CellarHand Newsletter May 2019

It’s a short and sweet edition this time around, built on a suite of new releases. In the red corner, we have the old-vine quartet by Ben Glaetzer from 2017 in the Barossa. Another cooler season there has delivered that combination of freshness and relative elegance with depth and concentration. From further afield in Frankland River, the Smith Cullam clan has taken it up another level, truly, with the 2018 single-vineyard Rieslings from Poison Hill and Isolation Ridge, plus the ’16 Shiraz from Isolation Ridge. If these guys had hinted at finding a new gear in terms of purity, texture, shape and length – well, let’s say they’ve truly nailed it now.  Meanwhile in Victoria, Mount Mary‘s 2017 red and white Rhône-project wines are out under the Marli Russell banner. Every year these have ticked up in confidence and coherence – plus the reception has moved on from the novelty of growing these warm-climate grapes in a cool region. So drinkers have settled in, too, and are starting to see these for the beautifully composed modern gems they are. Nick Farr’s Irrewarra  wines came on the scene at about the same time, and the third vintage of these has served up an absolute belter of a Chardonnay and Pinot. Both show those trademark earthy mineral notes allied to beautifully clear fruit and drive. 
From overseas, we’ve thrown together a few top-notch sparkling options from Hattingley Valley, Jacquesson and Labruyère alongside the new, insanely good  Stefano Lubiana Grande Vintage sparkling from 2009. We also have an exciting set of new arrivals from La Spinetta, including some first-time Barbaresco from 2016 and the flagship Barolo Campè from 2013. And last but not least is the full offer from G.D. Vajra and Luigi Baudana. This contains a stunning line-up of 2015 Barolo and excellent Piedmont staples from 2017. You can read more about the inspiration and values behind this exeptional family here.
And to get the lowdown on all these wines at once, click here and read the whole newsletter at your leisure.