Utopos Block 1 Shiraz 2018 - In Bond

Utopos Block 1 Shiraz 2018 - In Bond

  • Australia
  • Shiraz
  • ABV 14.7
  • Zalto Denk-Art Bordeaux Glass

Block 3C, Kalimna Vineyard is a very special site indeed. To many, perhaps the most hallowed, identifiable single block in Australia. The 3C component normally contributes to Penfolds Grange however, and when the block produces perfect fruit, Penfolds release Bin 170 which is an extremely rare wine. Released only for the second time in history, both the experimental Bin 170 made in 1973 and the second release in 2010 were sourced from Block 3C in the Kalimna Vineyard and released at $1,800 per bottle. 

Previously, we have touched upon the magic of the Utopos vineyard and the reason why Kym has been longing to take this special site under his guardianship. The Cabernet Sauvignon was regularly used for Penfolds Bin 707 and now is selfishly kept for Utopos Cabernet Sauvignon and Cab / Shiraz blend, and for a fraction of the price…

Block 1 (as we released last year), now formally named ‘Eutopos’ is crafted around the oldest Shiraz planting on the Utopos site.  A tiny one-acre block planted on a red clay and ironstone section of the vineyard in 1974 to the famous Kalimna 3C clone of Shiraz. Now, that’s a secret worth keeping…

We pre-released both the ’18 & ’19 Block 1 / εutopos @ £255.00 IB per case of six (£53.67 all in). Kym has just released the ’18 at $250.00 per bottle (circa £175.00) which is no wonder given the clonal heritage and the fashion of releasing uber-expensive prize winners. We cast our minds back to our Zoom call with Kym (Feb ’22) when the discussion of both wines was first broached. Pricing, then, was lofty and I urged Kym to release to his UK market at a considerably reduced level (respecting the wines too). Kym is one of the most generous winemakers we work with and completely understood the situation. Accordingly, you all received an amazing offer – you still do! We paid the price, the wines are now in the UK and we stand by one of our mantras of not taking advantage. Another being to overdeliver on wine quality versus their respective sales price, which and in this case, is achieved admirably. 

By sheer number of bottles sold (our first release being August 2020) to 23 January 2023, Utopos stands alongside Standish. You have purchased a staggering 7,706 bottles, circa 9 bottles per day, every day since the first launch, which I remember fondly. 28 August 2020 we released ’17 and ’18 Shiraz and sold 480 bottles in a staggering 36-hours. We launched the 2017 and 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon on 2 September 2020, with 240 bottles available to pre-order.  This completely sold out within three hours.

 

2018 Utopos Block 1

The ‘18 Block 1 is built around the oldest shiraz planting on the site. A few stable mates from other blocks on the vineyard contribute to the wine’s lift, complexity and precise palate.  Mataro (9.5%) adds herbal notes, darkness and charcuterie whilst a touch of Grenache (3.5%) allows wafts of brightly scented lifted red fruit to escape the intriguing aromatic.  1.4% Cabernet Sauvignon from Block 5 gives the tannin profile shape and definition whilst also enhancing the mocha notes on the palate.  Matured for 20 months in 50% new very tight grained lightly toasted French oak (Allier forest) and 50% second use and then further matured in bottle for 2 years before release, the wine is approachable now but will reward patience.

Winter rainfalls leading into 2018 were above average and filled the soil profiles. The rains then ceased to allow a warm and dry flowering and growing season through February and March.  A classic Barossa season resulting in wines that are full and densely flavoured with supportive tannin structure and clean acidity.

98+ Points - Stuart McCloskey “The ’18 vintage delivers extraordinary purity and depth. The bouquet provides richness and power yet the level of refinement on the palate is a masterstroke. This is a fascinating contrast between the ‘18 Utopos Shiraz which we opened to compare. The bouquet is mesmeric and builds and builds in the glass. The heady mix unfurls with sea kelp, graphite, iodine, Indian ink, mineral accented black and blue fruit (almost liqueur-like), spiced fruit cake, dark chocolate, Crème de mûre, mulberry compote and violet. The palate delivers a core of ripe, inky blue and black fruit - black cherry, damson, mulberry wrapped in a cloak of sweet spice and lavender. The layers of fruit amazes – they’re wonderfully expressive, yet it’s the lightness of touch that fascinates and astounds the most. The freshness is perfection personified – the tannins provide grip and shape. The inaugural release is magnificent, and I prefer it to the ’18 Utopos Shiraz. Ideally, cellar for a further 5-10 years however it does drink well today (decant for 4-6 hours) to 2035+. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware.”

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Excludes UK Duty and VAT, and can either be delivered to a UK bonded warehouse in the UK, or released for international delivery.

£140.00 per case (3x75cl) 18 in stock
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These wines will incur a home delivery charge as they are stored at our bonded warehouse.

£179.55 per case (3x75cl) 18 in stock
£58.95 per bottle 12 in stock
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Utopos

"A great deal of my time was spent snooping around the Barossa trying to source grapes from established growers for Teusner Wines in the early days.  It was in this endeavour that I first came across the vineyard that we now call Utopos. 

We were already sourcing fruit from vineyards adjacent to this property for Teusner that were making some of our very best Shiraz wines (Albert and Righteous) so I knew the ability of the geology and microclimate of the area to produce outstanding reds. 

I instantly fell in love with the site and the way that it was planted.  I so desperately wanted to play with the fruit that was growing here.  However, the owner of the property was signed into pretty tight contracts with Penfolds and wasn’t willing to jeopardise that to sell me a bit of out of contract.  He did nothing to lessen my desire, however…  Bragging to me that the cabernet sauvignon was some of the only Barossa fruit to make Bin 707 grade etc etc.   

So I was forced to just dream about it every time I drove past to visit my other growers in the area. Until the day in late 2014 that the owners decided it was time to slow down and move into town and put the property up for Auction.

All of the big names from around the area were at the auction.  Standing on one of the highest points of the area overlooking some of the most beautiful views in the Barossa. I was so desperate to have it – these properties rarely become available over multiple generations - so I just went in with all guns blazing and put in my best offer as first bid.  It was the one and only bid and the property was ours!" - Kym Teusner

 
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Read our Q&A with Kym Teusner - Read article

Read 'Tasting Utopia' - Read article
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In Bond

Welcome to our In Bond wine selection which shows wines available under bond only. Prices are marked as:

  • In Bond: Exclude UK Duty and VAT, and can either be delivered to a UK bonded warehouse in the UK, or released for international delivery.
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