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Wednesday Round-up - the 2004 edition
Sue Courtney's tasting notes from the First Glass Fine Wine Wednesday $15 tastings

June 2004
[ Click here for index to other months ]


Sue Courtney's Fine Wine Wednesday tasting notes were recorded for First Glass Wines and Spirits in Takapuna for publication on their website. These notes are archival and may have been deleted from their site by now.
Where two prices are listed they indicate normal retail and the 'special' price on the night. Check out www.first-glass.co.nz for current availability and pricing. New Zealand readers can purchase the wines online from there.

Fine Wine Wednesday Tasting - 30th June 2004
Return of the Grunters
I couldn't make the Wednesday tasting this time, so Neil Courtney took notes and Kingsley Wood 'embellished' them.

McGuigan Earths Portrait Shiraz 2002 - Limestone Coast
Medium pinkish red. Smoky, wood smoke. Soft, easy drinking. Ready to go. Not a grunter. Amazing label.
14% alc. $17.95.

Rosemount Estate GSM (Grenache, Shiraz, Mourvedre) 2001 - McLaren Vale, Barossa, Langhorne Creek
Dark red. White pepper, spicy. Hot on tongue tip. Blackberry and alcohol. Burnt ants. Liquorice. Drinking well now.
15% alc. $19.95 special.

Craggy Range 'Sophia' Merlot Cabernet Franc 2002 - Hawkes Bay
Black, purple rims. Meaty, plums. Furry tannins. Excellent. Marmite. Liquorice. Tar. Leather. Full-bodied. Terrific wine with potentially 10 years cellaring capability.
14% alc. $41.95.

Leasingham Classic Clare Cabernet Sauvignon 1998 - Clare Valley
Black, purple. Tar, spiced plums. Big tannins. Black currant. Leather. Eucalyptus. Mint. Liquorice. No chocolate. Food wine. Still another five years but already accessible.
13.5% alc. $48.95.

Zema Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2001 - Coonawarra
Blackberry, black currant and plums. Burnt steak. Rich and smooth. Gentle tannins. Melon. Wood smoke. Not as full-bodied as some vintages of this highly rated Cabernet.
13% alc. $34.95.

Leasingham Bin 61 Shiraz 2001 - Clare Valley
Hot tar, leather. Black fruits, juicy. Succulent. Spice. Shiraz to drink now. Sensuous. Sweet. A gorgeous glass of Shiraz as we like it.
13.5% alc. $25.95.

St Hallett Blackwell Shiraz 2001 - Barossa Valley
Pepper. Smoked paprika. Chewy tannins. Dark chocolate. Fabulous weight and length. Classy wine - a treat. Will cellar 10 years.
14% alc. $33.95.

Maglieri Shiraz 2002 - McLaren Vale
Liquorice, tar, pepper, spice. Smooth. Structured. Leather. Grunty. Good length. In a way this could be described as a rough red because of the spice and leather, but it is a terrific wine.
14.5% alc. $16.95 special.

Elderton Shiraz 2002 - Barossa Valley
Dark, almost black. Big tannins. Berry fruits. Juicy. Lovely and soft with massive fruit and concentration - 10 years plus.
15% alc. $29.95.

Turkey Flat Shiraz 2001 - Barossa Valley
Tar, spice. Mulled wine herbs and spices. Cinnamon. Tannic!. Excellent. Vegemite. Minty. No chocolate. Long, powerful fruit, a classic Barossa old vine style.
14.4% alc. $46.95.

Mamre Brook Shiraz 2002 - Barossa Valley
Dark purple colour, succulent, juicy, almost sensuous. Yummy! Chocolate. Good grippy tannins but beautifully balanced. Long delicious finish. The wine of the night on a majority vote after the tasting.
15% alc. $18.95.

Beresford Shiraz 2002 - McLaren Vale
Black pepper. Big, long. Blackberry fruit, quite grippy and a wine that will cellar for 10 to 15 years.
15% alc. $24.95. Screwcap.

Fine Wine Wednesday Tasting - 23rd June 2004
Do we prefer younger wines?
All wines were tasted blind.

An interesting experiment, with the wines tasted in pairs - a glass for each hand. As for do we prefer younger wines; it seemed to depend on what the variety was and how old the older wine was.

Peter Lehmann Barossa Semillon 2002
Pale lemon in colour, quite soft on the nose with subtle apricot scents, warm and toasty with an oily texture, a hint of lanolin, stonefruit, citrus, a fragrant leesy note and a dry warm, slightly nutty, grapey finish. A well-priced alternative style.
12% alc. $15.95/$13.95.

