NobleRottersSydney - Christmas Lunch 2013

DavidC's house

Tasted December 8, 2013 by graemeg with 444 views


Minus Stephen/Celia & Bruce/Patricia, the remaining 7 Rotters plus partners gather at David’s place in Lindfield to drink to the end of 2013. The last two reds were victims of cellar-raiding late in the day.

Flight 1 (18 notes)

White - Sparkling
N.V. P. Louis Martin Champagne Brut France, Champagne
{cork, 12%} (DavidC) Strawberries. Medium-sized bubbles; dry, a touch gritty in texture overall. Medium-bodied wine with a medium-length finish. OK champagne, no more.
White - Sparkling
2001 Courabyra 805 Australia, New South Wales, Southern New South Wales, Tumbarumba
{cork} (Greg) A touch of cheese and toast to the aromas and flavours here. Certainly showing some development, but nothing like 12 years. Remarkable. On the other hand, the bubbles are fairly large and coarse, and it lacks the yeasty complexity you’d expect from extended time on lees, which is a pity; because it might have lived forever otherwise. Finishes dry and has a heaviness to the texture. Seems like the raw materials are here to make really great fizz, though. Drink up now, I suppose.
2007 Helm Riesling Classic Dry Australia, New South Wales, Southern New South Wales, Canberra District
) {screwcap, 12.5%} (Graeme) Soft lemony nose. Developing; has clearly passed its youth. The acid seems a little lacking on the palate, which costs the wine freshness without delivering complexity. Decent riesling, medium-bodied, with a medium length finish, but just doesn’t quite deliver the excitement somehow.
2004 Schloss Schönborn Hattenheimer Pfaffenberg Riesling Kabinett Germany, Rheingau
{AP 0805, cork, 9.5%} (DavidM) Aging aromas of custard and apples. Mainstream Rheingau Kab; developed on the palate, with a certain brittleness to the flavours. Light-bodied and attractive, barely off-dry, medium length finish; time to drink this.
2007 Jacob's Creek Riesling Steingarten Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Eden Valley
{screwcap, 12.5%} (Gordon) Aging nose of pungent lemon detergent. Same flavours too. Prickly, even hard, acid. This is very dry, almost rasping and grating somehow. Medium-bodied, powerful and assertive, yellowing in flavour. Has no charm whatsoever. I suspect Steingarten under screwcap needs to be drunk when it’s two years old or twenty, but never in between. This isn’t terribly convincing now; maybe another decade will help?
2012 Freycinet Vineyard Riesling Australia, Tasmania, Freycinet Coast
{screwcap, 13%} (DavidC) Beautiful, youthful nose of musk and sweet apples. Gorgeous. Understated, light/medium-bodied palate, with only moderate, but nicely-judged acidity. Has a citric touch to the flavours, finishes medium length, round and soft. Quite delicious, but given the soft structure I think it best in the shorter term. Easily the best of the day’s four rieslings.
2012 Plantagenet Chardonnay Australia, Western Australia, South West Australia, Mount Barker
{screwcap, 13.7%} Very modern-style Oz chardonnay; youthful nose of grilled cashew nuts and grapefruit, accented with classy French oak. Has a tight, medium/full-bodied palate, which does seems to get nuttier and oakier on the palate, but it’s all very polished. Medium-length finish. Wants 3-5 years to mellow a bit. Very fine.
2011 Granmonte Syrah The Orient Thailand, Khao Yai, Asoke Valley
{cork, 13.5%} (Graeme) Served blind with options, most went for pinot. This is quite youthful, spicy, peppery and light. Beneath the pepper is a light core of red fruit. There’s not much oak evident here; it seems a light-bodied, fruit-driven red, fairly simple in its peppery, plummy flavours, and finishing a bit on the short side. Way better than you’d expect for Thai wine; certainly doesn’t deserve to be the butt of any jokes that’s for sure. A commendable effort, even if, in the end, it’s not very exciting.
2002 Houghton Cabernet Sauvignon Jack Mann Australia, Western Australia, South West Australia, Frankland River
{cork, 13.5%} (DavidC) Decanted a couple of hours earlier. Aging nose. Cassis/cabernet flavours with a strong coconut/vanilla aspect, along with leafy bracken. Medium-bodied, with fine dusty tannins. A dry, aged, medium/long finish. Ready to drink but showing no signs of falling over.
