De Bortoli Noble One Botrytis Semillon 2006 v Dan Murphy’s Private Bin Botrytis Semillon 2008

It was rather interesting tasting one of Australia’s most famous dessert wines against a “clean skin” of the same variety.  Although I do not usually support “clean skin” wines since you do not know what you are getting, and I like to support individual producers who are doing interesting things, this particular clean skin was certainly not embarrassed by its esteemed company.

De Bortoli Noble One Botrytis Semillon (Australia)

A rather rich nose, with an intense, and well structured, fragrance of apricots.  A palate with length, apricots, sweet nectarines and sugary caramel.  Very good.  90 points.

Dan Murphy’s Private Bin Botrytis Semillon (Australia)

An aroma of light nectarines and apricot kernels.  A similar palate.  Behind, but not far behind, the “Noble One” at one third of the price.  86 points.

Kingston Estate Petit Verdot 1999

This was another quite pleasing petit verdot.  This late ripening variety seems to perform rather well in the warmer regions of Australia, whereas in its home in France, it is but a mere part of the Bordeaux blend.  Deeply coloured, this wine had an aroma of black fruits, herbs, dusty coffee and, in particular, anise.  The palate showed some tannins and length, with notes of black currants and licorice.  Really quite good.  88 points.

Jacob’s Creek Steingarten Riesling 2007

Jacob’s Creek is a label that generally speaks of value end, rather than fine wine.  That generalisation would be a mistake though in this case.  Their Steingarten riesling is consistently very good.  It has aromatics of stones and steel.  A palate with steel, stones, a bit of petillance and medium length.  This is a classically styled dry riesling that is ready to drink now and over the next decade.  Good

Abv: 12.5%
Price: around $25
Vendors: Check
Tasted: 2013
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Brown Brothers Brut Sparkling Pinot Noir Chardonnay Pinot Meunier NV

Made from pinot noir, chardonnay and pinot meunier, this somewhat modest Australian sparkling wine performed rather well.  A primary aroma of citrus, with some toast notes.  A similar palate, with pleasant mousse.  The 3 medals on the bottle don’t appear to be far off the mark.  A surprise.  85 points.