Stefano Lubiana Derwent Valley (Tasmania) Pinot Gris 2014 – just 3 left

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There’s no point in beating about the bush. This wine needs to be drunk soon so it’s reduced from S$47 to S$31. I had one recently so I don’t concur with Halliday’s “drink by 2017” but I do concur with Mike Bennie’s “drink by 2019”.

1 bottle in Singapore, 2 in Melbourne.

Cheers

David Boxall2014 Pinot Gris 3

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Meadowbank Derwent Valley (Tasmania) Pinot Noir 2016

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I sent out a promo on this wine back in December and although some of you managed to get some (it was S$78 then), a restaurant grabbed my remaining stock.

I got some more when I visited the vineyard recently, and managed to catch up with the founder Gerald Ellis and son in law Alex Deane.

The vineyard is one of the oldest in Tasmania, and Gerald tells the story of how he was told in 1972, before planting vines in 1974, that “you can’t grow grapes in Tasmania, plant lucerne instead”. Such were the words from the state’s agriculture experts, but thankfully for us, Gerald ignored their advice.

Today it is one of the largest vineyards in Tasmania, sprawling over hills and down slopes over 52 hectares but only 2 hectares of that are put aside for Meadowbank’s own wines. This is truly a growers vineyard with individual plots and even rows allocated for supply to producers like Bay of Fires, Dawson James, Dr Edge, Kate Hill etc. It’s an impreesive place and well worth a visit if you’re in the Hobart area, but it’s quite a long way up the Derwent Valley, and some of it on dirt road. Best to check in advance if you’re planning a tasting.

Also since the promo back in December, another rating has come out, this time from Campbell Mattinson of The Wine Front, so I’ve inlcuded it here:

“From winemaker Peter Dredge: ‘Two different picks on the one block. One early for vitality, second for texture. 7T of chilled fruit destemmed to 3 different open fermenters with avrying whole cluster % if any. 100% whole berry. Cold soak 5 days, natural ferment, pump overs only, pressed at 2 baume to tank and French oak (15% new) the following day to finish ferment on heavy lees. Unfined, unflitered.’

Straight into excellent territory here. This is why we’re so lucky in Australia: we get this level of pinot noir for A$55, which isn’t cheap in general terms but in a world pinot noir context is a steal. So complex, so satiny, so well framed, so persistent. Woodsmoke, suplhur, tangy red/black cherry, super-fresh strawberries and fistfuls of dry spice. Sinewy and satiny simultaneously. It will develop beautifully but personally I wouldn’t be able to resist right now. 94 pts, drink 2017-2024+.” – The Wine Front

If it’s ordered by 26 September latest, it can be here around 8 October.

Cheers

David Boxall2016 PN 2

Mayer Yarra Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

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Nearly all the wines Timo Mayer makes these days are part or 100% whole bunch, i.e., not only grapes but stalks as well.

100% whole bunch can be a fairly divisive style of winemaking, but Timo’s rational (as vigorously explained to me last time we met!) is that if you go back enough decades, most wines were being made whole bunch. It was the accountants who worked out that if you stripped the bunches of stalks, one could get a greater volume of grapes into the fermentation vats therefore improving efficiency.

It strikes me that neither accountants nor production efficiency rank highly in Timo’s world.

He also tells me that his wine is the only 100% whole bunch Cabernet in the world. I can’t comment on that, but it’s definitely not the norm.

Not only does it divide winemakers but it can also divide consumers…so, to encourage you to give it a try, I’m dropping the price from the S$72 currently on my price list to S$65 until 26 September, at which time I’ll be closing my October airfreight until the next one in November and the price will go back to S$72.

Sold out at the winery (always sells out on release) and only available in Singapore through Tiger Wines.

Oh, Mike Bennie didn’t give it a “drink by” date but I’m guessing about 2023.

Cheers

David Boxall

2016 Cabernet 2

Apsley Gorge East Coast (Tasmania) Pinot Noir 2012

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I bought the 2012 vintage from Brian Franklin back in August 2017, but I didn’t do a promo straight away as I thought I’d wait for some ratings.

After all these years, you’d think I would know better.

Brian doesn’t send his wines to raters (his wines sell out to his loyal clients) and only very occasionally will a bottle find its way to a review.

So here’s what I know about the 2012 Pinot. 

First thing, it comes from about as far east as you can go in Tasmania, from a vineyard a little to the north of Bicheno. It was released after the 2013 vintage as Brian wanted to hold it back to let it soften a bit more. It was a big wine at youth (the only way Brian makes them) and it needed that extra time.

I”ll stick my neck out and say that it’s the last Pinot to be picked anywhere in Australia. It’s certainly the last to be picked in Tasmania, with picking usually taking place in the first week of May. Hell, on the mainland some Pinots would be picked, bottled, labelled and out to customers by then!

I can tell you that it’s listed in one of the MBS celebrity restaurants in Singapore, and it’s a personal favourite of one of the celebrity chefs.

I can also tell you that you should avoid drinking it. 

Whoa! that might have stopped you in your tracks…but let me finish.

If you can, you should try and avoid drinking it without a big decant. Without a decant, it can be a bit pongy, and you’ll wonder what the fuss is about. But give it a big decant, and it will sing and you’ll underatnd why the loyal followers stay loyal. How big? Overnight if you can resist, but as a minimum, I’d let it breathe for an hour. 

The wine is currently on the Apsley Gorge website ( http://apsleygorgevineyard.com) at A$65, but is being sold at the Pinot Shop in Launceston at A$75. It’s S$74 here and currently all of it is in Melbourne (18 bottles) so it can be here by around 9 August if ordered by 31 July. As usual, no minimum purchsase required.

You will always find a bottle of Apsley Gorge pinot in my cellar.

Enjoy!
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Mt. Brave Mt. Veeder (Napa Valley) Malbec 2014

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This is a first for Tiger Wines, a new addition from the Jackson Family range of high-end wines.

Just 600 cases were made and just 2 of those cases were allocated for Singapore.

With a retail price of US$80 at winery, the price here of S$110 is within a dollar or two of a direct exchange rate conversion. You can’t buy better than that.

Cheers!

David Boxall

2014 Malbec 2

La Jota Howell Mountain (Napa Valley) Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

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This 2014 La Jota Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon from Jackson Family Wines portfolio is currently listed on the La Jota website with the rider “limited availability, please enquire”, and is on offer by US retailers at US$100.

I got 24 bottles as part of my JFW allocation and there’s currently 13 left for sale.

I’m retailing it here at S$131 ea. which makes it spot on with a direct exchange conversion from the asking price in the US. It was released at US$85 but as Robert Parker noted, it was unlikely to remain at that price.

Enjoy!

David Boxall

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NEW ARRIVALS IN MELBOURNE

DAWSON JAMES, Tasmania: This is a restocking of the 2014 Pinot. The 2015 Dawson James wines will not be released until September 2018.
2014 Pinot Noir – 36 btls – S$84 – Halliday 97, Huon Hooke 95, Gold ’16 Melbourne Wine Show, Double Gold ’16 Six Nations Challenge and best Australian pinot.

GLAETZER-DIXON, Tasmania:
2014 “Reveur” Pinot Noir – 12 btls – S$63 – Gary Walsh 87
2017 “Avance” Pinot Noir – 12 btls – S$47 – not yet rated
2016 “Mon Pere” Shiraz – 12 btls – S$69 – Huon Hooke 93

LAUREL BANK, Tasmania: This is a restocking as initial order sold quickly
2016 Riesling – 12 btls – S$43 – Huon Hooke 94, Silver ’18 Tas, Wine Show

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2014 Cabernet 2