Tasting Notes for Dr S

(45 notes on 44 wines)

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Red
2015 Wendouree Cabernet Malbec Clare Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
5/1/2020 - Dr S Likes this wine:
94 points
A Wendouree that benefited from a night to breath and being poured into the proper glass. In a Riedel stemless last night, surprisingly showed signs of fading and a good medium-bodied palate but without the intensity expected of the vintage nor after tasting the potent, unevolved 15 Shiraz Malbec.

Tonight, all is as it should be, out of a big (pretentious) Riedel Cabernet glass. Great colour, very dark. Impeccable varietal nose. Cassis, currant, some Malbec jube/gum drop, tobacco, graphite, violets even. Barely any regional/house eucalypt. Profound and lovely.

A serious but elegant Cab palate. Red and black berries, tobacco tannin, mildly grippy/chalky but in balance with the depth of dark fruit, good length with a savoury lick on the finish. A blend for lovers of not only Wendouree or Clare blends, but Cabernet full stop. 20-30 years ahead, easy.
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Red
4/21/2020 - Dr S Likes this wine:
92 points
Looks like Pinot and initially smelt like Pinot. Definitely a red that, at this youthful stage, benefits from breathing, showing much better on day two. Pale garnet to darker ruby core.

A mix of savoury (earthy/dried herb) and floral red fruits on the nose. Almost singed cinnamon or musk stick, perhaps pointing to the 50% whole bunch component.

Palate creeps up on you by stealth. Light-medium bodied but with mounting drive and persistence on the back palate, where you want it. Inner-mouth perfume. Minerally finish. An artful palate that draws you in, some intrigue in the darker fruited recesses on the back.

Fascinating to see how it evolves over five to ten years. One of the Pinot-school of new Grenache. Good wine but doubt whether it’s good value at AUD80 from the winery. It’s not Yangarra, yet.
Red
2014 Wendouree Shiraz Mataro Clare Valley Red Rhone Blend (view label images)
4/24/2020 - Dr S Likes this wine:
92 points
Pure fruited nose. Blueberry, boysenberry, scented. With hints of dark chocolate, tobacco, ferrous, and a touch of regional/house gum.

Juicy, medium-bodied, layered palate with depth. More plum and raspberry than blue fruit. Cacao, toasty tannin, cleansing acid in balance. Inner tension to keep it all in shape, an elegant Wendouree like its big brother, the 14 Shiraz.

Drinking beautifully but time on its hands. (92 is tough scoring and relative to higher points given to other Wendourees.)
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Red
4/18/2020 - Dr S Likes this wine:
94 points
FaceTime tasting with JB at his Moppity lair, he with the 2012 S/Malbec.

Youthful colour and nose. Initially brooding, almost raw. Cedary oak (unusual to see it on Wendouree), cocoa powder, spice, iron and a liquorice hint. Later standard blueberry emerges, almost Danish pastry. Night two brooding and scented.

A sterner Wendouree palate. Grainy oak, blue and red berry, coal dust and trademark acid shot on the finish. Fresh and youthful still at five years. A potent intense wine, fine tannin but firm structure, should cellar forever. Another five year wait, or longer, should see it settle into itself.
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Red
4/11/2020 - Dr S Likes this wine:
96 points
Opened for Easter Sunday lunch (Julie’s amazing slow cooked lamb) and later FaceTime with Geoff in Hawkes Bay who was tasting the 2005 Shiraz Malbec Pressings.

A stately, charming aged red. Looks old, mahogany rim, significant fading to a dusky core. For the first six hours, a resolutely tertiary nose - dusty earth, mushroom, old leather, rust, even balsamico (not the first time a Shiraz Malbec has hinted at Italian characters). Later in classic Wendouree style, fresher aromas wafted up, cooking chocolate, aniseed and strawberry, smelling the same on day two.

An elegant, medium-bodied palate. Tannin/acid resolved, savoury and fresh. Cherry, dark berries, a whisper of leather. The structure, fine texture and drying finish conjure up ‘Claret’ instead of Hermitage, let alone South Australian warm climate Shiraz. Once again, Broadbent’s remark, ‘Latour tannins’ about the 96 Wendouree Shiraz, came to mind.

For all it’s age, no deterioration on day two, if anything better. Rancio, with gamey undertones, appeared on the palate, but savoury/dry, not porty (and no way akin to the caricatures beloved of Robert Parker). Superb.

