There are wines that stand head and shoulders above the rest. For some they are wines that score 95 points or more out of 100. For others they score an A or better. For me they get 19 or better out of 20. My approach to scoring wines will be discussed elsewhere. As I find these wines they will be placed in this section of Tasting Notes. The Classic Wines section will begin with wines tasted in 2004, but as time permits I hope to go back and revisit my archived hard copy notes to build this section of the eBlog. P.S. If you want a score out of 100 then multiply by 5. That wasn't too hard, now was it?
Seppelt GR 113 Rare Rutherglen Muscat
Not quite as deep in color as the Tokay but a much richer wine with toffee and caramel and ripe raisins, and a beautifully long finish. An amazing concentration of flavor and complexity from the moment the glass reaches your nose. This is Australian Muscat at its best. 2, 2, 4.5, 10.7 = 19.2/20. Tasted December 12, 2004 at Seppeltsfield, Barossa Valley.
Seppelt DP 59 Rare Rutherglen Tokay
The color of treacle, and gave flavors of treacle, molasses and coffee, and a finish that lingered and lingered. Lusciously rich and with wonderful depth and complexity of flavor. 2, 2, 4.5, 10.6 = 19.1/20. Tasted December 12, 2004 at Seppeltsfield, Barossa Valley.
Torbreck Descendant (Shiraz/ Viognier) South Australia, 2003 (Approx$90USD)
Dense cherry red with rich, ripe fruit that envelopes you in aromas of blackberries and the aromatics of the Viognier grape. Soft and elegant on the palate this wine has it all, balance, a solid backbone of drying tannins and an extra-long finish. 2, 2, 4.6, 10.5 = 19.1/20. Tasted December 12, 2004 at the vineyard.
Dutschke Oscar Semmler Shiraz, South Australia 2002 (Approx $50-60USD)
This wine is bottled from the best barrels of the shiraz vintage. Very dense cherry red, it also gave off a strong initial chocolate aroma that became a rich blackberry. Similar to the St Jakobi, the Oscar Semmler covered the palate with just a bit more of that wonderful, seamless concentration of flavor and richness. My hand written notes include “long elegant finish” with the long heavily underlined! 2, 2, 4.4, 10.6 = 19.0/20. Tasted December 13, 2004 at the winery.
Heathvale Eden Valley Shiraz, South Australia, 2002 (Approx $25USD)
Dense cherry red. Compared to the 2001 this wine has less intense initial aroma but greater complexity. It opened with blueberries and ripe fruit and those flavors intensified over time. On the palate it had the same soft and supple entry, and covered the palate seamlessly. Beautifully balanced, it had a rich, lengthy finish. 2, 2, 4.5, 10.5 = 19.0/20. Tasted December 16, 2004 at the vineyard.
Torbreck Run Rig (Shiraz/ Viognier) South Australia, 2002 (Approx$180USD)
Dense cherry red in color and to my nose subdued with just hints of blackberry and perhaps red fruits. Its true nature was revealed on the palate where it is elegant, seductive and complex. There is a lot going on when this wine carresses your tongue, and to get the most from it you will need to spend hours with a bottle all to yourself. It is extremely well balanced and structured with clean acidity and a firm tannic finish. There is a little alcohol there as well, but it scrapes into the Classic Wines. 2, 2, 4.6, 10.4 = 19.0/20, 14.5% alcohol. Tasted December 12, 2004 at the vineyard.
Kalleske Old Vine Grenache (Basket Pressed) 2002 $54.99USD
Dark cherry red with red edge. An intense floral note that quickly faded to eucalyptus, pepper and blackberries, plus a host of other complex aromas. In the mouth it’s a medium weight wine with acidity that dances across the palate to merge with equally evident firm tannins backing up the finish. This is a wine that is a delight to hold in the mouth while gently sucking in air over the wine and breathing out through the nose. An outstanding example of grenache. After 24 hours there was licorice and black fruits and that finish just lingers and lingers. At 48 hours the wine was showing just the faintest hint of getting a little tired. 2, 2, 4.7, 10.3 = 19.0/20. 15.5% alcohol. Tasted September 18-20, 2004.