Three countries, two curios

2007 vinoptima gwt noble

2007 Vinoptima Noble 11%
Gewurztraminer, Gisborne, New Zealand

From a half-bottle served blind. Orange/copper colour, very floral grapey muscat characters and sweet spices; extremely sweet palate with botrytis plus apricot marmalade, herbs and mixed spice. Not Sauternes, and not fortified. Not Riesling, but the botrytis confuses the variety. Not oaked. Gewurztraminer, Muscat, Pinot Gris – or something less common from Austria or Hungary? Alsace? Ten years old? But the reveal was New Zealand and Gewurztraminer– abetted by around 180 g/l residual sugar. A surprise!

Drink now, 90 points and one to baffle punters obsessed with options.

1987 buller vp

1987 Buller Limited Release Vintage Port 18.3%
Rutherglen, Victoria 70% Durif, 30% touriga

Deep colour with some bricking; mocha, swiss chocolate, sweet for style with spices, soft balanced spirit and almond. One astute taster commented “Australian, with a significant Touriga impact, possibly a third variety”. In any case, a terrific wine with superfine tannins drinking remarkably well for its age (and most had never seen this label).

Drink to 2030, and 93 points

2000 warre's vp

2000 Warre’s vintage port 20%
From two half-bottles (a third half- bottle was corked, alas)

Short corks but in good condition, and a lot of sediment. My main takeaway was that despite the smaller packages, this wine has a long time ahead! Good colour for age; complex mix of blue, red and dark fruits – figs, and a touch of almond. Succulent, fresh, sweet and mouthfilling – but deserves much more time to uncoil. Super integration of fruit and spirit, but it’s just a baby. Warre’s seems to like this wine.

Leave this alone or give it a long decant. Drink to 2040, 95 points.


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