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Wednesday Round-up - the 2005 edition
Sue Courtney's tasting notes from the First Glass Fine Wine Wednesday $15 tastings

June 2005
[ 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 for current availability and pricing. New Zealand readers can purchase the wines online from there.

Fine Wine Wednesday Tasting - 29th June 2005
The Great Wine and Potato Chip Match Up.
This unusual tasting was the brainchild of Kingsley Wood and Sam Kim after they were presented with new flavours of Eta Chips by the Eta Chip sales rep. As potato chips are so often served as a snack with drinks after work or at social gatherings, the idea was to find which chip went best with which wine. After a week of tasting and nibbling and garnering opinions from customers to the store who were given combinations to try, Kingsley and Sam presented the following combinations. Some were the perfect match while others left a decidely sour taste in the mouth.
All wines were tasted blind. Chips were served from trays and not identified until opinions had been sought.

Pretaster: Mission Hawke's Bay Chardonnay 2004
A bright gold, fruity smelling, fresh, tasty wine with citrus and tropical fruits, a creamy backbone, a lightly oaked finish and just a touch of caramel. Two silver medals.
13.5% alc. $14.95/$12.95

Whites Bay Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004
Ripe and juicy, fresh and grassy with tropical fruit aromas and oily textured vibrant fruit flavours.
13% alc. $13.95 special. Screwcap.
Matched to the smoky, strongly flavoured Eta Ripples Smoky BBQ chip, the pungency of the sauvignon easily cuts through and together the wine and chips produce a smoky pungent finish with the power of the sauvignon winning in the end. A good match.

Babich Marlborough Pinot Gris 2004
A neutral smelling, pale straw coloured wine with sweet lemony flavours on a lightly mealy backbone and a creamy finish. 12% alc. $16.95 special. Screwcap.
Matched to Eta Upper Cut Sea Salt and Vinegar with a Twist of Lime chips, which are extremely salty and vinegary tasting with a suggestion of a creamy herbal flavour, the wine mellows the vibrancy of the chip then the vinegar flavour takes over everything, drowning the wine completely. Quite a disastrous match.

Orlando St Helga Eden Valley Riesling 2004
A dry steely Riesling with abundant blossom, zest and juice of lime on a lightly oily texture with terrific palate weight and length. Gorgeous expression of the Aussie style. 12.5% alc. $17.95. Screwcap.
Matched to the same Eta Upper Cut Sea Salt and Vinegar with a twist of Lime, this is ten thousand times better. The acidity in the wine cuts through the vinegary flavour in the chips, dulling it down completely to let the creamy herbal aftertaste emerge. The chips on their own are very strong but they are complimentary and moreish with this Riesling.

Brancott Vineyards Gisborne Reserve Chardonnay 2002
A medium-gold coloured, creamy textured chardonnay with toasty oak and bold, ripe stonefruit flavours and a sweet oak finish. 13.5% alc. $13.95 special or $12.95 p.b. on case buys.
The Eta O'Ryans Thick Cut BBQ Chicken is quite a tasty chip with a smoky chicken flavour which becomes stronger with the wine and leaves a salty aftertaste. The toastiness of the oak in the wine complements the smokiness of the chip but the strong flavour of the chip completely spoils the wine, making it seem simple and unbalanced.

Sandalford Margaret River Chardonnay 2003
A rich, full-flavoured, mealy, barrel-fermented wine with sweet oak, ripe citrus, stone fruit, cream caramel and a spicy, toasty finish. Beautifully balanced and very appealing.
14% alc. $19.95 special or $18.95 p.b. on case buys.
The Eta Upper Cut Honey Soy Chicken chips are crisp with a fresh light flavour, a hint of herb and just the right amount of salt. With the chips, the wine mellows but does not lose any of its appealing flavour. A highly approved match.

