With Christmas in mind, I recently went to a tasting of Aussie sparklers and sweeties.
Here’s my top tips from the tasting, London, November 2010
Brown Brothers, Patricia Pinot Noir Chardonnay / Pinot Meunier, 2004, King Valley, Victoria,
Yeasty, autolytic nose, lemon toast and dry honey. Some attractive complexity on the nose and palate attack. Good definition and white floral mid palate, weighty with age, with toasted hazelnuts and preserved lemon. Mousse has good persistence in the mouth. Decent length.
I also tasted the 2005 vintage in October at Brown Brothers in Australia: Steely, metallic bass notes of pinot noir, 80% in this blend; broad, bready, fruit, still fresh, and quite full bodied. Ripe, fruity and toasty, nice persistent mousse in the mouth, some real complexity. Good.
Jansz, NV, Tasmania ~£12.00
Fresh, citrus lifted aroma. Nicely persistent mousse, with savoury, nutty hints on the mid palate; with good definition. Approachable, and widely appealing. Citrus, roasted nuts, bits of brioche and nutmeg. Well balanced
Pirie, Chardonnay / Pinot Noir NV, Tasmania, ~£18.00
Bright, light citrus, fresh, lean and floral, elegant and light fruit. Hints of bread and brioche mellowing into lemon pith. Nice level of freshness with depth and fruity intensity of fruit. Balance. Good.
Heggies, Botrytis Riesling 2006, Eden Valley, South Australia, ~ £11 / half bottle
Australian Wines Online; The Fine Wine Company
Tangerine, marmalade and honeyed nose, with attractive complexity. Soft, fleshy core with defining acidity, lush fruit, soft spice amid the honeyed textures. Rich, fully sweet, concentrated fruit. Well balanced. Long finish. Delicious.
Tamar Ridge, Kayena Vineyard Botrytis Riesling 2007, Tasmania, £13 / half bottle
Lifted, steely marmalade nose, rich, sweet attack, with immediate core of acid freshness, complexing herbal layers mid palate. Intense, layered rich, delicious, more-ish and long. Very good.
Pirie, Clark’s Reserve Botrytis Riesling 2007, Tasmania, ~ £15 / half bottle
Pale gold colour, full-fat attack, rich, with allspice, ginger and juniper berry spiciness. Citrus, lime pith and tropical crystallised pineapple fruits. Rich and lush, layered and full bodied. Very good.
Campbells, Rutherglen Muscat, Rutherglen, Victoria, ~ £11 / half bottle
Oddbins; Waitrose Wine
Golden amber colour, with complex, toffee, caramel, and baked orange fruit; fresh tingly core to hang all the lush nutty and caramel notes on, plus dried fruits – apricot, prune, fig. Complex, fresh, long, sweet, concentrated.
Seppeltsfield, 21 Year Old Para Tawny 1988, Barossa Valley, South Australia, ~£32
Golden chocolate amber colour, with refined smooth nutty nose, elegant and concentrated at the same time. Nutty, fruitcake, burnt toffee and bitter cherry chocolate flavours coalesce on the palate. Definitely a meditative wine. Delicious. Big, body building structure and all in proportion. Very good.