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David Lole


Wine guru




Thu Mar 23, 2006 4:49 am


Canberra, Australia

WTN: Queensland Safari 23-30 July

by David Lole » Tue Aug 01, 2006 6:53 pm

Eight days of vinous and gastronomical bliss touring South Eastern Queensland visiting old friends from Canberra.

Day 1 - Nambour

The Wilson Vineyard Gallery Series Riesling 1998 - still very fresh, great colour for age, enticing honey and limes with a gorgeous toasty, mineral edge. Just about spot on - 92 points with a good drinking window ahead

Seppelt Great Western "St. Peters" Shiraz 1998 - incredibly youthful deep purple/black/dark ruby colour - riddled with masses of chocolaty ripe fruit - blackberry, plums, mulberries with equally impressive supporting mocha/chocolate/savoury/vanillin oak. With a good breath drinks incredibly well with the lavish fruit masking some seriously good fine-grained tannins. Very classy wine. 92 points Long term cellaring prospect - although quite approachable now.

Day 2

La Chablisienne Chablis 1er Cru "Fourchaume" 2000 - Very pale straw but luminescent. Reticent nose at first, eventually offering up scents of underripe green melon/pear with a little minerality. Still relatively tight in the mouth, quite "grapey" and unevolved. Only moderate acidty and a softish finish. Enigmatic Chablis that may just need more time. Improved after a hour's sitting in the bottle - decidedly more flinty/steely on the palate with a finish reminiscent of sucking a river pebble and much better aromatics - a lot more to get your teeth into. 87 points (a lot less earlier - about 80) - Very Good

Denis Mortet Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru "Lavaux-St.-Jacques" 1996 - Beautiful deep immature colour. Gorgeous, intense, pure nose of satsuma plums, black cherries, pinot sap and complimentary oak in the distance. Fresh and with years in front of it. The palate offers up another dose of "as above". Incredibly well-endowed with ripe, sweet plums and cherries and a little sap. Little competition from the oak. Acidity is under control and green tea-like tannins are perfectly honed to the weight of the marvellous deep fruit. Needs another 5-10 years to be fully mature. 90 points - Excellent.

Seppelt Rutherglen Rare Tokay DP59 - Fascinating old khaki brown/mahogany with dazzling flashes of bright light ruby red. Uber complex, volatile nose of aged Christmas cake, toffee, caramel fudge, perplexing nutty rancio, cold green tea, dusty oak and umpteen other mind-blowing nuances - too many to mention here. Thick and moorish on the palate, a brain-snapping collection of ancient integrated flavours (as found in the bouquet), brilliantly focussed with a rivetting "brandy snap" finish that lasts for over a minute. Up with the best of them! Exceptional - 95 points.

Day 3

Left the Sunshine Coast, Tuesday for an enjoyable overnighter on Lamb Island in Moreton Bay with Col and Kay McGuiness.

Marc Bredif Vouvray 1985 - freshest bottle opened to date. Purest honeyed, apple, waxy fruit imaginable - just beautiful. Superb counterbalancing acidity. 92 points

Pol Roger Chardonnay 1996 - smashing wine at the peak of its powers - incredible beading, full of roasted hazelnuts, toasted brioche, gorgeous autolysis, wonderful melony fruit and a terrific structure. 93 points

Katnook Estate Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2000 - textbook Coonawarra Cabernet drinking extremely well but has the stuffing to go for another 5-10 years. 90 points

Seppelt Dorrien Cabernet Sauvignon 1992 - nicely mature and drinking at its peak. Choco-berry, plums, savoury/cedary oak with a touch of herbs and leaves. Nice blend of Barossa sweetness and old-vine Cabernet complexity. Svelte palate - smooth as, melting tannins. Lovely drink. 91 points

Day 4

Drove to the most incredible new residence of Lindsay Kerr and Diane Bulpit at Innisplain, boasting the most ridiculously good views of the surrounding fertile plains and stunning mountain ranges. I think I am in heaven.

Fantastic dinner last night -

Pol Roger 1996 Vintage - just awesome - best bottle tried to date - 95 points

Louis Carillon Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru "Les Champs-Canet" 1997 - blew the last bottle of this I opened (some time back) off the face of the planet - utterly brilliant and would give most Grand Cru's a run for their money - 95 points

Leroy Savigny-les-Beaune 1er Cru "Serpentieres" 1997 - simply gorgeous masculine top shelf Pinot Noir. Approachable now but with ample scope for another 10 years development and, probably plenty of mature drinking after that - 94 points

Lindemans Classic Release Vintage Port Bin 3642 Touriga-Shiraz 1967 - The second best Oz VP I've ever tried. Another Exceptional bottle last night - fresh and "as smooth as" but ohso complex and utterly compelling with amazing elegance and beauty - will last for several decades - 96 points

Day 5

Thursday saw us 4WD up the side of the McPherson range into Lamington National Park where an inspirational viewing point triggered the excuse to have a picnic lunch - very noice indeed.

Wines with another top class dinner were, again, pretty well right up to scratch.

