Staff Favorites - Ryan Woodhouse

Ryan Woodhouse

Reviews

  
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2013 Tongue In Groove "The Mound Vineyard" Riesling Waipara Valley
Review Date: 06-30-2015
If you missed these phenomenal wines last year here is your chance to grab some of the highest quality (and coolest) wines coming from NZ. Tongue in Groove is a fairly new project from a group of old wine industry friends. The people involved have all had illustrious careers with other properties but are now pooling their collective knowledge and experience to craft these beautiful wines in exotic packages! The first key partner here is highly regarded viticulturalist Nick Gill. The single vineyard sites chosen for the TIG wines are farmed without the use of herbicides, fungicides or pesticides. Clayvin vineyard is certified BioGro organic. The vines are meticulously tended and fruit is grown and handpicked with a huge amount of care and attention. Next up, the winemaker behind the label is ex-Pegasus Bay winemaker Lynette Hudson. Lynette has just about as much experience as anyone crafting Waipara Pinot Noir and Riesling. Lynette’s winemaking style is quite non-interventionist utilizing wild yeasts for ferments, long gentle on skin macerations, natural Spring malo and no fining. For Riesling the juice is rested on the solids for several days before being fermented clear A small amount of botrytis affected fruit is deliberately included to add a wonderful exotic note to the zesty, fresh flavor profile. Next comes Carolyn Reid who is responsible in large part for the striking label designs and over all aesthetics of TIG… whilst I don’t often advocate buying a wine just because it has a cool label…the label lovers amongst you are gonna love these! Finally we have the very important personality of Angela “the tongue” Clifford…Angela is the social media, marketing whiz that wraps up the whole package and adds an extra layer of polish. She effuses the true spirit of this wonderful region living on an organic, holistic farm, foraging for food and represents an integral pillar of the Waipara food and wine community. These are seriously great wines, grown, made and presented by seriously awesome people, check them out.
Top Value!

2013 Tongue In Groove "Clayvin Vineyard" Pinot Noir Marlborough
Review Date: 06-28-2015
If you missed these phenomenal wines last year here is your chance to grab some of the highest quality (and coolest) wines coming from NZ. Tongue in Groove is a fairly new project from a group of old wine industry friends. The people involved have all had illustrious careers with other properties but are now pooling their collective knowledge and experience to craft these beautiful wines in exotic packages! The first key partner here is highly regarded viticulturalist Nick Gill. The single vineyard sites chosen for the TIG wines are farmed without the use of herbicides, fungicides or pesticides. Clayvin vineyard is certified BioGro organic. The vines are meticulously tended and fruit is grown and handpicked with a huge amount of care and attention. Next up, the winemaker behind the label is ex-Pegasus Bay winemaker Lynette Hudson. Lynette has just about as much experience as anyone crafting Waipara Pinot Noir and Riesling. Lynette’s winemaking style is quite non-interventionist utilizing wild yeasts for ferments, long gentle on skin macerations, natural Spring malo and no fining. For Riesling the juice is wild fermented with a good amount of solids and normally with the inclusion of a small amount of botrytis affected fruit to add a wonderful exotic note to the zesty, fresh flavor profile. Next comes Carolyn Reid who is responsible in large part for the striking label designs and over all aesthetics of TIG… whilst I don’t often advocate buying a wine just because it has a cool label…the label lovers amongst you are gonna love these! Finally we have the very important personality of Angela “the tongue” Clifford…Angela is the social media, marketing whiz that wraps up the whole package and adds an extra layer of polish. She effuses the true spirit of this wonderful region living on an organic, holistic farm, foraging for food and represents an integral pillar of the Waipara food and wine community. These are seriously great wines, grown, made and presented by seriously awesome people, check them out.
Top Value!

2013 Domaine de l'Hortus "Val de Montferrand" Grande Cuvée Blanc
Review Date: 06-28-2015
Seriously good, complex wine. This has the minerality and tension of great white Burgundy combined with the richness and exoticism of Viognier. The palate has good weight and richness but also bright, focused acidity. There is a nice flinty, nutty lees component that adds a dimension and teases the wine out long on the palate. This is seriously interesting wine with great style and pedigree.
Top Value!
Price: $23.99 Add To Waiting List
RP 94

2013 Barn Block (Black Barn Vineyards) "Barrel Fermented" Chardonnay Hawke's Bay
Review Date: 06-27-2015
Always one of Hawke's Bay's stand out Chards. Known to those in the industry as one of the countries little secrets. A very small production of 350 cases. The fruit is hand selected and whole bunch pressed. The juice is sent to barrel with a high solids content and fermented in French oak. About 65% is allowed to go through a natural Malo. The wine is all about the balance between softness of texture and freshness of acidity. This is a rich, ripe Chard with lovely creamy, round mouth-feel, but it is in no way overly oaked nor over-the-top buttery. Just a lovely, rich round wine but with balanced acidity and well judged oak integration. Flavors are long and pure, all components working well together. Exceptional value for this quality of Chardonnay.
Top Value!
Price: $22.99 Add To Waiting List
RC 93

