and how the wine moved me.
For the first time in years, I broke my Christmas day tradition of serving Bordeaux wines. Instead, and despite its infancy, I opted for the ’18 The Peake which made the day extra special. Wow, what a wine - Margaux like due to its seductiveness. Simply, magnificent – nothing more, nothing less and the reason why 2018 Hickinbotham, The Peake Cabernet / Shiraz is my Wine of the Year.
Stuart McCloskey - "I'm certainly not discouraged by James Halliday’s score (99-points) however, their tasting note seems rather uncaring as this is a beautiful, nurtured wine. Aromatics and flavours aside – this wine is almost in a class of its own in terms of its seductiveness (Margaux like) with ribbons of exquisitely ripe tannins. The freshness and never-ending finish is something to behold, what a truly exquisite wine. The bouquet is a touch more Aussie but dialled back nonetheless. Ripe blueberries and kirsch weave through to red berries, which in turn, lead to a soupçon of clove and cinnamon bark. Allow more aeration and fresh coffee bean and dark chocolate emerge, graphite and sweet violet, lavender too. The control is supreme and the balance is faultless – absolutely faultless with not a single strand of hair out of place. Everything about this wine is perfect and shows Aussie Cabernet / Shiraz in a completely different light. Welcome to harmony personified. Decanted for four hours and served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware. Drinking now (amazingly well) and will evolve gracefully for 15-20 years. This is going to be fascinating…"
Only seven bottles of this beautiful wine remain
Winner: Eastern Peake Intrinsic Pinot Noir 2017
97 Points - Stuart McCloskey “The perfume blooms with a heady mix of sous bois, sour cherry, warm earth, mushroom and spice – rich and savoury delivered in equal proportions. The palate is silky, incredibly expansive with perfectly pitched acidity. It is bright, fresh, lifted, fine-boned, spicy, deeply complex and bursting with energy. The length is incredible, it goes on and on and ultimately finishes with iron notes and a smidgeon of rose petal and orange rind. Such is the hands-off approach; this wine is driven by terroir and the vintage. Super classical and very Burgundian without any attempts to emulate. Perhaps, one of the most ‘Burgundian’ styles to emerge from Australia, and certainly one of the most intellectual. Clearly, Owen Latta is a talented winemaker and despite his youthful age, he is one of Australia’s most talented, praise shared by serious wine critics… This is outstanding and will continue to evolve for a further 8-10 years. Decant for 1-2 hours. Served using Zalto Burgundy glassware.”
2: Ghost Rock Bonadale 2cl Pinot Noir 2018 – 97 points
3: Domaine Simha Rama
Pinot Noir 2017 – 98 Points
Winner: Utopos Cabernet Sauvignon 2019
98 Points - Stuart McCloskey “The ’19 Cabernet Sauvignon shone from the get-go and resampling is merely a gratifying experience rather than a necessity. Little has changed (as one would expect) – the perfume is utterly beguiling with an intoxicating mix of ripe, black and blue fruits juxtaposed, and perhaps now the more dominant flow of coal, graphite, steel, liquorice, camphor and the most wondrous marine lift. Although very young, everything about this wine gets the heart racing – the perfume, the balance, the freshness, the gossamer sheen of silk which glides across the palate with amazing grace. The tannins and acidity provide the faintest touch of crispness and merely provide a gentle arm of support rather than towering structure. Utterly spellbinding and comfortably one of my favourite Aussie Cabernet Sauvignons and my favoured ‘19 Utopos wine. Masterful, in a word. Decant for 4 hours. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware. Drinking window – there is no harm in awakening this beauty today however, a decade will provide a heavenly vinous experience.” Sampled 21 July 2021.
