Topic: TN: OZ Plonk 2000 - only about 60 (reds) out of 8000 wines reviewed,
Author: The Other Red Bigot (Ric Einstein)
Date: Sun Dec 3 00:31:30 2000
Hi Good Peoples,
Imagine this 8,000 bottles of wine under one roof, all of them open and all of them available to taste. Even allowing for the fact that about 5,000 of them were white, that still leaves a whole lot of wines to taste and only a few days to do it in. Luckily enough, I recently got a new job as Manager of the Moss Vale Hotel Bottle Shop, so I was able to attend the trade days, which were much less crowded than the general public days. Unfortunately my services as Manager of the Bottle Shop were terminated as soon as the show finished, and I didn’t even get to pick up my pay packet. –( Funny how many members of this forum I saw there that had suddenly also got full time jobs working in the wine business!
This show was seriously well presented and very professionally run. The only criticism I could point to was at a small number of stands there was a distinct lack of expertise by the winery staff, however this is a minor problem in an other wise first class show.
In order to ensure my palette didn’t get to jaded to quickly, I made a decision to try a few wines from a particular region and then move to another, then another new region etc. It seemed to work. I also decided that there were just so many wines I had be ruthless with what I was going to try and what I was going to miss. However this was a great chance to discover new wineries and wines, so I had to try a few unheard of wines and wineries too.
(For my rating system see my previous post, Mr Garr, Murray and TORB storm Victoria.)
This post is very long and contains TN on over sixty wines, so grab a bottle of wine, settle back and if you drink faster than you read you wont get bored. Its mind over matter, if you don’t mind it doesn’t matter, and if you drink faster than you can read, you definitely wont mind as nothing will matter.-)
Onto the tasting notes.
Peter Lehmann 97 Eight Songs – Dark red, this Shiraz uses French oak so its no surprise to find cedar, plums, chocolate and eucalyptus notes in the aroma. The wine has a very well structured tannic backbone, balanced, chocolate after taste with berry fruit to compliment. Sightly bigger than mid weight and the French oak gives it some elegance. Highly Recommended - ** (Not tempted to buy)
BVE 97 Ebenezer Shiraz – dark red, sweet berry, chocolate and liquorice on the nose. Good weight forward fruit together with well-balanced smooth tannins should drink a bit earlier than the 96. Recommended - ***
BVE 98 Ebenezer Cab Merlot – dark red, chocolate, cassis, subtle cedar notes. Fine-grained tannic backbone, forward very sweet fruit, should age reasonably well but will be drinking well in 2-3 years. It was better than I had expected. Recommended, almost Highly Recommended - ***
BVE 97 Black Pepper Shiraz – Very dark red, bordering purple, complex nose of multiple berry and other dark fruits, chocolate and vanilla aromas. Seamless tannins, huge fruit weight, cherries and plums, lingers beautifully. A big Red Bigot wine drink from 2005 onwards. Excellent - *** (Glad I have it in the cellar)
Bethany 2000 Shiraz Cab – dark red with a light purple hue, multiple berry aromas and mint, medium weight, sweet wine, earlier drinking style, not me at all. Agreeable ***
Bethany 99 Cabernet Sauvignon – Spice, mint and cedar on the nose. On the palate there was forward sweet fruit, but the wine I had finished bitter. I tried it early in the day (not much left in the bottle) and its possible it had oxidised overnight. Acceptable - **
Bethany 98 Shiraz – What’s going on here, the bottle is almost half full and when I taste it, it is so obviously off, it’s not funny. The wine is flat, almost no aroma and tastes bad. How come no one has said anything, how did this get through, or doesn’t the counter staff check? (More on this subject later.)
The second bottle was much better. Nose is bursting with rich liquorice, chocolate and plums. The wine has forward sweet fruit, light tannins, crisp finish and it’s clean. Not your typical Barossa Bomb. Recommended - *** (Worthy consideration to purchase.)
Zema Estate 98 Cabernet Sauvignon – ok, now I know what all the fuss is about and why everyone is raving about this wine. In my mind the best wine I have tasted from Zema. Dark red to purple, dominant cedar, (both French and American Oak) cassis and mint. Very smooth tannins, strong fruit weight and taste, great lingering finish, very approachable now, but will improve well over time. Excellent - **** (I ordered a case from Gavin as soon as I got back from Melbourne.)
