McLaren Vale

McLaren Vale

"Red grapes flourish here due to the warm climate and varied soil type and the region is best known for soft and juicy Shiraz, old-vine Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot."

Nestled between the Mount Lofty and the Sellicks Ranges to the north east and south and the white sandy beaches on coast to the west, McLaren Vale’s winemaking history dates back to the 1830’s and the geological features surrounding the region are the key influences to its wine-making credentials. A relatively low lying, warm region wit... read moreh plenty of sunshine, plantings range between 50 and 150 metres and the climate is tempered by winds blowing through the foothills from the east and from the sea to the south west. These factors are responsible for the vast range of styles and varieties within Mclaren Vale, showcased by producers like Clarendon Hills who have a portfolio of wines that cover the diversity in sub-regions, vineyards and grape varieties across the region. It is these distinct sub-regions and variations between them that have been in discussion recently with a call to officially classify them, in order to recognize the specific identities of each micro-climate. This will eventually lead to producers being able to use these distinct terms on their labels, drawing further attention to the diversity across the region.

Early vines were planted here by names that have now become iconic in Australian wine. James Reynell and Thomas Hardy planted some of the earliest vines in 1938 and since then, the Hardy’s name has been intrinsically linked to Australian wine production. Kay Brothers is the oldest family run estate to still be operation in McLaren Vale, dating back to 1891 when they planted their first vines in the now legendary Amery vineyard. Production from these ancient vines continues today and plays a vital role throughout the Kay Brothers portfolio, yielding Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon of great depth and concentration. Since the 1990’s, Mclaren Vale’s reputation has sky-rocketed with the emergence of the boutique wineries such as Two Hands who, as well as in Barossa, have identified single plots and vineyards that further showcase the unique identity of McLaren Vale wines.

Around 50% of McLaren Vale plantings is Shiraz with many vines reaching 100 years old or more and harvesting extremely low crops of highly concentrated grapes, capable of producing deep, powerful wines that are very long lived. Cabernet Sauvignon is the second most widely planted variety creating structured wines that show intense blackcurrant flavours and cedar flavours, the cooler sites offering aromas of menthol, and licorice. McLaren Vale Cabernet has many similarities in style to wine from the northern Medoc and with age, these wines can gain great complexity and develop classic aromas and flavours of cigar box and pencil lead as they age. Grenache also has significant role to play either as a single variety or giving support to Shiraz in Rhone style blends. On it’s own it can be responsible for powerful, full bodied wines rich in black berry and luscious plum fruits. With the huge sub-regional diversity across McLaren Vale, it is no surprise that producers have identified specific sites that yield the highest quality Grenache and emphasize its qualities. Blewitt Springs is home to many old Grenache vines which are recognised for their intensity and power and Clarendon Hills are among the list of winemakers that recognized and exploited this.

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52 products found

Showing 25-48 of 52 products

Gemtree Wines SubTerra 2019

Gemtree Wines SubTerra 2019

McLaren Vale, Australia

£155.00 per bottle

99-100 Points - Stuart McCloskey “Great Shiraz weaving its magic with the aid of mother nature and buried under the vines to rest and harmonise before being unveiled to a gobsmacked audience. The bouquet is truly remarkable and as profound as any Aussie Shiraz can get. Wow - Coconut, Chambord liqueur, wild blueberry and cold steel, gallop from... read more

99-100 Points - Stuart McCloskey “Great Shiraz weaving its magic with the aid of mother nature and buried under the vines to rest and harmonise before being unveiled to a gobsmacked audience. The bouquet is truly remarkable and as profound as any Aussie Shiraz can get. Wow - Coconut, Chambord liqueur, wild blueberry and cold steel, gallop from the glass – violets, plum and mulberry too. The palate and flavour profiles are something to behold. The fruit and tannins spread across the palate like a peacock unveiling its magnificent tail. This is a serious wine, a wine which should be respected (I confess that I originally scoffed at the notion of storing wine under the earth. How stupid I was). I am not entirely sure what the burying aspect imparts on the wine, but the calmness, composure and balance is so impressive. I love the sweetness to the fruit. I also love the high toned and slightly pithy cranberry element which provides some welcome grip. This is ticking every box on its way to perfection. Decanted for 6 hours and served using Zalto glassware. Drink now to 2050.”

