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We didn't do a great job of celebrating our 30th birthday, so we're throwing a 31st. Throughout 2018 keep a lookout for special events, a new website and many great bottles of wine.

Les Vins Confidentiels 
Bordeaux Offer June 2018

“confidential”; description of a wine which is known only to connoisseurs and the local growers”
This section of our list reflects the superb quality of wines coming out of the classic French region of Bordeaux. These are the “les Vins des Gardes”, the wines selected for ageing, the wines to sip meditatively, the powerful wines for strong-flavoured food. They are the ultimate in the wine maker’s art, the wine made from the oldest vines and the lowest yields made in the best vintages.

Great claret, like great Burgundy, becomes a different beast with bottle age. The firm tannins and toasty oak flavours melt into the wine adding new texture and different tonal notes. It is as if the wine has developed from brash youth into mellow middle age. We are very excited to release a small number of the very fine 2015 vintage. We’re expecting high demands for a vintage that ticks all of the boxes.
2015 Chateau Poujeaux 
Cru Bourgeois, Moulis-en-Medoc
“The 2015 Poujeaux is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc. It has a high-toned, floral bouquet with kirsch and raspberry coulis notes, opulent for this Moulis, but it manages to retain control. The palate is chewy on the entry with mouth-coating tannin, solid in the mouth, brutish at the moment, although the finish does show satisfactory freshness, and is long and minerally. This will be intriguing once in bottle. Drink Date: 2020-2035. 90-92 points.” - Neal Martin, The Wine Advocate
2015 Chateau Bellegrave 
“Medium garnet-purple in color, the 2015 Bellegrave (Pomerol) offers up crushed red and black cherries and mulberries notes with earth and dried herbs hints. Medium-bodied, firm and chewy with great energy and plenty of earth and red fruit flavors, it finishes long. Drink Date: 2018-2031. 89 points.” - Lisa Perrotti-Brown, The Wine Advocate
2015 Chateau Cos Labory
5th Growth, Saint-Estephe
“Taking its name from the hill or Cos on which the vines are planted, this wine is dense and full of firm tannins. The fruit is there as well, ripe black currants waiting to come through the tannins. Give this wine time and drink from 2026. 93 points.” Roger Voss, The Wine Enthusiast 
2015 Chateau Prieure-Lichine
4th Growth, Margaux
“Some very ripe dark-plum aromas with a wealth of sweet spices and earthy notes. The palate has an impressively rich, suave and smooth core of black fruit with a powerful palate that delivers concentrated and intense structure. This is superb Margaux. 96 points.” James Suckling
Beautiful perfume, refinement and elegance. It, to me is in perfect balance and respects its site in the appellation of Margaux.Excellent ripeness and depth with fine chalky tannins. The cepage of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot works perfectly.
Tasted June 2018. Ian Cook, FWC.

2015 Chateau Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande
2nd Growth, Pauillac
“The 2015 Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande is a blend of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot that was picked from 10 September with the young Merlot, finishing on 9 October. It includes 12.5% vin de presse (which incidentally was included in the blend). It has a very pure bouquet with expressive Merlot imparting black cherries and wild strawberry aromas that are embroidered with a thread of graphite. I noticed how it errs more towards black fruit with extended aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with edgy tannin on the entry, the Cabernet Sauvignon here in the driving seat despite that level of Merlot trying to get in a look. Together they give a sense of completeness to this Pichon Lalande that has semblances towards the great 1996. Whereas this Pauillac has a tendency to be more approachable than others, in fact, the 2015 has the backbone and substance to suggest that it will require a minimum of ten years' ageing, but patience will be amply rewarded. Nicolas Glumineau has overseen a quite brilliant Pichon Lalande here. Drink Date: 2027-2060. 95-97 points.” - Neal Martin, The Wine Advocate
2005 Chateau Meyney
Cru Bourgeois, Saint-Estephe
Aromas of tar, ripe fruit and dried herbs. Full-bodied, with a good core of round-textured tannins and a long finish. Friendly wine. Nicely done. 89-91 points.” James Suckling
2005 Chateau Leoville Las Cases
2nd Growth, Saint-Julien
“Another titanic effort from the Delon family, the 2005 Leoville Las Cases is probably the greatest wine made at this estate since Jean-Hubert Delon’s father produced the 1986 and 1996. An inky/ruby/purple color is accompanied by reticent aromatics that, with considerable coaxing, offer up subtle notes of toasty vanillin intermixed with lead pencil shavings, wet rocks, and enormously ripe, intense black cherry and crème de cassis. The wine hits the palate with a full-bodied, layered mouth feel as well as enormous extract, concentration, and purity. This ageless, monumental claret requires a minimum of 15-20 years to approach maturity, and should last for a half century. It is about as classic a Leoville Las Cases as one will find. 98 points.” - Robert Parker
“This is breathtaking. Black in color, with incredible aromas of crushed blackberry, mineral, licorice and lead pencil. full-bodied, with a mind-blowing texture of seamless tannins that coat every millimeter of the palate. Goes on and on, with licorice, currant and flowers. 100 points.” - James Suckling
An absolute treat to get to taste this wine in November, 2017. It was 10am and really wanted to close the shop and settle in with the bottle. Alas only a taste. A more powerful wine than the Clos Du Marquis – yet you can see the family resemblance – riper and richer (from the oldest vines) – a lot more power and depth, yet my descriptors and still similar; chalk, austere and powerful; layers of smoky blackcurrant, more licorice and savoury spice. The length is the give away – it really goes on and on. Very limited. Ian Cook

1989 Chateau Leoville Las Cases
2nd Growth, Saint-Julien
“The 1989 tasted California-like in its ripe, sweet, black cherry fruit, nicely-integrated, toasty new oak, and clean, pure winemaking style. A tighter, more compact finish is the result of elevated tannin, but this is an outstanding, rich, medium-weight Las Cases that tastes less well-endowed than I originally predicted. It is built more along the lines of the classy, elegant 1985 than the block buster 1982 and 1986. The wine is still youthful, with no amber at the edge of its healthy deep ruby/purple color. It will improve for another 8-12 years, and then plateau, offering very fine drinking over the subsequent two decades. I overrated this wine from cask. As appealing as I still find it, it lacks the concentration and intensity I originally thought it possessed. 91 points.” - Robert Parker
“Still a strong dark crimson colour but some brick at rim. Savoury mineral nose then opens up to very ripe fruit. A little leafy. Dry, grainy tannins but sweet fruit and some chocolate sweetness on the finish. A mix of firm and leafy. A bit gruff, sweet/sour aftertaste. 17/20 points.” - Jancis Robinson, February 2011 tasting

Not tasted, however those who attended a special dinner in November rated it very highly. The wine is now at the height of its maturity. Three bottles only available. Ian Cook 

2005 Chateau Pichon-Longueville Baron 
2nd Growth, Pauillac  
“As usual, this superb Pauillac possesses an inky/blue/black color in addition to a big, sweet nose of graphite, charcoal, burning embers, black currant liqueur, and tasty vanillin from new oak casks. Full-bodied with high but sweet, well-integrated tannins, the 2005 Pichon Baron is more backward than the blockbuster 2003 or prodigious 2000. Nevertheless, it is a superb effort whose power, length, and tannic structure suggest it should be at its peak between 2015-2035. 94 points.” – Robert Parker
“Rich, Seductive, Spicy, exotic, masses of ripe fruits, full and rich, quite smoky, exotic, seductive, but also with tremendous power. Richness and length. 17/20 points.” – Jancis Robinson

