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Today I was gonna talk about the Dalston Wine Mile, but it sold out stupidly quickly, so you'll have to make do with some other chat.
It feels appropriate that as I frantically try and tie up loose ends before heading down under for a few weeks that I'm able to regale you this morning/afternoon (whenever you get around to reading your favourite wine email) about a few producers from places far sunnier than where you're probably currently sat. I dunno, maybe it's the Retro Party Mix I'm snacking on to get me through Monday, or maybe my palate is just really 'on' in general, but it feels to me that there's a flood of hectically good booze reaching our shores from the deep south as of late. The perfect storm, what a time to be a wine consumer in moderation.
Let's kick off with a Aussie fella who has unfortunately found himself stuck in South Africa. In the world of wine not everyone is as friendly as us, so I was stoked to see Craven Wines move to an importer that aren't a complete pain the arse to work with. These are wines I've long admired, and am pumped to finally have on the shelves, both virtual and IRL. Along with Scions of Sinai, these are some of the most interesting, well 'made' natural wines coming out of Stellenbosch. It's hard to pick a winner from the bunch, which is fine, because it's also good when everything tastes good. The Chardy is truly something though. IMHO.
Australia now, and two icons. Let's start in Tassie. Jim Chatto is top tier in terms of Australian winemakers, and the Pinot he has been putting out of his Huon Valley property has been both outstanding and hard to get since it's inception. I'm pleasantly surprised to be able to offer some (albeit not much). Randomly I stayed in their house once upon a time during a junket on the Apple Isle, with a view out the window over the home plot. Stunning. Pure Pinot focus here, we're talking cream of the crop in what's fast becoming a mecca for fine wine in those parts. We've received three wines, each full of personality and poise, showing the diversity of the island. Not to be missed.
Speaking of Pinot icons... By Farr is back. Somehow I was able to get 1/3 of the UK allocation of Sangreal which will lead to much upset in the old crusty wine world, but, cares. I've since tasted the new release twice, once courtesy of a friend well on the way, and then a great customer. Both times it was ballistic. Limited stocks available here.
I feel like today, more than most, I've been talking about myself. Let's continue.
Theo Coles, who crafts the Hermit Ram wines down in New Zealand, is trouble. He's almost gotten me fired on more than one occasion, and also manages to make really tasty wines. These are full of personality and refreshment but also complexity if you go looking. These come highly recommended, even if the man himself does not hehehe.
That's enough, you've stuff and things to do.