The Standish Wine Co.
Dan Standish is about as Barossan as you can get. His family has roots in the region going back six generations. It's in his blood. In my opinion, Dan produces the finest examples of Shiraz coming from its spiritual home in Australia: the Barossa Valley.
His winemaking experience covers some of the finest regions in the world, working at wineries in the Sonoma Valley, Rioja and the Rhone Valley. He then rose to become head winemaker at Torbreck, where he raised the wines to new heights and showed the wine world his talent. It was clear he was one to watch. In 1999 he started The Standish Wine Co and began the journey to producing some of the most exciting wines in Australia.
The fruit Dan uses is sourced from several sites across the Barossa and Eden Valleys - primarily from his family's vineyard in Vine Vale. Planted in 1912, the grapes from this site go to produce The Standish and The Relic. These are deep, concentrated and dense examples of Shiraz made from the low-yielding Centenarian Vines, with The Relic seeing an addition of Viognier, adding a floral lift which channels Dan's time in the Rhone Valley. This addition of Viognier makes The Relic the most accessible on release, however as with all good things, patience is rewarded.
For his Lamella Shiraz, Dan sources fruit from the Fechner Vineyard in the Eden Valley. Lamella is a cooler climate expression, savoury and herbal and sadly sold out. The final piece of the puzzle is The Schubert Theorem, made with fruit sourced from 100-year-old vineyards in Greenock and Marananga.
These are wines that love time in a cellar and need time in a decanter - rushing the experience will only take away from it. We received tiny quantities of these wines and expect that as the popularity of this estate grows that number will decrease each year. We really do mean it when we say these are not be missed.
See the Standish wines here.
Talk about exciting wines! We loved these wines when we met and tasted them with Erin two weeks ago. Erin Pooley has been making wine under the Little Frances label since 2012, initially producing a single site Semillon but not from the Hunter Valley! All of the wines under the Little Frances label were produced from specific sites across California, inspired to create table wines that celebrate Californian grapes with a lighter touch.
Her range includes a Semillon coming from a high altitude vineyard in Lake County, towards the northern part of the Napa Valley. It's from the 2015 vintage, which means the wine is starting to show those toastier secondary characters we love from Semillon. Lake County is predominantly planted with Bordeaux varieties, so she was able to source a small parcel of Sauvignon Blanc from the same vineyard to make a fresher blend, more approachable in its youth. There's even a Chenin Blanc in the range (so that's Pete taken care of...). Rounding things out is her Merlot - certainly not traditional in approach and we thank her for it. A much fresher, lighter, gently extracted rendition of Merlot that we would love to see more of!
Find Little Frances wines here.
Francois Rousset Martin
"A new name to watch in Jura." - Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate
François Rousset is producing some of the most captivating wines in the Jura right now, of that there is no doubt. François grew up in Burgundy where his father was a micro-biologist for the Hospices de Beaune, but he spent a lot of his childhood visiting the Jura getting to know a parcel of family vines which he would later vinify with his father, belonging to his Grandfather. After gaining his oenology degree he returned to his Jura roots and in 2006 launched his winery.
One of the most exciting things about Domaine Rousset-Martin, is the location of François' vineyards. They lie in the exclusive region of Château Chalon - known for the famed Vin Jaune wines. But rather than following the general trends, François makes his wine in a non-oxidative style (ouillé or topped-up), labelled as Côtes du Jura, (although he does make a Vin Jaune, too!). He vinifies parcel by parcel (farming is organic-certified) with little to no sulphur and bottled unfined and unfiltered. The wines are complex and very concentrated, falling somewhere along the spectrum of floral, delicate and exotic and rich.
They are somewhat reminiscent of the Ganevat and Labet wines with the same laser-like acidity and tension but allied to serious concentration and depth. Freshness, clarity, precision and persistence are their hallmarks.
I didn't think it was possible, but the Jura just got a little more exciting.
Search the collection here.