"A respected maker of deeply flavoured and profoundly regional McLaren Vale wines of rare depth and character. The reds offer layers of depth and complexity, typically retaining finesse, balance and savoury aspects. Recent releases are heading towards more perfume and fineness of texture – the 2017 wines are a rare brightness and d eftness of touch. Fast becoming one of my go-to McLaren Vale choices."
"Ulithorne, as one of McLaren Vale's Finest."
-GOURMET TRAVELLER WINE
Finalists for the 2014 Australian Winemaker of the Year
"...these are cult wines."
"One of my six favourite Australian producers."
"...cult wine in waiting."
FRUX FRUGIS Shiraz 2016
97 points – James Halliday, "The most distinctive of the Ulithorne Shiraz trio. Whereas the other wines made no attempt to disguise their gentle seduction, this is unapologetically savoury, its superfine tannins not unlike those of nebbiolo. Cloves replace dark chocolate, black berries and black cherries are the Lords of Darkness, or the translation of the Latin name of this wine, 'fruit of the earth'.
FRUX FRUGIS Shiraz 2015
97 points – James Halliday, “Old vines in a single vineyard with low yields. The bouquet makes me thing of the River Styx, dark and impenetrable, the full-bodied palate’s power and liquid intensity coming as a shock. No light feminine touch here, and why should there be. It is a remarkable wine of very high quality, piling on the flavour as its length extends inexorably.”
FRUX FRUGIS Shiraz 2014
BEST AUSTRALIAN RHONE VARIETAL PLATINUM MEDAL – Rating 95 – DECANTER ASIA WINE AWARDS
97 Points - Huon Hooke, “Saturated deep red/purple colour. The bouquet is very ripe and appealing, with sweet blackberry to black cherry nuances, these flavours translating faithfully onto the very full-bodied palate. A powerful, deep-flavoured wine, with excellent structure and generous tannins. It has great balance in spite of its bigness. A luxurious wine.”
UNICUS Shiraz 2016
96 points – James Halliday, "This is more powerful and concentrated than Avitus, but no better unless it be the proclamation of place by lashings of dark chocolate and dark cherry fruit. Its virtues are notable in the way they have been tethered, the bonds not obvious even if tannins simply have to be part of the story."
UNICUS Shiraz 2015
96 points – James Halliday, “Hand-picked, hand-plunged, basket-pressed, low yields. A heavyweight bottle like Avitus. Bright, deep hue; this is a full-bodied wine that nonetheless has a certain lightness of touch. Licorice, dark chocolate and spice form a garland around the vibrant dark fruits. Tannins and oak are in play, but of far lesser importance.”
96 points - Tony Key, “One of a kind” is the Latin, which translates to a single vineyard in McLaren Vale. This is a sensual goddess of a wine, with a body of toned muscle, and power rippling and extending to all parts of the mouth. It’s a pleasure to taste and a privilege to drink. 96 points and for those who have it, well worth $75. If it came from the Rhone it would have a 1 after $ and before 7."
95 points - Huon Hooke (#4 of 90 McLaren Vale Shiraz), “Deep, dark, slightly black/tawny tinged colour. The bouquet is subdued and earth-bound, with savoury and not fragrant aromas. Hints of ironstone. The wine is full-bodied and firm, with solid structure and excellent ripeness. Big and generous with abundant ripe tannins and a sense of gravitas. Excellent wine for the long term."
AVITUS Shiraz 2016
96 points - James Halliday, "93% shiraz, 7% cabernet sauvignon from the same vineyard, open-fermented, hand-plunged, matured in new and used French oak for 18 months. A very smart wine, perfectly weighted and textured black fruits and a slick wave of regional chocolate, the tannins perfect. This beautiful wine deserves every penny of its price."
96 points - Sam Kim, "It is gloriously expressed on the nose showing blackberry, plum jelly, vanilla, cedary wood, anise and cocoa characters. The palate is equally gratifying and opulent with outstanding fruit concentration and intensity, superbly framed by velvety texture and chalky tannins. Firmly structured and sumptuous at the same time, promising to evolve magnificently."
Huon Hooke, (#10 of 85 McLaren Vale Shiraz 2016)
AVITUS Shiraz 2015
96 points – James Halliday, “Hand-picked from a very old vineyard, cooled overnight, crushed, open-fermented, matured in new and used French hogsheads for 20 months. You are greeted by a bouquet shrieking of its regional origin, the palate more calmly sending the same message. The tannin management is a medium to full-bodied weight of the wine, providing delivering structure in a civilised fashion.”
