There was no theme chosen for this small, informal get together by four of us last Saturday. I had a very good time thanks to some great company, food and wine.
Bruno Michel “Cuvee Rebelle” Extra Brut NV (Champagne, France):
On the nose were breadcrumbs, apple, floral scents and a pinch of earth. Very easy to drink on the palate, with good balance between fruit sweetness and acidity and decent length. A pleasing enough way to start the night.
Weinkellerei Der Pfarrkirche Alsheimer Rheinblick Riesling Auslese 1976 (Rheinhessen, Germany – AP 4 372 082 75 79):
A deep amber-copper colour. The nose took a while to come together but when it did there were some nice aromas of marzipan, apricot and roasted almonds as well as some wax and petrol. The palate is balanced and had a medium sweetness to it, across its touch-short length. I really enjoy getting to try obscure wines that I will probably never see again, how many bottles of this could possibly be left? Thanks Christo!
Wolfberger “Grand Cru” Pfersigberg Gewurztraminer 1997 (Alsace, France):
There were a few concerns over the nose of this on opening but we thought it was alright and by the time it was served it was confirmed to be fine. Subtle spices, musk, lychee and floral aromas on the nose. There is a touch of alcohol induced heat on the palate as well as some sightly unbalanced sweetness. There is good weight and length to the palate, but perhaps just lacking some balance and points of interest.
Bass Phillip “Reserve” Rose 2004 (Gippsland, Victoria):
A cloudy, dark pink in colour. The nose is fairly confronting and is sure to be a bit of a love/hate proposition – stalks, rhubarb, earth, strawberry, violets and some sawdusty, toasty oak. I really enjoy the savory flavours and texture on the palate which is also to me, quite clean in comparison to the nose. Well balanced and I think there are plenty of things to enjoy about it, but only if it sounds like your kind of style.
Mitchelton “Print” Shiraz 1996 (Goulburn Valley, Victoria):
A youthful, sweet fruited nose of blueberry, raspberry, mushroom, pepper and some background oak. I quite like the restrained palate weight and dusty tannins. Still looking pretty primary, it seems to have the balance and structure to continue developing over the next few years.
M. Chapoutier “La Mordoree” 1994 (Cote-Rotie, France):
Captivating. Complex aromas of game, earthy undergrowth, pepper and spice, tobacco, grilled meats and smoke. Medium weighted with aged complexity and depth of savoury flavors. Outstanding balance across the length of the palate into a lingering finish. This bottle I feel was drinking at its peak.
Capercaillie “The Clan” 2001 (Barossa/Coonawarra/Orange):
80% Cabernet, 10% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot. Tobacco, pencil shavings, bramble as well as some low level Brett style complexity. Medium bodied and easy to drink, having good balance. A nice wine without doing anything to stand out as being great in any aspect.
Glaetzer “Amon Ra” Shiraz 2005 (Barossa Valley, South Australia):
I could happily smell this wine all night long. Entirely captivating just like the Chapoutier, but in a totally opposite manner – totally saturates your nose with aromas of licorice, chocolate, raspberry, cherry, tobacco, blueberries and floral notes. So luscious and ripe, and with velvet like texture on the palate. Firm tannins and background classy use of oak provide much needed structure for this immense wine. I doubt my one bottle will last anywhere near long enough for me to find out how this will age as it is just so approachable and pleasurable right now.
Rudolf Muller Muller-Burggraef Reiler Sorentberg Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese 1994 (Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Germany – 375ml – AP 2 598 172 08 96):
A deep golden amber colour similar to the 1976 opened earlier. Intense nose of caramel popcorn, ripe peaches, apricot, cinnamon, raisins and noticeable botrytis influence. The palate is lacking ever so slightly in acid profile to rein the incredible intense sweetness in and take the step from brilliance to genius. Inspirational length and really very delicious. This half bottle was as ready as it was ever going to be to drink.