Petaluma 98 Coonawarra – Very dark red to purple, the quintessential style Coonawarra Cabernet, you can even smell the tannins are going to be fine grained in this wine. On the palate there is rich cassis, cedar from the French Oak, some mint flavours, the wine has great balance and a long finish. Only slight concern was there seemed to be a little bit of a hole in the middle. Excellent - *** (Glad I have some)
Grossets Gaia 98 – Another wine that’s worth the hype. Dark red, purple hue, very fine tannins, great structure, subtle, a certain amount of elegance and loads of class, wonderful fruit. Outstanding - *** (Glad I have three bottles, but I must have been mad to split that case with Brian)
Tahbilk 92 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon – This wine was not tasted at the show, but I had it with lunch the day prior, so it seems relevant to post the notes here. A dark almost brownish shade of red with no sign of aging. Very closed nose with cassis, some earthy notes and cedar. The wine has a very good structure, is mid weight but seemed to grow as it opened up. There is am almost earthy taste that follows the aromas and the wine is quite French in style. Its seamless, subtle yet powerful and will last for yonks. Highly Recommended - *** (Eleven left to enjoy now)
Tahbilk 94 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon – Very similar to the 92. Subtle sweet cassis fruit is more dominant and pronounced. Once again seamless tannins, good balance and overall a better wine than the 92 vintage. Excellent - ****
Tahbilk 1860 Vines 1995 Vintage Shiraz – Typical Tahbilk premium wine colour. Very earth aromas, slight VA, mint, some berry notes. Surprisingly sweet fruit on the palate, with big acid, good drying tannic backbone and structure, its one for the long haul. Recommended - * (IMO, this wine is no better quality than the Reserve Cab Sauv and its twice the price.)
Mount Ida 98 Shiraz – Dark red to purple- on the nose there is liquorice, chocolate and a hint of mint. Very smooth tannins, great structure, good fruit weight, lingers well with a rich finish. (Another good RB wine and I am glad Brian talked me into a six-pack.) Highly Recommended - ****
Mount Ida 98 Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot – Berries, cigar box and mint. Very drying tannins with a minty after taste. Recommended - ***
Brands 98 Cabernet Sauvignon – Some of you may remember the last time I tried this wine I felt it was much to minty and couldn’t see why everyone was raving about it. Having tried it again, I now know why the rave reviews. No TN as there have been so many, but Highly Recommended - **** (This one is defiantly worth buying.)
Brands 98 Cabernet Merlot – Sweet berries dominate followed by a hint of a peppermint lift, slightly less integrated than the Cabernet and also less fruit weight. Agreeable *** (Not tempted to buy.)
Brands Sparkling Cabernet Sauvignon – (I think it was a Cab Sauv) Now why does a winery serve a sparkling red at about four degrees when the perfect temperature is around 10 degrees and they are meant to be showing it at its best? Whilst the rep was waxing lyrical about the major majestic and magnificent attributes of this wine I was warming it up in my hand. Then, when it reached a warmer temperature I took a whiff of the wine and realised why it was being served at 4 degrees, to mask the huge amount of VA which was hidden in the almost frozen state. At the right temperature Barely Drinkable - *
Hardys Tintara Cellars 98 Cabernet Sauvignon – Lots has been written up on this one so I will just say to me, its simple, slightly flat nose, didn’t do anything for me. Acceptable ***
Hardys Tintara Cellars 98 Shiraz – Also well reviewed. Some VA, liquorice and chocolate on the nose. A wine with good structure and weight considering the price. Recommended - ****
Hardys 94 Thomas Hardy Cabernet Sauvignon – They have just done a re-release of this wine as a Museum release. When I nosed it, it seemed very flat to me, almost no fruit flavour there. They opened a second bottle, and agreed totally that the first was a dud. Question again, how come the staff didn’t pick up on the fact it was a dud when they sniff and taste very bottle opened. Also how come all the people prior to me (who are meant to be in the industry) who tasted it didn’t make comment.
This wine is Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon at its very best. Rich ripe warm seductive cassis fruit, great balance and still an absolute baby with a long lingering finish and great after taste. Try again in four years. Outstanding - **** (Glad I have a dozen in the cellar)
They are going to delay the release of the 96 till June next year and have decide they will not release a 97 or 98 as the quality of the wine was not up to the high quality required. Hardys are to be congratulated on learning that they do their name no good at all by releasing substandard Super Premium wines, like the 93 Thomas Hardy which is still sitting on retailers shelves 3 years after release.
I was also informed that they are still playing with the Eileen Shiraz. The 97 was made with French Oak (previously American) and from now on, the fruit will be sourced from all over South Australia, not just McLaren Vale.