2013 Tongue In Groove "Cabal Vineyard" Pinot Noir Waipara Valley
Review Date: 06-25-2015
If you missed these phenomenal wines last year here is your chance to grab some of the highest quality (and coolest) wines coming from NZ. Tongue in Groove is a fairly new project from a group of old wine industry friends. The people involved have all had illustrious careers with other properties but are now pooling their collective knowledge and experience to craft these beautiful wines in exotic packages! The first key partner here is highly regarded viticulturalist Nick Gill. The single vineyard sites chosen for the TIG wines are farmed without the use of herbicides, fungicides or pesticides. Clayvin vineyard is certified BioGro organic. The vines are meticulously tended and fruit is grown and handpicked with a huge amount of care and attention. Next up, the winemaker behind the label is ex-Pegasus Bay winemaker Lynette Hudson. Lynette has just about as much experience as anyone crafting Waipara Pinot Noir and Riesling. Lynette’s winemaking style is quite non-interventionist utilizing wild yeasts for ferments, long gentle on skin macerations, natural Spring malo and no fining. For Riesling the juice is wild fermented with a good amount of solids and normally with the inclusion of a small amount of botrytis affected fruit to add a wonderful exotic note to the zesty, fresh flavor profile. Next comes Carolyn Reid who is responsible in large part for the striking label designs and over all aesthetics of TIG… whilst I don’t often advocate buying a wine just because it has a cool label…the label lovers amongst you are gonna love these! Finally we have the very important personality of Angela “the tongue” Clifford…Angela is the social media, marketing whiz that wraps up the whole package and adds an extra layer of polish. She effuses the true spirit of this wonderful region living on an organic, holistic farm, foraging for food and represents an integral pillar of the Waipara food and wine community. These are seriously great wines, grown, made and presented by seriously awesome people, check them out.
Top Value!

2014 TWR (Te Whare Ra) Chardonnay Marlborough
Review Date: 06-16-2015
Another great Chard from TWR. This wine again perfectly exhibits the concentration and purity that Jason and Anna get from their incredible old block of Mendoza Clone Chardonnay planted in 1979. The wine is an interplay between complex and exotic fruit notes (the small berries of the Mendoza Clone give powerful flavors) balanced by deep minerality, mouth-filling texture, bright, ripe acidity and wonderful layers of persistence on the palate. Nothing is overdone with this wine (it ages entirely in 600L Puncheons) and yet it is so powerful and rich. A great example of the purity and poise seen across the entire range of TWR wines. This is an exceptional value given the quality and tiny production. Certified BioGro Organic.
Top Value!
Price: $24.99 Add To Waiting List

2012 Pegasus Bay Pinot Noir Waipara Valley
Review Date: 06-16-2015
An exceptional release from this legendary Waipara Estate. I have enjoyed many wines from Peg Bay over the years but the 2012 is really something special. Whether it's the vine age (30+years) or the exceptionally long hang-time of the cool 2012 season, this wine just seems to have the perfect balance of physiologically ripe flavors, minerality structure and acidity. It has a complex, compact and detailed nose of forest berries and leaf litter, exotic dried spices, bay leaf, clove with more savory herbs like thyme and sage. On the palate the wine has great focus and linear energy. The fruit is juicy but fresh and lively. There is a real purity and vibrancy in the wine. The texture is very silky with compact layers of very fine tannins unfolding with air. The wine grows in the glass revealing more fruit weight and complexity as it goes. These is a lovely "woodsy" note here too of sandalwood or fleshly split cedar. Awesome wine that has the purity and intrigue that great Pinots possess. This is a must buy for Pinot lovers. The best I have seen from Pegasus Bay and worthy of its great reviews.
Top Value!

2013 Oakridge Estate "Over the Shoulder" Chardonnay Yarra Valley
Review Date: 06-16-2015
Exceptional value in Chardonnay. This is not an over-ripe, butter bomb...in fact it has much more in common with White Burgundy or specifically Chablis. A crisp wine with crunchy orchard fruits, bright, zesty acidity and subtle nutty lees qualities. The mineral infused, flinty edge shows that this wine comes from the same stable as the other much more expensive Oakridge bottles. Here you are getting all estate fruit, french oak ageing, and 25 years of winemaking expertise, all wrapped up into a $13.99 bottle of wine. It's unbeatable value in my book. Perfect for parties this summer.
Top Value!
Price: $13.99 Add To Waiting List
JH 94

