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Cam Wheeler

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WTNs: 126 Quick Australian Impressions

by Cam Wheeler » Fri Sep 07, 2007 4:03 am

Allandale - Hunter Valley - http://www.allandalewinery.com.au/

Semillon 2004 - Honey and toast on the nose, quite developed already. Palate has medium body and flavour with alright length. 86/100
Verdelho 2006 - Bold fruit aromas and flavours, but seems a little bit broad and lacking focus. 85/100
Chardonnay 2007 - Very fresh and lifted aromas with peach dominating. Rounded mouth-feel. 86/100
"Matthew" Shiraz Viognier 2006 - Lifted nose, the apricot from the Viognier only very faint. Medium bodied palate, quite softly textured. 86/100
"Anna" Semillon Sauvignon Blanc "Ice" Wine 2005 - Citrus and marmalade. Palate is too sweet, lacks acid and direction. 82/100


Bellarmine - Pemberton - http://www.bellarmine.com.au/

Riesling "Dry" 2007 - Apples and citrus on the nose. Very fresh, bright mouthfeel. Medium length. Nice but lacks a little spark. 87/100
Riesling "Off-Dry" 2006 - Honey, stonefruit and spice on the nose. Palate is delicious with a lovely lick of sweetness. Very good. 89/100
Riesling "Auslese" 2007 - Lime, honey, spice and florals. Palate is sweet but has the acid to back it up. Very high quality wine. 90/100
Sauvignon Blanc 2006 - Grass and herbs on both the nose and palate. Palate lacks the freshness that I would have enjoyed. 85/100
"Bellarmino" Pinot Noir Chardonnay 2006 - A still version of the varieties often found together in sparkling wine. A touch of grass with lime, lemon and cherry to the nose. Nice carry on the palate. Interesting rather than spectacular. 87/100
Pinot Noir 2006 - Earth and stalk aromas. Palate is too soft and lacking in depth. 85/100
Shiraz 2005 - A little bit of tobacco and spice, with some smart oak integration. Palate also shows spice and a medium length. Worth another look. 87/100


Bethany - Barossa Valley - http://www.bethany.com.au/

Riesling 2006 - Muted nose, a touch of florals. Dry, clean and crisp palate. 86/100
Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2006 - Spice, pepper and pineapple to the nose. Palate is balanced, but otherwise unremarkable. 86/100
Chardonnay 2004 - Bold nose with toasty oak and butter. Palate carries on the same theme with rounded, rich flavour. Not really my style but may appeal more to others. 84/100
Grenache 2005 - Candied and cherry nose. Palate is surprisingly light bodied. Length and texture are both a bit lacking. 83/100
Shiraz Cabernet 2004 - Mint chocolate nose. Lacks intensity and flavour on the palate. 84/100
Shiraz 2003 - Spice and blueberry aromas. Medium palate, with the sweet fruit dominating a bit too much. 85/100
Cabernet Merlot 2004 - Extremely briary nose. Palate displays fine tannins. Good, but not very exciting. 86/100
"Family Reserve" Shiraz 2002 - Lots of coffee and chocolate with a bit of mint as well. Intensely flavoured palate. Drinking pretty well now. 87/100
"Steinbrusch" Riesling 2006 - Florals and lycees are prominent. Palate is softly sweet but may still need more acid and focus. Enjoyable anyway. 86/100
"Select Late Harvest" Riesling 2006 - Honey and more floral notes. Palate is sweet but there isn't much depth and there is little structure. Okay for drinking now. 86/100


