Tag Archives: Penfolds

Australian Wine Review Roundup

Penfolds St Henri2007 Penfolds St Henri Shiraz South Australia

Every now and then you open an exceptional bottle of wine and this one was certainly in that category. This wine was decanted 1 hour prior to drinking and settled nicely.

The dark red/purple colour was matched with an aromatic nose on opening the bottle. For a full bodied red, this was surprisingly smooth and with just a hint of pepper, oak and light tannins it was very popular with all our diners.

Its very pleasant lingering finish made you seek for more. In the more expensive price range, it is good value for money and well worth the extra. It should also continue to cellar well for more years.

Vinden Estate Shiraz2005 Vinden Estate Basket Press Shiraz, Hunter Valley

I first visited Vinden Estate back in 1998 when they were just getting established and producing some of their earliest wines.

There was promise in those early whites and reds which I am pleased to say has come through in this 2005 shiraz. A relatively soft red with a touch of light oak and good berry flavours.  I would be drinking this vintage now as I doubt it will cellar much longer.

Bantry Grove2006 Bantry Grove Merlot, Orange NSW

A good mild red wine from the Orange region, this merlot was quite smooth and well rounded with plum flavours and a pleasant finish.

It lacks the full body of the SA reds but maybe because of that reason it was well liked by our ladies at dinner with both red and white meats.  It should be opened now as it is probably nearly passed its cellaring time.

Sandalford2004 Sandalford Cabernet Sauvignon, Margaret River WA

We wisely decanted this wine before our dinner, as there was a reasonable amount of sediment left in the bottle. It had a good deep red colour, with fruity berry flavours and a touch of oak.

Light tannins were carried through in the quite strong finish to what was a quite pleasant wine that both males and females enjoyed.  A reasonably full bodied wine which may be reaching its peak. It may be wise to check it if you have any cellared.

Wine Tasting – French, Argentinean, South Australian and a Victorian

Wine Tasting

Last Thursday Aussie Wine Guy and several co-workers got together and opened a number of bottles after hours.

We kicked off the evening uncorking a bottle of 2007 Châteauneuf-du-pape from the popular south eastern region of France.

This particular bottle (Les Otéliées – cork) is from producer Les Vins de Vienne, you can find out more about them at their website (English version | French version).

Details specific to Les Otéliées can be found here in PDF format.  Of note – the name of this wine originates as follows:Châteauneuf-du-pape

“In the local dialect, Oteliees means summer heat,
hence the name of this wine that has to put up with
the Mediterranean climate reigning over this Cotes du
Rhone area.

This particular bottle is 80% Grenache, 15% Syrah (Shiraz) and 5% mourvèdre.  The wine (pictured above, left) was decanted and left to breathe for 15-20 minutes.


Once poured, the wine produced a very aromatic bouquet featuring, amongst other things, oak and liquorish with a hint of spice.

The body was medium with an interesting and memorable aftertaste which lingered for quite some time on the back of the mouth.

Argentina Malbec

Our next bottle was a surprise hit from Argentina, from vineyard Zuccardi comes the 2007 Zeta (cork).  Comprising a dominating 68% Malbec followed by 18% Cabernet and 14% spicy Tempranillo.  From the web:

This is our icon wine, produced with selected grapes from our best vineyards. Zuccardi Zeta stands for conviction, imagination, eagerness to improve; it is the sum of regional character, innovation and Zuccardi’s identity.

..and a superb job they fine folks have been doing at Zuccardi.  This wine was clearly a big hit amongst those assembled on the night.  Here is the main site and the tasting notes for the 2007 vintage.  The cork broke about 3/4 of the way down, and without a proper waiter’s friend, we were forced to push the remainder into the neck and then quickly decant into the waiting decanter.

A memorable, big bodied wine (muddied initially with Châteauneuf due to the fact I hadn’t been able to rinse my glass in time).  An unassuming bouquet gave way to a concentrated mouth of tobacco, cloves and a hint of spice.  The wine was an instant hit with, strangely, many of the Shiraz drinkers – possibly due to the surprising depth and complexity of the body.

Penfolds Bin 8

From here we moved onto a bottle of 2010 Penfolds Bin 8 Cabernet Shiraz (screwcap).  This one was initially a bit hard to track down on the official Penfolds website owing to the fact that Bin 8 does not belong to the traditional Bin numbers.

From the web:  “(Bin 8) was introduced in response to an interest in Cabernet Shiraz
blends – a classic Australian wine style that caught the attention
of the international wine media.

Although Penfolds Bin numbers were originally named after the
original binning location after bottling, Bin 8 was given its
number because it uses older oak previously used for Bin 128, Bin
28 and Bin 389 – with ‘8’ obviously providing the common thread.”

By this stage of the evening, people were starting to line up for our last bottle, but there were still plenty of takers for the South Australian product.

Yering Station Yering Station Tawny Port

Our last wine of the evening was a step into fortified territory with the unscrewing of a 5-year-old tawny Port (screwcap) which was purchased from the cellar door in Victoria’s Yarra Valley, from Victorian producer Yering Station.

This particular Port was not made from the more common Shiraz or Durif grape, but from surprisingly from Cabernet!  The quixotic hues really finished off the evening in style as the syrupy full body sat in the glass (but not for long!).

All-in-all, a fun evening with some very surprising finds.