95 points - Huon Hooke (#3 of 90 McLaren Vale Shiraz), “Deep, dark red/purple colour with a rich, coconut and chocolate bouquet, the palate very full-bodied and deep, dense, luxuriously rich. The tannins are massed and imposing, persisting long on the aftertaste. A whopper of a wine, concentrated and very enduring. An opulent, buxom wine which would suit long-term cellaring."
Huon Hooke selected this wine to represent Australia in the Six Nations New World Challenge.
CHI Shiraz Grenache 2017
93 points - Partrick Eckel, "An undeniably pretty wine that showcases the elegance of the cool 2017 vintage. The nose is awash with lifted red cherry and a dusting of spice. The palate is medium bodied with a subtle build of fine tannins that enjoy oak derived richness alongside pristine plum and cherry fruits. Excellent length to finish with a back and forth between fruit and subtle milk chocolate notes that are quintessentially McLaren Vale."
EPOCH Grenache Rosé 2018
95 points, Huon Hooke (#1 of 33 McLaren Vale Grenache), "Light-ish pink colour with a subdued, shy, reserved, subtly complex aromas showing a little development, probably from barrel fermentation. The wine is light, dry and refreshing, grapy as well as savoury at the same time, and there’s a lovely floral note. It’s fruity, clean and refreshing, with plenty of life and energy. A very more-ish drink."
NOVA DUO Fresh Wine 2018
94 points - James Halliday, "Hand-picked from Ulithorne's '50s vineyard; filled a single 1-tonne fermenter, hand-plunged, pressed to French oak for completion of fermentation and 3 months maturation. A super-abundance of flavours are carefully balanced by tannins, oak not really in play."
FAMILIA Shiraz 2017
95 points - Steven Creber (for Wine Companion 2020), "Five separate (grower) parcels fermented in a combination of small open and static tanks, blended after 10 months in oak. Shows elegance not always associated with this region. Plum and cherry fruit on the bouquet is restrained, sitting in harmony with notes of milk chocolate and subtle oak, the palate equally composed."
FAMILIA Shiraz 2016
95 points - James Halliday, “Distinctly deeper colour than its Dona sibling. Fruit selection is part of the story, but so, too, is the making. This is intense, yet barely medium-bodied, dustry tannins interacting with dark very fruits and regional dark chocolate. Totally convinving winemaking.”
SPECIALIS Tempranillo Grenache Graciano 2017
95 points - Sam Kim, "This is wonderfully comforting and satisfying; the fragrant bouquet shows blackcurrant, plum, dried herb, warm spice and roasted nut aromas, followed by a silky-smooth palate that displays excellent depth and expansive mouthfeel. The wine is richly fruited while remaining harmonious and elegant, finishing impressively long and supple."
DONA Grenache Shiraz Mourvèdre 2017
94 points - Sam Kim, "Delightfully fruited and fabulously perfumed, the inviting bouquet shows dark plum, raspberry, game, dried herb and toasted almond characters. The palate is equally charming with excellent fruit weight and intensity, wonderfully framed by silky texture and polished tannins."
DONA Grenache Shiraz Mourvedre 2016
91 points - Wine Spectator, "Cumin, caraway and tobacco notes complement the dense, velvety core of black cherry, blueberry juice and ripe plum flavors.
Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvèdre."
DONA Shiraz 2017
94 points - Sam Kim, "Fabulously ripe and fragrant, the bouquet shows Black Doris plum, blueberry, violet, subtle spice and game aromas, followed by a succulent palate that is silky and flowing. The wine offers excellent fruit purity and vibrancy, wonderfully complemented by textural mouthfeel and spicy complexity, finishing persistent and smooth."
DONA Shiraz 2016
93 points - James Halliday, “Dona meaning ‘the gift’ in Latin. The bright, clear crimson-purple hue and the light to medium body suggest whole bunch fermentation of at least some of the fruit, all adding up to a wine that is ready to enjoy right now or in the next few years.”
DONA Shiraz 2015
95 points - James Halliday, "It packs a punch, but in the best possible way, distilling the essence of McLaren Vale shiraz into a wine that cannot be denied, its river of black fruits, earth, liquorice and high quality tannins unstoppable."
DONA Blanc 2017
90 points – James Halliday, “A co-fermented blend of Marsanne and viognier, with an unusual bouquet in which viognier is the most obvious, with dried flavours on the palate. Here, however, the tighter grip of young Marsanne provides texture and structure.”