Hugh Hamilton, ‘The Ratbag’ Merlot, 2018£17.95
Hugh Hamilton is the 5th generation of a large wine dynasty and is regarded as the black sheep of the family. His daughter and 6th generation of the family, Mary, continues the legacy, making Hugh Hamilton winery Australia’s oldest wine family.
McLaren Vale is red wine heaven, with an ideal climate for bigger-bodied reds, but, with careful site selection, the region can grow pretty much anything. Merlot can be more difficult than some, with erratic yield and ripening habits; its unpredictability is sufficient reason for calling it ‘The Ratbag’. It certainly has a
character all its own.
The Ratbag is always a reminder to Hugh that Merlot is so much more than just a soft red wine. Each year the fruit that grows in their Church Vineyard tenaciously produces the most varietal Merlot I have ever tasted – not only soft, but full of character and class.
Suitable for vegans!
Fox Creek Wine Mixed Case£99.50
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 unswerving. 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 £100 includes a 5% discount off the RRP Case price £105.75. Price includes sale prices.
The selection is as follows:
out of stock
Hugh Hamilton Wines Mixed Case£89.50
As with all families one is a black sheep and Hugh Hamilton is it. You can expect therefore to enjoy the difference. The black sheep is the master of a most reprobate flock, with characters such as ‘The Rascal’ Shiraz, ‘The Scallywag’ Unwooded Chardonnay and ‘The Villain’ Cabernet Sauvignon – this is no ordinary line up.
The wines are not ordinary either. There is a fascinating range of very individualistic wines that have great character. They have such character and depth of flavour they can become a topic of dinner party conversation on their own.
The case price of £89.50 includes a 5% discount from the RRP Case price £94.25. Price includes sale price.
The selection is as follows:
Suitable for vegans!
Zerella, La Gita, Fiano 2017
94 Points – 2019 Halliday Wine Companion
94 Points – Halliday 2018 Cellaring Selections
Bronze Medal – 2017 Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show
Lifted elderflower, smoky spice and cut lemongrass, all hallmark flavours of this refreshing variety.
Grapes were sourced from Zerella’s Peters Creek Vineyard, Kangarilla which sits at an altitude of 330 mtrs above sea level. Fiano was grafted to 2.5 acres of Shiraz in 2013 and all fruit was hand harvested on 24th March, 2017.
A native variety of Campania Italy, seems to grow exceptionally well in the hills surrounding McLaren Vale. The fruit was hand harvested, chilled and then a combination of whole bunch and destem/crushed fruit were pressed and blended together. Cold settled and racked bright before starting a cool fermentation at 14ºC for three weeks. Fermented completely sugar dry and then left for one month on yeast lees before being naturally clarified and then bottled.
Production: 666 six packs
Hugh Hamilton, ‘Ancient Earth’ Shiraz 2013£37.50
McLaren Vale has some of the most variable, ancient and
weathered soils on the planet. 19 different soil types have been
identified in one of the most detailed soil studies carried out in
any wine region. It is for this reason behind the name ‘Ancient
Earth’. It is a single-vineyard Shiraz from the beautiful sweep of
vines immediately to the south of our Cellar Door; aptly named ‘Cellar Vineyard’. So what’s special about the earth? The earth is
known locally as ‘Biscay soil’. It is also referred to as ‘selfmulching
black cracking clay’ and these soils have unique
properties. Slow to wet, they can tightly hold a large volumes of
water. Unfortunately the soil is not so generous in giving the vines
access to this moisture so in heatwave conditions the vines can
stress quite quickly. On the other hand, correctly managed, the
resulting wine can be quite magnificent. Shiraz thrives here and
can produce fruit with great fragrance and power, but a structure
which guarantees ageing potential.
The bouquet is fragrant with spicy fruit, and shows notes of
raspberry. You will find a hint of toast from French oak barriques.
On the palate, the wine is rich & spicy with chocolatey depth.
Once again, there is toast and spice from oak; lingering blackberry
fruit with pleasantly gritty tannins.
Hugh Hamilton, ‘Three Card Monte’ Shiraz, Cabernet, Montepulciano 2016£18.95
In a Three Card Monte, as hard as the mark tries to choose a
winning card from three, the dealer always wins. Hugh Hamilton have turned
this on its head by using only winning cards, so that the real trick
is not which but how well all three go together. A neat trick where
everyone is a winner.
Australia has always excelled in creating red blends – merging
classic European varieties in un-thought of ways to create
unthinkably good new combinations. Cabernet and Shiraz are one
such classic collision; Bordeaux meets the Rhone. It’s only
Australian to add a slab of Italian Abruzzo too.
