To all our customers, old and new, thank you for your support during this difficult time. We hope you are staying home and staying safe.
We are still open for business (online orders only) and continue to deliver wine while we still can. We are strictly adhering to government guidelines to protect ourselves and our customers against COVID-19.
We are working with courier DHL Parcel who have put in place a delivery process to minimise physical contact with recipients. On arrival at the delivery address the DHL driver will knock or ring the bell and will then step away to a safe distance. If the consumer advises that they wish not to sign on the scanner, the driver will ask for their name, record ‘Accepted at Delivery Point’ and then take a photo of the premises.
We have always followed the mantra that life is too short to drink bad wine. We aren’t saying that wine is the answer but it certainly makes for a happier self-isolation.
Here’s a virtual raise and chink of the glass to you and yours for the time when we can get together with our friends and loved ones and sip together splendidly once more.
Although no oranges are involved in the making of this type of wine, orange wine (sometimes called skin-contact wine) is made from white wine grapes. When making a white wine the grape skins are removed, but orange wine is a result of the grape skins left in contact with the juice for days or even months.
The process of orange wine making is very natural that uses little to no additives, sometimes no yeast. Because of all this, they taste very different from regular white wines and can have a sour taste and nuttiness from oxidation. From cloudy lemon to dark amber, orange wine can vary drastically in colour.
Orange wines have been described as robust and bold, with honeyed aromas of jack fruit (a fleshy tropical fruit), hazelnut, Brazil nut, bruised apple, wood varnish, linseed oil, juniper, sourdough, and dried orange rind. Due to their boldness, orange wines pair excellently well with equally bold foods, including curry dishes, Moroccan cuisine, Korean dishes with fermented kimchi, and traditional Japanese cuisine, including fermented soybeans. Due to the high phenolic content (tannin and bitterness) and the nutty tartness they exhibit, orange wines pair with a wide variety of meats, ranging from beef to fish.
Shop our new Sicilian orange wine here.
There are around 12 square kilometres of Mourvèdre in Australia, where it is also known as Mataro though more producers have begun adopting the French name Mourvèdre. While the grape has a long history of being used for generic cask wines and fortified wine, it has recently become more popular in highly acclaimed GSM blends with Grenache and Syrah (Shiraz).
In Jane MacQuitty’s recent article she writes that this year she has yet to find a good Australian GSM. We took Jane up on her challenge and found 4 winners:
The Mosaic of Dreams is an endeavour to make a wine of ultimate finesse inspired by the exotic landscape of southern Rhone. This wine showcases a beautiful composition of Grenache, Mourvèdre & Syrah, focusing on the visceral rather than the literal elements. Brash blues, the ancient ochre coloured earth, the rose-tinted gulf as the sun sets… the Vale’s own Mosaic of Dreams: a place where the GSM grapes shine (Tasting note from the eloquent winemaker and owner Justin McNamee).
Combined with the rich, ripe Shiraz and earthy, textural Mourvèdre, the combination of flavours and tannins deliver exotic gamey notes along with elegance, structure and longevity to the final blend. The 70-year-old Shiraz batch is matured in 2, 3 and 4-year-old French and American oak, barrels were selected for their spice, character and sweet tannin profiles. The 60 and 80-year-old Grenache is matured in older French and American puncheons and selected for the perfumed lift and tannin elegance and power. The Mourvèdre spends time in new, 1 and 2-year-old French and American oak puncheons and was selected for its earthy texture and ability to tie the blend together.
First produced in 2013 Postmaster GSM is a luscious, elegant, mid-weight wine that displays great flavour and balance, with a medium bodied nature that complements our food, lifestyle and climate. Grenache thrives in McLaren Vale’s warm maritime climate and diverse soil structure where it develops rich, balanced fruit flavour. Traditionally grown for producing fortified wines, the old vineyards contribute flavours and complexity that cannot be matched by younger vines.
