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Wine of the Month

August 2018


Single Bottle Price: $47
Dozen Bottle Price: $42

From the Full Moon Vineyard in Yarra Valley. The co-project of Steve Flamsteed [Giant Steps] and Dave Mackintosh [Arfion]. A little extra flex in this wine, some distinct personality, despite the hands-off winemaking. Let to do its thing on lees, bottled from the big, older barrels the wine settles into over its pre-bottling life. The red clay soil site at higher-than-usual-Yarra altitude is likely also playing a part in the distinct gras and funk, mineral charm and piercing acidity going on in this wine. Killer.

Bold, savoury style of chardonnay, loads going on, wilder-edged, chalky pucker, spiked with dried apple, saltiness, flint and smoke. Has big volume of perfume too, more of the ripe and dried apple plus that delicious, savoury nuttiness. Superb wine here. Rolls with so much personality, charismatic, texture, energy. Otherworldly. Love it hard. Watch it fly. 96 points. – Mike Bennie, Wine Front.

June 2018



Burn Cottage generally makes my top three when talking favourite producers of Central Otago. Their wines are not made in the dense, fruit-rich style of Pinot that you often see from others of this region. Rather, these wines are medium-bodied, brooding and dark-fruited Pinots that show an array of complex flavours other than primary fruit. On show in the ’16 is wet soil, autumn leaves, mushroom and undergrowth. Fruit is in the red-fruit spectrum (rather than black fruit) and acid is clean and very present, leaving the palate clean and flavours elevated. Great already but great in another ten years, too. – Ches Cook, FWC.

May 2018



Sourced from two 20 year old biodynamic vineyards – one in Alba on sandy soils and one in Monteu in the heart of Roero with sand above a deep clay pan. This is undeniably Nebbiolo: crushed flowers, orange peel, and a nice line of acidity. It’s medium bodied with very pleasant dried herbal tones and a savouriness to the overall feel of the wine. Approachable and pretty with fantastic aromatics and expressive fruit. We really like it. – Ches Cook, FWC.

April 2018


Single Bottle Price: $138
Dozen Bottle Price: $120

“Here’s a sleek wine of exquisite perfume and balance that treads lightly, but surely through the palate. Dances, even. There’s a quiet storm of graphite tannin, red and black fruits, a distinct pencil and mineral thing going on, clean fresh acidity, and a wonderfully long finish. It’s painting with water colours, to borrow a phrase, but gee it makes a beautiful picture. It’s rare to find a Cabernet with this level of poise and control. Yet again, Cullen is leading the pack. 96 points. Drink 2024-2038+” - Gary Walsh, The Wine Front.

March 2018


Single Bottle Price: $52
Dozen Bottle Price: $47

Tasmanian grapes, a staple since inception of the Bellwether brand of winemaker Sue Bell. Geez she is a lovely and determined human. Tamar Valley vineyard source Bundaleera here. Lot of aroma, flavour and texture. Lemon butter, green melon, faint corn, pineapple, an ample bouquet. Fleshy in the palate, generous flavour, more of the lemon butter and a touch of popcorn with a bristling undercurrent of tangy acidity. Has generosity and freshness in tow. Go here for bigger-boned yet lively-feeling chardonnay. 92 Points.” – Mike Bennie, Wine Front.

Green apple, some meal and gun-smoke with underlying notes of flint and chalk. The acid is lively and tangy with great freshness and drive. We’re really liking this – a great example of the quality in Chardonnay coming out of Tasmania. – Ches Cook, FWC.

December 2017



Giaconda’s second-label Chardonnay that most producers would love to call their first. A rich yet beautifully balanced wine full of peach, ripe melon and nectarine notes. Below this there is lovely succulent acidity and ginger spice, with oak only playing a supporting-role. Further complexity is gained from whiffs of struck-match and smoke which I find particularly appealing. This will be sold out by Christmas so move now if you would like some. – Ches Cook, FWC.

September 2017

Single Bottle Price: $92
Dozen Bottle Price: $82
It’s pretty hard to compete with Mike’s note below, but basically the Burn Cottage Pinots were the wines I kept going back to during my time in Otago. They speak very truly of the region and are quite gutsy and powerful, yet there is a lot of charm there too. Ideally these wines would rest in the cellar for a few years as I see them softening slightly and unfurling with time, but they are super delicious in the here and now, as I discovered. They combine dark plum and mulberry notes with a wide array of fine brown spices and noticeably high acid which is crucial here to bring liveliness and freshness to the palate. Texturally too, they are mouth-coating and silky. All-round delicious with the underlying structure to go the distance over time. – Ches Cook, FWC.

