PWS Staff Picks 2021
PWS Staff Picks 2021
And that’s a wrap. We’ve worked hard this year tasting our way through a slew of wines and spirits to bring you some of the best for summer 2021/22.
From the looks of things we love riesling; Matt has gone with a rising superstar from the Rheingau, Myles has one foot in Alsace and the other in the Pfalz, Kay’s chosen a King Valley take on a German spatlese and Roscoe shows that size does matter with his 1ltr bottle of German trocken – it’s perfect for fish(ing).
Andrew carries the stand-alone chardonnay torch with a quirky Mudgee interpretation that’s been left outside for three years to mature.
And what is Christmas without some bubble cheer? The Sydney boys have nailed it – Chris has chosen an Italian Prosecco with a serious side while Alex D has gone for a pure and precise Champagne.
Who knows what the weather will dial-up for Christmas Day, but we do know it’s not complete without a red. Michael has chosen two (because he’s the boss and he can); a powerfully poised Grand Cru Burgundy and an Italian nebbiolo close to his heart.
Dylan has ventured to the sandy slopes of Roero in Piedmont for his Nebbiolo, Alex W has chosen one of the best value reds we’ve ever seen from the Cote du Rhone (you’ll want this by the dozen). If the weather is warm Brian’s pick is a bright and crunchy Beaujolais from 80-year-old vines, and if it’s on the cool side then Pat’s Brunello from the mighty 2016 vintage will be a treat.
For the sweeter side, Effie’s gone for style and substance with an aged Aussie botrytised Semillon that’s friendly on the pocket and a beauty to hold thanks to Florence Broadhurst’s handiwork.
And to top it off Gabrielle has chosen a tequila from the highland of Jalisco made by an all-female team and an LA-based punk guitarist.
As you can see our tastes are varied, much like ourselves. We’ve enjoyed putting this together, and while there are many things we’d like to forget about the past year, these highlights are memories to keep.
We hope you can find something amongst these selections, to help we’ve sharpened the prices.
Michael, Alex and the PWS team
PRODUCTS in this offer
We hope you can find something amongst these selections, to help we've sharpened the prices.
Bellenda Sei Uno Prosecco Metodo Classico DOCG 2017A leading wine team player, Chris Harag has chosen this for his staff pick for 2021, here's why:
This was a bit of a slow burn for me but the more I try it, the more I like it - and now with Christmas coming I cant think of anything better to have in the fridge. You’re getting sustainably grown grapes from the best part of Prosecco, with second fermentation in bottle (method traditional), a rarity for this region. 12 months on lees and then another 6 months in the cellar before release. Oh and its all 2017 vintage. Its classy fizz and too cheap for what it is. In a sea of uninspiring Prosecco, Sei Uno is a real standout. CHRIS HARAG, PWS
The 2017 Prosecco Superiore Conegliano Valdobbiadene Brut Sei Uno takes some time to blow off its intense display of stone dust and smoky minerals. Beneath, I'm finding notes of crushed yellow apple, ginger and dried flowers. It gains considerable richness in the glass, showing soft, pliant textures under a wash of delicate bubbles with a balanced inner sweetness, while coming across as decidedly floral in character. This turns salty and savory toward the close with a hint of lemon confit. The Sei Uno hails from the Rive di Carpesica cru and is produced through using a secondary fermentation in bottle. It's a beautifully pure and satisfying expression. ERIC GUIDO, www.vinousmedia.com
The Bellenda crew are a bunch of crazy cats trying to start a small revolution in Prosecco. They are hell-bent on upping the quality. Firstly the property is located in the DOCG zone on the hills surrounding Carpesica, the heart of quality in the region, where as the bulk standard prosecco you see littering shelves all over the world tends to be grown down on the flats outside of the traditional area.
Umberto is very quick to make a couple points, they are organic and have been since before it was a fashion statement and a marketing tool. They drastically restrict the yields, Glera in particular is very vigorous and this allows those mass producing Prosecco to achieve yields that should make a wine grower blush.
