Bernard Faurie Saint-Joseph 2000

90 points

Saint-Joseph, Rhône, France. 12.8%

A lovely gentle medium bodied savoury shiraz with nice concentration.  Spotlessly clean.  This is my first encounter with a wine from Faurie, I’m impressed – enough to immediately order a dozen of the 2005.

Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte 2002

90 points

Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France. 13%

I expected to like this a bit more than I did.  For a 2002 it is a big muscular claret.  After tasting several vintages I really do suspect that they add acid, and pick pretty ripe.  I prefer a more charming style, but this is impressive nevertheless.  Needs a few more years, but definitely try again before 2012 it might mature early.

Bethany & Red Nectar Barossa Shiraz 2004

90 points

Bethany 13.5%

Red Nectar 14.5%

Of these two wines the Bethany is has the riper and more fragrant nose, the Red Nectar is very deep, perhaps more extracted, but with a green note.

On the palate the Bethany is big and sweet in spite of being lower in alcohol.  It’s a fresh and stylish modern Barossa.

The Red Nectar is a good wine, but more extracted, deeper but less expressive.