2017 de Bortoli Noble One Botrytis semillon 12.5%

From the Riverina, NSW, where the style was first released by de Bortoli in 1982. With a long track record of making these unctuous dessert styles, this vintage has assorted – credible – trophies and gold medals. Its readily available with an RRP in Australia of around $80 for a full bottle, and around $40 for the half bottle I purchased- less with careful shopping. It’s the “big sibling” of the awesome value “Deen” botrytis semillon I reviewed few months ago.

Light gold colour; generous decadent scent of brown honey, cinnamon, yellow peach, and apricot stonefruit. Cashew oak is evident, but is balanced by the combination of fruit weight and dusty botrytis notes. It’s medium bodied for this style, with a very dense palate. The 170 g/l of residual sugar means the wine is very sweet, but it has bracing acidity (confirmed by the tech specs), and shows a welcome sense of restraint.

It will subdue most desserts, and is another very classy Australian sweet wine.

Drink to 2032 – at least – and 93 points.

2001 Henriques and Henriques Sercial 20%

Madeira (a Portuguese island, although 1000 km SW, and lies off the NW African coast).

The styles are fortified with neutral spirit, and barrel aged in casks – in this instance bottled in 2014.  Most wines are the result of careful blending; the single vintage release is often called a colheita.

I have previously listed some Madeira internet resources on this blog; one I missed with many details of the wine reviewed is here.

The grape variety Sercial generally makes the driest styles, with sweeter ones ranging through Verdelho, Bual, and Malvasia (Malmsey). Young Madeira styles don’t have the complexities which emerge after 15 or more years (or much longer). But 15-20 years aging suits my budget!

Bright amber colour; scents of salinity and mixed nuts (almond, hazelnut) with citrus peel.

Superb palate, supple and rich, with orange cake, stonefruit, salinity, mixed nuts and astonishing length. Sweetness (55 g/l), is folded in with depth of fruit, and balanced acidity. This wine is fresh, complete and riveting.

To 2030 and 94 points.

2015 Brown Brothers Patricia Noble Riesling 10.5%

Produced in most years by Brown Brothers – a well-known Australian producer – back to the 1970s, from the King Valley, Victoria.

2015-bb-patricia

Bright gold/orange in colour; this luxurious wine overdelivers for its price ($35-$40 per half bottle).

Ripe apricot, orange peel, obvious botrytis. It has a massive 193 g/l residual sugar, but the palate floats with the necessarily high balancing acidity; silk, honey, ripe citrus fruits, and a faint hazelnut nuttiness. The Riesling characters of fresh apple and lime-like citrus remain, with the botrytis providing intensity, viscosity, and adding complexity. This is a really decadent wine which will overwhelm desserts and provoke contemplation of its attributes – a terrific achievement.

To 2028, and 93 points

Stoney Goose Ridge EOFY report 2019-2020

Once again, it’s been a uniquely unprecedented year of challenge for Stoney Goose Ridge. Widespread local bushfires, associated smoke taint, drought and reduced yields had profound impacts. The undeniable journey of climate change continues its adverse ravages. Onerously, we are smothered by compliance to an infestation of intrusive legislation and opaque interpretations. I am determinately resolved to derail this insidious black hole of bureaucratic red tape.

We released the Miraculus Maximus Technoplex®, our authentic avant-garde antidote to exotic, funky “natural wines”. Our crowd-sourced JV the Black– was the biggest, burliest, bruisiest, brawniest, red wine conceivable, and attracted new relationship patronage within our insatiable orbit. Our heartland customer base continues their fanatical NPS loyalty excitement with purchase and consumption of the prolific existing and iconic Stoney Goose Ridge affiliated resonating lifestyle beverage produce.

We rolled out in synchronised lockstep to further macro export territories.

Our ancient bespoke whisky collectable Glen 20 – now sold out – was geared for launch, with phenomenal traction within its prioritised target market of oligarchs, Hollywood royalty, sporting megastars and affluent net-worth moguls.

We surpassed SEO, SEM and other critical BHAG stretch metrics through traditional, digital and social platforms. Our omni-channel influencers inspire acquisitions from next-gen millennial X, Y and Z cohorts. Our holistic grasp of customer wallet-share is unparalleled.

Stoney Goose Ridge garnered abundant prestigious awards for media penetration, POS mechanics, advertising tensility, campaign presence, brand narrative prominence, online e-commerce cyber portal website footprint stickiness, AI resonance integration, accounting disintermediation, hyper-aggressive tax transparency minimisation and goodwill intangible monetization. This glittering swag of accolades is acknowledged. Our data mining team pioneered isotopic interstitial matrix array fluidity analysis with associated granular augmented echelon parameter strata algorithm initiatives.

