Preamble Tasting November 1998
Brian Martin & Michael Sinnott
1. Rothbury Estate Verdelho, Hunter Valley
Madeira grape grown in Hunter Valley. Slightly green. Melon/tropical fruit on the nose. Hint of lime on the palate Good acid buzz, balanced by hint of sweetness... and with a backbone. Very ineteresting. Pity about the price.
2. Capel Vale Unwooded Chardonnay
Very light, clear; slight but very interesting nose. On the palate fruit, acid, quite sweet, long aftertaste. Hint of dry sherry at the end. Complex, lovely, 13.5%
3. Heggies Eden Vale Riesling, 1990
Very light. Oily rather than petrolly on the nose. Quite a bit of sweetness., with the paraffin/petrol taste. Very long aftertaste. 12% Definitely has something. Wait a few years.
4. Preece Sauvignon Blanc, Victoria, 1997
Gooseberries and cat's pee but witha floral note. Bit closed. Watery at first taste. Develops well in the mouth. Acid, fruit, not much in the elegance stakes but coming together well. Give it time.
5. Oxford Landing Cabernet-Shiraz
Quite a stern nose. Ditto on the palate. Fruit cake and spice, very rich but stern.
6. Preece Merlot 1995
Deep clear red, quite leggy. Rubbery nose. Surprisingly peppery, quite rich, some tannins, lots of burn. Slightly puckering aftertaste. Probably some Shiraz in there. 13.5%
7. Yalumba Barossa Shiraz 1995
Deep red and leggy. Boot polish nose. Warm, spicy, loads of fruit; a bit unideimensional? Some chocolate flavours. 13.5%
8. Capel Vale Shiraz, 1996
Nose of pepper and berries. Berry fruit and spice on the palate, much more concentrated than the Yalumba. Very young, could develop, not sure I'd risk the investment.
9. Rothbury Estate Cabernet Merlot Mudgee 1995
Deep red, hint of brick. Lighter fruitcake, more fruit than the Oxford Landing. Quite tannic. A little Eucalyptus. 13% Good development potential.
10. Yalumba Bush Vine Grenache 1995
Light cherry. Astringent nose, but not much of it. Quite pleasant; fruit, some pepper. 14% "It's Grenache, Jim, but not as we know it." '96 supposed to be even better.
11. Jim Barry Clare Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, 1996
Deep, almost black. Blackcurrant leaves and mint nose. Big fruit, not jammy, quite tannic, big burn. Tannins leave a puckering aftertaste, hidden by the burn. A big wine, well capable of developing. Lay it down.