Bonny Doon Le Cigare Volant 2006

86 points

A Chateauneuf De Pape inspired wine, though this is a medium bodied wine, nicely savoury although Brett seemed to be a bit higher than I would have liked.  It’s a roughly 40, 40 blend of syrah and granache with 10% cinsault and a tiny 1% of mouvedre.  Drink now and over the next couple of years.  Screwcap (nice to see on a US wine).

Retains its wonderful label, see


Penfolds Kalimna Shiraz 2006

88 points

Barossa Valley, South Australia. 14.5%

Consumed in a New York restaurant where it was listed as Syrah 🙂 Lovely classic Penfolds style but more elegant, less dolled up with noticeable added acidity than in past vintages, and the oak handling seems more deft. Lacks the concentration of the more serious wines in the portfolio, but good restaurant drinking now and over the next 6 years.

Huet Le Haut-Lieu moelleux 1993

91 points

Vouvray, Loire. 12%

I’m giving this lower points than I’d expect. It’s certainly a lovely luscious wine. Sweet bit not a dessert wine. Still with fantastic acidity. It’s concentrated almost spirity but with low alcohol.

It’s just that the lovely acidity and gentle sweetness overwhelm. It seems to lack minerality and aged characters.

Lovely elegant despite the concentration but a bit simple.


Yalumba Bartholomaeus single site Shiraz 2006

92+ points

Eden Valley, South Australia. 14%

Consumed over two nights. On the first night the acid is quite prominent. This is an elegant wine. Reminds me of some top Hunter Shiraz. On the second night it opened up. This really is an elegant seamless beautifully balanced wine. The antithesis of the burly or syrupy late picked Barossa styles.

On the nose it’s a bit muted due to the milky (Hungarian) oak but it all comes together taste-wise. The oak is just a frame for what is elegant supple fruit that I wouldn’t call cool climate but it’s not hot. Low tannin.

This wine should have an impressive future. Best in 10 years time (2021).

Grown at an altitude of 400 metres.