New releases from Stoney Goose Ridge

Stoney Goose Ridge is thrilled to announce new releases, which were quietly gestating on the backburner. Now, even more marquee products will light up the runway, and satisfy our want-it-now, get-it-now (WINGIN) customers.

First, an extension to our existing range of luminous premixed cocktails -this one is based on a blend of vodka and tequila with a tinge of red from cherry, tomato and raspberry;  a revolutionary radical creation, with a fiery kick – the Molotov. In a handy re-usable container.

Also one new wine with a fascinating story – it’s one that an employee tried to keep secret during its genesis, until inevitably I discovered it. My spreadsheet prowess found some almost imperceptible anomalies, and a snap on-site audit led to the immediate dismissal of the culprit. Civil action for fraud will follow with inevitable financial detriment for the former staff member with punitive earnings garnishees sought. All inadvertently associated with this enterprise in any fashion have been counselled and disciplined in extremis.

I had to stage an heroic nuanced intervention to significantly improve the wines inherent magical character. Because of its dubious origins, Stoney Goose Ridge sacrifices this wine to avoid a backdoor fire sale. Now be thankful.

2021 Stoney Goose Ridge Bin 666 Vintage fortified Touriga/tempranillo/durif
It’s a devil-may-wine. Dark and monstrous, with a deep black massive soul, with burning fiery (heads) spirit. Best left in a dark place, or consumed while reading Aleister Crowley or HP Lovecraft, while listening to Santana’s supernatural, Credence’s Pagan Baby, Grateful dead, Black Sabbath, or any other faustian heavy grindcore gothic death metal. Or watching the Exorcist, Angel Heart, or the Seventh Seal. Very Limited release in selected areas. I put a spell on you. Ageless, irresistible, tempting, Classic, with a label worthy of its heritage. RRP (AUS) $88.88

CEO,  Hector Lannible


Revisiting two fortifieds (blind tasting)

Ideally, I make my tasting notes over several days, noticing nuances and changes. But in a blind tasting there is much more emphasis on speed. Its challenging to see how accurately (or not)  I have described the wine, its age and origins after it’s unmasked. Here were two wines that I have previously reviewed on this site – my descriptions and conclusions were (gratifyingly) consistent – with one important exception.

nv mcwilliams 25 tawny

McWilliams Show reserve Tawny limited release 25 years old 19.5%
Riverina, NSW. 500ml, bottled in 2015. Also reviewed in June 2020.

Khaki/olive colour with an orange rim. There is a lot of vanilla here, with sweet fruit and a savoury finish. Luscious, and convincing with dried citrus fruits, brazil nuts, jersey caramel. Australian for sure, and a tawny style.  South Australia or Rutherglen, and 20 years old (or more). Well I cannot be faulted for not getting the region correct. Made from Grenache, Touriga and Shiraz. Enjoy the decadence!

Drink now, 93 points.

h&h 20 terrantez

Henriques and Henriques 20 y/o terrantez 20%
Madeira. Also reviewed in January 2019

Pale orange/khaki, with a clear rim. Sea-spray, green olives, citrus peel. Tawny port style. Palate is savoury, crisp and prolonged. Acidity is pronounced, massive. Beautiful wine. Madeira? Verdelho? Palate sings with freshness, citrus, nuts, fruitcake- the works. Terrantez is rare, and fits between Verdelho and Bual in sweetness. This wine was 74 g/l residual sugar, but swamped by the acidity, that propels further tasting investigation.

Last time, due to some staleness I found, I gave 88 points. This time no problems, and rather than a life of weeks after opening, a life of months is possible- except in my household.

Drink to 2050, 94 points

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.

Very mixed masked sweets

sweeties april 2023vitsoc april 2023

1976 Deinhard Winkeler Hasensprung Riesling Auslese

At first sight, there didn’t seem much hope of drinking pleasure (it looked like an old fortified). But it smelled like a Gewurztraminer, laden with spices, honey, apples and a touch of cork (not taint, just age). The palate was very sweet, enough to move its origin to Germany, but age a puzzle. It tasted grapey and reminiscent of muscat of Alexandria. Thus the clues mounted. German Riesling, perhaps Auslese back in 80’s? 70s? When unmasked, surprises all around. Past its best for sure, but a drinkable survivor.

