Tasting Notes Archive


  1. Barbadillo Manzanilla Solear: From the last Fells offer. Still showing well and a real pleasure to drink. (15) – 21 March 2016
  2. Barbadillo En Rama 2016: Has deeper colour, aroma, flavour and body (15)
  3. Barbadillo Pedro Ximanez La Cila (15.5) June 2016
  4. Baron de Ley Rioja Reserva 2010: (16) June 2016
  5. Brown Brothers 18 Eighty Nine Sauvignon Blanc 2013: Still fresh, crisp and fruity. Well made SB. (14) 13 April 2016
  6. Chamonix Reserve White 2013: Winemaker Gottfried Mocke makes this classically styled Cape blend from around 60% sauvignon blanc with the balance semillon grown at altitude in Franschhoek. The result is a rich, deeply flavoured wine ideally suited to a discreet touch of barrel, which it gets over a year’s maturation in French oak, most of it used, so the flavour doesn’t intrude. It is an elegant, beautifully balanced wine. (16.5) June 2016
  7. Chateau Reynella McLaren Vale Basket Press Shiraz 2008: (Soft and rich but unremarkable. 15) 31 March 2016
  8. Chateau St. Michelle, Michelle Sparkling NV, , Washington State (11.5%)Grapes for this Traditional Method sparkling wine come from the Columbia Valley and the blend of 63% Chardonnay, 19% Pinot Noir, 18% Pinot Gris is aged sur lie for 18 months. It is well made, dry, has fine persistent bubbles and a hint of autolysis and was a pleasure to drink. A wine to buy. (14) September 2015
  9. Chateau Ste. Michelle 2012 Columbia Syrah, Washington State. (13.5%)1% Viognier. Aged for 18 months in 16% new French oak, 15% new American oak, and 69% neutral oak barrels. It is a lovely wine closer in style to Syrah from new Zealand. Well worth buying (14.5) September 2015
  10. Chateau St. Michelle, 2012 Indian Wells Cabernet Sauvignon, Washington State (14.5%): 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Syrah, made in the “New World” style and aged for 16 months in 51% new American and French oak barrels. It is a lovely soft, rich wine which matched the lamb beautifully. Well worth buying. (17) September 2015
  11. Devil’s Lair  Chardonnay 2012: Pale gold in colour with a nose of tropical fruit and subdued oak. On the palate, light and crisp with pleasant fruit flavours. Oak not overpowering. 12% alcohol is a bonus. Would match fish and white meat dishes with a light creamy sauce. (15)
  12. Domaine brusset Cairanne Hommage a Andre Brusset 2012: Rich and extracted Southern Rhone (16)
  13. Ermita del Conde 2013, Castilla y Leon from the obscure Albillo Mayor grape. It is a clean, aromatic and crisp wine for a long time used as a blending agent to add acidity and aroma to wines from Viura. Would be interesting to see how it is in a year or two.(16) November 2015
  14. Gerard Thomas Meursault Premier Cru Blagny 2008: At long last Meursault Premier Cru Blagny 2008 from Gerard Thomas is at its best now. The pale colour wine with a perfumed, floral nose still has crisp acidity but honeyed and rounded and is a real pleasure to drink. If you have any left from HMWS visits to the St. Aubin producer, aim to drink them this year. (15.5) 14 May 2016
  15. Ginglinger Riesling Gran Cru Pfersigberg Lieu dit Hertracker 2014, Domain Ginglinger: The Ginglingers have been making wine in Eguisheim since 1610. This is an exquisite Riesling with racy acidity and great length.
