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Aug 2021: 2005 Moss Wood Cabernet Sauv, 2008 Reynella Basket-Pressed Shiraz, Ornellaia 2003, Rockford Basket Press 2001

September 12, 2021

2008 Reynella Basket Presssed Shiraz. Decanted for 90 minutes prior, 01 Aug 2021. Very dark crimson. Layered with abundant depth of black fruits, dark plums, currants and licorice that held the palate in a controlled velvety grip, displaying distinct secondary characters of cedar and cinnamon with vibrant acidity. Very well-balanced, structured with very fine tannins that, compared with a previous tasting in 2014, are no longer angular, just tinged with a rustic hint of McLaren Vale. Excellent.

2018 DeMorgenzon Reserve Chardonnay, 03 Aug 2021. In spite of extended aeration for two hours in bottle, this wine was still tightly coiled, displaying an intense presence of clear citrus and bitter lemon underscored by sharp acidity with nary a glimpse of crème nor perfumed floral characters promised on the nose when the bottle was first popped. Deserves more time in bottle. If you have the chance to visit this beautiful estate, you’ll be greeted by serious classical music being played to the vines over outdoor loudspeakers.

2005 Moss Wood Cabernet Sauvignon. Tasted after a brief aeration in bottle, 06 Aug 2021. Deep garnet with some crimson, this wine has now turned the corner, proffering a predominance of red fruits, dark cherries and currants on the nose while ripe red plums dominate on the palate amid darkish undertones with supple fleshy detail and rounded intensity, very well-balanced and lively. Probably at its best but will hold for many years.

2018 Coldstream Hills Chardonnay, drunk over 8-9 Aug 2021. Concentrated presence of lime and clear citrus laced with darker tones of ferrous elements, supported by terse acidity that cut through the palate with crisp intensity, not yielding much detail. Another bottle tasted over 16-17 Aug 2021 showed very good concentration of clear citrus, white fruits and chalky minerals that produced a high-toned density, laced with a trace of steeliness and lively acidity that traversed the palate with fine linearity and decent length. I must have quaffed close to a case of this.

2003 Tenuta dell’Ornellaia “Ornellaia”, aired in bottle for two hours prior to dinner at Otto Ristorante, 10 Aug 2021. Bright cherries, red fruits and raspberries dominate with characters of cedar and mocha amid savoury tones, layering the palate with supple tension and agile intensity, revealing succulent velvety detail on a base of ferrous elements that imparted some austerity at its long minty finish. Excellent though still not quite at its absolute peak.

2016 Domaine Denis Mortet Gevrey-Chambertin Mes Cinq Terroirs, aired in bottle for 90 minutes prior to dinner at Ka Soh, 15 Aug 2021. Opaque purple. Clearly well-extracted, proffering ample presence of dark cherries, raspberries and wild berries that display excellent levels of ripeness, somewhat heavy without being sappy. Lightened up with a little suppleness over time but it remained generally darkish and narrow in dimension at this stage. Needs plenty of cellaring.

2001 Rockford Basket Press Shiraz. Decanted on-site at Jade Palace, 20 Aug 2021. Bold glossy characters of licorice, raisins and cedar, layered with the unique Barossa warmth and spice with a hint of burnt. Settled down with cooler darker tones with sleek supple intensity, displaying a lifted glow of orange peel that is the signature of mature shiraz. Very well-integrated and balanced, never at all monolithic in spite of its generous proportions. Excellent.

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