The conditions at these events can be a bit unforgiving to wines, there is often a large crowd of people, it can be noisy and some people may be wearing strong perfume or aftershave. The glasses are frequently undersized, and no matter how much water you drink, your palate will eventually become fatigued from the sheer volume of wines tried. I have a feeling that some of these wines would show better under more conducive circumstances.

However, that being said, I’ve done my best to rate what was in the glass at the time…

Overall, I was impressed with the quality of some of the wines on offer. There was some excellent value for money and Seppelt blew me away with the quality and price point of their offerings, every single wine that I tried from their table was exceptional. On a more negative note, there seem to be some wineries trying to cash in on the sudden cult value that some areas in Victoria have obtained. At $40AU you would be expecting something pretty special, but there were a number of wines on display that seriously under-delivered on the quality to price ratio.

I have some minor impressions written down on some of the lower rated wines, if there are any that interest you, let me know and I’ll try and form them into a coherent note. Sorry for the incompleteness of some of these notes, there is only so much that you can do with the time available at these tastings.

If there is no price listed, I was unable to find one quickly. If there is one that you want to know about, leave a comment and I’ll track it down one way or another for you.

I have divided up my ratings into categories along the lines of what Alder from Vinography uses, with an additional category for the best wine tasted during the event.

Wine of the Night:

’02 Seppelt St. Peters Shiraz – This wine is something very special indeed. Spicy oak with a backing of the most concentrated, pure berry fruit that I have ever tasted. The finish is gloriously long and persistent. This is superb now, and is only going to get better with age. Only 500 cases produced, get some if you can, it’s amazing value and could easily become one of the legends of Australian wine in time. Rating: 96 – RRP: $55AU

Outstanding red wines:

’03 Yering Station Reserve Shiraz Viognier - This is the fourth vintage of this blend from Yering Station and they just keep getting better and better. Only a small amount of French oak in evidence wt with an elegant savoury palate and lengthy finish. It is going to get even better with age. A classic. Rating: 95 RRP: $60AU
’01 Seppelt St. Peters Shiraz – Doesn’t quite have the same intensity as the ’02, but is still a splendid wine in its own right. Spicy vanilla oak and rich berry flavours. Wonderful stuff and a bargain at the price. Rating: 95 RRP: $50AU
’03 Paringa Estate Reserve Pinot – Needs more time in the bottle, but already shows marks of being a great Pinot. From one of the stars of the Mornington Penninsula. Rating: 95 RRP: $80AU
’01 Dalwhinnie Eagle Series Shiraz – A big, powerful, no holds barred, brute of a wine. Spicy and peppery along the full length of the wine. I can’t understand why this wasn’t decanted by the winery before serving. I’d love to see where this is at in about 10 years time but I just don’t think my bank manager would approve. Rating: 94 RRP: $200AU
’03 Giant Steps Sexton Dijon Clones Pinot Noir – Showing strong Pinot varital character. A nice lengthy finish. Quite tannic, but I think with a few more years in bottle these will integrate nicely. Rating: 94 RRP: $40AU

Outstanding white wines:

’98 Yarra Burn Bastard Hill Chardonnay – At 7 years of age, it’s reaching what I consider to be its peak. Buttery, toasty oak characteristics are prominent, but not over-powering. Rating: 95 RRP: $45AU
’01 Chandon Sparkling Brut – An appealing yeast flavour with a delicious creamy mid-palate. Quite vibrant. Good value for money. Rating: 92 RRP: $30AU

Excellent red wines:

’02 Seppelt Chalambar Shiraz – Excellent value for money. Quite a big, savoury wine, I believe some of the ’02 St. Peters grapes that didn’t quite make the cut went into this, improving the value even more. Rating: 92 RRP: $22AU
’02 Dromana Estate Shiraz Viognier – Rating: 93 RRP: $AU
’03 Yering Station Reserve Pinot Noir – Rating: 93 RRP: $58AU
’02 Hanging Rock Heathcote Shiraz - Rating: 92 RRP: $55AU
’01 Dromana Estate Reserve Pinot Noir – Rating: 92 RRP: $AU
’02 Yarra Burn Shiraz Viognier - This is the first vintage of this blend from this winery, a fine effort with the floral lift from the 5% Viognier component giving the wine an appealing aroma. Drink sooner rather than later. Rating: 91 RRP: $19AU
’03 Dalwhhinnie Moonambel Shiraz – Rating: 91 RRP: $50AU
’02 Curlewis Shiraz – Rating: 91 RRP: $AU
’03 Giant Steps Pinot Noir - Rating: 91 RRP: $27AU
’02 Hanging Rock Cambrian Rise Heathcote Shiraz – Rating: 91 RRP: $AU
’03 Seville Estate Reserve Pinot Noir – Rating: 90 RRP: $AU
’02 Moorooduc Estate Pinot Noir – There was no reserve Pinot Noir this vintage from Moorooduc so the fruit has gone into the standard bottling providing some good quality for their entry level product. Rating: 90 RRP: $AU
’02 Paringa Estate “Estate Pinot Noir” – Rating: 90 RRP: $55AU
’01 Caledonia Pinot Noir – Rating: 90 RRP: $AU
’03 Coldstream Hills Pinot Noir - A more fruit forward Pinot. Excellent value and can be found at discounted prices that put it in quaffing range. Rating: 90 RRP: $26AU

Excellent white wines:

’04 Seppelt Jaluka Chardonnay – Outstanding value and was very nearly included among the Outstanding white category. I feel that with a bit of time in the bottle, once the bold French oak integrates this will improve in rating quite a bit. Rating: 93 RRP: $26AU
’04 Seppelt Drumborg Riesling – This needs lots of time, it’s a bit unapproachable at the moment, but it is clearly going to be very good with time, give it a minimum of 3-4 years from here and I think it’ll peak in about 11-12 years. Rating: 93 RRP: $27AU
’02 Mitchelton Airstrip Marsanne Viognier Rousanne – Rating: 93 RRP: $25AU
’03 Giant Steps Sexton Chardonnay – Rating: 92 RRP: $35AU
’03 Austin’s Barrabool Ellyse Chardonnay – Rating: 91 RRP: $28AU
’04 Mitchelton Viognier – Rating: 91 RRP: $19AU
’02 Moorooduc Estate Reserve Chardonnay – Rating: 91 RRP: $60AU
’04 Yering Station Marsanne Viognier Rousanne – Rating: 91 RRP: $23AU
’03 Yarra Burn Pinot Gris – Rating: 90 RRP: $21AU
’04 Yarra Burn Chardonnay – Rating: 90 RRP: $AU
’02 Tarrawarra Estate Chardonnay – Rating: 90 RRP: $AU
’04 Delatite Dead Man’s Hill Gewurztraminer – Rating: 90 RRP: $20AU
’04 Gapsted Petit Marsang – Rating: 90 RRP: $17AU

The good, the bad and the ugly:

’01 Caledonia Reserve Pinot Noir – Rating: 89 RRP: $AU
’02 Scorpo Chardonnay – Rating: 89 RRP: $33AU
’03 Giant Steps Harry’s Monster Blend – Rating: 89 RRP: $40AU
’02 Heathcote Estate Shiraz – Rating: 89 RRP: $AU
’02 Tarrawarra Estate Pinot Noir – Rating: 89 RRP: $AU
’03 Heathcote Estate Shiraz – Rating: 89 RRP: $AU
’01 Austin’s Barrabool Reserve Pinot Noir – Rating: 89 RRP: $45AU
’03 Darling Park Te Quiro – Rating: 88 RRP: $28AU
’02 Scorpo Pinot Noir – Rating: 88 RRP: $36AU
’03 Green Point Chardonnay - Rating: 88 RRP: $24AU
’03 Giant Steps Chardonnay – Rating: 88 RRP: $25AU
’02 Yering Station Pinot Noir – Rating: 88 RRP: $23AU
’03 Dromana Estate Pinot Noir – Rating: 88 RRP: $AU
’04 Darling Park Pinot Noir – Would be interesting to see this after a bit of bottle age. Rating: 87 RRP: $38AU
’04 Taltarni Riesling – Rating: 87 RRP: $AU
’01 Chandon Sparkling Blanc de Blancs – Rating: 87 RRP: $AU
’99 Chandon Spakling Rose – Rating: 87 RRP: $33AU
’04 Gapsted Riesling – Adequate without being exceptional in any way. Rating: 87 RRP: $AU
’01 Yarra Burn Shiraz – Rating: 87 RRP: $AU
’01 Paringa Estate Shiraz – Rating: 87 RRP: $30AU
’03 Caledonia Mount Macloud Pinot Noir – Rating: 87 RRP: $AU
’04 Mount Langi Ghrian Riesling - Rating: 86 RRP: $20AU
’02 Carlei Tre Rossi Shiraz - Rating: 86 RRP: $49AU
’03 Dromana Mornington Estate Pinot Noir - Rating: 86 RRP: $AU
’04 Tin Cows Sauvignon Blanc – Rating: 86 RRP: $AU
’02 Moorooduc Estate Chardonnay - Rating: 86 RRP: $31AU
’01 Balgownie Cabernet Sauvignon - Rating: 86 RRP: $32AU
’04 Yarra Burn Viognier - Rating: 86 RRP: $AU
’03 Dalwhinnie Pinot Noir - Bitter. Rating: 86 RRP: $38AU
’04 Scorpo Pinot Gris - Rating: 85 RRP: $28AU
NV Chandon Sparkling Pinot Shiraz – Rating: 85 RRP: $25AU
’02 Balgownie Pinot Noir - Rating: 85 RRP: $22AU
’04 Mount Langi Ghiran Pinot Gris - Rating: 84 RRP: $22AU
’04 Hanging Rock Gewurztraminer - Didn’t have the usual spice associated with the variety, the wine felt a bit muted. Still had a floral touch to the nose. Rating: 84 RRP: $25AU
’03 Seville Estate Pinot Gris - Rating: 84 RRP: $AU
’02 Yarra Burn Pinot Noir – Rating: 84 RRP: $24AU
’97 Balgownie Cabernet Sauvignon – Rating: 84 RRP: $32AU
’02 Carlei Estate Pinot Noir – Rating: 83 RRP: $AU
’04 Delatite Pinot Gris – Rating: 82 RRP: $20AU
’04 Gapsted Sauvignon Blanc – Rating: 81 RRP: $AU
’03 Giant Steps Merlot – Unremarkable with a green edge to it. A fine example of why there is a poor perception of Australian Merlot. At this price point, it should be delivering more. Rating: 80 RRP: $27AU
’02 Seville Estate Pinot Noir Unfiltered - Rating: 79 RRP: $27AU
’02 Carlei Green Vineyard Pinot Noir – Unfortunately living up to the name of the vineyard with a bitter green taste to the wine. Rating: 77 RRP: $AU
’03 Coldstream Hills Cabernet Sauvignon – It tasted like burnt sticks and leaves. I guess you might like it if biting into old trees is your idea of a good time. Rating: 71 RRP: $AU

Join the conversation! 3 Comments

  1. Mitchelton Wines Australia.

    “Mitchelton is situated on the banks of the Goulburn River in the heart of Central Victoria. Thirty five years of meticulous attention to viticulture and winemaking have shaped an intimate knowledge of our vineyard. The unique climate and soils of th…

  2. Mitchelton Wines Australia.

    “Mitchelton is situated on the banks of the Goulburn River in the heart of Central Victoria. Thirty five years of meticulous attention to viticulture and winemaking have shaped an intimate knowledge of our vineyard. The unique climate and soils…

  3. [...] Australian wine-blogging friend Cam Wheeler was also impressed by the Mitchelton range. Tagged: Australian [...]

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