  16. Grosset Polish Hill Riesling 2010: Crisp, lemony, mineral and seriously good! Drink now. (17) 11 April 2016
  17. Hugel Gentil: The wine revives an ancient Alsace tradition that wines assembled from noble grape varieties were called “Gentil”. It is supposed to have the ‘spicy flavour of Gewurztraminer, the body of Pinot Gris, the finesse of Riesling, the grapiness of Muscat and the refreshing character of Sylvaner.’ I have never found it terribly exciting. (14) October 2015
  18. Hugel Estate Riesling 2012: Expertly made with 100% estate grapes, it has keen acidity, good fruit and mouthfeel and is a good example of a wine made in a dry vintage. Delightful and a good buy. (15.5) October 2015
  19. Hugel Riesling Jubilee 2008: Fruit from Grand Cru Schoenenbourg. Crisp, complex, and poised. Still a little tight but is lovely. It is the kind of wine that restores one’s faith in Riesling. (16.5) October 2015
  20. Hugel Riesling Jubilee 2009Rich, creamy and fine. Great potential. A ‘must buy’ wine. (17) October 2015
  21. Hugel Jubilee Gewurtztraminer 2009Grand Cru Sporen fruit. Restricted aromatics and sugar level makes an elegant and expressive wine similar to the lovely Gewurtztraminer from New Zealand’s Seifried Estate. (17) October 2015
  22. Hugel Gewurtztraminer Vendange Tardive 2007An early, dry vintage. Lovely, sweet, rich wine with botrytis. (17) October 2015
  23. Hugel Gewurtztraminer  Selection de Grains Nobles 2002Dark yellow. Botrytis. Rich, very sweet (160 g/l residual sugar) and fabulous. (17.5) October 2015
  24. Hunter’s Pinot Noir 2012: Losing grip. Drink up. (16) – 26 March 2016
  25. Josmeyer Pinot Noir 2013: The fruit for the Pinot comes from a small plot on Grand Cru Hengst. It is light, aromatic and has good fruit and acidity. It is superior to many Alsace pinots and is already drinking well. Would be interesting to see how it evolves. (15.5) November 2015Josmeyer Riesling Grand Cru Brand 2004: Sadly, has a hint of oxidation but still palatable. Check your existing stock. – 24 March 2016
  26. Iona Chardonnay 2013: Wonderfully rounded and fruit filled. Superb chardonnay drinking very well now. (17) -5 April 2016
  27. Joseph Cattin’s Cremant D’Alsace Grande Cuvée 2010 (80% Pinot Blanc and 20% Chardonnay aged on lees for 3.5 years). (A decent Cremant D’Alsace but nothing more. 14) 31 March 2016
  28. Joseph Cattin Pinot Noir 2012: Light, soft Alsace Pinot without great character. (13.5). 9 April 2016
  29. Josmeyer Riesling Le Dragon 2014: This is one of the ‘Terroir” wines of Josmeyer. The lieu-dit Le Dragon is in the commune of Turckheim. Unfortunately, the wine was oxidised. (Both the supplier and the producer were informed.)
  30. Ken Forrester Reserve Old Vines Chenin Blanc 2013: Has become softer and honeyed but still a pleasure to drink. Drink up any remaining stock and get the next vintage (16.5) – 25 March 2016
  31. Ken Forrester Petit Pinotage 2014: Still the perfect sipping red. Light and laden with fruit. Must buy the next vintage available. (17) – 22 March 2016
  32. Kuentz-Bas Muscat Collection 2014: This is a meadow-fresh Alsace Muscat with pure floral aroma and a fresh appetising palate from the small family house situated south of Colmar.
  33. Leon Beyer Sylvaner 2014: Lovely, crisp, refreshing and full-flavoured dry white with a twist of apple.
  34. Leon Beyer Pinot Gris 2014: Fully dry Pinot Gris is not common in Alsace and Beyers have made it a speciality. Still young but well structured, it makes a great food wine.