Zilzie Viognier 2004 - Victoria, Australia
Fruity but at the same time austere with a fairly neutral grapey aroma and a green grape flavour with a warm, slightly bready finish and just a touch of honey. 13.9% alc. $17.95. Screwcap.
The Eta Upper Cut Sea Salt and Herb chips are very salty with a strong herbaceous flavour and a smoky aftertaste. The chips are nice and tasty on their own but are an abject failure with this neutral flavoured wine, which loses all of its delicate flavours and only the alcohol component remains.

Brunton Road Reserve Gisborne Gewurztraminer 2004
A full-flavoured, pale-coloured wine with abundant aromas and luscious flavours Turkish Delight, lychee and musk with just a touch of orange zest on the spicy finish. It has fattened up nicely since last tasted.
13% alc. $21.95. Screwcap.
Eta Upper Cut Chilli and Sour Cream is a spicy chip with a just a hint of chilli at first but the more chips you eat the stronger the heat of the chilli becomes. This is a great wine and chip match with neither chip nor wine overpowering the other. The wine cools the chilli flavour momentarily but the chilli surges forth again to linger on the aftertaste.

Canterbury House Pinot Noir 2003
Garnet coloured with good density, almost opaque. Herb influenced smoky aromas with ripe pinot fruit, good acidity, a velvety textured richness and a long smoky, savoury finish. Not wimpy at all. Gold Medal, Royal Easter Wine Show, 13.5% alc. $17.95 special.
The Eta Kettles Bacon Grill is a slightly smoky chip but fairly plain and lightly salted. A fairly neutral match, that pronounces both the acidity of the wine and smokiness of the chip, leaving a spicy, creamy aftertaste.

Sacred Hill Basket Press Hawkes Bay Merlot Cabernet 2004
A big oaked, tarry, savoury wine with quite grippy tannins and an earthy mid-palate with plum and black fruits, savoury oak and a juicy long finish. 13.5% alc. $17.95 special. Screwcap.
Eta O'Ryans Thick Cut Mexicana is a very strong flavoured spicy, oily chip that introduces a layer of fat to the wine and completely overpowers the vinous flavours leaving a hot chilli aftertaste. In my opinion - disastrous, but others liked it.

Morris Rutherglen Durif 2001 - Victoria, Australia
Inky black-red with crimson edges. Opulent, sweet oak and eucalypt aromas with ripe black fruits that carry through to the palate. Rich and juicy, spicy and tarry with grainy tannins and a sweet oaked, slightly leathery finish with an overlay of mint throughout. 14% alc. $19.95 special.
Eta Upper Cut Roast Lamb and Mint tastes true to name with slightly sweetish mint and savoury, salt crusted lamb flavours. A very complementary, flavoursome match, neither overpowering the other. Approved by almost everyone.

Water Wheel Memsie Shiraz Cabernet Malbec 2003 - Victoria, Australia
Deep red-black with sweet oak aromas and spicy flavours, a smooth velvety texture, juicy plum and blackberry fruit, leather, tar, and an earthy finish with eucalypt and sweet oak lingering. Very tasty and bright.
14.8% alc. $15.95 special or $14.95 p.b. on case buys. Screwcap.
The Eta Upper Cut Thai Green Curry Chip is a strange tasting chip, slightly sweetish with a coconut, curry flavour, odd to say the least. Luckily the wine overpowers the chip in this instance. As Sam said, "I'd rather have the real thing!" He's talking about the curry.

Wolf Blass Gold Label Barossa Shiraz 2003
Inky purple-red with voluptuous creamy oak and spiced fruit aromas and mouthfilling flavours of sweet oak, juicy cherry and plum fruit, spices, ripe tannins, and a rich, powerful finish. A sensational wine.
15% alc. $19.95 special. Screwcap.
Eta Ripples The Works is a tasty chip both spicy and savoury with just the right amount of salt. The chip is good on its own. The wine is delicious on its own. And as a chip and wine match, they do the job well.