At its peak but knowing Wendouree probably good for another 5-10 years. Given the 98 vintage’s reputation and the lively 99 Wendouree Shiraz tasted last December, this looked older than expected. The cork was clean and the seal sound. ‘No great old wines, only great old bottles’ etc. Must retry soon, perhaps beside the 98 Shiraz and Shiraz Mataro!
Red
4/9/2020 - Dr S Likes this wine:
95 points
Follows in the footsteps of the 2016, immediately expressive on opening. Highly scented, almost piquant nose. Blueberry, warm spices, coal dust and leather. Lively.

Blue fruit and plum flood the medium-bodied palate. Vibrant, fresh, long, spicy and dusty but so gently textured and round (not only for a Wendouree but for a warm climate Australian red).

Perhaps not the power and intensity of 2015 and 2016, but absolutely delicious. You could drink a lot of the 17 now (if you’re lucky to have enough), but of course we are honour-bound to cellar some. It’s Wendouree after all.
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Red
4/11/2020 - Dr S Likes this wine:
97 points
This vies for the honour of not only the best Wendouree Shiraz, but one of the best New World wines I’ve tasted. Inexplicably I didn’t take notes. But it’s imprinted on my mind.

Stupendous complexity. Multi-layered. And similar to the 2012 Shiraz Malbec tasted last year, an uber-long finish that resonates with dark fruit, savouriness, minerality and fresh acidity. For the first time in a Wendouree, charcuterie and hung meat too, supporting the Rhone analogy in the previous TN.

It did make me think of Chave Hermitage and how it would compare alongside it, latter day la Chappelles too. Easy to see why Halliday gave it six stars out of five. Ages ahead but if you have a few in your cellar, worth sampling one now.
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White
2016 Moorabool Estate Paradise IV Blanche Geelong Chardonnay Blend, Chardonnay (view label images)
2/15/2020 - Dr S Likes this wine:
90 points
Lovely gold hue foretells the wine is in its drinking window. Nectarine and apricot speak to the Chardonnay/Viognier blend, brushed orange rind, with a whiff of match strike and grilled nuts.

Nicely rounded palate, satisfying richness, and at this stage more integrated than the top white, the estate Chardonnay. Mineral too.

In a sweet spot, looking far better than when last tasted two years back, but no drama to hold for a couple more years. A good advertisement for Chardonnay and Viognier buddying up, and the best New World example I’ve seen.
Red
1/28/2020 - Dr S Likes this wine:
92 points
Tasted in Mauritius (!) with Jose and Cindy from Macao, in the company of the a superb Quinta do Vale Meao 2017. A while since last tasted

Brick rim but otherwise dark garnet body. A blueberry, port (or Portuguese) nose, dry spice, with Wendouree bay leaf, walnut and boot polish hint. Tobacco note speaks of the hot vintage. Aroma deepens and improves with breathing.

Same on the palate. Needs air to open from initial ripe fruit but rustic, ropey tannin, to more blueberry Danish, aniseed, and savoury notes and lines. More life ahead but good drinking now - with decanting.
Red
12/20/2019 - Dr S Likes this wine:
94 points
An ‘Essoign’ bottling, nice wordplay on wine maker Tony Brady’s previous profession as a barrister.

Dark garnet core, fades to brick and orange on the rim.

Evolved over two nights, bearing up well for its age. Complex nose. Campfire ash and char, aniseed, crushed mint leaves, red and black berry. Second night richer, more black fruits, tanned leather.

Initially a medium bodied palate of red and black berry on a chassis of fine dried tannin, reminiscent of old Chateau Tahbilk, liquorice, tobacco, long and fresh, great drinking. Richer, more sinewy chewy tannin on the second night, charry traces, red currants, 15-20 more years. Some wine. Easy to see why many consider it the best Cabernet in Clare Valley.
Red
12/22/2019 - Dr S Likes this wine:
96 points
On the heels of the 1992 Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Malbec, this too evolved over two nights. Initially medium bodied and brightly lit, night two saw it muscle up with more richness to fill in the structure.

Similar to the 1992 Essoign straight Cabernet, on the first night a nose of red and black currant, tobacco and leather, with aniseed touches. Lively palate, persistent, well-rigged with fine yet chewy tannin, tobacco traces, perhaps more red than black fruit.