Brokenwood - Hunter Valley - http://www.brokenwood.com.au/

Semillon 2006 - Lime and lemongrass aromas. Palate is very crisp and clean. Nice acid line. Will drink well over the next 5 years. 90/100
Shiraz 2005 - Described as "Baby Graveyard" (not quite sure if marketing has thought that one through), from young vines. Liquorice, pepper, cherry and kirsch. Savoury palate with tannins, acid and fruit in balance. Likely better with food. 88/100
"Mistress Block" Shiraz 2005 - Leathery and earthy. Savoury flavours carried onto the palate. Well balanced. Good depth and flavour. 88/100


d'Arenberg - Mclaren Vale - http://www.darenberg.com.au/

"Stump Jump" White 2006 - Grass and lime aromas. Soft palate that finishes very short. 83/100
"Dry Dam" Riesling 2006 - Very soft palate, no cut or drive. Boring. 84/100
"Olive Grove" Chardonnay 2006 - Buttery, toasty. Rounded mouth-feel. Not much going on. 85/100


De Iuliis - Hunter Valley - http://www.dewine.com.au/

Semillon 2007 - Crisp apples on the nose. Palate is light on flavour and very strong on acid. Might be too early to tell, but wasn't showing well at this early stage. 84/100
Verdelho 2007 - Lots of tinned pineapple aromas and some sulphur. Palate is round and fruity. 84/100
"Limited Release" Chardonnay 2006 - Honeyed with dominating toasty oak. Palate also shows this toast character. Good length, but I wish the fruit were a bit more prominent. 84/100
"Show Reserve" Shiraz 2005 - Earth, black pepper and smoke. Palate is savoury with some good depth of flavour and good length. 88/100
"Limited Relase" Shiraz 2005 - Reductive nose, some oak showing through. Palate is of high quality with great flavour, mouth-feel and structure. I wish the nose was better, will have to try to look at this again sometime. 87/100


Devil's Lair - Margaret River - http://www.devils-lair.com/

Fifth Leg White Blend 2006 - Grassy and lemon driven nose. Palate is also grassy with a crisp finish. Not bad. 85/100
Fifth Leg Chardonnay 2006 - A light but clean nose. Palate is a contrast with some bold and round, rich flavours. Seems indecisive about what it wants to be. 84/100
Fifth Leg Rose 2006 - Cherries and strawberry. Palate is delicate and light. Fine for what it is. 84/100
Fifth Leg Red Blend 2005 - Spice and blackberries. Palate is a quite sweet and round. Didn't find this easy to taste. 82/100
Chardonnay 2005 - A restrained nose and palate. Nicely handled oak. Length and depth of the palate are both good. Would like to see it with a couple of years of bottle age. 89/100
Cabernet Blend 2002 - Have tasted this three times now, didn't like it the first time but the second seemed better. This bottle was along the lines of the second. Tobacco, blackcurrant and briary aromas. Palate is well integrated. Hopefully will continue to improve. 88/100


Gibson's BarossaVale - Barossa Valley - http://www.gibsonwines.com.au/

Shiraz 2004 - Lots of spice and pepper with some red berried fruit. Palate is well balanced and has good length. Very enjoyable. 89/100
"Wilfreda" 2005 - Shiraz 50%, Mourvedre 27%, Grenache 23%. Chocolate and spice. Interesting texture to the palate, lacks a little length. Good, but I didn't enjoy as much as some previous vintages. 87/100
"Isabelle" 2004 - Merlot 57%, Cabernet Sauvignon 38%, Petit Verdot 5%. Large floral element to the nose with some chocolate, blueberry and plums in the background. Palate lacks interest and depth. 85/100
Merlot 2003 - Plums, cherry, spice and some smoke. A nice flavourful mouth-feel. Fine tannins. Good. 87/100
Eden Valley "Old Vines" Shiraz 2005 - Fantastic oak use. Chocolate, spice, florals and red berries. Palate is tightly coiled and concentrated, with good structure to age over the medium term. Excellent length. 91/100
McLaren Vale "Old Vines" Grenache 2004 - Cherry, leather and some five spice. The palate is massive in stature, flavours are intense and long. Good for its style, but not for those looking for elegance. 88/100
"Late Harvest" Semillon 2006 - Floral, with pears and apricots. Medium sweetness without much depth. 87/100