Drink now 87 points (and higher if history guides you – up to 90 points)

2005 Tertre de lys d’Or Cuvee d’exception
Sauternes. Diam!

Darker colour compared to the next masked wine. Lemon meringue, vanilla pod, charry oak. Palate showed lemon and marmalade, but much lighter and straightforward than anticipated. Sauternes or Barsac for sure.

Drink now, 85 points

2014 Chateau Suduiraut 13.8%
Sauternes. 95% semillon, 5% sav blanc 150 g/l residual sugar
18/12 months oak, (50% new, 50% one y/o)

Lighter colour than its paired wine; has thrilling nettly/green pineapple and much greater impact overall. Palate is a much more viscous and sweeter with more overt oak impact. This is all class, and one to revel in. Ripe year – 2009? 2014? Botrytis and bursting with stonefruit and spices. Super freshness, length and hedonism already in an immaculate package, but will reward the patient.

Drink to 2035, 95 points now, and more to come.

Momentous archaeological discovery will rewrite history

Emeritus Professor Albert Pedant (PhD) hosted a packed press conference in Jerusalem on April 1, 2023 with media attendance from around the globe. Here is the transcript.

“Welcome everyone, this is a historic occasion that you will long remember. I’m sorry that this was the largest venue with media facilities available at short notice; the recent leaks and ill-informed speculation forced a response about a significant archaeological discovery.

Firstly, obviously the materials were found some months ago, but arranging and conducting the necessary scientific analyses took some time; as did security and administrative essentials. But at last, I can officially make this announcement.

You will doubtless know that I have had oversight of archaeological investigation at various sites throughout the Middle East. This includes Khirbet Qana (Cana), in Israel. This broader site is now managed by Israel and has been sporadically unofficially excavated since the 1870s. Recently, ground-penetrating radar revealed several small underground pockets, which led to increased focus on one particular portion of the current site.

Given that the cavern was only a few cubic metres in volume, extremely meticulous care was taken by the experienced team of Dr Henry Jones in parsing the mixed sand, gravel and rocks.  There were remnants of a room, with surviving sections of mudbrick and timber walls. The “hero” find however was one ceramic pot. Amazingly, the contents had not evaporated. It contained just over three gallons (eleven litres) of liquid. Analysis showed this fluid had an alcohol, sugar, and acidity content consistent with wine, and had been preserved with some covering of straw, cork, and olive oil, protected by the constant temperature and humidity of its special underground location.

Alas, only one intact amphora was located in the storeroom, with many shards of other pots in close proximity. There was uncertainty about its age, but thermoluminescence and moisture recombination dating methods provided evidence that the pot was around two thousand years old. The glaze, patterns, and colours were consistent with established specimens from AD 10 – AD 50.

Hebrew characters carved on the side of the jar were likely the name of the potter, (or the owner’s).  The storeroom also contained seeds, papyrus, charcoal, and fabric fragments which provided unambiguous contemporaneous support for the pot’s authenticity and provenance. Two low-value Roman coins were found, and although badly damaged, x-ray and other tests of their underlying images and metallic composition confirmed their concurrent age.

Further, radiocarbon dating methods on the parchment fragments, the timber frames, and bricks yielded similar results. Sadly, fingerprints and DNA were unable to be detected.

Finally, several experts were then assembled to taste the vessel’s contents with no information supplied, other than extreme age of “several centuries”. The professionals’ comments included “remarkable, ethereal, haunting”. When informed that the liquid was at least one thousand years old, agreement was unanimous that the (understandably) pale fluid was in sublime condition given its antiquity. “It’s the oldest wine I have ever had the privilege of drinking” stated Hector Lannible (CEO of beverage behemoth Stoney Goose Ridge) “and it’s not just a curio – it has memorable qualities”.