Come night two it opened, full-voice Cabernet Deeper, cassis, blueberry, tobacco and a charry hint. An elegant Wendouree palate, more of the same flavours, with leather and liquorice, acid yes but balanced. Beautiful. This is more about Cabernet than the Clare Valley or Wendouree (although the latter capitialises on the possibilities with the variety in the region).

This was the vintage that prompted me to rethink - and restart buying - Wendouree Cabernet. Happy with that decision.
Red
12/17/2019 - Dr S Likes this wine:
95 points
Tasted with The Truth, a ‘middle aged’ Wendouree in its prime. Some ageing on the rim, otherwise dark deep hues.

Trademark savoury nose. Walnut, bay leaf, touch dusty and earthy, medium intensity red to black fruits lurking beneath.

More fruit-driven palate, entering an elegant age. Sinewy but not muscular. Loaded with dark spicy fruit, full-bodied, with a shot of acid emerging later. Satisfying and complete.

Drinking well now but 20+ more years ahead, when its deep complexity should surface. If 1998 shades 99 as a vintage, it should be superb (although Wendourees from milder years really float my boat).
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White
12/13/2019 - Dr S Likes this wine:
93 points
Revisited and as good if not better than in June (no off notes this time; blame the taster, not the wine). Pale gold with green tints. Inviting complex nose. Cracked wheat, toasty hints, yellow peach and grapefruit pith. Has that alluring bruised nectarine skin perfume.

Medium body with just the right amount of richness and roundness for the flavour line and gently tingling finish. Lovely Chardonnay. Presages the step up with the 15 and 17 (that are based on a different block and clone). Tempted to bump it up to 94, but I gave that to the 14 whose intensity and long, long finish put it a cut above. Hard marking. Wiith Chardy, Tumby (from the right sites in the right hands) delivers.
Red
12/7/2019 - Dr S Likes this wine:
93 points
Faded brick rim with medium dark centre. As my winery mate Rob guessed correctly, when served it blind, looks older than it is.

Initially baking bones and prune, mellowed later to caramelised fig, spice, stewed plum and raspberry. Complex. No confectionery.

Comfy palate. Resolved tannin, ultra smooth, mildly stewed fruit (but not stewy or jammy), liquorice traces and burnt characters. Carries its 14.5% alcohol well.

On its plateau. Drink now or the next five years.
Red
11/27/2019 - Dr S Likes this wine:
92 points
After tasting the refined perfumed 2014 and superb 2015 Pannell MacDonald Grenache, this showed as more meaty and muscular. Rich dense nose. Cola and ‘warm terracotta’ (if that makes sense) with blackberry and spice.

Chewy rich palate, a contrast to the finer MacDonalds. A wine of substance. Should age well for some time, an easy ten or more years ahead. I prefer the emerging finer ‘pinosity’ Grenache styles but this supports Steve Pannell’s view that in McLaren Vale Grenache is as age worthy as Shiraz, perhaps more so.
Red
2004 Wendouree Shiraz Mataro Clare Valley Red Rhone Blend (view label images)
10/19/2019 - Dr S Likes this wine:
92 points
Inauspicious start with spongey cork disintegrating, but the wine is unblemished. Darkest, richest perhaps and most traditionally Wendouree of the three 04 Shirazs tasted. Good colour still with browning rim.

Dark blackberries on the nose, classic chocmint, cocoa powder and malt, woodsy and almost liquorice (courtesy of the Mataro perhaps). Good integrated palate without the nose’s complexity or that of the 04 Shiraz Malbec. Offers more interest than some tasters suggest. Intense with fresh acid, far from over. Interesting hint of tar ex-Mataro. Another 10 years or so. A nice way to toast the All Black v Ireland Rugby World Cup quarter final, depending on your allegiances of course.
Red
10/8/2019 - Dr S Likes this wine:
97 points
Transforms my view of the possibilities of Australian Grenache. A wine I’ve wanted to try since it and it’s maker started attracting acclaim. Got at auction for a good price.

On opening, any concerns of its 14.8% alc swept aside by the sandy savoury and red fruited bouquet. Over the night with close friends (and compared with 2014 Clarendon Hill Romas Grenache - classy), the nose evolved subtly. Almost piquant, strawberry/suis bouis and dry spice notes.