Now after a morning of reds, time for something different, so I went and tasted a whole lot of desert wines, Muscats and Tokays but wont post the TV. However when I was in the Rutherglen section, I did try a few of their reds too.
Campbells 97 The Barkley Durif – a big dark red, big spicy nose, earthy notes and a touch of mint. On the palate, there are loads of tannins with good balanced fruit. Need ages to come together. Better wine than the 95 I recently drank. Recommended - ** (Nice wine, but way to expensive.)
Bullers 96 Calliope Shiraz – Rutherglen at its best. VA, aniseed, spice and eucalyptus. On the palate the tannins are seamless, the wine has tremendous structure, deceptively elegant considering its size, with an intense sweet fruit flavour on the take up. Excellent - **
Bullers Rare Calliope Tokay – a bit of brandy spirit on the nose, it was incredibly luscious with a rich full mouth feel. Great depth of flavour without being sickly sweet. No way I am spitting this one! The Ultimate *** (375ml $45 CD)
After about a dozen fortifieds, back to the reds.
Katnook Estate 98 Cabernet Sauvignon – dark red with a bright and clean hue. Cigar box, cassis, capsicum with a touch of VA. Good fruit sweetness, fine grained tannins but finished a touch short. Recommended ** (I don’t know if my perceptions had been jaded by the sweet wines I had been drinking or if I was comparing it to the excellent Zema, Brands and Kidman wines that are about half the price, but frankly I expected more from this reputed fine wine maker.)
Mitchelton 96 Print Label Shiraz – (Recently had a 91 which was most enjoyable so was expecting a lot from this wine.) Aniseed, chocolate and berries dominated nose. It’s a mid weight wine with good balance and structure, silky tannins and lingered nicely. All the elements are there and should improve with time and be very good drinking in about 5 years from now, so why didn’t it excite me more? Recommended **
Vasse Felix 99 Cabernet Sauvignon – dark red bordering on purple. Ripe cassis and cigar box. Mid weight wine with good sweet fruit, smooth tannins but why doesn’t the colour reflect the weight? Finished bitter and in light of the smooth tannins, this may have been a fault. Agreeable - *
Vasse Felix 99 Cabernet Merlot – nose shows rich sweet cassis and mint. The palate is much to green for me. Barely Drinkable - *
Vasse Felix 99 Shiraz – dark red with a purple hue. Spice, cedar (American and French Oak) and plums on the nose. The palate shows plums, spice, liquorice, and chocolate, is reasonably complex and has soft tannins. Highly Recommended **
Now to try something completely new, a few wineries that I have never heard of and hopefully some exciting discoveries will be made. There’s a likely looking suspect and I wonder over and am asked, “You interested in cold or warm climate wines sir?” (Silly question) and they invite me to sample the warm climate wines from Riverbank Estate in Caversham W.A.
Riverbank Estate 96 Cabernet Sauvignon – Now lets cut to the chase here. How else at this show has a 96 vintage Cab Sauv that’s been matured for two years in mainly new French Oak that retails for $20 a bottle? Is that silence I hear whilst the grey matter is ticking over. If this wine is half drinkable it would have to be reasonable value. (BTW, I didn’t find out any of this until after I had made my tasting notes and had rated the wine.) The wine is dark red with a mid weight hue. The nose is very complex and every time I nosed it there was something different. It’s unusually floral, almost like a sweet perfumed rose, with cassis and spice there as well. Sweet cherry on the take up, ripe fruit, incredibly soft tannins considering the oak, it’s a mid weight wine with an interesting style of its own, soft finish but not flabby. Excellent - ****
This wine is a find. In order to confirm my assessment I tried it the next day prior to tasting anything else and felt the notes were reasonably accurate. (The wine was colder the next day.) Murray also tried, it, liked it, but was not as wrapped in it as I was, but then he loves Magill and I wont be rude and tell you what I think of Magill.-)
Riverbank Estate 97 Shiraz – very dark red with a good purple hue. Aniseed, sweet plums and pepper on the nose. Huge amounts of silky drying tannins, there is no doubt there is sufficient fruit hiding, but it will take time for this wine to come together. The vines are 80 years old and the wine has also spent 2 years in new French Oak. There is a slightly bitter finish, but considering how young this wine is and how long has spent in oak, I am confident it will pass as the wine integrates. Interestingly enough, Murray felt the Shiraz was the better of the two wines. Considering the brute force of this wine, that surprised me. Rated as Recommended now but I am confident in time it will be Highly Recommended - ****
Killerby 99 Cabernet Sauvignon – cigar box dominate mint and cassis. Good fruit weight and structure is OK. Tannins are smooth, but the wine is a touch bitter, and my gut feel tells me it isn’t the fact it young wine with tannins that need to integrate. Could this be the reason for the debate over this wines varied 98 vintage ratings recently mentioned in other posts? Recommended ***
Killerby 98 Shiraz – purple, (the right colour for a RB) Spice liquorice and menthol and pepper on the nose. Palate has sweet fruit, silky drying tannins, slightly short but should fill out as the wine matures, with a flavour chocolate and cherry finish. Highly Recommended - **** (Thanks for getting me a dozen Brian.)
