The two sweet white wines were served masked, both from 2005, and were Chateau Filhot, and Chateau Coutet. Both are Semillon dominant (Filhot 60%, Coutet 75%, each with a smidgeon of Muscadelle, and the rest Sauvignon Blanc. The Filhot was authentic to style, with barley-sugar, lime-juice, some candle-wax, and light phenolic characters. The Coutet was darker in colour, but brighter. Orange-blossom was its main character with some supporting pineapple. The Coutet was certainly more powerful, richer and sweeter. Its texture was a delight – supple and mouthfilling. Its weakness was that there was some bitterness, and some coarseness. My impression was there was some errant rot as well as botrytis.
The Filhot was more straightforward, but highly enjoyable, and it represents fantastic value. I have previously pleasantly surprised by the 2001 Ch Filhot, and the common factor is that these were both excellent years for sweet wines from Bordeaux. I will watch for 2009 and 2010.
2005 Ch Filhot – drink now-2025, score 92
2005 Ch Coutet- drink now-2025, score 87
1993 Stanton and Killeen Jack’s block Vintage fortified 18.6%
Dark ruby colour, my key observation of the wine was its slinky, and gentle. It’s a drier style but clearly Australian. Its packed with fine chalky tannins and flavours running from cocoa, fruitcake and dried fruits, dark berries and light mocha flavours. The spirit is appropriate and balanced. This wine is an outstanding example of an aged vintage fortified, with plenty in reserve for the future.
Its from Rutherglen, 90% Shiraz with some minor contributions from Durif and Touriga, a terrific wine made by the late Chris Killeen.
Drink to 2025, score 95 points.