2012 Oakridge Estate "Over the Shoulder" Shiraz Yarra Valley Victoria
Review Date: 06-16-2015
Fantastic value for money. A lovely example of cool-climate Aussie Shiraz. This wine packs so much flavor and complexity into a fresh, medium bodied wine and at such an exceptional price point. Fruit for this wine is picked only from Oakridge's estate vineyards in Yarra Valley, where cool winds off the Southern Ocean temper the warm days. The wine is full of red berry fruits, dusty spice, loamy earth notes, purple flowers and a touch of red meat. A lovely silky texture, ripe tannins and great length on the palate for such an inexpensive wine. This wine retails for over $20 in Australia, but thanks to our direct import we can offer this at $14.99!
Top Value!
Price: $14.99 Add To Waiting List
JH 90

2012 Balnaves Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot Coonawarra South Australia
Review Date: 05-28-2015
The blend consists of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon and 9% Merlot. This is a stunning wine with a powerful bouquet of pronounced ripe berry fruits (black and red), cassis, cedar, fresh tobacco and crushed mint. On the palate these aromas are echoed by the wines pure flavors with some ripe plum and mulling spice adding to the mix. The wine is powerful with great depth and richness, the tannins are fine but firm and give good structure and form to the decadent fruit. For all its ripe fruit and forward nature the wine also has great balanced acidity and a real vibrancy on the palate, I believe owing to Coonawarra's limestone soils and cool, ocean breezes. This wine is accessible to drink right now but I believe will also prove to be a great asset in the cellar for mid-term ageing over the next 5-10 years. This is a serious Cabernet at a very reasonable price thanks to our relationship with this excellent, boutique Australian importer.
Price: $24.99 Add To Waiting List
JH 95 WS 93

2014 Big Flower (Botanica) Petit Verdot Rosé
Review Date: 05-26-2015
One of the coolest rosés I have tasted in a long time. Precise, spicy, fresh red berry fruits, lovely floral tones, and a hint of kaffir lime leaf. On the palate the wine is juicy, quaffable, has great fruit and fresh acidity, finishes dry but not aggressively so. Super drinkable...you will wonder where the bottle went! Made from Ginny's little parcel of Petit Verdot plus a secret vinous ingredient from old vines up in the Skurfberg. This is gonna be my go to this summer!
Top Value!
Price: $15.99 Add To Waiting List

2014 TWR (Te Whare Ra) Riesling "M" Marlborough
Review Date: 05-26-2015
Beautiful once again, all the same exotic fruit and spice notes as previous incarnations but this time I feel the 2014 aromatic varietals from TWR have another level of purity and delicacy. They are rich in flavor and posses complex minerality and ethereal texture on the palate. Stunning wine.
Top Value!
Price: $19.99 Add To Waiting List
RC 95 BC 92

2012 Sequillo (Eben Sadie) Red Blend Swartland
Review Date: 05-20-2015
Wow! This wine is off the charts good. It has pure, bright aromatics of deep, spicy crushed berries, ripe currants, red fleshy plum, granite, and toasted spices and dark red floral tones. The wine is rich and layered but precise and focused. The fruit shows macerated raspberries, logan fruit, dark cherry hints with subtle leather, charred meat and dusty mineral tones showing through the purity of fruit. There is an intense soil quality to this wine that is equally impressive as the quality and fruit and floral tones. A complex wine that I love for it's combination of power, purity and subtlety all combined into one slick package. An insane value thanks to our direct import.
Top Value!
Price: $19.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 Sequillo (Eben Sadie) White Blend Swartland
Review Date: 05-20-2015
Phenomenal white wine. The nose is dominated by ripe, roasted orchard fruit, poach pears, preserved apricot and yellow peach. On the palate the wine has a rich, round palate weight, a creamy dense texture that fills the mouth, this almost has the palate feel of a rich chardonnay but without the oak flavor influence. Beyond the fruit profile there is wonderful savory lees character with with toasted grains and pie crust nuances. Underpinning all of this is a dynamic minerality from the ancient decomposed granite soils of the region. A serious multidimensional wine that is rich and crowd pleasing but also detailed, nuanced and bursting with minerality.
Top Value!
Price: $19.99 Add To Waiting List

2005 La Rioja Alta "Viña Ardanza" Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 05-20-2015
Quintessential, old school Rioja. Bursting with dusty red fruits, worn leather, red earth, a touch of dry tobacco and cedar. The tannins have softened nicely, the acidity is doing most of the driving on the palate. Nice savory, secondary development but still has plenty of life and vibrancy left (as you would expect). If you're into Rioja, you have to get into one of these.

