|Sydney Wine Show Results catalogue. Many wines in here|
Sydney Wine Show 2011: The Notes
Very slack. Very. I should have written these notes up ages ago, but they simply got added to the (ever growing) pile.
Let’s cut to the chase: These notes all come from the public/exhibitors tasting for the 2011 Sydney Wine Show (read more here), a two day tasting/drinking winefest that has became something of an annual highlight on my calendar. Why so? 2500 wines from all over Australia, all collected in one spot and open for me to taste at will. It’s like a smorgasbord of wine, punctuated by all sorts of unreleased and odd little vinos that you just wouldn’t see anywhere else. Wine wanker (that’s me) heaven.
Now the biggest challenge with these notes is the speed at which they were written. We’re talking wine show speed, and often just one look at each wine. As a result, I’m not afraid to say that I can get it very wrong. If you’re a producer and think that I’ve given a harsh/unfair note then send me a grumpy email and a new sample bottle. It’s important to be accountable methinks.
Oh and you’ll notice that I do tend to concentrate on the wines/styles I like. I make no apologies for this, as I do tend to treat this as something of a vintage snapshot, new releases tastefest.
Notes are as written on the day(s) with my little comments in brackets. Medals are as scored in the show, though I’m score higher than the judges in this sort of setting.
Cape Mentelle Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2010 (Margaret River, WA)
Lovely varietal nose. Lovely varietal palate. Long, perfectly delineated palate. Just a spot on wine, as per usual. 18.1/93
Cape Mentelle Wallcliffe Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2009 (Margaret River, WA)
Herbs and cream. Long, crisp and creamy palate, finishing generous and full. Just so much to like about this. 18.1/93
Cape Mentelle Wilyabrup Red Blend 2009 (Margaret River, WA)
Very rich and youthful palate. Quite oak rich, but precise. A fraction raw and sweet but everything in it’s right place. 17.8/92++
(Hey, it’s the Cape Mentelle fan club! They are on a roll though, no question about it).
Thomas Wines Cellar Reserve Bramore Semillon 2006 (Hunter Valley, NSW)
Very green nose. Just a baby! Quite a sullen little thing at the moment but so much goodness behind it. Patience needed for big love. 17.8/92+
Thomas Wines Cellar Reserve Braemore Semillon 2007 (Hunter Valley, NSW)
Green, lightly toasty, entirely appropriate nose. Soft, crisp, zippy palate. Excellent proper acidity. All arms and legs at the moment, sitting right in a development hole. Length and everything else is spot on. Time. 18/93+
Tahbilk 1927 Vines Marsanne 2005 (Goulburn Valley, Vic)
Green, lightly herbaceous nose. Semillon like straw too. Soft and generous palate. Tight finish. Lovely length. Fabulous length. Honeyed edge to the acidity too. Win+ 18.5/94
(love this wine. Important move to screwcap too as it has always been a movable beast under cork).
Meerea Park Alexander Munro Semillon 2005 (Hunter Valley, NSW)
Classical nose. Hints of pepper and spice! Amazing length, with loads of power. There’s a creaminess to the palate that I like here. Fabulous. Slightly herbal sourness on the finish too. Damn good. 18.7/95
(Preaching to the converted here. Call me biased but this is top shelf booze).
Meerea Park Alexander Munro Semillon 2006 (Hunter Valley, NSW)
Backward as hell. Green and compact. Green apples too. A fraction attenuated on the finish. It will get there. Eventually.. 17/90+++
(These 06 Hunter Sems are classic, ageless things. They just need so much time).
Tempus Two Copper Zenith Semillon 2005 (Hunter Valley, NSW)
Broad and quite chunky with a real citrussy fatness to it. Full, rich and ready for business. A little too full perhaps. 16.5/88
Tahbilk 1927 Vines Marsanne 2004 (Goulburn Valley, Vic)
Colourless still! Flecked with barley sugar richness, though very much in an in-between stage right now. Alongside the 03 and 05 this definitely looks to be the better wine. Still enjoyable though. 17/90
Coolangatta Estate Semillon 2006 (Shoalhaven, NSW)
Top Gold Medal
Very neutral, slightly grassy nose. Soft creamy palate. Quite a generous style. Looks a wee bit broad in the company. 17.5/91
(Not the best vintage for this, but still a smart wine).
Mount Pleasant Lovedale Semillon 2009 (Hunter Valley, NSW)
Lean, totally withdrawn hay nose. Grassy palate. Awkward green apple stage. Very serious though. 16.5/88++
(Why am I drinking this now? Not released for years and almost unfair looking at at this stage).