Fine Wine Wednesday Tasting - 22nd June 2005
Boutique Wines and Boutique Wineries.
All wines were tasted blind.

Mount Riley Winemaker's Selection Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004
Straw gold coloured with grassy, herbaceous aromas that have started to soften and rich, broad, yeast lees-influenced flavours with a stone fruit richness, melon and a tropical fruit sweetness on the long pungent, creamy, mellow finish.
13% alc. $16.95. Screwcap.

Cuvee No. 1 Marlborough Methode Traditionelle
A rich, yeasty bouquet leads into a strong, yeasty flavoured, foaming textured mouthful with an initial oxidative character and hints of marmite on toast that give way to the lemon and rich stonefruit that come to the fore and linger on the creamy, full-bodied aftertaste. The finish is ultra-dry and makes you want more.
Blancs de Blanc - 100% Chardonnay.
12.5% alc. $29.95.

Felton Road Barrel Fermented Central Otago Chardonnay 2004
Pale gold coloured with polished, toasty oak and mealy aromas and full-bodied, creamy stonefruit flavours with a rich mealy, nutty influence from aging on yeast lees and bright acidity on the toasty, creamy-textured finish. Well-balanced with plenty of length, quite Burgundian in many respects.
14% alc. $34.95. Screwcap.

Clearview Beachhead Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2004
Light yellow gold with nutty, marzipan-like aromas and full rich flavours that are packed with stonefruit, melon and citrus and beautifully balanced to the crèamy texture and toasty caramel-like oak. It’s a full-flavoured wine with excellent fruit concentration, a nice touch of spice and a terrifically long finish. Drinking beautifully already.
14.5% alc. $20.95. Screwcap.

Kumeu River Mate's Vineyard Kumeu Chardonnay 2004
Straw gold coloured with hints of nougat on the nose together with delicate, mealy- influenced, smoky Burgundian oak. Dry, citrussy and mealy with spicy oak, a wonderful purity of melon and tropical fruit and a seamless, silky texture, it builds in power to a long, rich, full-flavoured, lasting, refined finish. It seemed a little lean at first, straight after the more in-your-face Clearview Beachhead Chardonnay, but it quickly became obvious that this is a very classy wine.
13.5% alc. $48.95. Screwcap.

Neudorf Moutere Nelson Riesling 2003
Pale coloured with lime, citrus flower and honeysuckle aromas and seemingly dry, steely flavours of zesty lime and tangelo spiced up with a little ginger then a touch of honey comes through to add a delicious sweetness to the lingering finish. It's a little reminiscent of a German Kabinett, however the only German in the wine is the name the German settlers gave to the district in Nelson it was grown in.
10.5% alc. $32.95. Screwcap.

Bannock Brae Goldfields Central Otago Pinot Noir 2003
Translucent ruby-garnet coloured with smoky bacon and cherry aromas and spicy, cherry chocolate flavours lifted by abundant acidity with herbs and a smoked meat character as it lingers. A lighter style of pinot, ready to drink now.
Central Otago 14% alc. $29.95. Screwcap.

Felton Road Central Otago Pinot Noir 2004
Purple-black, very dense, quite startling for pinot - but this is young, just bottled pinot from a low yielding vintage. Opulent smelling and richly flavoured with terrific fruit concentration in the plum, black cherry spectrum forcing its way out from the tarry, earthy, savoury backbone with succulent velvety tannins, sweet creamy oak, warming alcohol, a lifted red fruits finish and a spicy aftertaste. There's a touch of chocolate, too, as it lingers. Very tight and youthful at this stage but fantastic potential.
14% alc. $46.95. Screwcap.

The Willows Vineyard Barossa Shiraz 2002
Inky black-red - densely coloured right to the rim. Eucalypt aromas and in-your-face shiraz flavours with massive, crushed-velvet tannins, bursts of juicy, jammy fruit, a ton of chocolate, peppery spice and that hallmark eucalyptic flavour that we think Willows is famous for.
14.5% alc. $31.95.

