ZENA CROWN ‘CONIFER’ EOLA-AMITY HILLS (OREGON) PINOT NOIR 2015
91 Erin Brooks…”very savory”
Many of you are familiar with the Zena Crown pinots by now, and you’ll know that savory is what they are. They’re a nice counterbalance to Southern Hemisphere pinots for a change. Zena Crown are the “top-of the tree” when it comes to Jackson Family’s Oregon pinots.
95+ Gary Walsh (The Wine Front); 91 Huon Hooke…”what a drink!”
I bought way too much of this a little over 4 years ago, if there’s such a thing as way too much Luke Lambert. His wines are typically gone within days of allocation. A quick look on WineSearcherPro revealed none for sale anywhere else at the moment and the last sale in Australia (2018) was at A$64, which is quite a tick up from its release price of A$34. Luke does have his following.
I’m down to my last bottles now so this might be the “last chance to see” as Douglas Adams would say.
I’ve got 5 BOTTLES in MELBOURNE, they can be here mid-May if ordered. No minimum purchase.
You might also like to try the 2014 vintage…S$57, 9 btls in Melbourne, Gary Walsh 95.
The current vintage for this label is 2018 so you can see that I’ve been sitting on this for a while. No matter, as it’s been stored in temperature control and there’s 2 to 4 years of life left in it according to the raters. Great opportunity to try a Yarra pinot with 7 years under its belt.
Halliday 96, James Suckling 95, Huon Hooke 93, Gold Medal 2020 Tasmania Wine Show…“Freycinet at its best”
A perennial favourite with my clients and also with me.
Here’s what owner/winemaker Claudio Radenti says about his wine:
“The 2017 vintage is proving to be one of the classic great years alongside 2015, 2012, 2010, 2009. The season was characterised by a cooler, wetter first half which then tapered off into a warmer, drier second half. Overall ripening was delayed by 10 to 12 days which facilitated the development of remarkable flavour and colour intensities. The vineyard’s blood line and pedigree are umistakeable in this classic Freycinet Pinot Noir. Typical hallmarks of power, concentration, fruit purity and complexity all feature in abundance. The wine provides thorough drinking enjoyment as a young wine (decanting and allowing the wine to breathe recommended) but will become truly special when aged in a cool cellar over 5 to 15 years.”
I’ve got 6 bottles in Singapore (4 bottles went straight to my own cellar) and 24 bottles in Melbourne which can be here mid-late January if ordered. Store price was A$75 downunder but it was A$65 for a six-pack at Freycinet’s on-line cellar door.
It’s going out here in Singapore at S$80 all up, no minimum purchase.
This might surprise but at 2016, this is a current release. Andrew Marks (also winemaker at Gembrook Hill) makes two wines from the same vineyard and from the same variety…shiraz. This one is labelled syrah so that’s a hint that you should expect a lighter, perhaps more savoury, earlier drinking style than the shiraz of the same vintage and vineyard.
I’ve go 5 BOTTLES IN SINGAPORE
You might also like to make the comparison by trying the 2016 Shiraz ( 6 btls in Singapore, S$58, Jeremy Oliver 94)
Chatto lost their 2019 crop in the Huon Valley to smoke taint from the bushfires that seemed to go on forever early in the 2019 season. My limited knowledge says that smoke is unlikely to affect grapes up until veraison (the time when grapes start to change colour from the initial green berries) but once veraison takes place, the crop is likely lost. No cashflow from your own vineyards – that’s a pretty big blow to a small producer, so Jim Chatto acquired grapes, in this instance, from Marion’s vineyard on the west of the Tamar River north of Launceston. I visited Marion’s vineyard (being Marion Semmens, current owner/winemaker) back in mid-2014. Some of you may remember the Beautiful Isle label that I brought up around that time. Nice enough but not enough consistency to see it remain on my pricelist. Jim Chatto’s obviously seen the potential of the pinot crop there and so has made 230 cases of 2019 Chatto Marion’s Pinot Noir. It’s never been made before and maybe never again”. Retails at A$65.