Pewsey Vale The Countours Riesling 2006 (Eden Valley, SA)
Kero creeping in already. Some more generosity here but not quite matched to the acidity. Almost oxidative even. A less than magical bottle? 16/87
Castle Rock Estate Diletti Chardonnay 2009 (Gt Southern, WA)
Top shelf oak treatment if a bit pineappley. Very youthful, fine palate. Just a bit too rich and pineappley at the moment but should settle down. 17.5/91+
(Just needs some time in bottle).
Seville Estate Reserve Chardonnay 2009 (Yarra Valley, Vic)
Nice nose. Older oak? Fine and tight. Lovely creamy palate, creamy finish too. A little bit winemaker driven but lots to like. 18/93
Yarra Burn Bastard Hill Chardonnay 2008 (Yarra Valley, Vic)
Worked, custardy nose. Leesy as hell. Creamy, peachy, heavily worked palate. Complex and interesting. Excellent. 18.5/95
(Lovely stuff. You’ve got enjoy the worked style though).
Heggies Vineyard Reserve Chardonnay 2009 (Eden Valley, SA)
Quite lean nose. Very lean but still quite wild. Has that Yalumba fruity yeasty character on the nose. Palate is absolutely locked down tight. Good now, but with much more to come. 17.5/91+
Paringa Estate ‘The Paringa’ Chardonnay 2009 (Mornington Peninsula, Vic)
Ripe, powerful and very full nose. Rich and quite brassy palate. Hot and caramelised finish. Just a bit too heavy and bulky really. 16.3/87
Capel Vale Whispering Hill Riesling 2010 (Gt Southern, WA)
Fragrant and almost tropical floral nose. Quite overt and ripe. Candied orange palate. Looks a bit sweet and disjointed. 15.9/87
(I’ve struggled with some of the ’10 Gt Southern Rieslings. Not a fan of that extra ripeness).
Mcwilliams Mount Pleasant Lovedale Semillon 2010 (Hunter Valley, NSW)
Green, baby sick reductive nose. Green and grassy palate just looks broad. Not quite. 16.5/88
(Really reductive bottle this one).
Tulloch Julia Semillon 2010 (Hunter Valley, NSW)
Green/grassy hay nose. Soft yet green fruit palate, a little pawpaw even. Pleasant but looks just a smidgen broadish. 16.8/89
Tyrrells Belford Chardonnay 2010 (Hunter Valley, NSW)
Very raw oak nose. Nutty, lightly oaky palate. Excellent acidity though. Good length. Good now, better later. Have to like that slightly gummy oak though. 17.5/91+
Cape Mentelle Brooks Chardonnay 2010 (Margaret River, WA)
Delightfully clean and nutty style, rich, long and refreshing, Good pure style. 17.5/91
Yalumba Eden Valley Viognier 2008 (Eden Valley, Vic)
Chunky, apricotty style with lots of richness. Very overtly varietal. Rich and pineappley. Warm and broad through the back end. Nice enough even though it’s the V weed.
Houghton Jack Mann 2008 (Gt Southern, WA)
Big, berried nose. Lots of coiled power. Palate is a little oak sweet but is also genuinely rich and serious. Black fruit a go-go. 18/93+
(Patience required here).
Home Hill Pinot 2009 (Tasmania)
Very pretty red fruit nose. Pretty red cherry palate. Very simply and juicy but just needs more structure and power through the back. 16.8/89
Castle Rock Estate Pinot Noir 2009 (Gt Southern, WA)
Lovely! Buy! Fruit purity! Riper, warmer ferment nose. Stalky edges. Lovely pure fruit palate. Lovely. A bit pulpy sweet and luscious on the palate, finishing warm. 18
(A triumph for Castle Rock. Boom).
Paringa Estate ‘The Paringa’ Pinot Noir 2008 (Mornington Peninsula, Vic)
Volatile, heady and hot nose. Big and bulky palate. Short finish. Extractive and hot. Not quite. 15.8/86
(Just looking a bit OTT).
Paringa Estate ‘The Paringa’ Pinot Noir 2009 (Mornington Peninsula, Vic)
Warm, like the 08, but much more varietal and less fruit juice. Red cherry fruit. Generous and full palate. Spiky (added) acidity. Lots of power. Good though. 17.4/91
(Really interesting to put these side by side. Much preferred the 09).
Yabby Lake Block 2 Pinot Noir 2009 (Mornington Pensinsula, Vic)
Chocolatey, blocky nose. Oaky, firm, disjointed palate. It’s all over the place. 15.5/86
(Hard going. I noted I didn’t like the 08 version of this wine either).
