Wines from Down Under -
Results from an Aussie tasting - Saturday, February 12, 2000, at the Wine Exchange in Orange, CA. Twenty-two wines were poured for a tasting fee of $24.
The wines, in the order tasted:
'98 Cascabel Grenache et al - McLaren Vale, SA. $17.99. Medium
garnet color. Sharp and slightly tart nose, but with lots of cassis, vanilla
and floral notes. A bit thin in mouthfeel, there's an initial tartness
that does smooth out a bit at mid-palate, then gets tart again at finish.
Grenach, Shiraz, and Mourvedre.
'98 Fox Creek Grenache/Shiraz - McLaren Vale, SA. $19.99. Medium
ruby purple color. The nose: yeah! Big spicy sweet raspberry, with a toasty
and nutty nose. A tad rough on the palate, but smooths out nicely at finish.
Very nice. 70/30%
'98 Torbreck Grenache/Shiraz/Mataro The Steading - Barossa
Valley, SA. $39.99. Dark ruby purple color. Rubbery background notes
to the fruit in the nose. Rough, tight and tart mouthfeel. Sort of the
Dunlop of wines.
'98 Christa Rolf Shiraz/Grenache - Barossa Valley, SA. $18.99.
Dark ruby purple color. Nose of spicy black fruit and beet. Sweet and
scrumptious mouthfeel, long finish.
'98 Peter Lehmann Clancy's - Barossa Valley, SA. $15.99.
Dark ruby purple color. Massive nose of herbs, stems, cassis, sweet juicy
fruit and creamy vanilla. Thick mouthfeel, sweet and juicy taste, with
slightly off-sweet but long finish. 54% Shiraz, 22% Cab Sauv, 12% Merlot,
12% Cab Franc.
'98 Veritas Cabernet/Merlot - Barossa Valley, SA. $19.99. Very
dark ruby purple color. Floral and stemmy nose, with toast, vanilla, and
a bit of greenness to fruit. Huge chewy mouthfeel, toasty semi-sweet finish.
'98 Barossa Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon Rocky Valley - Barossa
Valley, SA. $28.99. Purple black color. Nose of cassis, shoe polish,
cedar, stems, and vanilla. Big and chewy mouthfeel, but tight core of
fruit. Slightly tart, but smooths out through toasty finish.
'98 Summerfield Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve - Moonambel, Victoria.
$49.99. Purple black color. Nose of cassis, toast, shoe polish, and
cheddar. Sweet-sour cassis fruit, with excellent palate coverage, and
nice long finish.
'98 Henry's Drive Cabernet Sauvignon - Padthaway, SA. $28.99.
Black purple color. Nose of herb, cassis, and mint. Smallish core of sweet
chewy fruit, nice toasty finish.
'98 Lengs & Cooter Cabernet Shiraz Swinton - McLaren Vale,
SA. $27.99. Dark purple ruby color. huge nose of cassis, vanilla,
mint, and shoe polish. Big mouthfeel, chewy somewhat tart fruit, long
'98 Parson's Flat Shiraz/Cabernet - Padthaway, SA. $29.99. Nearly
black color, with hint of purple. Huge nose of black spicy fruit, cassis,
toast, and vanilla. Sweet and juicy mouthfeel, chewy consistency, very
'96 Elderton CSM 1996 - Barossa Valley, SA. $29.99. Dark
ruby garnet color. Ripe, nearly candied nose of cassis, oak, cheddar,
vanilla, and toast, with a fleshy and stemmy quality. Sweet and smooth
mouthfeel with nicely integrated tannins, and smooth finish. Blend of
Cab, Shiraz, Merlot.
'98 Clonakill Shiraz - Canberra, New South Wales. $39.99. Dark
ruby purple color. Herbaceous and stemmy nose, with black fruit and floral
notes. Sweet toasty mouthfeel, light floral notes on palate, and nice
smooth tasty finish. The small % of Viognier really comes through in both
nose and mouth.
'98 Summerfield Shiraz - Moonambel, Victoria. $33.99. Dark ruby
purple color. Toasty and spicy nose. Chewy sweet mouthfeel, with toasty
'97 Dalwhinnie Shiraz - Moonambel, Victoria. $35.99. Dark garnet
ruby color. Stemmy, fleshy, and spicy nose, with mint and vanilla notes.
Spicy mouthfeel, a little light on fruit at mid-palate, and medium slightly
'98 Lengs & Cooter Shiraz Old Vines - Clare Valley, SA.
$35.99. Dark ruby color. Nose of cassis, toast, vanilla. Toasty, fleshy
and smooth mouthfeel, but feels short on substance. Nice nose, but what
happened to the mouthfeel?
'98 Cascabel Shiraz - Fleurieu Peninsula, SA. $26.99. Dark ruby
purple color. Nose of mint, toast, and cassis, with a bit of green stem
quality. Coarse and slightly pungent sense on the palate. Medium tart
'98 Barossa Ridge Shiraz Old Creek - Barossa Valley, SA. $33.99.
Black ruby color. Big herbal and toasty nose with spicy black fruit. Sweet
chewy mouthfeel, lots of mouth filling juicy fruit, long finish.
'97 Christa Rolf Shiraz - Barossa, SA. $24.99. Dark garnet ruby
color. Nose of envelope gum, toast, newsprint, and mint. Tight and tannic
mouthfeel, slightly tart-sour finish.
'98 Clarendon Hills Shiraz Liandra - Clarendon, SA. $55.99.
Dark ruby garnet color. Nose of toast and cassis. Tart chewy mouthfeel,
but still very tight. Long finish. This is Clarendon Hills? I'm underwhelmed.
'98 Cape d' Estaing Shiraz - Kangaroo Island, SA. $39.99.
Black with hints of purple. The group dubbed it the Black Hole. Brooding
(yes, brooding) nose of sweet black fruit, shoe polish. Huge, tight and
heavy mouthfeel, and yet quite smooth on the palate. Off-sweet fruit and
toast lasts through very long finish.
'90 Veritas Tokay - Barossa Valley, SA. (375 ml) $13.99. Light
carmel color. Citrusy, butterscotch nose. Coarse and a bit citric on the
palate, it tastes as though someone dropped a praline on a grapefruit
Overall impressions: what a great tasting - nothing like lots
of heavily extracted purple-black wines to perk up a weekend. Best of
the lot: the Parson's for its flat-out rich taste, and the Clonakill
for its interesting complexities. The Clancy's and the Fox Creek
represent definite bargains at under $20. On the downside: both Cascabel
wines were pretty weak efforts, with lots of tart fruit and palate
roughness. The Crista Rolf wines were a funny pair. In both cases
the mouth overcame the odd noses. And, the Clarendon Hills was
a decent wine, but at $55, way overpriced.
Here is my relative ranking, by tier and in order of preference, of the wines tasted.
Copyright © 1993 - 2004, Eric Anderson - All rights reserved
No original material may be reproduced without written consent
Mail & Comments - Eric Anderson