Heathfield Ridge - Limestone Coast - http://www.tidswellwines.com.au/

Sauvignon Blanc 2006 - Grass on the nose. Palate is crisp with ok length. Pretty unexciting. 85/100
Shiraz 2004 - Coconut and vanilla oak. Lots of spice to the palate. Medium length. 87/100
Cabernet Sauvignon 2003 - Briar with some overly green notes. Palate is nicely textured but I can't get over the greenness I'm afraid. 83/100
"Jennifer" Cabernet Sauvignon 2002 - Really nice aromas from the oak treatment with some spice, blackcurrant and cherry as well. Interesting palate with fine tannin and structure. I can't get over how much I like the oak aromas and flavour on this, normally I wouldn't but this is very good. 88/100


Hungerford Hill - Hunter Valley - http://www.hungerfordhill.com.au/

Verdelho 2006 - Crisp and dry palate with only very light aromas and flavour. 84/100
Semillon 2006 - Soft nose, not much happening. Palate has a touch of richness to it but not much else of interest. 85/100
"Fishcage" Chardonnay Viognier 2006 - Very apricot driven. Palate seems disjointed. Didn't enjoy. 82/100
Rose 2007 - Strawberry nose. Softly sweet without anything very interesting. 84/100
"Fishcage" Shiraz Viognier 2005 - Spicy with some earthy notes. Not much Viognier evident except for a little floral lift. Palate is not all that interesting. 85/100
Shiraz 2005 - Blackberry and cherry nose. Spice on the savoury palate. Much better depth here. 88/100

Keith Tulloch - Hunter Valley - http://www.keithtullochwine.com.au/

Semillon 2006 - Pears and lemony nose. Really lovely balanced acid to the palate. Has potential to develop or be enjoyed now. 88/100
Chardonnay 2006 - Minerals and slate on the nose. Palate is very restrained, but is too simple. 85/100
Shiraz Viognier 2004 - Light floral hints on the nose are the only sign of the Viognier component. Palate is soft and slippery. 85/100
"Kester" Shiraz 2003 - Very reductive nose, some blackberries come through after determined swirling. Palate shows rasping tannin, quite unpleasant actually. Could have been in an awkward stage, but this was not looking good today. 81/100
Botrytis Semillon 2005 - Apricot and marmalade. Clean palate with medium sweetness and good balance. 87/100


Margan - Hunter Valley - http://www.margan.com.au/

Verdelho 2006 - Apple and lemon aromas. Palate has some good cleansing acid. Not bad at all. 87/100
Semillon 2006 - Aromas like lemon meringue and freshly baked apple pie! The acid is strong but focused. A nice wine with room for development. 88/100
Saignee Shiraz 2006 - Cherry and spice. Lick of fruit sweetness to the palate. There is a bit of flavour weight to it which I liked. 87/100
Merlot 2005 - Nose is pretty quiet, some dark fruits lurking. Structurally reasonable on the palate, decent flow and length. Lacking a bit of excitement though. 86/100
Shiraz 2005 - Savoury themed aromas with spice, earth, gravel and some red fruit as well. Palate is earthy and spicy. Good structure for aging over 5 years. Quality stuff. 90/100

Mount Vincent - Hunter Valley - http://www.mvewines.com.au/

"Walaga" Semillon Verdelho 2004 - Honey and tropical fruits. Nice in the mouth but finishes a bit too broad. 86/100
"Walaga" Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2006 - Aromas of gooseberry and grass. Crisp palate that finishes short. 84/100
"Toronto" Verdelho 2004 - Tropical fruits on the nose. Palate is short and bitter. 80/100
"Morisset" Semillon 2006 - Citrus, lemon. Medium acid on the palate, lacking structure. 85/100
"Morisset" Semillon 2001 - Toast, honey and lemon aromas. Palate has good weight and richness with a good core of acid. 88/100
"Morisset" Semillon 1998 - Honey and citrus peel. Medium richness and body. Not much depth or acid structure. Drink now. 86/100
"Fassifern" Merlot 2002 - Tobacco dominant nose. Bitter chocolate and strong tannins presence on the palate. 85/100
"Awaba" Shiraz 2000 - Nose is closed for business. Palate shows a touch more fruit but doesn't seem to have all that much to say for itself. 85/100
Orange "Regional Range" Shiraz 2004 - Very spicy nose that carries across to the palate, very spicy and shows lots of acid. 84/100