“Remarkable site that the fruit is grown on here. Verdant, buzzy with Bambi-like scenes of animals and flowers and insects and stuff. Biodynamic farming, loads of care, a selected place to grow great grapes. Good ingredients. Clever winemaker, Claire Mullholland, and in the mix the wonderful consultant in Ted Lemon from Littorai, California. Good release here too. Deep, moody, dark cherry and dark chocolate, clove and dried rose petals, sweet earth and undergrowth scents. A growl of perfume. Supple in texture with some serious concentration, but elevated on fresh acidity, spice, a spread of fine, silty tannins. Has some extension through the palate, leaves a trail of sweet fruit and a savoury character that feels moreish. Just lovely, here. 95 points.” – Mike Bennie, Wine Front.

Veneto, Italy


A fantastic follow-up to the 2014 vintage which we (and many of you, our customers) loved. This looks great; plenty of intensity on the nose showing wet stones and white floral notes. The palate is saline and mineral-rich, with some green melon and almond notes giving the wine some fruit weight and nutty complexity. Flavours are over clean, cool and pure, placing this wine at the height of Soave, in our opinion. – Ches Cook, FWC.

July 2017



I had tried this wine on a few occasions around the place and had really enjoyed it every time. So I’m very glad to finally get it in to the shop. This 2016 really impressed me – particularly the length of the wine and the way in which a whole array of beautiful flavours open up on the back palate. Blended with 6% Viognier (co-fermented), there is so much going on here and plenty of fruit weight on a grippy and waxy (and very textural) palate. Aromas and flavours range from yellow petals, red apple and earth and mineral notes. I’ll be taking some of this home myself, no question. – Ches Cook, FWC.

April 2017


Single Bottle Price: $26
Dozen Bottle Price: $23

A soft and generous wine with an array of red fruits and licorice all-sorts on the palate. The Grenache component contributes plenty of spice and juiciness whilst the Mataro brings some black pepper and a savoury edge. The finish is persistent with dusty, finely-grained tannins, reminiscent of red, crumbly earth. Medium-bodied and very true to its region, this is a great mid-priced wine which we’re very happy to have come across this week. – FWC.

December 2016

Beechworth, Victoria

Single Bottle Price: $66.00
Dozen Bottle Price: $60.00

The tiny 2.5 hectare Sorrenberg vineyard – planted on granite soils in the elevated hills of Beechworth – consistently produces one of Australia’s best Chardonnays.

The 2015 is another superb Sorrenberg chardonnay with elegant cashew nut, lemon, honeydew melon, smoky struck match, stonefruit and almond meal. Everything one has come to expect from the great Sorrenberg chardonnay. Excellent mid palate layered richness that flows and flows with perfect acid and underlying minerality to close. Great length. Don’t miss this one. Have recently consume the 2009 (rich, fully mature and beautiful) and the 2011 (as fresh as a daisy).
- Ian Cook

Pick of the Imports
April 2017

Comando G La ‘Bruja de Rozas’ Garnacha 2015


La Bruja de Rozas Garnacha is the village wine of Rozas de Puerto Real (its full name in Spanish is ‘The Witch of Rozas’.) A youthful expression of pure Garnacha, this is a great introduction to the wines of Comando G. The fruit is 100% Garnacha from vineyards around de Puerto Real, grown on granitic sand with an average vine age of 50-80 years. Bright, juicy red fruits glide across the palate, all cherry and dried herbs with a savoury edge. 2015 was a cracking vintage in Spain in general and it’s reflected here in the purity of the fruit, juicy acidity and fine tannins. A comparative bargain against the more illustrious single vineyard wines of this producer, it is not to be missed. Todd Slater FWC.


Single Bottle Price: $54.00
Dozen Bottle Price: $48.00

Magnum Single Bottle Price: $110.00
Magnum Dozen Bottle Price: $98.00

“The 2014 Cerasuolo di Vittoria Classico opens to a deep crimson colour. It’s a blend of Nero d’Avola and Frappato from this fully organic and biodynamic producer on Sicily’s southern coast. In recent years a growing proportion of the wine is fermented in amphora, but mostly in cement. The aromas are steady and bright with wild berry, dried black cherry, spice, licorice and savoury sage and spice notes. The mouthfeel is polished, silky and long in persistency. It has beautiful depth and density without coming across as heavy. There is a touch of bitter almond flavor and lots of savoury complexity on the finish. This wine is simply outstanding and keeps pinot noir drinkers, Shiraz drinkers and Nero d’Avola drinkers extremely happy. – FWC

September 2016

Huon Valley, Southern Tasmania
Single Bottle Price: $60
Dozen Bottle Price: $54
MAGNUM Single Bottle Price: $140
MAGNUM Dozen Bottle Price: $120

Jim Chatto came in during the week and boy are his 2015 Pinots good. My note at the time of the tasting read like this: Fantastic nose; very lifted with great intensity. A very pleasant dried herbal character – not green at all – with good acid to balance. Clean and Long. Great persistence of flavour throughout the length of the wine. Nice whole bunch component with great integration. Full tannin ripeness and very good tension to the fruit.

