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INTERESTING and worthy
investment from a “virtual winery.”


David Ellis

WHEN I told my wife that Melbourne Shiraz enthusiast, Peter Mornement had come up with the idea of a “virtual winery,” she was absolutely delighted – and suggested that that night I forego uncapping the usual bottle, and instead taking a “virtual drink” from an empty glass.

Her joy evaporated when I told her that Peter, a highly-respected specialist wine merchant, had not only achieved his goal, but had bottles of what he (and others) are convinced will prove to be some of Australia’s best-ever Shiraz.

Peter contracted three leading winemakers in areas renowned for their Shiraz, financed the purchase of 10 tonnes of fruit and 30 new oak barrels for each, and gave them a free hand from there-on to each produce an ultra-premium drop. He dubbed his venture Palmarium (Latin for “outstanding,”) and registered the brand-name Exemplar (Latin for “original.”)

AND equally so this one from
the same fascinating concept.

The first two wines – Exemplar 2010 Heathcote Shiraz from Central Victoria made by John Ellis, and a South Australian  Exemplar 2010 McLaren Vale Shiraz created by Walter Clappis – have just been released in a 6-pack featuring three of each. John Ellis made his from fruit off Joe Marton’s Heathcote vineyard, and Walter Clappis used that from his own biodynamic McLaren Vale vineyard.

John’s is dominated on the palate by soft chocolate and dark cherry characters balanced by rustic oak and firm tannins and will only improve over 10-15 years; Walter’s is all about dark berry fruits and spices with tinges of oak and is soft and velvety, and again one that can only improve over 10-15 years. The 6-pack of three each is a worthy investment at $390 through

A second Palmarium 6-pack will contain two each of the 2011 vintages of these wines plus two 2011 Exemplar Barossa Valley Shiraz made by Kym Tuesner, and will be released in 2013.


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