The good people behind Wynn's recently took a few of us through all 60 vintages of this iconic wine, back to the first from 1954. There were many superlative wines. If it proved one thing, these wines can live for decades. The latest release, the 2015, is a most worthy addition to the range. Not quite as expressive as the 2014 at this very young stage, but it will only get better and better. Seamless and tight.
Score: 95/100 Best drinking: the track record of this wine suggests that several decades are the least it will manage. Alc: 13.8%
Delicious sweetie. Lovely honey notes, glacéd lemon, spices. There is an underlying bright acid vibrancy running the length. Nicely balanced and with some exuberant sweetness. Seamless and a long gentle fade. An 85/15 blend – which raises the interesting question, as they could have simply named it a Botrytis Riesling, why the name it for the blend? A marketing decision? No matter. Lovely wine.
Score: 92/100 Best drinking: a decade. Alc: 11%
Top notch Coonawarra Cab. Cassis, black cherry notes. Ripe and dense and yet finely balanced. Delicious. Very fine tannins. A medium bodied style which lingers beautifully. Supple texture. A famous vineyard in Coonawarra, first planted with Cabernet in 1954 (and Shiraz much earlier). Exciting stuff.
Score: 95/100 Best drinking: twenty years. Alc: 13%
A youthful but delightful pinot from the Yarra Valley. Fresh flavours with a sweet core of fruit, raspberry notes, hints of cloves and even a touch of chocolate. Supple. This is simple but simply delicious. Mid length. Chief winemaker, Dave Bicknell, is one of our finest and that comes through, even in his more commercial wines.
Score: 90/100 Best drinking: Now for three years. Alc: 14.4%
An intriguing mix of Italian varieties, lagrein and dolcetto. These two are not permitted to be combined in the same wine in Italy, due to the draconian and often odd European wine laws, but work well together here and, in a nice segue, one dollar from each bottle sold will be donated to the cause of marriage equality. This Langhorne Creek wine has chocolate, cloves, tobacco leaf and dark fruit notes. Soft and supple. Very fine tannins. A thoroughly enjoyable mid-length style.
Score: 90/100 Best drinking: now for two years. Alc: 14.5%
From the Great Western region in Victoria, lots to like here. As soon as it was opened, the room filled with lovely plummy red fruits. Soft, appealing and generous with flavours that do linger. Soft tannins. Not overly complex but balanced and delicious. A real winner.
Score: 92/100 Best drinking: now for 6 years. Alc: 14%
The colour is a pleasing orangey pink. Lots of aromatics to be enjoyed here – strawberries and florals. This is a sparkler brimming with summer freshness. Clean, lots of fruit, excellent length and a nice touch of tartness on the finish to tie it all together. Also, boasts an attractive creamy texture.
Score: 91/100 Best drinking: Now Alc: 14%
Price alone would suggest one should prefer this to the Rose but the sheer drinkability of the pink bubbles gets it the nod. Not that this is anything other than a fine fizz as well. It is undeniably more subtle. There are spices, lemon and grapefruit notes. A crisp, clean style with mid-length. Very pleasant drinking.
Score: 90/100 Best drinking: now for two years. Alc: 12%
A seamless, supple, enchanting wine of great length. There is a slight dustiness at the moment, but the components are all still melding together. The flavours range far and wide, but look especially for plums, black fruits, cloves and black cherries. Very, very fine tannins, leaving the impression of endless plushness. Surely one of the great Mt Edelstones. Just glorious.
Score: 97/100 Best drinking: well cellared, it has three decades and more ahead of it. Alc: 14.5%
Australia has yet seen from the 2014 vintage anywhere. Warm earth, florals, roses, cigar box notes, hints of chocolate and black olives. Richness, complexity, fine balance and great length. Has a great future. Brilliant. Should even exceed the great ’86 Graveyard.
Score: 99/100 Best drinking: 8 to 40 years. Alc: 13.5%
Brokenwood’s intriguing exploration of McLaren Vale fruit was much lamented – this is the first release of this wine since the 2007 vintage. A pleasing mix of black and red fruit notes, touches of aniseed, cloves and dry herbs. Finishes with considerable tannins but nicely balanced with the richness of the fruit. Lovely depth. It is the fruit flavours that are key. Toss in a little chocolatey characters. Drink or cellar? Depends on preferences. Hard to go past the lovely expressive flavours as they are now, but with time, more complexity will add to the pleasure.
Score: 92/100 Best drinking: : five to fifteen years. Alc: 13.5%
Stock up on all the 2014 Hunters you can find. Drink them now, by all means, but please put as much as you can in the cellar. This is – as they say, a bit of all the top vineyards – a joy, but well-structured and has years ahead of it. Choc and tar, warm earth, orange rind, dark berries.An array of ever-emerging flavours. Plenty of grip on the finish. This has power and persistence. Don’t miss it.
Score: 92/100 Best drinking: 4 to 25 years. Alc: 13.5%