What makes the Cana find unique?
Pictures of wine drinking go back to the Standard of Ur (c 3000 BC), and early writings include medical papyri from Kahun (c 1900 BC), the Homeric texts (c 850 BC) and numerous “newer” references. But the wine in the amphora is the oldest drinkable sample of wine ever found. Microscopic traces of wine were found in a vessel from Mytros (Crete) dated to 2000 BC. And this Cana wine is also very different to the ‘Speyer Wine Bottle’ discovered in 1867 which held 1,700-year-old liquid that used to be wine (the alcohol had evaporated); its contents dubious and without vinous merit.

According to the New Testament (John 2:1-11 and various apocryphal records), Jesus, his disciples, and his mother were present at a wedding. After the wine ran out, at his mother’s prompting, Jesus turned the contents of six water pots into wine. The steward congratulated the bridegroom for holding the “good wine back”. The Cana contents are potentially from the water that was turned into wine by Jesus, in his first miracle.

There have been all sorts of scams, fraud and fakes involved with alleged biblical material. The shroud of Turin is a well-documented medieval fake. Relics incredibly include numerous bones, foreskins, multiple crowns of thorns, nails, pieces of the Cross, lances, and the grail. Indeed, I have been consulted concerning the authenticity of all sorts of unlikely artefacts allegedly owned or used by the child or adult Jesus (toys, including wooden marbles, and carved animals, sandals, dice, furniture, even impossibilities such as a hula hoop)!

But here we have another matter entirely. The storeroom’s provenance is established; it has been undisturbed for nearly 2000 years; its age has been verified by a variety of methods; finally, the wine’s existence is unparalleled. Other vessels of antiquity have been found – but any liquids are extremely meagre, and unsavoury. To, summarize, it is not definitely proven the wine was created by Jesus; but it is beyond reasonable doubt that finding this wine intact at Cana is extraordinary.

With all these confirmations, security at the dig site was ramped up, to deter theft, vandalism, overcrowding, attacks by religious extremists, drones, and so on.

Israeli Government reaction
There has already been enormous ill-informed commentary about what this discovery means. For some, it verifies the literal existence of Jesus and confirms his divine ability to perform miracles; for others, it’s merely the uncovering of some old wine in a long-abandoned township.

I properly, and promptly alerted the Israeli Government, and personally informed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of potential ramifications. I know there were intense and passionate discussion among the parties represented in the coalition Government, and I was vigorously questioned. There were views that the discovery should be suppressed, as inciting division within Israel, as it could inflame religious tensions within the Middle East – and elsewhere.

Thankfully, the combined wisdom of science, political courage, history and academic freedom prevailed.

Understandably, this is a national, and international treasure.

As an Australian, this astonishing find is the pinnacle of my career as an historian, archaeologist, and researcher. I was in the right place at the right time – what a privilege!

And what now?
The Antiquities Bureau of Cana (ABC) has been established to

  • Ensure the safety and preserve the integrity of the artefacts – further scientific analysis is currently deemed unnecessary.
  • Prioritise submissions from the many institutes, scientists and scholars wishing to study the materials.
  • Continue excavations in the vicinity -although the immediate environs seem desolate of evidence of historic habitation.
  • Determine the conditions (if any) under which pilgrims will be able to view the artefacts (or replicas)

There is enough material extant to guarantee rigorous excavations over several decades and the forthcoming academic publications and musings will spur a total rewrite of history.

I am unable to take questions at this time; they can be submitted in writing to the ABC –which is the definitive, and only channel that can respond officially. They will soon distribute time-lapse images of the uncovering of the storeroom, and the survey of its interior.