Certainly highly recommended and only made in very small quantities. Won’t last for long.

“Eight clones, hand-picked and sorted, 25% destemmed whole berries, 8 days cold soak, wild open ferment, 15 days on skins, pressed to French oak(35% new) at 1 baume for 10 months maturation. Intensely aromatic and flavoured, small red fruits in a silken web also catching precisely balanced spices, fine tannins and wholly integrated oak. A very high quality wine from its bouquet through to the finish, never wavering. 96 points. Drink now to 2028. – James Halliday, Australian Wine Companion 2017.

July 2016

Single Bottle Price: $59
Dozen Bottle Price: $53

I recently spent two and a half days in the Yarra Valley as part of a trade trip designed to showcase the best producers and the best wines that the Yarra Valley has to offer. This wine, The Wanderer Pinot Noir 2013, was arguably my favourite of the whole trip. The nose is deep and very seductive, showcasing deep red fruits, damp soil and red violets. Such flavours continue onto the palate in a complex and sophisticated manner. Pretty red fruits and delicate flavours approach you at first yet below these are much more firm and structured layers of complexity. Quite an achievement for such a young wine. Succulent plum, cherry pith and raspberry all dominate up front. Then the damp soil that was at first evident on the nose appears again towards the back of the palate, complemented by autumnal notes and undergrowth. There is lots of natural acidity here too, adding to the freshness of the wine and enhancing its length. The tannins are surprising firm and grippy for such a pretty wine and it is this structure that suggests that the wine will age tremendously well. – Ches Cook, FWC.

Benchmark Upper Yarra Pinot Noir. This release has some power and oomph but it’s characterised by its strands of smoky minerally goodness. The heart is caused to flutter. It combines satiny texture with tonic-like herbs with proud cherry-plum fruit with freshening acidity with length. In short, it’s stunning. 96 points. Drink 2015-2025. Campbell Mattinson, Wine Front.

Spirit of the month
June 2016

Single Bottle Price: $105.00
Dozen Bottle Price: $98.00

From Tasmania comes a bracing gin with transcendent flavour..

Süd Polaire gin is small batch distilled and bottled by hand. Only the purest hearts of superbly smooth, triple distilled wine spirit make this an excellent martini gin. Vapour infused with ten organic botanicals including aromatic juniper, fresh hand-cut lemon and grapefruit peel, Southern Ocean seaweed, local mountain pepper berries and leaves.

It's World Gin Day on Saturday June 11th. To celebrate, why not mix up a Süd Polaire Antarctic Negroni...
1 part Süd Polaire Antarctic dry gin
1 part Lillet
1 part Suze
Build over a jumbo ice sphere, garnish with lemon zest.
Then go back to the first step, repeat.

Wine of the month
April 2016

Single Bottle Price: $60.00
Dozen Bottle Price: $52.00

Just drank a bottle of this wine over three days and it just gets better and better. If drinking please decant. Mike Kerrigan (ex-Howard Park) is making the wines and this is up there with the very best from Margaret River at half the price of Cullen and Moss Wood. Deep, brooding blackcurrant, cedar and smoky notes. It opens up with great fanfare and intensity. Highly recommended. Ian Cook.

“Destemmed, open fermented with pump overs, ten days post-fermentation maceration, matured in French oak for eighteen months. Vivid crimson-purple colour introduces a Cabernet’s Cabernet, full of blackcurrant fruits ringed by autocratic tannins that are unique to the variety. Because the balance is there,patience (which is essential) will be richly rewarded. Rating: 95 Points.” James Halliday, Wine Companion 2016.