2013 Amelia Park Sauvignon Blanc-Semillon Margaret River Western Australia
Review Date: 05-20-2015
Very fresh and racy. Crisp, juicy citrus fruits, lemongrass, nectarine and stoney minerals. The wine is lithe and energetic on the palate. On back it broadens a touch with the extra weight and density from the Semillon component but still finishes crisp and dry. Exceptional for the price point.
Top Value!
Price: $12.99 Add To Waiting List
JH 95

2012 Dalwhinnie "Moonambel" Chardonnay Pyrenees Victoria
Review Date: 05-20-2015
Stunning chardonnay. Great combination of rich texture and flavor with ripe orchard and stone fruits, toasty oak and hazelnut nuances. But...underpinning it all is powerful granitic mainerality. The wine is broad and expressive and yet fresh and driven with good structural acidity. For a burgundian comparison I would go with Corton. Rich and powerful and yet taught and firm on the back palate with great ageing potential.
Top Value!
Price: $24.99 Add To Waiting List
JH 95

2014 Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough
Review Date: 05-19-2015
Another vibrant, fresh bottling from master of Marlborough Savvy, Kevin Judd. A full-flavored and expressive wine. The nose shows plenty of "typical" lime leaf, cilantro, ripe citrus and crunchy melon. These notes are echoed on the palate which is richly textured, pure and juicy. Concentrated and rich with nice bright, vibrant acidity on the finish. Some river pebble minerals on back with lingering citrus peel. One of my benchmark Kiwi Sauv Blancs. Excellent.

2013 Grey's Peak (Greystone) Pinot Noir Waipara
Review Date: 05-16-2015
A fantastically exuberant wine. Exotic spice, dark juicy bramble fruit, rich mouth-filling texture. This is a Pinot Noir that is hard not to love, it has such expressive aromatics, easy, soft, silky berry fruits, some complex earthy / forest floor notes and wrapped up in a slick packed of classy french oak. The limestone rich soil provides great lift and bright acidity. The flavors are ripe and pure but the alcohol remains a very moderate 13.5%...so go ahead, help yourself to another glass! Cheers.
Top Value!

2013 Sato "L'Insolite" Pinot Noir Central Otago
Review Date: 05-14-2015
The top Pinot Noir release from Sato. Carefully selected parcels of fruit kept 100% whole cluster. The ferment starts with the whole clusters being very carefully placed in a sealed tank for a brief stint of Carbonic Maceration. After the fruit is gently trodden by foot. As with all of Sato's wines the ferment is natural with only ambient yeast being utilized. A long, gentle, slow maceration keeps the flavors and textures pure and elegant. The wine spends 18+ months in high quality French Oak. The wine is highly aromatic with sweet exotic spice, red florals, clove, sandalwood and dried citrus peel. On the palate the fruits are compact, deep red, juicy, concentrated but fresh and vibrant. More characters of baking spice, pure Pinot fruit and warm earth tones. Serious Pinot Noir that is finely structure and built with layers of complexity.
Drink from 2015 to 2015
Price: $49.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 Sato Chardonnay Central Otago
Review Date: 05-14-2015
Complex, distinctive Chardonnay. This is another tiny production from Sato, I believe 5 barrels (125 Cases)were made. Fruit is from one of Carrick's Organically farmed vineyards in Bannockburn. The wine shows lovely savory, toasty, baked bread on the nose, lots of yeast/lees nuances, almost Champagne like in character aromatically. The palate is filled with a combination of dried Apricot and baked orchard fruit with some more of those pie crust or warm bread tones. The texture is so pure and supple, fantastic mouth-feel and length on the palate from all that time on the lees. This is top notch Chard. If you're into white Burgundy, you have to try this. Only 5 cases imported.
Price: $29.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 Sato Pinot Gris (Skin Contact / Orange Wine) Central Otago
Review Date: 05-14-2015
Not for the faint hearted....this is almost entirely natural wine with just 10ppm of sulfur (about a tenth of most wines). The fruit is carefully selected and juice stays in contact with the skins for 3 months. The wine is allowed to slowly macerate in a pretty oxidative environment with very gentle pigeage for light extraction. This is an unusually aromatic wine showing Cherry skin, spice, some menthol and rose petal notes. The palate has rich in texture and has some notable tannin grip. Savory, oxidative notes contrast the vibrancy of the cherry skin fruit and floral components...almost as if a Pinot Gris rose had been aged in a fino sherry cask (if you can imagine that!)Complex and esoteric.
Price: $24.99 Add To Waiting List

2014 F-Series (Framingham) "Trockenbeerenauslese" Riesling Marlborough (375ml)
Review Date: 05-14-2015
One of the most concentrated, powerful and rich wines I have ever tasted. A simply unfathomable combination of sweetness, flavor and brisk acidity. One sip simply explodes on the palate. It defies logic how something so natural and unadulterated can have this concentration of flavor. Eye opening wine.
Price: $49.99 Add To Waiting List
BC 98 RC 98
Limit of 6 per customer

