Discover our leading wine producers
WINEMAKERS: Jeremy Magyar & Richard McIntyre, Mornington Peninsula. Pascal Marchand & Patrick Piuze, Burgundy
REGIONS: Mornington, Aus / Burgundy, Fra
Situated in Red Hill on the Mornington Peninsula, this biodynamically run vineyard is owned and managed by Tony and Cathie Hancy. The vineyard is split into two blocks which are planted to Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and a small amount of Pinot Gris.
Vintage 2017 is made by Jeremy Magyar and Richard McIntyre at Moorooduc Estate. Previous vintages are made by Sergio Carlei with whom Tony has enjoyed a long running relationship since the winery’s inception in 2002.
There are three levels of wine that are the result of rigorous barrel selections.
The Pony wines are selected for freshness and varietal and regional typicity. Estate wines are chosen to convey a sense of the site whilst reserve wines are chosen when a single barrel is of high quality and particularly age worthy in style.
Meticulous grape growing captures the essence of the Mornington Peninsula.
A fascination with Burgundy has resulted in Tony and Cathie releasing a range of wines from the region. These bottlings have managed to capture the joy, prestige and mystique this famed grape growing zone has in the world of wine.
The wines are made by two distinguished winemakers, Patrick Piuze in Chablis and Pascal Marchand for the wines from the Côte d’Or. Their skills and local knowledge were critical in selecting vineyard sites and making key decisions around picking and vinification.
These are wines honed by obsession.
CHAMPAGNE HENRI GIRAUD
WINEMAKERS: Claude Giraud
REGIONS: Äy, Champagne, Fra
Henri Giraud is a quality driven family run Champagne house that operates as a Negociant Manipulant (NM) in Äy. The Grand Cru village of Aÿ nestles itself into the South facing slopes of the Montagne de Reims overlooking the Valle de la Marne. Henri Giraud is one of only two Grand Cru rated villages within the valley. The village is also home to Bollinger and Ayala. The village is renowned for producing Vin Clairs that are full flavoured, hedonistic and powerful, one of the only villages in the region that can produce fruit capable of handling fermentation in oak. Primary fermentation in oak is a stylistic feature of Henri Giraud. The house is committed to using wood sourced from the Argonne forest which has historically been a source for the Champenoise. This is then coopered at Vicard in the Cognac region.
The origins of the company can be traced back to 1625 when Francois Hémart planted the first vines in Aÿ. The house lays claim to being the oldest continually family run house in operation. The house is currently headed by Claude Giraud who took over from his father in the 1980s. In recent years the estate has started to undergo a generational change with Julian, Claude’s son-in-law, taking more of a hands on approach. A range of new wines and packaging is the first sign of an exciting shift in operations. In 2016 they announced all stainless steel fermentation vessels had been replaced by further Argonne oak and cement and clay amphora of various sizes and shapes. In late 2017 they followed this up with the printing of pesticide residue results, proudly showing they are residue free. These are personality rich wines that command attention.
CHAMPAGNE GEORGES VESSELLE
WINEMAKERS: Eric & Bruno Vesselle
REGION: Bouzy, Champagne, Fra
Located in the Grand cru village of Bouzy the wines from this family run producer feature Pinot Noir heavily. They also make some of the famed Bouzy rouge red wine that sits under the Coteaux Champenoise appellation. The wines are all sourced from the family owned 17 ha vineyard on the outskirts of this sleepy hamlet.
Despite being welcomed by a well kept yet obsolete traditional press near the entrance the processing here is decidedly modern and of the highest standard with stainless steel being the norm. The Bouzy rouge is located down several levels under the streets of the town where a range of large, old oak barrels sit patiently.
Wines of poise and power becoming of the famed Bouzy terroir. The ripeness of the site allowing excellent results at lower dosage.
DOMAINE AMÉLIE & CHARLES SPARR
WINEMAKERS: Charles Sparr
REGION: Alsace, Fra
Do you remember what you bought when you were 18?
Charles Sparr III bought a plot in the grand cru vineyard on the hill above his home town. This estate is the story of two wine families uniting. Charles is the son of famed producer Pierre who built a very successful winemaking and négociant label. Amelie is the 7th generation of the Buecher family to be involved in wine and also has a wine label with her sister too.
The wines are on the drier, mineral laden end of Alsace, think Weinbach over Deiss in terms of style. The vinification is often done using ambient (native) yeasts with time on lees in stainless steel the norm for elevage. The estate range is often multi-site across several villages whilst the ‘Legende’ range is made from select grand crus.
The vineyards are a mixture of leased and owned however all are run with biodynamic practices along with holding ‘eco-cert’ certification. Charles and Amelie select their vineyards with the help of generational wisdom to ensure variety and soil are given the best chance to provide vinous harmony.
This is certainly a power couple worth keeping an eye on with some age-worthy wines sitting alongside joyful early drinking examples.
