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Matthew Jukes 100 Best Australian Wines

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Matthew Jukes 100 Best Australian Wines

Matthew Jukes 100 Best Australian Wines is a list produced each year representing the best 100 Australian wines, covering all price points and regions, which are available within the UK. The wines shown below are the 10 wines which Hallgarten & Novum Wines represent in the UK within the 100 Best Australian Wines for 2018/2019.


Jim Barry Wines, ‘The Florita’ Riesling, Clare Valley 2015 | 12%

 

“This is one of two late-released Rieslings in the 100 Best this year but you would be hard-pressed to guess that this spectac-ular release is already three years old because its fierce fruit is so clean and bright in the glass. I am a committed, life-long fan of The Florita (and clos Clare q.v. – the tiny plot of vines adjoining this legendary vineyard). Florita has everything one wants from elite Clare Riesling and an awful lot more, too. There is a resonance and tempo about the flavour here which chimes perfectly with one’s palate. It’s not just about flavour, but more about mood and the unravelling of the ravishing perfume and complex taste triggers. How and when they are deployed is entirely de-pendent on this wine. You cannot agitate them out of the glass at will. Florita decided when and how it allows you to experience its kaleidoscopic charms. There is always a degree of performance involved here, and in 2015 it is an encounter that you will never forget. I have not only followed Peter Barry’s Assyrtiko closely since it was born, but I have stroked the vines, too! The Assyrtiko 2017 further ramps up the excellence and accuracy of this grape and shows that Clare is a perfect location for it to express itself at the top of its game. There is delightful grapefruit freshness here which builds on the near-exotic notes that this wine flirts at. Always underpinned with tangy acidity, the counterpoint between scent, juiciness and raspy acid is utterly compelling. I taste all of the Greek Assyrtikos I can each year hoping to find a higher-scoring wine than this one just so I don’t sound like I am off my rocker, but I have failed to find a better wine again! Hats off to the Barrys and the inspirational decision to plant this fascinating grape in their paddock.”


clos Clare, Watervale, Clare Valley, Riesling 2017 |12.5%


“‘Off the scale’, were the first few words written in my notes for this wine. The freshness and attack of fruit is un-nerving and it is so much pointier and piercing than the languid, lush 2016. With more brio and zip, added to an immensely long finish, this is a quintessential Clare Riesling performing at the very top of its game. I have followed this estate since the early Nineties and always marvelled at the wine’s minerality and poise but the Barry brothers have taken it to a new level of clarity and precision and in 2017 the husk, pith and ozone tanginess is heavenly. I had the occasion to open this wine alongside some mighty world competition, including wines which were twice the price, and it was embarrassing how elite and masterful it looked as it towered over the other bottles.”


Ocean Eight, ‘Verve’, Mornington Peninsula, Chardonnay 2015 | 12.5%

“Drop everything, except for your glass, and locate this wine as fast as you possibly can. Mike Aylward’s 2015 Ocean Eight Chardy is a jaw-dropping super-model, rising from its gilt-edged chaise longue and about to stride down the catwalk with devastating power and all of the swagger in the world. This is such an attrac-tive wine it makes a shiver run down my spine. Lean, fit, blessed with a cosmic scent and also so long that the fla-vour never leaves you between sips, this is surely one of the greatest wines that Mike has ever made! Employing a small amount of malolactic fermentation to further soften the pliable mid-palate, there is a sheen and bounce to this wine never seen before and it brings even more magnetic allure to proceedings. The red partner to this celes-tial being is the sensual, stunningly aromatic Pinot Noir 2015. In 2015, this wine has managed to capture the most evocative and aromatic vanguard of fruit and launch it at you with such accuracy that it takes your breath away. After the pulse-quickening red fruit teaser, the palate builds excitement thanks to its amazingly silky texture. Mouth-filling but not in any way heavy, this is a very clever wine. The finish brings a latent and impressive kick of power and grip which manages to chart the course for the rest of the exuberance. These are two great wines which clearly show the talent and extraordinary calibre of fruit on display at this amazing winery.”


