Montes Sauvignon Blanc Fume Reserve 2005 – Light, crisp, grassy. Not a lot of ripe guava but it’s there. Very little smokiness. A refreshing palate cleanser. OK.
Montes Alpha Chardonnay 2004 – Light gold, gentle oak. Some sweetness. Has a very light touch of well integrated oak. A little spicy. Finishes with some citrus rind. Very good and ideal with the pan-seared scallop and bacon crisp salad with citrus honey dressing.
Montes Alpha Merlot 2003 – Very dark purple. Wood and a bit of mushroom on the nose. Good fruit and medium body. Moderately tannic on the finish but generally a soft mouthfeel. Still some room for development but good to drink now. A good match for the crumbed castricum lamb cutlet with tomato chutney and rosemary infused lamb jus if you ignore the chutney which had too much acid for this.
The intermezzo was a red wine shallot sherbet which was odd but I thought rather well done although many at my table didn’t like it.
Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 – Dark. Very classic nose of cassis, tobacco and later chocolate and coffee. Great fruit concentration. Like Bordeaux from a fine year with a bit more sweetness. Moderately complex. An outstanding drink. Best dry red of the night. Excellent drinking now and a perfect match for the wattle seed flavored Australian Beef Tenderloin on asparagus ragout and morel jus.
Montes Alpha Syrah 2004 – Deep nose. Dark, brooding wine. Tannic on the finish. Bittersweet and spicy. Very long finish. Bitter chocolate. Roast herbs. Espresso. Should still improve. Unfortunately, not a good match with the baked gorgonzola cheese in filo pastry with walnut and grape relish which really required a dessert wine.
Montes Late Harvest Gewurztraminer/Riesling 2004 – Gold-orange color. Botrytis nose. Sweet and gentle. Burnt sugar. Medium to full bodied. Good dessert wine in a Germanic style. Not quite sweet enough for the rhubarb crème brulee.