These two were consumed with home made Lasagne on a warm Sydney Thursday.
Philiponnat Clos De Goisses 1996
Powerful bubbly from one of Champagne’s most famous vineyards. I think one of the more interesting, though questionably relevant things about this Champagne is its alcohol – 13% – which is rather high indeed for this style. Interesting in that I think ripeness is what gives this wine its density and almost chewy palate weight, without it every feeling heavy.
What’s not questionable however is the absolute intensity and structure – such power, poise and acidity – quite remarkable really and makes your internal monologue go ‘oh yeah, this is damn good’.
The only other surprising thing was the nose, which seemed far more advanced and toffeed compared to the rest of the wine – this may well be a yeast autolysis character and wasn’t distracting, yet seemed so forward when contrasted to the backward palate.
Ultra fine bead – tiny little bubbles. Light, bright yellow in colour, the nose is initally fresh, with floral, wild yeasty aromatics and some slightly dull heavier caramel & butterscotch development overtones. The story though is the palate, initially very tight, the flow of acid & absolute power takes over about mid palate, gathering strength before the mouthwatering acidity takes hold, ringing through the back palate with classic ‘minerality’- like soda water & rock salt, finishing with dry power that goes on and on and on. Lingering finish is the essence of Champagne.
I have no hesitation in saying that a good bottle of this will last for many decades. Glorious stuff. 19.0
After that complex Champagne it was onto an enigma – this Wendouree tastes nothing like any Wendouree I ever had. Its approachable, drinkable, soft and ripe – with none of the monolithic tannins and herbaceousness that prevented you from drinking one for 20 years or more in previous years. This raises some questions too – like will it live forever like the old ones? Is it good, better, worse? Can I get more of it?
Wendouree Shiraz 2006
A purple red colour with purple edges, the colour is deep, but not particularly dense. The nose has blackberry, raspberry, coal & a hint of dried currants in a jubey, rich and youthful nose with a fleck of menthol. Its very fresh, youthful and quite bright, smelling like an absolute baby. The palate shows red berries, glace cherries, some fruitcake, licorice but a lasting feeling of soft fleshiness, the palate is absent of one notable thing – alcohol, indeed the whole back end feels effortlessly soft and well balanced, the tannins are ultra fine and feel very natural indeed. I’ve got to say, this feels so much more – dare I say it – Rhonish in its subtlety, balance and natural acidity and is unlike so many Australian wines. Delicious. 19.0