Yalumba The Signature cabernet shiraz 1996

87 points

Barossa Valley, South Australia. 14%

Not as exciting as the 2006 by a long shot. Warm bordering on over-ripe fruit balanced by hefty added acid.

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Sandalford estate reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

88 points

Margaret River, Western Australia. 14.5%

This is a very good wine but I’m marking it down a few points because it’s just a bit to showy. The oak is obtrusive, dry and a bit raspy. And the alcohol is too high. I know it is young but I have major doubts that this will properly knit together, at least into something fine.

So breathe the wine now and enjoy it young as a showy wine. Nice flavours even if it lacks mid palate density.

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Chateau Palmer 2004

90++ points

Margaux. 13%

Weird wine. At first it seemed disappointly lacking concentration with tannin, acid and oak dominating fruit. Then with food it transformed with aged oaky flavours coming forward. Soon as the food was gone it went back to being ordinary.

The next night the difference with food was less extreme.

I suspect this will be best in 10 more years. But it’s a risky bet.

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Chateau Rauzan-Despagne Reserve 2010

88+ points

Bordeaux. 13.5%

Probably deserves even higher points given its low price. It’s normally impossible to find decent claret even in Bordeaux for under 10 euro. This was only 8 euro.

Note this is not the Grand Vin but their cheaper ‘Reserve’.

Modern, very clean, fresh, not souped up. Got better over a few nights. Cherry fruit, of the vintage or just its youth?

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