Seven of us assembled at our home last evening to celebrate my fifty-fifth birthday. I've been fighting off the dreaded URT virus that has sweeping through our household for a few weeks now and luckily the full monty did not hit me until this morning.
After hors d'ouvres of strawberries over ripened Tasmanian brie on water cracker biscuits, we opened proceedings with an outstanding bottle of (Orlando) Jacob's Creek Steingarten Riesling from the very fine 2002 Barossa vintage. The wine's colour's commensurate with age, an attractive glowing bright straw, followed by a complex bouquet full of toast, honey, minerals, wet stones and limey citrus fruit with the first vestige of kerosene poking through. The palate looks equally impressive with ample reserves of similarly-blessed fruit and toasty bottle development, remaining crisp and almost flinty in the mouth with bucketloads of finely-honed steely acidity balancing the equation. The finish, bright and crisp with a great aftertaste. A wine on the cusp of readiness but should hold for at least another 5. Lovely wine. 12.5% A/V and sealed by screwcap.
Somehow the Steingarten lasted through entrees of bbq'd Asian-style butterflied prawns (marinated in garlic, lemongrass, ginger, tabasco and pepper) served with Tasmanian smoked salmon, sour cream, capers, avocado, spanish onion and lettuce drizzled with extra virgin avacoda oil. Nice dish, it was, too.
With satay chicken thigh and Morrocan-flavoured beef eye fillet skewers and a mixture of delightful salads, I served a briefly decanted bottle of Seppelt's 1998 Great Western St. Peters Vineyard Shiraz. This wine continues its distinguished journey towards full maturity, slowly but surely scaling "richer" heights as it develops and softens in the bottle. Holds a very youthful and bright ruby hue with amazing aromatics of spice-tinged mulberry, blackberry, ripe black plums, sweet regional earth with flecks of deli meats and hung game. In the mouth, this sumptuous wine delivers a phenomenally sweet and lush package - perhaps even too sweet/ripe for some people I'm sure - although there's enough savoury/spicy/earthy counterbalance for me, at least, to resolve the potential of being much of a problem. At the dinner last night I originally thought this of verging on exceptional but with hindsight, I'm not so sure. The wine finishes like liquid silk with very fine, soft creamy tannins and truly outstanding persistence and if this bottle is wholly representative, a wine to be savoured over the next several years. Today, I'm having mixed feelings about it and will defer my final rating until I try another from the cellar and examined on the tasting bench under tighter judging conditions.
After a home-made baked lime cheesecake (from my diabetes cook book), I spoilt all the good work of the dish by opening a remarkably fresh, rich and almost decadently sweet, Gehrig Rutherglen Vintage Port from 1972 which was served with Lindt chocolates and coffee from the new coffee machine.
A very good night of food and fine wine with family and friends.
Last edited by dlo
on Wed Apr 18, 2012 8:36 am, edited 2 times in total.