The Australian wine industry is the world's fourth largest exporter of wine with approximately 750 million litres a year to the international export market with only about 40% of production consumed domestically. Wine is produced in every state, with more than 60 designated wine regions totaling approximately 160,000 hectares; however Australia's wine regions are mainly in the southern, cooler parts of the country, with vineyards located in South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia, Tasmania and Queensland. The wine regions in each of these states produce different wine varieties and styles that take advantage of the particular terroir such as: climatic differences, topography and soil types. With the major varieties being predominantly Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Semillon, Pinot noir, Riesling, and Sauvignon Blanc. Wines are often labeled with the name of their grape variety, which must constitute at least 85 percent of the wine.
- Item #: i_381616Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 90WINE SPECTATOR 90 POINTS - "Crisp and bright, offering a mix of bright cherry, mineral and white pepper notes that add an air of delicacy and precision. The tannins are firm and in the background. Drink now through 2026."
The Cirillo family are custodians of what it is believed to be the oldest continuously producing Grenache and Semillon vineyards in the world. Planted in 1848, these vines are not only a part of the Barossa history, but Australia’s winemaking heritage. That is a long time ago! To put it into perspective, the California Gold Rush began the same year when the precious metal was discovered at Sutter’s Mill. The Cirillo’s winemaking heritage spans back over 9 generations to the Southern Italian province of Calabria.
The vineyard sits on what was an old inland lake over 100 Million years ago. The soil is deep silt sand over limestone and clay. This combination of free-draining topsoil and water-holding subsoil has sustained the 7 acres of grenache. The gnarled and wizened basket pruned bush Grenache vines stand up to 6 feet high and nearly 6 feet wide. For these vines to survive at this age, they need constant attention through-out the year. Owner and Winemaker Marco Cirillo spends every spare moment training, pruning and nurturing each vine through its fragile life. The result is fruit with incredible intensity and old vine richness not often seen.
During primary fermentation the wine is hand tended 2 to 4 times per day. Once the ferment is complete it is carefully transferred into an 800kg basket press which will then allow intimate control of the tannin, fruit and overall structure of the wine. It is then stored in seasoned 60% French and 40% American oak hogsheads for up to 24 months.
Most of the grapes from these ancient vines are sold to the great Australian producer, Torbreck, leaving only a small portion for Cirillo to use in these wines. These wines produced from gnarled and wizened trunks are something to be treasured and enjoyed.
- Item #: i_378935Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93James Suckling: 91WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS - "A Grenache, Shiraz, Mataro blend, the 2015 Plexus has a pale to medium garnet-purple color and nose of kirsch, red currant jelly and raspberry preserves with hints of Chinese five spice, hoisin, roses, black pepper and underbrush. Rich, concentrated, full-bodied and full-on seductive, it fills the palate with exotically spiced red fruit preserves. With plush tannins and a balanced freshness, it has a perfumed finish with satisfying persistence."
JAMES SUCKLING 91 POINTS - "A flavorful red with lots of juicy-fruit and chocolate character. Full body, round and juicy tannins and a savory finish. "
- Item #: i_377499Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 90WINE ADVOCATE 90 POINTS - "Composed of 96% Shiraz and 4% Viognier, the 2015 Shiraz / Viognier Hangin' Snakes displays a deep garnet-purple color and a nose of fresh black currants and black cherries with hints of violets, Provence herbs, cloves and cinnamon stick. The black fruit and spices fill the medium-bodied palate, supported by soft, approachable tannins and just enough freshness, finishing long and perfumed."
ANTONIO GALLONI; VINOUS 90 POINTS - "Vivid purple. Spice-tinged blue fruits and violet on the fragrant nose. Sweet and seamless in texture, offering juicy boysenberry and cherry flavors that tighten up slowly on the back half. Lingers with very good tenacity and just a hint of dusty tannins that add final grip."
The history of Langmeil's Lindner family paints a rich portrait of farming, food, community and wine which can be traced back six generations to the central European region known as Silesia. The Freedom 1843 Shiraz is believed to be the oldest surviving shiraz vineyard in the world. Called Langmeil, the name of the trading village established in 1842, by the Lindner family whose own mark on the Barossa spans six-generations. Langmeil is renowned for its preservation of old vines and the making of distinguished wines from these cherished sites.
