1. Wine: Moss Wood 2001
Type: Cabernet Sauvignon
Origin: Australia (Margaret River)
Approx Cost: $100
This is regularly referred to as one of the best cabernets in Australia and 2001 has been one of the better vintages in the last 10 or so years. I took it to a restaurant with friends and it was the 5th bottle we drank, so my palate was leathery by the time I got to it. Despite being 5 years old, it still could have done with another 5 years, however it was still mighty impressive. Opening up with a big nose of blackcurrents, plums and vanilla oak, the first sip was full of fruit with a little bit of heat. A perfect example of Margaret River Cabernet, it was lean, with the dark current and cinnamon flavours really holding it up. Lovely silky texture with long velvety tannins. The length on this wine is impressive. It'll be very interesting to see how this wine looks in 2010. Thankfully I have another one for cellaring.
While this wine is fucking good and cabernet is my favourite red blend, I still prefer the Coonawarra/Langhorne Creek styles.
2. Peter Lehman Stonewell 1994
Origin: Australia (Barossa)
Approx Cost: $80
This was well and truly ready to drink. At 12 years old it had matured beautifully and subsequently allowed all the right things to shine through. Really clean obvious fruit, quite elegant, however still maintaining the bold Australian style shiraz qualities. Fairly long and full of plums, it finished smoothly with a light licorice. Tannins had softened nicely.
I'm not a big shiraz drinker and to be honest I didn't give this wine the attention it deserved. In saying that, I still really enjoyed it.
3. Giaconda chardonnay 1992
Origin: Australia (Beechworth, Vic)
Approx Cost: ?
Giaconda is a real cult kinda wine. It's for nerds and wine freaks. People who don't drink it, they just wanna own it. The guy who makes it is like a wine pedo. He keeps a low profile, he only sells to cult buyers and maintains a high level of exclusivity. For good reason too. His Pinots and Chards are the best in Australia. I had a bottle of this '92 about a year ago at the same place with the same people and we all agreed it was the best white wine any of us had ever touched. Unfortunately, due to bottle variation/poor cellaring/over-cellaring this bottle didn't live up to our expectations. It still had a beautiful buttery opening, really big and bold without any dominating oak (like most Australian Chards), however the fruit seemed to have fallen away over the years. It was like sitting in the shell of a Rolls Royce, except the leather trim had worn away. It would have been perfect a few years ago.
Expensive, hard to get, but still worth the experience.
4. Tyrrell's Vat 1 Semillon 1992 (Aged release)
Origin: Australia (Hunter Valley)
Approx Cost: $45
This was the first old semillon I have tried and I did find it interesting although it did seem to have lost some of the qualities you'd find in a later/better vintage. It maintained a fairly full body, with hints of stonefruit, like peach and stuff. For some reason mushroom came to mind. Everyone looked at me funny when I said that. It was good and interesting.
5. Charles Heidsieck Mise en Cave 1994
Approx Cost: ?
This opened the proceedings tonight and it was a pretty good start. I'd not had a Charles Heidsieck before and I didn't really know what to expect. It seemed to have held up to the aging quite well though and held quite a firm yeasty opening with a dry toasty flavour. It had an almost creamy texture . The bead was fairly light although it persisted and stayed bubbly. It'd suit a Bollinger fan. While I am a champagne tragic, this didn't really push my buttons. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't really stunning.