IT'S 2015, WHERE'S MY FLYING DELOREAN?
Bah, humbug! No, not Christmas, summer! Sorry to say, but with sun-sensitive skin and temperature-sensitive products to share, the warmer months are not my favourite time of year. Even after moving stock around the country in refrigerated trucks, we run into heat problems with couriers who seem unable or unwilling to complete the final leg quickly and in airconditioning.
So bear with us if deliveries take longer at this time: quite often we will delay despatch a few days to ensure the wine gets as smooth and cool a ride as possible from our Sydney and Melbourne warehouses to you.
Thank goodness we had a slew of shipments late last year to distract us and have got more exciting wines on the way.
In November we finally received a 20-foot container from France bearing our first shipment of Bruno Clavelier Burgundy (1988-2011), plus Jules Desjourneys and Jean-Marc Burgaud Beaujolais, Benoit Ente white Burgundy, Pierre Gerbais and Henri Billiot champagne, Chateau de la Roulerie chenin blanc from the Loire, Les Clos Perdus and Mas Conscience from the Languedoc, Espiers, Daumen and Domaine de la Vieille Julienne from the Rhone, Bastide Blanche bandol rosé and Nathalie Oudin Chablis.
Soon after we unpacked a few pallets from Italy, with most of the 2010 Sobrero Barolo pausing just long enough to be checked, labelled and sent on its way again. We've reserved another 30doz and will also buy more of the 2013 Barbera and 2012 Langhe Nebbiolo. New wines from Giuseppe Cortese (including 2011 Barbaresco Rabaja) and Valter Scarbolo were also welcome to meet growing demand.
With our second shipment of Vinedos Culturales from Alicante artisan Rafa Bernabe came our first order from Rioja renegade Abel Mendoza -- serious tempranillo and graciano that can wait till the cooler months but a fabulous carbonic maceration tempranillo that should be on everyone's summer quaffing list.
Sneaking in just before Christmas was precious cargo from South Africa: new sauvignon blanc and shiraz from Dombeya (Stellenbosch), two chenin blancs from Bryan MacRobert (Swartland); a cutting-edge range of old-vine reds and whites from Swartland master Eben Sadie (Sadie Family and Sequillo); some of the best whites in the land from Kevin Grant of Ataraxia (Western Cape); a new range from Chamonix in Franschhoek, including pinotage, pinot noir, cabernet franc and a bordeaux blend called Troika (Paarl).
Next in this month is our latest Spanish acquisition: Goyo Garcia Viadero from Ribera del Duero, who is set to make big waves with his gnarly old-vine tempranillo made in neutral barrels, plus new releases from our Ribeira Sacra star Ramon Losada Fernandez.
Two shipments from France are in the throes of being packed and shipped. First up we've got emergency rations of Christian Etienne and Geoffroy Champagne, plus a tiny allocation of Pattes Loup Chablis that should last us a day or two, with the promise that he might finally get a decent cut from the ensuing 2014 vintage.
Then a full container from France with our main champagne stars jostling for space: Cedric Bouchard, Ulysse Collin, David Leclapart and Marie Courtin, plus a restock of our fabulous budget sparkles Prince Estivac (from Alsace), the big guns of 2013 Beaujolais courtesy of Paul-Henri Thillardon, Jean-Marc Burgaud and his mate Laurent Martray (Brouilly and Cote de Brouilly), some left-field goodies from Domaine Ilarria in Basque country on the French-Spanish border, more Bandol rosé from La Bastide Blanche, and an overdue pallet of northern Rhone syrah from Faury (the New York Times this week listed their St Joseph as one of three must-haves).
Enough already? No, we've cleaned out the last of the great 2010 Barolos from Schiavenza in Serralunga and they'll be here with an irresistible dolcetto (another great summer drink) in late February.
The best way to stay up to date with all the arrivals is to join our mailing list. The link is in the menu at left. It just takes your name and email address and you're set. Of course, you have to be over 18 years to order and take delivery of wine.
Welcome to the party! Oh, and the headline? In Back To the Future, Doc Brown's Delorean came back from 2015 with a portable nuclear reactor and the ability to fly. Where's mine?!
Any (wine-related) questions, please email