Spirit of the month
April 2016


As you may have surmised, this isn’t a gin for part-timers. Bottled at a hefty 49.9%, it’s a gloriously full-bodied gin-lovers gin, and certainly the finest martini gin that we’ve ever come across. On paper, you could call Dodd’s a classic London Dry; but this isn’t a gin made on paper. It is firstly intensely aromatic, with a heady perfume of spruce and pine resin from the Juniper as well as some softer notes from the honey. And then there’s the palate. To paraphrase that legendary tagline, this reaches parts of the mouth wot other gins can’t. It’s a deep and intense, creamy, full bodied gin in the mouth with a sappy, racy, spicy energy and drive that only the very finest gins can match. It’s also super complex with lavender and resin juniper notes, citrus pithy freshness and subtle notes of jasmine and green tea. And then, towards the end, all kinds of spice kicks in with a crack of black pepper warmth, plenty of brown spice and some woodsy bracken from the black cardamom. This spiciness is perfectly balanced by the pillowy, glycerol rich texture. A killer gin that we are very proud to offer our clientele.

“This is a complex, audacious gin that holds its own against the very best. Whether served neat, in a Dodd’s Martini, gin and tonic, or in classic cocktails such as the Martinez or Negroni, this is gin (and presentation) in its boldest, most sustainable guise.” Nicolas Moghabghab

“The price tag is steep. There’s no hiding from this. But, if you can afford to – buy this gin… The bottom line is, it’s worth it.” The Gin Foundry


March 2016

Single: $16.00 Dozen: $14.00

The original clones of Monastrell grown on their own roots from old bush vines, dry grown. This is a simple wine, but really good. Very varietal warm bitumen/dried fig/honey/black fruit Monastrell, given a bit of a juicy-jubey touch up from the Syrah in the blend. Very silky to the tongue with decent length and a nice sense of taper on the palate to a finish where the fruit tannins live. The Spanish Acquisition.

Knockout value, one to purchase by the dozen.

November 2015

Henschke Julius Riesling 2015
Eden Valley, South Australia
Single Bottle Price:     $44
Dozen Bottle Price:     $39
The 2015 Julius Riesling was released earlier this month and it was done so with a special tasting being conducted at the cellar door in the Eden Valley. I was in attendance as Stephen and Prue Henschke showed us twenty consecutive vintages of Julius, starting in 1996 - the first year the wines was bottled entirely under screwcap. This wine was indeed glorious; fully mature yet bright with layer upon layer of rich, golden fruit and toasted citrus notes. As we tasted through the flight of wines, what became clear was a definite Henschke stamp on all of their rieslings and a level of quality that did not dip from 'great' vintage to 'lesser' vintage. All Rieslings held a degree of elegance and seamlessness; they were all very 'complete' wines with roundness of fruit yet firmness of acidity. There was not one bad wine in the whole line-up. They spoke volumes of the rewards of patience when cellaring this wine and of the assured level of quality at Henschke year in, year out.

The wine of the line-up, we all agreed, was Julius 2002. We were able to get our hands on one dozen. $85 a bottle or $76 in the dozen/mixed dozen. It is in the perfect drinking window right now at 13 years of age. A bottle limit per customer will apply. Get in quick.

The 2015 riesling was the final wine we tried: lemon rind and yellow florals on the nose lead to a zingy and racy palate showing pear rind and cut green apple. Very primary at this stage but with a firm acid line and freshness in abundance, this is sure to go the distance. As the older wines showed, this will slowly add plenty of weight whilst maintaining youthful brightness and will develop toasted citrus characters and enhanced depth to the fruit each year that it rests in the cellar. Highly recommended. - Ches Cook, FWC.

September 2015

Grosset Polish Hill Riesling 2015
Clare Valley

Single Bottle Price: $55.00
Dozen Bottle Price: $48.00
Certified Organic

The eight hectare Polish Hill vineyard is at 460 metres altitude and just five kilometres from Springvale as the crow flies (but eleven kilometres by road). The infertile, shaley soil is slightly acidic and its topsoil has a clay and shale crust. The vines have to work harder than those at Springvale and so produce smaller distinctly flavoured and concentrated berries. A meticulously hand-tended vineyard matched by the same attention to detail in the winery, combined with an unusually cool, mild summer which heralded the earliest picking date in 35 years has resulted in a remarkable Grosset Polish Hill Riesling for Grosset. As you'd expect from this wine, it's quite shy in its infancy, though still with distinct chalky, minerally aromatics. It is amazingly intense showing shaley minerally flavours with a hint of lime juice, tightly coiled around a steely backbone, persistent, deep, and long. The finish is linear, crisp and ultra dry yet with impeccable balance. While it will improve immeasurably with time in the bottle that balance gives it an approachability especially when consumed with a platter of natural oysters or a dish of grilled whiting fillets with a squeeze of lime. Ageing potential: 6-15 years, up to 20 years. Grosset Spring Newsletter.


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