Atlas Fine Wines | Dec 06, 2018
On 5th December, Atlas held a wine tasting at Vintners' Hall featuring over 60 wines from 20 of Australia and New Zealand's producers. It was great to have the opportunity to showcase such varied wines from some of the leading producers of Australia and New Zealand. You can view the full list of wines here.
Laura Hollingsworth (pictured), Sales and Buying Support, was pouring at the Glaetzer table and wrote the following, which we share below:
2016 Bishop Shiraz at £100 per six bottles in bond
2016 Anaperenna Shiraz/Cabernet at £195 per six bottles in bond
2016 Amon-Ra Shiraz at £270 per six bottles in bond
"The Barossa Valley has long been recognized as the home of full-bodied red wines. The growing season gradually gets hotter and drier, easily reaching temperatures of 35 degrees. A combination of hot dry days and cool nights results in concentrated flavours and leads to phenolic ripeness. The resulting wines tend to be rich and powerful yet with notably soft tannins. The wines of Ben Glaetzer are no exception – these are unashamedly bold wines. Ben aims to create wines which both reflect the individual character of the region but also show elegance and restraint – two adjectives not often associated with Australia Shiraz. I was particularly impressed with the 2016s; although serious wines with a long future ahead, many clients remarked on their approachability. They were incredibly balanced; opulent and rich, but without being heady, and with a stylish elegance that would perhaps challenge people’s perception of the region."
Laura's comments certainly struck a chord; the wines of Glaetzer were just one example of how Australian and New Zealand producers are refining their approach. To have had so many varied styles available for a tasting such as this adds to the fascination and certainly gives an impression of the evolving identity of each region.
We selected five stand outs from the pack of 60 wines that may not be familiar to Atlas clients, with notes below from Simon Larkin MW (Atlas' Managing Director).
2014 Coriole Lloyd Shiraz, McClaren Vale
£185 per 6 bottle case in bond
A markedly different style to the Bekkers Shiraz on the adjacent table, the Lloyd Shiraz from Coriole showed a bright purple hue in the glass, with ripe aromas of baked berry fruit with notes of spice. Admirably rich on the palate, there is a really exuberant quality to the fruit here, juicy blueberry and blackberry with note of liquorice and pepper. There is a touch of firmness to the tannins presently, but this bodes well for future development. Nothing is forced here, it is unashamedly Australian Shiraz, but there is a deft hand to the expression. It makes me recall McClaren style of yesteryear, there is an honesty and purity of fruit that renders it hugely appealing. Drink now until 2026. (SL)
2015 Johann’s Garden, Henschke, Barossa Valley
£180 per 6 bottle case in bond
Henschke are renowned for their old vine Shiraz; Mount Edelstone and Hill of Grace, but the Grenache/ Mourvèdre and Shiraz is something of a quiet performer. The 2015 shows this clearly; Grenache assumes centre stage (70% of the blend), but the wine retains fine poise. Layered dark fruit including dark cherry and spiced raspberry coupled with a complex array of nuances including Asian spice and aniseed. Slightly softer in style and not too full bodied, this has an appealing, cushioned sense of depth. To craft a wine of such balance from Grenache in the Barossa shows the Henschke’s skill as vineyard managers as well as winemakers. Drink now until 2024. (SL)
2013 HVD Single Vineyard Semillion, Tyrell’s, Hunter Valley
£120 per 6 bottle case in bond
Tyrrell’s is one of the great producers of Hunter Valley Semillon and this example, from a vineyard planted in 1908, is something of a snip. For those brave enough to buy and store Hunter Valley Semillion for over ten years, it morphs into a markedly different style, capturing a complexity that the often-pale zesty citrus fruits of a young bottle barely hint at. In their youth, as with this example, they offer slightly floral, limey, mouthwatering fruit. With age, you can expect something more honeyed and toastier, slightly nutty element, too. They can develop incredibly well and I have no doubt this 2013 has that potential. One of Autralia’s most individual styles from one of its greatest proponents. As simple as that. Drink now to 2030+. (SL)
2015 Bullnose Syrah, Te Mata, Hawke’s Bay
£160 per 6 bottle case in bond
I will confess that I have always been a fan of Te Mata’s Bullnose Syrah, ever since I first tasted in New Zealand many years ago...the nose makes me think more of the Northern Rhône than the southern hemisphere. By no means rich and powerful, this is a lifted, violet-scented Syrah, with a plush, supple palate of juicy, freshly crushed berryfruit, which benefits from notes of pepper and savoury nuances. Sleek and refined, this is really well-judged. You can broach it early (and frankly, on this showing, why not?), but it will age and gain in complexity over the next five years. This is a very individual wine and ranks as one of the finest New Zealand Syrah you will find. Drink now to 2024. (SL)
2016 Akitu A1 Pinot Noir, Central Otago
£145 per 6 bottle case in bond
From a new estate based in the Upper Clutha Basin of Central Otago, their first commercial release was the 2012 vintage, and could well be a property to watch. The 2016 A1 shows a classic Otago Pinot profile, soft skinned, candied red fruits, with a plush, layered mouthfeel. There is a pleasing vibrancy here, with wild strawberry and raspberry fruit to the fore and just a hint of leafy complexity. An attractive early drinking Pinot Noir that is best consumed over the next three years. Very attractive and more-ish in style. Drink now to 2022. (SL)