We at CellarHand are fortunate to work with a number of inspiring, incredibly gifted women. Exhibit A is our co-founder and exemplary matriarch, Virginia Walsh, along with the team members that make CellarHand tick.
On the grower side, of course, we are blessed to know a host of exceptional “international women”. The wines they craft bear testament to their vision, talent and strength of character.
We present this offer in the hope that you, too, will share in our appreciation of their endeavours.
|Nathalie Mabileau||2020 Frédéric Mabileau ‘Orgasmic’ Pét Nath||$54|
|Emma Rice||2017 Hattingley Valley Rosé||$91|
|Theresa Breuer||2020 Georg Breuer Riesling ‘Venture’||$32|
|Eva Clüsserath||2019 Ansgar Clüsserath Riesling ‘Vom Schiefer’||$43|
|Sophie Christmann||2020 A. Christmann Gimmeldingen Riesling||$61|
|Sarah Löwenstein||2018 Heymann-Löwenstein Riesling ‘Schieferterrassen In Orange’||$71|
|Anna Flowerday||2020 TWR ‘Toru’ SV 5182||$32|
|Kim Chalmers||2021 Chalmers Falanghina||$32|
|Adèle & Elsa||2019 Domaine Matrot Bourgogne Blanc||$59|
|Ingrid Groiss||2020 Groiss ‘Hasenhaide’ Rosé||$30|
|Tennille Chalmers||2018 Dott. Schioppettino 500ml||$29|
|Nadine Gublin||2017 Domaine Labruyère Moulin-à-Vent ‘Coeur de Terroirs’||$43|
|Heather Stewart||2020 Delta Pinot Noir||$31|
|Philippa Farr||2020 Philippa Farr Pinot Noir||$58|
|Claire Mulholland||2019 Burn Cottage Pinot Noir||$92|
|Virginie Taupenot||2017 Taupenot Merme Morey-Saint-Denis 1er Cru La Riotte||$273|
|Sandra de Pury||2019 Yeringberg Shiraz||$107|
|Genevieve Mann||2020 Corymbia Tempranillo Malbec||$43|
|Jacinta Jenkins||2018 Balnaves Cabernet Sauvignon||$43|
|Claudia & Silvia||2020 Cigliuti Langhe Nebbiolo||$64|
Named Pét Nath in honour of Nathalie Mabileau, whose husband Frédéric died far too young on the eve of this 2020 harvest, this is 100% Chenin Blanc from a 0.53-hectare plot of sand and gravel over a layer of white clay. The 13-year-old, organic-certified, single guyot-trellised vines are harvested by hand, with a yield of 55hl/ha. The handpicked bunches are slowly pressed and the must fermented in stainless steel with indigenous yeasts. This is a soft and pure pét-nat with extremely fine mousse and aromas of peach, apple and pear.
Twice-crowned UK Winemaker of the Year Emma Rice won Best in Class English Vintage Rosé Brut for this wine at the Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championship. It’s 6% Pinot Noir, 42% Meunier and 2% Pinot Noir Précoce. The Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes were handpicked and gently whole-bunch pressed. Approximately 9% of the blend was fermented in 4-5 year old Burgundy barrels, adding a lovely texture and richness to the wine, and partial malolactic fermentation took place in order to soften the wine’s natural acidity.
The wine spent six months in tank and barrel before tirage, where 2% of Pinot Précoce (vinified as a still red) was added to enhance colour, body and flavour. The wine undergoes second fermentation in bottle and ageing on its lees for 24 months before disgorging with 6g/L dosage. Alcohol 12.5%; pH 3.14; acidity 9.1g/L.
Theresa Breuer was just 31 when she was crowned Winemaker of the Year by influential European magazine Falstaff. A mere month ago she was voted Wine Personality of the Year by Vinum Magazine. No wonder; she’s a gem. Theresa conceived this particular wine following a long collaboration with her cellarmaster at Georg Breuer, Markus Lundén, and Weingut Bernhard Mehrlein from Oestrich-Winkel. The Riesling grapes come from three to four different villages to bring the diversity of taste into the bottle (from richer soils to the rockier parts).The label shows the river Rhine, and the wine has lightness with fine sweetness-acidity balance, presenting the Rheingau in best form.
Eva Clüsserath holds the reins at this Mittelmosel estate that traces its family roots back to 1670. “She has displayed a superb knack for balanced dry-tasting wines, and her residually sweet bottlings can also be memorable,” says David Schildknecht of Vinous Media. This tense, exciting dry Riesling is grown on two sites near the winery: Trittenheimer Altärchen and Neumagener Rosengärtchen.
An impressive dry Riesling for this humble category with pronounced herbal character and lots of slate at the frank and crisp finish. Drink or hold. Screw cap.92 points. Stuart Pigott, jamessuckling.com
Sophie Christmann went from being Vinum Magazine’s Newcomer of the Year in 2019 to – just one year later – Winemaker of the Year (alongside father Steffen). She has incredible feel for Riesling and Pinot Noir, and her trajectory is nothing short of extraordinary.