2. Gemtree Small Batch Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 – 97 Points
3. John's Blend Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 – 97 Points
Winner: Hickinbotham The Peake Cabernet Shiraz 2018 - 99 Points
2. Utopos Cabernet Shiraz 2019 – 97 - 98 Points
Winner: Standish The Schubert Theorem 2019
99-100 Points - Stuart McCloskey “We decanted the full suite at 4:00pm on Wednesday 10 February with round one of my sampling taking place the following day at 10:30am. The ’19 Schubert Theorem provides a bouquet which is quite frankly haunting in its beauty and leaves me struggling to find a starting point. The perfume is so exotic and is juxtaposed between mineral laced black fruit to a heady mix of wildflowers. Damsons, mulberry, cold steel, sea kelp, graphite, violets, lavender are just a few of the aromatics – this is quite honestly bottomless with its offering. The unerring sense of purity is staggering. The palate is saturated with super concentrated blueberry, blackberry and plum complemented by this overwhelming sense of mineralité. The palate feel is sensual and seductive – almost creamy in texture, but this camouflages the seriousness of the wine’s structure, which is huge. The chalky tannins provide a little relief as do the whispers of lavender, black liquorice and a marine undercurrent that I adore. There’s a density and richness that is obvious, but with no excess weight. A towering and remarkable wine, which simply leaves me in awe… . Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware. Drinking window; Another one for the cellar but can be approached with 24 hours in the decanter. In many ways, this is already a perfect wine, but in 20-30 years’ time, will provide something otherworldly. Until then, be satisfied with perfection…”
2. Gemtree Wines Subterra Shiraz 2019 - 99 - 100 Points
3. Gemtree Wines Obsidian Shiraz 2019 – 98 points
Winner: Gemtree Wines Phantom Red Blend Ten 2019
97-98 Points - Stuart McCloskey “A blend of 61% Cabernet Sauvignon and 39% Mataro, which and despite its tender age is singing wonderfully from the decanter (we sampled after 6 hours). The bouquet is incredibly pure and defined by sweet blueberry, mulberry, dried spice, violet, pen ink and a flicker of mint. The palate is wonderfully structured with grippy tannins – a slight huskiness which will soften with some bottle age. Without stating the obvious, there’s a lovely natural feel to wine. There’s a succulence and coolness to the fruit which I find particularly attractive. Dark plums are in abundance – I detect a little cold metal too. Clearly, a super-classy wine filled with pedigree. Not only a triumphant Biodynamic wine, but a wine which exemplifies modern Aussie winemaking. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware. Drink now to 2035 ”
2. Wantirna Estate Amelia
Cabernet Merlot 2018 - 97 - 98
3. Utopos Mataro Shiraz Grenache 2019 - 98 Points
Winner: Little Reddie Bannockburn 2018
99 Points - Stuart McCloskey “For those seeking unadulterated, viscous pleasure. The bouquet provides a heady mix of yellow plum, honey, buttered citrus, orange marmalade, chalk and limestone. The palate is full-bodied, waxy, tincture-like in its viscosity – incredibly gratifying. Powerful with enough acidity to provide the perfect balance. The flavours keep building (as does the weight). The buttered citrus and essence of lemon thyme leaves you salivating. There’s a cracking dollop of spice – the flavours keep coming – they fan-out gloriously. This is an intense experience and quite honestly one of the best ‘new’ Chardonnays I have sampled in several years. Genuinely remarkable and shows the power of Bannockburn fruit perfectly. A ‘must have’ wine for those seeking the ultimate in sensation. Do not overchill. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware. Drink now to 2026 . Side note; this could age for decades, but I cannot see this improving… A one off, sadly.”
2. Coulter C1 Chardonnay Adelaide Hills 2019 – 97 - 98 points
3. Little Reddie Lancefield Chardonnay 2019 – 98 points
Winner: Mulline Bannockburn
Fumé Blanc 2019 - 98 Points
98 Points - Stuart McCloskey "The bouquet is ultra-pure and sings with honeyed quince, touches of apple, apricot and warming ginger with more aeration. The palate is confident, unforced and a joy to sample. More complex than most Australian Sauvignon Blancs and full of charisma. I love the youthfulness which provides good bite and pithiness, although the palate offers much depth and breadth. Sumptuous in parts despite its infancy. Very impressive and certainly one of the best examples of Aussie Sauvignon Blanc currently available. Long, incredibly satisfying, juicy, moreish and sophisticated. This will be incredible in 5 years.”