They also use traditional method production compared to the usual tank method employed by most wineries. The result is a much finer and delicate prosecco with plenty of flavour and fine,2017GleraItaly499Special Price $36.00 Regular Price $40.00
Larmandier Bernier Terre de Vertus 1er Cru Non Dose 2014
One of our key wine team members in Sydney, Alex Dobson has chosen this for his staff pick for 2021, here's why:
The pure mineral expressions of Chardonnay from Larmandier Bernier were the first that drew me to grower Champagne and if you love incredibly fine, pure and precise Champagnes that aren't plumped up with dosage, then this is going to be right up your alley. The 2014 Terre de Vertus is drawn from the two 1er Cru vineyards of Les Barillers and Les Faucherets in Vertus which are particularly renowned for their chalky, mineral character and this Champagne delivers those in spades leaning savoury and mouth-wateringly saline on the finish. Give this a little time to open and shake out it’s feathers and then pair it up with oysters and fried fish for a pairing that will make this Champagne sing. Grab a few more bottles for the cellar though as this one will really grow into itself with a few more years under it’s belt. ALEX DOBSON, PWS2014ChampagneFrance376Special Price $166.50 Regular Price $185.00
Domaine Font de Courtedune Cotes du Rhone Village 2019
Co-owner Alex Wilcox has chosen this for his 2021 Staff Pick, here's why:
I love Southern Rhone Reds when they have ripe Grenache yet are not heavy with alcohol or oak. This 2019 Font de Coutedune is the best yet! Dense and vibrant, it's concentrated Grenache with freshness. Perfect for summer drinking but will do well in the cellar. And it's great value. The secret to this wine is the old vines grown on sandy soils to the North of Chateauneuf du Pape and some great winemaking. ALEX WILCOX, PWS
Domaine Font de Courtedune – for now, at least – is something of an insider’s secret. With vineyards right next door to Château Rayas, and sharing the same sandy soils, this tiny Châteauneuf-du-Pape estate produces outstanding wines that are a fraction of the price of those of its famous neighbour.
The vineyards have long been owned by the Charrier family, but the fruit was sold to the local co-operative until 1997, when René Charrier established the domaine. Today his children Caroline and Frédéric are in charge.
Everything here is joyously traditional. The old vines (some of which are over 100 years old) are all farmed sustainably, with as little intervention as possible; a philosophy that follows through into the winery. Everything is whole-bunch, fermented and aged in concrete vats, with no oak to be found in the winery at all. They work almost exclusively with Grenache, with just a splash of Mourvèdre, Counoise, Cinsault and Terret Noir to add extra spice and body to the wines.
This is heady and lifted with briary fruits that leap out of the glass followed by fresh cracked pepper corn, amaro spice and fresh orange peel. It's so enticing on the nose and a little air brings out a touch of wild herbs and soft vanilla. The fruits is sweet and with cool black and red fruits hemmed in nicely but fine powdery tannins. There is a touch of oppulence all round but it sits tightly in a neat and focused package.2016GrenacheFrance467Special Price $28.80 Regular Price $36.00
De Bortoli Botrytis Semillon Florence Broadhurst 2016 375mLOur manager Effie Ross has chosen this for her staff pick for 2021, here's why:
This delightful sticky is intended as an approachable, every-day drinking cousin of the treasured national classic, De Bortoli Noble 1. It represents incredible bang for buck and comes ready to drink in a striking 375ml bottle that showcases a design by the late Australian artist Florence Broadhurst. Alluring aromatics of rich ripe oranges, yellow peaches, earl-grey tea, toffee apples, cut hay, and spiced apricot leap out of the glass. It’s pleasantly full-bodied and sugar sweet which is cut nicely with fresh lemon-lime acidity. The flavour carries long on the palate and develops in the glass. This is a complex and well-structured sweet wine, and an excellent example of Riverina botrytis-Semillon. Serve this with cheese, pavlova, or Christmas cake and custard. Recommended reading material includes the history of Australia’s Riverina wine region, or the fascinating and tragic life and work of Florence Broadhurst. EFFIE ROSS, PWS
2016SemillonAustralia473Special Price $13.60 Regular Price $17.00
Eloquesta Mudgee Cotto 2017Our Sydney PWS Manager, Andrew has chosen this for his 2021 Staff Pick:
Take Chardonnay grapes from a highly awarded hillside block in Mudgee, press off into new and old French and Hungarian oak hogsheads and leave outside for 3 years on lees through all weather (under cover of course) and what do you get? A deliciously rich and deeply golden coloured Chardonnay that is as rich on the mid palate as it is dry and fresh on the finish. Dried apricots on the nose follow through with deep tangerine citrus and butterscotch to a fresh, dry finish. Think Jura spliced into Jerez. I love this wine because its different, it’s quirky, but mostly because it’s delicious. ANDREW GEDDES, PWS
2017chardonnayAustraliaSpecial Price $25.60 Regular Price $32.00
Julg Riesling Trocken 2019A pillar of PWS and loved by many, Myles Thomson has chosen this for his staff pick for 2021:
Another year, another riesling. I love the stuff and when I tried this I was instantly in love. A few more bottles at home and the relationship was sealed! The vineyards for the wine sit both in Alsace and Germany with 3rd generation vigneron Johannes Julg at the helm. There is definitely a bit of weight and presence here with a lovely rich and viscous palate that sings with zingy acidity and punchy spice. It opens to peach and nectarine that gives way to pithy, citrus all flecked with savoury mineral notes. This manages to be plump and plush as well wickedly vibrant and super zippy and it’s that push and pull that I find makes this so compelling to drink. It’s not about masses of complexity here but pure, drinking pleasure and it has that in spades! MYLES THOMSON, PWS
A fair amount of weight and power here, slightly earthy, spicy, yellow fruit and lemon zest. It offers crunch and grip, along with a glossy and viscous feel, stony and savoury to close, with solid quinine laced length… GARY WALSH, winefront.com2019RieslingGermany465Special Price $29.60 Regular Price $37.00
La Gritona Reposado Tequila
Part of the wine team, Gabrielle has chosen a tequila that reminds us of the way tequila used to be made, here's why:
La Gritona is made by tequilero verteran Melly Cardenas and her team made up mostly of local women (all the men have crossed the border to find work) in the highlands of Jalisco. Made for LA based Punk guitarist Andy Coranado, this reflects a tequila that was made before the mass market took hold. There's no colouring or flavouring added, it's smooth with great depth and a lovely warming belly. Everything is thoughtfully done, nothing rushed that would compromise the quality. Even the charming green bottles are hand blown from recycled Mexican glass, just an hour's drive from the distillery. No need to mix this, serve it over a bucket of ice with a squeeze of fresh lime (and if you've got abit of lingering salt on your lips from your swim - even better). GABRIELLE POY, PWS
'La Gritona' is Spanish for 'The Screamer'. It's an appropriate name seeing that one of the people behind this outstanding tequila is LA-based punk guitarist Andy Coronado. The other significant player is the renowned tequilero Melly Cárdenas, who fashions La Gritona at her small distillery in Valle de Guadalupe in the highlands of Jalisco. One of Mexico's few female master distillers, the fiercely independent Cárdenas--who has 20 years of quality Tequila production under her belt--shares Coronado's love of the exceptional and unconventional, and leads a team staffed by only local women.
For a Reposado, La Gritona is light on colour and sweetness--Coronado and Cárdenas want none of the flavours that mask many commercial Reposados like vanilla, chocolate and dulce de leche. Instead this is packed with delicious, honest and savoury, roasted agave flavor, reminiscent of the old-style 'rested' Tequila, before the mass market took hold: "It's tequila like our grandparents drank," says Cárdenas. Working with 9- to 10-year-old, mature Blue Weber agave grown in the iron-rich red soil of the Jalisco highlands, every step of production after harvest takes place under Cárdenas' own roof. The agave is steam-cooked in a single, thick-walled earthen oven for 24 hours and then allowed to rest for another 24 hours before crushing. The collected liquid is naturally fermented (no additives are used to push things along) in open steel vats at a rate dictated by the ambient air temperature and the wild yeasts, usually lasting between six to nine days. The double distillation takes place in small steel stills. Those bespoke bottles by the way are made from recycled Mexican glass, hand-blown just an hour's drive from the distillery. Coronado uses any recycled clear glass he can find (mostly old Coke bottles) then chips in a few Dos Equis bottles for the green tint!