Peter Lehmann Reserve Barossa Semillon 1999
So Australian with its momentary hint of rubber bands, then apricots, pineapple, and subtle oak, this medium to full-bodied wine is warm and toasty in the palate with a creamy oily texture, soft acids, lemon grass and bready flavours and a savoury, salty, dry finish that has nice mouthfeel and terrific length. A classic Australian Semillon, it doesn't get much better than this. The unanimous favourite of the pair.
12% alc. $28.95/25.95.

Felton Road Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2003
A bright, light gold colour, quite oaky with lots of yeast lees influence on the nose, spicy cinnamon-like oak, stonefruit and spritzy acid that cuts through the creamy, leesy, lanolin-like flavours and a long, dry nutty finish. The goods are all there but it is young and tight right now and needs to evolve to show its best.
14% alc. $35.95/31.95.

Coopers Creek Swamp Reserve HB Chardonnay 2000
Lots of caramel and bready aromas with a deep golden colour that suggests full development. Creamy, soft, buttery, mouthfilling peachy stonefruit flavours are prominent, it's a little Burgundian-like in some respects and the nutty oak and caramel finish is long. Not my favourite wine, I thought it every so slightly oxidised but others absolutely loved it. Probably the overall favourite of the two.
14% alc. $29.95/23.95.

Eitelsbacher Karthauserhofberg Riesling 1999 - Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Germany
Pale Straw. Struck match on the nose. A wine with good palate weight and a slightly viscous oily texture, flavours of citrus, honey and cheesy lanolin with baked apple / apple strudel and lingering honey, lime and apricot. This has a fuller palate weight than many other German Rieslings we've tried lately, with a warm finish and excellent length. Still developing, years ahead of it. The favourite of the pair.
10.5% alc. $24.95/19.95.

Kerpen Graacher Himmelreich Halbtrocken Kabinett Riesling 2002 - Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Germany
Straw gold. Fresh, spicy, crisp, honeyed and fruity, a young wine with good acidity, green apples, lemons and a dry finish. A refreshing, thirst quenching wine for hot summer days to to make you wish summer was here right now. 'Halbtrocken' is half dry, a good food wine.
9.5% alc. $29.95/26.95.

Pegasus Bay Waipara Pinot Noir 2002
Medium depth, garnet in colour. It smells a little feral, earthy, gamey on the nose. 'Swampy', said someone. Spicy in the palate with fruitcake spices like clove and cinnamon joining the cherry fruit and velvety tannins, it evolves well leaving that feral note behind, and the finish is long and savoury with smoky, spicy oak lingering. Most people preferred this to the older wine.
14% alc. $44.95/39.95.

Wither Hills Marlborough Pinot Noir 1999
Similar depth of colour to the Pegasus Bay, but much more evolved in hue - almost a tawny port but probably what people call 'brick'. It smells like old Burgundy with its floral, old roses scent, quite alluring if you like older wines like this. Much richer in the palate than the colour and smell would suggest with good texture, lovely vinosity, surprisingly firm tannins, macerated fruitcake cherry flavours and a winey, sweet fruit finish. The wine evolves nicely in the glass to become quite rich and warm and yes, just a hint of chocolate on the finish with excellent length. Don't let the colour put you off and for the best result pour into a decanter to aerate the wine before pouring into your glass.
14% alc. $47.95. No longer available.

Peter Lehmann 'The Mentor' 1998 - Barossa
A densely coloured wine with an intensely orange-black centre and brick red rims. Chocolatey oak on the nose, seasoned oak that smells nicely developed. Sweet American oak influences the palate with pepper and liquorice joining the jammy berries, mint, blackcurrants and creamy oak. Good sound tannins provide a sturdy backbone and the finish is quite savoury in a way. A terrific wine with excellent length, it certainly lives up to its reputation. A blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Shiraz and 15% Malbec. My wine of the night.
13.5% alc. $52.95/47.65.

Rosemount Show Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2001 - Coonawarra
Youthful in appearance, a densely coloured black-red with crimson red rims, and smelling of fresh blackcurrants and mint with a creamy oak backing. In the palate it is intense and rich with blackberry fruit, leathery tannins, boot polish, bright fruit, good acidity, bready oak and just a touch of rosemary to add to the herbal nuances of this cool climate wine.
14% alc. $34.95/$19.95.