William Fevre Chablis Grand Cru "Les Clos" 2000 - a lovely, pure example of Chablis with many years in front of it. Aromatics a little shy at first, eventually offering up notes of chalky minerals, pears and melons with only a modicum of oak in the background. Very fine, slippery palate of moderate intensity, damn fine balance (loved the minerally acidity) and attractive length. Needs more time. 91 points

Leoville Las Cases (St.Julien) 1985 - From the superb colour to extraordinarily impressive aromatics followed by a rivetting, powerfully structured, prolonged palate, this outstanding red just oozed class. Drink now or any time over the next 10-20 years. 94 points

Kuentz-Bas (Alsace) Pinot Gris Vendange Tardive "Cuvee Caroline" 1995 - Attractive medium gold; exaggerated aromatics of "traminer"-like lychee, exotic tropical fruits, overripe melons, flowers, pommegranite, apricot marmalade and citrus peel - a whole lot going on here! The palate remains lively with very rich viscous fruit (aka nose), some RS, cut by rapier-like acidity and a whopping finish. A most excellent wine that perplexed my hosts and travelling companion with this unusual mix of descriptors. 91 points

Lindeman's Limestone Ridge Coonawarra Shiraz/Cabernet Sauvignon 1991 - Probably at the zenith, this wine displays a deep ruby colour, complex bouquet of ripe black fruits and cedary oak but just failed to deliver on the palate (unlike the LLC above). Just lacked structure, power and class! Without this level of competition, probably would merit a solid 90 points - just turned up on the wrong night, this time. Only very good/excellent from me today - 88 points

Day 6

A wet and windy day in paradise - no option - a long lunch!

Raveneau Montee de Tonnerre 2000 - superb Chablis with plenty of time on it's side. Drunk over two courses and several hours - improving all the time - plenty of fruit, beautiful poise and delineation. 92 points

Hudelot-Noellat Romanee-St.-Vivant 1992 - more developed than the last bottle opened for matau and pault recently. Still a mighty good drop in front of the fire with grilled proscuitto-wrapped prawns. More earth and mushroooms now to go with the slick cherry/plum fruit - sappy and complex, very smooth - 92 points

Chapoutier Cote-Rotie "La Mordoree" 1989 - fully mature with appealling softness, plush plummy fruit and subtke oak. Excellent. 90 points

Muller-Burggraef Riesling Sorentberg Trockenbeerenauslese 1994 (Rudolf Muller) - incredibly dark colour, fully blown raisaned nose of apricot, honey, stone fruits, peel amongst seriously "hard-to-remember" other stuff. Unctious palate verging on cloying until some nice acid cuts in to bring it all together. A little bit of this goes a long way. 91 points but ready to go.

Day 7

Drove through the hills to the hinterland overlooking the Gold Coast to visit the "Godfather" for two nights and catch up with some friends.

Perrier-Jouet La Belle Epoque 1996 - gorgeous complex Champagne with increbile fine swirling beading, an awesome assertive yeasty nose and palate to match - up there with the last bottle I tried last year, although a little more developed - terrific length - 94 points

Voyager Estate Chardonnay 2004 - run out of whites by this stage - my host suggested this might be "ok" - very well crafted Chard in a more subtle style with just the right balance of fruit, oak and winemaker influence to fall in the Excellent/Outstanding range. Will cellar for quite a few years - very nice wine - 90 points

Denis Mortet Gevrey-Chambertin Lavaux-St- Jacques 1993 - sensational virile pinot from a great year and a maker renowned for doing extremely well in this vintage. Beautifully honed, fruit-dominant wine with just the right of everything (read complexity) to take this taster to rate it at the top end of Outstanding - 94 points

Hollicks Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 1984 - a revelation - as good as it gets from Coonawarra - sensationally complex, yet fresh and with an extraordinary indelibility from when first opened to the last sip. 95 points

Morris Old Premium Liquer Muscat - simply brilliant as always - 95 points

Day 8

With the wines for the trip all but gone, a raid down to the "local" revealed one big surprise.

La Chablisienne "Chablis" 2002 - nice fruit, no oak, enough acid to satisfy - very good, but not for the longer haul - 86 points

Blue Pyrenees Estate Pinot Chardonnay 2000 - freakin' beauty - good youthful bright colour, fantastic beading, great nose and a long, powerful palate to match - First-Class! 92 points (I kid you not!)

Tyrrell's Belford Reserve Semillon 1999 - marvellous "young" Hunter Sem with bags of "green" fruit and acidity to augur well for many years. Approachable now, but will get better in 5-10 years. 92 points

Seppelt Great Western Hermitage 1985 - a shadow of previous "great bottles" tried over the years - age and the dimethyl have caught up with it, although others at the table, mostly found it "excellent" - 85 points from me.

Fantastic 8 days - one of the best holiday's of my life!
Last edited by David Lole on Wed Aug 02, 2006 7:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Bob Henrick


Kamado Kommander




Thu Mar 23, 2006 8:35 pm


Lexington, Ky.

Re: TNS: Queensland Safari 23-30 July

by Bob Henrick » Tue Aug 01, 2006 8:12 pm

So David, I now know why you were absent from Chat on Sunday (mine) Monday morn (yours) we missed you and comments about you were made. may the absent beware! :-) You posted some really nice notes on some awsome wines. I am jealous! Welcome back.
Bob Henrick

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