Reilleys 98 Shiraz – This winery is in Clare (Mintaro) and the 97 Shiraz was nice wine and pretty good qpr. I tried the 98 Cab with dinner a few weeks ago and was decidedly unimpressed and I was looking forward to trying the 98 Shiraz. He guy behind the stand poured me a small tasting size sample from a half empty bottle. Now this wine was way off! No doubt about it, bad smells, flat nose, bad taste, no one could miss this wine as being off, yet the guy who tested it did and so did all the other “industry people” who had tasted it prior to me had not picked it up. What goes on here? When I pointed it out to the guy behind the stand, (who was sucking on a beer,) opened another bottle tasted them both and he said, “yep, you sure are right, its rank” the new bottle is much fresher and better. (That’s the third one today.)
The new bottle still had a dirty nose, with liquorice, chocolate, plums and a bit of VA. On the palate there was cherry and chocolate tastes and the wine needs time to come together and integrate. Agreeable *** (I think the 97 Shiraz was a fluke.)
The final stand of the afternoon for me was the Leasingham stand where I tried the Classic Clare Range.
Leasingham 97 Classic Clare Shiraz – this wine has just won Winestate wine of the year. It has a bright purple hue but appears to be a lighter wine than the previous couple of vintages. The nose shows spice, liquorice and vanilla. This one is locked up tight and will take years to mature. It has an excellent structure with loads of soft tannins, sweet fruit being dominated by the oak (at present) and a crisp finish. Dare I say it; this wine is big, but almost elegant for a Classic Clare Shiraz. Excellent - **** (At the $26 I paid for it.)
Leasingham 97 Classic Clare Cabernet Sauvignon – dark red, closed nose showing cedar and menthol. Very drying tannins, all oak with fruit hidden behind the trees. Typical young CC Cab. Agreeable now but like all CC Cab should/ can improve into a stunner given enough time. ** (The 92 is still nowhere near ready to drink, but a vast improvement has taken place in the 5 years since its release.)
Leasingham 94 Classic Clare Sparkling Shiraz – For those that enjoyed the prior release, the 92 vintage you are in for a surprise. This baby kicks its arse big time. Clean fresh sweet crisp blackberry fruit, with a sweet finish and great balance. Kind of uplifting wine. As it was the last one of the afternoon, it didn’t see the spittoon. Excellent - *** (Got to get me some of this one.)
Had to leave early as that night Mr Bill, Mrs Bill, Murray, his wife Jeanene, and I were having dinner at one of (if not the) finest Melbourne restaurants, “The Flower Drum.” Without doubt the finest Asian food I have ever eaten and one of the best meals of any type I have had the pleasure to enjoy, and we didn’t even drink red wine.
Now onto day two of Plonk Oz, Tuesday. Once again, time to explore some new wines and wineries, but day two didn’t prove as rewarding (in this department as day one.)
Smithbrook 98 Cabernet Sauvignon – dark red bordering in purple so it’s looking good. Cassis, cigar box, and capsicum. On the palate the wine proves to be a mid weight, lighter style wine despite the colour and hue, there are unobtrusive smooth tannins, balanced oak and fruit. Agreeable ***
Bethany 95 Reserve Shiraz – Probably/possibly fine wine, but didn’t do anything for me. It had sweet plums, mint and chocolate, mid weight and well integrated. Not my style of wine. Agreeable - **
Yanmah Ridge – 98 Cabernet Sauvignon (65%) Merlot –grapes come from 15-year-old vines. Dark red with a purple hue. Dark berry, cedar and tobacco on the nose. The wine was mid weight lighter style wine with silky tannins finishing with sweet fruit, early drinking possibility. RRP about $21. Acceptable - *** (not me)
Willow Bridge 99 Cabernet Sauvignon – integrated nose of sweet cassis, mint, tobacco and cedar. Its mid weight, smooth tannins, finishes OK with sweet fruit, but not very long. Recommended - **** at $20 RRP
Willow Bridge 99 Shiraz – liquorice, chocolate, eucalyptus and vanilla. Mid weight simple, inoffensive wine with a chocolate finish. Acceptable - **
Xanadu was a winery that I once had a lot of respect for but due to price hikes over the years I have not tried any of their wines for about five years and based on what I tried, I am unlikely to search them out again for another five.
