Moet and Chandon 2002

90+ points

Whoa, this is intense powerful champagne. Not pretty. Will benefit from more bottle age, two nights later the second half of the bottle was more charming than the first.

I’m not sure I approve of this style, but nevertheless it’s impressive, particularly coming from such a large commercial house.

Great label – unmistakenly vintage champagne!



Voyager Estate shiraz 2004

88 points

Margaret River, WA. 14%

I’m surprised how typical Aussie shiraz this tastes. The added acidity is quite prominent. It’s a firm ripe dense wine. Lacks Margaret River typicity. Later vintages are better I feel.


mesh Eden Valley Riesling 2012

90 points

Eden Valley, Adelaide Hills. 12%

A creation of Jeffrey Grosset and Robert Hill Smith (of Yalumba). Presumably grapes from Yalumba vineyards made into wine by Grosset.

A very nice wine with svelte acidity. I suspect that 2012 is a natural acidity (ie not added) vintage and the wines are so much better for it. This is dry yet low alcohol. It’s not quite a charmer, it’s a little too savoury for that. Needs to be matched carefully to food.

Pikes Clare Riesling seems to have more fruit sweetness.


Chateau Beaulieu comtes de tastes 2005

84 points

Bordeaux Superieur. 60/40 Merlot Cabernet. 13%

8 years old and it’s still oaky with raspy tannins. Too extracted, no charm. This Chateau is trying too hard with green harvesting and long macerations – which they boast of on the back label!

Certainly a Bordeaux Superieur that could be a superstar of its appelation if only they would aim for finesse rather than brute concentration.


Jacob’s Creek St Hugo Barossa Grenache Shiraz Mataro 2010

87+ points

Barossa Valley, South Australia. 14%

Surprisingly soft approachable style with minimal tannin and even acid, and no obvious wood flavour.

The flavour there is is not cosmetic lolly young grenache. It’s like the old Burgundy style of Australia. Not particularly concentrated though and so a bit swamped by food.

Not thrilling, yet I suspect it may gain a lot from short-term cellaring, and will decline slowly after that.