The palate is fine, dry, taut, more sandy tannin and pin point acidity, and still long and fresh. Where’s the alcohol gone? Not a trace. I can see why others think it’s plateaued due to its tight form but I beg to differ. The length and vitality, along with the way the nose evolved, suggests more time. Not sure how long but sense more complexity and good things lie ahead. An astounding Grenache.
Red
9/21/2019 - Dr S Likes this wine:
91 points
Tasted in honour after the ‘trio of 05 Shirazs’ during the year (Shiraz, Shiraz/Malbec and Pressings - see my notes on these beauties if you wish). Suspected this would be premature but had to continue the 05 tastathon.

Dark garnet/purple black still, with slight hint of brick. As the youthful colour suggests, the nose shows little sign of age. Currants, mulberry and plum vie with dusty bay leaf and touch of savoury tobacco.

Palate continues the ‘Y Generation’ youth theme. Remarkably fresh still. More mulberry/plum with tobacco hints. Quite fine tannin and the usual Malbec dash of acid.

Good drinking with another 15 years ahead, at least. But like others I wonder if it possesses enough personality to develop great complexity. Fresher than the 05 Shirazs but not as characterful. Not that one need complain. Enjoy it as a good red and impressive Malbec.
Red
8/17/2019 - Dr S Likes this wine:
94 points
Third of the recent tasting of the 2005 trio of Shiraz and Pressings (70/30 Shz/Mbc). This is a 60/40 Shz/Mbc blend.

Dark as a coal mine, with bricking only on the rim. No mistaking that Wendouree nose. Blackberry, gum, bay leaf, iron filings mingle with cocoa powder - all play musical chairs as they interchange to grab your attention. Complex and still fresh, almost rose perfume.

Lively, juicy palate thanks to the Malbec. Fine plummy fruits, some graphite, acid tingle, good line, youthful. The darkest, most pure fruited of the 05 trio - it reminds of the legendary 1991 tasted at 15 years of age - but perhaps not the intensity of the best years. A quibble - this is delicious.
Red
7/26/2019 - Dr S Likes this wine:
96 points
Tasted alongside the long spicy 2012 S/Malbec.

This is 14% cf 13.6% for the 2012. It shows all round in the deeper, dark purple colour, deep-scented blue and black fruits on the nose, and the luxuriant palate.

The nose is fragrant, almost floral, with gum on the edges and leather, warm spice hints.

Beautiful deep palate. Superb balance. Rounded with ultra-fine powdery tannin, trademark dash of acid, and lots of blue/black fruits. Leather tinges. Leads into a lingering, fresh finish. Sublime Shiraz Malbec.
Red
7/26/2019 - Dr S Likes this wine:
95 points
Tasted beside the 2013 S/Malbec, the 2012 is all spiciness and complexity compared with the 2013’s opulence and depth.

Good deep dark colours but turning on the rim with brick hints.

Spicier and more savoury than the 2013, more red fruit (currant and berry), minerality with caraway/mustard seed.

Elegant lines for a W S/Malbec, spicy/leather threads, and a long satisfying finish. Oak seasoning on the sides, still fresh, powdery back palate, a complex lingering end note.

The 2013 may live longer and possess more intense fruit, but the 2012 already boasts lots of complexity and will continue to evolve. I couldn’t split the two. If forced to choose now, I’d grab the 2012, but it will be even better in 5-10 years plus.
Red
2002 Wendouree Shiraz Mataro Clare Valley Red Rhone Blend (view label images)
8/2/2019 - Dr S Likes this wine:
94 points
Tasted alongside the new 2017 Shiraz Mataro. Same medium to light shading as the new wine, but with browning to brick hues of a 17 year old.

A woodsy, asphalt, cola, autumnal nose with blackberries and plum underneath. Dark toned.

The palate’s brighter and takes off. More blackberry fruited with savoury seasoning. It exudes warmth (mature ripe fruit, not alcohol heat), the softened tannins combine with the fine line and length to create a deeply comfortable palate. Black fruits with leather tinges kept building in depth nine hours after opening and continued on the second night. Drinking well but the way it kept evolving, and Wendouree’s pedigree, suggests another ten years. A fabulous example of why you collect and cellar wine, especially Wendouree.
Red
7/18/2019 - Dr S Likes this wine:
95 points
A revelatory wine. Deep magenta/purple hues with expected 15 year old browning rim fade.

Initially classic Wendouree nose. Rich shot of blackberry coulis with rusty notes, brooding aromas, then older baking bones and new leather coming through, then raspberry and regional mint. Does that not sound complex.

