The Nepalese Kitchen is a busy restaurant in Surry Hills. The food and spicing wasn’t ideal for wine matching, but I thought it had good flavour and there were lots of vegetarian options. Plus, at $121AUD for 6 people, the value was excellent. The downsides were that we were shifted from place to place, initially upstairs and then into a private room and then back downstairs and then at the end of the meal they tried to charge us $240 (perhaps a mixup due to the tables being changed).

We tried the following seven wines;

Lakes Folly Chardonnay 1994 – (Hunter Valley, New South Wales):
Light golden colour with some hints of green at the core. Nose is alright at first, some butterscotch and grapefruit, but quickly starts to show wood and varnish. Fruit is gone from the palate. Short and some harshness on the finish. Drinkable if you were really desperate! 83/100

Seppelt Maturation Release Riesling 1984 – (Eden Valley, South Australia):
The first thing I mentioned was how youthful this looks, not knowing the identity of it. The nose was not showing much intensity, some kerosene and toast. The palate was watery and short.

I left some in the glass to warm up, and it didn’t fall apart any more over the course of an hour but it remained mediocre. This wine is an Australian legend in Riesling circles, it’s something I have wanted to try for a long time, unfortunately it didn’t live up to it on the night, but that is one of the “joys” of cork. 85/100

Sorrenberg Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon 2004 – (Beechworth, Victoria):
Interesting nose, grapefruit, lime, wet slate, some spice and florality, candy (which ended up reminding me of those faux banana shaped lollies) and just a hint of toffee oak. Palate was good as well, creamy and with some balanced acidity flowing across the palate and into the finish. I really liked it for its difference. (I also love a tough to guess options wine as long as I’m not the one trying to guess it!) 90/100

Charles Melton Sparkling Red NV (Disgorged 1996) – (Barossa Valley, South Australia)
Some dirty horse-osity initially which did blow off which a bit of time to reveal raspberries and some plum. Some sweetness and some background oak on the palate. An okay wine, but not really my thing. 86/100

Lindemans St George Classic Release Cabernet Sauvignon 1980 (Released 1989) – (Coonawarra, South Australia):
The person who brought this wine warned us that this would either be herbaceous and horribly under-ripe or would be very good.

Youthful violet with not the slightest hint of fading or browning. Powerful, beautiful nose of tobacco, ash, tomato leaf, cedar, roast vegetables, blackberries. Palate is vibrant, yet elegant – with all facets having integrated and balanced perfectly – tannins, oak and fruit were all there but acting as one. The finish is amazingly persistent. After 45-60 minutes of breathing, it was just as good if not even better.

In one word, stunning – I could still taste this wine the next morning and couldn’t think about anything else on the drive to work or for most of the morning at work. I initially said 92, then 94 after half an hour before coming to rest at 96 the next morning. Thank you to the person who brought this. 96/100

Viking Grand Shiraz 2000 – (Barossa Valley, South Australia):
These grapes were previously part of the parcel used to select Penfolds Grange from and to be fair, 2000 was a very difficult vintage in many parts of the Barossa.

Iodine, band-aids, sawdust and a chemical smell along the lines of what I imagine a mad scientist’s laboratory would smell like. Some heat on the nose. Shockingly the palate actually wasn’t too bad, young and showing some obvious tannins but the length was good and the finish was fine. 84/100

Glendonbrook Shiraz 2001 – (Hunter Valley, New South Wales):
Bacon and a spirity liqueur character and well as a hint of violet and blackberry. Palate was smooth and easy to drink and matched up with the price point of the wine.

Apparently not a representative bottle based on the nose. It had been sitting in a car boot for a week. 84/100

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