DARK INKY SPICE
GRAMENON SIERRA DU SUD SYRAH 2020
MONTBRISON SUR LEZ, FRANCE
TAPENADE SPICE VELVET
CLASSIC / ORGANIC BIODYNAMIC / 750ML
Partially destemmed Syrah fermented for 15 days in concrete tanks. A pure expression of Syrah. Lively dark fruits balanced out with savoury olive tapenade, tar and stemmy grip. A truly dynamic wine, every year it has something else to offer.
From the Distributor: My dream of Syrah; is produced entirely from old (65 year old) vines from the Gramenon estate and delivers pure, billowing aromas of blackberry, black raspberry, violet, lightly seared meat and gravel. Plush and velvety in the mouth, it has sensual tannins and lively acidity that give it a super definition, shape and long finish. This is one of my favourite wines of anywhere every single year and I am assured by Michele we have another absolute beauty in 2020. The fruit is fermented without sulphur using indigenous yeasts. Everything is moved by gravity, there are no pumps. Some cuvees are aged in vat and others in old demi-muids and foudres. The wine is bottled without fining or filtration with only some cuvees receiving light amounts of sulphur.
This style of non-interventionist winemaking 'par excellence has forged the estate a legendary reputation and following. The wines age wonderfully when correctly stored, a 1991 Ceps Centenaires tasted recently only just starting to fade but still delicious, it's once sultry youth transformed over time into a gentle and beautiful whisper.
The original estate in Montbrison-Sur-Lez lies in the Drôme and interestingly, following consolidation, the vines they now have are all located in the cold, Northern Drôme department and not the Vaucluse department that lies underneath, where 95% of Côtes du Rhône come from.
Michele and Maxime sold a couple of parcels - notably all of the vines in Valreas that used to produce their Côtes du Rhône "L'Elementaire" and a parcel of Syrah in Vinsobres that used to go into the "La Papesse" - in fact with the sale of the Syrah and it's now complete absence from the blend, "La Papesse" has lost it's right to the AOC Vinsobres. They don't mind of course, they always want to make the best wine possible and were not entirely happy with the Syrah. To replace the surface that has been sold they found a superb isolated (they love isolated parcels) 2 ha parcel in Taulignan of Grenache and Syrah that they harvested for the first time in 2019.
MARGAN BREAKING GROUND SHIRAZ 2021
BROKE, HUNTER VALLEY
CONFECTION BRIGHT FUN
CLASSIC / 750ML
A playful medium-bodied, full destemmed Shiraz from the Timbervines site. The fruit and ferment were carefully managed to maintain high note aromatics while extracting a pleasant tannin profile. A lively all season Shiraz for any occasion.
from the Producer: 40yr old vines from our Timbervines site. Picked on the early side of 13. Whole berry ferment with no must rectification; carbonic derived confection was encouraged to a point. Pressed to stainless steel partway through ferment to minimize extraction. Sulphured and racked to bottle post malo-lactic fermentation with no filtration. Retains a slight effervescence. My interpretation of shiraz from our volcanic soil.
RENDEZ VOUS MALBEC 2017
PLUM STRUCTURE CLOVE
CLASSIC / 750ML
Plum heavy Malbec, The medium-bodied wine has been polished with a touch of oak. Blueberries, baking spices, with a subtle acid wash.
From the Distributor: Vignoble Mingot is a third-generation family-operated winery, on the right bank of Bordeaux in the area of Savignac-de-l'Isle. This is where their historical Chateau Marechaux property is located 7 kms north of the vineyards in Lalande de Pomerol.
CRU GODARD COTES DE FRANCS CABERNETS 2019
FINE CEDAR SUMPTUOUS
CLASSIC / ORGANIC / 750ML
Punching well above its 'Cotes' weight class, Franck and Carine Richard organically farm 10ha of truly delicious Cabernet Merlot blend. The wine is fresh with fine tannins and a plump fruit heavy centre that is reigned in by spice fuelled Cabernet. One of the best valued and enjoyable wines I've had from Bordeaux in a very long time.
STANDISH THE STANDISH SHIRAZ 2019
The dry-grown, organically farmed The Standish Single Vineyard Shiraz derives from the western edge of the Barossa Valley. Careful hand selection of fruit and traditional vinification – including foot stomping – is followed by maturation in new (20%) and older French oak. This full-bodied, modern and expressive style is exemplified by intensely concentrated dark fruit flavours, fine chocolatey but vigorous tannins and integrated oak characters.
