Paul Bara Brut Reserve Grand Cru NV - (Champagne, France):
Medium bead with a very light mousse. Smoke, rose petal, lime and a light overlay of roasted nuts form the nose. The palate has a nice intensity of flavour as well as racy, well focussed acid and a slight citrus tang. Champagne of this quality is a steal for the price (around $55AUD).
Crabtree Watervale Riesling 1997 – (Clare Valley, South Australia):
A light golden yellow in colour. The nose is shy and reclusive, after a good deal of coaxing it revealed a little bit of honeysuckle and apricot. The palate lacks depth and anything much of interest, falling away very quickly after the mid-palate. Uninspiring and going nowhere rather quickly.
Tahbilk Marsanne 2004 – (Nagambie Lakes, Victoria):
This has a floral nose with notes of honey, nuts, pears and peaches. The palate has a slight viscosity about it that provides an interesting counterbalance to the acid. Medium length and while it was reasonably good, it is clearly in a bit of an “in between” phase – no longer youthful but not yet complex. Leave remaining bottles alone for a few years.
Yalumba “The Signature – Harold Obst” Galway Vintage Reserve Claret 1966 – (Barossa Valley, South Australia):
80% Shiraz and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon
A deep red in colour with just slight browning out around the edges. The nose has strong overtones of fennel (aniseed/liquorice) with peppermint, earth, leather and violets following through. The palate was balanced, with just enough sweet fruit and tannin remaining to carry the medium length of the wine. Enjoyable for about 25 minutes and then faded away quickly.
Cooper Shiraz 2002 - (Hunter Valley, New South Wales):
An old style Hunter Shiraz nose of earth, tobacco, spice and some barnyard – with around half an hour in the glass, the tobacco seemed to turn into a dominant smoky aroma that smothered the rest of the nose. The palate showed good flavour and character, although I would suggest that it is drinking at its peak now.