2014 F-Series (Framingham) "Spätlese" Riesling Marlborough
Review Date: 05-14-2015
Winemaker Andrew Hedley of Framingham is obsessed with Riesling. His passion for the varietal shows in the huge range he produces. In 2014 he and his team conducted 50 passes in the vineyard picking clusters (and often individual berries for the Auslese and Trockenbeerenauslese). Many of the wines produced are measured in number of bottles rather than number of cases. These are tiny production, truly special wines. Andrew has been touted by many as the Master of NZ Riesling and he would certainly be in my top 3. These wines are not to be missed by any Riesling enthusiast. The F-Series Spatlese bottling is just a 40 case production. Picked at perfect ripeness to express complex rich favors but also to retain wonderful balancing acidity. Exotic spiced citrus, preserved lemon, white florals and baked peach. A real zing of acidity lifts the wine and marries perfectly with the beautifully judged residual sugar. Amazing wine, super tasty now but I bet it will age phenomenally!
Price: $24.99 Add To Waiting List
BC 96 RC 95
Limit of 6 per customer

2013 Sato Pinot Noir Central Otago
Review Date: 05-14-2015
A tiny production of just 16 barrels (400+/- Cases) sourced from specific blocks of the organically certified "Pisa Terrace" Vineyard. Hand-picked and sorted Abel (DRC) and 115 clone Pinot Noir. Wild ferment, open tops, hand / foot plunged. Nothing added or taken away, no fining / filtration just a tiny addition of sulfur at bottling after 18 months in French Oak only 10% new. This Pinot shows fragrant purple flowers, lilac and orange blossom. Subtle spice characters, and delicate wild thyme. The palate is very fine and elegant, tannins and just a whisper with the vibrant acidity playing most of the structural role. Focused, elegant and honest. I can see why the Sato wines have become such hot property in NZ...there is something magical going on here.
Price: $34.99 Add To Waiting List

2012 Grey's Peak (Greystone) "Brother's Reserve" Pinot Noir Waipara
Review Date: 05-13-2015
This world beating Pinot is basically a more refined, detailed, nuanced, single block bottling of the standard Grey's Peak Pinot that took K&L by storm last year. The wine is from the highest, steepest and most limestone rich parcel on the estate. It has magnificent balance and poise. The tannins are refined, the fruit as pure as crystal. One of those wine that just makes you gasp after the first sip. This wine took the 2014 Decanter Trophy for Best Pinot on Earth (in a competition that blind tastes 1000s of wines from all over the globe)...we only got 120 bottles for the whole USA.

2013 De La Terre "Reserve" Tannat Hawke's Bay
Review Date: 05-13-2015
A big, saturated, rich wine with plenty of plush dark fruit wrapped the distinctive tannic backbone that Tannat is known for. This was such a great surprise for me on my last trip to NZ...no I wasn't expecting to pick up a new Direct Import Kiwi Tannat...but I sure am glad I did! If you are into unusual, esoteric grapes you have to check this out. However, I think this is a real "crowd pleaser" too, even lovers of Napa Cab will dig this wine with grilled red meats.
Price: $34.99 Add To Waiting List

2014 Cognizant Pinot Noir Marlborough
Review Date: 05-13-2015
This wine was very deliberately crafted to be a fresh, pure, vibrant, easy drinking Pinot. The quality of fruit here is just stunning. Perfectly ripe berry fruits leap from the glass, Asian spices, warm stones, bramble, subtle oak nuances. The palate is beautifully pure and flowing, the tannins are fine and silky, the ripe fruit seamlessly intertwined with juicy acidity. The wine is already so expressive in this primary phase I can't wait to see where it goes in the coming months as flavors continue to meld and develop. This seriously over delivers on price point, try a bottle and see for yourself. Cheers!
Top Value!
Price: $19.99 Add To Waiting List

2014 Barn Block (Black Barn Vineyards) "Tuki Tuki" Hawke's Bay Sauvignon Blanc
Review Date: 05-13-2015
A fresh, lifted, floral Sauv Blanc with beautiful acidity and long mineral infused finish. Lime Blossom, zesty citrus peel and crushed stone combine to create a lovely refreshing, crisp white that is a great summer sipper. This exhibits the same purity and poise that all the Black Barn wines posses and I am very happy to have them in our Direct Import portfolio.
Top Value!
Price: $16.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 Barn Block (Black Barn Vineyards) Pinot Noir Hawke's Bay
Review Date: 05-13-2015
A microscopic production wine of just 5 barrels (or 120 cases)! This wine is rarely seen outside of Black Barn's spectacular restaurant and exclusive mailing list. However after visiting the winery last year I managed to pry away just a few cases for K&L to import. Hawke's Bay is more recognized for it's Bordeaux style reds and distinctive, peppery Syrahs; however some of the inland hills (with cooler night temperatures and limestone soils) are starting to become known for top notch Pinot Noir. This Barn Block bottling shows spicy black cherry, rich baking spices, and deep brambly fruit. Some sandalwood notes and clove come out with air. The palate has excellent weight and sweetness of fruit. This wine really shows the quality of the 2013 vintage which was perhaps the best ever recorded in Hawke's Bay. This is a must try, when it's gone, it's gone.
Top Value!
Price: $22.99 Add To Waiting List
RC 92 - 93