2. Topper's Mountain Hill of Dreams Sauvignon Blanc 2019 - 97 Points
Winner: JC’s Own Freestyler 2020
96 Points - Stuart McCloskey “By far one of my favourite annual releases, as I am fascinated by the wacky blend (Old Vine Chenin Blanc and Crouchen, Angaston; Sauvignon Blanc, Adelaide Hills; Chardonnay, Krondorf; Pinot Gris, Adelaide Hills) and the textural feel too, the wine provides glass after glass of uncompromised satisfaction. The grapes are lovingly hand harvested, foot treaded and left on stalks and skins for 24 hours. JC ages the wine on the lees for 11 months and bottles unfined and unfiltered, hence a little cloudiness. Bring everything together and you are presented with a textural beauty which will gain complexity over the coming 3-5 years, but there is no harm in drinking this wine now as it’s so irresistible. I adore texture and I love wines that do not conform – The caveat being that I am not a fan of daft / wacky wines which are created to disrupt. More often than not, they are produced for social media and rarely succeed. For me, JC is a brilliant winemaker with his natural skill for white wines being his ultimate gift. This man can produce bloody amazing wines which are thrilling, sensuous and just outright delicious. The nose is a riot – I actually find myself unable to put the glass down. There’s a touch of oxidation (perfectly acceptable) along with a savoury mélange of hay, wild grass, a milky chalkiness, perhaps a little bruised apple and sweet spice. The palate feel gets my juices flowing – waxy and grippy - my cheeks puckering a little. Savoury, with that fresh grassy character. This is stunningly explosive on the palate. A riot of… Actually, I am struggling to be succinct as there is so much going on. In short, and following a very long tasting note, this is simply a must have. It’s a joy and will be the only wine to serve in the garden this year. Drink now to 2025. Served using Zalto Universal glassware.”
Wines of the Year 2021 - Red Case
Six of our award winning red wines from 2021, a mixture of our top Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and red blends.
Special price of £230.00 per case
1 x Eastern Peake Intrinsic Pinot Noir 2017
1 x Utopos Cabernet Sauvignon 2019
1 x Standish The Schubert Theorem 2019
1 x Gemtree Wines Phantom Red Blend Ten 2019
1 x Gemtree Wines Obsidian Shiraz 2019
1 x Ghost Rock Bonadale 2cl Pinot Noir 2018
Wines of the Year 2021 - White Case
Six of our award winning white wines from 2021, a mixture of our top Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Marsanne and white blends.
Special price of £150.00 per case
1 x Coulter Wines C1 Chardonnay Adelaide Hills 2019
1 x Mulline Bannockburn Fumé Blanc 2019
1 x JC's Own Freestyler 2020
1 x Little Reddie Lancefield Chardonnay 2019
1 x Gemtree Wines Small Batch Marsanne 2020
1 x Grey Sands Blanc de Noir 2019
Shadowfax Geelong Pinot Gris 2020 – 96 Points
Topper's Mountain Barrel Ferment Gewurztraminer 2016 – 97 Points
Gemtree Wines Small Batch Marsanne 2020 – 97 Points
Grey Sands Blanc de Noir 2019 – 97 Points
Grey Sands Pinot Blanc 2018 – 97 Points
Elieen Hardy Chardonnay 2015
1,325 bottles sold
Fire Gully Chardonnay 2019
1,128 bottles sold
Utopos Cabernet Sauvignon 2019
1,103 bottles sold
Standish The Schubert Theorem 2019
1,032 bottles sold
Standish The Relic 2019
993 bottles sold
Standish The Standish 2019
930 bottles sold
Utopos Cabernet Sauvignon 2019
913 bottles sold
Frei Brothers Merlot 2018
672 Bottles sold
Utopos Cabernet Shiraz 2019
480 Bottles sold
Utopos Shiraz 2019
421 Bottles sold
Standish The Relic 2017
Jaime Everard • 29th Mar 2021
Being a Northern Rhone drinker I've always been slightly sceptical of syrah wines outside of this region. I've just never found the same level of balance, savouriness, and power. In the case of this wine I was wrong to be concerned. This wine is a work of precision and is very much like drinking a top class Cote Rotie, although it does have a distinct character which is all its own. The touch of viognier provides a lovely bit of freshness which balances against the meatiness and spice of the Syrah. This is superb!
