Word is clearly getting out, people. This week’s field was the biggest yet, with such a big selection of classic wines that I’ve decided to list all those that made the cut, not just the final three:

  • 2018 Penfold’s ‘Yattarna’ Chardonnay, South eastern Australia
  • 2018 Sangréal by Farr Pinot Noir, Geelong, Victoria
  • 2016 Henschke ‘Hill of Roses’ Shiraz, Eden Valley, SA
  • 2015 Two Hands ‘Ares’ Shiraz, Barossa Valley, SA 2011
  • 2011 Ch.Pavie, St. Émilion Grand Cru, Bordeaux, France(Merlot-Cabernet)
  • 2010 Lake’s Folly ‘Cabernets’, Hunter Valley, NSW·
  • 2005 Mount Mary ‘Quintet’ Cabernet blend, Yarra Valley, Victoria
  • 2004 Mount Mary ‘Quintet’ Cabernet blend, Yarra Valley, Victoria
  • 1996 Cos d’Estournel Cabernet blend, St.Estephe, Médoc, Bordeaux, France

As you might imagine, selecting a final three from such a line up was difficult–but I gave it my best shot. Some wines were just too young: they will be great, several years from now (the Two Hands and the Sangréal). Another wine was past its best, although like a once great beauty you could still see her fine bones underneath the parched skin (the Cos d’Estournel). In the end, it was three Australian Cabernet blends that made it. Tony Hugheson T130 brought in the 2010 Lake’s Folly, and I could tell as it went into the decanter that it was entering the prime of its life. Lovely high-toned fruit, with violets and wafts of very fine oak on the nose. Very long palate, with classic cigar box and cassis flavours. Fabulous! Then the two vintages of Quintet, from separate tables. Bambi Markus on T20 brought in a bottle of 2004, which took a while to open up being quite closed and savoury on initial decanting. Marie Nesbitt and friends on T60 meanwhile went straight into their bottle of 2005, although they kinda cheated by double decanting at home beforehand. Expressive, richly aromatic, warm and inviting on the nose. A slam dunk winner to the 2004? Not so fast! After slipping into something more comfortable (the decanter), the 2004 tortoise outstripped the 2005 hare. It just needed a bit of time to show the incredible complexity, the layered fruit and oak, and the length for which Mount Mary is renowned. Congratulations Mr Markus on T20, it was the 2004 by a nose...See you all next week!

Cheers, LC