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2012 Terra Sancta Pinot Noir New Zealand, South Island, Otago, Bannockburn
{screwcap, 13.5%} (Gordon) Mid-garnet. Polished cherry nose over a dark earthy foundation. Classic Otago mix of brightness and earth. Sweetly-fruited, with gentle gritty tannins. Blossoms like a flower on the palate. The sweetness of the fruit flavours is surprisingly contrasted with a very dry and quite austere finish. Medium-bodied. Very good but needs some time to mature.
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2010 Courabyra Pinot Noir 157 Australia, New South Wales, Southern New South Wales, Tumbarumba
{screwcap} (Greg) Light cherry nose. Dry palate of bitter cherry and gentle strawberry. Light-bodied palate; lacks for depth and persistence. Minimal oak. Simple short finish is a bit of a let-down. Best pinot went into the fizz, obviously!
2005 Faiveley Beaune 1er Cru Clos de l'Ecu France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Beaune 1er Cru
{cork, 13.5%} (DavidM) Neither really young nor developing, this smells mostly of smoke, oak and earth. The palate is fairly even from front to back, although gritty medium/high tannins seem a bit outsized for the dusty-tasting fruit. We drank this a little warm; five degrees off the serving temperature would have helped this –as did food - but it’s not a wine of much charm (the house style, perhaps?). A few years may help, especially given the vintage reputation. Good, but not outstanding.
2001 Spy Valley Merlot New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough
{cork, 14%} (Geoffrey) Brick red colour. Aged leathery red aromas; the flavours have evolved into a kind of ‘generic old red’ category where variety and origin cease to have any meaning. The cork was in wonderful condition, too, so this might be a much as you’d expect from this. Medium-bodied aged flavours; little acid or tannin left; perfectly drinkable but not much excitement here.
2002 Brindabella Hills Shiraz Australia, New South Wales, Southern New South Wales, Canberra District
{cork, 13.5%} Mouldy, thin, astringent, toxic and horrible. Vile and undrinkable.
White - Fortified
N.V. Dandelion Vineyards Pedro Ximénez Legacy of the Barossa 30 Year Old Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Barossa Valley
{375ml, screwcap, 19.5%} Burnt caramel and butterscotch. Wonderfully decadent caramel and honey flavours. Great richness and lovely balance along the tongue, and of the structural components too; not acid deficient. Medium sweet. Long finish. Good.
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White - Fortified
N.V. Liebich Sémillon Fortified 10yr old Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Barossa Valley
{500ml, scewcap, 18%} (Greg) Aged aromas of cold tea. The palate has molasses & honey flavours, sweet clean and aging, with lots of alcoholic heat, some acidic bite which fades quickly, and a medium-long finish of mono-chromatic quality. OK, but too simple overall to be great.
1998 Chapel Hill Shiraz The Vicar Australia, South Australia, Fleurieu, McLaren Vale
{cork, 14%} (DavidC) Not as bad as I was expecting, but still not great. Aged vanilla and coconut aromas and flavours. No evidence of old cabernet, that’s for sure. Palate is stale-tasting, aged, full-bodied but hollow at the same time; fully displays the flabby, raisin-flavoured quality so many of the dead-grape 98s exhibit these days. The shortish finish is the ultimate slap in the face. Look, it’s an OK wine for 15 years old, but Chapel Hill’s flagship blend should look better than this.
2006 Barossa Valley Estate Shiraz Ebenezer Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Barossa Valley
{screwcap, 14.5%} (DavidC) Too young to drink. (Or drunk too late in the day. As was I, probably). Big ripe raspberry flavours. Soft earthy tannins. Front palate weight. Medium-full body, with only a short-medium finish. Very ripe, quite warm, but a bit simple overall. Best before it’s ten I think.


Great day, great food, great company. Who poured me in the car for the ride home? Thanks, whoever you were!

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