All time greatest Australian wines

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Re: All time greatest Australian wines

Postby Mike Hawkins » Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:40 am

I think Graeme's list is on the money.....
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Re: All time greatest Australian wines

Postby Mahmoud Ali » Wed Mar 28, 2012 4:13 am

My alll time best list are the following:

1982 Penfold's Bin 820,
1975 Lindeman's Auburn Burgundy,
1990 Balgownie Chardonnay (all of 11% alc),
1987 Sevenhill VP (everyone thought it was Portuguese, the ultimate compliment),
N/V Yalumba 20 Year Old Show Reserve Amontillado (fantastic stuff, unappreciated by most Australians).

Cheers................Mahmoud.
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Re: All time greatest Australian wines

Postby Mike Hawkins » Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:49 pm

While I love the 82 and 86 Wynns John Riddoch, there are better cabernets - eg 1996 Block 42....

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Re: All time greatest Australian wines

Postby Mike Hawkins » Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:57 pm

phillisc wrote:86 Alexanders, why do they not make this anymore!!??,
91 Mitchelton print shiraz, beautiful depth and concentration of fruit
86 rockford BP, before it was known anywhere really a case at auction in NSW...11 dollars pb
86 Kaiser Sthul red ribbon Barossa shiraz, where the fruit from this now goes who knows, should have been a pallet buy!!
88 white label coonawarra cab


Some nice oldies there. I still have two bottles of the BP & KS. In fact, one of the latter is slated to be opened in the next few weeks.

As for 91 Mitchelton, I recall preferring the 1990 - JWT winner from memory. In fact back then, I used to buy all the trophy wines - including the 88 Mildara, which IIRC was a Stodart winner.

Concerning the Alexanders, I had the same question as yours about a year ago. I used to love that blend. Guess it just wasn't a brand that sold well enough ? It would be great to know which labels now receive the grapes that use to go into this and the Kaiser Stuhl. They were excellent wines year in and year out.

Thanks for the trip down memory lane.....
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Re: All time greatest Australian wines

Postby phillisc » Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:41 pm

Mike Hawkins wrote:
phillisc wrote:86 Alexanders, why do they not make this anymore!!??,
91 Mitchelton print shiraz, beautiful depth and concentration of fruit
86 rockford BP, before it was known anywhere really a case at auction in NSW...11 dollars pb
86 Kaiser Sthul red ribbon Barossa shiraz, where the fruit from this now goes who knows, should have been a pallet buy!!
88 white label coonawarra cab


Some nice oldies there. I still have two bottles of the BP & KS. In fact, one of the latter is slated to be opened in the next few weeks.

As for 91 Mitchelton, I recall preferring the 1990 - JWT winner from memory. In fact back then, I used to buy all the trophy wines - including the 88 Mildara, which IIRC was a Stodart winner.

Concerning the Alexanders, I had the same question as yours about a year ago. I used to love that blend. Guess it just wasn't a brand that sold well enough ? It would be great to know which labels now receive the grapes that use to go into this and the Kaiser Stuhl. They were excellent wines year in and year out.

Thanks for the trip down memory lane.....


Thanks Mike, whilst we are both JR fans, not sure if I will see a 96 block 42 at 30 years of age, and really not sure that it will be as classy as the 82 JR, plus i can not afford it now and in 30 years it will probably be a couple of grand.
Yes i do have bottles of the 90 print as well as the 91, both very very good wines.
Mildara or Jamieson's Run, or O'Deas, McShanes, winemakers reserve or the titanic of all wines Rothwell, (after the 01 it sank), where it all went,??... but the white label now has a fair bit of work to do to return to its former status.
One of my fathers good mates from years gone by had the prime riesling vineyard that went into the KS green ribbon, the last bottles of the 1980 were consumed 3 or 4 years ago...amazing. Consequently we drank buckets of the red ribbon...let us know how it shapes up...I expect it will be a very lovely mellow old red.

