New Pinot from By Farr, Chateau de la Tour, Keller and some pretty special PX from Toro Albala
Another week greets us with a really diverse selection of wines on offer. We have stunning new release Pinots from the Farrs including a brand new wine from the famed Cote vineyard. We have a thimble of an allocation from an MW favourite Chateau de la Tour, home to some of the greatest Clos Vougeot there is! There's some new Rieslings from that rock star Keller and you'll be surprised by how affordable these wines are, perfect for the cellar or Spring quaffing. Finally for those who love sherry (no it's not an old fashioned drink) there's some really cool new (and old) stuff from Toro Albala. If you love PX and have always wanted to try one from the 1940s or 50s, this is your chance.
These wines are available now at our special offer prices for the next 7 days only. To place your order return the attached form, by email, by fax on 03 9419 6970 or by or calling us on 03 9419 6990.
The Farr family has presented a resolute and faithful rendering of the vineyards of Geelong since 1978. That’s when Gary Farr started out as winemaker at Bannockburn. His intimate nurturing of the land on his doorstep was informed by a dozen vintages at Domaine Dujac in Burgundy, stints in the USA at Cristom, Oregon and Calera, California, and sojourns to areas such as the Shiraz and Viognier heartland of the Rhône Valley. Prescient and purposeful planting of the By Farr vineyards began in 1994 and the wines that ensued quickly established a formidable reputation. Nick Farr took charge of the range in 2009, and his comment that his father is 90% of his winemaking inspiration is borne out by the attitude, depth of character and understated finesse of the wines. But there’s no doubt that Nick is taking these wines forward with great conviction and instinct. His 2015 and '16 wines are nothing short of breathtaking.
This week we offer the latest release of the highly sought after Tout Pres Pinot and a brand new wine, the RP Pinot, grown in the Cote vineyard and named in honour or Robyn Farr who's probably done as much work as Gary and Nick to make the By Farr estate so successful.
2015 Tout Pres Pinot Noir
This is another pinot masterpiece from the experienced hands of Gary Farr. Super concentrated and commanding, it has the classic iron fist in a velvet-glove style of powerful elegance. The nose is composed and fragrant with rich dark-cherry fruits, bergamot, fresh forresty aromas and cola; oak is beautifully integrated. The palate has impeccable balance from start to finish. Dense and yet silky. The tannins build evenly and the wine flows effortlessly, delivering dark spiced cherry flavor with essence-like concentration. This has all the class of Grand Cru Burgundy. Drink now and for up to 10+ years.
James Suckling, 97 Points
2015 RP Pinot Noir
This wine is pretty and so very perfumed. The cote sites simply produce amazing smoothness and calmness that stretches the length of the palate as with the GC. Abundance of fruit leading to fine and detailed tannin structure. We have been playing with the fruit from these vineyards for more than 8 years, fine tuning the style of wine that these vineyards are producing. To Robyn, Cheers.
Chateau de la Tour
François Labet told me that 2015 was a "precocious vintage where we realized relatively tiny yields in Clos de Vougeot thanks to a very high incidence of shatter during the flowering, which is to say around 20 hl/ha. We chose to begin harvesting on the 8th of September and the fruit was spotlessly clean, ripe and with very thick skins. The vinifications were easy and we did almost no punching down as it would have been very easy to extract too much structure. As to the wines they are still of course developing but they appear to be extremely promising. The tannins are phenolically mature and the fruit is very ripe yet it's not ripe in the same fashion as say 2003 or 2009 and thus the terroir transparency is better. I like them a lot and they should be reasonably approachable young yet they're so concentrated that they should age for decades." The La Tour 2015s are indeed very promising and should prove to be exceptionally long-lived.
Allen Meadows, Burghound
2015 Chateau de la Tour Clos-Vougeot Cuvée Classique
Notes of herbal tea, floral, spice and earth add breadth to the very ripe black raspberry and plum scents. The exceptionally rich, lush and concentrated big-bodied flavors coat the palate with sap before culminating in a youthfully austere, serious and wonderfully long finish. This is a substantially constituted wine but it's not huge.
91-94 points, Allen Meadows, Burghound, Issue 65
2015 Chateau de la Tour Clos-Vougeot VV
Sweet Spot. This is aromatically similar to the regular cuvée but there is notably more concentration, power and dry extract that pushes the very firm tannic spine to the background on the hugely long, palate coating and driving finish. This is a manifestly old school Clos de Vougeot that is not only very much built-to-age but is going to require lots of it. In a word, excellent.
92-95 points, Allen Meadows, Burghound, Issue 65
When you think of the greatest producers of Riesling on earth it's hard to not put Keller into the conversation. They consistently produce wines of impeccable balance with sugar and acidity working together in perfect harmony. Unlike many wines of the Mosel these wines from Rheinhessen lean more to the dry side of the scale and have that great ability to be approachable on release but stunning with bottle age. These are as affordable as any Kellers we've ever offered so if you haven't tried this producer before we'd suggest taking the giving them a shot.
2016 Riesling Trocken
Crunchy and explosive, but don’t be scared. Lime and green apple, intensity and power through the mid-palate, a chalky texture, stony acidity, and a long savoury and tart finish tweaked with a citrus zest and quinine bitterness. Complex and delicious even now.