“The aroma is so expressive showing tomato vine, smoked meats, raspberry, guava, blackberry and cloves with charcoal, olive and dense clay earth filling the glass. Once in the mouth you experience so much more. Concentrated ripe pomegranate, fleshy fruit, spice, firm acidity and a lengthy tannic grip. I love this wine, can’t you tell?!” Scott Heidrich, Winemaker
This wine has been constructed with an eye to taking the best of the individual components and working them together into a complementary blend – consideration always to how these components come together to contribute structure and complexity to the finished wine. The resultant blend is plush and juicy possessing elegant, mouth coating tannins. The mid palate is full of succulent, plump fruit with more earthy/mocha flavours on the finish. Unfiltered for maximum intensity and matured in 100% older oak for 10 months, this is an immediately approachable drop. Layered, balanced and with surprising length, it just keeps giving – made to be enjoyed with friends and family (just maybe not those who support Manchester United).
In the November issue of Decanter the feature was dedicated to Italian wine stars. Italy is a big wine producing area so the competition is fierce. We were delighted to see one of our newest producers, Marengo Mauro, featured in the issue for their Barbera d’Alba 2016 and awarded 90 points.
Decanter’s Tasting Note: “Very oaky on the nose yet the ripe black fruits still shine through. Savoury and minty too. Fresh attack, concentrated and lively, with ample acidity and a dose of crunchy red as well as black fruits. This avoids too much density and fat…Quite long. Drink 2019-2023. ”
To read more Decanter articles you can visit their website and subscribe.
Hugh Hamilton Wines was featured on BBC2’s Great Australian Railway Journeys with Michael Portillo on Saturday, 8th November at 20:00.
Michael visits Hugh Hamilton Wines, Australia’s oldest surviving family in the wine industry. The McLaren Vale grapes were planted by founding patriarch Richard Hamilton nearly two centuries ago.
Mary Hamilton, Richard’s great, great, great granddaughter reveals to Michael the murky past of her ancestor over a glass of their family Shiraz.
The programme showcases the much celebrated ‘The Bloodline Set‘; a beautiful tailor’s crate housing a trio of noteworthy wines smuggled beneath a limited edition cashmere throw.
We at Tilley’s Wines didn’t realise we had such a ghoulish bunch of wines until we put them together when planning our own spooky gathering.
We think Halloween kicks off the party season and to celebrate we are offering 20% off all our wicked wines.
Who will you be this Halloween: a Little Demon, pantomime Villain, Black Magic Woman perhaps? Does this time of year fill you with Superstition, are you polishing your Voodoo pins and do you have fickle tastes like Jekyll & Hyde?
Simply use the code HALLOWINE at the checkout to receive 20% off before 01.11.19. Please note this cannot be used in conjunction with other offers.
Tilley’s Wines have been long-time supporters of multi-generational winery, Hugh Hamilton Wines. We know first hand what it’s like to be run a Daughter and Father family business.
We have been importing wines from Hugh Hamilton in McLaren Vale for near on 20 years and have always admired Hugh’s experimental zeal for new plantings. He is known as the Black Sheep after all.
Speaking to The Weekend Australian Hugh Hamilton boss and daughter Mary Hamilton, explains how a grape planted by her father in 2000 has turned into Australia’s first Saperavi festival this summer and which has led to the duo creating the Australian Saperavi Association to take the message of Georgia’s most popular grape to local drinkers.
The 180 year old winery’s love affair with the Saperavi grape began only 20 years ago when Hugh met Georgian winemaker Lado Uzunashvil. Hugh’s excitement from meeting Lado led to him to begin to rip out his own vines:”We planted in 2000 and it was a little experimental patch and people said to dad that he was a nutter, because there were these really old and beautiful petit verdot vines he pulled our on a bit of an impulse to see what this exotic Georgian variety would do”.
Saperavi literally means “paint” or “dye” as the rich purplish black fruits would dye the hands of grape pickers. It is a big, bold, full-throttled wine, much like the full-bodied shiraz that Australia is well known for, and the Hamiltons believe palates will easily adopt the Georgian style.
Mary teases her Father that he pampers the grapes like a pedigree pet, even applying sun-screen to them to protect the berries in extreme heat.
