This didn’t feel like a normal NYE. But with a toddler, what counts a ‘normal’ NYE anyway? More importantly, who cares about New Years?
Regardless, I opened plenty of tasty drinks this year, with even more highlights than Christmas.
Howard Park Jeté NV
Well packaged and well priced Great Southern sparkling. A blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir that spends 18 months on lees. This is plenty classy although a bit tart and lacks some delicacy for higher marks Not a bad wine for the $25 price tag, it’s hard when I’ve had so much Champagne lately to get excited. 16.5/20, 88/100. 12%
Longview Pinot Grigio 2020
Gently floral, Italianate Grigio style. Clean and pure, the acid is just a bit too firm, it certainly fresh. Pepper and celery, unripe pears. I don’t mind drinking this for simple refreshment. Delicate but maybe a little unripe. 16.8/20, 89/100. 11.5%
Peter Lehmann Margaret Semillon 2012
Toasty, nutty and mature. It’s in full bloom toast, the acid rising up to meet the mid palate richness . In the peak of the plateau now, and I fear it might get too toasty from here. 17.7/20, 92/100. 11%
Hutton Vale Farm Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
A monster, An unequivocally powerful wine that teeters on the edge. I admire the wines made from the Hutton Vale vineyard, but so rarely try the actual estate releases. Dense, tending overripe and figgy, it’s dark fruited and wide – a wine of impact, that’s not varietal, heady, meaty and quite savoury. Barossa Cab all the way. The antithesis of delicacy, but the powerhouse form utterly impressive. 18.5/20, 94/100. 15%,
Brick Lane Avalanche Hazy IPA
West Coast IPA with a bit more weight. That’s the mode here with big tropical fruit and less about the hazy texture. Enjoyable and surprisingly sessionable. 3.8 stars. 6.7%
Champagne Roger Coulon L’Hommée Extra Brut NV
Fascinating grower fizz this. Extended lees ageing, disgorged to order, with the Chardonnay components wild fermented in barrel. It’s more table wine than aperitif, golden-yellow coloured, leesy, slightly oxidative and nutty, a complex and delicious Champagne but not an easy wine. You couldn’t drink bottle after bottle. In some ways I preferred the vitality of the Veuve Fourny of Christmas, but I can acknowledge the complexity. Definitely worth a glass, but 2 glasses is about my ceiling. 18/20, 93/100. 12%
Benfield & Delamere 2006
Corked. A relic of Martinborough wine, and a shame this bottle was corked. NR. 13.5%
Vietti Barolo Castiglione 2010
I’m slowly making my way through a dozen bottles, and it just gets better. Timeless, mid-weight, tannin-led Barolo that’s still a work in progress. It’s maybe a little sweet and sour, but otherwise a lovely classic Barolo. The only downer is the price of everything Vietti nowadays… 18.5/20, 94/100. 14%
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