Sydney Times


6 Great Boutique Wines to purchase on the Web!

Written by Aksel Ritenis

6 Great Boutique Wines to purchase on the Web!

This wine review comprises a selection of wines that I tasted over 2019 that I want to share with other wine connoisseurs,..There is always something exciting about discovering a sublime or ethereal wine and it literally removes your senses from the realms of everyday mediocrity and rejuvenates your confidence and enthusiasm for the wine world and the amazing winemakers who dedicate their lives to the process of growing grapes and winemaking as an art form. It also restores one’s faith in human creativity in general and as an essential requirement of being part of civilized society! Of course there is asea of wine out there but many of them taste similar they have similar styles and they can result in a jaded palate so in these difficult times it is prudent to share a great vinous experince with a valued or cherished partner or a valued friend  with sufficient intellect, charm and sophistication,…by trying one of these wines!

So these are some of the best wines that I tasted last year and most of them are under or around  aus$50.00,…..which is not too steep a price considering they are all in their own way exquisite wines,.. and each wine offers a unique story and experience for wine aficionados and connoisseurs alike!

They are all available on the Internet on the various E-commerce sites that are detailed at the end of each review



Pieropan Soave Classico DOC 2018

Price; $34.00


Perhaps you can still remember when drinking Soave in Australia was a thoroughly disappointing experience on account of the wine being dark yellow and oxidized,…due to bad storage ,….that was in the ’80’s and 90’s before the European Wine Boom in Australia,..but that is not the case anymore and this wine really proves my point… I first tasted this wine at the Hong Kong Vinexpoo trade show around 3 years ago,..and recently met the same company rep showing his wine at an Italian trade show here in Sydney a year later and I was still really excited about it!..This wine is a cracker of a wine with sublime balance and intensity and also minerality,..which I love..the wine has exquisite balance between delicate sweetness and a refreshing acidity-sublime!

Soave, in Italian, means gentle, soft, suave – an appropriate name for this small town east of Verona, encircled by the original enclosures of the town and dominated by a 13thcentury fortress. At the heart of the Classico zone is the Pieropan property, which dates back to 1890.

Leonardo ‘Nino’ Pieropan, who sadly passed away in 2018, was the first to show the world just how great Garganega, and Italian white wine, can be.

He recognized the importance of terroir early on, acquiring various hillside vineyards (including Pigno, Becco, Boiolo, Tondo, Palestrello and La Santa) and expanding the prestigious Calvarino and La Rocca vineyards, first made as single-vineyard crus in 1971 and 1978 respectively.

Tasting Notes: 

Like it New world cousins this wine is bottled under screwcap and is mostly Garganega with about 10-15% Trebbiano di Soave. It is aromatic – not a common feature of Soave – with floral notes (cherry blossom), citrus, stone fruit and almond. The palate is delicate and focussed, with excellent depth and lovely overall balance..

This is a refined and elegant Soave with a mineral driven fruit and a chalkiness reminiscent of fine Chablis.



Contact Details

By Email
By Telephone
0407 152 858
By Writing To Us
Vino Italiano
PO Box 441
South Melbourne, 3205


DOMAINE TINEL-BLONDELET “ Arret Bufatte” AOC Pouilly Fume 2017

Price $32.00

Domaine Tinel-Blondelet is made from 100% Sauvignon Blanc and is an immensely stylish and complex structured wine with intensity of length and myriad of flavor nuances on the mid-palat. If you enjoy a great Chablis,..or a mature Gruner Veltliner,.then this is for you!

It has won the Gold medal at Concours General Agricole de Paris. .

Tasting Notes :

“Golden Highlights with an aroma of mineral, white flowers and citrus,..a very complex and classy wine .”

This wine is sold predominantly in Fine Dining Restaurants in Victoria and NSW,…however it may also be available from independent Wine Merchants in Sydney and Melbourne.

Sales and Distribution:

Contact Hausler Family Wines

Phone: +61 418 607 366


Contact: Roger Hausler    






Terre à Terre Crayères Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

This wine is produced by  Xavier Bizot (son of the late Christian Bizot of Bollinger fame) and wife Lucy Croser (daughter of BrianCroser) and ‘Terre a Terre’ is a French expression meaning down to earth. The vineyard is on a limestone ridge, adjacent to Tapanappa’s Whalebone Vineyard with plantings of cabernet sauvignon, sauvignon blanc, cabernet franc and shiraz. Much of the wines is exported to the UK, Singapore,  and Hong Kong.

