We’re a little down on celebrations here at Australian Wine Review HQ of late, with illness putting a temporary dampener on festivities.
Still, it was my dad’s 70th on the weekend, which meant a dive into the wine fridge for something drinkable (with decent results). Even managed to get Dad a new Parkrun PB (27:29 with a negative split. The fastest 70yo I know). Now, if only I could (finally) break the 20-minute mark, that would be ace.
These notes are more collections than a detailed tasting note, but hopefully, you get the vibe.
Larmandier Bernier Longitude Blanc de Blancs NV
My favourite Champagne house, delivering another delicious fizz. Longitude is the finessed wine, Latitude has more weight. There’s an effortlessness here, a softness and ease. Marzipan and waxy white flowers, lemon citrus, ripeness, but framed fresh and light and lively. Bow down before the master, this is so joyous and yet perfect in its Chardonnay purity. You know what’s really great? There’s an instant appeal here that makes it more drinkable than nearly any other Champagne I can think of. It’s maybe not as complex as the fancier Larmandier Bernier wines, but damn I should just buy another bottle now. 18.5/20, 94/100. That might even be underrating it. Bloody delicious.
Meerea Park Alexander Munro Semillon 2015
I always like the warmer years for this style of Hunter Semillon, and this is an open-for-business charmer. Lemon toast, lanolin, some green bean deep in the heart, but it’s not green. Just right. Goldilocks mode, with a riper Hunter Semillon. It’s quietly complex too – each glass wavers between the citrus tightness and nutty layers. Arguably a bit forward, but that’s not always a bad thing – it will still be alive in a decade, without question. I really enjoy drinking this style too – and fit in seamlessly after the Bernier. 18.5/20, 94/100.
Robert-Denogent Pouilly-Fuisse Vielles Vignes La Croix 2017
I don’t drink much Pouilly-Fuisse. But who does? This fits the paradigm though – nutty, golden, slightly oxidative mothballs, lots of sunny flavours, it’s maybe erring on the side of chubbiness, but it’s full of life and richer expression of the Macon. Perhaps too full, but certainly powerful. Needs more acidity, but that golden Gaytime flavour is lovely. I wavered a little, but ultimately 17.7/20, 92/100. Would it be better picked half a Baume lighter? Fully ripe at 14% alc.
Curly Flat Central Pinot Noir 2020
I loved the straight Curly Flat Pinot Noir 2020, but this feels like a rather different wine. It smells riper than 12.8% alcohol, but the palate starts red fruited and ends up twiggy. Lovely dark red fruit to start, then it sort of falls away. Some nice delicacy though. No oak in sight. I get the intention and so much beauty to this fruit. Still, it’s fractionally underdone, in context. 17.7/20, 92/100.
Le Chiuse Brunello Riserva 2007
The second Le Chuise disappointment in recent months. A great estate, but variability is an issue. This 2007Scan was just tired. Surprisingly forward, it’s all oxidised red fruit and flat plums. Coffeed and faded, there is still some ripe red berry in there but the generosity has gone, leaving something brick dusted and lacking. 16/20, 87/100.
Framingham F-Series Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese 2016
I was hesitant when this poured a little too dark. It has lived in perfect conditions since its release, and nothing wrong with the screwcap. But not right. Cooked marmalade sugar, super concentrated and super sweet – there is just this ocean of sugar juice through the middle. I was looking for more complexity beyond toffeed sugar juice. There is shades of complexity – some nougat apricot – but the finish is too sweet and it seems dulled. What a letdown compared to the last bottle. 17/20, 90/100.
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