  35. Lopez de Heredia VIÑA GRAVONIA BLANCO 2006: A 100% viura, matured in barrel for four years, and as much again in bottle. Remarkably fresh and vibrant, with the bodega’s trademark creamy texture and long, tangy finish. (14) June 2016

  36. Lopez de Heredia VIÑA TONDONIA RESERVA BLANCO 1999: A blend of 90% viura and 10% malvasia with six years in barrel. It is dry and nutty with integrated mature oak flavours.(14) One bottle was not in good condition. June 2016

  37. Lopez de Heredia VIÑA TONDONIA GRAN RESERVA BLANCO 1994: Beautifully evolved at over 20 years old with notes of warm stone fruit, a subtle smokiness and discreet hints of sweet vanilla after ten years in barrel. A wine of striking vigour, deep complexity and a seemingly endless, multi-layered finish. (16) June 2016

  38. Lopez de Heredia Vina CUBILLO CRIANZA 2007: A blend of 65% tempranillo and 25% garnacha, with mazuelo and graciano making up the balance, all produced at the Cubillo vineyard in the Rioja Alta. After three years in barrel, it has mellowed further in bottle, with notes of cedar and cherry stone. (15) June 2016
  39. Lopez de Heredia VIÑA TONDONIA RESERVA 2003: The blend of 75% tempranillo with 15% garnacha and 10% graciano and mazuelo combined spends six years in barrel. It is ubtle and mellow, mahogany in appearance with smoky aromas and evolved spicy, dried-cranberry notes on the palate, lifted by life-enhancing acidity. (16) June 2016
  40. Lopez de Heredia VIÑA TONDONIA RESERVA 2001 Bottles were in poor condition. June 2016
  41. Lopez de Heredia VIÑA TONDONIA GRAN RESERVA 1994: Mature gran reserva from an excellent vintage, and for Maria-José López de Heredia one of the best Tondonias in the history of the bodega. After almost a decade in barrel, and as much again in bottle, this is delicate, silky and intense with gorgeous fruit sweetness you’d expect in a much younger wine. On the finish, an appealing touch of dry, but not grippy, tannin enhances the experience. (17) June 2016
  42. Louis Sipp Alsace Haguenau 2014: This comes from four parcels of vines of four different grape varieties within the Hagenau vineyard: approximately 50% Riesling and Sylvaner, with Pinot Gris and Gewürztraminer also in the blend. Made in a dry style, with Riesling-led aroma and fresh, linear palate and a wonderful seam of supporting acidity.
  43. Marques de Murrieta Blanco Capellaria Rioja 2010: Classic oaked Viura from a master producer. A great food wine. (17) November 2015

  44. Matetic Sauvignon Blanc 2013, Chile: Gooseberry & asparagus nose. Crisp with a hint of sweetness from ripe fruit. Excellent. (16.5) 7 April 2016
  45. Moss Wood Amy’s Blend 2010: This mix of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Merlot is drinking pretty well now. It is dark, has a lovely nose of black fruit and liquorice, is soft, layered and has a decent length. It paired the beef well. I enjoyed it and gave a score of 16.5. (October 2015)
  46. Mt. Horrocks Nero d’Avola 2013: A new, lighter and fruitier take on the classic top red varietal of Sicily. (16.5) November 2015
  47. Mt. Horrocks Cabernet Sauvignon 2009: Sweet, structured and poised cabernet, drinking beautifully now. A perfect match for lamb shanks. (17.5) 6 April 2016
  48. Penfolds Bin 138, 2006: Rather dumb nose. Lacks fruit. Hot but not jammy. (15) October 2015
  49. Penfolds Bin 128, 2005: Cool climate, non-spicy Shiraz. Pleasant to drink now. (15.5) October 2015
  50. Penfolds Kalimna Bin 28 Shiraz, 2008: Dark and still youthful. (15) October 2015
  51. Penfolds Bin 389, 1998: Dark and aromatic. Probably at its peak.(16) October 2015
  52. Penfolds St Henri 2007: Dark, fragrant and lovely. An absolute delight to drink now. (17) October 2015
  53. Penfolds RWT 2001: Dark, still youthful 100% Shiraz. (16.5) October 2015
  54. Penfolds Grange 1989: Probably past its best. Still a lovely mouthful. (17.5) October 2015
  55. Peter Lehmann Wigan Eden Valley Riesling 2010: (Strong aroma of terpenes with dry but rich mouthfeel. Excellent Riesling from a master. 17) 31 March 2016