Pepperjack Barossa Shiraz 2002
Intense shiny black, inky in its depth, with crimson purple rims. Fragrantly scented with chocolate, cherries, plums, mocha, clove and dark cedary oak, all that and more in the juicy flavours that fill the mouth with lots of peppery spice, velvety tannins, leather and a long, sweet-fruited, savoury finish. Bordering on legendary status at First Glass. One of the shop's biggest selling wines. The overall favourite of the pair.
14% alc. $21.95/18.95.

Leasingham Classic Clare Shiraz 1996
Like the Mentor in colour, with an orangey-black centre and brick rims but that is where the parallels end. Smelling of old leather and smoke, like a distant fire burning rosemary twigs and bacon, this is nicely mellowed in the palate, a little porty with good spice components, still quite grunty tannins and a long plummy finish. Nicely integrated, nothing really stands out, perhaps past its peak but still a treat to try.
14% alc. $49.95. No longer available.

Fine Wine Wednesday Tasting - 16th June 2004
A Selection of Cuisine Top 10 Chardonnays and John Hancock from Trinity Hill
With the Chardonnays we were given a list of wines with the Cuisine Magazine tasting notes, then asked to identify the wine in our glass based on the notes in front of us. A little difficult in most cases, it got easier as wines were eliminated from the equation. The stunning Sacred Hill Rifleman's was the one left over, so not served blind, nor were the Trinity Hill reds as John Hancock was in the room and presented these two wines. He also talked about his Chardonnay after the wine was identified.

Delegats Reserve Hawkes Bay Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2002
Mealy, lemony on the nose. Very mouth filling in the palate, harmonious with peachy flavours, a touch of butterscotch and spicy oak on the mealy finish. Quite fleshy with just a touch of citrus peel and yeasty flavours as it lingers.
Cuisine 4 stars. 14% alcohol. $19.95 special.

Sacred Hill Barrel Fermented Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2002
Quite a fragrant wine with citrus, melon and 'unwrapped grapefruit' aromas. Lifted acidity and spicy oak in the palate with stonefruits, tropical fruits and a touch of butter caramel on the long smooth finish which lingers with a lemon bread biscuity character. Half the room thought this was from Marlborough and it seemed a bit out of its league in this tasting, though very smartly priced.
Cuisine 4 stars. 13.5% alcohol. $18.95/$15.95.

Trinity Hill Gimblett Road Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2002
Leesy, barrel fermented, malolactic style. A little spicy with good palate richness, honeyed oak, peaches and apricots, and a creamy butterscotch texture. A stylish wine, mouth filling and persistent with finesse, elegance and power. "I think this is the best chardonnay I have been involved with", said John. We all loved it too. I rate it 5 stars.
Cuisine 4 stars. 14% alcohol. $29.95/$26.95.

Alana Estate Martinborough Chardonnay 2002
Grapefruit aromas with a leesy biscuity character on the nose and citrus and melons in the palate. It's a lighter, slightly sweeter style with a toasty butterscotch finish and seems just a little lean after the Trinity Hill.
Cuisine 4.5 stars. 14% alcohol. $30.95/$27.95. Screwcap.

Framingham Marlborough Chardonnay 2002
Toasty lemony oak, mealy stonefruit and a spicy backbone, warming in the palate, lovely concentrated fruit with the purity of stonefruit and just a touch of citrus to lift the finish. A wine with lovely, juicy fruit sweetness and a toasty persistence with just a hint of a savoury character as it lingers.
Cuisine 4.5 stars. 14% alcohol. $22.95/$18.95.

Matariki Estate Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2002
A fragrant wine with grapefruit aromas. Beautifully integrated, peachy and warm with a nice mealy backbone. Good acidity adds a hint of sherbet to the biscuity oak on the creamy finish. A good wine but not as toasty as it was the last time we tasted it.
Cuisine 5 stars. 13.5% alcohol. $28.95/$25.95.

Nobilo Icon Chardonnay 2002
A warm deep wine with a mealy barrel ferment influence, mouth filling, full-bodied and toasty with a lovely peachy character throughout and a long toasty finish. A blend of Gisborne and Hawkes Bay, this is drinking well now.
Cuisine 5 stars. 14% alcohol. $20.95/$16.95.

