OZ: 97 Tyrell's Vat 1, 04 Polish Hill, '89 Penfold's 707, 89 Wendouree

Not your grateful palate lineup.

I figured it might be fun to drink a few of these wines and serve them blind to close friends. The wines were served only saying there was some commonality to the wines.

Posted from CellarTracker

[*]1997 Tyrrell’s Sémillon Vat 1 - Australia, New South Wales, Hunter Valley (7/5/2015)
The back up for the 97 Belford Reserve which was corked.
Decanted and drunkover three hours, and some left for the next day.
Beautiful pure clean nose of lemon, lanolin, and with an almost bottom
less sense of stoniness. It doesn’t really get any honey yet for me, but what impresses me here is the focus and weightless power. There is a great juxtaposition of acidity which is plenty to the density of flavor and texture without heaviness. Bright, clean, pure, deep and mouthwatering. Drinking beautifully now. I still am confused why I don’t cellar some of this wine every year. Idiosyncratic and maybe I just have a soft spot of this wine, but for me, Hunter Semiilon when done well is world class wine. Terribly interesting, thought provoking, and enjoyable. 93 (93 pts.)

the glass the next day had lost little steam. Lovely and a bit softer edges.

[*]2004 Grosset Riesling Polish Hill Clare Valley - Australia, South Australia, Mount Lofty Ranges, Clare Valley (7/5/2015)

On the nose, petrol, lime zest, oyster shells, and a savory herbal lift to it. this is beautifully bright, fresh, clean, and poised. A focused wine with and a great mix of mostly stone and acid, with some fruit, that has breadth and length that plays much bigger than its frame. Lithe yet powerful, complex, mouthwatering, fresh and lovely. Hasn’t changed much since '12. 92 pts (92 pts.)

[*]1989 Penfolds Cabernet Sauvignon Bin 707 - Australia, South Australia (7/5/2015)
Upright in the on deck circle for a while, opened and recorded in Am to check soundness in AM. Double decanted for sediment then decanted and drunk over 3 hours that evening.

On the nose, stony fruit, plums, and some bitter chocolate, along with a dill- herbal background, and a touch of menthol. This is a large scaled, mature wine with outstanding balance, and an excellent mix of savory and fruit, with a leafy herbal back end that adds to the picture. At peak now and I doubt it will improve, but equally doubt it will fall off a cliff any time soon. This wine is in the slot now. Lovely 91 (91 pts.)[/list]
Posted from CellarTracker

  • 1989 Wendouree Shiraz Malbec - Australia, South Australia, Mount Lofty Ranges, Clare Valley (7/5/2015)
    Upright for a few days, opened and recorked to check soundness in AM. double decanted and drunk over 3 hours that evening.

Dark cherry and plum, bitter chocolate, and mint. Less of the telltale Wendouree Chococherry I would usually expect, but maybe its the Malbec? Large framed but focused and with great detail to the flavors. There is some bloody meat, and pepper here as well that sneaks up rather than announcing itself. There is something special about this wine, and I guess its that this wine just seems to exist, it is not trying too hard, it just does its thing and its a good thing. Terribly well balanced wine that has a large frame but remains deft and draws you in with its grace rather than its heft. At peak and in no danger of decline. 94pts (94 pts.)

Overall a solid lineup and very fun to drink and spend time with the bottles. RM not surprisingly figured out the theme, with guesses of Margaret River Chard, then a Clare Riesling, then an old school/ classic Cab, then SA Shiraz. I was a bit disappointed he missed the Semillon and did not get the Malbec in the Wendouree.

These were outstanding wines of character, grace and quality. A pleasure.

Thanks for reading

I need to try a Polish Hill one day.

Love Penfolds

Grosset has gotten hard to find around here, but I’ve loved their Polish Hill Riesling.

Hi Todd,

Very nice line up. The Tyrrells Hunter Semillons, the Grossett Clare Valley Rieslings and the Wendouree Clare Valley reds all in their own way represent the best of Australian wine. Clear sense of place, unforced wine making, balanced and very age worthy.

Cheers Brodie

Agreed, great wine. Not sure they currently have an American importer. The 08 was the last vintage I saw on these shores.

Great stuff Todd.
1989 was a notoriously tough vintage, with scorching summer and early break. However some good wines made. 89 Grange is delicious, albeit a little atypical.

Thanks for reading everyone.

Brodie, wheels up soon? Saw your note on the Donnhoff and wish you safe travels . Hope to see you back in NZ sometime soon.

Kent, thanks for the insight on '89 in SA. I had heard it was challenging but did not know the reason. This wine rose above the challenge for sure. I would love to try the Grange one day.

Thanks again everyone.

I’m a big fan of the VAT 1 bottling, and have tasted numerous vintages. And I agree, it’s just such a lovely wine with some bottle age to them. Thanks for the update on the Polish Hill. I still have a stash of the 2001’s.

I had a fabulous bottleof 1996 Vat 1 last night. Amongst some high end Champagnes and white wines, it was a unanimous WOTN