Bindi 2017 Vintage Offer
Macedon, Victoria

“Winemaker Michael Dhillon is obsessed with capturing the essence of his quartz riddled site in every bottle he produces, and manages his vines using a combination of biodynamic and biological techniques. Pinot Noir gets most attention – and it deserves the accolades – but many suspect history will show Bindi to be an even better Chardonnay vineyard: the Quartz Chardonnay has an underlying minerality rarely seen outside Chablis’ grand cru sites.”
Max Allen

James Halliday summed it up best when he wrote, “One of the icons of Macedon. The Chardonnay is top shelf, the Pinot Noir as remarkable (albeit in a very different idiom) as Bass Phillip, Giaconda or any of the other tiny production icon wines. The addition of Heathcote-sourced Shiraz under the Pyrette label confirms Bindi as one of the greatest small producers in Australia.”
James Halliday

Over the past year, i have enjoyed many standout bottles of aged Bindi wine. Served recently the 2008 Bindi Quartz was a magnificent wine – one of the best Australian chardonnays i have ever had; mature yet with another decade of giving in it. The 2004 Bindi Block 5 pinot noir – quite a power pack and although superb i would recommend leaving it a few years longer. The dark horse has been both the 2006 and 2007 Composition Pinor noir (now labelled Dixon) These two vintages have matured beautifully and most other producers would be very happy for this to be their top wine. Lighter than Block 5 or Original Vineyard, yet perfect intensity and very long and complex. Alas I have drunk most of this wine too young. Likewise older Composition chardonnays are great drinking. All the wines and the Bindi style have more acidity than most other producers and this greatly enhances their longevity. Ian Cook

The tasting notes below come from winemaker Michael Dhillon.

All Bindi wines are grown in our vineyards and made by us at Bindi. Our vines grow in a mix of ancient stony/rocky Ordovician soils and younger volcanic soil. We intensively manage the vines by hand and harvest by hand.
We plough under vine and do not use systemic herbicides or pesticides. We very rarely use systemic foliage sprays (*we have only used the foliage spray Ridomil in 2011 and 2018 for downey mildew, which is now twice in fifteen years). We use compost, compost tea and also use cow horn preparation, fish and seaweed. Our wines are made without adding yeast, yeast nutrient, enzyme or any fining agents. The wines spend many months on yeast lees in old and new French barrels. Our intention is to capture the expression of the Bindi landscape in our wines each season.

It is incredibly exciting to begin releasing the first of the 2017 wines and also to reflect on the just completed 2018 harvest and growing season. During these reflections we can also look over Bindi's progression as our vineyard and winemaking knowledge have matured. Here and now, we find ourselves after 30 consecutive years of planning, hard work and dedication blessed with a run of outstanding quality vintages culminating in the fabulous 2017s and extremely promising 2018s. There is no doubt that several kind seasons have been an enormous gift, however the fine tuning of processes, like under vine ploughing, composting and extra attention to detailed canopy management have maximised these fortunes.

The 2017 season was a beauty. There were no days over 40 degrees and there were several significant rainfall events that alleviated stress on the vines (and us!). The fruit set in early December was extremely successful and the season was tracking a bit later than is recently usual. Easter in 2017 was mid-April so the early April harvest date was no surprise. Conversely, in 2016 Easter was mid-March and the harvest was early March. In 2018, Easter was end March/early April and harvest was completed between March 11 and 20th. In all three vintages, the grapes ripened 110 to 115 days from fruit set. In 2017 we determined that the vintage was going to push later into the season and we did more green harvest/fruit thinning than normal in order not to push the ripening of the crop into mid-April when we perceived the season might be fracturing. The potential crop was, for us, large and the gut feeling was that it was not a season to roll the dice on a two tonne per acre plus crop. Five days after we concluded the harvest we had 100mm of rain! Most certainly, if we had left the crop as it was we would have suffered flavour and sugar dilution and the way the autumn then progressed we would never have got the fruit to where it needed to be for maximum quality. Conversely, in 2018 the crop was just over two tonnes per acre on average and we read the season to be long and warm and the vine health to be exceptional and pleasingly that is how it played out. In 2018 we had 76mm of rain at the beginning of veraison, a perfect moment for rainfall, and the vines ripened their crop in
perfect fashion. Whether this be intuition, experience, managed risk taking or something else, it has been very satisfying.

2017 Bindi Kostas Rind Chardonnay
This wine spent 11 months in barrel on yeast lees. As is normal, each barrel was filled directly from the press tray and a small amount of So2 was added. The wild yeast generally takes four days to begin to ferment the sugars and most barrels took five to six weeks to complete the fermentation. This wine is fresh and vibrant with typical aromas of white flowers, citrus and spice. It is also gently mealy and creamy despite the vitality and energy. The palate is zesty, balanced, textured, long and chalky. With air the nose becomes richer and more vibrant and the palate becomes more intense. These are good signs and we know that given twelve months in bottle, or more, increased complexity, texture and flow will develop. Recent openings of these wines from the mid 2000s to 2012 suggest five to ten years is a good time to see the wine at its best.

2017 Bindi Dixon Pinot Noir
The 2017 Dixon spent 11 months in barrel and was bottled in late February. It is spicy and pure in red fruits and shows finesse of fruit and depth of earthy and savoury elements. The palate is harmonious and highlighted by supple fruit, freshness and persistent tannins. It is notable for the beautiful perfume it exhibits. With air it becomes even more fragrant and the structure builds. Some recent bottles enjoyed, going back to 2006, show that the delicious and seductive characteristics these wines show when young are no barrier to ageing positively and delivering a compelling and vibrant wine at a decade of age.

2016 Bindi Pyrette Heathcote Shiraz
The 2016 Shiraz is a little richer than previous seasons and we used a higher proportion of whole bunches in the fermentations in order to promote aromatic lift and vibrancy. The wine shows red and black berries and also some red and darker plum aromas. It has its usual earthiness and savoury elements. The palate is dry, firm, intense and full and it finishes tight and grippy. There is no doubt another three to five years will see more suppleness and creaminess develop. We have been drinking a few of these wines going back to the early 2000s and at about eight to twelve years of age it is an excellent time to enjoy them for their life and fruit combining with secondary complexity and elegant structure.


Mont-Redon has long fashioned an elegant style of Châteauneuf, situated as it is on a large swathe of the best terroir in the appellation, the classic galets roulés (rolling stones) that you see in the photo below. The year though, the fabulous 2015 vintage has added an extra dimension of power and density, while still maintaining the house’s ‘distinctly suave style’, to quote Josh Raynolds on Vinous. And with the indefatigable Pierre Fabre now at the helm, there are signs already that Mont-Redon is heading for another golden era, with a renewed enthusiasm for producing the very finest wines clearly in evidence.

Last night we hosted a great tasting with Chateau Mont Redon winemakerPierre Fabre. Mont Redon is entering a golden era, heralded by the arrival of the stunning 2015 wines. The two white wines were fresh, vital & delicious. For those not yet acquainted with white Rhone these are the prefect introduction, the 2017 Cotes du Rhone Rhone blanc is pure refreshment in the apple, pear mineral mode, whilst the Chateuaneuf du Pape Blanc is more statuesque, complex & made for the table.

The Cotes du Rhone is an unbelievable bargain , 80% Grenache / 20% Syrah mix, it's made for easy drinking, fruit rich, bright & Moorish. The Lirac a somewhat cult appellation , due to its size is richer again with more earth, licorice & savoury herb notes. Excellent drinking here & over the next 6 or more years.