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Gemtree Wines Small Batch Marsanne 2020 - In Bond

Gemtree Wines Small Batch Marsanne 2020 - In Bond

McLaren Vale, Australia

£116.35 in bond (6x75cl)

Sampled 22 July 2021. Stuart McCloskey “To one of my favourite varietals, Marsanne which I love in most guises. The bouquet develops with some aeration with mineral accented orchard fruit, poached pear, a little zip and lift from lemon, the faintest suggestion of fennel seed / anise and a resonating finish of minerals. Suave, calming,... read more

Sampled 22 July 2021. Stuart McCloskey “To one of my favourite varietals, Marsanne which I love in most guises. The bouquet develops with some aeration with mineral accented orchard fruit, poached pear, a little zip and lift from lemon, the faintest suggestion of fennel seed / anise and a resonating finish of minerals. Suave, calming, gentile, thoughtful and reflective best describes the wine’s presence.  The mineral and floral notes repeat across the palate – wonderful definition and impressively focused. So natural and unforced – a real charmer. The textural element is incredibly soothing – back to that gossamer sheen of silk which gently drapes across the entire palate. Dreamy in an understated sense and one of those wines which deserves time to itself. The combination of depth and finesse is admirable. Drink now to? That’s a good question and one I am unsure of. This wine will age with the most graceful of arcs however, I am not sure at what point it will hit its peak. Perhaps 2025 / 2026. Let’s see… Do not overchill. Serve using Zalto universal glassware.”

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Gemtree Wines Small Batch Marsanne 2020

Gemtree Wines Small Batch Marsanne 2020

McLaren Vale, Australia

£25.95 per bottle

Sampled 22 July 2021. Stuart McCloskey “To one of my favourite varietals, Marsanne which I love in most guises. The bouquet develops with some aeration with mineral accented orchard fruit, poached pear, a little zip and lift from lemon, the faintest suggestion of fennel seed / anise and a resonating finish of minerals. Suave, calming, gentile,... read more

Sampled 22 July 2021. Stuart McCloskey “To one of my favourite varietals, Marsanne which I love in most guises. The bouquet develops with some aeration with mineral accented orchard fruit, poached pear, a little zip and lift from lemon, the faintest suggestion of fennel seed / anise and a resonating finish of minerals. Suave, calming, gentile, thoughtful and reflective best describes the wine’s presence.  The mineral and floral notes repeat across the palate – wonderful definition and impressively focused. So natural and unforced – a real charmer. The textural element is incredibly soothing – back to that gossamer sheen of silk which gently drapes across the entire palate. Dreamy in an understated sense and one of those wines which deserves time to itself. The combination of depth and finesse is admirable. Drink now to? That’s a good question and one I am unsure of. This wine will age with the most graceful of arcs however, I am not sure at what point it will hit its peak. Perhaps 2025 / 2026. Let’s see… Do not overchill. Serve using Zalto universal glassware.”

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Gemtree Wines Small Batch Grenache 2019 (In Bond)

Gemtree Wines Small Batch Grenache 2019 (In Bond)

McLaren Vale, Australia

£141.35 in bond (6x75cl)

97-98 Points - Stuart McCloskey “Unquestionably, the sexiest Grenache bouquet which I have come across for a very long time. The profusion of aromatics is heady, heavenly with a wonderous exotic twist of juniper, mint, clove, raspberry and sweet spice – spiced blood orange with a little more aeration. The floral bouquet is something... read more