STANDISH THE RELIC SHIRAZ 2019
BAROSSA VALLEY, SOUTH AUSTRALIA
BEAST LAYERED DARK
CLASSIC / 750ML
The Relic is sourced from the Hongell Family vineyard planted in 1912. The shiraz heavy blend has a hint of Viognier (7%) to add a bit of lippy to this monolithic wine. The wine is aged in open-top fermenters and then basket pressed to oak where it sits for 30 months. Pure Barossa. Dark fruits, bread pudding and incredible structure.
DAPPLED TRADITION CABERNETS 2019
YARRA VALLEY. VICTORIA
BRIMMING TOAST CURRANT
CLASSIC / 750ML
A polished Cabernet Blend that is light on its feet and fruit forward. 18 months in old oak has given the wines a nostaglic spiced edge. Soft, textured and orderly acid - great wine!
From the Producer: Made from the Steels Creek Vineyard and grown by Simon Peirce, this vineyard was planted in 1981 and produces exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc . The blend is 84% Cab Sav and 16% Cab Franc with 20% whole bunches included in the ferment. Its fermented with wild yeast and had 18 months in old French oak barriques.
This variety is one that the Valley used to be widely recognised for and I’ve been wanting to bring it to life for some time. The resulting wine is brimming with bright black currant and blackberry fruits with hints of spice and toast. The palate has soft, textured berry fruits with very gentle tannins and light bright acidity… is certainly isn’t the tannic and oaky beast that Cabernet is often known for. Fantastic winter drinking!
CATHERINE BERNARD LE CARIGNAN 2017
GENTLE EARTHY INTEGRATED
CLASSIC / ORGANIC BIODYNAMIC / 750ML
The Carignan is sourced from two sites, ranging from 50-100 years old. The wine was macerated for a week with 50% whole bunch and the rest destemmed. The wine undulates from peppery-earthy notes to reduced tart berries.
From the producer: Catherine Bernard was a journalist with Libération Newspaper, first in Paris and then Montpellier. But in 2003, turning 40, newly divorced and with two young children, she needed a change of direction.
Originally from Brittany, Catherine grew up on a farm, her father was a grain dealer, and she wanted to be back in touch with the land. She obtained her certificate in agriculture, specialising in viticulture and oenology and began searching for a small vineyard, initially around Corbières where her friend Maxime Magnon was located. But it was to be the commune of Saint Drézéry, Languedoc that Catherine settled, purchasing 3 hectares of land in 2005, 1 hectare under vine to Grenache and Mourvedre.
In 2006 during her first harvest, she was to discover part of what was sold to her as Grenache on the bill of sale, was in part actually Marselan, a hybrid grape of Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon created in the 1960’s. An unforeseen challenge that Catherine embraced. This original parcel is what makes the cuvee, La Carbonelle.
Over the years she has purchased more land and now has 4 hectares of vineyards, with the addition of Cinsault, Alicante Bouchet and Terre Bourret under vine. The soils are a composition of limestone and clay with large pebbles, the vineyards are all certified organic and farmed in a biodynamic spirit.
In the early stages she vinified each harvest in friends’ wineries, until 2015 when she completed the building of her small 'chai'. It is a thoughtfully laid out building with cellar work done by gravity, its design inspired by the work of Australian architect, Glenn Murcutt.
One visit, Catherine explained to me that for her, Languedoc is ‘the forest of France, the land of Freedom. There is a tradition of vines in the region, but not of wine, allowing the freedom to make wine in a very personal way.’
Her production is small with 16,000 to 20,000 bottles per annum. Much of her wine stays in France and her largest export market is Japan, an early adopter. For 13 years, Catherine has worked alone, doing all the vineyard and cellar work herself. In 2018 she was joined by her son Nicolas.
A woman of character and strength, it is impossible not to be inspired by Catherine. Her deft hand and feminine touch produce wines of incredible elegance.
BY FARR SHIRAZ 2019
SPICE LENGTH ELEGANCE
CLASSIC / 750ML
Shiraz grown on north-facing red volcanic soils, co-fermented with a small amount of Viognier for 19 days before being aged in oak for 18 months. The cool climate shiraz is fruit-forward with a lovely ripe stem spice and silty tannin profile.
From the Producer: Shiraz fruit comes from the original By Farr vineyard, planted in 1994. It lies on a north-facing slope, and the red volcanic soil has a base of limestone with deep-set sandstone. All fruit is hand-picked from the VSP trellising, with 20 per cent left as whole bunches in the fermentation. Most years we co-ferment between 2 and 4 per cent viognier with the shiraz, the date determining whether or not the former is co-fermented and bled back. It is a natural fermentation, with the fruit remaining in the tank for 19 days before pressing. Shiraz sees 18 months in French oak, 20 per cent being new, and is bottled under vacuum.
