Wednesday, June 14, 2006


The next pairing of two white wines at last Tuesday’s wine course with Tony Harper of The Wine Emporium were the Cape Mentelle Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon 2005 (Margaret River), and the Voyager Estate Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2001 (Margaret River).

There are about 10 people doing the course and the following notes reflect a collective effort to describe the wines. The notes were achieved more by consensus than anything else – an interesting exercise but one, despite our amateurism, that resulted in an analysis that is quite close to the mark (according to Tony).

Cape Mentelle Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2005 (Margaret River): This was a clear and clean wine with strong citrus and apricot aromas. Noticeable acid, moderate intensity and length and fresh citrus flavours.

Voyager Estate Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2001 (Margaret River): The extra age showed up in a slightly darker straw colour than the Cape Mentelle and there was a bouquet of flowers, herbs and cigar smoke. An intense and complex wine – very enjoyable but was a little out of balance. Most people found the cigar smoke smell and taste was a little overpowering and they didn’t like it. I didn’t mind so much, but even Tony agreed that it seemed a bit “clunky” and felt that because we were drinking it at room temperature (instead of slightly chilled) that the oak had become a little ‘out of whack’. I definitely would like to try this wine again because I thought it had enormous potential and appeal.

A funny thing happened with the Voyage Estate. As we were all reaching for adjectives to describe the aromas and taste, MY better-half came up with ‘cigar smoke’. As soon as she said it everyone agreed – sort of like a small “aha” moment. Even Tony agreed and from then on he admitted that all he could smell was the cigar smoke. He complained that we had just wrecked this wine for him, as it was one of his personal favourites and now all he could smell was cigar smoke. Well done darl!!

Next time we will look at Kilikanoon Riesling 2004 (Clare Valley) and Peter Lehmann Reserve Riesling 2001 (Eden Valley) and possibly even the two chardonnays. After that I will share our notes on some of the reds that we tried on the second Tuesday night.

Until then live well and drink well! Cheers!


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