The 2015 Chateauneuf du Pape is a dead set classic in the making not to be missed, the older vintages were all looking great, with the 2007 & 1970 (limited) standouts & favourites, yet all were looking superb. The 2007 is a knockout & a veritable bargain in comparison to other Chateauneuf producers. The 1989 & 1970 are gorgeous examples of old Chateauneuf. The wines with this age have an ethereal quality about them, an almost quiet ‘Burgundian’ character, with a hedonistic perfume & silkiness to the fruit, that transcends the appellation. These are special wines.
Todd Slater

• 2017 Mont-Redon Reserve Cotes du Rhone Blanc $26 SINGLE / $23 DOZEN
• 2015 Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc $66 / $60
• 2015 Mont-Redon Reserve Cotes du Rhone $25 / $22
• 2015 Lirac $41 / $37 750ml; MAGNUM $84 / $76
• 2015 Chateauneuf du Pape $83 / $75; MAGNUM $170 / $155
• 2014 Chateauneuf du Pape $80 / $72
• 2007 Chateauneuf du Pape $99 / $89
• 1989 Chateauneuf du Pape $240 / $216
• 1970 Chateauneuf du Pape $455 / $410

Single Bottle Price: $83
Dozen Bottle Price: $75
65% Grenache, 15% Syrah, 10% Cinsault and 5% Mourvedre with small amounts of Cinsault, Counoise, Muscardin and Vaccarèse. 100% de-stemmed and optically sorted by the most sophisticated system in the Rhône Valley. Fermented in stainless steel with periodic plunging for about two weeks and then matured for 12-18 months, half in steel and half in Burgundy barriques, 25% new.

‘Brilliant ruby. Energetic, mineral-tinged red berry and floral pastille aromas show excellent clarity and building spiciness. Silky, sweet and powerful in the mouth, offering raspberry liqueur and lavender flavors that steadily become deeper with air. Fine-grained tannins give gentle grip to the impressively long, penetrating finish, which strongly echoes the floral and red berry notes. In a distinctly suave style, with no rough edges.’ (92-94) points, Josh Raynolds, Vinous, April 2016.

Single Bottle Price: $99
Dozen Bottle Price: $89
Believe the hype on the 2007 vintage in the Rhone. It’s an absolute knockout, if this wine is anything to go by. Arguably the best value Chateauneuf du Pape we will have in store all year from this outstanding vintage it is a wine not to be missed. Deep black & red berry fruits on a perfumed nose that has a lot going on. Spice, lavender, licorice, dried herbs, & more lead onto a palate that is a mouthful of sweet yet firm dark fruits. More licorice, some meaty characters & smoky notes dominate, yet the wine is layered with plenty of depth & structure, there is a tautness in the acid that suggests a long life ahead. The finish is rich & long yet the aftertaste remains bright & fresh. Delicious. Tasted alongside a superb bottle of 1989 Chateauneuf du Pape from Mont Redon the 07 will enjoy the same life over the next 21 years. Highly recommended. FWC. [Tasted on release in 2010]

Just back from a visit to this famous estate. I have never seen so many river pebbles in all my life. The lifeblood of the estate is the terraced vineyard with 1 metre deep of stones, then quartz – this is what great Chateauneuf is all about. We tasted 2015, (outstanding – to come next year) 2014, 2013, 2009 (in a restaurant) 2007, 1989 and 1971. What a treat. The importer still has some 2007 and a price only a little higher than the cuurent 2014. The 2007 is drinking beautifully. Medium bodied with lots of beautiful lush Grenache fruit, with earth, mushroom, perfumed raspberry and licorice. The fruit is perfectly balanced with fine acid and grainy tannins. Great stuff. Ian Cook, October 2017.

“Cherry, mineral, some choc-licorice, lavender and spice. It’s medium to full bodied with fine tannin and has an appealing ‘stony’ character to go along with its largely savoury flavour profile, though there’s ample fruit flesh hanging on those bones too. Here’s a really good drink that’s lively and suave, with a lighter, almost Pinot-esque, feel to it. Time is likely to be kind too. Lovely. Rated: 93 Points.” The Wine Front.


Having recently had four days in Mendoza in February this year, the wines the stood out for me the most were the wines of Matias Riccitelli.

Matias Riccitelli represents a new and exciting era for the Argentinean wine industry, with an impressively diverse array of wines that go far beyond full-bodied Malbec, exploring the potential of white varieties planted in cool, high-altitude sites which climb into the Andes. Matias showed me a diverse range of varietals and opened my eyes to the diversity of Mendoza as a region and to the quality of wine that can be produced here when high quality fruit is left in very capable hands. The complexity and overall quality of his range is truly impressive and i strongly recommend trying his wines to broaden your scope and understanding of wines from South America.


This is the wine that really made me sit back and realise the quality of Matias’s wines and his talent as a winemaker. It also opened my eyes to the potential of Mendoza as a white wine producing region – it’s no one-trick pony. The cool night-time temperatures mean that fruit is given respite from the heat of the day, allowing it to mature slowly and retain its all-important acidity. As a result, this wine is bright and vibrant, with notes of yellow apple, white stone-fruit, green melon, wet stone, and carries mineral undertones. It has had some lees contact which brings waxiness to the fruit that enhances the texture of the wine and brings out the Semillon component very nicely. On top of all this, fermentation is carried out in concrete eggs and the wine is given 3-4 days skin contact, purely to enhance its texture, achieving a very slight gripiness on the palate. All in all, a delicious, complex and thought-provoking wine. 40% Semillon, 40% Sauvignon Blanc and 20% Chardonnay. – Ches Cook, FWC.

50% of fruit is sourced from Lujan de Cuyo where the winery is located (approximately 900m above sea level) while the remainder of fruit comes from the Uco Valley at 1100-1200m elevation. Co-fermented to balance the acidity gained from the higher site with the fruit ripeness gained from the ‘lower’ site. This is delicious Malbec. Medium bodied with notes of black olive, olive pip, black cherry and a chewy/slight-meatiness to the tannins. All-round delicious with entirely natural acidity that leaves the palate clean and asking for more. My pick of Matias’s reds. – Ches Cook, FWC.

Watch the photo-shoot capturing the label art here.

The 2016 Hey Malbec is sourced from many different zones within the Valle de Uco and is a great improvement over what I tasted from 2014, from a much cooler year, with high potential in the Valle de Uco. There is part of carbonic maceration which brings aromatic intensity and they were very careful with the date of the harvest to keep the freshness. It's bottled completely unoaked, showcasing the character of Malbec with inner strength and power while being easy to drink and understand. It's still quite young and even if the nose has subtle aromas of violets, morello cherries and something wild that made me think of some wines from the Valais mountains in Switzerland, the palate is an explosion of flavors and gives an idea of where it can go with a little time in bottle after it has settled down, as it was very recently bottled. It slowly opened up in the glass, with intoxicating aromas of wild flowers and herbs. Really lovely. This is a candidate for steal of the year. One to buy by the case. It combines volume and quality, as 250,000 bottles were produced in 2016. The 2016 vintage looks like a very promising vintage for the Valle de Uco. - Luis Gutiérrez, Robert parker's Wine Advocate.

Again, this is so different to what you would expect from Mendoza. Rather than being big, broad and fat, this is so alive and driven by rolling minerality with a vibrancy to the fruit and a crispness to the acidity. The minerality evident seems to be a reoccurring theme throughout all of Matias’s wines and whilst there are some hints of rich fruit, it is the wet stone character in the wine that is particularly appealing. Fruit is sourced from sites between 1400-1700m elevation and soils are rocky and calcareous. – Ches Cook, FWC.