The Crayères vineyard is located next to Tapanappa’s Whalebone Vineyard, at the top of a north-south limestone ridge in Wrattonbully and named after the chalk cellars that are found throughout Bizot’s region of birth, Champagne, France. The Terra Rossa top-soil is characteristic of the area with natural fossilized limestone structures are found underneath full of undisturbed ancient fossilized remains. It is a  close planted vineyard The red grape varieties were planted on rootstocks in 2008 using cuttings from the neighbouring Whalebone Vineyard and French clones at a relatively high density for the area (4,444 vines per hectare, similar to the density of vineyards in Saint Emilion).

This terroir produces wine that carries an aura of finesse. The wines tend to be Subtle, delicate with redcurrant, cedar herb,..The fruit is picked buy hand and transported nack to the Tiers winery in Picadilly in the Adelaide Hills for vinification and ageing. After 24 days fermentation and maceration, the must was pressed off skins and racked to 225L French oak barriques (30% new oak) where it aged for 18 months. After a very light egg fining in barrels, the wine was bottled without filtration.

The finegrained structure and tannins tend to be reminiscent of many of the great Bordeaux wines,..and less like their Australian counterparts. This structure gives the wines a certain ageability which bodes well for the future so they have a good cellaring potential.

Tasting Notes: 

 Bordeaux like style and characteristics..this wine is made from Aussie fruit by a Frenchman and actually tastes French, if the Bordeaux 2nd or 3r growths are sold out this could be the go!!

A blend of 85% cabernet sauvignon and 15% cabernet franc and shiraz This medium bodied, wine has a core of ripe fleshy fruit.  The Bouquet shows  Hints of tobacco on and soft Blackcurrant,  Plum and maybe hints of raspberry with and a faint waft of tobacco and mocca. The wine has an elegant structure and fine grained tannins similar to a Bordeaux. Rather peculiar but it has been observed this wine actually improves on the second day, it develops other characteristics ,.showing  capsicum notes .. I found the structure and tannins had become more assertive or focussed which is quite bizarre, but noted by others as well.. 




Masi Campofiorin Ripasso IGT Veneto 2016 

Masi Campofiorin – is now identified as a  Supervenetian (acka  SuperTuscan) and such is the development of “winespeak” in the US of A.

This is a fabulous wine and if you haven’t had a Ripasso before You will be in for a nice surprise. It is made from the Classic Valpolicella Grapes varieties,… Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara from the Veneto, wine region near Verona(the town of Romeo and Juliet)Italy.

Masi are specialists in the production of Amarone, and the semi-drying of the grapes that make this majestic style so sought after. The wine is made using the Masi double fermentation technique where the wine is vinified and then re-fermented with 25% whole, semi-dried grapes. The wine is aged 2/3 in large 90hl Slavonian oak vats and 1/3 in new French and Slavonian oak barrels.

Tasting Notes: 

The wine tastes smooth and easy to drink with great flavor — primarily tart and juicy black cherry, cedar, raisin, licorice and spice. It ends with a long, slightly grippy finish featuring soft tannins and more rich and savory fruit plus lingering spice and tobacco notes. This is a really tasty wine that shows that the original is still going strong


Alepat Taylor

62 Albert Street
Preston VIC 3072
PO Box 8409, Northland Centre VIC 3072


CHATEAU YVONNE “La Folie” Saumur Champigny 2016

Price $36.00

This superb wine is made in Parnaty and is biodynamically farmed and certified organic.La Folie comes from plots in the village of Champigny itself with vines ranging from 15 to 50 years in age. It is Hhand harvested and native yeast fermentation in 50 litre concrete vats for 4 weeks. The wine is then aged for 12 months,.. in half 38 hl foudre and half in 4-5 year old barriques .

The wine is made from 100% Cabernet Franc which is iodynamically farmed and certified organic.  La Folie comes from plots in the village of Champigny itself with vines ranging from 15-50 years in age.  Clay and limestone soils. Hand-harvested. Native yeast fermentation in 50 hl concrete vats for 4 weeks. Aged for 12 months in half 38 hl Foudre and half in 4-5 year old Barriques.  Bottled unfined and unfiltered!