Beach House Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2002
Kingsley said, "There's a whiff of feijoa" and indeed there is something exotic in this wine. Buttery, slightly caramelly on the nose, it seems a little "hard" when first in the palate put that down to the screwcap - a lifted wine, a wine to evolve and it does in the glass to show lemon butter, peaches spicy oak and just a touch of pineapple on the creamy, smoky finish.
Cuisine 5 stars. 14% alcohol. $22.95/$19.95. Screwcap.

Church Road Reserve Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2002
A touch of citrus combines with classy oak in this mealy, mouth filling, smooth creamy wine. Actually there's lots of citrus and tropical fruits too. An 'elegant' style say the judges but I find it deliciously rich and mouth filling with concentrated stonefruit flavours lingering.
Cuisine 4 stars. 14% alcohol. $29.95/$26.95.

Sacred Hill Riflemans Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2002
Smoky oak, spicy oak, rich and mouth filling, a little savoury with a touch of vanilla and a lovely concentration of beautifully balanced stonefruit, melon, oak and barrel fermented mealiness. A wine of immense power and length. Wonderful stuff.
Cuisine 5 stars. 14% alcohol. $33.95/$30.55..

Trinity Hill Gimblett Road Hawkes Bay Cabernet Merlot 2001
65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc
Leather, plums and chocolate characterise the aroma of this well coloured dry red with richly concentrated plum and dark currant fruits balanced to savoury meaty oak with firm but succulent tannins and a cigar box finish. This wine is terrifically persistent with lovely concentrated fruit and balance throughout. I'd love another glass of it! Four gold medals and two trophies to date.
13.5% alcohol. $29.95/$26.95.

Trinity Hill Gimblett Road Hawkes Bay Syrah 2001
Blackberry hued. Yeasty at first on the perfumed nose with musk, tar and a touch of pepper. Sweet and fat in the palate with easy appeal. Blackberry and plum, a savoury spicy peppery character and a lovely creaminess with just a touch of liquorice that comes from the concentrated fruit. Lovely balance of fruit, spice, oak and tannin, a beautifully smooth wine not over the top like most Aussie shirazes are. A class act.
There are 7 clones of Syrah in this wine. Some came from Jaboulet where John worked a vintage. Gold medal and trophy.
13% alcohol. $29.95/$26.95.

Fine Wine Wednesday Tasting - 9th June 2004
Spain, Italy, France and Germany
All wines, except the Spanish wines presented by importer Ted Money, were tasted blind.

La Gioiosa Prosecco di Valdobbiadene - Fruili, Italy
Semi-Sparkling lightweight "quot;Frizzante"quot; style that loses bubbles quickly in the glass but keeps its spritz in the palate, cheesy smelling, slightly metallic to taste, sweetish yet crisp grapey flavours with a buttery apple finish.
11% alc. $19.95

Pazo de Barrantes Albarino - Salnes Valley, Spain
Grapey, earthy, seems quite soft and creamy at first, but fizzy fruit acidity soon kicks in. Off dry with a slightly peachy finish and a Muscat floral-like character lingering this is a nicely balanced wine but overall rather neutral, which will make it good with a variety of foods.
12.5% alc. $28.95

Schoffit Tokay Pinot Gris Cuvee Alexander 2002 - Lieu-Dit Harth, Alsace, France
Rich gold in colour with ripe apples, pears, honey and beeswax on the nose, lots more honey in the palate together with florals and tropical fruit, this is a smooth, rich wine made in a late harvest style with perhaps a touch of botrytis. Beautifully balanced throughout with terrific length, this is lovely drinking and an excellent example of Pinot Gris.
14.5% alc. $43.95

Schoffit Gewurztraminer Cuvee Alexander Old Vines 2002 - Lieu-Dit Harth, Alsace, France
Richly coloured gold, quite deep for its age. Beautifully fragrant with liquid honey and jasmine and an oily nuance reminding Kingsley of Brylcreem, it seems to have good acidity with musky, spice, white pepper and ginger. A wine of lovely warmth, great balance with a rich oily texture that gives a luscious mouth feel and excellent length. A stunning wine.
14.5% alc. $43.95

Schloss Vollrads Spatlese Riesling 2002 - Rheingau, Germany
Pale straw gold in colour, this is a much more delicate wine than the previous two. Think wet river gravels, earth, citrus honey, lime blossoms and nectarine, this is a wonderfully pure Riesling with good weight and texture in the mouth and a touch of ginger on the finish.
7.5% alc. $47.95

Domain Charvin Chateauneuf du Pape 2001 - Rhone Valley, France
A Burgundy, cherry coloured wine with an earthy, muddy nose and 'Throaties' lollies, sweaty leather and tarry tannins in the palate. It takes quite a lot of to reveal wonderful fruit sweetness with dark currants, black liquorice, mocha, cloves, pepper, herbs and savoury oak. The big broad tannins become velvety in texture and spice flares on the finish. An intriguing wine with so much going on, changing with every mouthful but at this early stage of its life it needs time and definitely should be enjoyed from a big glass.
14.5% alc. $65.95.

