Domaine Jean-Jacques Confuron Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru 1996
One of my favourite Burgundian producer’s, this bottle harks back to the form I grew to expect with this specific label and vintage with the first few bottles opened. The last bottle tried (with a good friend) was so badly bacterially spoiled, I likened it to treated sewerage water. Now that I’ve got off my chest, onto the joys of this particular bottle …..
An attractive solid medium ruby with a smidge of amber and rust in the meniscus. Gorgeously perfumed feminine bouquet of spring flowers, black plums and cherries, subtle sweet earth/sappy notes, perfectly-judged background savoury oak and a beguiling top note of mixed spices (perhaps a little clove and cinammon). Close to perfect to my liking. In the mouth this wine excels with a sleek, svelte entry of beautifully ripened Pinot fruit (aka the nose), terrific mouthfeel and texture, positively counterbalanced by bright acidity and ripe, grippy, fine-grained tannins providing quite an awesome structure. Of medium weight, wonderful purity, great poise, harmony as well as exceptional length, this rates as the best Red Burgundy I’ve tried this year, pipping Rousseau’s 1990 Clos St. Jacques by a couple of points. A wine of elegance, subtlety but brimming with mind-blowing complexity and controlled intensity. Exceptional. 95 points. Drink now-2016+
13% A/V. 60% new oak
Note: A blend of grapes from “Feusselottes” and “Chatelots” vineyards.
Comte Armand Pommard 1er Cru Clos des Epeneaux 1993
Reveals a youthful, saturated dark ruby colour with only minimal bricking in the edges. The deep, brooding bouquet abounds with damp earth, spice, game, plenty of savoury oak over deepset sappy/plummy fruit. Similarly etched in the mouth, this flavoursome, youthful Burg needs more time. Gobs of Satsuma plum, game and pinot sap are, presently, just a little at out of whack with mouth-puckering acidity and plenty of grip from fine-grained, but powerful, drying tannins. Exceedingly long power-packed finish. At least 3 or 4 years further cellaring required. It should last another decade thereafter. I believe there’s sufficient fruit in reserve to handle this proposition. 92 points today, with, hopefully, a higher rating sometime early in the next decade. Big, bruiser of a pinot, very much in the Leroy style. 13% A/V
Leo Buring Eden Valley Special Release Riesling 2000
Supposedly a ‘declassified’ Leonay, this wine continues to evolve slowly and surely with excellent mid- to long-term prospects. 12% A/V. Sealed under cork.
Glowing straw/light gold with a tinge of green. Reveals an ethereal bouquet of blossoms, minerals, toast, lime, a hint of petrol and the merest suggestion of passionfruit. The palate follows along identical lines displaying wonderful purity and definition, crunchy fruit, terrific acid cut, superb balance and a crisp, refreshing finish of some duration. Drink now-2015. Verging on an outstanding rating. 90 points.
Wynn’s Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 1991
Holding a very deep ruby with only a touch of brick in the edge. Quintessential minty Coonawarra Cabernet bouquet of weedy blakcurrants, spicy/cedary/savoury oak, freshly turned sod, fresh sweet corn, some leafiness and a hint of lift at the death. The medium-weight palate continues the high standard with gorgeous flavours of dusty blackcurrants, complimentary savoury oak, some menthol/mint regional character, lively acidity and some grainy, firmish tannin. Seemingly needs more time to fully mesh and soften. Excellent resolute finish with much promise for the long haul. Amazing wine for what it is. 92 points. Drink now-2016 13.5% A/V
Drunk the remainder of the bottle 24 hours later with the firm tannins/finish smoothing out beautifully. Not a sign of oxidation either. Super wine!
Jim Barry Watervale Riesling 2001
Screwcap. 12% A/V
Colour is bright straw with a petrolly nose over lime, a dash of honey and a hint of toast lurking underneath. Still fresh on the palate although slightly phenolic with crunchy lime and toasty fruit married to well-integrated acids. Finishes a little short. A much more impressive wine at release. I’d opt for drinking this sooner than later. 83 points.
Paul Jaboulet Aine Crozes-Hermitage Domaine de Thalabert 1999
I bought a case of this on spec after a rapturous review from Huon Hooke in the Sydney Morning Herald. From memory, he rated this far superior, on that paticular day, to the prestigious “La Chapelle” of the same year.
Medium ruby with some brick and rust in the outer edges, the wine opens with a lovely perfume of rose petals quickly followed by most attractive cooked plums with hints of hung “deli” meats, savoury/cinammon oak, sweet earth and Asian spices adding complexity. Of medium body, the svelte palate brims with ripe damson plum, blackberry and blueberry fruit backed by an intriguing almalgam of meaty/savoury/spicy/miso oak-derived characters with pleasing, refreshing acid and classy fine tannins providing the necessary structure to award this an Outstanding rating of 91 points. Displaying a creamy texture, ample generosity of flavour and an impressive, lengthy, sweet, mouth-filling departure, this wine will continue to improve and provide superior drinking over the next five to ten years. Great effort, FWII!
Petaluma Hanlin’s Hill Riesling 2002
I’ve waxed lyrical about this wine from release, purchasing two dozen (not by choice, but as fate has it, a dozen each in cork and screwcap) and with some slightly disappointing commentary on various boards of late, decided to try another cork-sealed version to verify the concerns of the “Doubting Thomas’s”.
Firstly, I’ve seen no bottle variation under cork thus far - the wine continues to impress and has considerable time on its side. Again, I rate this as the best Petaluma Riesling ever made.
A bright, very pale straw/green colour, this superb Riesling, initially, delivers a reticent musky bouquet of white flowers before a flood of profound, intense, quintessential Clare lime and green apple fruit with a rivetting back-end of minerals and slate building in intensity and posture with airing. In the mouth the purity and crispness of the classic lime, Granny Smith and honeysuckle fruit is perfectly counterbalnced with a chalky minerality, packs plenty of punch, finishing very dry and long, the cleansing acidity providing focus and superb delineation. A brilliant wine! 94 points. Drink anytime from now-2017. 12% A/V
Plantagenet Mount Barker Riesling 2001
Sealed with a stelvin screwcap. 12.5% A/V
Infantile gleaming pale straw/green. Opened with a disturbingly excessive oily/petrolly bouquet, bordering on the reductive, thankfully almost totally dissipating with a good breathe. What follows is much more in keeping with my recollection when last tasted - an ethereal mix of honeyed toast, lime juice with an intense slate and minerale top note. Just a residue of the initial ”petrolly” character now adds to the overall equation. Brimming with gob-smacking, mineral-laden lime and redcurrant fruit, this most impressive, youthful Aussie Riesling displays the requisite integrated, crisp acidity and length of palate for a relatively long stint in any cool, dark cellar. Drink 2008-2016. (90 points)
Domaine Harmand–Geoffroy Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Lavaux-St.-Jacques 1996
Bright medium ruby holding very well to a rusty outer edge. Initially threw up refreshing, primary scents of spring flowers and bing cherry, gradually replaced with a forceful, intriguing, almost nettly, sappy mix of cinnamon-coated damson plums, sweet earth and savoury/nutmeg oak. Sleek and quite racy in the mouth, displaying admirable purity and delineation with bright acidity and fine, lacy tannins providing an impressive platform to carry the abundance of glossy cherry and plum fruit. With a finish of almost half a minute, this medium-bodied, classy Burg should drink well for another 5-10 years. Rated as Excellent (90 points). 13.0% A/V