On The Tasting Bench

 I’ve had a busy time tasting over the past week, so thought it was about time I got a few of the latest wines up for your viewing, and tasting, pleasure.

The past week saw an influx of wines from Adelaide Hills, along with a couple from Margaret River. I have also included a few wine highlights from my trip to Mudgee, along with a German interloper.

2011 Forester Estate Semillon Sauvignon Blanc (Margaret River, W.A)

(49% Sem, 46% Sav Blanc 5% Chard) This pale coloured wine showed herbaceous characters, lime zest, subtle banana skin and lemon grass on the nose. The palate is crisp, dry and uncomplicated with grassy & passionfruit flavours, a decent acid line and a moderate length. OK quaff perfect for picnics or will match with Asian salads.

13% alc. Screwcap closure. RRP: $21.99

2009 Forester Estate Cabernet Merlot (Margaret River, W.A)

Bright crimson in colour and medium-bodied in style, the nose is quite minty with blackcurrant playing a supporting role along with a touch of tomato bush and leafiness. It’s easy to drink with decent acidity and length, approachable tannins and no overt oak. Finishes slightly herbaceous. Nice, elegant wine that delivers above its price point.

13% Alc. Screwcap Closure. RRP: $21.99


2009 The Lane Vineyard ‘Gathering’ Sauvignon Blanc Semillon (Adelaide Hills, S.A)

Pale straw colour. Gooseberry, savoury-edged nose with an undertow of dried herbs and lucerne hay. The palate is mellow and rounded, possible use of oak, with a nice balanced acid line and a moderate length. A very drinkable wine that is ready to go now in a Pouilly-fume style. Adapatable food wine

13% Alc. Screwcap closure. RRP: $35.00

2009 The Lane Vineyard ‘Beginning’ Chardonnay (Adelaide Hills, S.A)

Light straw colour. A very creamy, leesy nose with supporting fresh peaches and apricots and a lick of toasted breadcrumbs, probably oak derived. The palate shows stone fruits, a creamy, chalky texture with a good acid line and a decent length. Good for dinner parties and chicken dishes.

13% Alc. Screwcap closure. RRP: $39.00


2010 Shaw + Smith Pinot Noir (Adelaide Hills, S.A)

Vibrant crimson in colour, this wine looks lighter in body than previous years, but don’t let that fool you. Red fruits of raspberries and cranberries jump out of the glass together with a tickle of pepper spice. The palate is balanced with a good fruit core, minerally acidity, chalky texture and fine, but evident tannins. After time in the glass it displayed star anise spice in the mix. This is a vivacious, bright young thing that could age medium term and would go great with duck or even salmon.

13.5% Alc. Screwcap closure. RRP: $48.00


Best of Mudgee

All wines are from Mudgee unless otherwise stated. Not all alcohol levels were available

2009 ‘Mudgee Gold’ Shiraz Cabernet

Good colour – ruby core and hue. Looks a medium-bodied style. Earthy, blackcurrant, slight five-spice. Appealing chalky-textured tannins that are highly approachable, good acid line together with a spicy hit in the front palate fading to earthiness. Not bad at all.

Screwcap closure. RRP: $60.00

*Slight disclaimer here, although I didn’t know what it was until after I had tasted and written my note. This is a product of the 2010 Mudgee Wine Show. Barrel samples are tasted by the judges and any that receive a silver or gold score (17 to 20 points) are blended together. I was a judge at the show responsible for selecting the blend for this wine.

2010 Quilty ‘Running Stitch’ Cabernet Sauvignon.

Nice ruby colour, earthy and cranberry nose. Appealing dark fruits on entry to the palate with an almost salty / soy edge, chalky tannins and an upright acid line that pushes to the back-palate. A very expressive wine that displays its Mudgee roots. It was one of the best reds I saw in Mudgee and is great value at the price. Watch this label!

Screwcap closure. RRP: $28.00


2009 Eloquesta Shiraz Petit Verdot (and a splash of Viognier)

Now, here is something I didn’t expect to see in Mudgee. Admittedly, there are wines on this page I scored better than this one, but I really liked the direction winemaker Stuart Olsen is taking, and the region needs a brave person like him – in fact, probably needs more of them.

Very bright purple colour. Dark fruits, musksticks and deli-meats accost the senses together with white pepper and an almost ‘pork crackling’ character. The palate is quite savoury with stems providing backbone, but it is balanced with good mid-palate weight and a moderate length. Not everyone will like it, especially if they are looking for a ballsy ‘fruit bomb’, but there is plenty of intrigue here to keep you on your toes.


2010 Clemensbusch Trocken (Mosel, Germany)

OK, so it’s not from Mudgee. But it was in a benchmark tasting against the Mudgee Rieslings and it was pretty good.

Pale straw colour. Aromas of lemon rind, orange blossom, beeswax and a slight lemongrass character. A lovely, vibrant palate with a waxy texture and overt lemon juice line. I could drink a lot of this!

When I looked up the price I saw AUS$21.00 on some websites. Amazing value if that is the case.

11.5% Alc. Cork closure.

2004 Louee ‘Nullo Mountain’ Riesling

Medium to deep straw in colour. Preserved lemon, toasty and honeyed, but not a whiff of kerosene on the nose. The palate seems to have slight sweetness, but it is well in balance with the acid. A very nice, aged Riesling.

10.5% alc. Screwcap closure. RRP: $45.00


2010 Robert Oatley ‘Craigmore’ Chardonnay

The fruit is mainly from a 40-year old block of the Oatley vineyards. It is whole bunch pressed and barrel fermented with wild yeast before spending only a short time in oak.

Pale gold in colour it displays vanilla and stone fruits along with an undertone of tropical green fruits. The palate is fruit-driven with a lemony line of acid and a subtle chalky texture.

12.5% Alc. Screwcap closure. RRP: $28.00



One comment

  1. The price on the Clemens Busch sounds about right. German wines are soo underpriced.

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