Castano Hercula 2002 - Yecla, Spain
A deep inky red made from 100% old vine Monastrelle with a lovely fragrance of herbs, violets, meaty oak, tar and juicy black and blue fruits, blackberries and currants merging with an earthy richness in the palate. It is fleshy and savoury with grainy tannins, a hint of marmite, underlying liquorice and a grunty finish with a touch of peppery spice. A very classy wine and at under $20, this is outstanding value.
14% alc. $17.95 special.

Castano Coleccion 2002 - Yecla, Spain
Deep inky red, sweet musky fruit and coconut-influenced creamy American oak that is so typical of traditional Spanish wines, this wine with its juicy red berry fruit seems at first like an 'upfront, drink me' style but it has hidden power with big tannins well balanced to the rich fruity flavours. The finish is meaty and savoury with sweetish, spicy oak lingering. Another outstanding wine at a ridiculous price.
90% Monastrelle, 10% Cab Sauv.
14% alc. $25.95.

Marques de Murrieta Riserva 1999 - Ygay, Rioja, Spain
A little less dense and tending towards brick red in colour, this wine is a myriad of delicious flavours, having spent two years in fine grained American oak barriques and another two years in bottle before release. The cedary oak influences the palate and there is a lovely seam of citrus that I tend to find in Rioja. A beautifully balanced wine with cherry, citrus peel, marmite, nutmeg, clove, mocha and leather supported by lovely firm yet smooth tannins, there's a musky creamy influence on the lengthy finish. Lovely development and integration throughout.
13% alc. $38.95

Pesquera Tinto Crianza 2000 - Ribera del Duero, Spain
Deep red black. Another big wine, there are herbs again, redcurrants, red berries and plums with creamy biscuity oak, tar, leather, roses and even a hint of chocolate on the finish. It has good acidity and balance, and seems just a little new world-like. 100% Tempranillo.
13% alc. $44.95

Jaboulet Muscat de Beaumes De Venise 2002 - France
Straw gold in colour, marzipan, almonds and orange blossoms on the nose, sweet grapey flavours in palate with a kick from the added alcohol that characterises this 'vin doux naturel' style. Orange peel and aromatic spices linger nicely on the finish.
15% alc. $24.95 /375ml.

Taylors First Estate Reserve Port - Portugal
A rich, full port with a vintage character, youthful red black in colour with nuts, red fruit and warming spirituous aromatics and mouthfillingly rich, nutty, dried fruits, fruitcake and liquorice flavours in the palate. Warm and voluptuous with quite firm tannins and lingering 'panforte' fruit and nut flavours on the spicy finish. Price includes a 50ml bottle of Taylors 1997 Late Bottled Vintage Port.
20% alc. $35.95 special.

Fine Wine Wednesday Tasting - 2nd June 2004
Aperitif, Main Course and Dessert
Four wines were selected and recommended in each of these categories. All wines except the Champagne to start with were tasted blind.

Moet et Chandon Brut Imperial NV Champagne
We can see the label, the wine's a legend, so we're impressed. Light gold, toasty smelling, creamy textured with a yeasty flavour, full body , curvaceous finish, good length and a slightly tart, lemon butter zing. Deliciously moreish.
12% alc. $64.95/$59.95.

Villa Maria Private Bin Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2003
Palest of straw lemon, a little oily in texture and so full of bracing acidity with apples, gooseberry and freshly cut grass, there's no mistaking the variety. It develops a softness with pear and tropical fruit and there's a touch of jalapeno pepper that adds spicy warmth to the immensely powerful, long pungent finish.
13.5% alc. $16.95/$14.95.

Petaluma Hanlin Hill Clare Valley Riesling 2003
Pale gold. Lemon peel and blossoms on nose and soft, almost salty lime flavours in palate. Dry, spicy and bright, just a touch oily in texture with good fruit weight, an earthy nuance, some softer tropical fruit mid palate and a long citrussy spicy finish. Try sushi as the perfect aperitif partner.
13.5% alc. $26.95/$23.95.

