Christmas Feast….Part 2 – Red Wine Tasting

Part 2: Now for the Red wines: Tasted blind, but at this late stage of the afternoon some of us were not only tasting blind but getting blind….

Great Aussie reds

Great Aussie reds

2010 Bouchard Pere et Fils, Les Cailles, 1er Cru, Nuits St Georges, Pinot Noir:  Nice light brick colour. Beautiful sappy, strawberry, earthy, funky nose. Very intense palate typical of high quality Nuit St Georges. Flavours of mineral, earth, plum and spice. Still young and primary, but finishes long with nice firm tannins. Drink 5-10+ years. Score 94+/100. Price $180 in Melbourne.

2010 Dutschke, Oscar Semmler Shiraz, Barossa Valley, South Australia: Dark intense purple with purple hue. Hedonistic nose, full of black berries, clotted cream, chocolate and spice. Rich creamy mouthfeel with beautiful fruit purity. Lashings of spicy vanillan oak, plums, black berries, soft chalky tannins and lovely smooth finish. Massive wine that will need a few years to settle, but already drinking well. Drink 2-5 years, although will keep longer, the wine is very balanced and very enjoyable young. Score 95/100. Price approx $60

2002 Two Hands, Ares, Shiraz, Barossa SA: Flagship wine of Two Hands made by Michael Twelftree and awarded 98 points by Robert Parker. Intense concentrated deep purple colour with brick tinges. Great colour despite being 11 years old. Nose packed with aromas of cherries, black brambly fruit, mocha, chocolate, and spices. The palate does not disappoint with great intensity, rich creamy viscous mouthfeel, strong blackberry and mulberry, and slight smokiness in the finish. Well integrated tannins and long persistent finish. Very enjoyable! Drink Now to 5 years. 96/100. Cost approx $150.   

2005 Charles Melton2005 Charles Melton, Voice of Angels Shiraz, Barossa SA:  Rich red and blue berries on the nose with spice and pepper. Lovely rich mouthfeel with creamy oak, christmas cake, mulberries, cherry, and pepper. Intense and long finish with soft integrated tannins. Drink over next 3-6 years. Score 95/100. Price approx $60.

2004 Yalumba Octavius Shiraz, Barossa Valley, SA:  Awarded 96 points by Robert Parkers Wine Advocate. Inky dark purple colour with purple/brick edges. Nose of plums, spice and blackberry. Beautiful rich mouthfeel with creamy vanillan oak, dark berries and black pepper. Lovely integrated tannins and long finish. Drink now – 5 years. Score 94/100. Price approx $90.

I’m not sure, but from here on the notes get a little hazy and cryptic. Perhaps a funtion of the quantity of great wines being tasted!!

1991 Chateau Tahbilk Shiraz, Nagambie, Central Victoria:  An earthy, leathery nose with cherry, camphor and cedar. Spicy palate with nice cherries and other red berries. Quite light in comparison to other barossa wines that have preceded, but has a nice intensity of flavour. Very interesting and drinking well for a 22 year old wine! Drink now. 92/100. Current vintage approx $25.

2007 Yarra Yering Shiraz, DR No 2, Yarra Valley, Victoria:  Nice lifted cherry, spice, mocha, and pepper on the nose. Lovely depth on the palate with rich cherry, savoury notes and spice. An elegant but intensely flavoured wine from a cooler climate. Drink now – 8 years. Score 94/100. Cost approx $100.

2002 Penfolds Bin 407 Cabernet Sauvignon, South Australia:  Plum colour with purple hue. Aromas of cedar, dark berries and spice. Strong palate with dark berries, cassis, and spice. Tannins still present and provide a long finish. Nice wine. Drink now- 5 years. Score 94/100. Price approx $65.

2008 Grant Burge Filsell Shiraz, Barossa Valley, SA: Dark purple colour. Nice nose of mulberrries, mocha and pepper. Palate has nice balanced mouthfeel with nice ripe berry fruit and clean finish. Mid weight wine and very good drinking. Drink now-5 years. Score 92/100. Price $40.

2009 Dalwhinnie Moonambel Shiraz, Central Victoria: Dark berries, plums, chocolate and hint of mint on the nose. Strong blackberry and cedar on the palate. Very strong wine with chewy tannins. Will certainly improve with time. Drink 5-10 years. Score 92+/100. Price $60.

