This little selection represents some of the finest examples of classically-styled wines outside of Burgundy and should appeal to any lovers of this style. So I thought you should take a look.

The New World has not entirely left behind the high alcohol, jammy Pinots and over-oaked Chardonnays that probably gave rise to the anything but Chardonnay brigade back in the 90’s. You might well have been doing shots of cheap tequila for all the good some of those wines would make you feel the next day! But there are plenty of dedicated and experienced winemakers who have pursued the holy grail of producing wines that reflect their terroir and at the same time, share the desires of those consumers who enjoy wines that offer elegance and purity.

To compete with the best of Europe, producers must invest in their vineyards to improve the quality of its viticulture and thus quality of fruit. Here are three estates who are focused on just that and are receiving global recognition for their wines.

It’s probably of no surprise that I have included a wine from New Zealand and yet more classically-styled wines from Australia and South Africa may be less familiar to you. I hope all these wines will appeal to your sense of adventure. From the fruit driven Akitu A2 to the more mineral focused Foggy Hill and the new vintage from Hamilton Russell, these are bound to appeal to any Pinot-lover. And as for the two Chardonnays, these would sit comfortably with any of their peers in Burgundy.

With the growing worldwide demand for Burgundy putting pressure on availability and prices, it has been enormously rewarding to look further afield to find similarly styled wines. Sadly, due to severe frost damage affecting much of Europe’s great vineyard regions this month and the impact that this will have on the 2021 harvest and beyond, this highlights the importance of getting to know alternative cooler climate regions that are also capable of making world-class wines.

The wines selected here all come highly recommended and please let me know if you would like any further information, or to placer an order.

Best regards

Karl Elwood, Director
Prices per case of six 75cl bottles including VAT. Offered subject to availability.
These wines will be available for delivery from May 2021
Akitu, Central Otago, New Zealand
Established in 2001 and set in the heart of Central Otago’s Upper Clutha basin, Akitu’s 12-hectare vineyard sits alone at 380 metres above sea level on a stunning north facing slope just minutes from Lake Wanaka. The semi-continental climate, with high sunshine hours, hot summers and dry autumns help to create wines of amazing fruit purity and complexity. Akitu means apex in the Maori language and the vineyard is entirely dedicated to Pinot Noir. I’ve selected the A2 as I feel this is their most generous wine to introduce to you, with plenty of succulent plum fruit and juicy acidity.
A2 Pinot Noir 2017
£180 per case
Classic varietal character and a great example of why New Zealand continues to set the bar high with wines this good outside of Burgundy. It’s bound to please any Pinot Noir lover. Really attractive summer and autumn fruits on the nose and palate, with silky tannins and a fresh, persistent finish. It’s a slightly fruitier example than the Foggy Hill or Hamilton Russell below and will make for an interesting comparison over time.

Floral-herbal-stemmy notes still mark the nose, but in a sexy, good-kinky sort of way, adding fragrance to deeper notes of dark cherry and plum.” 91 Points, The Wine Advocate
Hamilton Russell Vineyards, Hemel-En-Aarde Valley, South Africa
Anthony Hamilton Russell, seen here with his wife Olive, have crafted their very own piece of burgundy here. The family were the first to grow vines in the cool, maritime region of the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, planting Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vines on previously uncultivated land in 1976, both rare varieties for South Africa at the time. This site allows for unusually classically-styled wines, which have garnered the reputation as some of the finest in South Africa and the New World. These two have the subtlety, texture and length that would not be out of place coming from one of the great burgundian estates. Only 2 cases of each available.
Chardonnay 2020
£195 per case

This vintage had a very exciting outcome despite the challenges over the growing season. The grapes achieved excellent ripeness, with lower alcohol levels than usual. This has given the wine its elegance, along with mineral and saline purity - the vines are right by the sea after all! Unusually prominent pear and lime fruit aromas and flavours are brought beautifully into focus by that tight line of bright natural acidity and a long, dry minerality. An elegant, yet textured and intense wine with a strong personality of both place and vintage. Stunning and stylistically, this is in the mold of a fine Puligny Montrachet.

