Five Geese, “The Pippali”, Old Vine Shiraz 2012£18.95
Appearance: Attractive deep red-black colour.
Nose: Complex, spicy; typical of Blewitt Springs characters, even slightly black pepper.
Palate: More savoury palate with plenty of spice up front, and nice fruit sweetness in the middle. Soft tannin on the finish. Flavoursome and robust; definitely a food wine!
Cellaring: Drinking well now, but has the capacity to develop and soften with further time in the bottle. A very reliable wine from an exceptional vintage in McLaren Vale.
Snippet from James Halliday’s review, August 2016:
“…Quality written all over it. Value almost goes without saying. Blackberry, earth, saltbush and smoky oak. Excellent integration of the various components. Tannin comes in a block but the fruit is up to the task.”
Five Geese, Sue’s Paddock Reserve Grenache, 2012£34.95
This wine is named on the bottle from “Sue’s Paddock” and this is because it is from her very much cherished 80 plus year Grenache gnarly vines. Sue Trott has only produced 200 cases of her limited Grenache Reserve.
By way of tasting notes there’s ripe strawberry and raspberry flavours with the warmth of the dry grown Grenache showing long and fine tannins with a
lingering finish. There is a savoury dry character that is not aggressive
in any way with hints of spice.
Fox Creek ‘Red Baron’ Shiraz, 2016£14.50
Fox Creek’s eye-catching Red Baron’ Shiraz is a very easy drinking and made in a young, fresh and fruity style so it is approachable and ready to crack open.
Plum and black cherry aromas jump out of the glass supported by blueberry muffin characters with a hint of cinnamon spice.
Rich front palate of plums and black cherries lead into the coffee and cream mid palate which is complemented by hints of roasted nuts and dark chocolate (you’ll know this wine is from McLaren Vale). The youthful tannins complete the vibrant experience with an injection of subtle structural oak on the finish.
Fox Creek Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2010£35.95
Has won a miscellany of gold awards from Asia, London, NZ, Japan and Adelaide.
Blackcurrant, red cherry and raspberry flavours lead into a crème caramel and
waffle cone mid palate. The long soft linear grape tannins integrated with elegant
oak tannins to give the wine fantastic finesse and balance.
Not made every year but 2010 was inevitable. Drink to 2030.
Fox Creek Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2011£35.95
Blackcurrant and blackberry flavours lead into a creamy dark chocolate mid palate. The long soft structural grape tannins integrate well with the firm but elegant oak tannins to give the wine fantastic finesse and balance. A vibrant and elegant wine which will drink well from mid 2013 onwards and will reward careful cellaring till at least 2024 and beyond.
Fox Creek Reserve Shiraz 2013£43.95
We didn’t think the 2012 could have been bettered but then comes along the current vintage 2013.
This has been Fox Creek’s most celebrated wine, first made in 1994. The Reserve has an extraordinary range of flavours with blackberry, blackcurrant, liquorice and dark chocolate. The wine has a rich sweet fruit mid palate and the finish is long. While approachable when young, it is best cellared and drinks best to 2028.
Intense, deep burgundy.
Red cherry and plum fruit flavours layered with cinnamon and nutmeg, dark chocolate and liquorice with hints of rhubarb and buttered toast.
The full flavoured palate with plums, black cherries, rhubarb and strawberries, with liquorice and milk chocolate filling out the mid palate. The wine finishes with great balance and elegance, and is characterised by rich dark chocolate, roast nut, vibrant acidity and firm structural grape tannins. These tannins give the wine excellent length and will become richer and soften as the wine ages, and will reward those who can cellar this release. We also recommend decanting this wine up to two hours before savouring.
Sourced from premium selected McLaren Vale vineyards blocks with a range of soil types contributing structural and flavour complexity. Soils include Bay of Biscay, grey loam, and red gravels. Harvest took place when the individual vineyard fruit flavours, grape tannins and acids all reached maturity. 2013 was a warm and compact vintage with mild nights and to warm days during the ripening period. This meant the fruit flavours were rich and intense and the tannins were big and firm. The Shiraz harvest began mid February and finished in mid March, with most of the components for this wine came in late February and early March. Fermentation on skins was for 8 – 10 days, with all wine completing fermentation in barrel for added texture and to advance the integration of oak and grape tannins. During maturation the wine from each vineyard batch was targeted with appropriate oak styles to maximise its potential and produce the most complex and complete wine bases possible prior to blending. Our oak barrels are sourced from coopers in France, USA and Australia and are seasoned for 3 years. Maturation was for 21 months in both new and one year old oak barrels. Barrel by barrel selection took place during all stages of fermentation and barrel maturation to ensure only the best Shiraz barrels were selected for the final blend. Final blend proportions were determined purely by quality, balance and style.
