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Vintage - 2011

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  1. Inkwell High Violet Grenache Mataro 2021
    Inkwell High Violet Grenache Mataro 2021
    Dudley Brown and Irina Santiago are both mid-life converts to winegrowing and winemaking in Australia. Originally from the USA and Brazil respectively they are fanatical about our their vines and their wines. All organic, hand-picked and with as little manipulations and zero additions.

    This is a cracking little wine that combines freshness and pure fruit in a subtly complex and oh-so-smashable package. You have all that pretty red fruited grenache leaping out of the glass with red cherry, raspberry freshly picked and crushed with peppercorn spice. A touch licorice and earthy, bracken, herbs just peaks in here and there. Its tight and focused on the palate but doesn't feel like its being forced, and is just bursting with fresh fruits.
    Grenache, Mourvedre, tempranillo
  2. TarraWarra Reserve Chardonnay 2012
    TarraWarra Reserve Chardonnay 2012

    Plenty of cedar and custard oak, spice, nectarine and citrus - high on Chardonnay, low on trickery.  Medium weight with a good level of intensity and a burst of ripe fruit - grapefruit and lime with some stone fruits - and a firm oak backing of spice and vanilla. Flinty bits are here along with bright clean acidity. It has energy and length. Oak needs to settle, but very good it is. GARY WALSH

    From the '83 plantings. A very pure, highly focused, minerally style with grapefruit in the lead, white peach close behind; while 100% barrel-fermented and matured in high quality French oak, that influence is subtle. JAMES HALLIDAY

    Peaches and cream, fresh toast, lemon oil, blood orange, custard apple. The palate has lovely volume and richness with a lick of crunchy acidity to keep it upright and lively. Right in the sweet spot. This is why you cellar Chardonnay. Plenty more detail and interest as it eases in to itself with some time in the glass. It's confident and sure of itself.
    I was trying to think of the right analogy here, I settled on a luxury vehicle, not a sports car, like a high end Toorak tractor, sitting on the highway, cruise control set, Paul Kelly on the radio, everything just humming along nicely. In the zone.
    You'll love this, whoever you are, you can't help but enjoy a Chardonnay of this quality in its prime drinking window. ROSCOE

  3. Pierre Menard Clos de Mailles Anjou Blanc 2017
    Pierre Menard Clos de Mailles Anjou Blanc 2017

    After studying wine in the Agronomic school of Angers, Pierre travelled the world to learn about the different processes and made wine in Canada, New Zealand and Hungary. Only in his late twenties, Pierre started to produce wine in the Layon in 2013. Since his first vintage Pierre's wines have been met with critical acclaim.

    The Clos des Mailles comes from three parcels in the vineyard; one is 25 years old, one 100 years, and the other 8 years. You won't find any botrytis character here. As Pierre works very hard to exclude this from his wines, wanting the purity of the vineyard to be at the forefront. In the same vein, it has been vinified using 80% old French oak and 20% stainless steel. This results in a beautifully mineral wine with layered complexity. Yellow plum, flint, smoky/schisty, and ripe peach all play together with great acidity and minerality. Purity, structure, a lengthy finish, and utter deliciousness, Pierre's Clos des Mailles is an experience we all deserve this year. BRIAN

    Chenin Blanc
  4. Doisy Daene 2011
    Doisy Daene 2011

    The aromatics on the Doisy-Daene comes racing out of the blocks like a March hare, soaring from the glass with honey, quince and lychee aromas with a sorbet like freshness and vivacity. The palate is supremely well balanced with a heightened level of tension and purity, offering delectable but subtle notes of white peach and apricot towards the beautifully composed, mineral-rich finish. Curiously, it reminds me of a top-flight Mosel Auslese, but what a fabulous Barsac from Denis Dubourdieu! (97) NEAL MARTIN

    The 2011 Doisy-Daëne has a tightly wound nose at first, unfurling to reveal pure honey, saffron and Mirabelle aromas. The palate is well balanced with a harmonious texture, fine acidity, very pure with an almost caressing honeyed, lemongrass-tinged finish. There is something almost tender about this Sauternes. Tasted blind at the annual 10-Year-On tasting. NEAL MARTIN, TASTED 2021

    Medium gold. The nose is richly fruity, with aromas of apricot and peach as well as some tropical fruit, and the oak is nicely judged. There's opulence on the palate but the zesty acidity ensures there is nothing heavy about the wine. It's very concentrated and silky, again with discreet oak nuances, and it shows remarkable persistence and finesse. Perfect now STEPHEN BROOK, TASTED 2021

    Sem/Sauv Blend
  5. Descendientes de Jose Palacios La Faraona Mencia 2011
    Descendientes de Jose Palacios La Faraona Mencia 2011
    Depp, bright purple.  Drop-dead aromas of dark berry preserves, Asian spice, potpourri and incense, with an intense mineral overtone.  Stains the palate with sappy, chewy black raspberry and floral pastille flavors enlivened by notes of allspice, star anise and nutmeg.  Silky, sweet and penetrating on the finish, which clings with outstanding tenacity and clarity.  There's an elegance and focus here that's reminiscent of the best Burgundies, but with more power and texture.  If I were a third-world despot this is what I'd be drinking every day. STEPHEN TANZER, wineaccess.com
  6. Quinta do Noval Nacional Vintage Port 2011
    Quinta do Noval Nacional Vintage Port 2011

    This is the first time Noval have declared their famous Nacional since 2003 so this is an exciting development. Very dark purple stains the inside of the glass.  Gosh, a massive bruiser of a wine. There is such concentration here that not much aroma can escape initially. Wild, peppery stuff. Then wonderfully juicy and spicy. This is like the ultimate biodynamic wine with lots of microbiology going on, in a good way.  Very clean and fresh on the finish.  Not notably sweet and with more marked acidity than some.  A big contrast to, for example, Fonseca 2011. This is all about subtle topnotes rather than broad lusciousness. So vital! JANCIS ROBINSON, 2013

    The 2011 Quinta do Noval Nacional has an entrancing bouquet that unfolds with time. It is extraordinarily concentrated with black currant pastilles, baked earth, a touch of terracotta and bay leaf that gains more dimension with time. Yet there is undeniable purity and elegance here, a seductive chorus of aromas perfectly in tune. The palate has a wondrous symmetry and focus, perfect acidity and immense purity. Everything here is so precise and at the same time, unassuming, as if this Nacional is aware of its breeding without the impulse to brag about it. It has closed down just a little since last year, but I take this as a positive sign that this legendary Nacional will delight for decades rather than years. This is the kind of elixir that leaves you speechless – surely the finest Nacional since the ethereal 1963. NEAL MARTIN, 2014

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