Finally, I, Albert Pedant, am thrilled to have been an active participant in this extraordinary “miracle at Cana” and honoured to make this significant announcement”.

better mixed sweets

2016 pressong matters r139

2016 Pressing Matters Riesling R139 9.2%
Coal river valley, Tasmania

Pale colour, lime, pear, apple, ginger biscuit. The winery specialises in the unusual combination of Pinot Noir plus assortment of Rieslings at varying sweetness levels (R0, R9, R69 and r139) with many wine show successes and a wine club that offers regular museum releases. This wine is a cracker. With the crisp Tasmanian acidity, it has the magic combination of varietal definition, botrytis and purity. White peach and lime, thrilling acidity and it just lingers gracefully. Special!

Drink to 2030, 94 points

2015 ca' d'gal vv

2015 Ca d’Gal vite Vecchia Moscato d’asti 5%
Piedmont, lightly sparking (frizzante) packed with icing sugar, musk, and grapiness, spices and texture. The muscat character shines.  Around 90g/l residual sugar, and >$100.

Not as stellar as the 2008 tasted about twelve months ago, but its vitality will utterly revive jaded palates, and confound many with its delicious, bracing freshness.

Drink to 2027, 92 points

2004 jj prum zs auslese

2004 Joh Jos Prum Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Auslese Riesling 7.5%
Mosel, and a startlingly pale colour for its age. Showing white flowers, herb, apple and pine/nettle. The palate is full of minerals and phenolic grip. More modern vintages are riper and sweeter, but even though this wine was served straight after the Ca’ d’Gal, it didn’t seem to have the level of Auslese sweetness (my guess was Kabinett) A rare, relative disappointment from this producer.

Drink to 2026, 90 points

mixed sweets

I’ve posted about fortifieds recently, so its time for some sweet wines! All tasted “blind” except the Fighting Gully Road.

2002 baumard

2002 Domaine des baumard Clos de sainte Catherine 13%
Coteaux du layon, Loire Valley (chenin blanc)

Citrus peel and oranges, apple and pear, Light bodied but fleshy, honey and tropical fruits on the palate, and some residual sugar (40g/l?). Although chenin blanc has naturally high acid, this one looks a little underfruited.

Drink now, 90 points

2003 Marcel Deiss Schoenenbourg 11.5%
Alsace (grand cru), France. The label is traditional/retro, but under time pressure, I forgot the photo.

Musk and sultana, honey and kerosene, youthful but soft.

Identifying the origin as Alsace was straightforward – but varietal composition was a challenge, My guess was Riesling, but its a  field blend; with apparently 50-60 g/l, residual sugar, close to my assumed 45g/l). Deiss makes a number of field blends, and I’ ve had a mix of wonderful and awful from this producer. 2003 was the Euro heatwave, when some clever folk in Alsace picked ahead the official notice (if they had pickers and staff)..

Bravo! Drink soon, 92 points

2012 Jones botrytis Muscat 9.2%
Rutherglen, Victoria
Roses, floral herbs, vaguely like a vermouth! No problem, interesting little wine.

Drink now, 90 points

2017 fighting gully road

2017 Fighting Gully Rd Petit Manseng moelleux 12%
Beechworth, Victoria
Bright gold colour; mango, bruised apple, just ripe pineapple, and pear drops. This is sweet (60g/l?) , but acidity propels the wine along. Almond flavours and mixed tropical fruits. I liked this wine a lot, but the mix of scents and flavours won’t please all. Yet I kept nudging the score upwards with each taste. I recently revelled in their 2021 Sangiovese –  a label to search out.

92 points, drink to 2025

Stoney Goose Ridge CEO Hector Lannible’s EOY wrap of 2022 staff message, at last!

It’s been a difficult but rewarding year.

In calendar 2022, I enjoyed quality family time with short breaks in Aspen and Milan plus some well-deserved long weekends at Noosa, Port Douglas, Cradle Mountain, Margaret River, Portsea and the Flinders Ranges.

For the staff that were allowed to WFH (with key-logging, CCTV and other supervisory requirements), doubtless this made it simpler to attend our family-friendly daily 7am Zoom briefings.

