Institute of Masters of Wine Bordeaux 2014 in bottle Sydney tasting

Last weekend, the annual Institute of Masters of Wine Bordeaux tasting in bottle of the 2014 vintage took place in Sydney. I expected this to be a much more popular event than the previous year’s tasting of the 2013s (you can read my reviews of that tasting here) which was a poor vintage. But in […]

Réserve de la Comtesse Pauillac 2001

Now returning to across the seas.  I’ve always felt that the 2001 left bank Bordeaux vintage was underrated, and this wine from Réserve de la Comtesse (the second wine of Comtesse de Lalande) I am happy to lead as evidence in point.  In its prime drinking window, it is a master class in outstanding Pauillac, […]

IMW Annual Bordeaux tasting – 2013 vintage

Held in Sydney by the Institute of Masters of Wine on the weekend, this was a first close local look at the 2013 vintage of Bordeaux. The 2013 vintage in Bordeaux was, of course, rather dire. It saw a dismal spring, an early summer and catastrophic flowering. The vintage culminated with tropical weather at the […]

Chateau Batailley Pauillac 2011

The 2011 vintage in Bordeaux is considerably more modest than its predecessors in 2009 and 2010. This does mean however that it is (moderately) affordable as a consequence. Initially one dimensional, this Batailley benefited quite substantially from aeration. With time in the glass, it provides sound drinking with typical left bank Bordeaux impressions of blackcurrant […]

Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste Pauillac 2003

2003 is a somewhat maligned Bordeaux vintage in the English wine press for its hot drought conditions and its purported impact on wine style and longevity.  However, there are in my own experience still some very good Bordeaux wines to be found in this vintage, often at very fair prices.  This is an example.  Despite […]

A few good cabernets; Wantirna Estate 2012, Lake’s Folly Cabernets 2014 and Les Tourelles de Longueville 1996

Each of these cabernets are in a style that I enjoy drinking and it was a joy to taste them together.  Wantirna Estate’s “Amelia” cabernet sauvignon merlot is a very good release from this tiny but highly regarded estate in the Yarra Valley.  The 2012 is classic in expression, with medium bodied notes of blackcurrants and […]

Château Haut-Bages-Libéral Pauillac 2005

I think of Château Haut-Bages Libéral as an affordable and reliable entry level grand cru classé from Pauillac that is a good buy in the strong Bordeaux vintages, and worth a shot in the weaker ones.  2005 is of course an outstanding Bordeaux vintage, but sometimes you just want to open something interesting, even at […]

Christmas wines: Château Pontet-Canet 2008 and Château Pontet-Canet 2006

Château Pontet-Canet is a fifth growth from Pauillac on the left bank of Bordeaux, whose vines adjoin those of first growth, Mouton Rothschild.  The estate has undergone a transformation since the 1990s and is now regarded as a second growth in all but name.  In 1999, Michel Rolland was hired, and since 2010 the estate […]

Chateau Pontet-Canet 1997

A first encounter with Chateau Pontet-Canet proved deliciously exceptional.  Blackcurrants, cigar box, very long length and depth, this outstanding ’97 most assuredly cries “Pauillac” and is in its drinking prime.  Outstanding Abv: 13%, Price: mid $100s, Vendors and website:, Tasted: 2015

Chateau Pichon-Longueville au Baron de Pichon-Longueville 2005

The Baron is one of my favourite wines and 2005 is among the great Bordeaux vintages.  What could possibly go wrong?  Nothing at all it turns out.  Its aromatics are deep and engaging, reminding principally of blackcurrants.  It momentarily startles such is its impression.  The palate has long, long length and its flavours are classic […]