Excellent Classification, Langtons Classification of Wine VI
Best of Show Australia Red; ProWein, Mundus Vini Spring, Germany 2015
Double Gold Medal, China Wine and Spirits Awards 2015
Great Gold Medal, Catavinum World Wine & Spirits Competition, Spain 2015
Great Gold Medal, Mundus Vini Spring, Germany 2015
Gold Medal, Mundus Vini Summer 2015
Gold Medal, AWC Vienna 2015
Gold Medal, Les Citadelles Du Vin France 2015
Gold Medal, Selections Mondiales des Vins, Canada 2015
Gold Medal, Berlin Wine Trophy, Germany 2015
Gold Medal, DWM Asia Wine Trophy 2015
Gold Medal, DWM Portugal Wine Trophy 2015
Gold Medal, Berlin Wine Trophy 2016
Silver Medal, International Wine Challenge – Tranche 1 2016
Silver Medal, Syrah du Monde, France 2015
Silver Medal, International Wine Challenge : Tranche 2, England 2015
Silver Medal, Concours Mondial de Bruxelles, Belgium 2015
96 points ‘Outstanding’ : James Halliday Australian Wine Companion 2016 Edition
Fox Creek Vixen Shiraz (sparkling red)£17.95
A powerful wine rich & soft in texture. The silky palate oozes sweet mixed berry conserve, ‘rum and raisin’, white chocolate & spicy vanillin oak finished with a balanced explosion of spice, crisp acid and soft elegant tannin length.
With regards to food matching, we’d drink this and only this with our turkey on Christmas Day.
Fox Creek, ‘Arctic Fox’ NV£16.95
Fox Creek’s Arctic Fox is perfect for those seeking an alternative to Champagne.
A blend of three white varieties reflect all that is desirable from McLaren Vale’s climate and soils. Comprising of 55% Vermentino, 23% Verdelho, 22% Sauvignon Blanc.
The Vermentino’s crisp, structural and vibrant contribution is filled out by the Verdelho’s rich, tropical mid palate and yeasty lees stirred characteristics, while the Sauvignon Blanc twist gives the aromatics a lift and provides a herbaceous edge.
So how does it taste: A crisp and refreshing mix of lemon, lime, grapefruit and white nectarine flavours leading into a soft and fleshy mid palate of honeydew, green apple and lemon sorbet. The focused acidity combined with the voluminous mouth-feel finish the wine with crispness, persistence and length.
Fox Creek, ‘Postmaster’, Grenache, Shiraz, Mouvedre 2015£17.45
Background and Winemaking
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.
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.
Bright, cherry red.
Perfumed confectionery lift with aromas of raspberry, mulberry, cherry, hints of musk, gingernut biscuits, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove.
Mulberry, raspberry, red cherry, strawberries, hints of chocolate éclair. The wine has focused and elegant tannins, well integrated oak, with a silky persistent finish.
Grenache delivers perfumed lift, juicy red berry fruits, Shiraz adds fleshy plum and strawberries, Old vine tannins provide elegance and structure. Mourvedre ties the palate together as it adds tannin volume and earthy texture. This is a classic regional blend that shows off the varieties that do well and is also fantastic
Fox Creek, ‘Short Row’ Shiraz, 2016£18.95
First produced in 1999, Short Row Shiraz acknowledges the traditional McLaren Vale Shiraz style that has brought the region the recognition and standing amongst the great wine regions of the world. A style based on a powerful fruit driven front and mid palate, with rich ripe tannins requiring significant new oak influence to be brought back into a semblance of balance.
This big and rich Shiraz has been tamed slightly over the years to enhance its drinkability and poise in the glass but it still packs a punch on the palate. The original incarnation was from the short row vineyard, which is characterised by a magnificent big ball of fruit on the mid palate. We also select parcels from two other vineyards that exhibit similar flavour and tannin profiles.
Plums, black cherry, raspberry, clove, dark chocolate. Intertwined with nutmeg, cinnamon, and roasted vanilla bean.
Fruit driven front palate of plum, strawberry, black cherry, mid palate of strawberry and cream with hints of dark chocolate. The youthful grape tannins provide a firm texture and length that will soften and integrate with age.
Drink now but this will reward with careful cellaring until 2020.
GOLD Medal Mundus Vini 2018
GOLD Medal CWWSC 2018
GOLD Medal Berlin Wine Trophy 2018
GOLD Medal “Sakura” Japan’s Woman’s Wine Awards 2018
Fox Creek, “Three Blocks Cabernet”, 2014£21.95
Deep cherry red.
Fresh leafy lifted cinnamon and cigarbox, overlaying red berry fruits, dark chocolate, roast chestnuts and black cardamon.
Fleshy blackcurrant, black cherry and mulberry flavours lead into a blueberry muffin and milk chocolate mid palate. The crunchy, savoury and linear grape tannins integrate with elegant oak tannins to give the wine fantastic length, finesse and balance.
As the name implies, ‘Three Blocks‘ is sourced from three very different premium McLaren Vale vineyards each featuring different soil types;
One vineyard has well drained sandy loam soils over silica sand and clay formation, the second, grey sand over North Maslin sandstone and the third featuring black Biscay clay over Pirramimma sandstone.
The grapes were harvested in the cool of the night between March 12 – 28 when fruit flavours, grape tannins and acids all reached maturity and balance. Fermentation on skins was for 8 – 10 days with all of the wine completing barrel fermentation. Considered maturation of each vineyard batch in oak specifically matched to these Cabernet vineyards from a range of French coopers. The batches were shifted between different oak types to impart layers of flavour and enhance the structure during the wine’s 18 month maturation in new to four year old oak barrels. The final blend used different percentages of each of the vineyard parcels to achieve the layers of flavour and tannin profile we desired when initially creating the blend.