Travel restrictions from COVID have now eased, so my worklife has been largely consumed by essential reconnection to suppliers, agents, employees, trade and Government representatives. Add my keynote speeches at assorted conferences, TED, accepting the voluminous marketing awards, plus recent critical networking engagements at the Superbowl, Australian Open and elsewhere.

My relentless focus on margins continues – a combination of brand premiumisation, ruthless cost-cutting, maximising trade grants and subsidies, exploiting taxation loopholes combined with our renowned extraordinarily momentous litigious manoeuvres.

Obviously, nearly all staff had their bonus expectations annihilated, and received a laser lesson in my metric-driven expectations.  Those that did not achieve “satisfactory” ratings for their KPI deliverables had instant automatic access to alternate external opportunities, apart from serving out their extended unpaid non-competition periods. Several performance reviews migrated into exit interviews. I did however find one employee with startling achievements and foresight – and under my ongoing mentorship will be joining the executive leadership team with a revised title and remuneration package plus oppressive responsibilities.

My own bonus was not as monolithic as in previous years, despite careful escape from our assorted crypto holdings one week before they crashed. My ownership interest in Stoney Goose Ridge merely ratcheted up to 28%. Of course, I have sufficient assets to purchase the firm outright, but even with other investment opportunities, clearly, I have colossal skin in the game.

I was also busy beating back persistent approaches by “Managing Partners” from the usual consulting firms, generally suggesting Stoney Goose Ridge employ their analytic expertise for nebulous and dubious “category development exploration”, “customer journey mapping” and “organisational re-alignment”. They somehow forgot the infamous bidding war for my services as a full partner while still at University; similarly, they assume I have no detailed knowledge – theory and practice- of 4S, TOSCA, MECE, Scamper, and other tools. And intimate access to the might of our data analytic practitioners. Perhaps they should note my MBA and observe that in my six-year tenure at Stoney Goose Ridge, EBIT has increased 5-fold, profit 12-fold, with killer brand awareness and loyalty. ROI, EPG, SEO, NAV etc ditto ad infinitum. Perhaps the consulting firms wish to garner and dissect our IP secrets of success? Regardless, they can return to their bunkers and recycle their dusty proposals to the gullible.

And I have leanly recruited talent while sweating our staff assets to the max. There was the usual voluminous barrage of multi-media CVs seeking employment, internships, cadetships, traineeships and work experience at Stoney Goose Ridge. Many called; few were chosen.

It is fortunate that the ineptitude of my competitors is astonishing. Their leaders and boards would achieve better results if they were replaced by sacks of potatoes – I could carve a banana with a stronger spine.  Decision-making, agility, and strategy- entirely absent. If you can’t cut the mustard, move to higher ground. Feathering their nests by milking their conflicts of interest. Their annual reports nonsensical prolix exemplars of self-serving hagiographic masterclasses in corporate doublespeak. Next step is replacing their press release puff-pieces of tripe via ChatGPT – if they are even aware. Their leadership excels in having much to be humble and modest about, bleating as they suffer the swings and harrows of outrageous fortune. What you see is all there is (WYSIATI).

When the China boom was lowered on their wine basket of nest-eggs, our competitors had to “pivot.” But changing horses midstream is a double-edged sword of Damocles. My cold, cold heart bleeds for our rivals- NOT.

Anyway, if through blind luck, nepotism or payola, a competitor’s beverage offers become successful, we have always been ready to expose the unethical or morally dubious antics of their brand ambassadors, thus eviscerating their labels – the inevitable consequence BOGOF offers and inventory write-downs. Or we create meaningful customer alternatives – such as Jason’s Creek, Cottage hill, Moister Bay, Black Rabbit, Shoeless, Gecko Falls, 16 Flames and Mellow Tale. Such is life, so it goes.