97-98 Points - Stuart McCloskey “Unquestionably, the sexiest Grenache bouquet which I have come across for a very long time. The profusion of aromatics is heady, heavenly with a wonderous exotic twist of juniper, mint, clove, raspberry and sweet spice – spiced blood orange with a little more aeration. The floral bouquet is something rather special but difficult to pin down at this stage. As a whole, the bouquet invites you in like a temptress – it’s impossible not to be seduced! The palate is equally alluring with ribbons of sweet, soft fruit which cascade effortlessly and naturally. The tannins are willowy and the acidity juicy. The flavour profile is akin to the bouquet with a little salinity and savouriness in the background. Hands down my favourite Grenache and I am utterly stupid for not buying more – what on earth was I thinking? This is so charming, sexy and really doesn’t require more than an hour in a decanter. It will cellar, but from a point of intrigue alone as this beauty is ripe and ready now. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware. Drink now to 2025+”

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Gemtree Wines Small Batch Grenache 2019

Gemtree Wines Small Batch Grenache 2019

McLaren Vale, Australia

£30.95 per bottle

97-98 Points - Stuart McCloskey “Unquestionably, the sexiest Grenache bouquet which I have come across for a very long time. The profusion of aromatics is heady, heavenly with a wonderous exotic twist of juniper, mint, clove, raspberry and sweet spice – spiced blood orange with a little more aeration. The floral bouquet is something... read more

97-98 Points - Stuart McCloskey “Unquestionably, the sexiest Grenache bouquet which I have come across for a very long time. The profusion of aromatics is heady, heavenly with a wonderous exotic twist of juniper, mint, clove, raspberry and sweet spice – spiced blood orange with a little more aeration. The floral bouquet is something rather special but difficult to pin down at this stage. As a whole, the bouquet invites you in like a temptress – it’s impossible not to be seduced! The palate is equally alluring with ribbons of sweet, soft fruit which cascade effortlessly and naturally. The tannins are willowy and the acidity juicy. The flavour profile is akin to the bouquet with a little salinity and savouriness in the background. Hands down my favourite Grenache and I am utterly stupid for not buying more – what on earth was I thinking? This is so charming, sexy and really doesn’t require more than an hour in a decanter. It will cellar, but from a point of intrigue alone as this beauty is ripe and ready now. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware. Drink now to 2025+”

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Gemtree Wines SBE Grenache 2020

Gemtree Wines SBE Grenache 2020

McLaren Vale, Australia

£30.50 per bottle

Sampled 22 July 2021. Stuart McCloskey “I have always enjoyed wines which have been fermented and aged in concrete – there’s a cooling and calming transference of energy which changes with the external atmosphere. The purity of fruit is more expressive without the loss of texture – unadulterated and there’s nowhere to hide. We served the... read more

Sampled 22 July 2021. Stuart McCloskey “I have always enjoyed wines which have been fermented and aged in concrete – there’s a cooling and calming transference of energy which changes with the external atmosphere. The purity of fruit is more expressive without the loss of texture – unadulterated and there’s nowhere to hide. We served the wine directly from the bottle which has been resting in our temperature-controlled sample room – it’s cool and around 14 degrees which brings out the purity of the fruit. I do not recommend serving this warm (sounds dreadful). The bouquet opens with a strong sense of sweet, spiced aromatics intermixed with peony, liquorice, orange peel and candied lavender / violet pastille – Burgundy meets Grenache… Wonderfully fragrant. The palate is super-clean, fresh and packed with ripe red-blue-berry fruits dusted with sweet spices. Blood orange and a ripe citrus peel is a masterful touch.. The tannins grip gently and provide, along with a judicious line of acidity, a juiciness – thirst quenching. I love the natural polish, the floral character and spicy finish. The clarity is electrifying. Shaped by nature and bottled by people who understand and live amongst the same. Terrific wine. Brilliant, in fact. Drink now but it will age for years to come – I prefer the youthful exuberance. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware.”

