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.

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.

Peter Lehmann Eden Valley Shiraz 2002

90 points

Eden Valley, South Australia. 14%

I have a cold, so this is a provisional judgment, but I think this wine is potentially rather flash.  I seemed to me a bit like a cross between a  Northern Rhone and a good South African shiraz, without quite the creamy volumptuousness of a Barossa valley floor shiraz.  Good structure, with a seam of bitterness.

Amazing bargain to be able to buy this at 6 years old for A$20.

Joseph Drohin Chambolle-Musigny amoureuses 2002

91+ points

Burgundy, France. 13%

This still young Burgundy could perhaps be overlooked on a busy dinner table or with the wrong food.  But give it a bit of attention and it is quite a revelation.  Serious depth and controlled richness, considerable length.  The weave of acidity that runs right through is just enough to give the wine vinosity (remind you that it is made of fruit).  In no way syrupy or overly lavish.

It is very enjoyable now, but I don’t really have the experience to know what a Premier Cru in a good balanced vintage like this will become given another 3-6 years of age.  I suspect not an awful lot better, but as I say, I don’t know.

Chateau Belle-Vue 2004

87 points

Haut-Médoc, Bordeaux, France. 13%

Very dark, flashes of crimson.  Rather dense closed nose, a little cedar like oak.  This is a modern, a little over extracted Bordeaux.  It retains a hard edge, with almost the taste of grape pips.  The sort of wine-making that has benefited minor wines (at least in point scores), fortunately though the balance and clarity of 2004 remains.  I don’t think I’d be a fan of this wine in hotter, more difficult vintages.

Tin Shed Barossa ‘single wire’ shiraz 2002

81 points

Barossa Valley, South Australia. 14%

A fairly concentrated wine.  On opening it shows odd aromas of tinned asparagus.  This eventually fades into mercaptan/sulphide aromas which aren’t too off putting.  This adds some bitterness on the palate which might have been worthy complexity, if they had been a little more restrained.

Drink now, match with strong flavoured food.  An idiosyncratic wine, only buy it if this sort of thing is too your personal taste.  I bought it at auction, presumably it was not to the taste of the previous owner, and I sympathise.