Stoney Goose Ridge
also justly celebrated assorted non-wine SKU product launches:

  • premixed cocktails, not just the typical cosmopolitan, expresso martini, margarita, bloody Mary, old-fashioned, daiquiri, Mai tai, Manhattan, amaretto, negroni and mojito, but a few specials – the “leap into an open grave” and the “big orgasm”. Naturally our premium cocktail range leaves other producers in the shade, quality-wise, thanks to my interventions in their formulations.
  • Zero (and near-zero) alcohol beers and spirits, under our umbrella branding paradigms Less is more! and D’lite, not intended to satisfy the wowsers and abstinent self-flagellating martyrs of Feb-Fast, dry July etc, or the conspicuously affluent consumers. Again, our adversaries provide a flavour-deficit, with their infallible inability to deploy the sensitive assemblage of base material and technical interventions. We deserve wealth and recognition from providing feel-good healthiness to the abstemious.
  • Packaging into cans, pouches, growlers, paper and plastic bottles. If the market, margin and motivation is present, we launch! And we did – leveraging niches is part of our corporate mRNA.

And of course, our ongoing beers, ciders, spritzers and spirits sales are gangbusters.

Merch sales are also fantastic, with social media ablaze with influencers and followers flaunting Stoney Goose Ridge apparel in exotic locales. And our POS paraphernalia continues to dazzle customers.

Adventure afar (AA) is our retargeted strategic global thematic, with omnichannel touchpoints including packaging, POS, OOH, digital, experiential, social and events across key live markets. Media partners and customers adore this refreshed conceptual vitality framework.

My biggest challenge has been sourcing supply to cover the inexorable sales growth of Stoney Goose Ridge. There is no compromise on quality, and it is fortunate that the world is awash with excess stock, giving a wide supply source – if my quality hurdles are met and the price can be optimised for our margins. Truly I am absolutely unique, with creativity, vision, direction, unparalleled negotiating prowess and riveting determination to untangle the sludge in supply chain bottlenecks.

Dealing with the media and press – gutter and otherwise- seeking my profound iron-disciplined evidence-based insightful wisdom on the world of alcohol is as tedious as the junkets and contra they expect.

I spent several days embedded in woodshedding with our wine fabricational staff. They had prepared hundreds of sample blends, with exemplars of their components and accompanying spreadsheets.  Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but when the facts emerged, their judgements were proven wrong. They were predictably enthralled by my swift assessments and the massive improvements made through my blending mastery, admiring the Midas touch of my magic wand. There is no substitute for virtuoso genius, despite their obsessive analytical endeavours and constant requests for additional devices, soil mapping drones and variegated storage- even new barrels every year! (my accountant joke!)

Believe the HYPE
To my disappointment, there have been no new wine brands released from Stoney Goose Ridge since early last year with our record-breaking World Heavyweight Champion. But here it comes.

We used Intercontinental blending material (ICBM) so Merlot from Bordeaux, Cabernet from China, and Carmenere from Chile, fully capturing the essence of their organic terroirs, and biodiversity paradigm.  And surprisingly, no component from Australia. As the premiere release, it was initially evaluated as ICBM #1. Appropriately, this uniquely revolutionary, ground-breaking contemporary concept is labelled “the Hype.” It comes with the usual proprietary QR, AR and a plethora of security devices to help further protect the iconic form of the Stoney Goose Ridge brand, prevent dilution from unauthorised copies and serve as a precedent across jurisdictions. Focus group participants begged to purchase the wine – for amounts well beyond its market tariff – as its sensuous aromatics, and sublime structural finesse flabbergasted their gustatory experiences.

Stoney Goose Ridge always wants its products to be available for our true hyper-dedicated fans, and it is priced at AU$ 38, NZ$ 41, US$ 26, GB£ 21 and €24. 2021 The HYPE is available from select outlets from 20 February, and of course via our multi-award-winning website.

And what a stunningly luminous collectable trompe-l’oeil label! The EOI for the 3D NFTs surge.

The wrap
There will be a barrage of typically glittering omni-channel launches in 2023.
Ubiquity is Utopia. Again, we celebrate our nimiblity – your motivational icon, Hector A Lannible

Two South Australian vintage fortifieds

2002 d'arenberg vp

2002 d’arenberg Vintage fortified Shiraz 18.5%
McLaren Vale.