A recent Fiona Beckett article ‘Why you should be drinking Riesling’ highlighted that ‘Riesling has an unfair reputation as an overly sweet wine’ and we think our selection of Rieslings will put the reputation to the test. Fiona recommends for Riesling virgins, fresh fruitiness is much more likely to appeal, so look for vintages from 2016-2018. Another useful tip if your worried if the wines will be sweet is look at the alcohol. If the ABV has reached 12%, all the sugar has been fermented into alcohol and the classification is a dry wine.
Mentioned in the article as one of the Rieslings that should win you round is the O’leary Walker, Polish Hill River Riesling from Clare Valley in Australia. Australia’s Clare Valley makes lusciously limey Rieslings that are easy to love. It’s pure lime and slate and it’s both up-front and reserved at once. It’s intense through the finish yet it feels watery and refreshing and cool minerality through the centre. It’s beautiful drinking but will cellar, too. Pair with Asian-style salads. Admittedly we have a slightly older vintage (2014) but it’s full of life and racy acidity.
The good folks at Claymore, Clare Valley, Australia, one of our favourite and most popular wineries, are known for their top value, regionally expressive wines that deliver at all price points, and their three Rieslings are definitely no exception:
First up is their super approachable Joshua Tree Riesling. It’s made from a blend of parcels drawn from their three Riesling sites and crafted using only free run juice and cool fermentation. It delivers a classic Watervale Riesling (or Rizza if from Down Under) with that forward fruit lift and delicate floral elements. This is our go-to white which we always have in the fridge to help us fight a (UK) heatwave!
Their Claymore, God is a DJ, 2017 is a single vineyard offering. The 2017 juice is a fragrant, zesty little number. Concentrated with purity and poise, it displays those classic Riesling characteristics of lemon and lime, as well as juicy nectarines, resulting in a delicate white that’ll get any party started. It also pulled Gold at Decanter, just saying.
Last but not least is Claymore’s Superstition Reserve Riesling 2017. This is when Riesling gets serious. The wine is languishily captivating. It shows a length and complexity that continues for some time and will only get better as it ages. In its youth it has a pent up energy with a squeaky clean minerality that will unfold in the years to come. It will cellar for years (if you can wait that long!) 100% free run juice, hand-picked grapes from old vines.
Riesling promotion is running the month of July in the UK. Why, Wines of Germany even had a stand at Latitude Festival this year but at £14 for a glass of Riesling in a plastic cup I don’t think they would have sold much! You don’t need to spend the earth but do give it a try.
Save the date for the biggest, brightest and most diverse showcase of Australian wine in Europe.
The Tilley’s family have long celebrated Australia Day (26th January) as most of our rellies (relatives for us poms) live Down Under. It’s a special day to reflect on Australian history of the 1788 arrival of the First Fleet of British ships at Port Jackson, New South Wales, and the raising of the Flag of Great Britain at Sydney Cove by Governor Arthur Phillip, and to celebrate contemporary Australian culture, and bring together everyone who calls Australia home from all corners of the earth.
The event will give you a taste of Australia’s exciting and diverse styles of wine, from classic to contemporary, rogue to the refined. Some of the wineries you may be familiar with, others might be new discoveries.
Australian winemakers are proud creators and innovators and we are lucky to have their make high quality, bold wine, on Tilley’s table. Their wines express the passion and diversity of the people who craft them and the unique regional characteristics of their origins. This is your opportunity to meet the people behind the wines. A number of winemakers and winery owners will be flying over from Australia to pour their wines and share their exciting stories.
The tastings are enhanced by themed focus tables and master classes, ensuring that you have a full and exciting day of immersion into Australian wine
When: Tuesday 22nd January 11am – 6pm
Where: B1, Southampton Row, London, WC1B 4DA – View on Google Maps
Here at Tilley’s HQ will are busy packing your wine orders to ensure they arrive in time for Christmas. All online orders received by midnight on Tuesday 18th December will arrive in time for the big day.
For local deliveries with an NN prefixed postcode, we can extend last order dates to midnight on Wednesday 19th December.
All is left is to wish all our lovely customers a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.