- Item #: i_380657Bottle Size: 750mlWINEMAKER NOTES - "Deep crimson with purple hues. A rich aroma of red and blue fruits, herbs and cedar, entwine with hints of sage, chocolate and savoury notes. Juicy Raspberry and Satsuma plum fills the mouth, with allspice sweetness adding to the mouthfeel. The fruit is well balanced with hints of briary spice and textured, fine tannin." Add to that a distinctive eucalyptol that gives the wine a cooling sensation. This is a big, soft, warming wine with a heady perfume.
"Orphan Bank is testament to Langmeil’s commitment to preserving old and rare Barossa vineyards. Ten rows of Shiraz planted pre-1860 were saved from the developer’s bulldozer and replanted alongside the original Langmeil vineyard on the banks of the River Para. We called these ten rows the “Orphans” but after 150 years they have a new home."
- Item #: i_381097Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 95James Suckling: 94Decanter: 96 PointsWine Enthusiast: 95 Points#38 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2018
WINE SPECTATOR 95 POINTS - " Supple and creamy up front, with precision to the nutmeg, lemon curd, verbena and mandarin orange flavors, which are intense and harmonious. The elegant body and lingering accents of ginger and citrus zest elevate this white to something special. Drink now through 2028."
- Item #: i_382795Bottle Size: 750mlJames Suckling: 9250% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Shiraz, 13% Merlot
This is a seriously delicious wine for the price that will satisfy full-bodied wine lovers who enjoy the cocoa and vanilla notes that come with well-judged use of oak, and a crushed velvet texture that has softened since Suckling tasted it!
JAMES SUCKLING 92 POINTS - "A dense and chewy wine with lots of chocolate, berry and hints of herbs. Full body, tannic and flavorful...Try in 2019 [and on]."
WINERY NOTES - "Deep plum in color with vivid red hues. Lifted cassis and leaf with cedar and clove spice. The fragrant cabernet sauvignon dominates with bright red fruits and plums. The palate is rich and generous with plush dark fruits. The red and black currants, Satsuma plums and raspberries are balanced by fine savory tannins and cedary oak."
- Item #: i_377854Bottle Size: EACHAustralia's roots in Rhone grapes go back to the founding of the Barossa Valley in the 1840's and 50's. There are Shiraz/Syrah vines in Barossa that are over 150 years old alongside similar pockets of old-vine Grenache and Mourvedre. A "Chateauneuf-style" blend is a natural for Australia, but in the past, these wines were usually bottled by varietal. Yalumba has been at it longer than most (163 years!), but this is the first release for "The Strapper" blend. We had to wonder what took them so long! The pretty red fruit of the Grenache adds brightness and elegance to some powerful, spicy notes from the Mourvedre (aka, "Mataro.") This wine is serious and responds nicely to a bit of air-time, moving from brooding black fruit to high-tone pomegranate, rose petals, and kirsch.
- Item #: i_377538Bottle Size: 750mlMade by Australia’s oldest family-owned winery, Yalumba, this wine reflects the traditions of the acclaimed wines from the Northern Rhone. Yalumba is one of our 'go to' wines when talking Australia. And the Yalumba 'Hand Picked' Shiraz/Viognier 2014 is no exception. This is a wine with limited availability so we did our best to grab as much as we could from the distributor. As is the tradition in the Cote-Rotie (and the rules of the appellation), the Syrah (or, in Australian verbiage, Shiraz) is co-fermented with a smaller percentage of the white varietal, Viognier. Yalumba's Hand Picked Shiraz/Viognier undergoes that same winemaking process of co-fermentation. The Shiraz, along with a small amount of Viognier, are actually crushed and fermented together (what harmony!). The addition of the Viognier intensifies the color, adds an extra dimension and a wonderful fragrance to the bouquet. It also brings softness to that rich and powerful Barossa Shiraz. It's as if the Shiraz underwent training in etiquette to tone down its demeanor! The result is a wine of elegance, a term not typically associated with Barossa Shiraz! Inside the bottle, the wine has the full and alluring flavors of Barossa along with a good level of acidity to make it lively.
- Item #: i_377014Bottle Size: 750mlJames Suckling: 96JAMES SUCKLING 96 POINTS - "There’s a very direct feel to this grenache, from a parcel planted in the 1880’s. The fresh, red-floral perfume and the raspberry and redcurrant aromas are so beautifully fresh. The palate has directness, intensity, focus and elegance with a very vibrant, gently tart red-fruit core. Holds long, pure and fresh. "