Les Tourelles de Longueville 2004

90 points

Pauillac, Bordeaux, France. 13.5%

I mistakenly thought this was 2002 so was a bit surprised by the dark bright youthful colour and the lower than expected acid.  But it is 2004, a better more consistent vintage across all of bordeaux, though less firm deep cabernet than 2002 in Pauillac I think.

This is a lovely and fine wine.  It is exactly what a 2nd wine (of Ch. Pichon Baron Longueville) should be.  Classy but more approachable young.

Lovely leather and woodshop aromas.  Rich, moderately sweet, but in no way syrupy palate.  Grippy tannins on the finish.  Shows the class, and technical ability, of modern claret winemaking.

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Chateau Liversan 2005

83 points

Haut-Medoc, Bordeaux, France. 13%

Rather flat, metallic aromas.  A minor claret, dilute, but with nice touch of glycerol, mid palate fruit sweetness and juicy acidity.  Bodes well for the vintage, but I had hoped for better – perhaps I was forgetting the price (£8).

Elderton Merlot 2005

72 points

Barossa Valley, South Australia.

I tried this wine after it achieved the highest points in Gourmet Traveller Wine Magazine.

Confected vanilla young oak, on a simple, alcoholic unconcentrated warm climate wine.  It’s good in its class, but its class is upmarket supermarket wine (YellowTail etc).

I’m a big fan of Elderton’s shiraz wines.  But my palate isn’t blind to the problems that Merlot seems to have in Australia, let alone warm climates like the Barossa.  How on earth could this top a Merlot tasting featuring wines from Australia, New Zealand, and most surprisingly France ?

Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse De Lalande 2001

90 points

Pauillac, Bordeaux, France. 13%

Gorgeous aromas, cedar and berries.  Classy claret.  Reminds me of some of the 2002 Pauillacs, probably simply because that’s a vintage I’ve been able to (afford to) drink lately.  Compared with the 2002 this is noticeably softer, more dilute – a reflection of the vintage.  Fine nevertheless. Drink now and over the next 5+ years.

Riposte by Tim Knappstein The Sabre Pinot Noir 2006

78 points

Adelaide Hills, South Australia. 13.5%

After selling his winery in Clare some years ago Tim lost the right to brand wine under his own name.  This little label is his riposte.

Cute.  Pity about the wine.  It’s clean, ripe, soft, plain Pinot.  A low acid go nowhere wine, with not entirely attractive flavours though thankfully neither the sweet over-ripe extracted style nor the floral strawberry juice style.