Stringy Brae 2001 Clare Valley Shiraz (review)

88+ points

This wine burst onto our palates when first opened. Unbridled fruit flavours with great intensity. Not much oak and soft but persistent tannins. I liked the very subtle oak and almost imperceptable added acidity. This is a powerful, but amazingly not over the top tasting Shiraz with powerful dark fruits and a bit of chocolate. Very persistent length bodes well for some aging. Too easy to drink.

NV Grandis Method Champenoise

Loire, France.

This was around $12 a bottle from 1st Choice (the other Australian big box liquor retailer). Bought it as an experiment, and because the faily that would usually join us for this type of dinner are in the Loire at present.
Toffee yellow in colour, excellent bead, mouthfeel and length. Concentrated dried apricot on the nose, and “creme brulee” palatte. Not too citrussy, but there in lemon drop and some soft green apple.
For $12 it is something different of excellent value, and fills a price point that does not offer much great drinking. Somehting to talk about. 9 months bottle maturation, and contains ugni blanc, chardonnay and pinot noir.

1999 Whels Mount Benson Cabernet Sauvignon

85 points.

Mt Benson, South Australia.

Extra fine tannin structure with light tobacco and sweet cedar. Mushroom/undergrowth comes through after an hour in the decanter. Crushed plum on the nose and palatte- slightly tart red forest berries finish in the mouth. A very supple, and elegant examplle of how good Mt Benson/Robe can be for this varietal. Deep, solid purple to the rim, and excellent drying tannins on the aftertaste. Great integration- nose to palatte to chase- all are one, no surprises, but slight nuances. Purchased in 2002 for around $20.

2003 Scorpo Pinot Gris- Mornington Peninsula

89 points.

Light pear nose with fig. Honey notes providing pleasant mouthfeel. Plenty of acid for this traditionally low acid varietal, and obvious malo and oak treatment- cremy on the nose and to taste. Excellent length for this type of wine- I have not experienced with this type of wine. Will age very well- already looking like a good Vouvray after a few years. Excellent with chargrilled marinated squid. I think it retails for around $30. Based on this, and the league it is in, this is a very fine example of what can be done with this varietal.

La Croix Chaptal Siegneurie de Cambous 2001

92 points

This is the winery partially owed by JP Couderc from Agro- Montpellier. The vineyard is mainly old vines planted near the town of Cambous about 45 minutes west of Montpellier.

The wine is mainly Carignan with a bit of Grenache and Syrah. The nose was still closed, but had a bit of cinnamon spice and licorice. The same tones were in the wine along with a almost thick structure of fine tannins. No fruit sweetness, but still a bit dark red fruits and spicy overtones. The wine was made to “express the unique terroir of Cambous as it must have been in the 10th century when owned by the monks of gellone Abbey”.

This is one of the best Languedoc wines I have tasted.