The distilled blanco is then rested in reused American whiskey barrels for eight months before bottling. These low-impact second or third fill barrels are given only the lightest char which allows for the refreshing, sappy notes of the agave to shine through, resulting in a Tequila that sips and mixes perfectly in equal measure--it's crisp, clean and elegant and kills it in a Tommy's Margarita. BIBENDUM BARTequilaMexico$110.00 As low as $99.00
San Filippo Brunello di Montalcino 2016A member of our PWS Sydney team, Pat has chosen this for his Staff Pick 2021, here's why:
When I think of Christmas in Sydney, my mind goes to days spent at the beach. Sun soaked and full of Coles salads, cold meats and Riesling. However this year, the way the weather is shaping up, it's starting to look like snow on the beach could be a likely outcome. That’s why something richer, more voluptuous and hedonistic is called for. The 2016 San Filippo Brunello di Montalcino is a classic wine from a classic region. Brunello has long been a favourite wine at royal dinner tables and its easy to see why. With smoked cedar, mahogany and teak followed by dark fruit, pressed blackberry and plum, its perfect for a rainy Christmas inside. I know what I will be pouring this year for the family. Go on, you deserve it! PAT, PWS
The San Filippo 2016 Brunello di Montalcino offers a slightly exotic personality with smoked cedar, mahogany or teak followed by dark fruit, pressed blackberry and plum. The wine ages in large oak cask for two years. This is a robustly textured and muscular Brunello with full-bodied intensity that transcends both the bouquet and the mouthfeel. There's a lot going on, especially in terms of the wine's smokiness and spiciness, and there is good acidity and tannic structure to frame it all. Production is 15,000 bottles. MONCIA LARNER, eRobertParker.com2016sangioveseItaly495Special Price $120.00 Regular Price $150.00
Markus Molitor Haus Klosterberg Riesling 1 Liter Dry 2019
The wine of the year, usually causes me a good deal of anxiety. Oh the pressure…. There was a lot of competition this year too. Despite spending so much time locked in the house I still managed to find an excuse to drink well. Or maybe that was my excuse. Chicken or the egg kind of scenario there.
I digress. I looked in to this and I have purchased 7.2% of the total volume of this wine that PWS has sold so far. I don't think many weeks have gone by since this was released that I haven't had one in the fridge. In recent times it has been shared liberally with friends, neighbours and family.
What makes this my wine of the year? First it is 1 litre. That plays a key role in my thinking. Secondly its stupendously good, uber fresh, textural, dry, saline, appealing, brimming with charm, buoyant and playful. So totally delicious that you kind of forget that for a wine of this category the quality is outstanding. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, for the quality that it does deliver this is insane value. Ok, also it's one litre, did I mention that? ROSCOE2019RieslingGermany442Special Price $30.40 Regular Price $38.00
Correggia Roero Nebbiolo 2018
On of our newest members, Dylan has chosen this for his staff pick for 2021, here's why:
As the end of another year looms and the festive season seems to have started already, I’ve decided to lighten the load for my family — I’ve told Grandma to ditch the Christmas cake and buy a bottle of this Nebbiolo instead. When a wine bustles with spices & juicy cherries why bother with a cake? More Grandma Dylan time and less time baking I say. Enjoy. DYLAN VAN OIRSCHT, PWS
If Cru Barolo is Kanye, this wine is Drake. Sure Kanye is a more serious offering and inspires deeper, layered conversations and thought, but really, who do you want to bring to the party when lockdown ends. I'm texting Drake.