Located in Parnay, Chateau Yvonne has been surrounded by vineyards since the middle ages, when the monks at the Abbaye de Fontevraud brought their influence to the region. The Chateau dates to the 16th century, but not much is known until 1813, when a local winemaker moved in and began producing wine onsite. In 1997, Yvonne and Jean-François Lamunière decided to recreate the abandoned vineyard with the help of Françoise Foucault. In 2007, Matthieu Vallée took over and decided to keep the name Chateau Yvonne in hommage to the incredible work done by the previous owners.

Today the Domaine is one of the best producers in Saumur, composed of 3 hectares of Chenin Blanc and 8 hectares of Cabernet Franc, spread out over 28 small plots in three villages. The vineyards have been farmed organically (Ecocert certified) since 1997 and biodynamically since 2012. Yvonne’s production remains extremely low, averaging only 2000 cs annually.

“All vineyard work here is done manually, and Matthieu makes the wines with as little manipulation as possible: native yeast fermentation, no additions other than SO2, slow malolactic fermentation, minimal racking, and bottling unfined and unfiltered. The dominant soils here are limestone and tuffeau stone but outcroppings of gravel and sandy clay give completely different expressions of Cabernet Franc and Chenin Blanc.”

Tasting Notes: 

Bottled unfined and unfiltered!

This is a quintessential Cab Franc! Showing Bay leaf, ripe red fruit, a slight hint of barnyard,  on the nose and perfectly ripe tannins on the palate!, One comment I read stated that “Château Yvonne has the knack of making utterly drinkable   Cabernet franc.. I couldn’t agree more! This wine is fleshy and juicy with a delightful texture, and a nice balance betwen the fruit and the structure,..f Little to no oak or tannins. . Low acid. medium acidity light body.rue terroir Cabernet franc that really represents the region and its characteristics. . Black fruits.with good length and some focussed minerality.of minerality. Gentle tannins.earthiness, fruits, acidity. Tannins are still present considering the age. Dry, medium acidity, Lots of green, stem note. Berry fruit on the back burner. Lots of sediment considering it’s only 3yrs old.

Food Pairing:

It is recommended as a food wine  pairing well with  Roast beef au jus and any baked Chevre dishes !

Bottled unfined and unfiltered!

This wine is available from one of Melbourne’s leading French wine Importers France Soir 




CHATEAU PIERRE-BISE “Les Rouannieres” Anjou Villages 2016

This wine produced by a biodynamic producer,..Chateau Pierre Bise was for me the wine of a Loire Valley Trade tasting that I attended even though I was suffering from some ongoing liver problems familiar to the French as “mal au fois” known colloquially as a “crook liver” but this wine was the one  I could not get enough of.m,..somewhat like a natural medicinal tonic and seemed to get me back on the path to recovery! Wine is like that , can have a medicinal effect about it in the physiological  sense,.. and also helps with the lifting of one’s spirits! This wine produced by a biodynamic producer,..


“vinous or herbal remedy: was absolutely sublime!

Tasting Notes: 

Palette has ample dark fruits with equal amounts of acidity, it is both refreshing and dark, contributing to an unexpected balance. Soft tannins, forward with medium long  finish of red cherries.The wine has complex aromas of black plum, red and black currants, cassis, grilled herbs, green tobacco leaf pencil shavings and freshly turned earth.”On the palate the tannins are fine grained and polished whilst the addition of 30 % Cabernet Sauvignon not only lends a touch more weight but sweet notes of blackberry and cassis that complement the characteristic Cabernet Franc savoury flavours. Sublime!

It is available from one of Australias leading French Wine Importers Terroir Selections and it can be ordered as follows:

Importer/Distributor & for On-Line sales

“Terroir Selections”

Helen McGahan Sales Manager NSW/ACT

mob: +61 (0)406 162 236




Umani Ronchi

Rosso Conero Riserva ‘Cumaro’ 2015

Price $ 62

The name Cumaro is a tribute to Mount Conero, originally ‘komaros’ in Greek, which means arbutus – an evergreen shrub which grows freely in the Conero woodlands. Aged 12 – 14 months in new and second use barriques, it is a deep ruby red with an intense bouquet of ripe plum, blackcurrant and morello cherry fruit with hints of spice, black pepper, vanilla and tobacco. The palate is rich and generous with smooth tannins and a long finish.


Contact Details:

Got a question about a particular grape or wine? Please feel free to contact us.

For questions about orders, please include your name and order number.

By Email
By Telephone
0407 152 858
By Writing To Us
Vino Italiano
PO Box 441
South Melbourne, 3205

About the author

Aksel Ritenis

Publisher and Custodian of the Sydney Times

error: Content is protected !!