Larry Cherubino 'Cherubino', Pemberton, Sauvignon Blanc 2017 | 13%

“This is the joint-highest scoring Sauvignon Blanc (or SSB/SBS) in my notes this year alongside 2017 Haut-Brion Blanc and 2017 La Mission Haut-Brion Blanc. It draws its fruit from the Ridge Block in the Channybearup Vineyard and with a cooler summer and a much longer hang time than normal, it seems that the vines have given their all to these impeccable grapes. Larry Cherubino does not push this wine at all in his winery, preferring to step way back in terms of his oak regime to a brief 4 month French kiss. This restraint has allowed the fruit to sing. It underpins the devastating citrus fruit with blanched almond tones and this provides the fruit with a wonderful platform on which to parade its natural talents. Add to this the texture of the wine, which is unlike any other Sauvignon Blanc I have ever tasted, and you have a very dramatic wine indeed. Laissez Faire, Porongurup Riesling 2017 is another tremendous white from Larry’s natural, or post natural as he prefers to call it, label Laissez Faire. Rather than slavishly following a prescribed mantra, Larry draws upon what he interprets as his vines’ own wishes and this means a thoroughly hands off approach. The result is a chalky, sour-lemon-drop-style wine with a raspy palate and mouth-watering traction on the finish. It is awesome fun and partic-ularly toothsome with high end Japanese cuisine.”


Larry Cherubino 'Cherubino', Margaret River, Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 | 14%

“While I loved Larry Cherubino’s opulent and showy 2014 Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon this 2015 is a com-pletely different being loaded with gravitas and brimming with vinous IQ points. There are some severe lines, some furrowed brows, some belligerent control and even a little brusqueness around the periphery, but Cabernet is not a joker, it is a monarch in the grape variety hiearchy and on special-occasions it demands and deserves great respect. Very long and very restrained, 2015 Cherubino Margaret River Cabernet is a noble and striking wine and it has ena-bled this brand to join the Premier League in this legendary region.”

Jim Barry Wines, ‘The Armagh’, Clare Valley, Shiraz 2013 | 14%

“2013 Armagh is a wine which looked very grumpy and closed when I first tasted it two and a half years ago. I re-member thinking it would be locked up and uncommunicative for a decade, but something remarkable has hap-pened and it has blossomed immeasurably in the interim period and it is now sheer joy in a glass. The Armagh is always a colossal wine with an immense aura but I detect polish and complexity here which usually comes to the fore after a good few years spent slumbering in a cellar. Smooth and extremely long, this is a honed, gentlemanly, staggeringly serene The Armagh and I cannot wait to see what happens in the near future. Just how much transfor-mation is going to happen here? I have a feeling I am going to need a lot of bottles to monitor this wine very close-ly indeed – this is my excuse and I am sticking to it!”


Paringa Estate, Estate, Mornington Peninsula, Shiraz 2014 |13.5% - Future vintage, due mid-July

“I have always said that winemaker Lindsay McCall makes Syrah with Pinot hands and Pinot with Syrah hands. It is extremely telling that buried in the core of my notes for this extraordinary wine I wrote, ‘it is like planting Hermitage vines in Chambolle-Musigny’. I think that this says it all. This is an expression of Shiraz like nowhere else on earth and Lindsay is the ultimate technician when it comes to building mesmerising texture into his wines. When wines can cost the earth and deliver little more than pomposity and braggadocio it is such a wakeup call to taste a wine like 60 matthewjukes.com this and calculate that it costs less than a shameful, poorly-produced, big brand Champagne. I have spent fifteen years try-ing to open peoples’ eyes to the vinous robberies that occur every day in our world while at the same time alerting folk to wines as life-changing as this one.”


Teusner, ‘The Riebke’, Barossa Valley, Shiraz 2016 | 14.5%

“Bang – ’16 Riebke explodes out of the glass with as much gusto and impact as possible. Soaked in the shiniest mulberry and plum notes in town and dusted with oodles of Barossa spice, this is a delicious wine and it is already on the front foot in spite of its youth. The sixth generation Riebke family grow some of the most intensely flavoured Shiraz in the Valley and this wine is named after them. From a mono-varietal to a stunning threesome, Joshua, Barossa Valley, Grenache/Mataro/Shiraz 2017 is a stripped down wine with little oak adornment and this allows the spectacular Grenache to show off its Olympic aromatics. Mataro brings depth, not least because it comes from 100-year-old vines and Shiraz adds spice, but this is a Grenache-show and it is creamy, rhubarby and cherry-imbued and it is one of the most famous tri-varietal reds in Australia.”


Lake Breeze, ‘Bullant’, Langhorne Creek, Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot 2016 | 14.5%

“Is this the finest value Cab/Merlot of the year? I think so. Everything about this wine shouts top class fruit and the only thing that hints at a lower price point is the Bull Ant label (which is Greg Follett’s entry level brand). Otherwise the old vines show off their undoubted class, the oak is fine and well-integrated and the finish is lengthy and proud, akin to a wine with twice the price tag. It will last for four or five years, too, so if you are on a budget and would like to pour a wine with top class tasting notes this is a cracking number.”

 

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