Last year I tried to visit D’arenberg to see the notorious cube, plus try some of their gigantic range of eclectically-named wines.  Their baffling website defeated my booking attempts, and the door-keeper was reluctant, and then in fact unable to assist. Who needs usability when the website looks attractive?? My conclusion was “never again”. But here is one of their wines…

This bottle was purchased a few months ago at auction for a meagre $23, so another bargain (and bonus points for being a cool vintage).

Battered cork, but the wine has survived 21 years. Loads of sediment.
Deep black colour, bricking but Ok; Dark fruits, red liquorice, fine brandy, plentiful spices. The palate has ripe, sweet dark fruits, fruit-peel characters and very refined “milk chocolate” tannins – altogether a memorable little package. Time ahead too, cork permitting.

Drink to 2030, 92 points, and 92 points.

1972 seppelt vp

1972 Seppelt Barossa Vintage Port GR72 20%
Shiraz, Barossa Valley

Served blind. Ruby with some bricking and evidently significant age.
Ripe, sweet, old-fashioned, cuddly, delicious. Australian, brandy spirit (although one winemaker thought neutral SVR). Very, very fine and lingering. Creamy and just some complexing hints of oloroso sherry.

A different bottle showed as slightly more youthful. I guessed mid-1970s, and from North-east Victoria, but when unveiled -a terrific treat as a 50 y/o with great wine show results.

Drink to 2035, and 94 points

Another batch of rushed (mostly blind) impressions

2007 jjchristoffel uw spatlese

2007 JJ Christoffel Erben Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling spatlese Ap#5 7.5%

Deep gold colour- wax, lime, lanolin, assorted sweet spices. Texture. A dash more acidity would have been welcome, but no mistaking its origin or variety, and merrily consumed over several days. But drink up!
90 points, drink to 2025

2011 Zilliken Saarburger Rieling Kabinett 8% AP#6
Mosel, from two half-bottles, one better than the other, but not by much.

59.9 g/l residual sugar (no wonder I assumed spatlese). Great colour for age; minerals, limes, texture and rampant tropical fruits.

91 points, drink to 2027

1995 Ch Coutet
Barsac. Deep gold colour; orange blossom, dusty botrytis notes, icing sugar and patisserie. Apricot and cumquat flavours. Altogether lovely, and absolutely ready to drink

93 points, drink to 2027

NV Campbells Merchant Prince Muscat
Rutherglen. An old bottling, suspected late 1970s.

Deep dense khaki colour with an olive rim. Rum ‘n raisins and the pungency of age. Very viscous, very ripe, and very sweet. Muscat certainly, Rutherglen probably. Maker??? There is no doubt the material was old, but I kept thinking that a tweak of freshening would have raised enjoyment to another level. But that’s what happens when the wine has been busy resting in bottle for forty years,

Drink now, 92 points

2004 grahams malvedos vp

2004 Graham’s quinta dos malvedos 20%
Cork very hard to extract (I broke it) – and plentiful sediment – decanting recommended. Malvedos provides the core when Graham’s declares a vintage port, so hopes were high. This wine has a ridiculously youthful dense crimson/black colour; blueberry, blackberry, minerals, spices and pepper. Palate is dark cherry and other dark fruits; good intensity but ultimately less complex than the initial promise. But a good advertisement for the quality of single quinta styles,

92 points; wait three years, then drink to 2030

1951 hardy's show port

1951 Hardy’s reserve bin show port bin M127
McLaren Vale, Shiraz.

Rancio, vanilla, superior brandy spirit. Tawny style, no doubt. 20yo? Mellow, lingering, satisfying. Label states aged in oak for over twenty years. Curiously bottled under screwcap, likely in the mid-late 1970s, so this is another curio that has been resting in bottle for nearly fifty years.

Drink now, 92 points.