Revenue and profitability improved – a volatility shortfall in forecast on-premise transactions was camouflaged by ferocious direct sale statistics.  ARPU per SKU UOM uplifted, with P&L SGARA (EBITS) bottom-line fundamentals tracking to be characteristically colossal before the treadmill of the extraordinary roller-coaster COVID events.

Appropriate weighting applied to our mandatory corporate core ESG responsibilities. Stoney Goose Ridge championed active philanthropic engagement with community organisations – sporting, charitable, health-oriented, social and educational – via reciprocal FOC sponsorship contra tranches, and collaborative hybrid branding largesse. Carbon-neutrality sustainability syndrome was over-achieved, and objectives attained for inclusive pure diversity ecosystems. Our rainbow coalition of outsourced partners, contractors, consultants, associates, and agents met contracted KPIs. Our legal armada was obsessed with copious litigation; their reputation as bottom-feeding hyenas unprecedented in jurisprudential circularity.

I take fulsome credit for decimating interest rates charged, renegotiating leases, and squeezing suppliers to knife-edge implosion.

Our cadenced agenda of stellar cost-cutting continued; we ensure outgoings are minimised and deferred to the maximum extent tolerated. Discretionary expense claims were fully legitimised. Stock shrinkage is not accepted- our unwavering laser focus on operational solidarity attained 6-sigmoid altitudes. Ironclad hedged forex quarantine positions ensured hypothecated currency gyration irrelevancy.

It is imperative that all staff reflect on these results -supplemented by my contextual commentary – and formulate a SMART empirical action plan of direct, concrete, accretive activities to enrich Stoney Goose Ridge. These will be cascaded for dynamic implementation.

Acclaimed as an enlightened transformational enterprise, Stoney Goose Ridge is dedicated to the gospel lexicon of profitable growth deliverables. As a premiere transnational empire, we are deluged with CV submissions. Constantly talent-spotting, my mandate is to fill essential lacunae in our human resource repertoire. Successful candidates are immersed in our magnetic cultural fabric during their probation. And we nurture the latent Ninja potential of our extant workforce, encouraging personal development, bolstered by accredited in-house opportunities including the treasured benefit of access to my osmotic mentorship.

In my role as CEO, the “E” emphatically encompasses Evangelist, Explorer, Entrepreneur and Exceptional. Every humble employee is fully empowered to access my collaborative guidance, and fearless trailblazing ideation.

Competitors have tried to emulate the Stoney Goose Ridge juggernaut- predictably, their failures catapulted them into the limelight of derision, revealing the brittle miasma of their anaemic corporate house of cards; their reputations in epic freefall, eviscerated by the infallible barometric blowtorch of alienated public opinion.

I am astonished by our competitors’ systemic capacity for customer enragement.  They own a cavalier tolerance of toxic conflicts of interest, nepotism, and personality cults demanding sycophantic obeisance to their leadership teams. Their decision-making mimics monkeys at a dartboard attempting to replicate the output of Warren Buffett. We encourage whistle-blowers at these corrupt businesses to pursue exposure of their exorbitantly overpaid Boards and incompetent management.  I anticipate companies concerned will doubtless unleash broadsides to torpedo messengers into silence, but we stand behind informants with our seamless force-field of moral authority. Stoney Goose Ridge also plays its virtuoso mantra, illuminating appalling competitor behaviour to variegated industry, regulatory, and Government entities.

COVID was the black sheep dinosaur in the room. The tentacles of this bombshell had potential effects on our staff EQ health and welfare, but detrimental consequences were fully ameliorated and mitigated via a blitzkrieg of original protocol documentation and compulsory individual training.

My skilful contingency planning foresight enabled prompt exercise of alternative templates. We circumnavigated through the COVID seismic maze of chaotic headwinds. When our rivals belatedly woke, they again grasped they had been gazumped and leapfrogged by the leviathan powerhouse of Stoney Goose Ridge.  Our organic growth manifesto was not corralled, and my obfuscatory masstige premiumisation meta-strategy has been wholly validated.

There was residual upside in the silver clouds in the icing of the cake of the COVID lining. Rivals in cash-flow crisis offered brand, stock, land, and equipment. We have thus harvested unsolicited strategic infrastructure instruments in windfall firesale bloodbaths. This fine-tuned investment bonanza has not diminished our funding reserves. Further dead ducks are in our crosshairs – nimble business action stations as usual.

As well as horizon paradigm planning and talent augmentation, my stewardship is monopolised by eradicating supply impediments, and escalating production to balance the sales trajectory of our product cornucopia. With YOY double-digit growth, it is incumbent to finesse quality congruence within supply-chain vertices. Any relaxation in warp speed sales custom momentum eases distributional logistics. That’s the bedrock of our roadmap in a nutshell. At Stoney Goose Ridge, none of our optimised umbrella of technology assets have atrophied or been mothballed. Our inventory backlog is now at record low concentrations, except for our stunning tsunami of looming crafted brand launches intricately embedded in the pipeline.