Palate struts the tightrope. Medium weight, red and black berries (reminiscent of the 04 Shiraz’s elegance), jangling acid sometimes seen in this blend that settles with air into a deep smoothness that satisfies. Not in the beauty stakes of the 04 Shiraz or gorgeous 16 Shiraz/Malbec. But compelling drinking with each mouthful. For some reason, it sends me towards Chateauneuf for a comparison.
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Red
7/12/2019 - Dr S Likes this wine:
94 points
On the heels of the impressive 05 Pressings last weekend, this looks more stylish than when last tasted, and to have overcome its hot vintage birth. Maturing colour with more brick/brown fade than the two 05 blends.

No mistaking the initial walnut/seaweed nose with mustard seed. Later more fragrant blue fruits and blackberry coulis, a of hint liquorice, leather and mint.

Palate leans more to the Pressings than Shiraz/Malbec from 05, with a finer seam, medium body. Started lighter than the two blends (perhaps akin to the experience of the other two TNs for 2019), almost Chianti-like back palate with fresh acid. But in typical Wendouree fashion, expanded by night two to show more depth, a flavour-spectrum across the palate, and fine but clinging tannin. If you let it open up, this will satisfy. Another good 5-10 years.
Red
7/7/2019 - Dr S Likes this wine:
93 points
A Shiraz/Malbec blend (70:30%). Still fresh for a 14 year old and from a hot vintage, but it’s all relative when it’s a Wendouree. The nose evolved, from savoury tanned hide, bay leaf and cardamom, then ripe (Malbec) plum, black fruits, to later darker brooding notes and trademark coal dust. Plenty of dark berry fruit on show.

Initially the palate seemed finer than the nose or the Pressings style would suggest - Fizz’s ‘unhurried balance’ is apt (great phrase too). Ripe blackberries and more plum with a sweet burst midpalate telling you of the warm year. Darker flavours, coal and leather hints,and more depth and tannin weight come on stream later. Looking good and 20 more years ahead. A dark beauty.

The 05 Shiraz/Malbec (60:40%) also looked fine and promising in April 2018, ironically appearing more Shiraz-like despite the lower Shiraz proportion in the blend.
White
6/8/2019 - Dr S Likes this wine:
92 points
Similar to the TN below, this got better and better over several nights. A white that deserves decanting.

Deeper yellow gold colour than 11-12. Stands out from those two vintages and others since with its richer riper nose - yellow peach, toasty brioche, complex (but a vegetal or dull sulphide note, immediately obvious on opening, continues to lurk and blemish the bouquet - another mate didn’t detect it, mind).

Palate likewise is richer, more rounded than the linear style of other years; more Beechworth than Tumbarumba my mate rightly suggested. Very satisfying, depth and complexity draw you in, a fine vein of ‘Tumby’ acidity lighting up the finish. Moorish. Shows the region’s potential to make longer lived Chardonnay. Interesting to see if the warm 2018 vintage develops in a similar fashion, albeit with tighter structure and acid.
White
6/2/2019 - Dr S Likes this wine:
94 points
A purer fruited wine than the inaugural 2011 or 2012. Perhaps reflects a better vintage, plus older oak and more puncheons. Deep scented nose, lemon curd and only a hint of mineral (traces of oak and sulphides?).

A really satisfying palate. Deeper flavours than the 11 or 12, more body too. Again lemon curd, white peach. Very good length. Lovely with crumbed snapper!

Combine the fruit depth and long finish of the 14 with the grilled nuts/toastiness of the 12 and you’d have a complete elegant Chardy.
Red
5/10/2019 - Dr S Likes this wine:
93 points
A more elegant, urbane even, Wendouree. Medium-light rim, dark core.

Blue fruits and plum, gamey leather and milk chocolate on night one concede to trademark walnut and coal dust night two, albeit in a lower key. An understated Wendouree nose.

Beautiful poised palate. No more than medium weight but all the better for it. Flavours echo the nose, dark cherry, leather-strap oak, muted fine tannin, with superb acid balancing the whole act - similar to Andrew67’s note (I also got tobacco when tasted in 2013). Fine acid balance a recurring theme with the 09, 10 and 14 W Shiraz.

