Peculiar Mr Pat, Merlot, 2019£8.75
The story of a most particular wombat…Orphaned, beaten up by his wild wombat mates, taken in by Ballarat Wildlife Park, wheelbarrowed around (for weight reasons), adored the world over.
The Merlot grapes that make this wine were grown in the glorious Australian sunshine. Merlot thrives along the banks of Australia’s largest river, the Murray, near the bustling inland town of Mildura, in the middle of Australia’s food bowl. A Mediterranean climate, with plenty of sunshine, vines carefully tended to and enrich the ancient, sandy soils with recycled organic matter from other crops that also thrive locally, to make the most of every precious drop of water. Speckled light reaches through lush green vine canopies to ensure the berries ripen steadily throughout late summer in time for harvest in Autumn.
Bright, plush, deeply tasty Merlot from Riverland vineyards, this is abundant in freshly picked red fruit with a soft tannic profile and a long, moreish finish.
This wine can be enjoyed with a wide range of meat dishes, and minimal winemaking intervention means that this wine can also be enjoyed, guilt-free by Pescatarians, Vegetarians and Vegans.
Smalltown Vineyards The Next Big Thing Chardonnay, Barossa Valley 2018£12.50
Grapes are hand harvested from an old block on the Binder family Barossa vineyards. Small batches of Chardonnay are picked and pressed through a tank press with some skin contact. 25% is fermented in French puncheons and American hogsheads for 6 months, aged on lees then blended with the 75% unoaked juice, settled and bottled. Into the main Barossa blend a small component of Eden Valley Chardonnay is blended and the whole sees a tiny bit of secondary use oak for some fine structure.
With the faintest whiff of biscuity oak this bright, tangy Barossa Chardonnay is an absolute delight. It has that classical Barossa charm, elegance, poise, tang and naggingly more-ish elusive something-or-other which makes one wonder why there isn’t more Australian Chardonnay.
Anything with chicken, pork, prawns, seafood… Brilliant as a quaffer or perfect with a lovingly cooked meal.
Smalltown Vineyards The Good Luck Club Cabernet Sauvignon, Barossa Valley 2017£15.95
The latest lovechild of renowned Barossa winemaker, Rolf Binder, and UK-based wine merchant, Noel Young. Magpie Estate purchased the Smalltown block in 2016, 40 hectares of 28 year old Shiraz and Cabernet in the premium Ebenezer District of the Barossa Valley. This wine was aged in new and tertiary French oak for 24 months. The oak lends a subtle texture and structure to the fruit leaving the palate fresh so this is a bright, varietal Cab that wears its oak lightly as a structural veil rather than anything more monstrous.
Notes of shoe-leather on the nose with a palate driven by fresh cassis, vanilla, a dollop of cream and the texture of a lolly-stick sucked clean. It’s an absolute bloody marvel.
It’s lovely with steak tartare, seared tuna, roast Mediterranean veg and some crunchy, matured hard cheese.
The Listening Station Malbec, Victoria 2018£8.95
All the Malbec fruit comes from an estate in the Swan Hill region where there are 5 hectares of Malbec (approximately 12.5 acres which produces 90 tonnes of fruit per vintage). The Malbec are on their own roots and were planted in 2000. With the age of the vines and the harsh growing conditions, the Malbec vines are less vigorous which leads to a more intense colour and flavour. The vines are trained on a two wire vertical trellis, drip irrigation and minimum fertilisation. All the vines are machine harvested at night between mid to late March and grown on red sandy loam soil with limestone clay base. Climate is Mediterranean with summer temperatures between 30 and 40°C. Total vineyard area is 1250 acres. Once the grapes have been crushed pressed and sent to the fermenter, the winery then pumps over 4 times a day. Vinification takes place in stainless steel tanks at 25°C for three weeks. Malolactic fermentation takes place over 4 weeks. 50% of the blend is aged in French and American oak barriques for 3 months.
Once again inspired by the Australian night, this is darkly appealing, chocolatey Malbec with an abundance of crisp, minerally fruit.
Great with rich and hearty food. Try me with a rich casserole or roasted Mediterranean vegetables.
