Down The Rabbit Hole Friends & Lovers Sangiovese Rosé£14.95
‘Friends & Lovers’ Rosé fills your mouth with bright berry and apricot flavours and has a refreshingly dry finish. These Sangiovese grapes know how to please. On a warm sunny day, with your favourite people around you, this wine brings joy and bliss.
Pale crimson with a salmon hue.
Field strawberries and fresh apricot with a hint of rose petal.
The palate is dry and vibrant, packed with fresh strawberries, raspberries and apricot. Cranberry lingers with a crisp and refreshing finish.
Down The Rabbit Hole Mixed Case£118.00
Down The Rabbit Hole from McLaren Vale, Australia, is a winery which aims to inspire imagination with an attitude of adventure, inviting drinkers to join in on something special. Their team is built on creativity, energy and youthful spirit. It’s almost impossible not to want to share in their beautiful lifestyle (and cute campervan named Scout). They view wine as the ability to transform a seemingly ordinary day into something pretty special. On the back of every bottle is their poem, and each hand sketched illustration on the wine label represents a different line of that poem.
The case price of £118 includes a 10% discount. The selection is as follows:
Down The Rabbit Hole Shiraz, 2015£16.95
Down the Rabbit Hole Shiraz fills your mouth with rich red berry flavours and peppery undertones which are augmented by the maturation in small French oak. The wine is juicy, soft and velvety with a long smooth finish.
The Shiraz is a real standout variety from this vintage, exhibiting an abundance of vibrant red fruits and spice, with exceptional colour, richness and balance.
The Shiraz was harvested in stages commencing on the 17th February. The blend comprises of 7 batches harvested over a period of 3 weeks. The grapes were crushed gently and then transferred to 10 tonne open top fermenters. Each parcel was pressed and racked into oak hogs heads (300L barrels) – a mixture of new and seasoned, French and American – to complete primary and malolactic fermentation. The wine is matured in oak for 12 months before final blending took place.
Deep red/purple with crimson hues
Dark red berries, nutmeg, white pepper, subtle oak and complex barrel ferment characters showing through.
Mouth-filling, elegant, flavoursome, red berries, integrated oak, but above all; soft and velvety. Palate lingers well after the wine has been swallowed.
Down The Rabbit Hole Tempranillo, 2016£16.95
Juicy black cherries with liquorice and spice followed by earthy cocoa notes are held together with silky tannins which provided a lengthy finish. This wine keeps you coming back for more
The fruit for Down The Rabbit Hole Tempranillo is grown in South Willunga, McLaren Vale. Warm Summer days are cooled by evening sea breezes from St Vincent’s Gulf, which lies a close proximity to the West. The soil is rich loam over clay with patches of underlying limestone, giving the wine a rich and fullness of pallet. The Mediterranean climate of McLaren Vale is well suited to growing this Spanish variety.
WINEMAKING NOTES, WALTER CLAPPIS
The 2016 Vintage was warm and dry throughout Summer producing intense colour and flavour. After spending 8 days on skins, the wine was pressed into seasoned oak to mature for 12 months.
Dark cherry red with plum hues
Vibrant cherries and blueberries, plus liquorice & spice
Dark cherries and licorice follow through onto the palate, while smooth cocoa tannins provide a lengthy finish
Down The Rabbit Hole, Sangiovese Cabernet 2015£16.95
In this bottle awaits a wonderful experience. Sangiovese brings lifted dark cherries, spice and powdery tannins, while the Cabernet adds succulent berry notes and provides a smooth finish. Matured in seasoned French oak, they come together in perfect harmony to create a rich and savoury wine that’s about to blow your mind.
Winemaker’s notes, Walter Clappis:
This Sangiovese Cabernet is a blend of two parcels from two small vineyards in the Willunga foothills area of McLaren Vale. Fermented in open top fermenters, the Cabernet was kept on skins for 10 days, while the Sangiovese remained on skins for 30 days. This allows the tannins to integrate and soften, while still providing length and structure.
The parcels were kept separate until final blending prior to bottling.
First Drop, Full Fat Red, 2015£14.95
Full Fat Red is a full flavoured blend of no less than 6 grapes, hence Full Fat!…the port grape Touriga Naçional, Shiraz, Montepulciano, Nebbiolo, Barbera and Monastrell. Its great texture is heightened from maturing the grapes “sur lie” in French Oak Hogshead barrels for 17 months before bottling. A pungent, intricate nose of blueberry, dark cherry, earth and spice layered with lifted berry fruit, there are some cedar tannins, with a spicy, refreshing finish. Seriously good and fun wine.
Enjoy with a BBQ, or any full flavoured, grilled meat.
First Drop, Full Fat White, 2016£14.95
Full Fat White is a blend of four different grapes, each contributing different elements to the wine: Pinot Grigio gives a zesty, citrus backbone, Arneis adds flavours of pear and grapefruit, Chardonnay loads on tropical fruit flavours and a drop of Moscatel adds aromatic floral notes.
After blending, the wine is then left for 4 months “sur lie” in stainless steel tanks. The resulting palate is luscious, with lemon curd and lime brulée flavours to the fore, undercut by thirst-quenching drinkability.
There’s a lot going on in this wine which means it a food friendly star favourite. It we were pushed to food match, we’d enjoy this one with a bucket load of seafood.
