Houghton Gladstones Cabernet Sauvignon 2001

89++ points

Margaret River, WA. 14.5%

Unusual wine. Blackcurrant Cabernet essence combined with a woodwork shop full of oak. Needs maybe another 10 years.

Not heavy or extracted. Good acidity.

Trying to impress rather than charm.


Ashbrook Estate Chardonnay 2008

90 points

Margaret River, Western Australia. 14%

Almost old-fashioned in that this is a very full flavoured style. Fine, cool-ish climate style but like Montrachet mixed with Meursault. There is plenty of fruit and oak flavour without it tipping into the ‘Dolly Parton’ styles of the past.

I’d prefer they toned the alcohol down a notch, it’s unfortunately noticeable.

Drink now, best before 2013.

Pesquera Tinto 2005

88 points

Ribera Del Duero. 14%

Ripe Tempranillo, hot climate but with nice touch of acid on the finish. Prior vintages were more savoury bitter and interesting. Perhaps this needs a little longer to open up.

Reminds me of a Southern French wine.

Sevenhill St Ignatius 2006

86 points

Clare Valley, South Australia. 14.5%

A Bordeaux blend of Cab, Merlot, Cab Franc, Malbec. But without the zest of Bordeaux instead this is a lovely clean old-fashioned red. A worthy substitute to Clare or Barossa Shiraz. Slightly jammy porty,with distinctive sweetness. What’s distinctive is the substantial tannin – a welcome addition making it more food friendly.

Drink now, it already has developed nicely. Or leave it for almost 10 years and it should be an attractive leathery red.