A wine of two parts: the nose is super aromatic and perfumed showing lavender, bath salts and must. This lead me to expect a rather oily and robust wine on the palate but what followed was quite a surprise. Rather than excessive fruit, the palate is tight, long and driven with obvious minerality crossing over the tongue bringing liveliness and freshness. Again, the benefits of high altitutde vineyard sites are the key to the quality of the wine here. – Ches Cook, FWC.

Matias Riccitelli was Tim Atkin's Young Winemaker of the Year in 2016.


The wines from David Moreau are incredibly stylish and fine with glowing colours, seductive perfumes and silken flavours. None with a hair out of place, this producer may be under the radar for now but is destined for big things.

"David Moreau is a small winery located in the sleepy village of Santenay and what a gem this Domaine is. David is a young winemaker making his mark and is leaving Burgundy lovers with a big smile on their face."

“David Moreau was the great discovery of 2014 for me - he has taken over part of his grandfather’s domaine in Santenay and has produced wines there since 2009.

Before taking over the family estate, he spent 10 years travelling and working at some of the best wineries in the world. He first worked for Chateau de Beaucastel in Chateauneuf du Pape, followed by work at Neudorf in New Zealand, then back to Burgundy to re-enter the family estate and to work for Domaine Hubert Lamy with white wines, and then the pièce-de-resistance; he was given a rare apprenticeship at Domaine de la Romanée Conti where he worked on the red wines.

After some time he received a message from his grandmother telling him that if he’d like to take over the estate, now would be the time as his grandfather was going to retire and either sell it or pass it on to him. David accepted on one condition: that he have complete control over what happens at the estate. The answer was yes and the rest will be written in the history books. Immediately the conversion to organic farming began as well as more strict practices in the cellar. What is happening here is already on its way to being something special.” - Andrew Guard, importer

All reviews are by Antonio Galloni, VINOUS.

2015 Bourgogne Aligoté
Just bottled, the 2015 Bourgogne Aligoté is an absolutely delicious wine in its class. Lemon peel, white flowers, mint, slate and a touch of oak are all impeccably balanced. The Aligoté was done mostly in fiberglass, with just a touch of oak. More importantly, it has the energy and tension that is such a signature of David Moreau's wines. Don't miss it. (89)

2015 Bourgogne Pinot Noir
The 2015 Bourgogne Pinot Noir, from a parcel in the Côte Chalonnaise, is a lovely introduction to the house style. Perfumed and gracious on the palate, with lovely purity in its red-toned fruit, the 2015 is very pretty. A closing burst of aromatic intensity gives the bright, red-toned flavors an extra kick of energy. There is a lot to like here. (88-90)

2015 Côte de Beaune Villages Rouge
The 2015 Côte de Beaune Villages is a real overachiever. I suppose that that is not entirely surprising since the fruit from the three parcels that inform this wine, all between Santenay and Chassagne-Montrachet, have been declassifed from Santenay village to Côte de Beaune villages. Pliant and supple in the glass, the 2015 possesses lovely depth and impecccable overall balance. This is a striking wine, especially in its peer group. Don't miss it. (88-90)

2015 Santenay Rouge Cuvée 'S'
A heady, intense wine, the 2015 Santenay Cuvée S is captivating from the very first taste. The high percentage of shot berries in the two parcels that inform the Cuvée S is evident in the wine's textural richness. There is quite a bit of tannin as well, so readers will have to be patient. Hints of game, licorice, tobacco and dried herbs add considerable aromatic intrigue. This is another fabulous wine from David Moreau. (89-92)

2015 Santenay Rouge 1er Cru 'Clos des Mouches'
A powerful, intense wine, the 2015 Santenay Clos des Mouches brings together power, tension and energy. Beams of supporting acidity extend the fruit beautifully in this super-expressive, nuanced Burgundy. Hints of white pepper, orange zest and cranberry add an attractive upper register. This is an absolutely gorgeous wine from David Moreau. (91-94)

Winter brochure 2018

Winter is here, and in our Winter Brochure 2018 we have a raft of new arrivals, tastings, and dinners to see people through the cooler months. Don’t be afraid to stick to the whites – Chardonnay & roast chook or Riesling & pork belly spring to mind. Many though are heading into red wine hibernation mode. We’ve got you covered here, from elegant Pinot Noir to blockbuster Shiraz and everything in between (including a large selection of imported wines from Italy, France, Spain and beyond). FWC.

“a gem in a landscape of Liquorlands”
(Sydney Magazine, Jan 08)

At Five Way Cellars, we pride ourselves on the fact that we have never let a lack of space get in the way of stocking another good drop. And after 22 years in the business we think we know a good drop when we taste one!

A visit to our store in Five Ways, Paddington, reveals a vast array of the finest wines from Australia and overseas...more than 150 Italian wines alone. We have been at the forefront of introducing premium Italian wines to Sydney wine lovers since 1987. As well, you will find 40 varieties of Spanish wine and a discerning selection of wines from Burgundy, Alsace and Germany. Then there is the best Australia and New Zealand has to offer, with our passion for riesling, pinot noir and shiraz shining through. Indeed our store has become somewhat of a mecca for those wishing to seek out the “hard-to-find” and quality boutique wines.

“Best” need not equate with “most expensive” and we offer a selection that reflects both value and quality. Our staff offer the best advice in helping customers make the right choice. A delivery service is offered 6 days a week, free of charge to the metropolitan area for orders of one dozen or more.

Wine education in the form of in-store tastings and workshops to enhance our customers' enjoyment and appreciation of wine have become a hallmark of our business as have the many dinners held with guest wine-makers from Australia and overseas.

Five Way Cellars - your fine wine retailer
At Five Way Cellars we believe there is more to a good bottle shop than shelves, fridges and cash registers. We are committed to sharing with our customers every aspect of wine enjoyment through tastings, educational wine workshops and memorable dinners. Our range of wines is carefully selected to reflect value and quality and showcases the best producers both here and overseas.

We are pleased to offer the following services:
• Free delivery to most areas of Sydney (1 case minimum).
• Accounts—both private and business.
• Party planning—cold delivery, ice, tubs, glasses, sale and return.
• In store tastings every Saturday.
• Gift wrapping and gift delivery.
• Wine workshops.

We can also offer expert advice on:
• Rare and unusual wines—we will endeavor to hunt them down for you.
• Cellar planning—what to buy and when to drink it.
• Food and wine combinations.
• Corporate requirements—boardroom drinks, in-house tastings for clients and staff.

Ring or email for a quote for your next function.

Would you like to be placed on our mailing list? Call 02 9360 4242 or Email: info@fivewaycellars.com.au.

Sailor Seeks Horse Chardonnay 2016
Huon Valley, Tasmania

'There was a handwritten sign on the wall at the Red Velvet Lounge in Cygnet, our local coffee and cake respite from the Tasmanian weather. It said, “Sailor Seeks Horse” and went on to explain that the author had sailed solo around the world and ridden across the US from coast to coast and back again…on a mule. He’d then decided he wanted to travel around Tasmania by horse but didn’t have one. So, was there anyone who would lend him one? If they didn’t have a horse then a pony would do. It was an idea that resonated with us. Here we were, trying to do something a little bit crazy, without much money and requiring a little bit of help to get to where we wanted to be.' Paul & Gilli Lipscombe.

Sailor Seeks Horse Chardonnay has a stylish nose, full of white stonefruits and summer citrus before getting down to business on the palate. Really fine mouthfeel, with a core of pure, white peach cut with clean acidity. The coiled-like fruit is tight and focused with a long, persistent finish. This is delicious Chardonnay, slightly fuller in body than the 2015 due to the warm nature of the vintage. Power with restraint is the overall mantra of this wine and a really exciting release from this up and coming producer. – FWC.