Xanadu 99 Cabernet Sauvignon – cigar box, mint and cassis on the nose. It’s a mid weight wine, big fine grained tannins and good fruit weight that need time to mesh and come together. Pleasant mocha and chocolate finish. May be rated higher with a bit more time, but for now Recommended - **
Xanadu 99 Shiraz – Dark red with a mid weight purple tinge to the hue. Coconut oak dominates the nose with eucalyptus and menthol to follow. Oaky tannins dominate the palate, there is sweet fruit lurking behind the oak, but I feel this one may be unbalanced. Acceptable - *
Xanadu 97 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon – very clean looking classy wine with a medium red hue. Cigar box, cedar, light berry notes on the nose. The wine has silky seamless tannins, good chocolate finish but fruit weight seemed to be lacking to me. No doubt many would love this style and think I have no taste. Acceptable - * ($58 RRP)
So far today, not doing to well in the new discoveries department so it’s off to the Riverina to taste some desert wines. No notes, just a few vibes rough tasting vibes, which I wont post. Now back to the reds.
d’Arenberg 98 Coppermine Road Cabernet Sauvignon – Impenetrable dark inky red. Huge amounts of cedar, cassis, capsicum and cigar box. Big wine, loads of oak, seamless tannins, fruit weight there but this one will take years to come together. Excellent - ** (Tempted to get some but don’t like the value.)
Coriole 98 Lloyds Reserve Sangiovese Cabernet – this wine is not to be confused with the Lloyds Reserve Shiraz. Coriole is now producing a number of Lloyds Reserve wines, this being the second in the line up. This wine showed spice, pepper, its mid weight and …. Damn there goes the phone and I now have to leave Plonk 2000 for a quarter of an hour or so. Why tell you all this? Well the reason will become apparent in some days time when I eventually get around to doing another post on a couple of brilliant wine geek products that I was lucky enough to obtain whilst visiting the show. And now that we have heard a word from our sponsor, we return to our scheduled transmission….
Tim Knapstein 98 Enterprise Cabernet Sauvignon – The 96 was an extremely elegant classy act and I was looking forward to tasting the 98 with great anticipation, and like many things anticipated, there is a big let down. May be it was just me. The wine showed capsicum, cedar, pepper/spice and cassis on the nose. The palate has loads of fine-grained tannins, and I am not sure if there is enough fruit lurking under the tannins to balance the wine in the long term. It also finished bitter, which may fade as the wine matures. It may simply be to young, but I won’t be buying any unless there is a load of favourable reviews and this bottle was not representative of the rest. Acceptable - **
Tim Knapstein 98 Enterprise Shiraz – dark red with floral notes, plums and vanilla. Very drying tannins and concerned about fruit weight here too. Agreeable - **
At this point in time, we are into the afternoon of the final day of five days of wine tasting, so the notes are starting to get briefer and more like TV rather than TN. Sorry about that but I was starting to get tired and now, I am also getting sick of typing too.
Parker 98 Terra Rossa Cabernet Sauvignon – Why haven’t I been buying this wine before now? Dark red, purple with a clean purple h ue, cedar and cassis that is typically Coonawarra. On the palate there is lovely sweet berry fruit, some minty flavours that are not over the top, smooth tannins and good balance. Highly Recommended - ***
Parker 98 First Growth Cabernet Sauvignon – 88% Cab 12% Merlot. Complex nose that simply screams high quality everything. On the palate there is tight cedar, capsicum, mocha and dark berry flavours. Oaky at the moment but the wine has great structure, the tannins are seamless and the wine just lingers. Outstanding -** (Almost tempted to buy some but at $70 I need more cheapies.)
Majella 98 Cabernet Sauvignon – Bright dark red almost purple hue. Everything about this wine is fine; fine tannins, chocolate after taste that lingers for ages and it’s very well balanced. A mere pup, but should grow up into a terrific wine. Highly Recommended - **** (You should be glad I twisted your arm on this one Brian, or did you twist mine?)