Barossa Valley Estate E & E Sparkling Shiraz 2001
Red bubbles with dense red-black hues topped with pink foam. Macerated berry aromas and slightly tarry, earthy flavours combine with juicy black and red berry fruits to make an interesting fizzy combo of sweet and savoury. It’s sweet, yet not overly sweet, with soft tannins, toasty vanillin oak, savoury spices, cigar and a slightly drying finish. A powerful red, showing some nice development.
14.5% alc. $96.95.

Konrad Sigrun Noble Marlborough Riesling 2003
Orange gold, waxy looking, rich, sweet and luscious smelling with a thick, viscous, nectar-like texture and gorgeous flavours of honeyed oranges, apricot, passionfruit and toffee - I imagine it would be sublime with a passionfruit topped crème brulee. 189 grams residual sugar.
10.5% alc. $27.95. 375ml bottle.

Johanneshof Noble Late Harvest Marlborough Riesling 2003
Deep amber gold with a 24-carat brightness to the hue, tantalising aromas of orange toffee and honey and clean, lifted flavours with natural acidity subliming balancing the unbelievably sweet raisin, orange toffee and honeyed flavours, all building to a fantastically long nectar-like finish. Harvested at 47 degrees Brix.
10% alc. $34.95. 375ml bottle.

Fine Wine Wednesday Tasting - 15th June 2005
Top Chardonnays including Cuisine Magazine's best.
All wines were tasted blind.

Kirrihill Companions Chardonnay 2003
A powerful wine that packs a punch first up in the evening with toasty mellow oak, stonefruit, spice and a butterscotch finish. Ripe and tasty without being overly complex.
13.9% alc. $16.95/$12.95. Screwcap.

Seifried Nelson Chardonnay 2004
Creamy oak and stonefruit aromas lead into a beautifully balanced buttery mouthful with spicy oak, caramel, lots of juicy fruit and a toasty finish. The best selling chardonnay at First Glass. Gold Medal Royal Easter Wine Show.
14% alc. $19.95/$15.95. Screwcap.

Forrest Estate Marlborough Chardonnay 2003
Smoky oak aromas and ripe stonefruit and citrus flavours with a creamy texture, mealy winemaking influences and polished nutty oak on the lingering finish.
4 stars Cuisine.
13% alc. $19.95/$17.95. Screwcap.

Tohu Gisborne Chardonnay 2003
Spicy oak aromas and lifted citrussy flavours with hints of grapefruit at first, it becomes quite toasty and creamy with a mealy backbone and tropical fruit filling the palate. A well-balanced clean wine with good fruit concentration and a long, nutty, butterscotch finish.
4 ½ stars Cuisine.
13.5% alc. $21.95/$18.95. Screwcap.

Northrow Marlborough Chardonnay 2003
A powerful, rich, mealy wine with toasty oak, stonefruit and a long, tasty, spicy full-bodied finish. It's appealing from the outset and is further enhanced with hints of butterscotch as it lingers.
4 stars Cuisine.
14% alc. $24.95/$21.95. Screwcap.

Cape Campbell Limited Edition Reserve Marlborough Chardonnay 2004
A pale-coloured wine with smoky aromas and nutty flavours, a slightly milky influence from the malolactic in the mid-palate, fleshy peach and melon fruit and a touch of honey lingering with spicy oak on the long, lifted finish.
4 stars Cuisine.
14% alc. $22.95/$19.95. Screwcap.

Clearview Reserve Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2004
A golden coloured wine smelling of classy French oak and richly concentrated fruit. In the palate it is even better with toasty vanillin oak, peach and nectarines with a nuance of pawpaw, a creamy texture and a rich, toasty, sweet fruited finish. A beautifully crafted, powerful, seamless wine. Wine of the Night.
14.5% alc. $42.95/$37.95.