This will reward the patient drinker who has the willpower to cellar this wine up until 2025.
Blue Gold Medal, Sydney International Wine Comp 2017
Gold Medal, AWC Vienna International Wine Challenge 2016
Silver Medal, International Wine + Spirit Competition 2016
96 points James Halliday (high!)
Fox Creek, Jim’s Script, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, 2013£17.95
Jim Watts, an eminent professor of surgery, purchased the bare land that is now Fox Creek vineyards with his wife Helen in 1984. A lover of wine, Jim and his four children planted a selection of grape varieties and made their first wine under the Fox Creek label ten years later.
Three decades following Jim and Helen’s vision to plant grapes certainly stopped the critics who mooted the land was not suitable. It is deserving that Jim has a wine named after him. The Jim’s Script is a classic blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The wine is full of black fruit flavours and long elegant tannins. This wine has a vibrant and rich palate with seamless integration between the varietal flavours and tannins, finishing with crunchy acidity and an earthy texture.
Fox Creek, JSM, 2012£14.95
A fruit driven mid palate is laden with red cherry, plums and raspberries. The wine has a long, crisp and refreshing finish due to the Cabernets firm and youthful grape tannin framed with elegant and spicy oak. A great drinking wine of complexity and substance.
Gilligan Roussanne Marsanne 2014£14.45
This wine starts full and generous as one might expect from these varieties with a shapely flow into the mouth herded by fine, fresh acidity. Intense fruit – orange blossom and pineapple with the same minerality coming through which was detected on the nose. A very grown-up wine with remarkable length.
Gilligan, Shiraz, Grenache, Mouvedre, 2013£15.95
Gilligan is one of the smallest wineries from which Tilley’s Wines import. We have known Leigh Gilligan for many years and now Leigh’s son Sami has joined the family winery as the winemaker.
Leigh and Sami have a passion for sustainable viticultural practices and traditional winemaking techniques. Estate grown fruit, open fermentation, basket pressing and oak maturation produces a superb blend of Shiraz, Grenache and Mourvedre which has earned high praise since the first release in 2002, from wine critics and consumers throughout the world.
Medium purple in colour with a vibrant bouquet of black fruits, violets, long finish with silky tannins. Excellent structure displaying fine, chalky tannins and good acidity which will complement a wide range of foods.
The blend is dominated by Shiraz (80 %) with the remainder shared equally between Grenache and Mourvedre grapes.
A portion of this vintage was fermented on roussanne lees to give additional silkiness and texture to the palate.
Hugh Hamilton ‘Stunt Double’ Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc 2016£17.95
Elusive and fiercely independent Black Sheep wines from Hugh Hamilton will not be pinned down. 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.
There is nothing quite like the thrill of seeing the unexpected triumph over the norm – no less spectacular than watching a man in a jumpsuit leap 19 cars on a Harley and stick the landing. What could easily be seen as no more than a publicity stunt is actually a true and death-defying leap into the unknown. It’s not as crazy as you may think, or maybe it is. Either way, it works.
Download the Tasting Note here.
Hugh Hamilton ‘The Mongrel’ Sangiovese Blend 2016£16.95
A decade ago, fresh young reds were rare, and rarely taken seriously. These days they are more common, and critics pay much more attention! Hugh Hamilton are not after attention per se; their aim is to take the best of Sangiovese – always the core of ‘The Mongrel’ – and build on it, in a perfumed, savoury, unchallenging style: fresh, bright and lively!
85% Sangiovese 13.5% Grenache 1.5% Sauvignon Blanc – Sangiovese is a grape that has a lot going for it. Think savoury, meaning it’s great with food; it has a cherry flavour which is a contrast to most other grapes we grow and it holds very good tannin structure. Its natural acidity means it always has an interesting and lively palate. However, if you really want to make this wine ‘sing’ it needs a little touching up with something else and in this vintage, that is a splash of Grenache and Sauvignon Blanc.
With a nose that is a fruity-earthy mix of tar, raspberry, and maple syrup and a palate of supple textured, muscular palate of length and mid-weight. The intense perfume ‘blooms’ across the palate. Crunchy. Shiny polished leather.
The Mongrel is best matched with a simple pasta e polpette (meat-balls) dish with grated parmesan and fresh parsley. In fact any rich, tomato-based dish will be a perfect match!
Hugh Hamilton ‘The Rascal’ Shiraz 2015£17.95
The Rascal Shiraz is just that – a bold, brash interpretation of McLaren Vale’s hero variety with a dense bouquet of black cherries, dark plums and mulberries. A nose of fresh liquorice and warm earth. Black-fruits fill the mouth with some spicy oak adding complexity while vigorous tannins wagging the wine’s long satisfying ‘tail. It’s the perfect wine to pair with dukkah crusted lamb – those hearty tannins quickly mopping up the lamb’s hit of protein and flavourful fat.