  56. Peter Lehmann Margaret Barossa Semillon(Waxy and nutty and not as crisp as Hunter Valley semillons. Food wine. 16) 31 March 2016
  57. Peter Lehmann Mentor Barossa Cabernet Sauvignon 2012: (Subdued but elegant Cabernet. Not jammy. 16.5) 31 March 2016
  58. Peter Lehmann ‘VSV Blesing’ Barossa Shiraz: (Rich, powerful Barossa shiraz. Still quite young but approachable. 17) 31 March 2016
  59. Peter Lehmann 1885 Barossa Shiraz 2009: (Star of the evening. Minty with a sweet finish. Absolutely delightful! 18) 31 March 2016
  60. Peter Lehmann Stonewell Barossa Shiraz 2007: (Concentrated and rich. A big, robust wine but the punch is velvety. Lovely to drink now. 17.5) 31 March 2016
  61. Pierre-Gimonnet Cuvée Fleuron 2006: Far forwards than expected. Golden yellow and flavours of autolysis. Start drinking. 16.5 – 1 April 2016
  62. Pierre-Gimonnet Cuis 1er Cru NV: Still quite fresh but beginning to show hints of autolysis. Drink up. (17) 6 April 2016
  63. Pieropan, La Rocca Soave Classico 2013: Still a baby but probably the best expression of Soave. (18) November 2015
  64. Puy de Dom Pinot Noir 2013: Disappointing. Only for cooking! (14.5) – 26 March 2016
  65. Seifried Old Coach Road Sauvignon Blanc Lighter 2014 (9%): No spinning cones or reverse osmosis is employed to reduce alcohol but grapes are picked early with high acidity and low sugar levels. The wine is aromatic, acidic, light bodied and attractive. (14) September 2015
  66. Seifried Aotea Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2014: Aromatic, clean, rich and fresh with fine fruit. A delightful wine. (16.5) September 2015
  67. Seifried Estate Riesling 2014: 18g/l residual sugar makes it rich and full. Excellent Riesling. (16) September 2015
  68. Seifried Estate Gruner Veltliner 2013: Sweetish and without varietal definition. Did not impress me. (14) September 2015
  69. Seifried Estate Pinot Gris 2012Smells and tastes like an Alsace Pinot Gris! Rich and lovely. (17) September 2015
  70. Seifried Aotea Nelson Gewurztraminer 2014: I am not a Gewurztraminer fan but this wine pleased me. Just off dry, it is one of the best I have tasted and would be very happy to buy a case! (16.5) September 2015
  71. Seifried Nelson Bay Würzer 2014: Only Würzer in New Zealand – Gewurztraminer/Müller-Thurgau cross. Aromatic but a rather odd musty smell and taste. (14.5) September 2015
  72. Seifried Aotea Nelson Chardonnay 2013 (14.5%): Oaky but has good fruit and acidity. (15.5) September 2015
  73. Seifried Nelson Bay Zweigelt 2011: Bright, light and full of pleasing fruit. Would make a lovely sipping summer red. (16) September 2015
  74. Seifried Aotea Nelson Pinot Noir 2012: Ripe, silky and appealing. Went well with salmon.(17) September 2015
  75. Seifried Nelson Sweet Agnes Riesling 2013: 165 g/l of residual sugar. Good acidity to counter that. (16.5) September 2015Steenberg Estate Klein Steenberg Sauvignon Blanc 2014: The Sauvignon is light, aromatic and crisp. There was fresh cut grass and hints of tinned asparagus on the nose. It is dry and the fruit is subdued. The style is more Loire than New Zealand. It is not exciting but makes an acceptable aperitif. (14/20, 85/100). November 2015
  76. Thelema Rabalais 2009: Another masterpiece from Giles Webb. Strong nose of green peppers but rich with sweet fruit. Perfectly balanced and long. Lovely. (18) November 2015
  77. Torres Gran Sangre de Toro 2009: Showing at its best now and irresistible! If you have any left, starting drinking now and make sure you buy the next vintage. Fells have an offer at present and the HMWS will offer it to members together with some other Torres wines after the Easter weekend. (17.5). – 23 March 2016
  78. Trapiche Terroir Series SV Malbec Finca Ambrosia 2010: A blockbuster from Trapiche, dark, concentrated and immensely pleasing. (18) November 2015
  79. Trimbach Riesling, Selection de Vieilles Vignes 2011: Usual austere, mineral Trimbach style with good concentration, length and some complexity. (15.5) November 2015
  80. Trimbach Cuvée Trimbach 2014: A 50:50 blend of Muscat and Sylvaner. Fresh, fruity and bone dry with a lovely grapey aroma.