Waipara West Chardonnay 2003
A pale coloured, leesy, nutty, mellow, yeasty flavoured wine with buttered toast, a hint of marmite, tropical fruits and a citrussy finish. Quite lean, a little clumsy and disappointing in this line-up.
4 stars Cuisine
13.5% alc. $27.95/$24.95.

Odyssey Reserve Iliad Gisborne Chardonnay 2004
A light gold coloured wine with sweet-fruited, spicy toasty aromas. Concentrated melon and citrus fruit in the palate with a creamy texture, an abundance of polished toasty oak and a mealy, biscuity finish. A powerful wine with lots of flavour and a spicy aftertaste.
5 stars Cuisine and Cuisine Award for Top Chardonnay
13.5% alc. $33.95/$28.95.

Matariki Reserve Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2004
A rich-smelling, broad, fleshy spicy wine with mealy, barrel-fermented flavours, a touch of grapefruit and a ton of smoky, nutty oak. Very powerful and rich with sweet tropical fruit and hints of passionfruit on the long, smooth, creamy finish.
5 stars Cuisine
14% alc. $36.95/$32.95.

Sileni The Lodge Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2004
Nutty aromas and mellow nutty flavours with good intensity of fruit over a well-structured backbone with toasty, creamy oak and just a touch of citrus joining ripe tropical fruit on the lingering smoky finish.
4 ½ stars Cuisine
14% alc. $34.95/$29.95. Screwcap.

Kim Crawford Tietjen-Briant Gisborne Chardonnay 2004
Richly concentrated aromas of ripe fruit and sweet toasty oak lead into a creamy mouthful of terrifically concentrated ripe fleshy melon and stonefruit with a nutty backbone and a dry smoky finish. Smooth and seamless with lots of power.
5 stars Cuisine
14% alc. $30.95/$26.95. Screwcap.

Fine Wine Wednesday Tasting - 8th June 2005
Return of the Big Buggers Two
All wines were tasted blind.

Kirrihill Companions Shiraz 2002 - Langhorne Creek & Clare Valley
Black red. Strawberry, cherry and red fruit aromas and crisp red fruit flavours overlain with chocolate, spicy oak, liquorice, mint and a dry finish make this nicely rounded, medium-bodied, easy-drinking style a juicy starter to the evening .
14.7% alc. $12.95. Screwcap.

Gramps Barossa Cabernet Merlot 2002
Black red in colour with savoury oak aromas, black fruit, tar, liquorice and cedary oak flavours and plush velvety tannins. A gutsy, full-bodied red with chocolate lingering on the aftertaste.
14.5% alc. $17.95.

Fox Creek Shadows Run Cabernet Shiraz 2003 - McLaren Vale
Black red in colour with chocolate covered berries, a nuance of mint and dusty oak on the nose and soft rounded flavours of cherry, vanilla, pepper and red liquorice with juicy tannins and a spicy cedary finish. Ready now.
4.5% alc. $17.95. Screwcap.

Rosemount Show Reserve Shiraz 2001 - McLaren Vale / Langhorne Creek
Black red with crimson rims - youthful for its age. Cedar and black fruit aromas and spicy oak flavours with red and black fruits, tar, mocha, liquorice, chocolate, peppery spices, soft grainy tannins, a touch of mint and a juicy, sweet-oaked, full-bodied, spicy finish that goes on and on. This wine has won nine gold medals. Easy to see why.
14.5% alc. $22.95.

Gramps Barossa Grenache 2002
Black-red with fading blood-red rims. It smells a little port-like with its savoury oak and concentrated jammy, red fruits and the porty nuance carries into the palate with liquorice, cedar, peppery spices and warming alcohol. The tannins are succulent and the finish is long, juicy and savoury with a touch of strawberry caramel as it lingers.
14.5% alc. $17.95.