Utopos Cabernet Sauvignon 2019
Tony Mitton • 12th Oct 2021
I'll try and keep for as long as I can but we were having dinner a couple of months ago and I opened a bottle with a good friend. We both agreed that it was possibly the best wine we'd ever tasted even after just 2 years in the bottle.
He was so impressed he's now ordered a load from you and every time we see each other he says "shall we have another one!"
An amazing wine and fully deserving of your praiseworthy comments.
Coulter Wines C4 Experimental Syrah Eden Valley 2019
• 6th Mar 2021
With the first sip I instinctively thought ‘where is the iPad’ to order some more. That to me says it all and now I have ordered another six I am selfishly ready to rate! I have recently tasted Utopos and Standish and still am completely blown away by the quality of this Syrah. I agree with Stu: who knows the drinking window - who cares! This is THE wine to drink whilst you wait for the big guns mentioned to mature. Get in quick so you don’t have FOMOOW
Coulter Wines C1 Chardonnay Adelaide Hills 2019
Gavin Jones • 12th Mar 2021
OH YES, this is a brilliant wine. I’m not hugely qualified in all things Chardonnay but have recently been drinking Hardys Eileen so have a decent benchmark. This has a classic Ch. backbone along with a welcome freshness; even a floral quality. Super enjoyable and a great example of jumping on any experienced wine makers personal project. Thinking they naturally put just a little more of their heart and soul into the winemaking....
Soumah Single Vineyard Hexham Chardonnay 2018
John Dera • 30th Apr 2021
Sometimes when we speak of a wine offering great value there is a but... there is however no buts with this fabulous offering from Soumah it delivers on all fronts big time and is such a joy.To find a chardonnay of this quality and complexity at this price one has to doff ones cap in recognition to the fabulous team at the Vinorium for their research in bringing this wine to the attention of their customers. The more I taste of Australian chardonnay the more I am seduced by the world class quality of its winemakers.
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1. You will find out what we are sampling and shipping 3-6 months in advance of our launch emails
2. And the most important – check-out what we are sampling on Thursday 3 February with the special launch set for Friday 4 (It’s a mammoth release)
Our previous delivery arrived in October and sold out within a few weeks, which we anticipated as the demand in the UK severely outweighs available stocks – One out of every three orders shipped during October contained Zalto glassware.
We understand Zalto are only prepared to work with a handful of UK accounts, their largest ones and they have no capacity for new business, which in turn, has boosted demand to an unprecedented level, particularly from non-Vinorium customers…
Our ‘new’ order, was placed last July and originally expected to be with us in November. After lots of communications, we are now confident that our glassware will be ready to leave Austria late March. We are erring on the side of caution and provide an estimated delivery date (to you) of Mid – End April.
Now, we are confident to offer all Zalto glassware on a pre-arrival basis however, it would be remiss not to add a protective caveat – that being ‘due to the handmade nature of the glasses and the unforeseeable changes that may be implemented in Austria, we cannot be held responsible for any delays. However, we are great at communicating and will provides updates should our ETA change…’
We have placed a further order (same volume), but we do not expect this to arrive until November / December. This is all the stock we have until then…