“The best Australian Fiano I have ever tasted”
(damning with faint praise?)
Ian Cook, FWC.

Warning: don’t mention Fiano to Brendan Carter unless you’re prepared to have your ears chewed off. He is intensely passionate about all things wine but even more so when it comes to Italian varieties suited to our warm climate – particularly Fiano. He makes three examples, this being from a vineyard in Spring Farm in the Clare Valley just north of Polish Hill on red clay and shale.

Aged on lees for several months in large old (5 years +) oak. This is quite complex with nashi pear, green apple, lemon curd, brown lime and possesses a distinct nutty savoury character (almond? cashew?) alongside some mineral freshness. It screams Fiano and is a great introduction to the variety. Anything salty and oily would be a great match; even better if it’s from the sea. FWC.

While you are online, be sure to check out our Facebook page and stay up to date with all that is new in store including special releases, weekend tastings, wine courses and upcoming dinners.

As part of the celebrations for Five Way Cellars’ 31st birthday and Hewitson’s 20th birthday, please join us for a light-hearted dinner at one of our favourite restaurants, BLANCA, with one of our favourite winemakers, Dean Hewitson marking also the 20th anniversary of their first ever wine dinner with Five Way Cellars.

Dean promises to let the moths out of the cellar.

This will definitely not be a stuffy evening with certain people pontificating over the wines. No, we will drink the stuff with great food from Blanca.

Tuesday 10th July 2018
6.30 pm
Blanca Restaurant,
3&4/75-79 Hall Street,
Bondi Beach

$135 per head (all inclusive) – payment required with booking.

Email: info@fivewaycellars.com.au.
Tel 02 9360 4242

In March we celebrated our 31st birthday with a party for some of our favourite winemakers, suppliers and customers. Happy birthday to us 1987-2018.

Giaconda En-Primeur Offer
Vintage 2017

“Giaconda, the winery and four hectare vineyard Kinzbrunner established back in the early 1980’s, might just be the greatest wine estate in Australia. That’s no small claim. But let’s look at the facts. Every wine Giaconda makes is outstanding.” 
Huon Hooke, The Sydney Morning Herald

“These wines have a super-cult status and, given the tiny production, are extremely difficult to find; they are sold chiefly through restaurants and by mail order. All have a cosmopolitan edge befitting Rick Kinzbrunner’s international winemaking experience. The Chardonnay is one of Australia’s greatest.”
 James Halliday, Australian Wine Companion 2016

“In July 2006, Rick Kinzbrunner was voted one of the top ten white wine makers in the world by Decanter Magazine. My own tasting of these wines, especially Chardonnay and Shiraz, over the past few years echo all the great reviews. I would suggest drinking your chardonnays that are 2005 and older now while at the height of their powers. Last year I had a bottle of 2006 Chardonnay over two nights. The amount of complexity, funk and interest in the wine is more than you will find in any Australian Chardonnay. I have twice enjoyed the 2005 Warner Shiraz in the past year. It’s just hitting its straps now with bright cherry, Asian spices, smoked meat and cedar. The flavours are very long with some aged notes (smoky, earth and leather) combining with fresh cherry and spice. Super fine cedary elegant tannins. Quite delicious. I’m not exactly sure where it’s going, but I am liking the journey. The improved complexities and desirable characteristics that come with some age (across the entire range) lie as good reason to get your hands on some from this En-Primeur offer and bury them in the cellar. - Ian Cook, FWC


Order and pay now to secure your allocation. Please note that the prices quoted reflect the best possible price per bottle irrespective of the quantity purchased and that the prices in brackets will be the retail price when these wines arrive next year. As you can see there is a substantial price difference. The 2017 vintage wines will be available for delivery/collection in May 2019 and payment in full is required with your order (unless already sold out). 

We do have small quantities of Chardonnay 2016, Estate Shiraz 2016 & Warner Shiraz 2016 currently in stock if you would like any wine immediately. These wines were offered at en-primeur prices this time last year and are now available at full retail/case price. Please ask if interested.

Chardonnay (except magnums) is under screwcap, Estate Shiraz is under cork. As always, we expect our allocation to sell out quickly. All orders will be confirmed within 72 hours. Needless to say, it is best to get in quick!

Final note: Warner Shiraz and Pinot Noir in vintage 2017 were made in small quantities and are not offered via en primeur this year. In terms of Nebbiolo, Giaconda purchased a new Nebbiolo vineyard in 2015 and wine made from this site is now going in to Giaconda’s second label ‘Nantua Les Deux’ until vines mature. Giaconda Nantua Les Deux Nebbiolo 2017 will be available later in the year in limited quantities.

A very recent visit to Giaconda in June 2018 was a particularly special appointment. Whilst many wines were tasted, it was the barrel samples of the two wines below that were of particular interest given the timing of this offer. My notes below. – Ches Cook, FWC. 

Giaconda Estate Chardonnay 2017
Beechworth, Victoria
En-Primeur $120 (RRP $150)
MAGNUM En-Primeur $300 (RRP $375) VERY LIMITED

A stellar year for chardonnay from a perfect growing season. Powerful aromatics of white flowers and white stone fruits combine with the typical Giaconda signature of struck matchstick which is evolving nicely in barrel. The palate is vibrant, mineral and light on its feet yet full of power and strength [barrel tasting notes]. – Rick and Nathan Kinzbrunner. 

A 10/10 vintage as confirmed by Nathan Kinzbrunner as we enter the mineshaft below the winery that is the Giaconda barrel room. 25 metres underground we set about sampling from different barrels of 2017 Chardonnay to make an assessment of the components of wine that will make up the final blend. Wine will be in barrel for approximately another 6 months (from June 2018) before being bottled early 2019. The samples Nathan pour us look amazingly complete to me and to be honest, I would be more than happy to drink them as is. But the final blend is made up of tens of different barrels and it is the subtle variations in flavour profile that contribute to a truly complex wine. The power of the Chardonnay is what struck me: rich primary fruit, struck match and gunpowder, a ferrous character I usually identify with Giaconda Chardonnay and underlying minerality are all there. There is some subtle woodspice coming from barrels of a younger age and a flintiness to the finish in the wines taken from older, more neutral barrels. Basically I can confirm that this will remarkable Giaconda Chardonnay, right up there with the best made by this producer in their 36 year history. – Ches Cook, FWC. 

Giaconda Estate Vineyard Shiraz 2017
Beechworth, Victoria
(cork only)
En-Primeur $79 (RRP $100)

A complex, intriguing and refined Estate Shiraz from an excellent growing season. Initially there is meat and spice on the nose with a twist of black pepper. As this opens, notes of coal dust, graphite, violets and raspberry emerge. Laden with fruit and balanced with silky tannins, this wine augurs well for another refined and multilayered Estate release [barrel tasting notes]. – Rick and Nathan Kinzbrunner.

Australia’s answer to great Cornas of the Northern Rhone. This is a deep, dark and brooding wine with a large frame and lots of gutsy power but still with an overall feel of liveliness and finesse. Black olive, black pepper and black soil notes feature strongly on the the palate with a lick of acid running front to back.  There’s cinnamon, pencil wood and other spices sitting below the surface with moderate, fine tannings rounding the wine out at the finish. Perhaps slightly more elegant overall than the 2016 which would make sense considering the slightly cooler and more even growing season. Lots of personality here and destined to be a very long-lived wine. – Ches Cook, FWC. 


Outstanding Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the Mornington Peninsula
2016 Vintage

The 2016 vintage on the Mornington Peninsula was a contrast to 2015, with low rainfall and moderate to high yields. The quality though was above average to excellent for both Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Ten Minutes by Tractor continues to pursue excellence in both varieties and the resultant wines offered below are further proof (if needed) that this is one of the Peninsula’s and Australia’s top small producers. All wines are limited.

