James Estate Semillon Hunter Valley 2001 - Lots of medals on the bottle prompted me to buy this a few years back. Pale green-gold. Lemon drop candy nose. Plenty of acid. Very young tasting wine. Sappy, medium bodied. Nicely balanced with good structure if a bit simple.
Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2005 - Crisp, refreshing, light. Slightly grassy. Solid wine.
Stonehaven Stepping Stone Chardonnay Padthaway 2003 - Lightly golden. Very oaky, charred nose. This is reflected on the palate. Some sweetness. Way too oaky to find anything else here but I guess a crowd pleaser. I find this difficult to drink.
Selaks Premium Selection Merlot Rose 2005 - Nice, deep salmon color. Quite dry. Light. A good attack but a bit flabby in the finish. OK for quaffing. Alcohol is a little obtrusive at 13%.
Angove's Bear Crossing Cabernet Merlot 2003 - Good nose. Quite dry for what I suppose is a Yellow Tail competitor. Soft and a little flabby. This is starting to get old but should still be OK over the next year or so.
Tigress Pinot Noir Bay of Fires Tasmania 2004 - Just a touch too much oak. Very dry. Light. Some tannic grip. Austere wine. Difficult to taste alone but would probably be nice with some food.
Claymore Nocturne Merlot Clare Valley 2002 - Very dark. Spicy, lead pencil shavings nose. Some mint as well. Nice nose. Still tannic. Has a slight metallic tang to it. A hint of Chinese preserved plums as well. Showing better than the previous bottle I had about a month or so ago. Can still age. I don't particularly care for the metallic character which, hopefully, age will tame.
Rolf Binder Hales Shiraz 2004 - Black wine. Rather exotic nose. Smoke and aromatic woods. Very nice nose. Soft and spicy. A drink now style. Medium finish. Medium bodied and quite dry. Solid wine but nothing special.
Rosemount Balmoral Syrah 1998 - I'm not really a fan of Rosemount's wines which I find way too sweet. The one exception is the Balmoral which manages to avoid being cloying. Still very dark. Nothing special on the nose which is pleasant enough. Full-bodied and starting to soften. Very dry, savoury wine. Well integrated and much softer than my previous experience with this about 2 years ago. While the tannins are softer, the wine is still tight and not giving much. There is a sense that there is something simmering beneath the monolithic structure but it will take patience before it reveals itself in full. Fortunately I have one more bottle. Rated very good to excellent for potential.