Peter Howland - Hunter Valley - http://www.peterhowlandwines.com/

"Maxwell" Chardonnay 2005 - Nice nutty, mealy aromas. Very restrained palate, great balance with a streak of minerality across the length. Very impressive. 90/100
"Langley" Shiraz 2004 - Raspberry and spices. Palate is a bit dilute and short. 84/100
"Parsons" Shiraz 2004 - Lifted berry nose. Palate has lots of flavour without being too intense. Very good length. Classy. 89/100
"Pine Lodge" 2004 - Dark chocolate. gravel and mint. Palate is minty as well. Not bad but not really my preferred style. 87/100


Scarborough - Hunter Valley - http://www.scarboroughwine.com.au/

Semillon 2006 - Lemons and limes on the nose. Very good structure and balance. Length is great. Approachable now but with lots of promise for the future. 90/100
Blue Label Chardonnay 2005 - Minerally and citrus on the restrained nose. A nice vibrant fruit richness to the palate, finishing crisp and dry. 88/100
Yellow Label Chardonnay 2004 - Lime, grassy, some toast. Palate has nice balance between sweet, vibrant fruit, acid and oak. 87/100
Pinot Noir 2004 - Earth, spice and some red berries. Touch of stalk. Palate is medium length but not very interesting. 85/100
"Late Harvest" 2006 - Apricot, spice and orange rind. Clean palate with a delicious light sweetness to it. Good length and balance. 88/100

Seppelt - Grampians - http://http://www.seppelt.com.au/

"Salinger" Sparkling 2003 - Crisp green apple nose with a touch of pastry. Palate is clean and dry. Fine for what it is. 85/100
"Victoria" Chardonnay 2005 - Lots of stonefruit and melon on the nose. Palate is clean and easy to drink, with no hard edges. 85/100
"Jaluka" Chardonnay 2006 - Smoky aromas and very restrained oak. Softly textured palate with good length. Pretty enjoyable and should be better with a few years in bottle. 88/100
"Victoria" Shiraz 2004 - Soft nose with a hint of pepper. Palate is soft as well, very round and fruit driven. Not bad for the price range it aims at. 84/100
"Chalambar" Shiraz 2005 - Leather, cinnamon, smoked meat, peppery nose. Palate is savoury and has decent length. 88/100

Seppelt Shiraz Masterclass - Grampians

"Victoria" Shiraz 2005 - Pepper, spice and a bit of blueberry. Palate is a bit less soft than the 2004 tried at the Seppelt stand, with some more spice, but still no depth or weight. 85/100
"Chalambar" Shiraz 2005 - Similar to the above, some more red fruit and oak emerging in the bigger glassware. Palate is the same. A very elegant style of Shiraz. 88/100
"Silverband" Shiraz 2005 - Pepper, smoked meat and some oak. Palate is spicy and has fine tannins. Nice length. 89/100
"Benno" Shiraz 2005 - Lots of oak, some black fruits and plums. Bold palate flavour, lots of tannin at this stage. Similar style to the '03 and '04 Bennos that I didn't really like either. 87/100
"Mount Ida" Shiraz 2004 - Blood, chocolate, iodine and intense raspberry. Palate is intensely flavoured but there is balance between the rich fruit and the structure from oak, tannin and acid. Approachable now, but sure to get better over the medium term. 89/100
"St. Peters" 2004 - Savoury nose and palate. Spice, chocolate, violets and cedar. Very elegant palate, restrained and balanced with lovely length. Impeccably classy wine. 93/100

