1998 Aussie Showdown dinner

Jade Palace Restaurant

Tasted July 12, 2013 by hkm520240 with 193 views

Flight 1 - Tasmania vs. Margaret River (2 notes)

Red
1998 Domaine A Cabernet Sauvignon Australia, Tasmania, Coal River
91 points
Open for bottle breath since 1 pm and serve as the first wine.
Dark ruby with slight brick red edge, showing an expressive nose of blackcurrant, eucalyptus, herbs, subtle oak and hints of vegetal and leafiness.
The palate is soft, subtle and elegant with blackcurrant, earth, smoke, tar and earth. A nice long finish with fine and supple tannins.
Group prefer Voyager Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot which is more robust in style. But this is definitely good and drinking well now.
Red
1998 Voyager Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Australia, Western Australia, South West Australia, Margaret River
92 points
Open before dinner for bottle breath and serve as 2nd wine for the night.
Dark ruby with glossy crimson hue, open up nicely for tasting with lots of minty character on the nose along with blackcurrant and cedar oak.
It has robust but smooth palate contributed by its age, with cassis, minty eucalyptus and hints of oak and earthiness. Layers fruits and seamless mid-palate extend into a long lingering finish with fine tannins.
Showing very well for the night and the group preferred this to Domain A. A Margaret River victory for this flight!
1 person found this helpful Comments (3)

Flight 2 - Cabernet Malbec vs. Cabernet Shiraz (2 notes)

Red
1998 Lindemans Shiraz - Cabernet Limestone Ridge Vineyard Australia, South Australia, Limestone Coast, Coonawarra
91 points
Open before dinner for bottle breath and serve as 3rd wine for the night.
Still very tight when just poured into the glass and it gradually open up after nearly 2 hours. On the nose, dark fruits and vanilla interwoven with chocolate and hints of spice. Rich entry and exhibits dark fruits on palate along with cherry, dark plum and spice.
Long finish with soft subtle tannins.
It needs time to open up so naturally it can't match the Wendouree that immediately open for business with long bottle breath.
Red
1998 Wendouree Cabernet-Malbec Australia, South Australia, Mount Lofty Ranges, Clare Valley
94 points
Open for bottle breath since 1 pm and serve as the 4th wine.
Dark garnet with crimson hues, very old world nose, complex, elegant with dusty notes, tobacco, black fruits and subtle minty savoury notes.
On peak right now, rich fruits, smooth, elegant and softly extend its seamless mid-palate to a long aftertaste and fine and ripe tannins.
This was preferred by the group than Lindemans Limestone Ridge, not only more expressive and showing better but also more concentrated and complex.
1 person found this helpful Comment

Flight 3 - Hill of Grace vs. Grange vs. Tahbilk 1860 (3 notes)

Red
1998 Henschke Shiraz Hill of Grace Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Eden Valley
97 points
Open before dinner for bottle breath and serve as 5th wine for the night. This flight is tasted blind (along with Grange and Tahbilk 1860)
Beautiful ruby red, bright and clear with glossy hues, lifted nose of red fruits, plum, dark cherry, and roast herbs.
On peak right now and still plenty of primary fruits. Rich and ripe fruits on palate and yet balance, elegant and harmonious with a touch of feminine. It has fresh acidity with soft and seamless mid-palate, flavour profile is well integrated with blackcurrant, spice and subtle oak. Fine and smooth tannins with long persistent aftertaste.
This wine has given me a huge surprise when tasted blind, for it is so approachable now without the need to decant and a complete opposite style to some of the iconic Aussie Shiraz like Penfolds Grange, Chris Ringland and Clarendon Hills Astralis. Yet could win many hearts with its beautiful balance and length.
Red
1998 Penfolds Grange Australia, South Australia
97 points
Decanted before dinner for almost 2 hours and served as 6th wine. This flight is tasted blind (along with Hill of Grace and Tahbilk 1860).
Darkest colour of tonight, black and opaque with purple-crimson hue, still very youthful and can't believe this is 15 years old.
It is still tight when poured into the glass, so I let it continue to develop. Lots of black and dark dark fruit on the nose, with blackberry, blueberry and chocolate.
Big and masculine on palate and yet balance with adequate structure. The oak influence is still quite prominent, suggesting that the wines is good now but will continue to improve and integrate better. Long and strong finishing with ripe and chewy tannins.
Amazing wine making skill, still backward and has years to come. I really admire Max Schubert, for created Grange with secret recipe (fruits often sourced from multi-region) as oppose to other top Shiraz produced from single vineyard like Hill of Grace, Chris Ringland and Astralis.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1998 Tahbilk Shiraz 1860 Vines Australia, Victoria, Central Victoria, Nagambie Lakes
91 points
Open for bottle breath since 1 pm and serve as 7th wine. This flight is tasted blind (along with Hill of Grace and Grange).
Agreed that it will be unfair to put Tahbilk 1860 in this flight against the other 2 super iconic wines, but I thought it may turn out interesting results. After-all it has nothing to lose with price tag just fraction of the other 2.
Dark garnet with lots of sediments, showing nose of blueberry, cherry and spice. Medium bodied, posses fresh acidity, with cherry, blackberry and subtle smoky oak. It has a nice length with soft tannins, although not as intense as the other 2 and a bit lean too.
This is good on its own but not when compare to the other 2 heavy weight counterpart. Most taster were able to identify this wine when on blind, no real surprise after all all the wines are having very distinctive style.

Flight 4 - McLaren Shiraz vs. Barossa Shiraz (2 notes)

Red
1998 d'Arenberg Shiraz The Dead Arm Australia, South Australia, Fleurieu, McLaren Vale
92 points
Decanted before dinner for nearly an hour and served as 8th wine.
Dark inky core with slight crimson red at the edge, the nose is still quite oak dominance with blackberry and dark plum.
Robust and balance on palate, showing ripe fruits, blackberry, plum and toasted coffee notes.
Rich mid-palate with long finish and soft grippy tannins
Red
1998 Elderton Shiraz Single Vineyard Command Australia, South Australia, Barossa
95 points
Decanted before dinner for 2-3 hours and served as 9th wine.
Dark garnet with crimson hue, robust and expressive nose showing blueberry, black berry, plenty of chocolate notes, integrated oak and hints of spice. Very powerful and dense palate, with dark fruits, blueberry and blackberry. Still has good balance, with good sense of elegant. Long finish with fine tannins.