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Gemtree Wines Ernest Allan Shiraz 2019 - In Bond

Gemtree Wines Ernest Allan Shiraz 2019 - In Bond

McLaren Vale, Australia

£151.35 in bond (6x75cl)

Sampled July 2021. Stuart McCloskey "This has been opened for 48 hours (although not decanted) and sampled after the Obsidian. The bouquet pulls you in as the fruit is incredibly deep and brooding – extraordinary concentration. In short, the palate is broad and loaded with ripe, black fruits – the tannins are suede like. The overall... read more

Sampled July 2021. Stuart McCloskey "This has been opened for 48 hours (although not decanted) and sampled after the Obsidian. The bouquet pulls you in as the fruit is incredibly deep and brooding – extraordinary concentration. In short, the palate is broad and loaded with ripe, black fruits – the tannins are suede like. The overall feel is impeccable and moreish and a very different animal compared to the Obsidian. In long, this straddles potency and finesse, with a masterful touch – quite a skill. There’s a date-like richness with minerality and florality, providing lift. This flows with charisma and ribbons of silk, those seeking textural paradise need to look no further.  I will add a caveat – the tannins do provide a framework which keep building, but I believe this is very much needed to balance the plushness. Yet again, this is driven by purity and nothing dominates. There’s a stony minerality which is fascinating and works a treat alongside the dark, inky fruit. A magnificent wine and one which will keep delivering for a decade or more… Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware."

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Gemtree Wines Bloodstone Shiraz 2019 (In Bond)

Gemtree Wines Bloodstone Shiraz 2019 (In Bond)

McLaren Vale, Australia

£79.10 in bond (6x75cl)

96 Points - Stuart McCloskey “How daft of me to sample the most junior wine after the magnificence that is Subterra. Another way of looking at it is – is there breadth and depth to Gemtree’s entire portfolio? In short, the answer is affirmative as this is a joyous beauty strutting with confidence, despite its respectable price tag.... read more

96 Points - Stuart McCloskey “How daft of me to sample the most junior wine after the magnificence that is Subterra. Another way of looking at it is – is there breadth and depth to Gemtree’s entire portfolio? In short, the answer is affirmative as this is a joyous beauty strutting with confidence, despite its respectable price tag. The nose offers some warmth from clove and sweet spices. Brooding and actually proving more adult than I expected. The palate is washed with sweet, ripe fruit. Interestingly, this wine lacks the ‘coolness’ of its big brothers, but it misses nothing for it. This is a really joyous slap and tickle of delicious quaffable Shiraz (I have omitted using our Aussie friends’ description, ‘smash-able’). It’s drenched with plums, blueberries, blackberries, mint, vanilla, coconut, kirsch and olive all wrapped in a gentle hug of tannin. The length is super-impressive. In fact (and a little secret) I have a few wines at 25 quid which are not as good! Decant for a few hours and serve using Zalto Bordeaux glassware (this will make all the difference). Drink now to 2025+.”

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Gemtree Wines Bloodstone Shiraz 2019

Gemtree Wines Bloodstone Shiraz 2019

McLaren Vale, Australia

£18.50 per bottle

96 Points - Stuart McCloskey “How daft of me to sample the most junior wine after the magnificence that is Subterra. Another way of looking at it is – is there breadth and depth to Gemtree’s entire portfolio? In short, the answer is affirmative as this is a joyous beauty strutting with confidence, despite its respectable price tag. The... read more

96 Points - Stuart McCloskey “How daft of me to sample the most junior wine after the magnificence that is Subterra. Another way of looking at it is – is there breadth and depth to Gemtree’s entire portfolio? In short, the answer is affirmative as this is a joyous beauty strutting with confidence, despite its respectable price tag. The nose offers some warmth from clove and sweet spices. Brooding and actually proving more adult than I expected. The palate is washed with sweet, ripe fruit. Interestingly, this wine lacks the ‘coolness’ of its big brothers, but it misses nothing for it. This is a really joyous slap and tickle of delicious quaffable Shiraz (I have omitted using our Aussie friends’ description, ‘smash-able’). It’s drenched with plums, blueberries, blackberries, mint, vanilla, coconut, kirsch and olive all wrapped in a gentle hug of tannin. The length is super-impressive. In fact (and a little secret) I have a few wines at 25 quid which are not as good! Decant for a few hours and serve using Zalto Bordeaux glassware (this will make all the difference). Drink now to 2025+.”

read less

52 products found

Showing 25-48 of 52 products