Chateau La Tour Blanche 2006

90 points

Sauternes, Bordeaux. 13.5%

Not a tightly wound fruit style, more loose knit, with some formic acid, not dirty but not ultra modern. Not hugely sweet. Drinking well now (Sauternes drink so much earlier today now that minimal levels of sulpher are used).

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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.

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Chateau Rieussec 2002

91 points

Sauternes. 13.5%

A complex creamy tarte aux pommes sort of Sauternes. Delicious now. I had thought that 2002 was a fine tight acidic vintage but this has soft acidity.

I’m sure it will last 10+ years but it is surprisingly approachable now. Enjoy.

PS from a full bottle purchased in Bordeaux (no travel).

Chateau Filhot 2007

91 points

Sauternes. 13.5%

I wouldn’t normally drink Sauternes so young (although it can be charming when the initial fruit is so forward in the first few years) but this was so cheap.

Lovely fresh with excellent sweetness, uncluttered by oak. This will turn into a fine beeswaxy Sauternes with purity and complexity. Today it is quite simple but lovely still. It drank well over a week.

Chateau D’Arche 1999

91 points

Sauternes. 14%

Low-ish acid and a touch heavy on alcohol but I’m being harsh. It’s difficult to fault this wine which is drinking very well at 11 years of age and at a reasonable price. Sure it doesn’t hit any high notes but it’s still a class above 90% of the world’s sweet wines by being much more than simply sweet.

Nice little touch of formic acid and coconut oak.

Chateau Suduiraut 2002

93 points

Sauternes. 13.5%

Don’t drink with desserts. For the first few nights I thought this was a bit tired, sweet but a bit hard and simple. Lacking creamy lanolin, bortrytis, just not quintessentially Sauternes. Then on the 3rd night I paired it with sardines cooked in olive oil, lemon juice, shallots and capers. What a transformation.

And the wine clearly wasn’t oxidized as it drank well over the next 3 nights (under winesave argon).

Chateau Filhot 2005

91 points

Honey puffs with acid and lanolin. Baked pear and custard apple. These 2005 Sauternes are the most wonderfully approachable I’ve ever experienced and yet true Sauternes flavours. Drink now, oh I expect they will last a good while but they are in danger of losing freshness due to the soft acidity. A vintage to enjoy while waiting for others.

Magie du Chateau Mouleyre 2005

91 points

Cadillac, Bordeaux, France. 13.5%

A sweet wine from the Bernard Magrez stable. I’m not a fan of his steroid dulled reds but this is luscious. A low acid custard creme sauterne. And I don’t want to give the impression that this is a simple commercial wine, it’s quality sauterne but in a freak super accessible vintage. A very useful sweet vintage I shall look out for 2005 whenever I have to drink young sauternes.

Chateau Rieussec 2002

91 points

Sauternes, Bordeaux, France. 13.5%

The famous 1983 Rieussec put me off the wine, I associate it with incredible levels of bortrytis and sugar – which is too like an Australian ‘sticky’ for me (I can buy these at home much cheaper than Sauternes).

This 2002 resets my opinion of Rieussec.  It’s fine and fragrant.  It’s lost the intensity of primary fruit of a young Sauternes and hasn’t really developed much in the way of the complexity of age – which sounds like a terrible time to drink it, and probably it is.  Then again it has lost the rawness of a young Sauternes, so it is very pleasurable.

Chateau Reynon 2002

88 points

Cadillac, Bordeaux, France. 14%

Sauternes satellite region. Reynon is own by Denis et Florence Dubourdieu who appear to be very talented.

This very good value sweet wine has some distinctive fruit character (perhaps it’s Savignon Blanc retaining some primary fruit flavour in the blend). Nice zippy acidity and sweetness, well balanced. Starting to build some complexity with age. Not a lot of noticeable bortrytis or oak. Great value.

Chateau Raymond-Lafon 2002

89 points

Sauternes, Bordeaux, France. 13.5%

Mellow wine with complex fruit (pears and other things) and far less racey acidity than I’d expected – a bit less than I might have hoped for. In some ways its simple, in others it hints at considerable complexity – I guess that’s just because it is far too young. Too easy to drink now. Keep for 5 more years.

Laurus Muscat Beaumes de Venise 2000

This wine is produced by one of the largest producer-negociants in the lower Rhone valley, Gabriel Meffre. The Laurus brand is an attempt to create a line of wines made from the range of styles available in the Rhone under one name. They have everything from Chateauneuf du Pape to Condrieu and wverything in between, including this slighty fortified Muscat.

I worried that 6 years might be a bit long for this fresh-bottled light Muscat, but just smelling the open bottle, fields of lavender-honey blossoms opened up. The texture was thick but not cloying with more lavender, honey and a bit of nutmeggy spice. The finish is clean with spicy acid aftertastes. Yum Yum, both as a glass for an appertif and after the meal with dessert.

Top wines tasted in 2005

The top 3 wines on this blog were:
Chateau Lafite Rothschild 2002 and Chateau Mouton Rothschild 2002
Rockford Basket Press Shiraz 1996

For the commercial wine of the year I’d nominate Tyrrells Rufus Stone Heathcote Shiraz 2003.

I’ve picked over the blog to list all the 90+ point wines that there is a not unreasonable chance of being able to buy still.

Brini Blewitt Springs Shiraz 2002

Chateau Leoville Las Cases 2001

Rockford Moppa Springs 1999

Wolf Blass Grey Label Shiraz 2002

Tresmoulis 2000 Corbieres

Chateau Leoville Barton 2001 and 1999

Massena Grenache Shiraz Mataro 2004

Moss Wood Cabernet 2001

Mr Riggs Shiraz 2003

Tyrrells Rufus Stone Heathcote Shiraz 2003

Robert Chevillon Nuits St-Georges ‘Les Roncieres’ 2002

Chateau Croix de Gay 2001

Roger Sabon Chateauneuf de Pape ‘cuvee prestige’ 2000

Voyager Estate shiraz 2002

Torbreck The Struie shiraz 2003

Browns of Padthaway Ernest shiraz 2002

Peter Lehmann 8 songs shiraz 2000

Chateau Rollan de By 2001

Henriques & Henriques Madeira Malmsy 15 yo

Greenock Creek apricot block shiraz 1999

Chateau Senechaux Chateauneuf-Du-Pape 2001

Winter Creek Barossa Shiraz 2002

Laurona 2000
Chateau Potensac 2000