Blue Pyrenees Midnight Cuvee 2001 (Pyrenees, Vic) Diam, $30
I like Diam corks – they manage to blend the romance & practicalities of cork with the consistency that modern technology affords us. I still prefer screwcaps, but respect the makers who have embraced Diam as their closure of choice.
My only aversion to Diam corks corks is that they are a right prick to get out of the bottle! In particular the sparkling version, which requires some wrist work to prise it from the sparkling neck. My arthritic fingers don’t take too kindly too this however (perhaps I need a Champagne Sabre).
Anyway, this carries a trophy from Cairns wine show (an unusual place for a wine show, unless you like Mango wine) and I think its a rather good drink. Pale yellow in colour, it shows some toasty developed Chardonnay characters and yeast on the nose. The palate is dry and appley, with a resounding green apple acidity to it that is quite attractive. The only detractions from the wine are some fat & awkward developed Chardonnay characters that edge the palate. Good, dry, not earth shattering, but smart enough. 17.3/20
Leo Buring Eden Valley Riesling 1997 (Eden Valley, SA) Cork, $20
I’m not sure if this is a mature release or this was just some stock that was lying around in the Fosters warehouse. Anyway, it’s a golden straw colour, still bright and clear. On the nose it is unmistakeably Eden Riesling, with just a hint of petrol to the toasty, lemony developed fruit characters. Its a fully developed nose, but there is hints of slatey melon that I always associate with Eden Riesling, even if it is a litle hard to see underneath the almost cumquat richly developed fruit. The palate is toasty, full, but underpinned by lively acidity. Its dry, but the mouthfilling developed fruit gives it richness. It lacks a little intensity and the focus of the palate is being taken over by developed fruit, but its not a bad drink now (at its peak me thinks). 17.5/20
De Bortoli Gulf Station Shiraz Viognier (Yarra Valley, Vic) Screwcap $20
I notice the price has gone up, and the seriousness seems to have taken another step up too. It opens with brambly, black pepper & slightly hammy aromatics that were quite bound up in the wine. It really needs a decant to open up and after about 2 hours in the glass it is still very tight and stemmy. The palate shows some obvious stemmy characters too, that suggest some whole bunches went into the ferment, however the palate itslf is very well put together & balanced, with red cherry fruits, some mid palate Viognier richness, finishing with grainy tannins and a lingering, but not unsavoury, bitterness on the back end to suggest it will appreciate a yr or two in the cellar.
Very drinkable, but in a definitively austere style, it is very very sophisticated and you can’t help but admire the De Bortoli winemakers (and viticulturalists – they always miss out on the plaudits) for their attention to detail. Buy it on special, then store it somewhere cool for 18 months, and reap the rewards. 18.1/20
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