Barossa Valley, South Australia. 15.5%
I tasted this blind and did not pick it as Shiraz nor so young. There is heat on the nose, plummy with French oak. My best guess was a ‘modern’ extracted right bank Bordeaux from 2005 probably from the cotes.
Taste-wise this isn’t improbable but it’s a bit sweeter than I’d expect for a Bordeaux. Low acid, no perceptible tannin.
So a surprise when it was revealed. Still find it hard to detect Shiraz varietal character. It’s not a sickly sweet wine but the alcohol does mask character. Very hard to believe the wine is so young it lacks the freshness and rawness of youth. Drink now but don’t pay too much for it.
High Eden, Adelaide Hills, South Australia. 14%
Dark syrupy concentrated Cabernet. With currenty fruit, some sweetness but not cloying. Good potential. Oddly dropping crust, is this due to lack of filtration or what?
Hawkes Bay, NZ. 13.5%
An unusual super ripe vintage. I’ve been saving this wine. It’s good but not great. There is a lack of concentration and consistent ripeness. But the ultra ripeness there is is like Bordeaux in a vintage like 82 or 89 not jammy.
Yarra Valley. 13.5%
Slightly jammy, low acid, browning substantially. Not as bad as this sounds it’s table friendly Pinot but not great.
Smokey gun powder and bright fruit. This is delicious Sauvignon Blanc. Accessible cafe wine but more complex than NZ (etc) Sav Blanc.
Sauternes, Bordeaux. 14%
Young, of course, with separate disjointed flavours. Oak a bit jarring, but the ripe dry 2005 vintage makes this wine drinkable. The acid is soft but not lacking and there is some custard apple and lanolin flavours which make the wine enjoyable now.
But best not to drink it now. Leave until 2013 at least if you can.
Barossa Valley, South Australia. 14.5%
Penfolds tradition combined with a more modern sensibility eg French oak. Surprisingly approachable. Rich, silky. Needs time to develop complexity but very promising.