NobleRottersSydney - 2005 Oz reds

360 Bar & Dining, Sydney

Tasted February 3, 2020 by graemeg with 27 views


The final dinner at 360 prior to a refurbishment (of the restaurant, not the Rotters). A wide range of stuff from 2005 around the nation.

Flight 1 (13 notes)

White - Sparkling
2008 Laurent-Perrier Champagne Brut Millésimé France, Champagne
{cork, 12.5%} [Aaron] Seductive developing nose of yeast and cheese. A touch nutty, with melon and even a hint of tropical fruit. The flavours turn to the yellow spectrum on the medium-weight palate, rich and seemingly chardonnay-dominated. Quite large but creamy bubbles fill out the mid-palate; it has plenty of presence and a medium/long dry, crisp finish. Seems less yeasty on the palate than the nose. Soft back-palate. I thought this very impressive.
2005 Tyrrell's Sémillon Vat 1 Australia, New South Wales, Hunter Valley
{screwcap, 11.2%} [Andrew - guest!] Still a pale yellow colour. Smoky, slightly reductive nose of gently aging straw. Rich palate, medium weight, perhaps a touch oily in character. Acidity seemed reticent to me. Browning straw flavours. Was similar to the bottle I tasted at the very end of last year. This was popular at the table, but it has a dumb character to the structure somehow that gives it a monochrome sort of character I find. Not entirely convincing, but further aging may well help the cause. It’s certainly not on a downslope. Puzzling.
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2005 Virgin Hills Australia, Victoria, Port Phillip, Macedon Ranges
{screwcap, 13%} [Graeme] Looks its age, with a hint of brick at the rim. Floral blackberry and leather nose, sweet-tinged. An acid-driven wine, with composting red fruit flavours with spice at full maturity, little oak, low/medium chalky tannins, resolving to an even palate and a medium length finish which showcases the sweetness of age as it sits. Lovely and pretty to drink, but just a little bit on the simple side. Might hold a while too.
2005 Katnook Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Australia, South Australia, Limestone Coast, Coonawarra
{screwcap, 14%} [Stephen] Varietal Aussie cabernet in a bit of an old-school guise, which is to say it blends eucalypt and currants with plenty of vanilla-tinged oak. The palate offers fading rather than evolving black fruit flavours, with medium gritty tannins, medium weight, and a straightforward, just-medium length finish. A little underwhelming, perhaps, although can easily be held longer with crossed fingers.
2005 Mount Mary Quintet Australia, Victoria, Port Phillip, Yarra Valley
{diam, 13%} [Gordon + DavidH] Two bottles; varying cellaring provenance. One double-decanted three hours prior, the other with a swift decant at table. Even serving temperatures were slightly different. This is a dilemma; it’s so easy to get caught up in the differences between them that the wine itself gets lost in the comparison. And which one is the “true wine”? From the confusion I take a refined, subtle cigar-box nose, with a spice character you might attribute to a lot of cab franc. The palate is seamless with a mirror-smooth character, despite powdery tannins being quite present. Uneven degree of expressiveness between the bottles, but both built on acid, with a longish finish showing some development in a savoury cabernet style. Medium weight, nodding to Bdx in style, but with a new world accent and fruit purity. Archetypal Quintet. No rush to drink.
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2005 Rockford Shiraz Basket Press Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Barossa Valley
{cork, 14.5%} [DavidM] Not decanted. Developing nose; black and blue berry fruits, with a choc-vanilla character. Polished. A medium/full-bodied palate of classic Barossa old sweet fruit, not over-oaked, with low/medium powdery tannins and medium/high acidity, a bit of dark chocolate aspect to the flavours too. Generous mid-palate, medium/long finish; it does tend a bit on the warm side and suffers a little from soft tannins. Pretty good, and easily the pick of the Shirazes tonight; probably vies with the Mount Mary as red-of-the-night. Shows no sign of falling over; might show better with a decant too.
2005 Leasingham Shiraz Classic Clare Australia, South Australia, Mount Lofty Ranges, Clare Valley
{cork, 13.5%} [Glenn] An old-fashioned after-dinner mint dressed up as wine. With a hint of vanilla too. Plenty of oak on the palate, but it’s decent stuff. Medium weight. Mint and coconut flavours. Soft acid, not much back-palate presence. OK wine if you like the old-fashioned style, although it does finish a bit short of medium length. Drink up.
2005 Wirra Wirra Shiraz RSW Australia, South Australia, Fleurieu, McLaren Vale
{screwcap, 14.5%} [Kim] Not decanted – that might have helped tone down the oak on this, which is everywhere; vanilla and coconut dominate everything. Monolithic nose and palate; the jammy fruit tends towards the porty, but the vanilla oak trumps everything. Full-bodied in that sense, although it’s not so balanced; has medium dusty tannins and low/medium acid. The oak is more flavour than texture and seems to have kept the lid on the alcohol so the wine doesn’t seem especially fumey. Medium length finish; but I’d almost recommend leaving this longer (and decanting) to see if something a bit more interesting emerges with more time.
2005 Shirvington Shiraz Australia, South Australia, Fleurieu, McLaren Vale
{cork, 16%} [Geoffrey] The wines got more extreme as the night wore on; this smells as much port as table wine. Blackberry essence with hot dragon’s breath of alcohol. There are raisins and prunes on the palate amongst the rest; this is what I imagine embalming fluid tastes like. The palate is full-bodied yet hollow at the same time, with some acidity, or at least ethanol, medium length finish, all heat. Something of a freak-show; probably earned a bunch of Parker points. Would have been better on release I reckon.
2004 Geoff Merrill Shiraz Reserve Australia, South Australia, Fleurieu, McLaren Vale
{cork, 15%} [Paul - guest] Plums, coconut and a whiff of port here too. Somewhat developed. Over-ripe prunes on the palate, low acidity, full-bodied weight of extracted fruit and alcohol, but little tannin to support it. Jam-fruit finish, sort-of dry I guess, but hollow and dependent on US oak flavours. I see no future here.
Red - Fortified
2003 Stanton & Killeen Vintage Fortified Rutherglen Australia, Victoria, North East, Rutherglen
{cork, 18.5%} [Aaron] Fumey brandy and cherry liqueur nose, oak not apparent. Sweet caramel twist. Roses and black jam on the palate Medium/high acidity, medium/full weight; fairly well balanced. Not especially sweet, but aiming for a porto style. Finishes a touch short, but fairly even. Judging by the 98 tasted afterwards, needs more time.
Red - Fortified
1998 Stanton & Killeen Vintage Port Australia, Victoria, North East, Rutherglen
{cork, 18%} [Aaron] More evolved and richer than the ’03. Chocolate/plum aromas, even smells sweet. Palate is about medium-dry, fullish-bodied, with a more brandied but also richer palate than the younger wine. It has a luscious fruit-cake quality to it, medium/high acidity, and an even, medium length finish. Very nice. Labelled ‘port’; times change, because the 03 was labelled ‘Fortified’.
2005 Domaine A Cabernet Sauvignon Australia, Tasmania, Coal River
{cork, 13%} [Graeme] A back-up, and with time on our side and other wines drunk, this was broached urgently, so no decant. Perfect cork. Maturing nose of currants and soft oak, but also with an asparagus twist in the usual Domaine A manner. This isn’t so pronounced on the palate, which has more of a dark chocolate quality to it, with currant flavours yet with always a savoury cabernet truth underpinning it all. Medium weight, with medium chalky tannins; this might have been the most purely tannic red of the night. Medium/long finish thanks to an even balance along the palate, but also shows every sign of aging another fifteen years easily.
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