St Hallett - Barossa Valley - http://www.sthallett.com.au/

Eden Valley Riesling 2006 - Citrus nose. Medium body with enough acid to carry across the length. 87/100
"Poachers Blend" 2006 - Pineapple and other tropical fruit. Fresh, crisp palate but a bit too short. 85/100
Semillon 2003 - Grapefruit and oak characters. Creamy palate with medium body flavour. An interesting style of Semillon. 87/100
"Gamekeepers" Red Blend 2005 - Spice and meat on the nose. Palate is spicy and savoury. Drying tannins. 86/100
"GST" 2006 - Violets and red currangs. Smooth mouth-feel with a soft finish. 85/100
"Faith" Shiraz 2005 - Spice and blackberry nose. Palate seems to be lacking fruit vibrancy and depth. 85/100
"Blackwell" Shiraz 2005 - Coconut, blackberry, quite intense nose. Palate has similar strong intensity of flavour but it manages to stay in balance. Very good. 89/100

Thomas - Hunter Valley - http://www.thomaswines.com.au/

"O.C" Semillon 2007 - Nice vibrancy to the nose with peach and other ripe stonefruit. Palate has a touch of grass to it, with good length. 88/100
"Braemore" Semillon 2007 - Lemon, lime, hay and slate. Palate has excellent focus and real drive along the line. Excellent length and the structure indicates this has loads of potential over the next 10 years. One of the best, if not the best Semillon from the show. 91/100
"Kiss" Shiraz 2005 - Earth, cherry, kirsch and spice notes to the nose. Palate has excellent savoury character with lots of layered spice. Excellent structure. A very classy wine that I was most impressed by. 91/100

Tower Estate - Hunter Valley - http://www.towerestatewines.com.au

Semillon 2005 - Very mealy on the nose. Good acid, but no depth to the fruit. Not impressed. 85/100
Verdelho 2006 - Tropical fruits. Soft, sweet palate. Fine, but I struggle to find much to like about this variety. 85/100
Chardonnay 2004 - Buttered toast nose. Rich, mouth-filling palate. A bit too over the top for me. 86/100
Shiraz 2004 - Dirty and metallic on both the nose and palate. Something has gone seriously wrong here. Avoid. 76/100

Tulloch - Hunter Valley - http://www.tulloch.com.au/

Sparkling NV - Apple, cherry, lemon and yeasy. Clean palate with good acid. Nice. 86/100
Chardonnay 2006 - Light nose with hints of oak and citrus. Palate is round but not overly rich. 86/100
Verdelho 2006 - Citrus and pineapple. Palate is crisp and clean. Well made but not my thing. 85/100
Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 - Very earthy. Good balance on the palate. Tannins are unobtrusive. 87/100
"Pokolbin Dry Red" 2005 - Nose is pretty tight but there is some earth and leather. Palate is medium bodied and there is some depth to the fruit. Has the structure for medium term aging. 88/100

Virgin Hills - Macedon Ranges - http://www.virginhills.com.au/

Really liked this booth for the mini-vertical of their only wine.

Virgin Hills 1998 - Tobacco, spice and dusty earth. Palate is of real interest, lots of layers, structure and depth. Great length. Hope to see this wine again sometime. 91/100
Virgin Hills 1999 - Sweaty sock nose. Palate is a bit disjointed and short. 81/100
Virgin Hills 2000 - Spearmint and red berries. The palate is clean, although a bit underwhelming. 86/100
Virgin Hills 2001 - Earth driven with meaty elements and blackcurrant. Strong tobacco influence on the palate. Pretty good I thought. 88/100
Virgin Hills 2002 - Cherry, blackcurrant and candied aromas. Individual palate of medium length and some long and intricate layers of flavour. Very good, although I hope the new owners can bring a bit more consistency to the vintages while retaining the interest factor. 90/100