  81. Trimbach Pinot Blanc 2014: The blend contains 70% Auxerroise. Impeccable, crisp and elegant with perfect balance.
  82. Trimbach Muscat Réserve 2014: Delicate bone-dry Muscat from the family owned firm in Ribeauvillé. Makes a lovely, fragrant aperitif.
  83. Trimbach Gewurztraminer 2014: This is lovely textbook style of Gewürztraminer, precise, fruity, fine, long and almost fully dry.
  84. Umani Ronchi Campo S. Giorgio Rosso Conero Riserva DOCG 2009: 100% Montepulciano from the great Marche producer. Aromatic, rich and irresistible. (17.5) November 2015
  85. Weinbach Pinot Blanc 2014: Gently rounded, finely balanced, full flavoured and creamy textured wine from a great Domaine.
  86. Cloudy Bay Pelorus Rosé NV: A blend of 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay made by the ‘Traditional Method.’ It was a less than impressive first taste. (15) (1/2/18)
  87. Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc 2016: Fruit for the Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc, mostly machine harvested at night and fermented in stainless steel tanks with 50% indigenous yeast, come from Wairau, Awatere & Southern Valleys. It is crisp, fruity and pleasing. (16) (1 February 2018)
  88. Greywacke ‘Wild’ Sauvignon Blanc 2014: Underwent spontaneous indigenous yeast fermentation for 6 months in old French oak barriques with lees stirring and spent further five more months on lees before bottling. Two thirds underwent malolactic fermentation. It is fragrant, complex, long, immensely satisfying and the best oak aged Sauvignon Blanc I have tasted. (18). (1 February 2018)
  89. Greywacke Riesling 2015: comes from 17 year-old vines on two-cane VSP trellising. Grapes are hand harvested and whole bunch pressed. 50% is fermented in stainless steel tanks with cultured yeasts and the rest in old French oak barriques with indigenous yeasts. Fermentation is stopped to give a wine with 20g/l residual sugar. It is aged on lees in old barrels for further five months before bottling to give a wine with a pronounced and attractive Riesling nose and fine texture and mouthfeel from whole brunch fermentation. (15). (1 February 2018)
  90. Greywacke Pinot Gris 2015 (Selection Ovaille, Mission & Entav 52 clones) has 8g/l residual sugar and is a well structured wine that would be great with Foie Gras (15.5). (1 February 2018)
  91. Greywacke Chardonnay 2014: is a lovely wine. Clone 95 has produced fruit with apple and lemon overtones and Menoza Clone, flavour and acidity. Grapes were hand harvested, whole bunch pressed and underwent spontaneous fermentation including full malolactic in French oak (20% new) with lees stirring for 18 months (17). (1 February 2018)
  92. Fruit for Greywacke Pinot Noir 2014 was hand harvested, chilled and hand sorted. Partial whole bunch natural fermentation was in open-top fermenters. The wine was aged in French oak barriques (45% new) for 15 months and fined with egg white before bottling. It is a lovely fragrant wine, packed with red fruit and has soft tannins (17). (1 February 2018)