A powerful nose, with the depth and complexity of cool-climate shiraz. This wine is spiced with pepper and mineral elements, leaning towards earthy. The co-fermented viognier adds a little richness to both the bouquet and palate, which has a very pleasant sweetness to start, followed by intense fruit and earthy long tannins to complete the delicate structure and overall elegance of the wine.
The microclimate of the Moorabool Valley is influenced by winds from the western plains and bracing sea breezes, which regulate the temperature on long, sunny days and cool the air overnight. This climate is key to producing naturally balanced, low-yield fruit that is rich in flavour.
The region’s environment is both cool and harsh for viticulture, due to the low rainfall and ever-prevailing winds that sweep across the barren western plains of Victoria. On average we receive 240mm of the 540mm annual rainfall in the growing season. The variation of temperatures between night and day helps us achieve complex and long-palate structures in our wines. Farming our land is not easy, but we believe the best wines are born from the most challenging environments.
Our vineyards are based on ancient river deposits within the Moorabool Valley. Thousands of years later, we are reaping the rewards of these complex and mineral-rich soils, which lend their unique characteristics to our grapes.
There are six different soils spread across the Farr property, with the two main types being rich, friable red and black volcanic loam, and limestone, which dominates the loam in some areas. The other soils are quartz gravel through a red volcanic soil, ironstone (called buckshot) in grey sandy loam with a heavy clay base, sandstone base, and volcanic lava rock. The soil’s good drainage and low fertility are crucial in ensuring small yields of intensely flavoured fruit.
The soil structure and microclimate at our vineyard make it ideal for growing pinot noir and chardonnay, and our location rates among the world’s best for both varieties.
CLOS DE GAMOT CAHOR MALBEC 2016
WEIGHT TOBACCO SKILLFUL
CLASSIC / ORGANIC PRACTICES / 750ML
Malbec at its best. A weighty red that warms the cockles and is fit for a fireplace. Oak balanced, with notes of tobacco, prune and a whiff of tar. The Clos De Gamot has unbelievable aging potential, time will only make this wine better.
From the Producer: The philosophy of the Jouffreau family is simple: be good farmers. give things time, observe nature, be respectful. This approach has seen vines ageing back to 1885 still producing intense, great fruit. The vineyard is located on the second and third of the Lot river's terraces, composed of pebbles, gravel, and quartz mixed with alluvium of the Lot. With no use of herbicide, the workload on the vineyard is enormous. From a winemaking perspective, grapes are sorted when they join the cellar. Each plot is vinified separately, with gentle pumping over to keep a harmonious structure. Wine is aged for 18 to 24 months in old oak pungent with some 40 years old foudre (70hl and 100hl).
Jean Jouffreau’s daughters and his son-in-law Yves Hermann have continued to lovingly care for the family vines, with Yves' son now joining the legacy. The tradition continues, with the focus on bottle maturation remaining. “A wine, like a person,” says Yves, “should have a personal story to tell over time.” With the range of vintages the estate offers, it is possible for consumers to affordably capture history in a glass. We’ll drink to that!
Clos de Gamot is vibrant. Violet notes lead, with pure and fresh dark fruits, and approachable crunchy tannins. Skillful use of oak rounds out the package, with a long, persistent finish.
SYRAHMI DEMI SHIRAZ 2019
FORWARD GUZZLE HERB
CLASSIC / 750ML
80% whole bunch Shiraz sourced from multiple granite heavy vineyards located in Heathcote. A bright aromatic Shiraz that has fine tannins and herbal spice. Easy drinking - all day.
Very bright crimson and purple in colour. Intense perfume of lifted wild raspberries, black olives, soy and turned earth. Crushed granite, red and black cherries, graphite and gun smoke with energetic freshness and length, the palate shows the best of Heathcote with a light touch. Savoury dried herbs and spice, graphite and tapenade again, with very fine tannin coming from the 80% whole bunches during ferment, balanced red fruits leading through a long savoury finish. Concentrated but light on its feet.
The name Syrahmi is a made up from “Syrah” the French word for Shiraz and “Ami” meaning friend. The idea being a “friendly Shiraz” or “A friend of Shiraz”. Syrahmi began in 2004 when Adam Foster gave up his day job as a Chef to pursue his dream of becoming a wine maker. He purchased his first tonne and a half of grapes from Heathcote winery and the dream was born.
Each year grapes for Syrahmi are sourced and selected from different vineyards in the Heathcote region. Thus each year the wines are given a different name to reflect the vintage.