James Wilson, Cellar Door
1. Franciscan Oakville Estate Cuvee Sauvage Chardonnay, California,
Toasted oak, but lightly
done. Almost rum and butter (for those old enough to remember). Not
such a big mouth feel as the Reynella. No finishing zing. 14%
The 'Sauvage' in the name implies wild yeast.
2. Leasingham Bin 7 Riesling 2003
Wouldn't have said Riesling; very apply. Quite spritzy. Finish
with a bit of pear drop ester - malolactic fermentation? Long,
limey, citrus finish. Different, nice enough. 13%
3. Chateau Reynella Chardonnay, 2000
Vastly bigger than the nose would have you believe. pleanty of
vanilla; rich, buttery, with good acid to give a fresh finish. 13.5%
From McLaren Vale, Padthaway and Tasmania.
4. Houghton's Verdelho, 2002
Great citrus nose, fruity. First impression burstinf with fizz.
Lovely candied fruit. Good weight, tropical fruit, fresh acidity,
minerally. 13.5% Lovely.
5. Ravenswood Lodi County Zinfandel, 2001
A coolness in the mouth, then some alcohol burn, fruity, chery, spicy,
slightly medicinal (what I don't like about most Zin, he said, putting his
prejudices upfront). 14.5%
6. Ravenswood Amador County Zinfandel, 2001
Now for something completely different. Fruitier nose, big
tannic feel initially, good fruit behind. Supple leather .
This can go on for many a year. Cherry, much less medicinal.
Keeps changing. Excellent. These are both made with wild
yeast, in French oak, hand plunged.
7. Leasingham Bin 61 Shiraz, 1998
Very dark. Fruit pastilles. Enough, quite crunchy tannins,
warm and spicy. American and French oak. Quite tannic at the end.
8. Chateau Reynella Shiraz, 2001
Lovely vanilla, caramel nose. Much more restrained than the
Leasingham. Cocoa. A very classy wine. They have
reverted to mainly French oak, with noticeable improvement.
9. Franciscan Oakville Estate Merlot, Napa, 2001
Warm, great vanilla and fruitcake. Lots of fruit but needs time
to let the tannins ease out. No great complexity.
10 Franciscan Oakville Estate Magnificat, Napa, 2000
Very young, restrained. Great broody, puckering tannins. Black
cherry and plum, toasty oak, leather, long finish
Superb, but at a price. If I had the money ... 75% Merlot,
15% Cab Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot.
11 Eileen Hardy Shiraz, 1998
Wonderfully rich, sweet, tarry, cherry. Huge extract, big tannic
wine with a great future ahead of it. From McLaren Vale and elsewhere.
11 Thomas Hardy Cabernet, 1995
Ribena on the nose; perhaps a hint of mould, some eucalyptus.
Minty, lots of original fruit characteristics. Still developing, somem
tomato juice. Will it last? Gorgeous - but not worth the
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