Cheers
Craig.
ps. speaking of Coonawarra cabs the 82 707 was none too shabby, more aggressive than the JR of the same vintage
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Re: All time greatest Australian wines

Postby Rossco » Thu Mar 29, 2012 8:07 am

Im hoping the best Australian wines are still in my cellar, but here is my list of ones I have consumed:

1974 Grange - Mind blowing and simply stunning
1998 Tahbilk 1860's Vines Shiraz - Very light & delicate. Such a wonderful experience
2002 Yarra Yarra Cabernet - I still remember my very first sip like it was yesterday
2005 Gibson Australian Old Vine Collection Barossa Shiraz - for such a relatively young wine, this was STUNNING. I cannot rate it highly enough (hence being in my list)
2002 - Rockford Rifle Range Cab Sav
1998 - Peter Lehmann Stonewell Shiraz
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Re: All time greatest Australian wines

Postby Teisto » Thu Mar 29, 2012 10:17 am

Some amazing wines of which I could only ever dream of! Salivating at the chance to ever try some of the wines mentioned. I would love to chance my luck with some older stuff from auction but provenance just worries me too much.
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Re: All time greatest Australian wines

Postby cuttlefish » Thu Mar 29, 2012 10:58 am

Ladies and gentlemen, I think we still need to somehow reach consensus on one or two vintages of Grange.
Their eligibility could be justified for any number of reasons, but we need to reach agreement somehow.
I think so far we have 6 or more vintages suggested. Ideally we narrow that down to the two best of's
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Re: All time greatest Australian wines

Postby Sean » Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:08 am

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Re: All time greatest Australian wines

Postby Michael McNally » Thu Mar 29, 2012 12:01 pm

cuttlefish wrote:Ladies and gentlemen, I think we still need to somehow reach consensus


Where's the fun in consensus? :D

Enjoying reading about people's thoughts. I hope the 1991 Wynns Centenary makes the cut as it will mean I have one of these wines in the cellar!

Cheers

Micchael
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Re: All time greatest Australian wines

Postby ross67 » Thu Mar 29, 2012 2:52 pm

Michael McNally wrote:
cuttlefish wrote:Ladies and gentlemen, I think we still need to somehow reach consensus


Where's the fun in consensus? :D

Enjoying reading about people's thoughts. I hope the 1991 Wynns Centenary makes the cut as it will mean I have one of these wines in the cellar!

Cheers

Micchael



Yes tried one of these last year Michael.....friends offering on holidays....very very good. Im a shiraz nut so that is saying something for me.

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Re: All time greatest Australian wines

Postby michel » Thu Mar 29, 2012 6:06 pm

Ok only wines I have tried

Chambers Rosewood ridiculously old muscat or tokay prior to new labelling
Seppelt 1984 riesling
Leo Buring rieslings 1973, 1975 a pleasure to have met them when I was a student in the late 1980's for 7 dollars a bottle from memory
Mt Mary cabernet 1977 purchased from a cellar 4 years ago was stunning
1945 grandfather port
1973 Lakes Folly Cabernet
Seppelts 100 year Old Port 1899, 1900,1901,1902
1994 Howard Park cabernet
1983 Lindemans hunter river red burgundy bin 6600

The best my feeble memory can recall.... Where are the current great Australian wine in the making?
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Re: All time greatest Australian wines

Postby Mike Hawkins » Thu Mar 29, 2012 7:08 pm

Sean wrote:90 Penfolds Bin 407 - I have had Grange, St Henri, Bin 707 and the other bins. But this is the best Penfolds wine I have had. Maybe it is the vintage because this was a beautiful cabernet to drink as a mature wine. It was made by John Duval I suppose when he was also making all those bins from that fabulous vintage and it is a wonderful wine in its own right. It is amazing to think how good it is when it is a big volume wine and not the Bin 707 or one of the special bins they make. Maybe I had it at the best time (not had one since) or maybe it was a great bottle. But a reason to stick with the Bin 407 is simply that every so often they will make a wine like this one.


I really enjoyed this, and to a lesser extent, the 91 (IIRC, these were the first 2). Since then, the releases I've tried have been ordinary at best.
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Re: All time greatest Australian wines

Postby Wizz » Sat Mar 31, 2012 7:52 am

Geatest wines I recall actually drinking

79 Leo Buring DWI16 Eden Valley Riesling
84 Seppelt Riesling (same one as Michel’s)
86 McWiliams Lovedale Semillon
86 Grange
84 Cullen Reserve Cabernet
63 Mildara "Peppermint Patty"
01 Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier
1890’s All Saints muscat
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Re: All time greatest Australian wines

Postby n4sir » Sat Mar 31, 2012 10:04 am

phillisc wrote:
Mike Hawkins wrote:
phillisc wrote:86 Alexanders, why do they not make this anymore!!??,
91 Mitchelton print shiraz, beautiful depth and concentration of fruit
86 rockford BP, before it was known anywhere really a case at auction in NSW...11 dollars pb
86 Kaiser Sthul red ribbon Barossa shiraz, where the fruit from this now goes who knows, should have been a pallet buy!!
88 white label coonawarra cab


Some nice oldies there. I still have two bottles of the BP & KS. In fact, one of the latter is slated to be opened in the next few weeks.

