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Community Tasting Notes (55) Avg Score: 95.5 points

  • NobleRottersSydney - top 86 Bdx (mostly) with Grange (360 Bar & Dining, Sydney): ) {cork, 13.7%} (Gordon) There had to be one cat among the pigeons, and this was it. Present here as much for being a great 1986 as for its status as the “Southern hemisphere’s one true first growth” in Hugh Johnson’s words of thirty years ago. For all Schubert’s philosophical modelling of his flagship red on Bordeaux, this could hardly be a bigger contrast to its rivals from the Medoc. It’s darker in colour, and fairly youthful in aroma (relatively) but it fairly shrieks of vanilla and coconut, and mint too. It has meaty notes, still parades its US oak flavours along with slightly red-jammy fruits and a touch of malt and cocoa. Full-bodied, with medium/high powdery tannins, medium acid, and a long, even, powerful finish, it was just so different to the other reds that the contrast jarred for me. Others liked it more, at the time. Not that I didn’t, but it was rather like leaping from Mozart to Wagner and then back again. The quality isn’t in question, just the context. I rather expect that a lone first growth would have looked equally out of place in a line-up of Penfolds reds… Still plenty of time on this showing; again, decant well, and drink with, well, not a whole bunch of top Bordeaux!

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  • Pre Davos Wine Forum tasting (Zumikon, Switzerland): This was pretty easy to pick out from the very deep color and the not so subtle hints of mint and eucalyptus. Saturated and powerful on the palate with a sweetness that I attribute to the Cabernet in the blend. (I was assuming it was 5%, but apparently in this vintage it was 13%.) It is a wow wine that easily holds it own next to a stellar Chave and Guigal La Landonne. Fantastic wine!

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  • Incredible nose of boysenberry/dark raspberry and charred eucalyptus. Thickly-textured with great depth and ripeness of exotic dark fruit flavors with wonderful red spices and licorice plus cinamin and clove. The wine is stil young and powerful but now showing a gorgeous complexity on the finish with notes of eucalytus, charred tobacco and red rock minerals. A fabulous vintage for Grange that I think will still improve from here. 95+

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  • (Brunner:3Bdays&Farewell) Inky black in glass, showing funky perfume, crushed beetle, sweet smoke, blackberry and blackcurrants, caramel toffe, sweet earth, tar, mint, sweet capsicum and leafy tobacco. Certainly more Cabernet than Shiraz showing now. Unctiously concentrated sweet plums, peppery leather, juicy earth. Long ringing, cognac-like sippy concentration and complexity, layered and sustained eucalypt finish with yet more mint/menthol clarity, plums sweet tobacco leaf, blue and black fruits. Silky. Looong savoury finish, with more pepper, red earth and finally some peach/apricot stone. Somewhat muddy and fraying on the edge - could have drunk 3 years earlier, but still keeping good balance. With 6 hours decanting, chocolate dusting emerge along with hawflakes and late plums; sweeter and fuller structured. A great wine, but losing in finesse to the leaner, lighter Astralis today.

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  • Popped and poured. Similar to the 1984. Reddish purple in color. Well structured and balanced. Full bodied and heavy. Cranberries, raspberries and blackberries. Longish tail. Alcoholic in nature. Smooooooth. Peaking now. Wine of the night.

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