Tasting Notes - old vines and Margaret River treats

By Jancis Robinson
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Lane Vineyard, The, Hahndorf, Adelaide Hills, South Australia

Lane Vineyard, The, Hahndorf, Adelaide Hills, South Australia

In the fifth part of our series covering Jancis Robinson's tasting notes on The New Australian 250, she enjoys some centenarian vines from Langmeil in the Barossa Valley, and treats herself to a range from Moss Wood in Margaret River.

The majority of these notes were taken at the Australia Day tasting at the Emirates Arsenal stadium in London in 2008, but they are supplemented by notes on the more distinctive Australian wines.

The Lane Pinot Grigio 2006 Adelaide Hills 16.5 Drink 2007-08
From the outfit that once produced Starvedog Lane. Slightly pink tinge. Big and bold on the palate – lots of honey and spice – but with excellent acidity. Food wine – smoky bacon? Quite a bruiser but with lots of flavour. And not fat. Well done John and Marty Edwards!

Lalla Gully Pinot Gris 2007 Tasmania 16 Drink 2009
Scented and very fresh indeed – almost more like a Friuli wine than any other sort of Pinot Grigio. Very slightly phenolic on the finish. 13%

Lalla Gully Riesling 2006 Tasmania 15 Drink up
Ageing fast on the nose and extremely tart. 12.5%

Langmeil, Valley Floor Shiraz 2006 Barossa Valley 16 Drink 2008-11
Fruit destemmed but not crushed. Open-top fermenters and 12 months in US oak, 70% new. Very sweet ripe fruit and a touch minty. Rich, full-bodied, soft and vanilla edged. 14.5%

Langmeil, Orphan Bank Shiraz 2006 Barossa Valley 16.5 Drink 20
Centenarian vines. 24 months in used French and US oak. Much more spicy and peppery than the Valley Floor. Very very rich, juicy sweet black fruit. Rounded power. 15.5%

Laughing Jack Shiraz 2004 Barossa Valley 16.5 Drink 2008-10
Made by Shaun Kalleske (cousin of Tony and Troy). Dark, spicy and ripe. Rich, velvety texture. Rounded but still quite polite. A bit too rich for my taste. 15%

Lillypilly Tramillon 2005 Riverina 15 Drink 2007-09
Mainly Gewurz with 25% Semillon. Just a bit sugary but good fresh acidity too considering its age. Floral. No great weight but more interesting than most wines for the medium dry market. Slightly astringent on the finish but fine. 12.5

Longhop Shiraz 2006 Adelaide Plains 17 Drink 2008-12
From the vineyards of Gagliaardi, Notto and Trombetta (don’cha love em?) 12-50 year old vines Dry and definitely dry-farmed to judge from the concentration but oodles of personality. 14.5%

Longhop Old Vine Grenache 2006 Adelaide Plains 17.5 Drink 2008-11
From 50+ yr old vines. Very gentle, this would stand comparion with Châteauneuf-du-Pape well. Very good real subtlety and wonderful texture. 14.5%

Longhop Old Vine Reserve 2006 Adelaide Plains 17 Drink 2008-13
Cab Sauv:Shiraz 65:35. Thick and sweet and rich. Pretty nice! Big and bold with but lots of character from vines panted in the 1950s which escaped the vine pull scheme. MASSES of alcohol though. Slightly like dry port, but that didn’t seem to hinder Grange… a good effort 14.5%

Old Plains, Power of One 2005 Adelaide Plains 16 Drink 2008-10
Very full and salty and big, but pretty tough on the palate. Thisis probably long since sold out. 14.5%

Loose End Wines FSR 2007 Barossa Valley 15 Drink 2008
Innovative blend of (Muscat) Frontignan, Semillon and Riesling that just seems a bit obviously acidified on the palate. Muscat dominates the perfume. Nice idea. 12%

Loose End Wines Shiraz/Viognier 2005 Barossa Valley 15 Drink 2009
Rather harsh and lean.

Maverick, Trial Hill Riesling 2006 Eden Valley 16 Drink 2007-09
Herbal almost fennel notes and big zest and fizz on the palate. Bone dry - definite lime sherbet character. Lots of texture even slightly astringent. 12.5%

Maverick, Trial Hill Chardonnay 2006 Eden Valley 16.5 Drink 2007-10
Good cool fruit with gentle handling. Quite rich on the mid palate but good acidity. Slightly too obviously charred oak. Not cheap. 14.5% £16.95 Lea & Sandeman

Maverick, Trial Hill Shiraz 2005 Eden Valley 17 Drink 2007-10
Very dark crimson. Rich nose with reasonably well integrated acidity. Tarry, rich, sweet big mouthful of tarmacadam but well balanced for its alcohol level. 15.5% £26.95 Lea & Sandeman

Maverick, Twins GSM 2006 Barossa Valley 16 Drink 2008-10
Sweet and gamey and rather pinched tannins.15.5% £12.50 Lea & Sandeman

Merricks Creek Pinot Noir 2005 Mornington Peninsula 16.5 Drink 2008-10
Attractively sweet red fruit. Dry, intense and spiced. Smooth, rich and finely wrought. Just a very slight bitterness on the finish. 14% 

Moss Wood, Ribbon Vale Vineyard Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc 2007 Margaret River 16.5 Drink 2007-09
Fine-boned, sulfidey nose and a slightly sudden finish but very dry and appetising. 13.5%

Moss Wood Semillon 2006 Margaret River 17.5 Drink 2008-12
Ripe, figgy nose but admirable acidity and life. Racy but masses of fruit without being at all fat. A really lovely wine. A previous vintage was a wine of the week. 14%

Moss Wood Chardonnay 2005 Margaret River 16 Drink 2008-12
Compared to the Semillon, this seemed to me to lack a bit of lift. Competent and dry, even slightly burgundian, but no zip. Slightly hot finish.

Moss Wood Pinot Noir 2004 Margaret River 15 Drink 2008-10
Loose, rather stewed fruit and no structure. I can’t really see the point of this. The Cabernet is SO good. Where in the world manages to make great wine from both Cab and Pinot? 13% 

Moss Wood, Amy’s Blend 2006 Margaret River 16 Drink 2009-13
Cask sample. Scented, round and extremely fruity. Relatively light – sort of cru bourgeois quality. 13.5% 

Moss Wood Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 Margaret River 18.5 Drink 2010-20
Very deep crimson and a very complex nose (there was no 2003). Deep-flavoured and rich but with excellent freshness too. Great balance. Covers the palate all of its length and breadth. Surely one of Australia’s classics. Savoury finish – not at all sweet and specious. 14.5% 


Reproduced with permission.  © Copyright 2000-2010 Jancis Robinson


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