Thursday, April 26, 2007

The first Corbie Street Winner

In the dinner I mentioned recently we tasted a number of other wines. Scott brought the 'winning' wine - ie the wine we all (collectively) rated as the best on the night. It was a Penfolds 1998 St Henri Shiraz.

The AFL gives an award of the Norm Smith medal for the Best on Ground during the grand final. Maybe we should start giving just the 'Norm' award for best wine of the night?? If so, Scott was a worthy 'Norm'. Don't worry too much mate, be thankful we didn't name the award Dick, Bevan or something worse. 'Norm' is better than a poke in the eye with a burnt stick!

We have already discussed the other wines, being Penfolds 1998 Bin 389 Cab/Shiraz and the Orlando 1998 St Hugo Cabernet Sauvignon.

Penfolds 1998 St Henri Shiraz
Our notes for the evening show: The wine was dark red to purple in colour with a big caramel and burnt toffee on the nose. Medium to full bodied with big fruit flavours, firm tannins, and well balanced with good length. Overall rating of 92-95/100 and scoring the various characteristics 18-18.5/20. Other reviews here.

The other wines we drank on that night were:

Orlando 1996 St Hugo Cabernet Sauvignon
Red to dark red. Blackcurrents on a very subtle (or somewhat closed) nose. The wine was described by my compadres as "luscious"and "elegant" and definitely had soft tannins and quite a long finish. The only drawback was the intensity of flavour was not there. 90-92/100 or 17.5/20

Some other reviews are here.

Penfolds 1996 Bin 389 Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz
Dark red with pepper, black fruit and a hint of acetone (? - wierd). Little intensity of flavour and we were obviously either half-cut by then or just not too impressed as there are hardly any notes to the wine. I do recall thinking that it was past its prime. It may have just been this bottle. 88-90/100 and 17/20.

Other reviews here.

d'Arenburg 1999 The Coppermine Road Cabernet Sauvignon
Dark red to purple. Big spicy pepper nose. Good fruit flavours but falling flat of the promise of the nose. Firm but gentle tannins with little length. Again somewhat disappointing. 88-89/100 or 17.5/20.

Other reviews here:

I have cleared the decks from this dinner by posting the rest of the wines as we have since had another dinner with the same Corbie Street crew and want to get to those wines asap.

Well done Scotty - this time. It will be hard to keep it up as everyone else is out to beat you next time.

Drink Well - Live Well!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Milford Track - Back on Deck!

As mentioned previously, together with 3 mates and leaving our wives behind, I recently walked the Milford Track in the SW corner of the south island of New Zealand. The track starts at Lake Te Anau and finishes at Sandfly Point on Milford Sound, takes a little over 3 days and is around 60 km or 35 miles of trekking through pristine wilderness. You cannot get there by road but must be dropped off by boat and picked up at the other end by boat.

(This photo is from the boat heading to our drop off point at the end of Lake Te Anau.)

For the next day and a half we trekked along the beautiful Clinton River valley and scenes like the next were commonplace. (This next photo is one I 'stitched' together from 4 photos of the Clinton River. I am intending to have it blown up to poster size, framed, and placed on the wall of my office as a reminder of the beauty and tranquility of the place)

Here is the Wine Amateur nearing the top of Mackinnon Pass with part of the Jervois Glacier in the background.

To the right is the view from Mackinnon Pass of the Arthur River valley which is where we were headed forthe next day and a half or trekking.

To the left is a photo of some of the many cascading waterfalls and rock pools we saw heading down the other side of the pass.

There were quite a few interesting people in our group and we made quite a few friends on the trip including some great people from St Petersburg, Florida - G'day Stan, Claudette, Mike and Julie. We made Stan an honorary Australian because he smuggled booze onto the trip and certainly drank beer like an Aussie. We also discovered that NZ has fantastic Pinot Noirs.

The next two photos are of Milford Sound which is a true fiord that you come to at the end of the track and the 4 of us ready to hop in a helicopter and fly over the mountains and glaciers on our way back to Queenstown.

I hope you don't mind the wee departure from wine discussions, but I will get back to them.

After all the serenity and beauty it was really hard to go back to the office. The lads and I are planning another escape next year - maybe to Cradle Mountain in Tasmania. Some of the boys want to do Kokoda but I really don't think I am up to it yet.

Enjoy life!!


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