Drinking well and another 5-10 years. A cousin of the refined 2004 Wendouree. Classy.
Red
5/25/2019 - Dr S Likes this wine:
96 points
This is as good a young red as you’ll ever drink (heavens knows why in my note on the 2016 I didn’t rate it in same league as 12, 13, 15, 16 - possibly confused it with the shy but fine 14 Shiraz Mataro).

Five years old but fresh as a daisy, as the bright crimson with little rim-fade suggests. The nose is loaded with berries - blackberry/raspberry coulis - and savoury spice, then trademark Wendouree rust, coal dust (yes I cleaned out the fireplace as a kid in NZ) and gum.

An astonishingly good palate. More fresh dark berries mingle with fine fibrous tannin, the superb acid balancing it all. Long finishing. The first taste prompted thoughts of Cabernet, not the flavour but the aristocratic structure. Superb.

Made me recall the tale of when, during a roadshow of top Australian wine in Europe, the venerable Michael Broadbent MW tasted the 1996 Wendouree Shiraz in London and stated ‘Latour tannins’!
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Red
5/24/2019 - Dr S Likes this wine:
94 points
A favorite Wendouree since release for its elegance and sheer lip-smacking drink ability. Good colour still with a fading rim expected of a nine year old.

For Wendouree, an elusive nose. Many shades - or scents - of subtle spice (cardamom as others see in Wendouree), milk chocolate, boot polish, seaweed, and plum. Alluring.

The palate is where the action is. Medium bodied / medium rich, more plums and berry, spice, a dusting of cordite, a touch of seasoned oak too. The freshness and superb acid/fruit/powdery tannin balance make it delish! Must be one of the most stylish Wendouree Shiraz palates.

Should live longer than the similarly elegant 2009 - another 10 years, at least - but perhaps not a 30-50 year Wendouree. Which means some good drinking ahead while the battle cruisers (98, 02, 06, 12, 13, 15, 16) do their thing. PS tasted night three revealed more intense fruit flavour, perhaps make it 20 more years (or no doubt more, it’s Wendouree after all).
Red
5/18/2019 - Dr S wrote:
91 points
(Election night in Oz) Not quite the more spicy, savoury and moderately ripe Rockford it seemed to be on release. On the nose, blackberry, glacé cherry, perhaps rhubarb sprinkled with brown sugar. Pushes the ripeness for me but with a more balanced, better palate. Savoury oak and, as others note, good acidity counter the ripeness. Still to integrate fully, dashes of spice and leather hints offer interest. Good finish too.

If ripe, moderately rich Shiraz is your thing, drink now and enjoy. If you’re looking for good fruit and more complexity, then bide your time. At least 8-10 more years for it to mellow and evolve complexity, this will live long - and should improve - for 20 years. But as a close mate and wise man of wine said, this would have been a better wine at half a percent less alcohol.
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Red
2/8/2019 - Dr S Likes this wine:
93 points
From a ‘mild’ vintage (a ‘warm-cool’ year), this boasts a highly expressive, northern Rhone nose. Hi-toned with plums, raspberry and a melange of petals, spice, dried herb and baking bones. A touch smokey too (although unlike the SV no whole bunches used). While definitely cool climate, the nose is ultra complex, quite alluring as you try to pin the swirling aromas. Florals emerge with air.

Plum and red fruits - strawberry perhaps - follow on the elegant mid weight palate, still fresh with racey acidity, great food wine, good length although the fruit tapers a little. Will continue to evolve but delicious now, very fine tannin and texture. A triumph given the vintage conditions.
Red
2013 Clonakilla Ballinderry Canberra District Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/17/2019 - Dr S Likes this wine:
92 points
In a good place. Reasonable bricking beyond the rim. Quite perfumed, tobacco, briar and seasoned oak mingle with red currants, thyme, basil and spice. Entices.

Very nice medium bodied palate. Smooth front palate before some tannin and oak grip, mulberry in the middle, pleasing sinewy and savoury finish with cleansing acids. Good with protein (kangaroo!) but fine and enjoyable by itself. No crime to drink now but another 2-3 years will see more refinement. Perhaps more mid palate weight and length would see it grab gold - whatever, good drinking and time ahead.
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Red
2012 Frankland Estate Olmo's Reward Frankland River Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/15/2019 - Dr S Likes this wine:
94 points
1st night: A fine middle weight ‘Claret’. Tobacco prevails on opening and is a constant on the nose which opens to reveal red currants and later darker perfumes. Charming rather than mind blowing.

