unanimous guess for grape was Syrah - always something! :-) Thanks Håkan for a great line up and yummy food!
All wines tasted double blind.
1996 Crozes-Hermitage La Guiraude, Alain Graillot
A mature, linear, foursquare nose with notes of rowanberries, unripe lingonberries, white pepper and green bell peppers. This isn´t much fun. Dried thyme and road dust. Unripe. The green streak goes right through the wine.
The taste is dry and mature with notes of unripe lingon- and blueberries, matchbox, rubber and dried herbs. Very, very dry at the end. Medium long. Like licking a rubber tire... Somewhat better with the food, but no thanks.
66p (tasted 2013/04)
1998 Hermitage La Chapelle, Jaboulet
Even though all wines had 1,5 hours in a decanter before the first pour this kept evolving all evening. At first I thought it was rather dull with some dusty red fruit and a medium long dry taste. But the nose opens up nicely with notes of warm blue- and blackberries, burnt toast, chocolate covered cherries, meat stock and a touch of mint. Very fine. Even elegant.
The taste is mature, tight and medium bodied with notes of ripe blueberries, peppered meat, hot earth and balsa wood. The finish is long and fine. The last sip was the best. Almost fully mature this will keep on going for at least 6-8 years.
91p (tasted 2013/04)
1998 Henschke Mount Edelstone
A deep, warm and a bit all over the place kind of nose, with notes of raspberries, licorice, lilys of the Valley and some eucalyptus. Lots of muscles but not that much finesse. Some volatile notes. Good but not great.
The taste is big, warm and upfront with notes of sweet blackberries, bacon, meat stock and cherry liqueur. The finish is long and warm. Good sweet fruit, but a bit over the top.
I was disappointed when the bottle was revealed - I had guessed a Aussie Shiraz - but Mount Edelstone have always, in my book, behaved with much more grace and charm than this bottle did.
86p (tasted 2013/04)
1998 Fox Creek Reserve Shiraz
Aaaa, what a beauty - this combines, as the Mount Edelstone doesn´t, power and hedonism with grace and finesse. The nose oozes up from the glass with gorgeous notes of black cherries, christmas spices, sweet rosemary, sugared coffee and a deeply perfumed note. Smells like entering a Zegna store! Very, very deep and profound.
The taste is big, steady but light on its feet with notes of sweet black- and blueberries that are dusted with vanilla sugar, some tar, bacon fat, tobacco and a hint of eucalyptus. The finish is counted in minutes. Very intense, balanced and complex. Tasted two months ago this bottle behaved almost identical. Great stuff!
96p (tasted 2013/04)
2005 Pax Walker Vine Hill Vineyard Syrah
A very young, dense, sweet nose with notes of sugared blueberries, matchbox, blackberry yoghurt, raw oil and wet earth. Big and bold but a tad overblown in its sweetness. Maybe it will cool down with some years in the cellar?
The taste is big, intense, almost fiery with notes of overripe blueberries, licorice, chocolate covered cherries, sweet flowers and some meaty notes at the end. Very, very long and warm. A lot of power but I feel that the stuffing isn´t really up to par. Wait and see.
86p (tasted 2013/04)
2006 Saxum James Berry Vineyard
This beauty consists of 45% Syrah, 38% Grenache and 17% Mourvédre. The nose jumps out of the glass with gorgeous notes of raspberries, sweet tobacco, new leather, some peppery notes and a beautiful perfumed scent. Very deep, very intense and oooh so yummy.
The taste just invades your mouth with ripe, juicy, sweet fruit: big, bold tannins and a finish that goes on for two minutes. The label says 16,6% alcohol and even though it is warm, you couldn´t guess that it was akin to a port... Notes of blackberries, raspberries, resin, meat, pressed flowers, sugared coffee and expensive leather. It just goes on and on and on. Impressive in an almost scary way! What will this become with age - will it fall apart or achieve perfection?
95p (tasted 2013/04)