Alpha Box & Dice ‘Icona’ Cabernet Sauvignon, McLaren Vale 2015£24.95
The grapes are we destemmed, crushed and left for two weeks on skin, before letting the juice sit back and enjoy 24 months in barriques – one third new oak and the rest seasoned. The result is classic, approachable and expressive Cabernet Sauvignon. Just like the icons that came before it.
Big, bold, juicy with cassis and blueberries on the nose and molasses, chocolate and cherries on the tongue. Beyond all of that, ultimately it’s like being embraced by an enormous purple clam with blueberry chops and wobbly rubber Fgrape flavoured hands just before they throw you into a vat of fermenting blueberry pie. Willie Wonka’s Veruca Salt – eat your heart out!
Thick juicy steak or the perfect accompaniment for after dinner nostalgic narratives.
Alpha Box & Dice ‘Tarot’ Grenache, Mclaren Vale 2017£10.75
Grapes are picked from the Reedy Creek Vineyard in Whites Valley, a 100% McLaren Vale region with red clay soil that gives the wine a pretty perfume and delicate tannins. Through 10% whole bunch fermentation and two weeks on skins, with six months maturation in 100% stainless steel with weekly lees stirring, the energy and nerve of the wine is retained and a sense of varietal chiaroscuro is apparent. The contrast between light and dark, detailed and enchanting.
Very pure, bright and primary Grenache in an oh so contemporary Australian way. This also shares deep milk chocolate and raspberry fruit but remains imminently smashable in spite of its ABV. Chill slightly, seek out the largest glass in the house and quaff indefinitely.
Mino & Co Growers Touch Shiraz 2017£10.95
The bouquet shows peppery black fruit, spice and port like lift. The palate is deep, dense dark berry, currant and prune – very concentrated and almost viscous with full-bodied power throughout, dense tannins and sweet coconut oak on the finish.
Mino & Co Growers Touch Chardonnay 2017£10.95
Fresh fruits on the nose depict hints of nectarine, peach and orange blossom with rich vanilla oak and a touch of spice. The palate is generous, expressing flavours of stone fruit and citrus nuance, balanced acidity and French Oak, holding true to it’s varietal characteristics.
Alpha Box & Dice ‘Siren’ Nero D’Avola£23.95
In Sicily, the grape Nero d’Avola has a storng affinity with the sea, relishing in the sun drenched maritime climate of the region… Hang on… McLaren Vale…? Sea…? Vines…?
Looks like deep violet.
Smells like lavender, cherries, raspberries and a whiff of flint/graphite.
Tastes like beeswax, dark cherries, chocolate, bright and fresh acid, delicate structure and a hint of salinity.
Cellar for up to 10 years.
Jancis Robinson (Tamlyn Currin): “Lavender scented, parma violets, chalky. Victoria plums framed in lovely dry, spicy tannins. Strong caraway notes. It’s a framework that owns the wine, spice over fruit, giving wiry strength and savour through the length of the palate. Bit of a rebel, heel-kicking spirit here, but basically, it’s delicious. Drink 2018-2022” 17 points
Suitable for vegans!
Alpha Box & Dice, ‘Zaptung’, Glera£14.95
“Drink Zaptung on its own as a pick-me-up and rejoice in its unique hydration qualities.
Astound your friends and confound your enemies as it makes you appear infinitely more sophisticated than they remember. Use it in cocktails — yeah, that’s right – cocktails. Wear a sexy mask and pretend you are in Venice while you nonchalantly whip up some Bellinis and Aperol Spritzes for your excited guests. Put it in an atomiser and spray it on your face while you are dancing at the disco, simultaneously refreshing mind, body and spirit with every pump… It is truly the most versatile of beverages.”
Picked from a lovely Riverland vineyard in South Australia whose soil is sand over limestone, the grapes are crushed, pressed and fermented in stainless steel with a natural yeast. A glass full of joyful froth, AB&D Zaptung is Glera but not quite as we know it. Amongst the superabundance of bubbles, there is a textural streak bringing all their festivity and chaotic stone fruit into line. A positive marvel, this will delight even the most fastidious punter.
Suitable for vegans!
