Grapevine Archive for Plantagenet

Tue 16 Aug 2011

Grown-Up Australia

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Unlike the classic European wine regions (Bordeaux, Rioja etc), Australia has a fairly limited track record when it comes to long-term ageing of its wines. It’s not often that you get the opportunity to see mature Australian wines, even if you visit producers directly.

So I was immensely grateful when I was invited to join Michelin Star chef and self-confessed Australian wine specialist Roger Jones for a tasting of some top-notch bottles from his own cellar. The tasting was held in his delightful restaurant, The Harrow at Little Bedwyn.

Here are my shorthand notes. All wines were tasted blind.

Katnook Estate Chardonnay Brut, 1995: creamy, caramel, still fruity – lovely delicate mousse and texture. Mature yet still lively. 8/10

Plantagenet Riesling, 1998: zingy, floral, discreetly toasty, very fine nose. Gentle, juicy palate, à point. 9/10

Jasper Hill Riesling, 1998: serious riesling nose, creamy, focussed; amazing lift and intensity. Perfection. 10/10

Lenswood Semillon, 1998: nutty, evolved nose, developed palate, good structure, drink up. 6.5/10

Moss Wood Semillon, 1995: unusual aromatics, brioche-like, smooth palate; esoteric. 5.5/10

Moss Wood Chardonnay, 2000: pungent, smoky flavours. Full, opulent and slightly alcoholic. Not entirely clean. Disappointing. 5/10

Mount Mary Chardonnay, 1996: classic, mature chardonnay: nutty, harmonious and classy. 6.5/10

Moss Wood Cabernet Sauvignon, 1996: deep, youthful colour. Still vigorous, punchy, high-quality structure, great length. Will improve for at least another 5+ years and last many more. 7.5+/10

Lakes Folly, 1999: vibrant, high-toned, restrained, beautiful texture and length. 8.5/10

Barossa Valley Estate “E & E” Black Pepper Shiraz, 1998: layered, sensuous, chocolaty Barossa shiraz, smooth and delicious. Lovely now. 9/10

Penfolds Grange, 1990: exotic, complex, fragrant nose; savoury yet full of vitality; incredible ripeness and depth. A showstopper. Drink now or hold for another 20 years. 10/10

Penfolds St Henri Shiraz 1990: attractively evolved, spice/vegetal notes, refined, classy, only 13.5% alcohol, enormously appetising. Now or hold for 10+ years. 9/10

Pierre Mansour
Australia buyer