Provenance ‘Regional Series’ Henty Pinot Noir 2015

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Henty is not exactly top-of-the-mind when it comes to naming wine regions in Victoria. It’s 300+ kms west of Melbourne in the far SW corner of Victoria. Hardly on a major wine tourist route then. Importantly though, the Henty Wine Region includes the town and surrounds of Portland on the coast, and it’s near Portland that the Henty brothers planted Victoria’s first vineyard.

Yes, I thought that might come as a surprise.

Another surprise might be that the vines came from Tasmania…Launceston to be precise.

These days, you might be familiar with Crawford River, Henty Estate, and Hentyfarm from the region.

Halliday gives the 2015 Regional Selection pinot 97 points with Ballarat and Geelong at 96. I have them all if you’d like to compare. The others are:

2015 Regional Series Ballarat – $62 – Halliday 96 – 2030
2015 Regional Series Geelong – $62 – Halliday 96 – 2035

All in Melbourne.

Cheers!

David Boxall

2015 rs henty pn

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Michael Hall ‘Flaxman’s Valley’ Eden Valley Syrah 2013

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Here’s another wine that’s been quietly gathering some age in my Australian coolroom. I originally purchased 4 cases from Michael Hall in February 2016 and promoted it by email shortly afterwards, selling about half. There’s still just short of 2 cases left so here it is again, and now nicely in its drinking window of 2017-2027 if you follow Campbell Mattinson, or nudging up to 2020 if you follow James Suckling.

A quick look on winesearcher.com shows an auction price of A$58 now rather than the release price of A$48.

There’s 2 bottles in Singapore that can be delivered now and another 17 bottles in Melbourne that can come up 3rd week of March if ordered. As usual, no minimum purhase and free delivery.

Other Michael Hall reds you might want to try:

2012 “Stone Well” Barossa Valley Shiraz – S$63 – Halliday 95, Australian Financial Review Top 20 Wines of 2015
2013 “Sang de Pigeon” Adelaide Hills Pinot Noir – S$51 – Halliday 95
2014 Adelaide Hills Pinot Noir – S$67 – Halliday 95

2013 flaxman's syrah 2

Mt Pilot Estate Eldorado (North East Victoria) Viognier Chardonnay 2016

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You know the story. A friend of a friend says he’s got a mate who’d like to talk with you about a deal. Those introductions don’t always work out, but that’s how I came across Lachlan Campbell and Mt Pilot Estate, and I’m glad I did.

Lachlan’s Mt Pilot Estate sits in a bit of a no-man’s land as far as wine regions go. It’s not quite Rutherglen, it’s not quite Central Victoria, it’s Eldorado and without a good GPS you’d probably never find his place. His passion is growing grapes and he’ll freely admit he doesn’t know when to stop. I’ve visited the family vineyard twice now, and one can’t help but be impressed by Lachlan’s infectious enthusiasm for experimenting with varieties and improving the vineyard. As consumers, we tend not to think about the failures that vignerons and winemakers face. We don’t see the vines that die from stress or the grape juice that gets discarded because of a failed fermentation.

Lachlan won me over with his sheer determination to make Mt Pilot Estate work.

The wines (a straight Viognier, Shiraz, Cabernet and this Viognier Chardonnay) are made by Marc Scalzo, respected winemaker at Rutherglen Estates.

I asked one of my regular Singapore customers to review the wines earlier this year, and the feedback was positive, especially mentioning the wines “friendliness” with Asian food.

So, with a rating of 91 (still a silver medal score), I have no hesitation in recommending this unusual blend to you. I think you’ll enjoy it.

Cheers!

David Boxall

2016 viognier chardonnay 2

Pressing Matters ‘R0’ Tasmania Riesling 2017

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It climbed to 41*C last Friday at our place in Victoria, so I could think of nothing better once the sun was over the yardarm than a chilled, crisp, dry riesling.

This 2017 Pressing Matters R0 (meaning zero grams of residual sugar) is as dry as they come.

Here’s what the Melicks say about it:

“This is an acid driven wine with almost no residual sugar – it is narrow on the palate and if people like dry white wine – this is a super-dry white wine! However the lack of sugar does not mean a lack of floral and citrus fruits on the nose and palate. The R0 is a perfect complement to seafood and shellfish.” – Greg & Michelle Melick

I’ve got 17 bottles in Melbourne that can come up in mid-March if ordered. No minimum purchase. They’re safely stored in my temperature controlled coolroom.

Enjoy!

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The 41*C heat put paid to my plans to deliver the current airfreight to DHL on Friday. If you have wines in the current airfreight, they went down to DHL this morning when the temprature was 20 degrees lower.  I’m still hoping that deliveries in Singapore may start this week but I’m now in the hands of the airline and customs gods.

Thanks for your understanding.

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NEW ARRIVALS IN MELBOURNE

PARADIGM HILL, Mornington Peninsula:

2018 Riesling – S$54 – not yet rated
2018 Pinot Gris – S$73 – nyr
2017 “L’ami sage” Pinot Noir – S$79 – nyr
2016 “Adesso” Pinot Noir – S$82 – Halliday 95
2017 “Adesso” Pinot Noir – S$85 – nyr
2017 “Les Cinq” Pinot Noir – S$94 – nyr
2016 “Col’s Block” Shiraz – S$66 – nyr

2017 r0

Hickinbotham Clarendon Vineyard ‘The Peake’ McLaren Vale Cabernet Shiraz 2016

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This is the latest release of the flagship wine of the Jackson Family Wines owned Hickinbotham Clarendon Vineyard.