Alpha Box & Dice ‘Dead Winemaker’s Society’ Dolcetto£16.95
“The Dead Winemakers Society is our homage to those visionary individuals that carved their path in the wine industry before us. They were the crazy ones, the wild-eyed wine poets that had a deep respect for both the land they farmed and the process of guiding the fruit to bottle in the most thoughtful and composed manner possible. There have been many who have inspired us through their wines and philosophy – we have listened, learned and adapted the practises of their legacy to form our own.”
Hand picked off two vineyards in Kuitpo, Adelaide Hills: Christmas Hill and Yacca Paddock. Light red clay soils builds pretty, light aromatics and gentle tannin stucture. Grapes are de-stemmed and then undergo whole berry wild fermentation on skins until dry. The wine is matured for 18 months on lees in old Burgundy barriques.
With a sweetly decomposing autumnal underbrush nose, the wine leads into a palate of ripe bitter cherries with a gently leafy tannic spine. Another deliciously more-ish Italianette varietal from AB&D best served at (drumroll…) tomb temperature.
Best served with italian foods. All of them. And duck.
Suitable for vegans!
out of stock
Riposte by Tim Knappstein, Stilleto, Pinot Gris 2013
The acclaimed Riposte is the label of highly awarded vigneron Tim Knappstein. All his wines have fencing-inspired monikers, including this powerful Pinot Gris, named after the Stiletto, a stabbing weapon favoured by 17th and 18th century assassins!
In the glass it is medium straw. Floral lift on the nose. The palate Opens with an attractive ripe core of fruit flavours with layers of pear and custard apple. Powerful, juicy and soft
out of stock
Vegan Friendly Mixed Case£59.70
The reason that all wines are not vegan or even vegetarian-friendly has to do with how the wine is clarified and a process called ‘fining’. All young wines are hazy and contain tiny molecules such as proteins, tartrates, tannins and phenolics. These are all natural, and in no way harmful. Most wines, if left long enough, will self-stabilize and self-fine. However, traditionally producers have used a variety of aids called ‘fining agents’ to help the process along. Fining agents help precipitate out these haze-inducing molecules. Essentially, the fining agent acts like a magnet – attracting the molecules around it. Traditionally the most commonly used fining agents were casein (a milk protein), albumin (egg whites), gelatin (animal protein) and isinglass (fish bladder protein). These fining agents are known as processing aids. They are not additives to the wine, as they are precipitated out along with the haze molecules.
The case price of £59.7 includes a 10% discount off the RRP case price of £66.35. The selection is as follows:
Bondar, Rayner Vineyard Grenache 2016£26.75
Sourced from Bondar’s tiny 0.7ha block of 48-year old Grenache vines, planted in sand on the Rayner Vineyard in McLaren Vale. The lowest-yielding vines were hand-picked, and natural fermentation took place – some in a ceramic egg on skins for 120 days, some with whole bunches and some with whole berries. All done to add layers of complexity to the wine, and to build structure around the beautifully aromatic and pure Grenache fruit.
The 2016 weaves together precisely these delicious characters, a core of textured, concentrated fruit and a spine of powdery tannins that energize the palate from start to finish.
This wine brings together Grenache (80%), Shiraz (15%) and Mataro (5%). Picked by hand, gently handled in the winery and aged in old French oak.
The wine is bright and lifted with the aromatics of raspberries with fresh herbal notes. Complexity comes through with spice and gaminess from the Mataro, the Shiraz bringing structure and plush fruit to the palate.
This is savoury, with fine tannins and still manages to leave an imprint.
Suitable for vegans!
Music Lovers Mixed Case by Claymore Wines£78.20
The case price of £78.20 includes a 5% discount of the RRP case price of £82.35. Price include sale prices. The selection is as follows:
Situated in the beautiful Clare Valley in South Australia, Claymore Wines is now in its third decade. Claymore’s founder and owner, Anura Nitchingham has three great loves in his life – wine, music and football – and he celebrates all of them through the winery.
Many of Claymore’s wines are named after some of the world’s legendary rock songs, albums and artists. The sensory connection for Anura was genuine. To him, the labels are those that resonate beyond their time, across generations and have become something of modern classics; he holds similar aspirations for his wines. To silence any critics who may see the rock icons as a gimmick, Claymore Wines has grown into a serious boutique wine business.