2013 Kalinda "Rawiri Vineyard" Pinot Noir Marlborough
Review Date: 05-13-2015
A great new addition in the long line of Kalinda bottlings. This time we went to New Zealand to source a great bottle of Pinot for all you Kalinda followers out there! This wine comes from one single, hillside vineyard at the foot of the Omaka Valley in Marlborough's Southern Valley's sub-region. The vines grow in heavier clay soils, quite different to the alluvial gravels of the valley floor. This soil and hillside aspect lend this wine great density and brooding, dark fruit. There is a savory earthy edge to the wine too. Medium bodied on the palate with wild cherry, loganberry and bramble fruit. A subtle touch of flint and forest floor adds intrigue. The wine is raised in French oak for 10 months before bottling. I think this is great value for a single vineyard, small production Pinot of this quality, I hope you check out this new Kalinda release.
Top Value!
Price: $19.99 Add To Waiting List

2012 Amelia Park Shiraz Frankland River Western Australia
Review Date: 05-13-2015
An exotic and expressive wine. The nose is packed with ripe red and black fruits, sweet spice, vanilla and chocolate tones. The wine is very silky and polished in texture with easy dark fruit, fine ripe tannins and a lovely lick of toasty oak. It has good freshness and lift to the fruit provided by Frankland River's warm days and cool nights. A beautifully made wine that is an excellent value thanks to our direct import relationship with Amelia Park.
Top Value!
Price: $15.99 Add To Waiting List
JH 94

2013 Dalwhinnie "The Hut" Pinot Noir Pyrenees
Review Date: 05-13-2015
Rich, dense dark fruited Pinot with great power and flow. As with Dalwhinnie's Shiraz the fruit profile on the nose makes you expect the wine to be bigger and more saturated than it is. The elevation of the site and deep granite soils help to give concentration and ripeness while maintaining good balancing acidity and the tannin management in the cellar is very classy. This wine is polished and complete. This is gonna make lots of Pinot fans very happy. Good juicy, dark fruit but with very moderate 13% alcohol.
Price: $24.99 Add To Waiting List
JH 94

2012 Dalwhinnie "Moonambel" Shiraz Pyrenees Victoria
Review Date: 05-13-2015
Spectacular. Complex nose of musky black fruit, earth, toasted spice, very powerful mineral presence and hints of crushed black peppercorns. The palate has lovely fruit weight and intensity but it's lithe, fresh and not heavy in anyway. Surprisingly supple and light on its feet given the dark fruit flavor profile. Good firm tannins draw the wine out on the palate, hints of smoked meat with more air...this could easily be Hermitage...but actually it's just a fantastic expression of this truly special, cool climate site in Victoria, Australia...and I think that is just as valid when looking for quintessential renditions of Syrah / Shiraz. A fantastic wine of top quality that should not be missed.
Top Value!
Price: $39.99 Add To Waiting List
JH 95 RP 94

2012 Oakridge Estate 864 Single Block "Willowlake Vineyard Block A6" Chardonnay Yarra Valley Victoria
Review Date: 05-13-2015
World Class Chardonnay by any measuring stick. Piercing nose of flint, oak spice, perfectly ripe orchard fruits, golden barley grains and toasted hazelnut. The flavors mimic the nose with incredible drive and linear form whilst also having excellent weight and density on the palate. This is more Meursault than Puligny to use a Burgundian lens. Lovely savory lees notes, baked bread, freshly cut wood, chestnut. Very fresh, taught acidity give this wine a very long drawn out persistence on the palate and excellent ageing potential. Easy to see why the critics went loopy for this bottle, serious stuff.
Top Value!

