Tasting some great Australian wines at an Australia day lunch with colleagues

Australia day is a great excuse for a wine lunch, and once again a crew assembled, bringing special bottle of Australian wine to share. We met at the excellent Lorne, and the wines and company were excellent. Here are my wine notes.

Jim Barry Watervale Riesling 1974 Clare Valley, Australia
How special to try this wine which is from the first ever vintage of Jim Barry. It’s brown, very brown, and looks dead in the glass, but it has some life in it. Flavours of marmalade, lime and some sweet grapiness, as well as baked apple. 90/100

Arras Late Disgorged 2002 Tasmania, Australia
Lovely traditional method sparkling with a spicy, lively core and some subtle toast, Nice weight to this expressive wine. 93/100

Mount Mary Triology 1997 Yarra Valley, Australia
So impressive with a lovely textural quality: pear, green apple and some citrus, with a touch of sake. Still quite youthful with a nice fine-grained structure. Very fine. 95/100

Tyrrell’s Vat 1 Semillon 2002 Hunter Valley, Australia
Cork sealed, but it must have been a good one. This is very fresh but it has a slightly creamy edge to the toast, spice and mineral characters. Taut and lemony, and beginning to develop. So fresh and pristine. 94/100

Pewsey Vale The Countours Riesling 2003 Barossa, Australia
Crystalline with lime, lemon and some spice. This is fine and mineral, with depth to the lime fruit and a sense of harmony, and just the faintest note of petrol. Very fine. 94/100

Penfolds Yattarna Chardonnay 2004 Henty, Australia
Rich and harmonious with peach, pear and spice. Lovely depth with nice texture. Harmonious and expressive, with age adding some richness and softness, finishing finely spiced. 94/100

Henschke Lenswood Giles Pinot Noir 1998 Adelaide Hills, Australia
This is mature, but also quite expressive with hints of mint and some spice, showing a bit of evolution. Has some earthy characters. Past its best but still enjoyable. 91/100

Mount Mary Lilydale Quartet 1987 Yarra Valley, Australia
Sensational stuff. Some development with notes of blackcurrant and spice, as well as a hint of earth. Cherries and plums, too with some minerality. Classically styled, this is so lovely: an Australian classic. 97/100

Moss Wood Special Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 1991 Margaret River, Australia
Complex and lovely with a savoury spiciness, as well as grippy structure, with fine blackcurrant fruit as well as some earthy hints. Real precision here with concentration and drive. Fine. 97/100

Wendouree Shiraz Malbec 2004 Clare Valley, Australia
This is very expressive, with mint, spice and blackcurrant, as well as some black cherry. Quite firm and direct, and very youthful still. This is a substantial wine with a gravelly, spicy depth. Needs time. 96/100

Penfolds Bin 707 Cabernet Sauvignon 1997 South Australia
Concentrated, youthful, sweetly fruited and bold. This has blackcurrant and spice with notes of cherry and some firm tannins. Expressive and youthful, showing lovely intensity with notes of mint, lavender and eucalyptus in the mix. 96/100

Ben Glaetzer Amon Ra 2005 Barossa, Australia (magnum)
Bold, rich, sweetly fruited and spicy, with lots of black fruits. Ripe and plus, but evolving nicely and has balance. 93/100

Penfolds St Henri Shiraz Cabernet 1994 South Australia (magnum)
Blackcurrant, black cherries and spice with lovely texture. Shows some meaty maturity with dense, supple fruit and some firm grip. Dense and full with a bit of earthiness on the finish. 94/100

Moss Wood Cabernet Sauvignon 2001 Margaret River, Australia
This is ripe (14.5% alcohol) and shows richness and concentration. Lovely density with bold blackcurrant fruit and a bit of grip. Ripe and rich with real intensity. 95/100

De Bortoli Noble One 2000 New South Wales, Australia
Complex, rich and spicy with melon, marmalade and some fine spiciness. This is powerful, rich and sweet with amazing spicy complexity. A lovely wine. 96/100