Phew!!! Thats it for another year until we gather for Xmas 2014.


Christmas Feast, Good Friends and Wine – Part 1

Its that time of year when 12 close friends have our annual ‘get together’ to enjoy some fabulous food, wine and company. Everyone brings 2 masked bottles (or more if they wish) of their favourite wines to share and test their oenological mettle amongst friends. It certainly brings out the competitiveness!

For our white tasting we had a couple of small crustaceans…… 

Fresh South Australian Lobster, prawns and oysters

Fresh South Australian Lobster, prawns and oysters

…..and some sensational white wines:



Tasting Notes: (All wines tasted blind)

1994 Bannockburn Chardonnay:  From Geelong region in Victoria. Winemaker Gary Farr. Lovely golden colour, with honey, peach, burnt biscuit and nougat on the nose. Lovely developed character on palate. While the fruit had faded, there were good secondary characters of wood, melon, and camphor. Nice finish with light drying tanins. Definitely drink now. 93/100 Current vintage approx $80. Great example of aged aussie chardonnay.

1997 Bannockburn Chardonnay:  Slightly darker gold in colour, with an intense pungent, smokey nose, with grapefruit, melon and citrus.  Fabulous palate with a rich creamy opulent mouthfeel, grapefruit, nougat, marzipan, leesy oak, and soft chalky tanins. A delightful powerful and hedonistic wine! I wish I had more than a small tasting glass!! Drinking perfectly now. 97/100

2011 Bannockburn Chardonnay:  Current vintage. Third of a great vertical of 3 excellent wines from this vineyard. Pale straw colour. Funky, smokey oak and citrus fruit on the nose. Palate of intense richness and strength with grapefruit, leesy and savoury characters. Very young and needs time to show its true characters. Drink 5-8 years. 94+/100.

2007 Giaconda Chardonnay: From Beechworth, Northern Victoria. Winemaker Rick Kinzbrunner. Light straw colour with green tinges. Strong funky oak on the nose with grapefruit, apricot and limes. Rich intense palate with great minerality, richness and texture that demands attention. A beautifully balanced wine with intensity and a long finish that says “drink me”! Drink now-5+ years. 97/100. My favourite white! 97/100. Price approx $120.

2010 Cote de Lechet, Chablis, 1er Cru:  Pale watery colour. Pungent, smokey nose. Lovely mineral palate with lemon, grapefruit, leesy oak and chalky tannins. Long finish. Nice wine. Needs lots of time!! Drink 5-10 years. 92+/100.

2002 Petaluma, Hanlin Hill Riesling, South Australia: From Adelaide Hills, South Australia. Winemaker, Brian Croser.  Pale straw colour. Lovely green apples, lime and toast on the nose with secondary aged characters. Rich oily palate, bread, spice, kiwi fruit, lemon/lime and long finish. Excellent wine drinking at its peak. Drink now, although will keep another 3 years. Excellent example of an aged riesling. 95/100. Current vintage price $22.

Tomorrow I’ll post notes of the 10 reds that we tasted, although towards the end, the notes are looking decidedly hard to decipher…..

Britain is for Beer!

Royal OakI’m not even going to try to find local British wine when they have such great beer! The local ales here in Dorset are incredibly enjoyable. Went to the Royal Oak Hotel in Weymouth. A friendly local pub on the waterfront with a nice selection of locally brewed ales on tap and free pub wifi.

Beers on Tap

All the local ales have minimal carbonation and are smooth and very drinkable.

Smoking Block

The Smoking Block 6% was my clear favorite

“Smokin Bock” (bold). 6% Dark amber colour. Lovely malty and treacle nose. Lovely rich mouthfeel, slight sweetness and strong malt and molasses flavours. Great mouthfeel and nice bitters on the finish…..had to have a second.

“Midnight Blinder”. 5.1%. Black! Great richness with malt, anise, molasses, and smoked meat. Nice refreshing bitterness on the finish that suited such a rich ale.



“Chesil” 4.1%. Light amber. Honey, hops and a little sweaty socks on the nose. Lighter and softer than the previous ales and lacked their warmth. Good mouthfeel with light malt and nougat. Nive long slightly bitter finish.

“Flanker”. 3.8%. Light amber colour. Nice hoppy, floral nose. Soft and pleasant ale.