There’s plenty of research that suggests music makes wine taste better so we suggest cranking up the volume and exploring the Music Lovers Mixed Case.
Samuel’s Gorge Mixed Case (6 bottles)£148.00
Samuel’s Gorge hand crafted wines are distinctly Australian with reference to the old world for texture, complexity and harmony. Having great patience, the fermentations of each parcel of fruit are long and slow in open slate fermenters lined with beeswax which date back 100 years. The grapes are pressed off using traditional basket press methods with the wines being transferred to oak to mature. These many components are then blended together to achieve harmony within each of the Samuel’s Gorge wines.
Specialising in four key varietals Grenache, Shiraz, Mourvedre and Tempranillo, grapes are strategically sourced from a range of sites and soils in order to achieve great depth and complexity of flavour.
The 6 bottle case price of £148 includes a 5% discount on the RRP case price of £155.90. The selection is as follows:
out of stock
Hugh Hamilton, ‘Lions and Tigers and Bears’, Merlot, Sangiovese, Nero D’Avola 2017£18.95
The Dark Arts is a range of wines from varieties that are not meant to go together, but work! They refuse to be part of the status quo; they are wine as art. Made off the grid in an unconventional style that is all about varietals in quirky combos.
A balanced blend recalls the experience of tasting a never-before seen variety. While this blend can resemble other wines, it also
remains, clearly and satisfyingly, only itself. Enjoy it unfold over a
meal to experience this wine at its best.
Crushed mint, leather, tar, and rose. There is an amazing array of
flavours for those that look – rhubarb, cinnamon notes, clove, fresh
raspberry, meadow flowers, and pink lady apples.
The palate is supple and textured, the fruit crisp and bright. Tantalisingly
layered, there is clear Merlot pedigree, but this is clearly not your average
Best served with ravioli and tortellini and gnocchi! Actually anything Italian is a fair match thanks to the Sangiovese and Nero d’Avola. Drink now through 5 years – becoming more savoury with age.
Hugh Hamilton, The Bloodline Set£175.00
Hugh and Mary bring you their own unique trio of wines, a Grenache, a Shiraz and a Pedro Ximenez in honour of their forebear, Richard Hamilton.
Richard, a respectable tailor living on the high streets of Dover with his wife and 8 children, engaged in a second business under the cover of darkness – smuggling casks of Bordeaux wine across the English Channel. When Richard decided a change of scenery was needed he packed up his family and headed for the newly colonised South Australia. It was here that he started growing Grenache, Shiraz and Pedro Ximenez grapes for ‘the health of the family’. So started South Australia’s first wine dynasty that continues to this day.
Now, 180 years on, Richard’s legacy and secret are materialised in this beautifully crafted tailor’s crate – a trio of noteworthy wines smuggled beneath a limited edition cashmere throw both included in the order. Be one of the first to own a piece of genuine Australian Wine History.
HAMILTON 1837 GRENACHE 2016
There is an amazing duality that is fresh, perfumed and alive but there is also such amazing depth and length to the palate.
In part, the perfume is the result of the 30% whole bunch fruit included in the ferment but there is a very defined varietal lift that insists the whole bunch character is far from the whole story. The tremendous fruit character is carefully held in check by the assertive palate structure.
HAMILTON 1837 SHIRAZ 2016
A necessary component was to add depth to the palate and to complement the high tone aromatics. The answer lay in the middle of the Church Block in the 21 rows of Shiraz that usually make Black Blood II. The generosity of the palate grounded the flightiness of the other two Shiraz, easing them into a satisfying whole.
HAMILTON 1837 PEDRO XIMENEZ NV
Voluptuous, intense and sustained, the Pedro is a masterpiece made possible only by time and patience; so long in fact that the wine has long ago outlived the vineyard that made it. If given the chance it will outlive all of us as well.
Over many years the original base has been over-blended multiple times, with lengthy periods of rest between better known as the Solera system, building phenomenal depth of flavour and viscosity. The cumulative effect of many years of slow evaporation has concentrated and enhanced the character. A fitting respect for its rarity is achieved at the end of the bottle as you try to extract every last drop, knowing that there isn’t any more where this came from.
This product includes a crafted tailor’s crate and a limited edition cashmere throw!