First little whiff and it's a joy already, it smells like Christmas morning with perfectly ripe cherry, a little spice here, dried herbs there. Take a sip and there's a lovely little hint of sweetness and delicacy amidst a tart , juicy backdrop before a curatin of fine tannin sweeps your palate clean. This is a side of nebbiolo anyone can wrap their laiughing gear around and experience happiness. ALEX DOBSON, PWS2017NebbioloItaly457Special Price $32.80 Regular Price $41.00
Lucien Lardy Fleurie Les Roches 2019One of our team, Brian has chosen this for his staff pick for 2021, here's why:
Vibrant and fresh, this wine comes from some of the best plots in the Beaujolais cru of Fleurie. The ‘lieu dit’ of “Roches” has granitic and sandy soils that give the wine its freshness and acidity. Red cherry and cranberry shine through, with a touch of sweet spice and floral notes. On the palate, it has a lightness with a soft, smooth finish. The Lucien Lardy ‘Les Roches’ 2019 is the perfect summer red, playful with just the right amount of seriousness. It is dangerously drinkable and eminently enjoyable. BRIAN BLANDIN, PWS
Glistening ruby-red. Vibrant, spice-accented red fruits and candied flowers on the highly perfumed nose. Sappy and seamless in the mouth, where a spine of juicy acidity supports juicy boysenberry and raspberry preserve flavors. Shows very good energy and strong floral character on a persistent, subtly tannic finish that leaves sweet red fruit and smoky mineral notes behind. JOSH RAYNOLDSSpecial Price $32.00 Regular Price $40.00
Domaine Robert Groffier Bonnes Mares Grand Cru 2018Our boss, Michael has chosen this for his Staff Pick 2021, here's why:
I've never been a huge fan of Bonnes Mares as a Grand Cru, never quite delivered on the Grand Cru expectation and, before all you weird Burgundy people jump down my throat, I know there are exceptions and yes, I've tried them and I agree, but by and large they never quite hit that x-factor you crave in great Burgundy. Well, this Groffier Bonnes Mares is one that defies that line of thinking. It's every bit the Grand Cru, majestic with layers of Asian spice, cherry, subtly handled wood (and there's 100% new, all warranted) and despite the warmth of the year, its limestone underpinnings give it freshness and nerve. Just great wine. MICHAEL MCNAMARA, PWS
The 2018 Bonnes-Mares Grand Cru is raised in 25% new oak and is almost entirely made from whole bunches. That stem addition gently guides the aromatics here, imparting a subtle pepperiness and earthiness that combines deftly with the vivid black fruit; perhaps there is less blue fruit here compared to other Bonnes-Mares this vintage. The palate is well balanced with supple tannins and a fine bead of acidity, reminiscent of de Vogüé in some ways. The slightly confit finish manages to retain impressive freshness. It is missing a little persistence, but otherwise this is a fine, quite delicious Bonnes-Mares. NEIL MARTIN, Vinous
The Groffiers 1ha vineyard is at the Morey-St-Denis end of the Grand Cru, but still in Chambolle-Musigny on a mixture of mostly red with around 25% white soils. This is a wine that seduces rather than overpowers you, showing considerable elegance and grace in a year when Bonnes Mares produced some extremely well-upholstered wines. Fresh, balanced and very fine, it's an infusion rather than an extraction. (98) TIM ATKIN MW, Decanter2018Pinot noirFrance358Special Price $1,116.00 Regular Price $1,395.00
|PWS Staff Picks 2021||REG. PRICE||SPECIAL||ORDER||TOTAL|
|Bellenda Sei Uno Prosecco Metodo Classico DOCG 2017||$40.00||$40.00|
|Larmandier Bernier Terre de Vertus 1er Cru Non Dose 2014||$185.00||$157.00|
|Domaine Font de Courtedune Cotes du Rhone Village 2019||$36.00||$36.00|
|De Bortoli Botrytis Semillon Florence Broadhurst 2016 375mL||$17.00||$17.00|
|Eloquesta Mudgee Cotto 2017||$32.00||$32.00|
|Julg Riesling Trocken 2019||$37.00||$37.00|
|La Gritona Reposado Tequila||$110.00||$110.00|
|Eva Fricke Rheingau Riesling Trocken 2019||$66.00||$66.00|
|San Filippo Brunello di Montalcino 2016||$150.00||$125.00|
|Markus Molitor Haus Klosterberg Riesling 1 Liter Dry 2019||$38.00||$38.00|
|Correggia Roero Nebbiolo 2019||$41.00||$41.00|
|Lucien Lardy Fleurie Les Roches 2019||$40.00||$40.00|
|NAME ON CARD|
|Amex and Diner incur 2% surcharge|