Tasting Report: Summer Down Under New Zealand/Australian Wines, December 10, 2008

It’s cold outside but it’s hot down south — the southern hemisphere, that is — and in that honor the folks at Uncorked Events through a wine party for Australian and New Zealand wine producers. Some 100 wines were available for sampling from about 20 different producers/importers/consortia. Since we’re dealing with a mixed bag of the above, I’ve included all the information about who was pouring what in my comments below — Pasternak may be the parent company, for example, but it says Amisfeld on the label.

For some reason I stuck with reds exclusively last night, largely Shiraz (obviously). I found some clear favorites, starting with the Two Hands booth, which was mobbed for hours until they packed up and left an hour before the end of the event. Why? They ran out of wine. All three bottlings from this regular award-winner which I tried were superb, full of spice and rich fruit, and I wish I’d muscled through the crowd to try the other four being poured.

But as good as the Two Hands Shiraz wines were, my best of show was reserved for Peter Lehman, a perennial favorite which I haven’t sampled in a few years. Alas, the best of the best is a bottle that you probably won’t find at your local liquor store: A 2000 vintage “Stonewall Shiraz” that now sells for $80. I gave this richly and perfect aged wine a rare A+, but Lehman’s standard Shiraz (just $19) is always worth a buy.

Thanks to co-sponsors at the World Golf Tour for arranging the event. Check out the WGT website and play the online golfing game… it’s not just free, it’s extremely addictive!

Summer Down Under Complete Tasting Report

2006 Epic Wines Ata Rangi Pinot Noir / $50.00 / B
2004 Epic Wines Neudorf Pinot Noir Moutere / $45.00 / A-
2006 Pasternak Amisfeld Pinot Noir / $35.00 / B+
2007 Two Hands Angel’s Share Shiraz, McLaren Vale / $35.00 / A
2005 Two Hands Harry & Edward’s Garden Shiraz, Langhorne / $65.00 / A
2005 Two Hands Sophie’s Garden Shiraz, Padthaway / $65.00 / A
2004 Henry Wine Group Jim Barry Shiraz McRae Wood / $45.00 / A
2005 Goelet Taltarni Three Monks / $17.00 / B-
2005 Goelet Taltarni Heathcote Shiraz / $35.00 / B
2005 Goelet Taltarni Pyrenees Cabernet Sauvignon / $35.00 / B
2005 Peter Lehman Clancy’s / $19.00 / B
2006 Peter Lehman Seven Surveys / $19.00 / B
2006 Peter Lehman Shiraz / $19.00 / A-
2000 Peter Lehman Stonewell Shiraz / $80.00 / A+
2004 Forrest Estate Marlborough Pinot Noir / $26.00 / A-
2006 Southern Starz Oliver Hill Shiraz “Jimmy’s Section” / $40.00 / A-
2005 Angove’s McLaren Vale Shiraz / $22.00 / A-
2005 Click Wine Group Kangarilla Road Shiraz / $25.00 / B-
2005 Click Wine Group Kangarilla Road Shiraz-Viognier / $30.00 / B+
2006 Old Bridge Cellars d’Arenberg Coppermine Road Cabernet / $60.00 / A-
2005 Old Bridge Cellars Penley Chertsey / $50.00 / A-
2006 Via Pacifica Aurum Pinot Noir / $33.00 / B
2004 Via Pacifica AD Navigator / $22.00 / B+


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