Honey, a pinch of smoke, lime and a fair bit of kerosene (which I happen to like). Palate is showing significant development, it is still kept fresh by the acidity but I think this is best consumed in the near future.
Cashew, oats and some citrus. On the palate the mouthfeel occasionally feels like it is tipping towards being overly rich, but it pulls back just in time. Interesting but I wasn't particularly smitten.
Some smoked bacon, cherry, five spice and raspberry aromas. The palate is savoury, hinting at mixed spices with good length and restrained red fruit. I thought this was very good but lacking a little magic.
Stalks, tar and smoke comprise the nose. The palate is more rounded in flavour, with some darker fruits evident but the stalky character still sticks out right through to the finish. Maybe it just needs time to settle down in bottle, but it wasn't quite balanced right now.
Australia, Victoria, Port Phillip, Mornington Peninsula
Tight nose, some melon and light white florals. The palate is rounded while having some decent acidity to keep it from being too round, but there is an overall lack of depth. It may just need time but it wasn't impressive now. I looked this up on their website and it is $55 a bottle, an easy pass.
Layered nose of cashew, honey, mandarin and pear. The palate is developed but it shows a fresh lift through excellent acid and well held structure and powerful fruit, leading to a long finish. While I don't think it will fall over soon, it is near its peak and drinking well right now for my taste. Much better than a "standard" '97 Bannockburn Chardonnay I had 5-6 years ago that was in danger of falling over already.
Tight nose, but opened up quickly in the glass to reveal violets, cherry, tobacco and stalks. The palate is lithe, with restrained red fruit and some textural elements to give interest. There is enough here to convince me that it will improve over 5-6 years.
Cherry, raspberry, some violets and stalks. The palate is nicely balanced between savoury and spice notes with some plush fruit. Good length, this is a good wine and should develop well over the medium term.
Brilliantly complex nose of forest floor, roses and aging autumn leaves. The palate unfortunately does not quite deliver the same depth and complexity. It is fine, decently balanced, but without the same interest factor. Drink now.
A blend of fruit from 1993 to 1997, spending 13 years on lees in bottle and with zero dosage. The nose shows toast, hay, lemon, spice and some appealing nutty character. There is a richness to the palate that is delicious and balanced out by fine, fresh acidity. A serious and seriously good wine.
Lovely floral perfume on the nose, there is also some earth, cherry and five spice. The palate is a pleasing mix of savoury elements and restrained red fruit. I've had this three times in the last year and it has been consistently very good.
From magnum. Earth, violets, fresh red cherries and spice. The palate has immense power but the structure is in place to keep it reigned in and balanced. Exceptional length and genuinely superb depth. My faith has been restored after a disappointing 2006 Block 5 recently. Keeping in mind this was from magnum, I think it will continue to develop over the next 10 years.
From double magnum. I loved the aromas on this - forest floor, smoked meats, cherry and a hint of truffle. The palate is complex and textured, it has obvious age and has almost all its components resolved. I would drink this now (especially since this sample came from a 3L bottle).
Cherry, plum and some leather and spice - reminded me more of a wine in the medium aged Hunter Valley mould on the nose. The palate is extremely elegant and restrained, just hinting at some sweet fruit in the background. Good length with the tannins providing plenty of grip. Drink over the next 4-5 years.
Unique nose of salami, tobacco, red cherry and violets - I found this really appealing even though it sounds slightly strange. The palate is long and restrained, with medium bodied red fruits and a very lengthy finish. Impressive even now, in 7-8 years I think it will be even better.
My favourite wine of the night. Intensely fragrant and floral nose of rose petals, earth, cherry and subtle spices. The palate is brilliant - it has amazing focus and structure and even though it is youthful, there is a layered complexity to it that just takes this to another level. Superb length and a stunning wine overall.
From magnum, but opened two days prior by the winemaker. VA and leather on the nose, with some smoke and tobacco notes. The palate is better than the nose, it is well balanced and still showing some good acidity. Hard to call since it was opened so long beforehand, but the nose was tired and I wish I could have tried it when opened.
A serious nose with black cherry, earth, truffle and just a background hint of raspberry and game. There is a bit more fruit density here on the palate than the 2010 Premium but retains the great depth and structure. Very classy wine.
Tobacco, kirsch, tar and some (but not over the top) cedar. The palate is quite dense with pure and powerful fruit and enough tannins to keep it structured. Extremely young, it probably needs another 10 years at least to really shine.
Menthol, smoked meat, plum and graphite. Less overt powerful fruit than the 2010, but also more depth to go along with the restraint. Balanced and quite approachable already, it will still age well over the medium term (say 6-7 years) as it has fine tannin structure.
Pepper, some tar, blackcurrant and earth on the nose. Ripe and powerful fruit on the palate, there is some spice to give it more than superficial fruit interest. I did like this but it was just a touch behind the vintages surrounding it (10,09,07).
More dark floral notes here than the following vintages (08,09,10), along with blackberry, five spice and a light remnant of cedar from the deft oak use. The palate exudes class, there is superior balance between fruit, oak and tannin along with brilliant length. Drink over the next 10 years.
Plenty of menthol along with mint, redcurrant and spices on the nose. There is good concentration of fruit on the palate, the menthol doesn't come through as much but it is still there. Overall it shows balance and potential to develop.
A nose of cherry, smoked meat, tobacco, cassis and dark florals. There is good vibrancy on the palate, it is predominantly savoury but there is lifted fruit as well and great texture. Was drinking quite well now but should be good for the next 10 years also.
A blend of Shiraz with 80% from Georgia’s Paddock and 20% from Emily’s Paddock. Cocoa and blueberry aromas, with a touch of vanilla. The palate is medium bodied and pleasant without much complexity. Nicely easy to drink and may develop over the medium term but is approachable now.
Vanilla, some smoked meat, mocha and plum aromas. There is great density on the palate supported by some impressive tannin structure and lifted by a gentle minerality element. Excellent carry through to the finish. Should happily continue to develop over the next 10-15 years.
Tobacco aromas with some cherry, smoke and leather. The palate is quite youthful, there is some plush and sweet red fruit. Doesn't feel as structured as the 2002 currently is, but it is more appealing for drinking right now.
Plum, liquorice, chocolate and some light vanilla oak on the nose. The palate is densely fruited but it has the structure from tannins and supporting oak to balance it out. Need some more time to come together and soften a bit, another 5-6 years perhaps.
A dense and complex nose of blackberry, earth, liquorice as well as kirsch, violets and some pepper. The palate is brooding, rich, detailed and intense - it is given a lift by bright acid and kept from being over the top by the structure. This needs some serious time in bottle to be its best, 7-8 years at least.
On the nose there is grapefruit, some lemon and pear. The palate is medium bodied, with some nice fruit purity. There is good focus from a core of acidity and the finish is bright and quite persistent. A really nice wine.
France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Mazis-Chambertin Grand Cru
Tea leaves, some lifted red floral notes, cherry and light spice notes. The palate is bright and appealing, it is young but actually quite open and interesting. While the fruit shines, there is also finesse to it and impressive length.
Leather, cherry and blackberry on the nose. The palate is in great condition, there is medium bodied red fruit with a brightness to it that lifts the wine. There is also some complexity and depth, this is drinking well right now. This is a classically styled aged Hunter Valley red, though I probably would not have picked it as Cabernet if blind.