Cape Mentelle Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2002 - Western Australia
Straw gold colours this seemingly sweeter, softer wine. There is some oak, well lots of oak and nutty yeasty complexities, flavours of tinned asparagus and canned apricot that build on the smooth texture with just a slightly metallic note creeping in but full rich sauvignon blanc pungency takes over on the long fruity finish.
13.5% alc. $22.95/$19.95.

Coopers Creek Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2002
Alluring in its yellow golden cold colour and immediately appealing to the nose and mouth too. Rich and full-bodied with buttery oak, caramel, peaches and a spicy pineapple flavour on the smooth long creamy finish. A wine to drink now rather than cellar and enjoyable with or without food.
14% alc. $15.95 or $14.95 by the Case.

Matariki Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2002
This light gold wine smells far more sophisticated. Citrussy aromas mingle with quite toasty spicy oak and there's a savoury mealy richness to the flavour. A drier wine, seamless in its flow, full-bodied in its power with grapefruit nuances on finish. A quality wine with lots of winemaker influences making it hard to pick the region but who care, its so enoyable and will be a classy addition to that Saturday night dinner.
13.5% alc. $28.95/$25.95.

Serafino McLaren Vale Cabernet Sauvignon 2001
Opaque garnet red with black hues. Leather, sweet oak and jammy berries waft from the glass. Smooth and soft with ripe berry fruit, a touch of liquorice, a little tar, dark chocolate, vanillin oak and velvety tannins, it becomes quite savoury as it lingers and although delicious on its own, will be good with food. There's a touch of berry acidity on the finish too. A beautifully structured wine that is delicious now but will will keep on improving.
13.5% alc. $24.95/$19.95.

CJ Pask Reserve Merlot Hawkes Bay 2002
Deep red black in colour this savoury smelling wine with dark chocolate, plum, shoe leather and quite grunty tannins has a biscuity, spicy oak backbone and a long, rich, finish that has a chocolate liqueur intrigue. A brooding wine of great power and depth. Lovely berry flavours linger. It begs to be served with some rare cooked red meat.
13.5% alc. $49.95/$44.95.

Woodstock Botrytis Semillon 2002
Yellow gold, bright and gemmy in appearance with botrytis-affected honey, beeswax and apricot aromas, this is immensely sweet but with lots of acidity to balance it. The texture is thick and waxy and the wine finishes clean with orange toffee and marmalade flavours lingering. It's an absolute bargain for the quality.
10.5% alc. $12.95/$11.65.

Virtu Hawkes Bay Semillon 2000
Bright gold in appearance, there's a subtle oak influence on the honey-rich nose and mouthfilling flavours in the palate. With honey, marmalade, apricots, orange and candied grapefruit, this is rich and full-bodied, elegant and seamless, powerful and sophisticated. Oak softens the wine, it is lovely and smooth rather than waxy in its texture, a wine you can sip and savour as the finish that goes on and on and lingers like toffee.
12.5% alc. $35.95/$31.95.

Ch. Laufaurie-Peyraguey Sauternes 2001
Light yellow gold in colour, much paler than the previous two wines, there's a delicate nuance of Christmas cake icing - almonds and marzipan - on the nose then it fills the mouth with juicy plump white raisins and citrus flowers with a lovely honeyed sweetness, a nice seam of citrus almost like mandarin liqueur and a gentle cedary oak and lanolin influence as it lingers. Amazing texture - quite oily and slippery - and understated power - you realise how powerful it is as the finish goes on and on. Compared to the other two, this seems quite dry, though it definitely is a sweet wine. An absolute treat to try.
13.5% alc. $129.00/$115.00.

Lauriston Show Muscat NV
Clear bronze with amber, buttery gold rims this looks almost syrupy as you swirl the glass. Intensely rich, spiritous and full of concentration flavours of mocha, Christmas cake, nuts, raisins and muscatels with a touch of orange liqueur and lots of toffee. A luscious, thick textured wine, it's almost like golden syrup with alcohol. Totally delicious and absolutely world class.
19.5% alc. $37.95/$33.95.

Note: The New Zealand wines listed on this page have been cross-catalogued to my wine reviews by grape variety - check out my Wine Review Index.

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Index to all Wednesday tastings notes.

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Jan-Feb 2004 tasting notes.
Mar-Apr 2004 tasting notes.
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