2013 Mount Edward Estate Chardonnay Central Otago
Review Date: 05-13-2015
A lovely, toasty, lees driven Chard. Ripe orchard fruit notes, baked pears, stone ground flour, and raw hazelnut. Soft, rich texture and excellent drive on the palate, with the savory lees nuances being carried along by the fresh acidity. Very long and well integrated flavors on the finish. This tiny production from Mount Edward shows that Central Otago can also produce killer Chard and that Pinot Noir is not the only Burgundian grape that thrives here.
Price: $19.99 Add To Waiting List
BC 91 RP 90

2014 Alkoomi Estate "Old Vine - Black Label" Riesling Frankland River Western Australia
Review Date: 05-12-2015
Woowzer! What an intense wine! This is super racy, zesty, Riesling. Bone dry, with mouthwatering, electric acidity and a powerful granitic minerality. The old vines give great intensity of fruit, more mid-palate texture and depth. A powerful, lip smacking wine, with the acidity and drive to last a long time in the cellar. Try this with oysters or eve some late season Dungeness Crab...no need for the lemon wedges...just crack and slurp.
Top Value!
Price: $16.99 Add To Waiting List
JH 97

2013 Duane Coates Semillon-Sauvignon Blanc Adelaide Hills South Australia
Review Date: 05-12-2015
Very reminiscent of fine white Bordeaux. Nose of citrus blossom, flint and subtle toasty oak nuances. On the palate it possesses excellent textural richness from the large Semillon portion. Flavors of Ripe citrus, toasty lees, a hint of fennel and barley grains. A wine with presence and verve. Really interesting, complex Sem/Sauv. I think this will actually age beautifully too. Top Value thanks to our direct import.
Top Value!
Price: $15.99 Add To Waiting List
JH 94

2013 Duane Coates Chardonnay Adelaide Hills
Review Date: 05-12-2015
Refined, fragrant, layered Chardonnay. A tiny production of just a few barrels (170 cases). This is hand selected from the finest Adelaide Hills fruit and handled very minimally by Duane. The wine shows a lovely combination of yellow and white florals, apple blossom, crunchy orchard fruit with some riper peach tones. The wine has lots of "biscuity", grainy, lees nuances and raw almond, even pecan notes. The very high-end Burgundian cooperage French oak used by Duane is evident on both nose and palate, but it is beautifully integrated and not over powering to any of the wines more delicate complexities. The wine spends extended time on lees but does not get battonage, this keeps the wine more linear and focused in style. This wine is remarkably well priced thanks to our direct import program and I think shows well against many Premier Cru white burgundies.
Top Value!
Price: $19.99 Add To Waiting List

2012 Trellis (Amelia Park) Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot Margaret River
Review Date: 05-12-2015
A flat out screaming deal in Cabernet (and Merlot). Classic Margaret River aromatics and flavors. Blackcurrant, plum, some rich red fruits too. Crushed mint, subtle Eucalyptus notes, beautiful rich fruit, great freshness too. This is a wine from exclusive areas of Margaret River, from a highly decorated (Jimmy Watson Trophy winning) winemaker...and it's selling for $10.99...what more can I say? One of the best deals of the year.
Top Value!
Price: $10.99 Add To Waiting List

2012 S.C. Pannell "The Vale" Shiraz-Grenache McLaren Vale South Australia
Review Date: 05-12-2015
Explosively aromatic wine. Toasty spice, red berries, deep floral tones pouring from the glass. A rich, decadent wine. A touch more forward and dense than other Pannell bottlings but certainly no lack of definition or drive on the palate. Plush, saturated texture, lovely bright acidity and fine structural tannins that balance the fruit sweetness perfectly. This wine is showing so great right now but I am sure it will go great in the cellar too.
Top Value!
Price: $29.99 Add To Waiting List
JH 95
Limit of 12 per customer

2010 Dalwhinnie "Moonambel" Cabernet Sauvignon Pyrenees Victoria
Review Date: 05-12-2015
This wine has a lifted nose of Black Currant, Cassis, crushed mint and graphite. On the palate it is richly textured, powerful and juicy. Lovely balance between fruit and structure with ample ultra-fine tannins providing good persistence and long cellaring potential. Awesome Cab!*Edit* Back in stock again and drinking beautifully. Fresh, vibrant blue/black fruits, mint, leather...stunning Cabernet, beautiful balance.
Drink from 2013 to 2013
Price: $39.99 Add To Waiting List
JH 95 RP 92

2012 S.C. Pannell "Tinto" Old Vine Grenache-Touriga National McLaren Vale South Australia
Review Date: 05-12-2015
An exceptional value for a wine from one of Australia's most heralded winemakers. This juicy, rich, smooth, red blend is composed of old vine Grenache and the Portuguese varietal Touriga Nacional. Bursting with sweet red to black fruits, macerated ripe raspberry, baking spices, star anise, bitter-sweet chocolate. The palate is medium plus bodied, with lots of expressive, soft fruit, juicy acidity and supple, silky texture. Fantastic wine for grilling in the summertime. Very versatile rich but easy drinking wine that punches well above its weight in the value for money category.
Top Value!
Price: $14.99 Add To Waiting List
JH 93

