Wednesday, February 28, 2007

EVENT: The Sydney Royal Wine Show

February 17, 2007
Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park

Open to the public for the first time apparently. A wonderful day enjoyed by many. The ticket gets you access to try 18 medal winning wines of your choice and as many non-medal wines that you can handle. Also a selection of delicious cheese and dips on hand to line the stomach.

We had tremendous difficulty getting there, but made the most of our time there.

I was pleased to see Banrock Station rate well in a few categories. They would have to be my favourite producers of cheap wines. I don’t think they got any medals, but they still scored solidly.

Of the 40 or so wines I tried, the following were fantastic and I look forward to trying them more thoroughly in the future:

BIMBADGEN Estate Myall Road Semillon 2006
MCWILLIAMS Hanwood Muscat 1
MCWILLIAMS Mount Pleasant Bin 97 1997
MCWILLIAMS Mount Pleasant Lovedale 2000
YALUMBA Eden Valley Viognier 2005
YERING STATION Reserve Shiraz Viognier 2005

The sweet muscats were just incredible.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

WINE: MUMM Cordon Rouge Brut NV

Type: Champagne
Origin: France
Approx Cost: $60

Light to mid straw with a hint of lavender. Odd. Mousse is heavy and lively. Mineral and citrus tastes. Hints of tonic water? Rich finish.

It’s different. A good NV, but not great.


Tuesday, February 13, 2007


Type: Champagne
Origin: France
Approx Cost: $75

Hmmm yeah okay. Great mousse and bead. Really great. A lot of finesse about this wine. Mid straw colour. Citrus, honey, apple. Quite good. Not good enough for the price. Still, glad I tried it.


Monday, February 12, 2007

WINE: JACQUART Brut Tradition NV

Type: Champagne
Origin: France
Approx Cost: $40

Deep yellow in colour with a slight pink hue. The mousse is crazy, very fine. Bead is also pretty good. Strawberry and, not surprisingly, lemon dominate. A sweet and toasty finish which is a little surprising. Tasted better as it warmed and opened a little.

Good. Okay value.


Thursday, February 08, 2007

WINE: YERING STATION Yarrabank Cuvee 2000

Type: Sparkling White
Origin: Yarra Valley, Victoria, Australia
Approx Cost: $30

Yering Station symbolises something of a beginning for me. I had never been a big wine buff, until I went on a wine tour through the Yarra Valley a couple of years ago. The first stop on the tour was Yering Station. Due to a temporary sickness causing me to struggle with alcoholic beverages, many of the wines failed to impress me. That was until I tried the fortified shiraz from here. My god… Truly incredible. I took a bottle home and drank it the night I got back.

But I digress. This is quite a good sparkling wine. Yes, quite good indeed. It make it into Halliday’s top 100 wines with an impressive 95 points a year or two back and has a fairly good reputation. I think the reason is that this is an original wine. In that it doesn’t taste like many other wines.

I sip it. Toasty, with very little fruit. A touch of lemony acidity. And then the finish is just incredible. You feel the taste being sucked from your mouth. It leaves it refreshed but dry. I really don’t know if I’ll get this much again, but it certainly was an interesting experience and I wouldn’t ever mind having it again. It just lacked a certain something that warranted a return.

Interestingly, developed in partnership with the French champagne house Devaux.


WINE: BANROCK STATION ‘The Reserve’ Sparkling Pinot Noir Chardonnay NV TAKE TWO

Type: Sparkling White
Origin: Australia
Approx Cost: $9

Okay, last time I tried this I was blown away. For a $9 wine it was outstanding value. Not a well constructed wine but the flavour was fantastic. I was so sure that it was a mistake that I just had to go again.

And so I did.

It’s still good. But a different good. As I continue to embark on this journey into the world of wine I love how my palate keeps changing.

The taste isn't exceptional but it draws me to it. I want to drink more and more.

My initial rating was 88%, but I’ve now revised that to…


Monday, February 05, 2007


Type: Sparkling White (Demi-Sec)
Origin: Champagne, France
Approx Cost: $70

Wow, okay, this was interesting. I try another wine from the Moet range, with lower expectations that usual. The first thing to hit me is the richness of it all. Then the sweetness slowly ebbs in. This reminds me a lot of the lovely Chandon Cuvee Riche, with the important difference being the sweetness of the Cuvee Riche hit you on the palate, while the sweetness of the Nectar Imperial slowly reveals itself in the finish.

A very good wine when you’re in the mood for something sweet. Refined and surprisingly good value for a $70 wine.


Sunday, February 04, 2007

WINE: LANSON Gold Label Brut 1996

Type: Sparkling White
Origin: Champagne, France
Approx Cost: $75

A lot of lemon and acidity and creaminess, a touch of curd; a surprisingly classy and tasty drop from a great vintage at a good price.