All wines were tasted blind at dinner with some friends from the Winestar Forum with the exception of my bottles which were the Bindi, Sorrenberg and the Elk Cove.

Bollinger R.D 1988 – (Champagne, France): Disgorged May 2000. Tarnished gold in colour. Toast, walnut, yeasty dough, pears and slightly oxidative nose. Palate is intense but still retains balance and structure with a crisp finish. My favourite wine on the night. 93/100

Grosset Polish Hill Riesling 2005 – (Clare Valley, South Australia): What a disappointment, this is meant to be one of Australia’s very best (and expensive) Rieslings – all lemon and lime and a watery palate with no backbone, no structure, no length, no intensity. A bit of sweetness on the finish.

Wine critics have been generally extremely positive about this wine, but I have seen reports from others that their bottle was similarly poor. 85/100

Bindi Composition Chardonnay 2004 – (Macedon Ranges, Victoria): The antithesis of what I don’t like about Australian chardonnay. No buttery, over-oaked characters here. Fairly tight nose, some cinnamon and grapefruit. Some flinty minerality, good underlying oak and a bit of acid at this stage. Length is good. I liked it. 89/100

Felton Road Pinot Noir 2003 – (Central Otago, New Zealand): Cherries, tomatoes, some stalks, touch of funk initially that blew off. Thought there was some acid poking out but not nearly as much as some others at the table found. Fell away at the back of the palate. 87/100

Henschke Cyril Henschke Cabernet Sauvignon 1994 – (Eden Valley, South Australia): Savoury nose with elements of earth and blackcurrant at the forefront – lovely tannin structure and great texture/mouthfeel. My second favourite wine on the night. 93/100

Henschke Mount Edelstone Shiraz 1994 – (Eden Valley, South Australia): Powerful nose with spice, pepper, some background oak and a hint of mint and menthol. Once again good structure and length. 90/100

Sorrenberg Gamay 2001 – (Beechworth, Victoria): Spice, earth, smoked smallgoods, some floral notes and a touch of butterscotch(?). Fleshy palate with some sweetness. Something different and definitely needs to be had with food. 88/100

Elk Cove Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2000 – (Oregon, USA): I think probably the first US Pinot I’ve tried and it’s not too bad! Earthy, forest floor, dirty and funky nose with some stalks in the background. Balanced and silky on the palate. Just lacking in some wow factor. A bit of a polarising style as well, with some liking it and some hating the dirt and funk. 89/100

Lindemans St George Cabernet Sauvignon 1991 – (Coonawarra, South Australia): Original release rather than the recent museum release bottling. Pencil shavings, cedar, cassis. Lovely complexity on the palate, great length. Very Bordeaux like. Super stuff. 92/100

Katnook Estate Prodigy Shiraz 1997 – (Coonawarra, South Australia): Tomato leaf, fair amount of vanilla oak. Palate is pretty good but the oak is still too prominent. 89/100

Rockford Grenache 1996 – (Barossa Valley, South Australia): Very ashy on the nose. Components of the palate are well integrated. I don’t know if this was meant to go 10 years but it was holding up fine. Decent enough but probably not a bad move to move the fruit into their GSM blend (Moppa Springs). 87/100

Rosemount Hunter Valley Trockenbeerenauslese Riesling 1982 – (Hunter Valley, New South Wales): A rarity! The story is that during the Fosters/Southcorp merger, inventory of warehouses were being done and 16 cases were found in a corner and nobody knew what they were. It turned out to be lost museum stock of this wine.

Colour was a deep orange brown, almost looked like a fortified wine. Nose was obvious aged Riesling with a bit of botrytis for good measure. Acid was there on the palate and holding the palate together. Very sweet but very nice. Fell apart after about half an hour in the glass, but was wonderful for the time it was alive. 92/100

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