First Drop, Mother’s Milk, Shiraz, 2016£19.95
The First Drop Mothers Milk is not a sledgehammer style, this Barossa Shiraz is made for drinking! Soft, slurpy and textured it is balanced with good acidity, which refreshes the palate and makes you go back for a second/third glass.
Sourced from 3 unique vineyards, it is fruit laden, savoury and dangerously easy to drink! It is matured for 12 months in French oak hogsheads to allow the fruit to express itself. This wine has a complex nose of dark cherry and blackberry aromas with a hint of forest floor and spice. On the palate, there is vibrant dark cherry and blackberry fruit with a hint of ‘wombat rolled in allspice’ balanced with an even, textural palate with soft, supple tannins.
First Drop, Mother’s Ruin, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2015£16.50
Cassis and plum fruit flavours with hints of eucalypt and florals.
Black fruits with a round mid palate, an elegant core of tannins and a textured finish.
Beef, lamb, game, mushrooms and hard cheese.
The fruit is crushed/destemed and fermented at temperatures ranging from 20- 25°C for 10 days on skins. The ferment is managed by a variety of techniques, including ‘aerative pump overs’ and ‘drain and returns’ which assist in extracting colour, flavour and tannin from the grapes. At the end of fermentation, it is drained/pressed, and transferred to 10% new French oak hogsheads, and the balance to 3 and 4 year old French oak hogsheads to undergo MLF (malolactic fermentation). Post MLF, sulphur dioxide is added, and the wines mature sur lie (on the lees) for 18 months.
out of stock
First Drop, The Big Blind, Nebbiolo Barbera 2012£19.95
There is nothing brash about this Aussie wine. Australians are experts in championing Italian varietals. Vintage 2012 was a great one and this wine just keeps getting better every year we’ve tasted it.
Medium brick red
Sweet cherries and spices with a hint of strawberries.
It is medium-bodied with cherry & berry fruits, spice and a touch of dark chocolate with some savoury notes that linger on in the long finish. Acidity is relatively high (Italian grapes generally have high acidity) balancing nicely with the fruit and the tannins which give a bit of backbone but do not intrude. The cherry spice and dark chocolate of the Barbera melds perfectly with the elegant leathery structure of the Nebbiolo.
Recommended to drink with game, duck, steak, slow cooked beef, cured pork sausages, mushroom risotto and milder cheeses including goats’ and sheeps’ cheese.
16.5 points Jancis Robinson Aug 2016
“They describe this as their ‘Nebbiolo on trainer wheels’. Aged in older French hogsheads. Subtle aroma with hints of red fruit and a very slight perfume. And a touch of leather and spice. On the palate, this is absolutely delicious – the alcohol is well in balance, there’s vibrant freshness and a restrained but definite structure – the tannins are there but the bones are not protruding beyond the fruit. As it opens in the glass, it becomes more aromatic but not different from those initial impressions. Finishes both fruity and savoury – mostly savoury. Deliciously drinkable, and persistent.”
Five Geese “Indian File” Grenache, 2014£18.95
Sue and Jonathon Trott’s Single Vineyard “Indian File” Grenache is from 80-year old dry-grown vines. The style is enriched and complexed by whole bunch fermentation.
On the nose you get raspberries, fruit pastilles, cherry and floral notes with background spice and pepper.
To the palate there is fruit sweetness and a soft savoury tannin finish. Herbs and spices linger on the palate
This is a complex, savoury style similar to a cool-climate Pinot Noir. Perhaps James Irvine was right many years ago when he called McLaren Vale Grenache the Pinot d ‘Fleurieu!
The wine has seen 9 months in French oak.
Five Geese “Volpacchiotto” Rosé 2017£16.95
Sue Trott’s five geese live in the dam at the bottom of the garden experience fluctuating numbers thanks to their intrepid predator, Mr. Fox. Forgivingly, Sue names her latest release, a Nero d’Avola rose after Volpacchiotto, meaning fox cub in Italian.
Pretty, bright crimson pink
Fresh, bright red fruits and spice with a little of the typical Nero d’ Avola quince character coming through.
Lovely crisp flavoursome palate with good texture and acidity and a long dry, savoury finish lingering with rhubarb and quince.
Five Geese Mixed Case£190.00
On Sue Trott's Blewitt Springs vineyard, five wild geese have lived for many years, foraging for feed between the rows of vines. Each night they sleep on the waters of the dam, seeking refuge from marauding foxes – hence the name Five Geese.
The Trott family has had a long-standing tradition of growing grapes in the McLaren Vale district. Sue’s son Jonathon has been working in viticulture for over 20 years and has managed his family’s vineyards for the past 15 years. Together, Sue and Jonathon have worked tirelessly to produce premium fruit for the five geese label. As Sue says, “good wine can only be made from good grapes.”
The case price of £190 includes a 10% discount. The selection is as follows:
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.”
Fox Creek Wine Mixed Case£95.50
Fox Creek brings a little bit of the past into the future. It’s a fine balance of old and new. The nineteenth century stone cottage, home to their Cellar Door is just 400 metres away from the state-of-the-art winery complex.
Their wines are not mass-produced. It is more about a discovery of a wine that they honestly care about—deeply and unswervingly. Every one of their countless decisions is dedicated to a single-minded result and you can taste the passion in every bottle, every variety, from every vintage.
The 6-bottle case price of £95.50 includes a 10% discount. The selection is as follows:
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
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!
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