Nose and Palate
A meaty/spicy mix of Christmas cake and charcuterie. A collision
of violets, cranberries, baking spices, and mulberry. A clean acid
line keeps everything together; complex, crunchy, and deliciously
alive in the glass
Download Tasting Note here
Maxwell Sparkling Mead (500ml)£6.75
This Mead is made by fermenting pure Australian honey using a method as old as history; In ancient times mead was ‘nectar’ to the Greek Gods and to the Vikings it was the honeymoon drink, believed to have virtues of an aphrodisiac. The Sparkling Mead displays hints of cinnamon and clove, together with stone fruits, citrus and the delicate flavour of ginger.
Super for a festive sparkle or just as good in the summer served over crushed ice and garnished with fresh mint.
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, “Jen’s Block” Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, 2012£45.00
Australia's leading lady Sue Trott is one of the country's leading viticulturists and her wines are testament to her talent and established vineyards.
Attractive dark red
Distinctive McLaren Vale Cabernet. Sauvignon aroma with ripe mulberries and cassis with a touch of cedar and coffee oak adding complexity.
From the very good 2012 vintage. Full-flavoured, full-bodied, rich fruit flavours in the middle and those distinctive Cabernet tannins providing a long and definitive finish.
16 months in predominately French and American oak hogsheads.
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.”
out of stock
Hugh Hamilton, Jim Jim Shiraz, 2015£11.95
Jim Jim [The Down-Underdog]
What’s on the label:
“Jim Jim was Hugh’s faithful Labrador/Kelpie, a highly intelligent sheepdog that had some of the native wild dog, the dingo in its genes.
Every vintage Jim Jim would eat Shiraz grapes only when they were ripe for the picking, so with viticultural skills like that Hugh decided he should get his own brand. Jim Jim went to the big kennel in the sky in November 2010 but his talent is remembered in his wines.
Now a little about the wine:
A great nose with distinct varietal spice, hints of earthy complexity and a blend of dark red fruits like blackberries, cherries and raspberries.
A fleshy rich mouth filling palate with hints of vanilla, bright red berries and liquorice. With a spicy finish, lively mid-palate and gentle tannins the focus of this wine is on generosity and approachability which makes it your best friend on the dining room table.
Cellar or Drink?
This wine will reward with ageing up to 2025 but if you want to experience the spirit of Australia in a bottle, its made in a drink now style.
Fox Creek Vixen Shiraz (sparkling red)£17.95
The majority of our customers have discovered Tilley’s Wines through their search for the Vixen! This sparkling red has a huge following in the UK and of course in its homeland Australia.
It is made in the same way as Champagne with the second fermentation taking place in the bottle. This is no cheap fizzy plonk but a serious game changer when it comes to sparkling wines.
We like to always include the Vixen on tastings to see how many sparkling red converters we can make and we have a near 100% success rate.
By way of a tasting note it is a powerful wine rich and 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. We also think it’s a cracking match with Stilton cheese and Christmas pud! We also think its bubbles give good cause to opening it for any celebratory occasion!
Suitable for vegans!
out of stock
Hugh Hamilton, ‘Jekyll & Hyde’, Shiraz Viognier 2017£25.50
If you are a wine geek, you know of ‘co-fermentation’; a process in which two varieties (in this case, red Shiraz and white Viognier) are picked on the same day and blended at the crusher. This produces a result quite different to blending ‘finished’ red and white wines. The tannin and fragrance of the small amount of Viognier are amplified by the process, and the resultant wine is more fragrant and shows greater depth and even-ness of tannin structure than we’d otherwise see. (Hugh won’t mind admitting he swiped the idea from the French).
There aren’t many times I can think of when adding a lighter
colour leads to a darker one but the Jekyll is just that kind of
paradox. By co-fermenting the varieties the Viognier skins help
the colour molecules to form more stable complexes, and thereby
create a darker colour.
NOSE AND PALATE
Fragrant orange blossom, jasmine, and violets. Pulpy dark fruits,
plums, dark cherries, and cedar. The palate rolls with toasty oak,
peach notes, more plums, and firm French oak. The resonant,
lingering palate manages to be both structured and soft textured
– like a favourite pair of jeans.
Maxwell ‘Silver Hammer’ Shiraz, 2015£13.95
The Maxwell Silver Hammer Shiraz delivers all the hallmarks that make the combination of this variety and the McLaren Vale region so famous – a juicy palate with an abundance of sweet black fruits, ripe plum, mocha and sweet spice with just a dash of freshly ground black pepper. Add to this some subtle creamy oak and long, silky tannins – the result is a wonderfully generous mouthfeel with excellent depth of flavour.
The inspiration for the name is from “Maxwell's Silver Hammer” a song by the Beatles, sung by Paul McCartney on their album Abbey Road.