Bream Creek Pinot Noir 2008 (Tasmania)
Light, direct and pretty nose, Light and pretty palate. Creamy, open and nice. 17.1/90
(Value pick here)
Clyde Park Reserve Pinot Noir 2008 (Geelong, Vic)
Green, tomato bush nose. Short green palate. Hardish tannins. No fun here. 15/83
La Curio ‘The Nubile’ Grenache Shiraz 2009 (Mclaren Vale, SA)
Pretty, candied red fruit nose. Lovely red cherry richness though quite hot. Such a pretty style. Spicy citrus finish. Like. 17.5/91
Mcwilliams Mount Pleasant Old Paddock & Old Hill Shiraz 2009 (Hunter Valley, NSW)
Obvious chocolate oak on the nose. Really sweet oaky palate. Oak oak oak. Nice enough oak. But too much of it! 16.5/88
Thomas Wines Motel Block Shiraz 2009 (Hunter Valley, NSW)
Lovely colour. Really purple. Earthern, regional, purple fruit nose. Lovely natural, rich and plus palate. Like staring into pure fruit. Nice. 18.2/93
(Very similar notes to here. Identical score too.)
Yabby Lake ‘Roc’ Shiraz 2009 (Mornington Peninsula, Vic)
Minerally, cola nose. Mystique! Black licorice, boysenberry palate. Warm finish. Lots of red fruit. Interesting stuff. Good booze. 18/93
Ferraris Shiraz 2009 (Hunter Valley, NSW)
Elegant mid weight Hunter style. Licoricey with grainy oak tannins. Very pleasant indeed. 17.4/91
Metala Black Label Shiraz 2007 (Langhorne Creek, SA)
Jubey, black jube fruit. Sweet, oaky and hollow palate. Bitter, stressed fruit palate. No. 14.8/83
(Vintage affected for sure).
Yalumba FDR1a red 2009 (Barossa, SA)
Juicy, classic oak rich nose. Very tight, jubey and firm but spot on palate. Wine to watch here. 17.8/92+
Oakridge 864 Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 (Yarra Valley, Vic)
Leafy, lightly stewed nose. Mixed ripeness. Leafy, slightly uneven palate. Shortish. Enjoyable enough, but just not quite there. 16.5/88
Clairault Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 (Margaret River, WA)
Gumleaf. Nice herbal edge to the nose. Like the nose. Dark fruit. Faintly green but nice palate. Proper regional style. But not for everyone. 17.5/91
(My style of MR Cab. Can understand why it got crap scores in a show lineup though).
Jacobs Creek Johann Shiraz Cabernet 2005 (Barossa, SA)
Hey it still smells like fruit! Cabernet herbs. Lots of oak throughout and very rich. Very much an old school SA style, with loads of added tannin. But still perfectly acceptable in it’s mould. 17.5/91
Peter Lehmann Stonewell Shiraz 2006 (Barossa, SA)
Ripe, plump and juicy chocolatey style. A fraction raw but loads of flavour. Surprisingly skinny through the finish. Still in transition methinks. 16.5/88+
Zema Saluti Cabernet Shiraz 2006 (Coonawarra, SA)
Sweet, raisined, chocolatey style. Oaky, juicy palate is just plain overripe. Hot finish too. 16.3/87
Hardys Thomas Hardy Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 (Multi Regional)
Dusty, strongly varietal style, with hints of green bean and seriously hardcore drying tannins. Cumbersome but shows potential. 16.8/89+
Yalumba The Signature 2006 (Barossa, SA)
Lovely cocoa powder oak amalgam nose, quite sweet, rich and generous palate with hints of green bean too. Lots of power but a little four square at the moment. 17.5/91++
Vasse Felix Heytesbury Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 (Margaret River, WA)
Very dense and ripe this year. Lots of heat and power. Rich, vanilla oak nose. Very firm and jammy palate. A little jumbled and warmish this vintage, though the potential is there. 17.3/90+
Cape Mentelle Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 (Margaret River, WA)
Dense black fruit and anise nose. Ripe, essence-of-Cabernet palate. Very young with lots of power. Classy finish, with hints of varietal herbs in there. Such a keeper. Good stuff indeed. 18.2/93+
Houghton CW Ferguson Cab Malbec 2008 (Western Australia)
A big, fainlty greenish, bulky style with quite aggressive extract and lots of impact. Just a bit cumbersome for big points. 16.5/88
(Others seem to enjoy this more than me).
Yalumba ‘The Reserve’ 2006 (Barossa, SA)
Super sweet, black chocolatey oak and intense super charged fruit. Incredibly young and still unfurling in the bottle. A little skinny even? Vinfanticide stuff. 17.5/91
(This needs a decade really).
Clairault Claddagh Reserve 2007 (Margaret River, WA)
Classic gumleaf and cedar varietal/regional mix. Big, intense and firm palate. Green hints on the plate. Very attractive and classic, if way too young. 17.8/92+