Retails in Australia at A$175, but the Singapore tax model works in your favour at this price level, so only S$152 here.

Have a look at the ratings in the attachment…98 from Huon Hooke “a wonderful glass of red wine”, 96 from Halliday “its best days are ahead of it” and 96 from James Suckling “blended to perfection, a brilliant wine”. Campbell Mattinson of The Wine Front also writes:

“…it would want to be [the peak] given the asking price but the quality here is quite superb. It’s an accountant’s dream; strong in volume, balanced in nature, its forward estimates bright. Cloves, tar, blackcurrant/red currant and choc-mint, a swoosh of smoky oak. It displays both presence and decorum. You can bank on this maturing well. Drink 2024-2035+, 95 points.”

Back in the mid 1990s, Henschke Hill of Grace 1990 (and later 1991) was on sale at our local Harry Heaths in Glen Waverley at A$49 a bottle, limit of two per customer. That was lot of money for an Australian wine then. I’d go back every day and buy 2 bottles and now 20+ years later I’ve still got some and I’ve never regretted maxxing the credit card to get those HoGs. Now, I’m not saying that The Peake will perform like Hill of Grace (and who should care) but I do think you’ll look back in 20+ years time and recognise this as a real bargain. I don’t have to worry much as by then I’ll be pushing 90!

In stock and ready for delivery, this vintage is under cork.

You might also like to try these vintages of The Peake:

2012 – $155 – Halliday 97
2013 – $155 – Halliday 98
2014 – $155 – Huon Hooke 97
2015 – $159 – Robert Parker 97

Enjoy!

David Boxall

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NEW ARRIVALS IN MELBOURNE

MEADOWBANK VINEYARD
Derwent Valley, Tasmania

2018 Riesling – $50 – NYR (not yet rated)
2017 Chardonnay – $66 – Halliday 95
2018 Gamay – $64 – NYR
2017 Pinot Noir – $70 – Halliday 97

PRESSING MATTERS
Coal River Valley, Tasmania

2014 Pinot Noir – $66 – Gold Royal Hobart Wine Show
2015 Pinot Noir – $66 – Halliday 93
2017 “R0” Riesling – $51 – Halliday 95
2016 “R9” Riesling – $50 – Halliday 92
2016 “R69” Riesling – $49 – Halliday 96
2016 “R139” Riesling – $39 – Halliday 94

2016 The Peake

Alkimi “Good Earth” Yarra Valley Syrah 2015

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Another cracker from Stuart Dudine who delivers Rhone style wines from the Yarra Valley and beyond.

Here’s what Mike Bennie (of The Wine Front) had to say, writing for Wine Business Magazine:

“Alkimi is a relatively new producer for me but the wines are speaking my language. I like the dried herb and pepper overtones in this wine, and the more medium weight and savouriness to taste. It’s lively, vibrant shiraz (syrah!) with cranberry accented fruit character. Get amongst it,” – 93 points.

Stuart suggests matching this wine with protein rich dishes such as warm Cassoulet or a T-bone beef steak (Stuart’s obviously used to beef prices in Australia) and reckons “the wine is built to go the distance and will continue to drink well for 15 or more years”.

Enjoy.

David Boxall

The 2016 Syrah from the Warramunda Vineyard is also available although it’s not yet been rated – $52

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LAST CHANCE FOR DELIVERIES – 16 DAYS TO GO
I’ll be heading downunder from 15th December to 6th January inclusive to spend time with friends and relatives over the festive season. I’ll still be checking emails and orders can be placed but there will be no deliveries in Singapore during this period. Thanks for your understanding!

2015 Good Earth Syrah

Paradigm Hill “Les Cinq” Mornington Peninsula Pinot Noir 2016

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From George Mihaly’s own description and David Bicknell’s rating (tasting for Halliday), this is not a wine to buy today and pour tomorrow. 2032 seems to be the “drink-by” window.

When I buy my wines (and I usually by 3 at a time) I stagger the drinking year out so that one wine is listed for drinking in the next 12 months, one is listed halfway out to the recommended drink-by year, and the third somewhere between the two. There’s two reasons that I do this – firstly, I don’t see a lot of point in purposely holding a wine to the possible end of its life (and the wine in the middle will let me adjust for that bottle anyway) and secondly at my age, being around 20 years from now is not a certainty!

There is another downside to putting wines into your cellar that are heavily weighted to being drunk way into the future…you’ll run out of space for the wines that you want to buy to drink now. Like everything in life, balance is the key.

This wine, the 2016, is the current release and is listed at A$89 on Paradigm Hill’s website but is now sold out there

I’m listing it here in Singapore at S$89.

Cheers!

David Boxall

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Here’s some other PARADIGM HILL wines you might like to try:

2017 Pinot Gris – 11 bottles – S$73 – Halliday 95 (rrp A$60)
2017 Riesling – 11 bottles – S$56 – Halliday 95
2016 “Transition” Rosé – 8 bottles – S$59 – Halliday 94
2016 “L’ami Sage” Pinot Noir – 9 bottles – S$83 – Halliday 94
2014 “Col’s Block” Shiraz – 9 bottles – S$57 – Halliday 952016 Les Cinq 2