Warraroong - Hunter Valley - http://www.warraroongestate.com.au/

Semillon 2006 - Honey and toast aromas already at this young age. Very nice palate with good balance. Would probably drink over the short to medium term. 88/100
Semillon 2005 - Lemon, lime, floral - much more primary as expected. Palate is even better on this, good depth of fruit and very good structure. 90/100
Verdelho 2005 - Bright fruit that veers away from the usual tropical spectrum of Verdelho. Nice mouth-feel and importantly, has some great acid. Definitely the most impressive Verdelho I tried on the day. 88/100
Chardonnay 2005 - Clean nose with a touch of oak. Nice fruit sweetness to the palate without being broad. Good length. Drink over the next few years. 88/100
Chardonnay 2004 - Butter and toast. Rich palate that finishes cleanly. Very different style to the 2005. 86/100
Chardonnay Sauvignon Blanc Chenin Blanc Blend 2006 - Grass and melon fruits on the nose. Easy drinking on the palate. 86/100
Shiraz 2002 - Spice, earth and cherry aromas. Palate is simple but easy and ready to drink without too much thought. 87/100
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Bruce Hayes

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Re: WTNs: 126 Quick Australian Impressions

by Bruce Hayes » Fri Sep 07, 2007 10:46 am

:shock:
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Bob Parsons Alberta

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Re: WTNs: 126 Quick Australian Impressions

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Fri Sep 07, 2007 10:51 am

Now there are some notes!!! Some of these wineries can be found up here, thanks.

The only white d`Arenberg I like is the Viognier blend. Fond memories of past Brokenwood Semillons.
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Sue Courtney

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Re: WTNs: 126 Quick Australian Impressions

by Sue Courtney » Fri Sep 07, 2007 9:10 pm

126 Quick Australian Impressions

What was the occasion?
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Bill Hooper

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Re: WTNs: 126 Quick Australian Impressions

by Bill Hooper » Fri Sep 07, 2007 9:21 pm

I noticed no Shaw and Smith. What do the Aussies think of their wines?
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Sue Courtney

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Re: WTNs: 126 Quick Australian Impressions

by Sue Courtney » Fri Sep 07, 2007 9:42 pm

Bill Hooper wrote:I noticed no Shaw and Smith. What do the Aussies think of their wines?

Don't know what the Aussies think, Bill. But from the other side of the ditch I think their M3 Chardonnay 2006 is very very classy, while the Sauvignon Blanc 2007 was kind of swamped in a line-up of Kiwi 2007's the other day. Still, sound savvie, however. I'd rate it bronze medal standard.

Cheers,
Sue
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Cam Wheeler

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Re: WTNs: 126 Quick Australian Impressions

by Cam Wheeler » Sat Sep 08, 2007 12:31 am

Sue Courtney wrote:
126 Quick Australian Impressions

What was the occasion?


It was the "Good Food and Wine Show" a couple of months back. Consumer focused rather than trade. Went on the Friday and it wasn't too bad, but heard the weekend was a nightmare in terms of crowds and people having too much to drink.
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Cam Wheeler

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Re: WTNs: 126 Quick Australian Impressions

by Cam Wheeler » Sat Sep 08, 2007 12:33 am

Bill Hooper wrote:I noticed no Shaw and Smith. What do the Aussies think of their wines?


The ones I've had have been good, but it has been a little while since trying anything. As Sue said, the M3 Chardonnay is consistently pretty good.
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Cam Wheeler

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Re: WTNs: 126 Quick Australian Impressions

by Cam Wheeler » Sat Sep 08, 2007 11:13 am

Bill Hooper wrote:I noticed no Shaw and Smith. What do the Aussies think of their wines?


Funny how these things work out ... a friend that doesn't read this board brought and served blind a M3 Vineyard Chardonnay to dinner tonight. I'll write it up in the near future, but it was pretty enjoyable and good value for money!
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Bill Hooper

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Re: WTNs: 126 Quick Australian Impressions

by Bill Hooper » Sat Sep 08, 2007 11:49 am

That is strange. I'll look for your notes.

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