Saturday, February 07, 2004
Vice-Echanson Manfred Raiser
Allen's - Ordre Mondial Wine Review
Beaumet Champagne, Cuvée Brut, NV, Epernay, France
Dom Ruinart, Blanc de Blanc, 1990, Reims, France
Cloudy Bay, Sauvignon Blanc, 2002, Marlborough, New Zealand
Pale straw colored with gooseberry and grapefruit, lime and passion fruit accents, refreshing
well-balanced acidity and a long, crisp finish.
Cloudy Bay, Chardonnay, 2001, Marlborough, New Zealand
This is a Burgundian style, with vibrant Marlborough fruit. It is of rich, golden color with
excellent body and viscosity. The dominant fruit characters are melon and peach over a
flinty yeast character, blending harmoniously with toasty vanillin oak.
A deliciously refined wine which is impeccably balanced.
D’Arenberg, The Footbolt Shiraz, 2001, McLaren Vale
This is a plump, plum, blackberry and currant-flavored effort displaying
hints of smoke, earth, and pepper. It is a well-balanced, medium to full-bodied delicious
Shiraz to drink over the next 5-7 years. Wine Advocate 90/100.
Thorn Clarke, The Shotfire Ridge Barossa Cuvée, 2002, Bordeaux Blend
A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Petit Verdot. It may be the best
Bordeaux-styled value in the marketplace. Dense purple-colored, with a huge
nose of melted licorice infused with creme de cassis, vanilla, spice box, and hints of chocolate as
well as coffee, it is an extremely intense, full-bodied, opulently textured red with no hard edges.
This astonishingly pure, riveting wine is available for a song. It is a profound wine that
should drink well for a decade. Wine Advocate 93/100.
D’Arenberg, The Laughing Magpie Shiraz/Viognier, 2002, McLaren Vale
93% Shiraz and 7% Viognier, this is the La Mouline of McLaren Vale.
An exotic, heady, flamboyantly-styled red, it boasts and inky/purple color as well as a
gorgeous nose of lychee nuts, acacia flowers, blackberries and crème de cassis.
There are supple-textured and opulent white pepper, licorice, and blackberry flavors.
This wine has terrific fruit intensity with notions of sweet French oak in the background.
It should drink well for 10-12 years. Robert Parker rated 93/100.
D’Arenberg, The Dead Arm, Shiraz, 2001, McLaren Vale
This is one of the greatest examples of this cuvée. Its dense black/purple color is accompanied
by celestial aromas of melted licorice, graphite, blackberries, cassis, incense, anise and toasty oak. Fabulously concentrated, with great purity, an unctuous, viscous texture, and an amazingly long, 60-second plus finish, this fabulous wine will need 5-6 years of cellaring, and should drink
well over the following 20-25 years. Robert Parker rated 98+/100.
Amon-Ra, Shiraz, 2002 Barossa Valley, South Australia
The inky blue/purple/black color is accompanied by aromas of creosote, scorched earth,
black as well as blueberries, crème de cassis, and subtle vanilla.
The extraordinary aromatics are followed by a wine of size, power, great richness, delineation,
and amazing depth as well as intensity. The finish lasts more than a minute.
This exquisite 2002 is one of the most compelling offerings tasted in the overall impressive
performance of the 2001 and 2002 South Australian Vintages.
Anticipated maturity: 2007-2020. This is a wow-wow wine! Robert Parker 96-100.
Amon-Ra, Shiraz, 2001 Barossa Valley, South Australia
Penforlds, Bin 707, 1987
Bin 707 is Penfolds’ flagship Cabernet, not produced in sub-par years (1981, 1995, 2000).
The 1987 is drinking beautifully now. Medium red in color.
Fragrant chocolate/berry fruit aromas with touches of mint & scented pine. Palate is
moderately concentrated with earthy, cedary fruit and developed meaty/stock characters,
finely-grained, slightly extracted tannins and dry finish.
D’Arenberg, The Dead Arm, Shiraz, 2000, McLaren Vale
Penfolds Grange 1990 and 1983
FIRST VINTAGE: 1951 (experimental); 1952 (commercial)
VARIETY: Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon (usually less than 8%)
ORIGIN: Multi-district blend. Significant Shiraz contributions from
Barossa Valley, Clare Valley and McLaren Vale; Cabernet Sauvignon from
Coonawarra or McLaren Vale
FERMENTATION: Stainless steel tanks with wooden header boards;
completed in oak
MATURATION: 18-20 months in new American oak hogsheads
COMMENTS: Named after Grange cottage, built in 1845 at Magill Estate
and itself named for Mary Penfold’s family home in England.
Labelled Grange Hermitage until the 1989 vintage; Grange since the 1990.
Carried many different bin numbers in the early years, but always Bin 95 since
the 1968 vintage. Made at Magill, Adelaide, until the 1973 vintage;
Nuriootpa in the Barossa Valley since then.
Packaged in laser-etched bottles with identification numbers since the 1994 vintage. Limited availability in all Penfolds markets.
Grange’s weight and concentration can be traced to rigorous
selection of intensely-flavouredShiraz grapes from mature vines in some of South Australia’s
finest vineyards.The quantity of Grange made each year is determined by the availability
of grapes of the requiredquality and style. Penfolds multi-region, multi-vineyard blending
policy enables winemakersto reduce the impact of vintage variation to the point where
experts the world over considerGrange to be among the most consistent of the world’s great wines.
Partial fermentation and 18 months of maturation in new American oak adds complexity and
highlights the Shiraz fruit richness. Grange receives almost four years of bottle age,
moderating the raw power of youth and allowing the wine’s components to begin a long
process of integration and development.
Grange has typically a huge nose: a powerhouse of thick vanillin aromas,
sweet andcoconutty with plenty of bittersweet chocolate and vanilla-pod depth.
The fruit is ripe and lush, with lots of tarry, meat-stock aromas too and thick black fruit.
The palate is concentrated with a sweet core of dense black fruit that is densely layered.
Bolstered by warming, toasty oak and good tannin/acid structure,
this finishes with ripe, creamy quality and good length.
Penfolds, Grange, Shiraz, 1990, South Australia
The 40th consecutive vintage of the wine created by the legendary winemaker,
the late Max Schubert, who died at 79 in 1994. Medium full red/purple. Deeply concentrated,
with strong plum/prune/licorice aromas and touches of aniseed and
exotic fruits – all underpinned by well seasoned oak. Palate is deeply set with spicy,
plum/mocha/licorice fruit, sweet spicy oak, and ripe but fine velvety tannin structure.
Long finish. Perfectly tensioned and balanced. May outlive us all. Drinking Now – 2030.
Penfolds, Grange Hermitage Bin 95, Shiraz, 1983, South Australia
One of the great vintages. Red/purple. Intense, rich, brambly/blackberry fruit with touches
of cedar and licorice. Beautifully concentrated, with abundant blackberry/apricot fruit
and plenty of meaty cedary characters, plush, pronounced tannins and underlying sweet oak.
Super wine. Drinking Now – 2030.
Campbells, Rutherglen Muscat, NV, Australia
Gorgeous aromas of molasses, prunes, maple syrup, and coffee.