As for 91 Mitchelton, I recall preferring the 1990 - JWT winner from memory. In fact back then, I used to buy all the trophy wines - including the 88 Mildara, which IIRC was a Stodart winner.

Concerning the Alexanders, I had the same question as yours about a year ago. I used to love that blend. Guess it just wasn't a brand that sold well enough ? It would be great to know which labels now receive the grapes that use to go into this and the Kaiser Stuhl. They were excellent wines year in and year out.

Thanks for the trip down memory lane.....


Thanks Mike, whilst we are both JR fans, not sure if I will see a 96 block 42 at 30 years of age, and really not sure that it will be as classy as the 82 JR, plus i can not afford it now and in 30 years it will probably be a couple of grand.
Yes i do have bottles of the 90 print as well as the 91, both very very good wines.
Mildara or Jamieson's Run, or O'Deas, McShanes, winemakers reserve or the titanic of all wines Rothwell, (after the 01 it sank), where it all went,??... but the white label now has a fair bit of work to do to return to its former status.
One of my fathers good mates from years gone by had the prime riesling vineyard that went into the KS green ribbon, the last bottles of the 1980 were consumed 3 or 4 years ago...amazing. Consequently we drank buckets of the red ribbon...let us know how it shapes up...I expect it will be a very lovely mellow old red.

Cheers
Craig.
ps. speaking of Coonawarra cabs the 82 707 was none too shabby, more aggressive than the JR of the same vintage


Pretty easy to work out where all the fruit for these great wines went - remember how Wynns Coonawarra Estate had those vineyards that became non productive in the early naughties from continuous mechanical pruning/harvesting and started a vine management/replacement program in 2002? I heard Childs vineyard (which was the backbone of the 1998 John Riddoch) was one that had to be virtually replaced from scratch, Johnson's wasn't so bad but still needed work like many others - how did they manage to get out a great black label & John Riddoch from the 2004 vintage in such a short turnaround when many of these vineyards were still out of action?

As Craig pointed out, when the various Coonawarra cellar doors & facilities were sold off by Fosters they not only kept the brand names but also the important vineyards. Alexanders Block (84 & 88), O'Dea's (Sue Hodder mentioned just picking this block the other day on twitter), Richardson's Vineyard from Rouge Homme (that produced the Jimmy Watson Winner) etc, Wynns gets first crack at the lot (with the notable exceptions of the Lindemans Trio and Penfolds blocks), and now have many of them listed among their most important contributing vineyards.

Cheers,
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Re: All time greatest Australian wines

Postby dave vino » Sat Mar 31, 2012 1:58 pm

For those that get Gourmet Wine magazine, Hallidays Backyard Masterclass had a pretty good cross section of some of Australia's great old wines.

He rated the
1945 O'Shea Burgundy
1915 Yeringberg Cabernet

as two of the best wines he has had anywhere in the world. (big call considering what he has had)

And they finished off with a 1878 Seppelt Para Liquer
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Re: All time greatest Australian wines

Postby bacchaebabe » Sun Apr 01, 2012 1:17 am

From my terrible memory, best I've had are:

1904 Seppelt Port. I've had four vintages of this including the first (1870?) but I think it was the 04 that sent me into a vineous orgasm.
2001 Bass Phillip Premium Pinot Noir. I can still taste it.
There was an offline at my place and someone brought a couple of old Seppelt white labelled bottles. A 37? port and a 45? PX. Oh lordy they were good. Was it Bert? Graeme G, I think you were there. My memory sucks but I have the bottles at home.
At the VERY first offline in Mosman someone brought some very old rieslings. OMG! I think they were Leo Burings from late 60s and early 70s. possibly 69 and 71 or 72. But it started a very expensive riesling buying spree for me.

