Great Australians in Budapest
A small tasting group of 12 serious Hungarian wine lovers gathered with excitement in Budapest to taste some really good Australian wines. Once again, a superb line up delivered above expectations. Here are my short notes:Andras Babucs from Hungary is a dedicated Wallabies and Wendouree supporter2007 SCOTCHMANS HILL 'Cornelius' Sauvignon, Bellarine Peninsula-Victoria
A hard to find, superbly crafted Sauvignon. Tremendously fragrant and inviting, creamy and full in the mouth, utterly delicious and varietal. Superb acid structure and balance. At it’s peak now. 94 points2009 OAKRIDGE 864 Chardonnay, Yarra Valley –Victoria
Wow! What a well crafted Chardonnay. Created with a nod to Burgundy, it is extremely complex and exciting. Powerful, yet elegant, it’s balance is exemplary. Vibrant and full, it was a joy to drink and if you have any reservations about the grape, you should start right here, to regain your faith. Superb now or cellar 5 years. 96+ points2005 BY FARR Sangreal, Geelong -Victoria
Total victory for this third Victorian. Garry Farr created a marvellous Pinot Noir with this one. Fragrant and varietal, this is a perfectly balanced wine with glorious fruit. Juicy and rich with ripe sour and black cherry notes, supported by first class oak, it was an eye opener for many, just how good an Aussie Pinot can be. Quite simply a fabulous Burgundy contender. At it’s peak now. 96 points2009 CLONAKILLA Shiraz Viognier, Canberra-ACT
Yes, I have tasted this before and certainly my judgement was on par with Halliday’s score of 97 points. Another bottle delivered well below expectations and unfortunately, our screw capped bottle has done the same in Budapest.
Reserved nose, missing all the seductive fragrances experienced before. Tonight, looking medium bodied, with a Pinot like structure, it seemed backward and one dimensional. However, it did come back with long length and an excellent acid structure on the finish. Will be very long lived. This time around, 93 points.2002 PENFOLDS Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz, South Australia
I have always liked this vintage. Rich, perfectly ripe and very powerful with noticeably oak at present, this Bin 389 is extremely satisfying, and full bodied. Amazingly well balanced solid red that will age for another 15-20 years. Good drinking! 94 points2004 WENDOUREE Cabernet Malbec, Clare Valley, South Australia
Instant show stopper, it simply took many people’s breath away. It is the greatest Bordeaux blend I have tasted from this producer and I reckon it is one of the all time greats from Wendouree. At six years of age it looks as if it hasn’t aged at all. With a tremendous grip, unexplainable power and with beautifully sweet generous fruit, it is the testament to the greatness of this legendary site. Tight, concentrated and focused with the most amazing length, I was afraid the the Grange will have a hard time to catch up.
Unbelievable and unforgettable. 98 points2004 PENFOLDS Grange Bin 95, South Australia
Superbly fragrant, with decadent black fruits, this Shiraz Cabernet looks very much like a great Barossa. Concentrated and very rich, it is totally packed with quality fruit. Made with class and care, it is impossible not to like. Excellent oak handling, very good balance, now to 30 years. I score it 96 points.
On a side note, I now personally prefer the recently released 2006 vintage for it’s less sweet fruit and astonishing power, in my view it is possessing great longevity, my score for that is 96+ points.2002 LILLYPILLY Noble Blend Family Reserve, Riverina-NSW
The closing act for this evening, was a highly drinkable dessert wine. At 9 years of age, still vibrant and beautifully smooth. The best example of a very good OZ sticky that I’ve came across recently. Just the right amount of sweetness, mouthwatering acid structure and all class. A lovely finish to a great night. 94 points.
There were of course, some Hungarian wines to compare. The nicest being the 2006 Gróf Buttler Bikavér (Bull’s Blood) from the highly regarded Nagy-Eged site of Eger. Excellent sweet fruit and high drinkability.
The fabulous Australian wines impressed many and the legend of Wendouree grew even bigger.