Gary Walsh, Wine Front, 94 Points
2016 Riesling 'Von der Fels'
Still has the lemon/grapefruit notes of the estate Riesling trocken but with a little more complexity of minerality, not quite smoky more dusty, in a Chablis-like way. So mouth-watering it is almost chewy, with plenty of extract. Lightly mineral on the palate too and with a long, fresh citrus tail.
Julia Harding MW, JancisRobinson.com, 17/20 Points
2016 'Pius' Beerenauslese 375mL
While known as one of the greatest German producers of dry riesling, Keller also produces some stunning wines in a sweeter vein. The 'Pius' Beerenauslese is the entry point to their luscious styles and is a fascinating blend of botrytised Riesling, old vine Rieslaner and old vine Scheurebe.
Like most Aussie wine consumers we don't have cases and cases of PX sitting in the cellar but you know what...we should! Aussie fortified producers may make world class fortified but there's nothing like authentic PX to float your boat. Such texture and depth is hard to achieve but Toro Albala, one of the remaining producers in Andalucía have been doing it for decades. Toro Albalá has some of the finest vineyard holdings in Montilla – mature, bush vines that are managed organically. They are also the largest holder of ancient, vintage stocks of PX. In fact, Toro Albalá is the only producer of vintage labelled PX in the region. On top of the organic management of the vineyards, sulphur is not used and the wines are often unfortified (the ripeness of the wines meaning that there is enough natural alcohol).
We have a great value new release 2015 plus some incredible older vintages dating back to the 1940s! Give them a shot, you won't be disappointed.
2015 Don Pedro Ximenez
The Don PX wines come from the youngest, sweet vintage wines of Toro Albalá... As these early release wines are not barrel aged nor blended, they are wonderfully pure, grapey examples of Pedro and capture all the delicious raisin and honey notes and tanginess of the style before rancio sets in. The palate of the 2015 glows with concentrated fig, honey and dried fruit notes and finishes with a warm, lingering, sweet finish. This is our kind of amber nectar. It has around 430 grams of sugar and was fortified to 17% alcohol. Despite this natural sugar level it remains remarkably bright and fresh. This can be opened for ever by the way, as can all the PX wines offered here, which makes them perfect for pouring by the glass or keeping open in the fridge.
1987 Don Pedro Ximenez Gran Reserva
This showcases the classical aromas and palate of an old PX from Montilla, strong notes of dark chocolate, dried figs and plums, raisins and sweet spices; the dense, thick and persistent palate where the 380 grams of unfermented sugar are not noticeable, as they are balanced by good acidity that also gets concentrated by age. This is probably the densest of all the wines I tasted today, and there is a distinct, perfumed, almost floral note here (is it violet pastille?), which makes it extremely attractive. It's also the most drinkable of all these old vintages, very balanced within its sweet profile, with marked flavors (also licorice and black olives) that stay in your mouth for one minute. Exotic and exuberant. This is incredibly young and lively, and very good value for the age and quality it delivers.
Luis Gutierrez, Robert Parker Wine Advocate #224, 94 points
1973 Don Pedro Ximenez Vieja Cosecha
The 1973 Don PX [Cosecha Vieja] is part of a new range of more accessible old wines, not as extreme as the Convento or Convento Selección ranges of extremely old wines. This is slightly lighter in the palate with a little less sugar, some 320 grams per liter. The vineyards that produced these grapes do not exist today; they were on very soft marls soils. The dehydrated grapes fermented between 3% and 9% and then the wine was fortified and today bottled at 17%. It's somehow reminiscent of the 1987, very perfumed and aromatic, a little exotic, with even some minty notes. The palate is very concentrated, round, with an oily texture that fills your mouth.
Luis Gutiérrez, The Wine Advocate #224, 95 points
1955 Don Pedro Ximenez Convento Seleccion
One more single-harvest, old sweet wine, the 1955 Don PX Convento Selección was bottled in September 2014 and it had been aged slowly in very old American oak barrels and getting thick and concentrated through evaporation. It's 320 grams of sugar are (partially) compensated by 6.5 grams of acidity. It has a nose and palate of chocolate-covered candied orange, spices, molasses. I'd say the dominant aromas in the nose are dark chocolate. It's very dense, developing notes of very concentrated licorice and balsamic, mint, camphor and evolving notes of petrol with time. Complex, rare and unique.
Luis Gutiérrez, The Wine Advocate #216, 98 points
1949 Don Pedro Ximenez Seleccion
The 1949 … differs from the other old wines from the winery as it is less dark, it even has a (very dark) translucent tone compared with the others, maybe because it has 2% more alcohol. It feels incredibly elegant and balanced, fresher in comparison than the beasts from 1962 and 1946, medicinal, full of spicy notes of cinnamon, cloves, a touch of ash, and the smell of an antique shop. The palate is fluid, sweet and fresh. Putting a drinking window to these wines feels a bit silly. You should drink it whenever you have the occasion. Drink 2013-2040.
97 Points, Luis Gutiérrez, The Wine Advocate #208
All wines above are available now at our special offer prices for the next 7 days only. To place your order return the attached form, by email, by fax on 03 9419 6970 or by or calling us on 03 9419 6990.