”Pear and lime aromas with a barely noticeable backdrop of wood spice. The wine is tight, bright and pure, with a surprisingly textured and layered palate for the lightness of alcohol. The dry almost chalky minerality and saline finish mark the wine as quintessential Hamilton Russell Vineyards.” Anthony Hamilton Russell.
Pinot Noir 2020
£215 per case

True to Hamilton Russell Vineyards’ Pinot Noir style, the newly released 2020 is a spice driven wine with a tightly wound structure, rather than being soft, opulent, open and sweet fruit driven. The low alcohol, a standout feature of the vintage, is analogous to some of their great age-worthy wines of the 1980’s.

“Dark, salted liquorice, cracked black pepper, and wet iron-rich clay, combine with subtle wild strawberry and field herb aromas. The palate is tight, restrained and elegant with noticeable but fine-grained tannin and a characteristic Hamilton Russell Vineyards saline quality. Overall the 2020 is a little more Volnay meets Pommard, than our more typical Gevrey meets Morey.” Anthony Hamilton Russell.
Tapanappa, South Australia
Brian Croser was one of the first Australian winemakers of the modern era to deliberately match grape variety to site. Any winemaker worth their salt will tell you that terroir defines fine wine, and that the best way to achieve terroir is to concentrate all your efforts in the vineyard.

Tiers Vineyard, planted in 1979, was the first to be planted in the Adelaide Hills, thus pioneering the cool climate wine industry in South Australia. It is an almost perfect homoclime of Burgundy, mirroring the site south of the Côtes de Beaune which produce the finest Montrachets, and is absolutely suited to Chardonnay. For the fourth year running the 2018 was awarded GOLD at the prestigious Decanter World Wine Awards 2020. This continues a fantastic run for The Tiers Chardonnay, building on its worldwide reputation.

The tiny 4ha Foggy Hill vineyard has a much lower diurnal temperature difference than the Tiers vineyard, making it cooler and more moderate, and therefore ideal for growing Pinot Noir. The 2017 is as near to a perfect vintage as Mother Nature will allow.
Foggy Hill Pinot Noir 2017
£175 per case
An understated and refined Pinot that is very much a product of its place. A lovely medley of summer fruits, orange peel and even a touch of Chinese five spice on the nose. Fresh, extremely elegant and a lovely depth of fruit. Subtlety is the hallmark of this wine and brings to mind wines from the Cote de Nuits.

Has the emerging signature of coal smoky savouriness (30% whole bunches) and dried flowers here. Violets and roses with a cooler on average vintage. Mulberries and red cherries with an impressive depth. The palate has the expressive, lively finish, and the tannins are groomed and linear, working in tandem. Nuanced, plush and even-paced.” 93-94 points, James Suckling.
Tiers Vineyard Chardonnay 2018
£260 per case

For the growers in Adelaide Hills 2018 was the perfect vintage. Pale green gold in colour, 2018 Tiers Chardonnay has refined fresh fruit aromas and flavours of freshly cut nectarines and pear. It has a subtle complexity of almonds and with its creamy texture, the yeast lees and oak, offers an elegant backbone to the fresh fruit. Jancis Robinson previously remarked that it is “rather like a Chablis Grand Cru”.

“This is a spectacular chardonnay, eschewing malolactic in the name of precision and freshness, while sacrificing nothing in the way of flavour and textural detail in doing so. A reductive riff of gunflint segues to notes of white fig, honeydew melon, nectarine and creamed cashew. A chassis of mineral and bright acidity carry the flavours long and broad, chaperoned by high class oak that is nestled into the fray. This will age beautifully over the coming decade, but oozes class and such poise already that it is difficult to refrain from opening a bottle or, at least in my case, finishing the glass.” 97 points James Halliday
Price includes VAT. Minimum order 1 case. No delivery charge for orders over £250 - delivery charges are typically £15 for most of the UK. Shipment due end March 2021. Offered subject to availability. E&OE.

Please reply to this email if you would like to place an order or give me a call on 01273 242535.