My critical – and arduous- travel commitments have been jettisoned in the past few months. This meant more 24/7 time at the helm of the engine room hub at HQ control centre for networking advocacy with stakeholders, leveraging every sub-atomic particle of assistance, tax relief, alleviation, subsidy, abatements, waivers, grants, stimuli and sustenance from all layers of Government within Australia and offshore.  My additional accessibility has strengthened familial bonds, as well as crucial hands-on nano-oversight improving the predatory competence of my senior executives. They all unreservedly embraced my lavish, devoted attention.

The bandwidth of our post-modern portfolio basket is matchless. Designs are advanced for exotic metamorphosis in reduced alcohol, lower-carb, ciders, kombucha, spritzers, pre-mixed, wholesome flavour-enhanced, vitamin-enriched, plus alternative packaging materials, as well as our lifeblood steady-state vinous, spirituous and hop-based alcoholised potions. Our terroir-centric blending wizardry is critical to the success mission of Stoney Goose Ridge and rely on my authoritative nuanced organoleptic proficiency. But we only unleash projects when temporal viability is impeccably holistic.

My lean personal PAs, stylists, trainer, media support crew and so on deserve special accolades for their enduring attention to detail, actioning my incisive brainstormed insights with axiomatic alacrity. Mass media attention, plus analytical commentary throughout diverse global press, inspirational contributions at seminars, TED, radio, TV, podcasts, and sophisticated social media podia form part of my dizzy accountabilities – conducted flawlessly, with monumental impact.

Our frontline fabrication, distribution and support teams operated adequately, meeting baseline hurdle expectations. Personnel was further enhanced in median aptitude quality quanta by discarding underperforming headcount via regular appraisal triage. Selected interns, trainees, juniors and other staff deserved their downstream merit-based incentivisation recognition. My own particular fully-vested STI bonus package jackpot was justifiably luxuriant.

When the pendulum rotates and light returns to the sharp end of the tunnel, we will triumphantly commemorate our flotilla of achievements. In the meantime, momentarily raise an invigorating glass of one of the myriad Stoney Goose Ridge flagship beverages and celebrate! Buckle in, commit to my motivational prowess and recognise my future-proofed energised hyperdrive for sustained velocity. Team, the rest – if any- depends on the unstinting execution of your shoulders, heads, hands, and hearts.

Charismatically yours, Hector Lannible.

1993 Stanton and Killeen Vintage Port 18.6%

90% Shiraz, 5% Durif, 5% Touriga. Rutherglen, Victoria
This vintage was rated very highly by the late master winemaker Chris Killeen from Stanton and Killeen – it won 5 trophies and 13 gold medals when these were hard to come by. “Will mature and improve in bottle for up to 25 years” claims the label – accurately!

1993 S&K vp

Deep ruby with some bricking. Aromatic, violets and a hint of mint, wafts of sweet mixed spices. Mellow, rich and lush – camphor, raspberry jam, sweet dark fruit – mulberry, blackberry, raspberry and excellent brandy spirit. With more time, greater red fruit characters emerge – red cherry and red licorice; this renewed complexity and the wine’s memorable flavours linger, forcing a score upgrade!

Altogether integrated and delicious, on a lovely plateau. Outstanding.

To 2025 (or longer), 95 points

2001 Stirn Gewurztraminer Selection de grains nobles (SGN) 12.5%

Apologies everyone, WordPress has altered its editing tool to be extremely counterintuitive, with complex intructions about “blocks”. For the time being, my posts may look strange and clunkier than usual.

2001 stirn gwt sgn

From, Alsace France – which displays the exoticism of the Gewürztraminer grape to great advantage, whether dry, off-dry, or in this instance – very sweet. The term for heavily botrytised grapes in Alsace is Selection de grains nobles, usefully abbreviated to SGN.

From a 500ml, bottle, the cork was in superb condition. The wine is bright deep amber in colour with some copper highlights. Purchased at the winery in 2009 (€29.5), and accidentally cellared until now, it’s a welcome surprise that the wine has not merely survived but thrived.

It has floral grapey rose-petal and musk scents, tropical fruits, dark honey, ripe pear and honeysuckle- with a dash of sweet ginger spice mix. The palate is bright, rich and full of energy; rose-petals again, honey and viscosity, orange citrus tang– and of course it’s very sweet! Varietal identity is still recognisable – it’s aromatic, spicy and absolutely delicious.

Drink to 2025 (but why wait?), and 93 points

1998 Chateau Reynella Vintage Port 19% bottle #04293

McLaren Vale, South Australia.
When presented with what seemed like an Australian vintage fortified wine, the usual option question often resolved to “McLaren Vale (Hardy’s or Reynella) or North-east Victoria (Baileys, or Rutherglen candidates)”.

