Paulliac, Bordeaux, France. 12.5%
Dark colour. Quite big but with some green notes. Plenty of French oak, not in any way sweet though. Robust. Compared to the 2002 this wine is rustic, the fruit doesn’t sing, the whole structure is less pristine and fine. Good wine, but it really highlights to me how well they did in 2002.
A very tannic Shiraz from Bendigo and the Grampians. Overall too young to drink enoyably now, but has good signs for 4-5 years down the road. The nose was pretty tight even after a couple hours, but there was a bit of cinnamon and certainly black pepper. The fruit was a bit on the plum rather than berry fruit side, but the acid seemed pretty much on target and the aftertaste was fairly long. A good wine for $15.
Margaret River, Western Australia. 13.5%
Part of the Fosters wine group, and inexplicably discounted (hence the purchase). Lots of French oak, some nice acidity, but the fruit is a bit out of step being a bit flabby. A premium Australian chardonnay but not really fine, robustly flavoured. Drink with food. Will age for a year or two.
Tuscany, Italy. 13%
Lovely dry, med bodied, moderate alcohol Chianti with an unexpected degree of richness (a touch of chocolate or rather dusted cocoa). And 2005 wasn’t supposed to be as good in Italy as elsewhere in Europe. Impressive. See website
Moulis en Medoc, Bordeaux, France. 12.7%
Lovely clear fruit in the style of the vintage. Quite juicy, some complexity (I don’t want to suggest that this is a simple fruit wine), a bit soft though – the Merlot shows (2002 wasn’t strong for Merlot). Drinks well now though a few more years of age would still benefit it. Rather nice wine but not as exciting as some 2002 around this price level.
St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France. 13%
Disappointing for a Grand Cru, reflects the vintage which wasn’t good for Merlot particularly on the Right Bank. It’s nice wine, medium bodied, drinks quite well without food. At a third the price it would be a fine stylish wine and worth buying.
Bordeaux, France. 13%
Nothing flash. Not expensive, but not great value either.
83 pointsMendoza, Argentina. 14% Varietal, dark concentrated. But syrupy, if not sweet. Not my sort of wine. Perhaps better with 3-4 years more age.
Mosel Saar Ruwer, Germany. 9.5%
Forward, strongly flavoured Riesling. Mildly sweet, able to stand up to quite strongly flavoured foods. But some years of development ahead of it. Good value.
Saint Estephe, Bordeaux, France. 13%
Lovely fragrant wine. On the palate there is plenty of acidity, but a lack of stuffing. A bit disappointing really.
Margaux, Bordeaux, France. 13%
Very much a representative of the vintage. Lacks the normal fragrance, energy or acidity. Enjoyable firm savoury wine but with baked tones, dry (ie not sweet) raisin, and a touch of iron/blood. Drink now and over the next 5 years.
Bordeaux, France. 13%
Cheap wine from an excellent vintage. Disappointing, I had hoped for better. Simple, a bit coarse, a bit flabby.
Pauillac, Bordeaux, France. 13%
Big hit of new oak on the nose.
This is atypical for HBL or for Pauillac, it’s a big ripe merlot-ish wine. Very 2003 but without baked flavours, just a big wine, low acid, soft tannins, a bit burly – it lacks the fruit purity and sophistication of recent vintages. But it is interesting to see how the winemaking team obviously reacted to the changed vintage conditions and made a different HBL than usual. Sort of New World like, but not sweet, nor simple, but available for early drinking (in spite of the oak).
Burgenland, Austria. 13%
Fruit oriented wine, black cherry like flavours with a warm mid-palate. Young and simple but enjoyable nevertheless.