Palate’s finesse and silky tannin really impress. Medium bodied, fine boned and long. Not hugely complex but no lesser for that, good persistence and texture win you over. A fine wine. Drinking well with five more years ahead.

2nd night: a more profound proposition! Deeper nose, tobacco and briar but less red fruit, more plum and blackberry, cola even.

Similar on the bigger, firmer palate, ripe plum and blackberry, sinewy tannin, leathery streaks. Seriously very good now - nudged up from 92 to 94. $85 is steep - got mine for $40 odd at auction. An easy 5-10 years before trying the second bottle.
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White
2/3/2019 - Dr S Likes this wine:
92 points
This is in a sweet spot, with a bit more flesh thanks to bottle age. Attractive toasty nose with grilled yellow peach and lemon drop. The elegant palate repeats those characters, lemon and grapefruit combining with an almost saline/Chablisesque touch. Still bright with sherbet acidity. Tumbarumba Chardonnay’s acid structure comes closest to Chablis of any Aussie region. Fully mature but should drink well for a few more years, the only question is whether the classy oak might have the edge over the fruit longer term. Superb demonstration of Tumbarumba Chardonnay’s potential.
Red
1/5/2019 - Dr S Likes this wine:
97 points
This is a terrific Wendouree Shiraz. Unlike the unusually enigmatic but excellent 2015, the bouquet of the 2016 declares itself instantly and vibrantly. Blueberry and other dark fruits lead, trademark walnut and coal dust waft through later, cardoman and other spices too. Layered and complex.

The palate is beautiful. All the characters from the nose reappear, woven around sinewy tannin, fine acid. All in its place and balanced. Superb length.

I loved the 12, 13, 14 and 15 Wendouree Shirazs - a strong set of differing vintages - but the 16 might be the pick of them. It will live an eternity but I’m so tempted to grab another bottle and relive the ride again soon.
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Red
1/12/2019 - Dr S Likes this wine:
94 points
You underestimate Wendouree, especially when first opened as young wines, at your own expense...

Tasted a week after the stupendous 2016 Shiraz, this initially appeared toned down, a cut below not only the premier wine but also the 16 Shiraz Mataro, and the 2012 and 2013 Shiraz Malbecs perhaps. Good but not the usual horsepower.

Night two saw it bloom. Beautiful purple and crimson. Bright plum/blackberry fruit displace night one’s standard Malbec jube, with hints of walnut, iron dust and a touch of gum. Deep aroma.

Powered up palate too. Lovely balance, not too (Malbec) juicy, good powdery tannin, fresh and long.

The Shiraz (one of the best of the line) remains king but this is a top Shiraz Malbec. 2016 is one of the great Wendouree vintages.
Red
11/16/2018 - Dr S wrote:
87 points
Probably one of the best reds from the miserable 2011 vintage across much of Australia, but a Wendouree this is not (I say this based on collecting Wendouree since the 1991 vintage and having tased 1970s and 80s examples). Initial whiff of pepper, spice and cherry fruits suggested it might offer some interesting maturity early for a Wendouree. However, the moderate complexity fades away to plain cherry, vanillin aromas. Easy on the palate but verging on dilute for Wendouree. Nothing overly green or herbal but there’s a lack of genuine ripeness here. Little interest or the usual intrigue of where they might go and how they will develop. Should have started drinking the 11s three years ago. Doubt there’s any point hanging on. Drink up.
Red
2006 Clonakilla Shiraz - Viognier Canberra District Shiraz Blend, Syrah (view label images)
11/11/2018 - Dr S Likes this wine:
96 points
Discovery Bay, Hong Kong. I first tasted this wine as a pre-bottling sample from settling tank in mid 07. Strikingly rich at the time, it combined the 04s ripeness with some textural style of the 05. It took a decade or so for that early promise to resurface or breakthrough the SO2 chrysalis at bottling.

Looked ravishing on the night. Loads of deep dark berries of the forest fruit, a lacework of warm spices and dried herb - trademark from some of the Shiraz blocks on the original Clonakilla vineyard. The best marriage of ripe blackberry/plum with cool climate Shiraz spice, keeping the Viognier florals and apricot kernel in line. Seductive.