Other fantastic wines but not in the same league:
Last year we had a few amazing 86s including the HOG, John Riddoch and Seppelt Sparkling Burgundy. Also had the 86 Grange but it was too young. Give it time though.
I've had the 71 Grange a number of times and when it's good, it's certainly the best drinking Grange at the moment.
The 1945 Penfolds grandfather port was pretty good and certainly up there if fading a little.

And I've got a few in the cellar like the 1990 Grange and 1996 707 and 1996 Block 42 which should make it into the top of this list with time.
Cheers,
Kris

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Re: All time greatest Australian wines

Postby camw » Sun Apr 01, 2012 2:13 am

Listed a few I've had that have lived up to their reputation, have had others that weren't quite up there eg 73 Leo Buring, 84 Seppelt Riesling, a Colin Preece 1953 J34 (meant to be one of his best, if not the best), a 67 Bin 7 that was perhaps great but the 60A was on another level entirely, as the saying goes, "no great old wines" ...

Non-fortified -

1962 Penfolds Bin 60A
1963 Mildara Cabernet Sauvignon
1965 Lindemans Hunter River Burgundy Bin 3110
1955 Wynns Coonawarra Estate Shiraz Michael
1996 Penfolds Cabernet Sauvignon Block 42 Kalimna

Fortified -

1905 Seppelt 100 Year Old Para
1880 Seppelt 100 Year Old Para
N.V. Chambers Rosewood Muscat Rare
N.V. Chambers Rosewood Tokay Rare
N.V. Campbells Muscat Rare Merchant Prince
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Re: All time greatest Australian wines

Postby michel » Sun Apr 01, 2012 6:24 am

Wizz wrote:Geatest wines I recall actually drinking

79 Leo Buring DWI16 Eden Valley Riesling
84 Seppelt Riesling (same one as Michel’s)
86 McWiliams Lovedale Semillon
86 Grange
84 Cullen Reserve Cabernet
63 Mildara "Peppermint Patty"
01 Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier
1890’s All Saints muscat



Geez - i have never had a peppermint paddy- but I have a magnum of 2001 Clonakilla shiraz viognier earmarked for drinking. ASAP!
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Re: All time greatest Australian wines

Postby Chuck » Sun Apr 01, 2012 10:18 am

phillisc wrote:86 Alexanders, why do they not make this anymore!!??,

Cheers Craig


Found one of these at auction recently. Cork and level were good. Wine in excellent condition however fruit was lacking sweetness alhough at 11% alcohol one wonders whether it ever did.

I've still got an '88 if you want to send me a PM.

For me most memorable were a Penfolds Bin 90A and a '72 Grange, the Grange at a memorable long lunch at the Magill Estate restaurant. On the 60A I read that article (no. 8 on the top 100 hit parade) a few months after selling mine to feed the habit. :x

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Re: All time greatest Australian wines

Postby GraemeG » Mon Apr 02, 2012 10:56 am

Not me, Kris. Only off-line at your place for me was the Robin Garr one - no Seppelt there (but some old Lindemans...)
cheers,
GG
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Re: All time greatest Australian wines

Postby bacchaebabe » Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:03 am

Told you my memory was dodgy.
Cheers,
Kris

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Re: All time greatest Australian wines

Postby Dan » Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:52 pm

Greatest white wine I've tried was the 1980 Petaluma Riesling, I had this in 2010.

I don't think I've had any reds yet that would make it in to the greatest category.
but a few nice reds were the 1980 Lindemans St George, and the 66 Grange.
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Re: All time greatest Australian wines

Postby n4sir » Fri Apr 06, 2012 2:08 pm

Greatest Australian wines that I have tried - so many great bottles, it's really hard to narrow it down:

1930 Seppelt Para Liqueur Port (re-worked by James Godfrey in 2001)
1957 Chateau Reynella Vintage Port
1965 Wynns Coonawarra Estate Cabernet Sauvignon magnum (re-worked by Wynns in 2005)
1970 Saltram Bin 55 'Claret'
1974 Yalumba Signature Series 'Claret' Christobel's Blend
1982 De Bortoli Noble One 'Sauternes'
1990 Mount Mary Quintet
1990 Penfolds Bin 707 Cabernet Sauvignon
1991 Wynns Coonawarra Estate Centenary Shiraz Cabernet
1995 Houghton Special Show Reserve Shiraz
1996 Penfolds St. Henri Shiraz
2002 Grosset Polish Hill Riesling
2004 Penfolds Grange
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Re: All time greatest Australian wines

