Having known this particular Chateau for many years, we are surprised that we haven’t gotten around to importing it before. A blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon from an exceptionally good vintage, the wine exhibits dark berry fruit, a touch of cassis and dust yet with lovely acidity, vibrancy and freshness. Drinking beautifully now, just let it breath for a good couple of hours so it opens up to come into its own. Magical!
“This is a great vintage for this wine with a very fresh, attractive delivery in a full-bodied style. Ripe red plums, blackberries and cherries with a cedary, tobacco edge, purple olives and fruit-steeped roasting herbs. It has a very intense, crisply cut palate that has flavours of dark cherries, blackberries, chocolate and such attractive spice complexity. Runs long on the focused finish. Regal. A great Caley. A blend of 74% Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon and 26% Barossa Shiraz. Try from 2023.” 98 Points – Nick Stock, JamesSuckling.com
Dark and bright, Awatea Cabernets/Merlot ’18 is an inky purple with an electric crimson edge. From a warm and dry vintage, Awatea ’18 shows ripe blackberry and blackcurrant aromatics with elements of vanilla creme and sandalwood. On the palate there’s a banquet of plum, raspberry, dried herbs and lingering dark cherry, set out across cedar and cocoa powder tannins. Classical in structure, with fine balance and length, Awatea Cabernets/Merlot ’18 is resplendent in its purity and detail.
Ink-dark crimson, Awatea Cabernets/Merlot ’17 glimmers with bright raspberry, cherry and blackberry sparkling over mocha, cedar and spice. Always a favourite expression of fine Hawke’s Bay cabernet, Awatea from 2017 is refreshing and moreish as well as typically elegant. Aromas of red and dark berry fruit, flashes of boysenberry and espresso on the palate, and a classical, super-fine, tannin structure running through to its long finish make Awatea Cabernets/Merlot ’17 a true star. Closed with a natural cork that will allow Awatea to continue to evolve in bottle and provide great enjoyment up to 10 years from harvest.
As is always the case with Pierre Lafon, not a man known for a lot of talking so he just lets his wine do it all for him. Most of you will be familiar with this stunning Bordeaux, one of the first imports of Accent on Wine over 20 years ago. A blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, medium to full bodied with lovely lush and rounded tannins, concentrated and just beautifully balanced. For a Bordeaux Superior it punches well above its weight, it has power, concentration and depth with a lovely middle palate and beautiful finish. You could easily pay double for a wine of this quality. Drink now or over the next 5-6 years.
“An iconic brand meets a terrific vintage. The result is a “must have” wine for collectors and investors. This is elegance on a grand scale and one of the best vintages I’ve tasted. Still youthful and quite closed (it was bottled on the day I tasted it) but with plushness and power.” -- Bob Campbell MW, Business Desk, February 2021
The classic Bordeaux blends at their best. Perhaps more reminiscent of a St. Emilion Grande Cru Classe because of its power, racy acidity and focus. As is the case for the other wines, this needs time perhaps 8-10 years will get the best out of it. Balanced, harmonious and powerful with complex notes of ripe dark plum, violets, an autumnal forest and a touch of smoke. The wine exhibits great focus and intensity with fine tannins layered through a core of dark fruit. The wine carries a real seriousness that underlies its youthful charm.
Another single vineyard biodynamically farmed as is the case with the Malbec but this is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon at its finest. Ripe with hints of dust, blueberry and cassis with an enormous middle palate, ripe tannins and extremely long finish. Approachable now however this will reach its peak in roughly 4-5 years time and continue to improve further.
The so-called Sassicaia of Sardinia, made in collaboration with local Sardinian growers, is becoming a reference point for wines from this island and even Italy. Made from a blend of 85% Carignan, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Merlot. On the nose it exhibit spice, black fruits, game and hints of leather. The palate is superb, balanced, poised and full bodied with great depth, length and concentration. This is a wine that has the potential within years to rival Sassicaia itself but at a fraction of the price.
Le Volte dell’Ornellaia combines a Mediterranean expression of generosity with structure and complexity, reflecting the philosophy of Ornellaia. It represents the first step into the Ornellaia family, and is an ideal wine for everyday enjoyment. Le Volte dell’Ornellaia 2018 perfectly reflects the characteristics of the vintage, revealing great elegance and balance. Its nose is wonderfully complex, very fruity with delicate floral and spicy notes. The tannic and smooth texture is striking on the palate, ending in a crisp and lively finish.
Founded in 1711 and revived to its former glory in 1992 by Italian businessman and wine collector Giulio Bertrand, Morgenster stands as one of the very best South African wines to be had. Made from a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, it captures the essence of Stellenbosch, the vineyards are on steep slopes ranging from 50m to 360m above sea level, planted at a density of 3000 vines per hectare and crop at 3.5–6.5 tons/hectare. You would be forgiven for thinking that you are trying a Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Classe because that’s just how good it is. Earthy overtones with ripe fruit, composed and elegant, medium to full body and after almost 20 years, still at its best. It is not often that we come across a gem like this from the very beginning of the century and at $59.95 per bottle, well we really don’t need to give any more reasons.
"A stunning wine, the 2017 Ornellaia offers a captivating interplay of richness and energy. Picking early was the key. Young vine Cabernet Sauvignon and Franc were harvested in August for the first time ever. In the glass, the 2017 offers up an enticing mélange of mocha, cedar, tobacco and licorice, with soft curves that add to its sensuality and allure. The 2017 is sumptuous and racy, as Ornellaias from warmer years tend to be, but it is not at all heavy or overdone. In a word: superb! Drink 2025-2042." Score: 97 - Antonio Galloni, vinous.com
Awatea, even though being the so called second wine after the Coleraine, is still a wonderful Bordeaux blend that is able to age beautifully for up to 10 years. It always shows ripe blackberry and blackcurrant aromatics with elements of vanilla creme and sandalwood. On the palate there’s a banquet of plum, raspberry, dried herbs and lingering dark cherry, set out across cedar and cocoa powder tannins. Classical in structure, with fine balance and length.
85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc. “The balance and beauty to this is impressive, offering sweet, ripe currants and flowers with some crushed-stone and dry-earth undertones. Full-bodied with soft, polished tannins and a long, creamy-textured finish. It’s polished, yet concentrated. Better after 2022, but already very seductive.” – James Suckling
“To recap my assessment, and with the memory of the 100-point 2016 vintage so fresh in my mind, I would give this wine a seven out of 10 in terms of aromas, a five out of 10 in terms of mid-palate, and an eight out of 10 in terms of structure. Another way to read those conclusions is as follows: The 2017 Sassicaia was expertly built to withstand a long aging future, yet only time will tell if the beauty of the bouquet will evolve at the same pace. This fascinating wine magically captures the hallmarks of cool-temperature winemaking in one of the hottest vintages in recent years. Vintners, not vintage, won this round.” – Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
Calabria Wines is a family owned company established in 1945 by Francesco and Elizabeth Calabria. The fruit for this wine was hand picked and then aged in French and American oak for 6 months. It displays a deep ruby colour with a bouquet of liquorice, mint and berry fruit. Ripe blackberry flavours attack all parts of the palate with a well structured, firm and robust finish. Cellar for 3-5 years.
"Célèbre has always had its own distinctive style as a bright, high-energy red with real concentration and a rich, mouth-filling texture. As a young wine, the 2015 is showing abundant aromatics with ripe blueberry, boysenberry and red currant notes meeting more exotic notes of star-anise. Long, fine, savoury tannins across the palate and the bracken-like earthiness from the Cabernet portions builds complexity, while Syrah brings spice and fresh, balanced acidity to the finish.
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