Forget fruit bombs, the real classics of Australia express distinctive terroir and harmony.

Memories in Future Tense - Aged Australian Classics

Yes, Virginia, there is terroir and balance in Aussie wines. Once upon a time Down Under, before points, heavily extracted wines, and even heavier, deep-punted bottles, there were growers dry-farming very old, ungrafted vines on interesting soils. From the sandy clay loams of Barossa to the terra rossa limestone of Coonawarra and beyond, they made wines that were distinctly terroir-driven and quite unlike those from anywhere else. Sadly, with the rise of massively-fruited, expensive trophy wines and cheap critter wines, the classics were lost in the noise and hype and fell into obscurity in the US. With the subsequent–and perhaps inevitable–grounding of the Australian juggernaut, there is a generation of wine lovers who’ve never experienced the singular joys of aged Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon or Barossa Shiraz from venerable hundred-year-old vines. We are pleased to offer a selection of aged Australian classics from private cellars, and hope you’ll enjoy these singular wines as much as we do.  -John McIlwain

 

 

 

 

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Rockford 1997 Barossa Shiraz Basket Press

Rockford's Basket Press Shiraz is a modern-day classic. Made from dry-farmed vines from 60-140 years old, and vinified with low-intervention, traditional techniques, this is Shiraz that balances the ripeness of Barossa with the distinctive mineral character of old vine fruit. Blackberry, plum, cedar, spicy soil notes on the nose. Ripe, not blowsy, good mineral core lends drive and buoys the fruit; tannins on their way to being resolved. Maybe, just a hint backwards, but charmingly so. Though ripe, this is no bruiser. Bravo! Fantastic with confited lamb, would also pair beautifully with short ribs or braised duck legs. John McIlwain

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Wynn's 1994 Coonawara Cabernet Sauvignon John Riddoch

When one thinks of Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux and Napa Valley come to mind, but perhaps equally compelling are the cabs grown in the famous terra rossa soils in Coonawarra on Australia's Limestone Coast. Founded in 1951, when David Wynn purchased John Riddoch's winery, Wynns Coonawarra Estate has made elegant Cabernet Sauvignon notable for finesse, rather than power. The 1994 John Riddoch offers up aromas of black currant, olives, balsam, touch of leather with dark fruit, and chalky minerality on the palate.  Medium body, relaxed tannins, fresh, lifted, with a long, sapid finish. This one of the benchmarks of Cabernet. John McIlwain

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Feb 23 2017
Ai Valloni from Boca, and other wines from Alto Piemonte
We are excited to have visitors from Boca: Anna Sertorio and Andrea Marzo, owners of the organic vineyard called Ai Valloni. After the war, Ai Valloni was one of just a few producers who held on as the land under vine in Boca (and throughout Alto Piemonte) shrunk dramatically, the result of a combin
Feb 22 2017
Côtes du Jura Savagnin, Trousseau and Poulsard  from Domaine Pont de Breux, Salins-les-Bains
We were lucky enough to meet and taste with Jean-Charles Maire at Domaine du Pont de Breux in the Spring of 2013 and we are sad to present the last wines produced at the estate before his death in 2015. From the estate description by Jean-Charles: "The domaine was created in 1992, situated in the co
Feb 20 2017
Wine from the Venetian Lagoon
My wife and I love Venice, and we keep going back. Some people understand, and others think we’re crazy because Venice is so thoroughly overrun with tourists that it can be really trying.                   But if you pick the right t
Feb 19 2017
52nd Annual CSW -  Louis/Dressner Tasting and Benefit for Partners-in-Health, Sunday March 12th at Racines NY, 3:00 - 7:00pm!
Please join us on Sunday, March 12th, as Chambers Street Wines, Louis/Dressner Selections and David Bowler Wines present 18 of the finest estates in France and Italy at a tasting to benefit Partners-in-Health. "We go. We make house calls. We build health systems. We stay." This is a great opportunit
Feb 18 2017
Rhys is the Place: Ethereal Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from Anderson Valley
Rhys Vineyards produces an exquisite range of single-vineyard Pinot Noirs, Chardonnays, and Syrahs from California. There is a precise minerality, focused elegance, and most importantly, definite sense of place that one finds in these wines. Without question, Rhys produces some of the best wines in
Feb 17 2017
A Midwinter Spanish Mixed Case, Starring Brilliant New Voices from Toro + 2015ers from Silice Viticultores and Envínate!
Three of the most fascinating wines I have tasted this year are from Toro (yes, Toro!), a winegrowing region located in the west of Castilla y León that dates back to Roman times, fed by the regal Duero River shortly before it flows into Portugal. Toro's terroir is varied and laudable, combining wel
Feb 16 2017
All Tomorrows' Parties - A Cellar of Ridge ATP
“In terms of the grandeur of its bold, dominant, powerful red wines (often the equals of some of the most famous grands crus of Europe)—also in terms of the pioneering experimentation by its prestigious winemaker-partner, Paul Draper—this is one of the most important vineyards in the United States.”
Feb 15 2017
Gringet For President 2017*
With the way things are going, I think that is something we can all get behind, especially when the Gringet grapes are in the hands of Dominique Belluard. In 1988, Dominique took over his family’s 10-hectare estate, nestled in the village of Ayse in the Savoie region of France, in the foothills of t
Feb 10 2017
New Arrivals From Nicolas Gonin!*
The first couple months of the year are a flurry of activity when it comes to restocking our shelves. For some reason, this seems to be when the bulk of new vintages from my favorite producers in eastern France make their way stateside, and today’s offer is case in point. We’ve long been fans of th
Feb 9 2017
More bottles from the cellar: just in time for Rieslingfeier 2017!
It's almost mid-February, which means one of our favorite holidays is coming up...Rieslingfeier is nigh! This year marks the fifth year of the 'feier, with winemakers coming from both Germany and Austria to share their wines and stories with us. For those unfamiliar, Rieslingfeier is a two-day affai