Selecting the McLaren Vale option involved dissection of the ripeness and extent of strident blackberry – sometimes with success. Another clue was the calibre of the spirit. Choosing between Hardy’s or Reynella fell outside my expertise.|

The previous bottle of this wine was in hindsight – oxidised.  This wine is youthful, despite the label helpfully suggesting “excellent drinking at ten to twenty years of age”. Many (Australian) wine show gold medals attest to its inherent quality. The cork was short but adequate, and its fine sediment merited decanting,

1998 ch reynella vp

Black red in colour, the wine displays overt ripe Shiraz – blackberry- nearly into jam territory – high-quality brandy spirit, and fresh sweet spices. Altogether this amounts to a special wine. Not overblown, not overripe, its dark fruits, concentration, ultra- fine tannins, and extended finish is manicured, and immaculately composed.

We have easy, slightly old-fashioned, delectable hedonism. It’s a model example of the Reynella style.

Drink to 2030, and 94 points

1996 Peter Lehmann “the King” (Vintage Port) AD 2017 20%

Barossa Valley, South Australia – Touriga, Shiraz, Cab Sav (53%/30%/17%)
The very odd labelling approach has the “recommended drinking date” (21 years from vintage) at least twice as prominent as the vintage. It takes careful reading of the back label to confirm the wine is a vintage fortified style! Congratulations marketing gurus, NOT.

1996 peter lehmann vp

The cork is adequate, and there is plentiful lumpy sediment evident with decanting. Definitely a bricky colour, the wine presents a world of soft comfortable old leather, mocha, a spice chest of potpourri, cedar and chestnut, blackberry and bonfires; the palate is luxurious; there is sweet brandy spirit, fresh dark cherry pie fruit, sweet coconut cream, liquorice and mixed spices contribute, and tannin is  in support. Altogether, it’s a fine drink to reminisce over, and its price was a derisory $20 some years back.

Drink to 2026, and 90 points.

MF Richter Kabinett Rieslings from 2006

Mosel, and Richter is known for its Rieslings that perform above their formal classification. Labels err on the traditional side.

A visit to Mulheim in 2007 had us revel with a range of their current release wines, and merry purchases of some very fairly priced older vintages. A winery tour including viewing their museum stocks was a highlight. Back in Melbourne, top-up purchases were mandatory. 2006 in the Mosel was a high botrytis year (along with its usual associated other rots). These Kabinetts were cellared longer than ideal, but still worth assessing. An expected highlight 2006 MF Richter Riesling Kabinett from the Wehlener Sonnenuhr vineyard was also opened, but was sadly somewhat oxidised (flytox, phenolic and flat). Corks on all bottles were acceptable for age. Basically these wines are ready to drink!

2006 richter kabinetts

2006 MF Richter Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett #5 9%
69 g/l residual sugar. Deep gold, this is somewhat more restrained than its sibling. It shows the ripe apple and trademark spices, with a dash of redcurrant. It shows greater earthy savoury elements on the palate. Texture comes to the rescue here, but it doesn’t quite have the vibrancy, complexity or drinking appeal of the next wine.

Drink now, 89 points

2006 MF Richter Brauneberger Juffer Riesling Kabinett #35 9.5%
83 g/l residual sugar, deep gold with some orange/bronze tints. Floral spices, ripe red apple, passionfruit, apricot and some more exotic tropical fruits. The palate exhibits yellow peach stonefruit, and is lush with mixed spices, minerals and clean acidity. It’s an excellent “heavy-weight” Kabinett, mouthfilling although texturally delicate, and has desirable, delicious drinkability.

Drink up, it’s in the zone, 92 points

Unrelated wines – catching up

1983 orlando vp july 2020

1983 Orlando Vintage Port 19.8%
Barossa Valley (South Australia) Shiraz. Solid ruby colour with minor bricking.  aromatic – sweet, fine brandy spirit; fig, plum, stewed rhubarb, blueberry; fruitcake spices. Later, red liquorice, cherry liqueur, and a touch of almond. Lingering fine tannins meshed with that superb spirit.

Delicious drinking but without the magic of the previous bottle (on this blog Dec 2019) albeit similar notes. No complaints at 37 years!

Drink to 2030, 91 points

2008 Willi Schaefer Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett AP#3 7.5%
Mosel, Screwcap, and 48g/l residual sugar. Bright gold; citrus and Jonathon apple lead with brown spices and minerals; the palate shows juicy yellow-flesh peach, wrapped up with zingy acidity. The mineral influence shines through. The wine is easy to drink, but is not as expressive as most of the wines from one of my favourite Mosel producers.

Drink to 2025, 90 points.