Preamble Tasting April 2003 
Richard Verling

Your correspondent had a cold that blocked out all but the strongest smells and possibly jaundiced his views as well.  JP

1. Palisser Estate Sauvignon Blanc, NZ, 2002
Gooseberry and grapefruit, some melon.  Lots of acid, buzz, warmth.  Hugely fruity.  Lovely.

2. Cape Mentelle Semillon Sauvignon, W. Australia, 2002
From the Margaret River area.  Can't get much nose - said to be asparagus.  Some honey behind a solid fruity mouthful; weighty rounded feel from the Semillon.  14%

3. Chenin Blanc, Esk Valley Estate, NZ, 1999
Wood aged.  Fairly dumb. Full but with good acidity; noticeable wood adding to the experience.  A hint of dolly mixture breezed through.

4. Wynn's Riesling, Coonawarra, Australia, 2001
Petrol.  Great buzz, acid, glycerine?  Lemon and lime.  Greatly improved over the last time I tasted it.  Keep 5-6 years.

5. Penfolds Bin 138 Old Vine Grenache, Shiraz, Mourvedre, Australia, 1998
Huge spicy nose.  Less fruity than expected.  A little medicinal.  Nice soft tannins.  Improves in the glass; rich and heavy.  Super but at ...

6. Penfolds Kalimna Bin 128, Shiraz, 1999
Spicy, jammy.  Redcurrant, leaves, spice, springy backbone, elegant, supple.  Fourteen months in new French oak. Needs time but exellent.


7. reserve Merlot/Malbec/Cabernet Sauvignon, Esk valley Estate, NZ, 1999
Jammy.  Very soft tannins, jammy fruit, French oak, a bit astringent.  Our chairman commented that he would guess Zinfandel if presented blind; given my general dislike of Zin that probably explains why I didn't like it so much - it's quite polished but didn't do it for me, especially at

8. Coldstream Hills Pinot Noir, Yarra Valley, Australia, 2000
Strawberries on the nose, strawberry sorbet on the palate.  Well balanced, good acid, 14% alc. Very, very nice - seems to be improving every year; and at an excellent price.

9. Palliser Pinot Noir, NZ, 2001
Somewhat richer, weightier nose.  A bit more acidic, perhaps a hint o residual sugar; a big burn, somewhat rawer than the Coldstream Hills - but might go further in the long run.  Also very good.

10. Penfolds St. Henri Shiraz, Australia, 1996
Amazingly rich with a great buzz and loads of fruit.  Very big extract; elegant, whippet-like, someone said.  Will age 20 years.  Wow!


11. Penfolds Bin 707 Cabernet Sauvignon, Australia, 1997
Leathery nose with mint.  Huge fruit with an astringent finish.  Very long, very young, very elegant.  Lots of tannin - will be around a long time.  Wow again!


12. Wynns John Riddoch Cabernet Sauvignon 1998
Huge, black.  Amazing fruit, huge but not overblown, not a hint of anything ever so slightly off.  huge extract.  leave i a long time.  Wow No. 3.


These last three were an unforgettable experience.  I can't really include them in the normal run of star ratings for reasons of price - but what excellent wines!

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