Andrew Graham (tasting notes) tasted the wines at Ten Minutes by Tractor in February and I tasted all wines in March. Todd Slater.

It’s deep and rich and incredibly varietal, lots of smooth velvety textured red fruits with a lick of forest, autumnal and sappy notes. There’s a richness here that suggests immediate drinking pleasure, plus it’s slinky and elegant. If richness is the key word for the aroma, so too the palate, though it’s here things become more complex. There is a depth to the fruit flavour - dark berries and plum skins and spice. Highly recommended at its price point. Over delivers. FWC.

“Generous to a fault and held together by surprisingly strong bones.” Julian Coldrey, Ten Minutes by Tractor.


“Now a blend of four vineyards, the Estate Chardonnay takes a different tack this year, the vintage warmth delivering a wine that has more width & volume. There’s an extra edge of white chocolate on the nose this year too, though backed with a more traditional white peach & nectarine that is the Ten Minutes by Tractor trademark. Underneath, it’s a broadly proportioned wine with notable depth of flavor this year- a more full throttle Estate Chardonnay- though with plenty of acidity to carry off the style.
Best drinking 2018-2026.” Andrew Graham, February 2018

Lifted citrus & stonefruit, melon & peach, deceptively light on its feet, with the weight emerging in the second half of the wine. Hints of matchstick, some spice & texture before a crunchy, fine finish. Excellent drinking here. Todd Slater, FWC.

Wild yeast, 15-25 days on skins, 12 months in new and old French oak.

“This year the Estate Pinot Noir has a slightly different personality. Bottled earlier and with more whole bunches, this has a surprising energy to it that makes it perhaps the most approachable Pinot Noir in the range (for now). Driven by cherry fruit with a ripple of vanilla and tomato leaf, it’s even and spicy with just a hint of jam. Love the open fruit of this vintage, yet with a spicy finish too. Lots to like. Best drinking 2018-2026.” Andrew Graham, February 2018.

Red & black cherries abound here, some brown spices & earth all pulsate through a palate that has more weight, depth & structure than usual. Some sour, sappy cherry fruit, all course through to an energized & complex finish. Over delivers at this level & will reward cellaring. Great value & drinking here. Todd Slater, FWC.

“The archetypal Ten Minutes by Tractor Chardonnay and in classic form here. Wallis typically has more acidity, and this year it has delivered a perfectly poised wine. An unmistakeable edge of Sao and a dash of caramel on the nose, the full palate flush with butterscotch flavours, the acidity a further punch after a power packed middle. Light on its feet, yet a seriously powerful wine in top form. Best drinking 2018-2018.” Andrew Graham, February 2018, Ten Minutes by Tractor.

More complex nose here, with matchstick, stone fruits, grapefruit & cashew, before a racy, fresh palate, that is a husk of coiled acidity & power. Marzipan & subtle citrus notes are there too, but the weight, poise & length carry it to a roaring crescendo. In great form & not to be missed. Todd Slater, FWC.

“As befitting a warm & early harvest, the 2016 Judd Chardonnay underwent only partial malolactic fermentation. To my taste that has helped give this an extra level of freshness, with more layers on show – waxy oak and brioche on the nose, whipped butter and white nectarine on the palate, the finish tight despite the extra alcohol warmth. A full bodied, yet carefully crafted and contained modern Mornington chardonnay. Best drinking 2018-2028.” Andrew Graham, February 2018, Ten Minutes by Tractor.

From the highest of the Ten Minutes by Tractor vineyards, Judd Chardonnay shows poached pear & pomelo on a fresh, poised palate with a salty mineral character here for me. The layers of fruit hint to what will emerge, over time. This will be a wine to enjoy & savor its journey over the next 6-8 years. Todd Slater, FWC.

The vineyard was planted in 1992. It’s all MV6 clone. It’s a steep-sided vineyard, facing north.

“McCutcheon is typically the more robust of the Chardonnay releases, and again it’s a wine of coiled power and weight. The acidity is lower this year yet you wouldn’t pick it in any way – it stills feels tight and surprisingly restrained. The season has delivered a significant wine though, a hint of matchstick funk, the golden nutty, bold flavours sitting below the surface like the leg muscles of a racehorse. Remarkable that it can look so fresh given the extra weight and plump mid palate. Best drinking 2018-2028.” Andrew Graham, February 2018

Faint citrus – yellow & white, subtle cashew, pecan & almond, with more overt power on the palate – subtle now, wrapped in a coiled spring of acidity. McCutcheon has always carried a bigger frame, but somehow always manages to do it in style, some spice, minerality & chalky notes all exert themselves into a long, poised finish. Delicious Chardonnay, that sits comfortably among the Peninsula’s very best. Highly recommended. Todd Slater, FWC.

They only make 114 dozen of this. It’s made using all-clone 115, the vines themselves planted in 1990. The Judd vineyard is the steepest and highest in the 10X portfolio.

“As ever, painfully low yields make the Judd Pinot Noir an extremely concentrated wine. Indeed, this feels like a classic Mornington Pinot, the sappy strawberry fruit lifted by background vanillin oak sweetness. It’s a masculine Pinot this year, the open flavours through the mid palate brought back in by a finish with low acidity but with pronounced tannins and drive. A powerful Judd release, with high potential for cellaring joy. Best drinking 2018-2028.” Andrew Graham, February 2018.

Pomegranate & Campari nose, all brown & red spices, underpinned by cherries, more spice & some sappy layered dark fruit. The wine opens onto a palate that is layered & a husk of muscle now, not heavy, just loaded with sweet & sour cherry fruit, that ripples out into a fine complex finish. Will cellar beautifully, if you possess the patience. Todd Slater, FWC.

The Coolart Road Pinot Noir is from a warmer site, planted in 2000. It’s the most immediately accessible of the single vineyard releases but there’s little to say that it won’t hold and develop well over the coming years.

“The Coolart Road vineyard is the earliest picked of the Ten Minutes by Tractor vineyards and typically produces a more fleshy wine. Yet in 2016 it is a different beast, with darker, savory, meaty plum fruit and an earthen edge. The grapes for this wine were picked over several days at a range of different ripeness levels; a move which ultimately delivers surprising complexity. A brooding Pinot Noir, from a vineyard otherwise known for easy-going flavours. Best drinking 2018-2028.” Andrew Graham, February 2018.

A more feminine and alluring nose this year, red cherry, racy, & lacy, with a waft of red florals for good measure. In the mouth the fruit comes over much richer, with red & dark cherry fruit, plum, savory spice, with subtle hints of complexity buried below. Expansive in style it finishes long, complex, meaty & very moreish. Barbequed duck or spicy spare ribs would take it to another level again, now or in the future. Don’t miss it. Todd Slater, FWC.

The vineyard was planted in 1992. It’s all MV6 clone. It’s a steep-sided vineyard, facing north.

“The McCutcheon Vineyard typically delivers one of the most classic Mornington Pinot expressions and it doesn’t disappoint here. Interestingly, the acidity here has that mouthfeel ‘fizz’ you see in Burgundy, a nod to the perfect balance of McCutcheon. It’s a wine that is still unveiling in the bottle, the hints of black pepper and blackberry hinting at the balance lying below, the tannins not aggressive, but a presence. The very model of a modern Mornington Pinot. Best drinking 2018-2028.” Andrew Graham, February 2018.

