Tasting Notes contains just that notes on wines I have tasted!

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Aussie Values: Vintage Wines Ltd $5 Tastings 2005

Aussie Values
Tasting described as The Australian Shiraz is one of the hottest selling wines in the market today. We will try six of them all under 15 bucks that will knock your socks off. Saturday, April 23rd, 11-3PM.

I was the first to arrive for this tasting and none of the wines had been opened. So these are notes from freshly opened bottles. Just the way I like it. First pass through the wines showed that wine No. 3 was corked and a fresh bottle was opened. My notes are for that bottle. The wines were tasted essentially double-bind, but I must admit that I have tasted several wines in the sub-$15 range from Vintage Wines in the last few weeks and so I was expecting those wines to be in the tasting. I’ve listed the wines in the order they were tasted.

Elderton Tantalus (70/30 Shiraz/Cabernet) 2003 $9.99USD (Screwcap)
Cherry red with a faint orange tint. Very spicy with notes of orange zest, quince and caramel. Medium weight, well balanced with clean acidity and soft tannins. Excellent retronasal. Attractive drinking style. Almost Zinfandel-like. (2, 2, 3.6, 10.1 = 17.7/20, 88, 14% alcohol)

Rosemount Estate Shiraz 2002 $6.99USD
Dense cherry red with red edge. Closed with hits of bacon and tomato. Medium weight with good acidity and soft tannins but falling off on the finish. (2, 2, 3.4, 9.5 = 16.9/20, 84, 14% alcohol).

Hill of Content Shiraz 2003 $10.99USD
Dense cherry red. Distinct shiraz flavors of blackberry and pepper. Medium weight and well balanced with bright acidity. (2, 2, 3.9, 9.8 = 17.7/20, 88, 13.5% alcohol).

Jim Barry The Lodge Hill Shiraz 2003 $11.99USD
Dense cherry red. Very ripe, rich flavors of blueberry and blackberry. Full bodied and well balanced with flavors carrying well on retronasal. Has to be the Jim Barry. (2, 2, 4.0, 10.0 = 18.0/20, 90, 15.5% alcohol).

Greg Norman Shiraz 2002 $10.99USD
Dense cherry red with red edge. Unpleasant sulfur note that developed an underlying diesel character; carried through on retronasal. Well balanced across the early and mid-palate but with bitterness to the finish. Screwcap or faulty or both? (2, 2, 3.0, 8.5 = 15.5/20, 77, 14% alcohol).

Alliance Shiraz 2001 $10.99USD
Cherry red with a faint orange tinge. Burnt note of caramel with a faint aroma of petrol. Light to medium weight with the flavors carrying well on retronasal. Pronounced acidity that carries across the palate. (2, 2, 3.8, 9.0 = 16.8/20, 84, 13.5%5 alcohol).

I’d tasted the Jim Barry just a few days before and noted that there was “chocolate, blueberry, sweet oak. Full bodied, well balanced with good retro, good acidity, but does not carry across the palate cleanly. Alcohol is evident. Not a patch on the ’02.” 2, 2, 3.9, 9.8 = 17.7/20, 88. It was a very easy wine to pick and stood out as the biggest Shiraz of the group.

The Rosemount I’d tasted about a week earlier. “Blueberry, sweet oak, vanilla. Full bodied, well balanced, soft tannins, clean but pronounced acidity. Well made but not distinctive, although still good value.” 2, 2, 3.8, 9.5 = 17.3/20, 87. Did not pick it in the tasting line-up.

The only other wine I’d tasted was the Elderton Tantalus. I’d had this in December ’04 at their tasting room in Nuriootpa. My brief notes say“light cherry red, bright fruit, anise, medium weight, soft tannins, good retro of anise and plum.” 2, 2, 3.7, 9.7 = 17.4/20, 87. I would never have picked it in the tasting line-up. Can’t even say I’d identify it as a blend, although it was more Zin-like than Shiraz compared to the other wines.

The only problem wine was the Greg Norman. Its not a screwcap and so until I get to taste it again I’m putting it down as a faulty bottle.

What were the values? Well the Jim Barry stood out although if you have any of the 2002 put aside you might as well drink that until the ’04 comes out. The Hill of Content is also a reasonable value, and even though it didn’t show as well as I expected the Rosemount is still good value at $7USD.


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