I’ve got to say however that the experience was just a bit ordinary. The day we visited was NYE, so the tasting room was chockers, with just one bedraggled staff member attempting to prop the place up, entertaining the drunks, while I stood there like a dickhead with an empty glass. Unfortunately the wines were similarly, perhaps unusually, disappointing. I normally rather enjoy the Forest Hill style, not to mention the underlying value of the wines.
Not on this visit though.
Forest Hill Riesling 2008
For every sublime Great Southern 08 Riesling there is a disappointment. This is the latter. Its much the same for the Clare this vintage too – real variability.
A forward, toasty and dull nose, the wine is only redeemed by an excellent acid structure – sprightly and clear. I’m a big fan of sprightly acidity. Beyond the backbone though, the rest of the wine is maturing fast. Time may help, but buy yourself a few more Castle Rock Rieslings instead. 16.5
Forest Hill Block 1 Riesling 2007
In an in-between patch right now, this had some quite nice lemon toast on the nose, just teetering on the brink of development. The palate again has the brilliant clean acidity, but its not really much of a drink at present – its stuck in the transit lounge. 17.0+
Forest Hill Sauvignon Blanc 2008
Intense fruit in the very ripe, peach & melon end of the spectrum with some quite obvious oak. Big, bold and slightly unwieldy this was a better drink than the standard Chard, though not quite convincing enough to warrant the price. 17.3
Forest Hill Block 5 Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
Ding! Suddenly the lights come on. Like a lighthouse in the storm, this was a beacon of quality in amongst a rather ho-hum range. Very ripe, red and black fruit with cedary, cool climate leafiness served with a healthy serve of dusty cassis. The palate is long, deep and dark chocolatey, with well judged old vine fruit and drying tannins. Feels quite complete already, but will get even better with some time in the bottle. 18.3+