A brighter & deeper nose of spice, sweet & sour red cherries & darker rose florals. Unloads on the palate with a spicy, autumnal feel, structured with layers of rich, complex Pinot fruit that will emerge in the ensuing years. The McCutcheon muscle is flexed via a long & fine finish, that reminds you that this is in the top echelon of Pinot in Australia. Highly recommended. Todd Slater, FWC.

This is from the middle block of the Wallis vineyard, which is all planted to MV6 pinot noir in 1992. Production is 170 dozen only. All wild yeast, 100% destemmed, 31% new oak.

“Perhaps the only challenge with the 2016 Wallis Pinot Noir is that its personality is anything but open. Instead, it’s a really black fruited wine. Blackcurrants, cloves, spice aplenty. It’s just a fraction bitter, with a deliberately savory mode and with almost molten berry concentration to it. The mysterious Pinot Noir stranger in the corner, this will please those looking for a more restrained, subtly powerful style. Best drinking 2018-2028.” Andrew Graham, February 2018.

Lifted cherries, spice, Campari & herbs, alluring & complex from the first whiff. The juicy & seamlessly fruited palate is layered with initially clove & brown spices, more of that ‘Campari’ character and underpinned by fine boned acidity & structure. The Wallis tightens up in the second half finishing long, coiled, poised & pure. Don’t miss it. Todd Slater, FWC

Our Christmas 2017 brochure is here!
Ian Cook writes in our latest Christmas brochure: The classical historian Tacitus had this to say of Rome’s ancient adversaries from Germania – “They formed their counsels (to make a resolution of war) while they were drunk, so they would not be lacking in vigour, and reflected on them while sober, so they would not be without understanding.” Don't let that hold you back from ordering from the best Christmas selection we have ever assembled: Australian chardonnays at the top of their game; the country's best rieslings; champagnes and sparklings; spirits (including a great selection of vermouths!); pinot noirs and shiraz; cabernet sauvignons and lots of imports; plus our "short arms deep pockets" recommendations to get you through a few Christmas parties without breaking the bank.


The new wines & disgorgements
“Egly-Ouriet is one of the reference-point growers in Champagne, with a deep selection of wines that offer remarkable transparency to site, vintage and variety ... These are among the most pure, unmanipulated Champagnes readers will come across, and the estate’s new releases are all highly recommended.” Antonio Galloni, The Wine Advocate

“Few producers can equal Francis Egly in skill and experience, and larger houses cannot hope to emulate the cultivation norms…” Michel Bettane and Thierry Desseauve, The World's Greatest Wines

“What Larmandier-Bernier achieves with Chardonnay, so Egly-Ouriet manages for Pinot Noir: wines of riveting purity and concentration.” Andrew Jefford, The New France

10/10 in Tyson Stelzer’s The Champagne Guide 2016 – one of only four producers with this rating. The other three are: Bollinger, Charles Heidsieck and Krug. Hallowed turf. Five Way Cellars rates Egly No.1. Egly is the only grower producer of these top 4.

La Revue du vin de France 2017 Grower Champagne Classification: No.2 (between Selosse & Agrapart!)

“The Egly-Ouriet Champagnes are built on maniacal attention in the vineyards, vinification in oak, long aging in bottle before disgorgement and low dosage, all of which yield rich, vinous Champagnes of tremendous density and power. … These wines confirm Egly's standing among the elite grower estates in Champagne.” Antonio Galloni, July 2017

We note that in some cases, the third party reviews below refer to the previous blends. We are including these as the reliability of the wines is well noted. This producer is so remarkably consistent these days that we think you all know what to expect. Reviews marked with ** are specific to this particular release.

NV Egly-Ouriet ‘Les Vignes de Vrigny’
Vintages: 2013 (50%), 2012 (30%) & 2011 (20%). Disgorged: July 2017. Time on lees: 36 months

100% Pinot Meunier from a single, 40 year old, south facing vineyard in Vrigny, a commune located on the Petite Montagne de Reims (very close to Gueux, where Jérôme Prévost is based). Straight Pinot Meunier remains a rarity in Champagne and in Egly’s hands it is something special. Low yields, old vines and ripe fruit make this one of the most intense Meunier wines kicking around. Spicy, textural, yet very dry and mineral. Bottled without filtration. Dosage for this bottling is 4g/l, so within Extra Brut territory.

“The NV Les Vignes de Vrigny (100% Pinot Meunier) is soft, open-knit and gracious. Lemon peel, flowers and white pepper give the wine its brightness and aromatic lift, while there is plenty of underlying creaminess to carry the mid-palate and finish. Gentle and caressing, the Les Vignes de Vrigny will drink well with minimal cellaring. This release is based on 2012, with reserve wines from 2011 and 2010.” 92 points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com, July 2017

“Egly-Ouriet crafts one of Champagne’s most flattering single-vineyard Pinot Meuniers, faithfully translating every detail of the succulent depth of this grape’s enticing full golden yellow hue and its fleshy Mirabelle plum, red cherry, dried pear and grapefruit character.”
95 points, Tyson Stelzer, The Champagne Guide 2015-2016

NV Egly-Ouriet Grand Cru ‘Brut Tradition’
Vintages: 2012 (50%), 2011 (30%) & 2010 (20%). Disgorged: July 2017. Time on lees: 48 months

This is a striking wine that reflects both the superb Grand Cru vineyards from which it is sourced (Ambonnay and the surrounds), as well as the meticulous viticulture and winemaking of the perfectionist that is Francis Egly. It’s made up of 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay from low yielding vines that have been harvested fully ripe. Natural fermentation with wild yeasts only and the first period of maturation (before going to bottle) lasts almost one year with the wine remaining on its fine lees for the whole time. The wines clarify slowly and naturally, as was once typical across the region, and as such there is no fining nor filtration. At least 50% of the wine is fermented and aged in oak casks and the dosage is tiny, around 2g/l, so again, well within Extra Brut territory. It is the wine we receive the most of, although demand still well outstrips supply. The quality is, as always, out of this world (2012 is an outstanding vintage which helps as well). It’s a wine that puts to shame many a prestige cuvée at double the price. A paradox indeed.

“From the very first cuvée, Egly-Ouriet is distinguished for its ability to preserve exacting precision and outstanding chalk mineral focus in the midst of magnificent generosity. A vinous wine of calm authority, carrying the full grandeur and complexity of carefully tended, low-yielding, old vine Pinot Noir on some of Champagne’s most revered grand crus… A paradox of luxurious generosity and crystalline purity.”95 points, Tyson Stelzer, The Champagne Guide 2015-2016

NV Egly-Ouriet Grand Cru ‘Extra Brut V.P.’
Vintages: Equal parts 2009, 2008 & 2007. Disgorged: May 2017. Time on lees: 80 months

The V.P. stands for ‘Vieillissement Prolongé’ (prolonged ageing), as the wine spends so long on lees. A blend of 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay, the fruit comes from Ambonnay, Bouzy and Verzenay – all great Grand Cru terroirs. Vinification and élevage is in oak casks, with the dosage being just over 2g/l, so Extra Brut. The power of the fruit, plus the extended lees ageing grants such harmony, such length, so much complexity and texture, that the dosage seems irrelevant. A vinous, pure Champagne of great stature and breed. Powerful, yet with so much finesse. After some seven years in Egly’s cellar, this cuvée is truly singing.

“2008 base vintage. Disgorged May 2016. Tasted in Australia. 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay from Ambonnay, Bouzy and Verzenay; 60% 2008, 40% 2006; vinified and aged in oak casks; aged 82 months on lees; 3g/L dosage.