Maglieri McLaren Vale Shiraz 2002
Shining red-black. Youthful. Inky. Perfumed aromas of black pepper, juicy blackberries and charry toasty oak set the scene for this massively structured yet silky tannined wine. It's crammed with plums, blackberry, cherries, vanillin oak, liquorice, chocolate and peppery spices that build on the palate to a huge, oaky, earthy finish. Big and ballsy.
14.5% alc. $16.95.

Serafino McLaren Vale Shiraz 2002
Black-red with blood red rims. Tarry, earthy, plummy aromas. Concentrated red and black fruit flavours with liquorice, cedary oak, bitter chocolate, blackberry and a tarry, earthy, savoury finish that has peppery spices and juicy mulberries lingering on the succulent aftertaste. Once again the tannins are huge but they are rich and smooth.
14% alc. $22.95.

Jim Barry The Lodge Hill Shiraz 2003 - Clare Valley
Black-black-red with crimson rims. Sweet, spicy, toasty oak aromas and sweet red fruit and creamy, oak-influenced flavours. Succulent and juicy with a hot peppery finish, a liquorice tarriness to the aftertaste and a definite alcoholic punch.
15.5% alc. $19.95.

Beresford McLaren Vale Shiraz 2003
Blackberry red, youthful, inky. Opulently scented and fragrant, with toasty, chocolatey oak that carries through to the palate that is crammed with concentrated red and black fruits, liquorice, mocha, vanilla, cedar, nutmeg and toasty, cedary oak. Beautifully balanced and seamless with silky tannins that give an aura of finesse.
13.5% alc. $19.95. Screwcap.

Brown Brothers Patricia Cabernet Sauvignon 2002 - Victoria
Shining black-red, dense and youthful looking. Savoury, meaty oak aromas with an overlay of sweet vanilla and berries. Cedary oak in the palate with mint, red fruits, liquorice, leather, tar, cedar and tobacco. A hugely concentrated, dry, youthful wine that needs a big glass to reveal its true power and elegance that is hinted of on the succulent aftertaste.
14% alc. $48.95.

Richmond Grove Barossa Shiraz 2001
Black-red with bright red rims. Minty aromas carry through to the palate with chocolate, cherry, blackcurrant, sweet vanillin oak, cigar box and toffee. This is rich and juicy, smooth and succulent, very easy drinking and absolutely ready to enjoy right now.
14% alc. $16.95.

Wirra Wirra RSW McLaren Vale Shiraz 2002
Big, black and tarry looking with smoky charred oak aromas and rich savoury flavours with an undercurrent of sweet, ripe, concentrated, plummy fruit. Mint, bitter chocolate, tobacco, tar, pepper, liquorice, creamy cedary oak and massive grainy tannins make this a big bugger in every sense. A powerful wine, it will probably last for 20 years.
14.5% alc. $52.95.

Fine Wine Wednesday Tasting - 1st June 2005
Not So Common
All wines were tasted blind.

Palandri Riesling 2001 - Mt Barker/Frankland River, WA
Golden coloured. Quite intense floral and limey aromas with a hint of lemon grass. Ripe, round flavours with an oily texture and excellent palate weight, a toastiness that comes with age and citrus, tropical fruit, honey and spices. Not too dry, not too sweet, a Riesling that even Chardonnay drinkers will love.
13.5% alc. $19.95/$11.95.

Vidal Fleury Côtes du Rhône Blanc 2004
Made from 100% alc. Viognier, this pale coloured wine has a perfumed aromas of flowers and pear drops. It's lightly toasty in the palate with a slightly oily, creamy texture and a sweetness to the off-dry finish with apricots and spices lingering on the long aftertaste. A delicate wine with hidden power.
13% alc. $25.95/$22.95.

Yering Station M.V.R. 2004 - Yarra Valley
Made from a blend of 63% Marsanne, 29% Viognier and 9% Roussanne, this pale lemon coloured wine is slightly earthy smelling with lime oil and hints of flowers. It seems quite neutral in the palate at first but it has a vinous sweetness and becomes quite full, rich and textural with limes and citrus on the bright finish and a hint of aniseed and liquorice with baked apples as it lingers.
13.5% alc. $27.95/$24.95.