Low on forthright fruit, but high on elegance, this is a sophisticated dry Riesling with delicate blossom and herbal notes. Impressive structure at the long, dry and mineral finish. From biodynamically grown grapes with Respekt certification. Drink or hold.93 points. Stuart Pigott, jamessuckling.com
The 2018 rendition of Sarah Löwenstein’s Schieferterrassen was named Vinum’s Estate Wine of the Year. That same year, Sarah and her friend and colleague Kathrin Starker decided to bottle a couple of alternative takes on Heymann-Löwenstein’s calling-card cuvée. This dry skin-contact rendition provides a textural, savoury alternative take on Riesling from these amazing Mosel slopes. Riesling grapes from the Schieferterrassen vineyards in Winningen were fermented and macerated on skins for three weeks. Plunged once a day to keep the cap juicy and wet, it was given a long time in tank and barrel to allow the gently extracted phenolic elements to harmonise. Delicious!
Anna Flowerday has to be one of the most spirited wine-growers out there. She is indefatigable in her praise of regenerative viticulture and Marlborough’s potential, and a vocal cheerleader of all those who, like her and Jason, farm thoughtfully and generously. Much as she adores her home in NZ, McLaren Vale-born Anna can’t wait to come home and see you all!
Made with Gewürztraminer, Riesling & Pinot Gris – this is an exemplary wine and master class in co-fermentation, style and balance. Aromas and flavours of exotic tropical fruits, fresh citrus and apple, white flowers and spice. Equally intense and fruity on the palate with myriad flavours of fresh white fleshed fruits, citrus and tropical. Refreshing acid line carries flavours and a firm youthful mouthfeel through to a lengthy finish. Best drinking from purchase and through 2025.96 points. Cameron Douglas MS, camdouglasms.com
Sisters Kim and Tennille are another pair of lifters, not leaners. Champions of vine diversity, they have followed in this family’s tradition of raising the standards of Australian viticulture while giving tirelessly to others. This is the second release of Chalmers Falanghina, a vine variety this visionary grape-growing family first imported in 2015 and vinified as a Project wine in 2018. It’s an exotic, racy wine with notes of orchid, fresh lychee, lime and white stones and a persistent finish.
“Great wines are being made at this address,” wrote Vinous Media’s Neal Martin following his most recent visit to the domaine. “The Matrot sisters have already accomplished a great deal, especially given that they have only been directing the domaine for four years.” Adèle and Elsa are indeed kicking goals in Meursault, and the future for Domaine Matrot is very bright indeed.
Bottled in July, the 2019 Bourgogne Blanc has a well-defined bouquet of light nutty notes, the 20% new oak nicely integrated. The palate is well balanced with a lightly honeyed opening, touches of ginger and dried apricot and a spicy finish. Good substance for a Bourgogne Blanc. 89 points. Neal Martin, Vinous Media
Ingrid Groiss is a star of the Weinviertel, where she grows her joyfully bright and stimulating organic-certified wines. Her Hasenhaide Rosé is from a vineyard whose name means “garden of the hares”, where the vines grow on soils of crushed rock with chalk.
A very attractive, light and crisp dry rosé with so much delicate cherry fruit and spot-on balance. So clean and subtle at the finish you’ve gotta go on! From organically grown grapes. Drink now. Screw cap.90 points. Stuart Pigott, jamessuckling.com
Tennille and Kim are equally involved in all aspects of the Chalmers business but we’re filing this under Tennille because she has been the one most involved in the small-batch experimental wines – from #bucketwine through the Project wines to the likes of Dott., named in honour of Dr (“Dottore”) Rod Bonfiglioli. This rare and beautiful northeast Italian grape gives a wine bursting with white pepper and Dutch speculaas spice aromas, plus a hint of jasmine and woodsy notes. The medium-bodied palate reiterates the anise, cinnamon and cardamom spices with cedar oil, blackcurrant and Davidson plum flavours. These are supported by medium-grain tannins, giving a lingering, dry finish.
Nadine Gublin is the star of the show here. She’s been the oenologist at Domaine Jacques Prieur since 1990, and likewise steers the ship in Beaujolais for the Labruyère family. As early as 1998 she was crowned Best French Winemaker by Revue du Vin de France.
The 2017 Moulin-à-Vent Coeur de Terroirs Vieilles Vignes offers up an inviting bouquet of dark berry fruit, spices, smoked meats, incense and rose hips, followed by a medium to full-bodied, rich and succulent palate that’s structured around velvety tannins and ripe acids. A layered, sapid wine that mingles an exuberant expression of fruit with nuances of the carnal, it’s already drinking well.90 points. William Kelley, Wine Advocate
Heather Stewart studied gained her Master of Science in Psychology at Canterbury University, with an aim to pursue a career in architectural psychology. But first she wanted to briefly experience the romance of harvest and – guess what – the romance never wore off!