In an age when single-vineyard, single-varietal, single-vintage champagnes are all the rage, it remains that blends triumph most often, even in an estate as tiny as Egly-Ouriet. Power meets effortless calm as Champagne’s three finest pinot noir crus unite with breathtaking expression of lifted violet perfume and sensational purity of red cherry and strawberry fruit. Chardonnay injects energy and definition into a mouthfeel that bores to the core of grand cru chalk, intricately and seamlessly entwining a palate of flittering minerality of the finest texture. Magnificently defined acidity is at once bright, youthful and energetic, yet simultaneously ripe, full and integrated. The 2008 base propels with energy and purity, juxtaposing the grand depth and stature of 2006, yet never competing. Francis Egly has bottled the ultimate expression of the refinement and towering magnificence of Ambonnay, Bouzy and Verzenay.”
98 points, Tyson Stelzer, The Champagne Guide 2018-2019

NV Egly-Ouriet Grand Cru Brut Rosé
Vintages: 2011 (60%), 2010 (20%) & 2009 (20%). Disgorged: May 2017. Time on lees: 58 months

One of the greatest rosé wines of Champagne and a wine of haunting finesse. The blend, bottled in 2012, is 65% Pinot Noir and 35% Chardonnay with 60% coming from 2011 and 40% vins de réserve (split equally between 2010 and 2009). Then there is the 5% Coteaux Champenois Rouge (arguably the finest red wine of the AOC) from the powerful 2009 harvest that gives the wine its colour and a great deal of character to boot. Dosage is a negligible 2g/l. We do not know of another rosé Champagne that can match Egly’s version for purity and finesse. The fruit is from 100% Grand Cru vines, grown by one of the most meticulous vignerons of the region. Unbelievably fine, perfumed and ‘Pinot’ fruited, this is something truly special.

“2011 base vintage. Disgorged July 2016.Tasted in Australia. Similar composition to Brut Tradition with 5% 2009 red wine from Ambonnay; 60% 2011, 20% 2010 and 20% 2009; aged 48 months on lees. 2g/L dosage.

Rumbling power with delicate finesse, this is a rosé of medium-salmon hue, bursting with the exuberance and beguiling transparency of Ambonnay pinot noir. Sensational perfume of rose hip, red cherry and mixed spice heralds a rosé that sings with the magnificent red-fruits purity of the village, to a thundering undercurrent of grand complexity of dark fruit cake and spice. Yet at every instant it is light, refreshing and breathtakingly energetic. Francis Egly’s genius is on grand display here in achieving acidity so lively and so focused and yet, at the same time, ripe, full and enticing. All the more profound in the traumatic 2011 season. Chalk minerality underscores every magnificent moment.” 96 points, Tyson Stelzer, The Champagne Guide 2018-2019

NV Egly-Ouriet Grand Cru Blanc de Noirs “Vieilles Vignes”
Vintages: 2010 (50%) & 2009 (50%). Disgorged: May 2017. Time on lees: 70 months

The emblematic wine from Francis Egly and the one that first brought him international acclaim. It was Michel Bettane, the influential French critic, who encouraged Egly to bottle this single vineyard wine separately and the first vintage was in 1989. As you may be aware, this wine was once the product of a single vintage, but this is no longer the case. Egly has learnt through experience that he is better able to express this magnificent terroir more completely when he blends two vintages together. This cuvée was bottled in 2011 and 50% of the assemblage is from the 2010 vintage and 50% from 2009. 100% vinification and ageing was in barrique as always. Dosage is 3g/l. The fruit comes from a single, brilliant terroir known as Les Crayères, and the vines here were planted in 1946 (so now 70 years old). The soil is hardly 30cm deep, then it’s chalk, hundreds of metres down - hence the name of the site (craie is French for chalk). The old vines are deeply rooted in this chalk subsoil, giving the wine its classic, mineral vibrancy, woven through the powerful, textured Pinot fruit. The concentration here is a product of the ripeness that both the site and its ancient vines naturally deliver. Les Crayères is situated mid-slope with a full south facing exposure, not far from the Estate’s cellars. The wine that results is both a tribute to the greatest sites of Ambonnay and to the Egly-Ouriet Domaine. Houses that emphasise blending may consider a 100% old vine Ambonnay like this to be too rich. Egly gives it to you pure and powerful. It’s a unique wine, built for food and for ageing. Always better a year or two after landing, this is already drinking wonderfully well. Like all Egly Champagnes, it’s a wine first and a Champagne second. A unique expression of a singular terroir, and truly one of the greatest wines of the region.

** “Bright, floral and lifted, the NV Blanc de Noirs Les Crayeres VV Grand Cru is another fabulous Champagne from Egly-Ouriet. The flavors are remarkably precise in this breathtakingly beautiful, vibrant Champagne. Tension, precision and energy are the signatures. This release is 50% 2010 and 50% 2009. Readers who can find the Crayeres should not hesitate, as it is superb. Dosage is 2 grams per liter. 95+ points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com, July 2017

“2009 base vintage. Disgorged May 2016. Tasted in Australia.
100% pinot noir; 50% 2009 and 50% 2008; fully vinified and aged in barriques; aged 70 months on lees.

From a single lieu-dit, ‘Les Crayères’, planted in shallow soils in 1946, this warm amphitheatre high up the Ambonnay slope epitomizes the golden sunlight, glowing warmth and magnificent mineral expression of Egly-Ouriet. Hedonistic aromas of black cherries, plum pie and violets erupt in grand cru red Burgundy proportions, backed with notes of dark chocolate and exotic spice. In sheer volume, depth and persistence, this cuvee pushes champagne into another world. Yet, crucially and mesmerizingly, it is never for a moment heavy or blowsy, pulled exactingly into tight line by gorgeous, bright yet perfectly ripe and generous acidity. With barely a foot of topsoil before the chalk, the mineral character of this hallowed site speaks articulately in softly salty tones that will stir the depths of your soul.” 98 points, Tyson Stelzer, The Champagne Guide 2018-2019

2007 Egly-Ouriet Grand Cru ‘Millésime’
Vintages: 2007. Disgorged: May 2017. Time on lees: 106 months

This is 70% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay from 40 year old vines in Ambonnay, aged completely in barrel, no malo and virtually no dosage. It is a seductive expression of Ambonnay and, with the Blanc de Noirs, represents one of the very finest expressions of the Montagne de Reims Grand Cru villages. This is not a powerful year yet the wine has great depth and wave after wave of seductive fruit. Stunning.

**“The 2007 Vintage is a striking, radiant Champagne. Apricot, chamomile, vanillin and lightly honeyed notes give the wine its racy, flamboyant personality. This is an especially voluptuous, opulent wine by present day Egly-Ouriet standards. Francis Egly adds that he picked this fruit very late. Dosage is 4 grams per liter. Disgorged January 2017.” 94 points, Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, July 2017

2005 Egly-Ouriet Grand Cru ‘Millésime’ Magnum
Disgorged: July 2017.Time on lees: 132 months

With something like 10 years on lees, this was always going to be something special. As with the above, this is 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay from 40 year-old vines in Ambonnay. The wine was aged completely in barrel, no malo and less than 2 g/l dosage. The 2005 vintage produced deep and powerful wines and this is stupendous; luxuriously creamy, layered yet structured with dark fruits, stone fruits, and hints of almond and honey — distinctive of the great Pinot vintages. Although it is super generous, it’s also mesmerizingly fresh and compact, long as anything and the finish lingers forever.

** “Honey and butterscotch aroma. Apricot brioche – smells like a pâtisserie in the best way! Full and rich but so fresh, deeply, richly flavoured with toasty breadth. Long and satisfying - a meal in itself. And all kept youthful by a sour freshness at the very finish.” 17/20 points, Jancisrobinson.com


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