Majella 98 Sparkling – What a wine! Spice, sweet fruit, mid weight but full flavoured wine showing spice, pepper, liquorice and chocolate. Lingers for ages. Outstanding - **** (Now Brian I know I talked you into splitting a case of these.)
Wirra Wirra 98 The Angelus – Frankly this wine has got me stumped, flummoxed and bamboozled. The first time I tasted it, it was so closed (to me flat) I thought we had a dud bottle. Staff of Winepros said it was perfect. Tried it again the next day at the Wirra Wirra stand and the guy from Winepros was right, that’s the way its meant to be. My notes read, “FLAT! Closed up tighter than a bank vault. Oak bomb Fruit seems like it may be there but can’t tell.” This wine was highly rated and made the Halliday Top 100. Now I am not knocking Halliday, I would just love to know how to judge this wine (or one like it) and why it rated it way it did.
Jamesion Run 98 (Reserve) Coonawarra – Cigar box cassis, and minty notes. Mid weight, silky smooth, sweet fruit, tannins are there but unobtrusive and well-balanced, considering it’s a 98 very approachable now. Recommended - **
Jamesion Run 98 Reserve Red Cabernet Blend. – more intense wine than the one listed above. More tannin, more fruit, more oak, bigger wine, needs lots of time, lingering chocolate and cherry finish. Highly Recommended - ***
Fox Creek 99 JSM – Impenetrable purple. Complex spicy nose with pepper, sweet dark fruit and a lift of VA. On the palate, its very smooth, well-balanced, mouth filling fruit flavours with chocolate and plum finish but still needs time. I prefer the 99 to the 98. Highly Recommended ****
Fox Creek 99 Short Row Shiraz – very dark red bordering on purple. Liquorice, chocolate and vanilla with big tannins and acid not as pronounced as expected. Needs time and a bit unbalanced (at this stage.) Recommended - **
Chapel Hill has long been a favourite winery of mine and the 98’s didn’t disappoint me, in fact the 98 The Vicar IMO is the best wine this winery has every produced.
Chapel Hill 98 Shiraz – Purple, complex nose filled with spice, liquorice, chocolate and all sorts of other goodies. On the palate there is succulent sweet fruit, the wine shows great balance, with a pleasing dark chocolate and plum taste that lingers well. Excellent - *** (Glad I have some)
Chapel Hill 98 The Vicar – Impenetrable dark purple. Nose is also very complex with spice, vanilla, cedar and a slight VA lift. On the palate there is intense sweet plums, liquorice, good tannic backbone showing soft tannins and the wine should be long lived. Outstanding - ****
By now I was racing against the clock, the show was about to close and there were a few more I wanted to try, so these last few are very brief.
d’Arenberg 98 Dead Arm Shiraz – very dark red bordering on purple. Vanilla with fine drying tannins, fruit is there but hidden, needs years, oak dominant at the moment. Highly Recommended - **
Lakes Breeze Winemakers Selection 98 Cabernet Sauvignon – Campbell has already commented on this one and spoke very highly about it and I agree fully with his comments. Cedar, cassis and mint on the nose. On the palette it’s an absolute baby and will require years to come together. It lingers beautifully and has soft tannins. I will open my first bottle in 2006 Highly Recommended (now but I expect the rating will improve with time) -****
Lakes Breeze Winemakers Selection 98 Shiraz – “This rocks” as our friends across the pond would say. It’s clean purple, with an intense nose of liquorice and violets. On the palate its has silky smooth tannins, mouth filling fruit flavours, perfect balance and great structure. I will be opening my first bottle after 2004. Excellent (possibly going to Outstanding) - ****
What a way to finish the day. But wait there is more. On the way out I get side tracked at the Rutherglen stand where they have a vertical tasting of Muscats based on their proposed aging classification. It’s the end of the day, so no spitting, and just sheer luscious indulgence of Muscat up to 80 years old. Yum, and speaking of which, its off to dinner at the famous Walters Wine Bar that night with Mr Bill and Mrs Bill but that’s yet another possible story in itself. What an incredible week of wine and food riches!
As a result of these TN and experiences, over the next week or so when I get time I will introduce three new topics for discussion.
The first will be “defective wine” corked, oxidised, batch variations etc.
The second will be about oak and tannins.
The third will be about some new “must buy” wine geek knowledge based toys.
So, please humour me and leave discussion on these topics out of this thread as they deserve their own identity.
Hope you haven’t all gone to sleep reading this manifesto and by now you should have just about finished drinking that bottle of wine I suggested you open at the start of the post. Hope you enjoyed it.