Postby RedVelvet » Sun Apr 08, 2012 11:03 am

There have been so many good if not great wines that i have drank over the last 15 years but these would have to be the stand outs in no particular order:

1973 Lindemans Bin 4810 Burgundy
1966 Penfolds Grange
1976 Penfolds Grange
1975/6 Orlando Gold Ribbon Auslese Riesling
1996 Rockford BP
1905 Seppelt 100yr old Port
1981 Lakes Folly Cabernets
1990 Penfolds Bin 707
1976 Lindemans Limestone Ridge
1987 Seppelt Show Sparkling Burgundy
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Re: All time greatest Australian wines

Postby Gavin Trott » Sun Apr 08, 2012 12:42 pm

Must add one, although details are sketchy.

Went to visit Stepehen George at Ashton Hills. Had a great barrel tasting with him, along with many other fantastic bits and pieces! (BTW you should all visit Stephen at Ashton Hills, one of the great Australian winemakers IMO). Did a topographical tasting (barrels of the Pinots from differing altitudes, all made the same way, fascinating stuuf!)

He then took me to his house, and we finished the last half of a bottle of

1973 (I think) Wendouree Cabernet. (Stephen is the Wendouree (assistant/consultant wine maker))

Which he had opened the night before. Wow, amber brown, delicate while it was intense, you know, the iron fist thingy!!! tannins still there although really gossamer, and just a fantastic old wine! Oh, and it had been opened, cork just shoved back in, some 15 hours earlier, so just how good it had been the night before is open to the imagination.

The vintage is right (I think) but it was a while ago. Sketchy but one of those wonderful things that happen in the wine business sometimes!

Plus, it reinforces while I still buy and cellar Wendouree wines!

.
regards

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Re: All time greatest Australian wines

Postby Mark Carrington » Mon Apr 09, 2012 12:11 pm

Truly memorable Australian wines (of the top of my head).
First 2 pre 1990:
Leeuwin AS Chardonnay '86- opened my eyes to the potential of this varietal from New World;
Grange '81 & '82 tasted side by side- no fluke, the wines lived up to GH's reputation.
Noble One 'Sauternes' '82. Drunk on 2 occasions at 15+ years old - iconic.
Penfolds 90A. This was drunk along side '80A. Both throw backs to a time when it wasn't de rigueur for Aussies reds to have a minimum 14 deg.
Seppelt Drumborg '09. Perfectly poised. The future for Australian wines remains bright.
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Re: All time greatest Australian wines

Postby daz » Sat Apr 14, 2012 9:14 pm

Bloody hell, there must have been a lot of 1960s wines sold at auction or there are a number of septo or octogenerians posting here. Tahbilk Shiraz 1986 bought from the winery was an impressive wine, similarly, though perhaps only just past its peak, was the cabernet sauvignon 1981 about 6 or so years ago.. A bottle of the 86 shiraz that was reported to me (I left it behind after a visit to my sister and hubby) to have been TCA affected was replaced without question by Tahbilk. There must still be some gems slumbering in the Tahbilk cellars. I have noted though that Tahbilk prices have risen noticeably in recent years. An earlier post mentioned a 70s or early 80s Kaiser Stuhl Red Ribbon Shiraz - I remember drinking a few of the KS ribbon series wines in the early 80s so I may have had a bottle of the same wine when it was young. I guess it's the wines that stay in the memory, not the year, label or reputation that determine the greatest in our own minds. Another Tahbilk, not a recognised wine, that impressed me was a 1996 cab shiraz, simply because it was very dry, very cab dominant. A Cullen cabernet merlot 2000 drunk at about 5-6 years after vintage is memorable for its balance, the purity of its fruit and the extended length on the palate. Turkey Flat Shiraz 2002 at 9 years after vintage was also memorable, as was the recently consumed Cullen Diana Madeline 2004.

The most impressive riesling I have ever enjoyed is Best's Great Western 2011 (Grampians, Vic.). A departure from the super dry style of most of the Clare and Great Southern wineries I've tried but is instantly recognisably as purely varietal riesling that just floods the mouth with its juiciness. Stunning! Apparently James Halliday thought so too after I'd already been smitten by it, rated it 97/100.
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