For mine, another decade or more ahead. The 06 SV and Syrah are slow burn knockouts. The 04 SV is right in the zone and delicious but the 06 has more power and complexity. The 05 currently looks superb and really snaps at the heels of top Cote Rotie. Could the 06 overtake it?
White
12/29/2018 - Dr S wrote:
89 points
Mildly complex nose, some grilled nuts/oak seasoning, yellow peach aromas. Agree with Casoe that the palate strays into oily richness. More restraint and acid cut are required for balance. A year or two should see the nose integrate and improve but less sure the palate will get better. Expected a bit more from Kumeu Eatate, an old favorite.
Red
2007 Clonakilla Shiraz - Viognier Canberra District Shiraz Blend, Syrah (view label images)
12/1/2018 - Dr S wrote:
92 points
Tasted with Geoff and Bec in my home away from home, Hastings Hawkes Bay. Tried only a handful of times previously, all showing glacial progress in ageing and never quite as beautiful as when first released.

Dark purples still. A highly floral nose with more black fruits than normal, intense but without the usual spicy and dried herb complexity. Almost essence like blackberry and dark plum fruit on the palate. Tannins have mellowed but the palate is tight fisted, even hard and lacks the suppleness or willowy textures the 05 and 08 now display. A product of the worst frost of four (94, 99 and 14 the others), picked very early (February perhaps instead of mid March into April), potent fruit. Tastes younger than 08, 09 or even 2010.

The question is will it ever unfold and evolve in the CKA SV fashion? The stern essence-like palate suggests perhaps not. A good wine but not a classic SV. Arrested development?
Red
2006 Paradise IV Batesford Shiraz Cabernet Geelong Cabernet-Shiraz Blend, Red Blend (view label images)
12/3/2018 - Dr S Likes this wine:
91 points
Two bottles snagged at auction for a snip under A$50 commission included. Inside info from the winery led me to think it would be a lighter style in its twilight... dark hue with some browny/brick on the rim suggested otherwise.

Earthy hi-toned leather braised meat veneer on the nose masks some deeper stewed fruits. Seems closer to Hunter Valley than Geelong!

Same on the medium bodied palate. Richer than expected, time ahead, but sinewy tannin with acid holds it back from a top score or unqualified support. Perhaps a wine showing a stage in the vineyard and winemaker’s evolution to the stylish reds sampled from 2010 vintage on. 91 perhaps
Red
2015 Stéphane Ogier Syrah La Rosine Vin de Pays des Collines Rhodaniennes (view label images)
8/11/2018 - Dr S wrote:
92 points
Deep dark purple to the rim proclaims the virility of this Syrah. A nose of ripe forest fruits, tannery with hints crushed graphite and dried herb. More ripe dark plums shape the palate, subtle leather and spice too. Almost sensual in feel and ripeness. At the price this is as good a cooler climate Syrah/Shiraz you could wish for. Promises much for the 2015 vintage in the North Rhone. Wait 5-8 years for it to evolve.
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Red
4/8/2018 - Dr S wrote:
93 points
Tasted with family in Masterton, Wairarapa, NZ.

Fading brick rim but hazy deep body suggesting it’s hit the autumn of its life.

Based on the nose could be smuggled into a Northern Rhone lineup without blowing its ‘cover’. Smokey, pink and green peppercorn, leather, sausage, lavender perhaps. Fully evolved but enticing.

The palate, on the other hand, was a revelation on opening. Refined tannin, elegant and supremely balanced. Dark glacé cherry and plum core. Understated savoury notes from the nose with a whisper of oak add complex touches. Nicely rounded, almost a glossy texture. Flavours started to fade out after two hours.

Exceeded expectations for a NZ/Hawkes Bay Syrah, not only in staying the test of time but also overcoming still assertive tannins when last tasted circa 2012-13. Now in fine balance. Signposts the New World can do Rhone Syrah. It’s not ready to bite the dust (3-5 years more) but best drunk on opening, no need to decant.
White
4/8/2018 - Dr S Likes this wine:
95 points
Opened night before with friends in the wine/food game in Hawkes Bay, NZ.

In a very good place. Scented as others have said, seashell, jasmine and subtle honey notes - more Chardonnay than Chablis perhaps. More citrus / sea breeze tang on day two, clearly superior Chablis.

Lovely evolved palate, rounded and smooth, gently honeyed texture but still fresh. Goodish length, just tapers off at then end (‘tadpole tail’). More Chablis acid cut on day two, barley sugar hints appearing on the finish suggesting another 5 years at least, possibly 10. Elegant wine.
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  • Tasting Notes: 45 notes on 44 wines
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