Light, fresh peppery pinot noir with bright cherry, rose petal, violet, fresh herb, anise and spice flavours. A simple, easy-drinking, high-energy wine that is a bargain at this price.Bob Campbell MW, The Real Review
“Philippa Farr makes beautiful wine,” wrote Campbell Mattinson about six months ago. He’s right. Fair to say Pip likes to dodge the limelight. She goes about her work modestly and discreetly, yet anyone who’s tasted these wines since their 2012 debut will know her impeccable instinct for composing deliciously sophisticated Pinot Noir. This single-vineyard Pinot Noir brings together clones 115, MV6 and 114, wild fermented with 25-30% whole bunches in the mix. It has intense savoury, earthy, forest floor aromas that lure you into a pretty, delicate and engaging wine. The palate delivers fine tannins with toasty oak, smooth minerality and a fresh, fine-acid finish.
Central Otago native Claire Mulholland is another winemaker who’s utterly at home toiling away in the shadows of the vine canopy or winery. Her track record with the organic-certified Burn Cottage vineyard speaks eloquently of her intelligence and sensitive touch, though.
Intense, vibrant Pinot Noir showing real depth and complexity with nuanced floral, dark cherry and raspberry flavours together with thyme, anise, spice and a suggestion of white pepper. A backbone of fruity acidity reveals energy and helps to promote a lingering finish. A serious wine from one of Central Otago’s top producers.96 points. Bob Campbell MW, The Real Review
Virginie Taupenot is vice-president of Femmes & Vins de Bourgogne, a body founded in 2000 to champion women in a region where they had been somewhat invisible. “Because the role of woman is evolving in our society as in the world of wine, women of wine are uniting and organising themselves,” says the mission statement. “Passionate about their terroir, attentive to good practices and to the transmission of their knowledge, they are surely the future of “mankind” in general, and of wine in particular…”
The 2017 Morey-Saint-Denis La Riotte 1er Cru has a slightly more confit-like bouquet than Taupenot-Merme’s other 2017s, a little showier, but still very pure, revealing hints of kirsch and blood orange. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy red berry fruit, a fine bead of acidity and just a little chewiness toward the finish, which delivers firm grip. Excellent.91-93 points. Neal Martin, Vinous Media
Fourth-generation winemaker Sandra de Pury is the first woman to lead the historic Yeringberg estate. Though acutely aware of the heritage aspect of her role, she has not let history get in the way of striding forward. The Yeringberg wines have a huge sense of personality and place while looking more effortless than ever. On top of that, Sandra’s implementing changes with huge implications as she gears the estate towards a massively exciting future.
A lot of complexity and savouriness come out to play this vintage, alongside a wonderful coolness across the palate. Expect dark plums, licorice and menthol, juniper, a dash of pepper and roasted root vegetables. It’s fuller- bodied, with a covering of textural tannins and bright acidity.95 points. Jane Faulkner, Halliday Wine Companion 2022
What can you say about the meteoric rise of Corymbia? Much of the excitement was generated by the homecoming to Swan Valley of Rob Mann – and in fairness, he goes all right. But as the Manns try not to tread on each other’s toes, Rob got the lion’s share of the great outdoors while Gen grabbed the keys to the winery. She’d previously worked in South Africa, France, California and South Australia prior to moving to Margaret River in 2007 in the role of winemaker for Howard Park. At Corymbia, each wine has emerged with a fully formed sense of self, with great balance and impressive swagger.
So distinctive. So of a place. I’m thinking fresh blackberry, rain on a hot road, star anise, leather, pepper and rosemary. Black fruit, coffee, black olives, earthy and saline, boysenberry and tar, and yet spicy and vigorous, with a dirty come-hither chew and sooty tannin, and a long umami finish. Wonderful wine. Charismatic. Love this.95 points. Gary Walsh, The Wine Front
Kirsty Balnaves is – we’ve said it many, many times – one of our very favourite people. It wouldn’t be right to mention brilliant women without bowing down to her. However, in the spirit of this list’s wine-craft orientation, it’s Jacinta Jenkins we’re shining a light on here. She had huge shoes to fill as she arrived to replace the great Pete Bissell – the only winemaker Balnaves hitherto had. She learned a lot as apprentice to the great Pete, and has assumed the role of master with aplomb.
All Cabernet, and it’s marching to its own tune. Hum along to the chorus of pristine flavours of blackberries, mulberries, juniper and baking spices, plus some chocolate flecked with mint. The palate is well contained, with sweet fruit and oak neatly played out. Tannins are lovely – grainy and textural.95 points. Jane Faulkner, Halliday Wine Companion 2022
“I have been visiting Cigliuti since the early ‘90s or so and every time I come away more impressed than before,” wrote Ian D’Agata, author of Italy’s Native Wine Grape Terroirs, after his visit to the estate in 2020. “These are, and always have been, some of the very best Barbarescos of all, and I never cease to be amazed at how the family has tweaked and improved their wines over time.” What he means is that he thinks (as we do) that sisters Silvia and Claudia Cigliuti are doing an amazing job. With Silvia chiefly in the vineyard and Claudia in the winery, it’s these two formidable ladies who are honouring their vineyards and heritage while presenting to us a mouthwatering slice of Piedmont.
Lots of ripe raspberry, floral, spicy. Juiciness and vibrant but no shortage of firm chalky tannin, slightly raw feeling, though I don’t mind that here. Cherry and almonds in the mix, and attractive freshness. Structure and charm. Lovely.92 points. Gary Walsh, The Wine Front