I’ve got 10 BOTTLES IN SINGAPORE
You might also like to try “the two other Chatto pinots”…
2019 ‘Bird’ Pipers River (north east Tasmania) – 10 btls – S$81 – Gary Walsh 94 2019 Tasmania – 9 btls – S$67 – Gary Walsh 95
Do I need to keep mentioning that Gembrook Hill is one of my favourite wineries? Probably not. Their chardonnay is usually only released in exceptional vintages; usually it goes into their Blanc de Blancs. Here’s what they say: “By comsumer demand, we reintroduce the still wine from our chardonnay grapes rather than reserving them all for our Blanc de Blancs. This stunning wine is in high demand and quantities are limited.”
I’ve got 7 BOTTLES IN MELBOURNE which are not caught by the lockdown and could possibly be here in a couple of weeks if ordered, even though I’m staying safe and saying late October.
You might also like to try the 2016 vintage – 4 btls – S$63 – Mike Bennie 95, but that is caught in the Melbourne lockdown
98 James Halliday; 97 Huon Hooke; Double Gold 2019 Six Nations Pinot Challenge; Top Gold 2019 International Cool Climate Wine Show; Trophy, Red Wine of Show and Wine of Show 2019 Australia & New Zealand Boutique Wine Show.
Another favourite vineyard. Great restaurant, great people too and great winemakers in Paul & Gilli Lipscombe. And, like Chatto, no 2019 vintage due to the bushfires. Still some for sale at the cellar door last time I looked at A$79. These are the last bottles and if they’re not sold, they’re going to my stash.
Robert Parker on robertparker.com was quite expressive on this wine giving it 98 points. Here’s what he said:
“Flirting with perfection, which is almost unheard of in this vintage, is the 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Mt. Veeder. Along with Betty O-Shaughnessey, Lokoya appears to have produced one of the finest Cabernet Sauvignons made from this underrated and diverse terroir. Seamlessly constructed, this opaque purple-colored 2011 offers up aromas of pen ink, acacia flowers, forest floor, blueberries, blackberries and cassis intermixed with hints of espresso, chocolate and subtle earthy notes. Wonderfully ripe and voluptuously textured, this beautiful, full-bodied wine should continue to drink well for another 15-20 years, drink 2013-2033.
Lokoya has long been one of the bright shining stars in Kendall-Jackson Small Estates portfolo. The fact that all four of their 2011 Cabernets were among the best wines I tasted in this vintage reflects many things, among them, (1) the exceptional commitment to quality, (2) the brilliance of the vineyards and winemaker Christopher Carpenter, (3) these mountain vineyards were less affected by the challenging weather conditions of rain and fog in early and mid-October, and (4) the winemaking team had the patience to wait for perfect ripeness before harvesting these limited production cuvees. The production is even smaller than usual, ranging from 200 cases for the Diamond Mountain and Spring Mountain, 360 cases for the Howell Mountain and 840 cases for the prodigious Mt. Veeder.”
I’ve got 9 bottles of this wine direct from Jackson Family Estates Museum Collection. It was US$350 on release, I’m selling it here for S$615 all up. In stock in Singapore.
How time flies. Bought this way back in December 2014, sold a couple of cases, but since then it hasn’t seen the light of day, either actually or via an email. Looking at the recommended drinking windows, I’m thinking this wine is all the better for it and it didn’t have to take up space in your fridge all that time!
The Halliday and Mike Bennie comments are in the attachment. Here’s what Jeremy Oliver (jeremyoliver.com) says:
“Very supple and gentle, with a reserved bouquet of peach, pear, apple and suggestions of tropical fruit subtly backed by light creamy vanilla oak. It’s forward and lively, extending with a delicate, fluffy expression of pure stonefruit and pear towards a soft, but tightly focused finish. It should build richness and depth in the bottle. Drink 2018-2021. 91 points.”
11 bottles in Melbourne @ S$63, can be here mid-August if ordered.