Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The drought is over!!!

For those not aware, our great State of Queensland has been suffering from a prolonged period of lower than average rainfall. It isn't really a drought because it is still raining and everything is green however, there hasn't been good rain in the catchment areas of the dams servicing SE Queensland for a few years.

I would like to announce that the drought is finally over! Is it raining?? No, but after about a 7 week period, where I was on strict instructions from a host of doctors to drink no alcohol, the really bad, gut-wrenching drought is over. I have celebrated in style this last week.

Over the past 7 weeks my wife, sister and brother-in-law (Rob of the 'up-punt') have continued to consume great quantities of red wine and continually waving their glasses under my nose. I think my appreciation of the various aromas has increased ten-fold.

Just prior to the drought I caught up with a few friends from Corby Street, Ashgrove (near to where I used to live - and one of my favourite streets in Brisbane). Scott, Pauline, Robert, Pru, Ivan and Jennifer came over for dinner and the odd wine or 8. There is an unspoken challenge (but very friendly) with this particular grouping - try to make sure you bring the best bottle of wine and whatever you do don't bring the worst one (you WILL be "paid out" on - sorry Ivan you really didn't stand a chance!).

Robert is a real wine enthusiast with an very good cellar (much better than mine) and he coordinated his wine with mine. Robert also had me call Scott to put the pressure on him by asking me to tell him not to bring his normal rubbish. Rob made a similar comment to Ivan. I prepared Wine Scoring cards in advance so that we could score them in a collaborative effort.

Robert provided a 1996 Orlando St Hugo and a 1996 Penfolds Bin 389, my wines provided a vertical element with the 1998 Orlando St Hugo and a 1998 Penfolds Bin 389. Scott provided a 1998 Penfolds St Henri Shiraz (ba*stard went out and bought it that day - Robert thought that was cheating) and a 1999 D'Arenburg McLaren Vale Coppermine Cab Sav. Ivan brought a couple of wines but unfortunately I can't recall what they were because, at the pleading of Robert and Scott, they were not even scored.

Suffice it to say, Robert, Ivan and I were humbled in the face of Scott and his all-conquering St Henri. We will never hear the end of it!!

If I get time I will share the tasting notes with you over the next little while.

1998 Orlando St Hugo Cabernet Sauvignon
(yeah, I know it is now Jacob's Creek but in 1998 it was still Orlando)

It was still reddish-purple in colour with black currents, pepper and some aniseed/fennel on the nose. The tannins were still quite big and there was reasonable length of finish. It was very enjoyable but came nowhere near the quality of the 1996 - at least in my memory of the 1996. (we tasted the 1998 before the 1996 but I have spoken of the 1996 in an earlier blog).

Collectively, we gave it an overall score of 90/100

and then we scored the components at 17.5/20

It came in 5th position on the night!

I note Ed over at Wino-sapien has tried the 1999 St Hugo recently


Blogger Edward said...



What great news! After the drought must come the rains and indeed a flood of wine. (well at least a trickle of the really good stuff. . .)

PS - pull the finger out and upgrade to blogger beta!

5:06 PM  
Blogger Mal said...


Thanks! I will get around to it soon! It is so good to be back drinking.

7:32 PM  

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