DOMAINE LA CROIX ST LAURENT
WINEMAKERS: Fabien Cirotte
REGION: Sancerre, Loire Valley, Fra
Sauvignon blanc transforms to a limestone conduit when combined with the chalky soils of Bue in Sancerre. And here lies the secret with the wines of Cirotte. Great soil, sensible viticulture, caring stewardship and sensitive winemaking.
The vines are some of the oldest in the region with 60 or 70 years being a regular occurrence naturally yielding much lower than regional norms at 30-40 hl/ha. Since 1996 the vineyards have been farmed without pesticides and herbicides leading to certification with Terra Vitis.
The estate Sancerre is 100% made in stainless steel with around 5 months on progressively finer lees before bottling. There is also a single vineyard bottling from the prized La Chêne Marchand vineyard planted exclusively on caillottes (stony limestone soil) that shows the richness of this site to magnificent effect.
Domaine la Croix Saint-Laurent looks set for a great future with the next generation taking on greater responsibility under the watchful eye of Joel and Sylvie.
WINEMAKERS: Felix & Gabin Richoux
REGION: Irancy, Burgundy, Fra
The village of Irancy has been home to the grape-growing Richoux family since 1610. Upon visiting it is easy to see why they love to farm their plots, the natural amphitheatre of the vineyards provides one of the prettiest locales in Burgundy to make wine. Located closer to Chablis than the Cote dÓr this outpost has garnered many admirers in recent times including Allan Meadows of Burghound fame.
The domain recently passed proudly into the hands of Thierry Richoux’s sons Felix and Gabin. The domain operates in the currency of Pinot Noir, shunning the Cesar variety which has given the appellation notoriety through its inclusion in regulatory phenomena. A long elevage is the norm here with some of his single vineyard releases waiting for 5-7 years before release. There is a mineral tinged aspect to all the wines. The palate is free from excessive winemaking artefact with old foudre being the norm for oak. This allows the wines to confer a sense of cool limestone vineyards that benefits from having prolonged time before release.
The vineyard holdings have been built up to approximately 20 hectares. Parcels are put together in a patchwork manner and worked with lutte raisonee (best practice). Miniscule quantities of his single vineyard wines are also available if you have the chance. He also farms the wines for Vincent Dauvissat’s cult Irancy rouge.
Whilst the Yonne is more commonly famed for Chablis wines the rise of prices further south has now cast a bright light on this little gem in the north. We are very proud to represent Thierry.
WINEMAKERS: Pascal Marchand
REGION: Burgundy, Fra
Much like a child star in Hollywood, Pascal Marchand has experienced the spotlight from early on in his Burgundy winemaking career. He held the post at some serious domaines before he set about building an impressive magazine of wines from up and down the Cote d’Or to make this one of the most envied micro-negociants in the region.
The scope of wines was recently increased with the acquisition of Domaine Maume in Gevrey-Chambertin. A mixture of fortuitous timing, large sums of money and a very good middle man to negotiate the sale meant this famed estate is now under Pascal’s direction.
The current releases from both labels show yet another evolution to his style and enhancement of expertise. Pascal’s love for powerful and full flavoured wines is still there however the finesse in the delivery of the structure is something not seen in his wines before.
COLLOVRAY ET TERRIER
WINEMAKERS: Jean-Luc Terrier & Christian Collovray
REGION: Macon, Burgundy, Fra
Two winemaking families with the Macon and wine flowing through generations. This is the cradle of flavoursome and hearty white Burgundies that has seen the estate go on to produce the house wines for Berry Brothers and Rudd amongst others.
They started Domaine des Deux Roches in 1987 with the addition of a separate property located in the Limoux area within southern France in 1997 further enhancing their reputation for value and quality. Domaines des Deux Roches cuvee’s vary in vinification technique with the more humble sites given stainless steel to retain freshness whilst old vine and prized vineyards see new and old oak barriques.
The Closerie des Lys wines sourced from the south showcase varietal typicity over winemaker influence.
DOMAINE DOMINIQUE CORNIN
REGION: Macon, Burgundy, Fra
Romaine Cornin’s boyish freshness and lithe frame can easily catch you off guard when greeting visitors at the cellar’s door. He took over the reigns from his father Dominique in 2013 seemingly without missing a beat. Having done his time in wineries across the globe his approach is reasoned and respectful. The family winery which sits in the shadow of the monolithic rock of Solutre as an apt metaphor for the traditions that oversee the estate.
The winemaking here is deft and poised with the first 12 months in 228 litre barrels before a decision is made to rack and finish elevage in tank to retain freshness. Our visit to the winery showed a meticulous approach in the cellar that once again reflects Romaine’s measured actions.
The family is now 4 generations rich in terms of their connection with the Macon. Among the vineyard holdings are the 50 yr. old Chevrieres planting that his father planted from seed. In the 2020 harvest it will quite rightly become a 1er cru classified plot. Romaine’s arsenal of terroirs is rounded out by the 100 yr. old vineyard Les Serreuxdieres planted by his grandfather. All their holdings have been biodynamic since 2003, vines are ploughed by horse and picking done by hand. An extremely unique approach in this part of Burgundy.