Clément Klur Gewurztraminer Grand Cru 2000 - Schlossberg, Alsace
Yellow gold. Perfumed aromas of lychees, rose petals and cloves and rich, full flavours that abound with nutmeg, ginger, white pepper and clove spices with a delicate hint of orange water and rose petals. Ripe and clean with a soft, oily texture and a toasty, off-dry finish.
13.5% alc. $55.95/$49.95.

Villa Quinzio Negroamaro 2002 - Puglia, Italy
Deep black-red. Rich and jammy with plums and wood smoke on the nose then in the palate cracked berry fruit, velvety tannins, smoky oak and an earthy finish with just a little bit of grip on the sweet, ripe, savoury aftertaste. Very tasty. Very juicy. Very appealing.
12.5% alc. $13.95/$11.95.

Boundary Vineyards Kings Road Waipara Pinot Noir 2004
Garnet-red with violet flashes. Sweet vanillin oak on the nose continues into the palate with ripe cherry fruit, tamarillo, a hint of orange rind and firm tannins on an earthy savoury backbone. The finish is long and tasty with savoury herbs lingering with sweet oak. Excellent value for money.
14.5% alc. $19.95/$16.95.

Frescobaldi Castiglioni Chianti 2003 - Tuscany, Italy
A youthful looking dense black-red with smoky, savoury aromas parting to reveal ripe plummy fruit. Rich, complex, meaty and savoury with a firm tannin structure, a creamy texture, dark juicy black fruits, tar, liquorice, a hint of bitter chocolate and a long juicy savoury finish.
12.5% alc. $22.95/$19.95.

Baltasar Garnacha 2003 - Calatayud, Spain
Dark red. Savoury and earthy smelling with hints of liquorice. Sweet juicy fruit in the strawberry, prune spectrum with cedary oak, firm velvety tannins, tar and smoke with liquorice lingering with concentrated fruit on the succulent yet savoury finish.
13.5% alc. $20.95/$17.95.

Te Mata Woodthorpe Syrah/Viognier 2003 - Hawkes Bay
Cherry red in colour. Freshly cracked white pepper on the nose. Dry and spicy in the palate with plenty of pepper and spices, sweet cherry and red plum fruit building to a sweet succulent, lifted finish. A clean, easy wine, not overly complex.
13% alc. $24.95/$21.95.

Baltasar Vinas Viejas Garnacha 2002 - Calatayud, Spain
Black red with sweet oak aromas and concentrated creamy flavours. Liquorice, Irish moss, red berry fruits, silky tannins, cigar and tobacco and a touch of pepper lead into an earthy aftertaste. A full-bodied, succulent wine that is very classy for the price.
14.5% alc. $24.95/$21.95.

Yalumba Shiraz/Viognier 2000 - Barossa Valley
Dense black red though with some development on the rims. Sweet vanillin oak aromas with a hint of menthol. Sweet oaky flavours with jammy fruit, pepper and spices. A juicy wine with nicely integrated tannins, a hint of tar and a cedary finish with oak sweetness and a savouriness to the aftertaste. Very tasty. Drinking beautifully now.
13.5% alc. $37.95/$32.95.

John Duval Wines Plexus Shiraz/Grenache/Mourvédre 2003 - Barossa Valley
Inky, bright black-red. Macerated berries and spices with subtle oak on the nose and an explosion of concentrated strawberry, cherry and plum fruit in the palate but with enough marmite and cedary savouriness to ensure this is not simply a fruit bomb. A huge wine, beautifully balanced throughout with silky tannins, a meaty mid-palate, a spicy finish and a creamy aftertaste with hints of violet as it lingers. Gorgeously succulent, suave, seamless, sumptuous and sexy.
14.5% alc. $37.95/$32.95.

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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Other 2005 Tastings
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February 2005 tasting notes.
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