2012 S.C. Pannell Grenache McLaren Vale
Review Date: 05-12-2015
Amazingly focused, compact, linear expression of Grenache. I feel like lots of modern Grenache based wines have a tendency to be produced very big, ripe, broad and saturated. They can sometimes lose the lift, exotic spice, and delicacy that I think the grape brings to the table when handled correctly. Steve Pannell is a master of the grape and this wine illustrates that perfectly. The wine is coiled, taught, simply buzzing with vibrant energy and drive. The nose is packed with small berry fruits (mostly red fruited) rose petal, thyme, hard spice, nutmeg. The palate is medium bodied, but with real structure and presence. A dynamic acid line and long chain tannins. Very layered and linear rather than broad and fat. It's hard to describe this wine as delicate, because it has some much structure and intensity, but the fruit is just not as sappy and extracted as most Grenache based wines you find these days, and I love that about it.
Drink from 2016 to 2016
Price: $29.99 Add To Waiting List
JH 97
Limit of 12 per customer

2012 Duane Coates Syrah McLaren Vale South Australia
Review Date: 05-12-2015
Beautifully rich, powerful, polished McLaren Vale Syrah. From some mature-old vines in Blewitt Springs and Willunga. Very perfume, black and blue fruit, aromatic spice, sandalwood, warm earth. The palate is med-full bodied, lovely fine tannins, complex mix of fruit and savory flavors, a gamey meatiness give a nod of the head to the Northern Rhone. Great persistence, more layers unfolding all the time. A fantastic and complete expression of McLaren Vale Syrah.
Top Value!
Price: $19.99 Add To Waiting List
JH 94

2013 De La Terre "Reserve" Viognier Hawke's Bay
Review Date: 05-12-2015
De La Terre is a fascinating project from prolific winemaker Tony Pritchard. The wines are very much a labor of love and I am delighted to be working with De La Terre in this direct import relationship. After a career at some of NZ's top commercial wineries and as a consultant winemaker, Tony has gone back to his roots and set up his own boutique operation making crafting tiny amounts of these delicious wines. The fruit for the wines is largely from a patchwork of unique vineyard blocks on the slopes of Te Mata Peak in Hawke's Bay. The soils here are very lean and rocky with limestone content that lends a tremendous freshness and minerality to his wines. The "Reserve Viognier" is yet another remarkable Viognier from Hawke's Bay. This region seems to have a real ability to excel with the Northern Rhone varietals. 2/3 barrel fermented and the rest kept in stainless steel. This wine literally leaps out of the glass with pure, focused, floral aromatics, powdery yellow and white flowers, mint, even subtle cardamom; fascinating nose. On the palate the wine is so lively and pure. Supple and vibrant in texture and not too oily or weighty as Viognier can be. What an excellent expression of this notoriously fickle beauty.
Price: $22.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 TWR (Te Whare Ra) Gewurztraminer Marlborough
Review Date: 05-11-2015
Crushed rocks and flowers! This wine is overtly floral with serious mineral qualities. A big, rich and textural Gewürtztraminer. Exotic asian spice and ripe stone fruit dominate the palate. The old vines provide so much depth and concentration. Lovely bright acidity keeps everything vibrant on the palate. Exceptional stuff!

2012 Pierre Gelin Fixin 1er Cru "Clos Napoléon"
Review Date: 04-23-2015
Sharing a similar purity and vibrancy with Gelin's delicious Fixin village wine, the Clos Napoleon is more structured with fine chalky tannins and has more tension to the tart acidity and crunchy red fruits. Hard ground spices and bay leaf add complexity. Great intensity while remaining light footed. The is a minerality here that is quite profound. I can see why this site has been long admired in Burgundy. Gelin's current vines are 50 yrs of age and really convey a powerful sense of place.
Drink from 2018 to 2018
Price: $59.99 Add To Waiting List
BH 90

2012 Domaine Pierre Gelin Fixin
Review Date: 04-23-2015
A wine of ultimate purity and elegance. Super fresh, crunchy berries, clove, nutmeg, hints of more exotic Asian spice with air. The wine is supple, and vibrant on the palate. It has that "cool" mouth feel and remarkable concentration given it's fairly light extraction. This wine has all the hallmarks of super cool climate Pinot that I love without coming off under-ripe in anyway. It is beautifully polished without being over worked. Classy wine, and a great value for Red Burgundy in my opinion.
Drink from 2015 to 2015
Price: $39.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 Domaine Drouhin "Arthur" Dundee Hills Chardonnay
Review Date: 04-23-2015
A nice bottle of Chard showing its Burgundian heritage. Dominated by ripe orchard fruits, spiced pear, a mealy, barley note and some softer, fleshier stone fruit nuances as the wine opens up in the glass. Good persistence with precise balance of richness and restraint.
Price: $29.99 Add To Waiting List
WE 94 W&S 93

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