As Tim Aitken says “The youthful, well-trained Romain Cornin is undoubtedly a winemaker to keep an eye on” indeed.
DOMAINE DES 13 LUNES
REGION: Savoie, Fra
This may be one of the most impressive micro-producers we have ever come across. A chaotic 2 yr. old bootstrapped operation running entirely out of his in-law’s garage amongst the backdrop of snow-covered Mountains just outside Chambery. We love it and so too it seems do our trade clients.
The wines of the Savoie region have been making waves in the wine bars and boutique wine shops of New York, London, Singapore and now Melbourne over recent years. Home to some lesser known, but extremely old grape varieties. The region is Alpine in climate with many of the wines made being consumed locally. A mixture of warmer vintages and a curious drinking public has now meant it stands to be the next hot region. No pun intended.
Sylvain Liotard is the vigneron here, with 5.7 hectares of vineyards he farms biodynamically and vinifies using a mixture of foudre, barrel, concrete and stainless steel. Each cuvee has varying use of stems and is vinified naturally before a very hands off elevage period.
Here is a quick snapshot to the grapes you will encounter in his wines.
Jacquere; Mineral rich and racy grape without as much definition as Riesling. A great thirst quencher.
Altesse; The gem of the region. Often producing mineral laden wines akin to Premier cru Chablis.
Gruner Veltliner; Often found in Austrian wines. A flavour like Riesling.
Mondeuse; Very old grape variety that makes perfumed, savoury mid weighted reds found under the Vin de Savoie appellation.
Gamay; Light, fragrant and flavoursome red grape similar to Pinot Noir.
DOMAINE DES MARRANS
WINEMAKERS: Mathieu Melinand
REGION: Fleurie, Beaujolais, Fra
Located among the southern vineyards of Fleurie this humble, family run winery crafts authentic, pure and softly spoken wines. Sourcing from a number of well thought out sites within Fleurie, Chiroubles and Morgon the estate carries a collection of holdings that belie their relatively low level fame.
The vineyards are managed in a very thoughtful manner with re-plantings being done on a massale basis instead of introducing any of the controversial university clones on offer.
The vineyards (mostly of 30 years age or more) are hand harvested before Mathieu Melinand puts the grapes through semi-carbonic maceration, fermentation in concrete then ageing in old, larger oak barrels to deliver transparent and expressive bottlings.
WINEMAKERS: Francois Villard
REGION: Côtes du Rhône, Fra
Former chef and sommelier now self-taught winemaker Francois has had a meteoric rise to stardom. He now resides over an impressive selection of terroirs from various Northern Rhône appellations no doubt put together with the assistance of long-time friend and mentor Yves Cuilleron.
In the winery his technique has shifted slightly in recent times with less oak influence, more use of whole cluster and a complete move away from punch downs. The result is a range of wines that show purity and freshness with finer, more sappy tannin structures than previous releases.
Watch out for the Seul en Scene release which is a spin-off from the highly regard Vins de Vienne project Villard has undertaken with Pierre Gaillard and Yves Cuilleron.
DOMAINE DES HAUTS CHASSIS
WINEMAKERS: Franck Faugier
REGION: Côtes du Rhône, Fra
Sometimes research and know how are trumped by good luck. We were tipped on to this producer by Master Sommelier Claire Thevenot when attending an Henri Giraud event in 2016. We then set about finding his unassuming winery on the river gravels east of the granitic mass that is Hermitage.
Winemaker and owner Frank Faugier cuts a large and distinctly rural figure which is at odds with his modern and impeccably clean winery. His understated, easy going nature comes through in his no fuss winemaking method that allows the elegance of Syrah and the superb location within Crozes-Hermitage to show through.
No tricks here, just honest and flavoursome wines.
CHATEAU FLEUR CARDINALE
WINEMAKERS: Ludovic Decoster
REGIONS: St Emilion, Bordeaux, Fra
The modern story of this historic Chateau starts in 2001 when Dominique and Florence Decoster purchased the estate. It has undergone various ownership prior to this since its inception as Chateau Clos Bel-Air in the 1920’s.
Dominique and Florence wasted no time in deciding to get this estate to the very top of the quality tree in Saint-Emilion. They kept the inherited knowledge of the team at the time but added the incredible insight and esteem of their neighbour Jean-Luc Thunevin of Chateau Valandraud fame (selling for over $400 a bottle) to act as consultant. This coincided with the installation of a new winery facility to enable fermentation in smaller lots under temperature control. Success was almost immediate with the elevation to Grand Cru Classe achieved in 2006 and re-affirmed in the 2012 classification.
The vineyards are broken down into over 20 plots with each one given a different regime based on vine age, soil structure, variety and exposition. All adhere to ethical viticultural practice with ecologically sensitive programs along with re-foresting parts of the property.
This is a wine that impresses with flavour and age-worthiness whilst also adhering to numerous modern day social and environmental commitments. See the link for an exhaustive commentary on their ethics.
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