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.


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


2009 William Downie Petit Manseng 12.5%

The grapes came from King Valley (Victoria) – a one-off wine as untimely bushfires in Victoria possibly tainted sources of Bill’s usual range of Pinot Noirs. A pretty presentation – the  wax top was easily removed, as was a diam cork, and a there is very impressive Reg Mombassa label. Petit Manseng is the key variety of the long-living sweet wines of south-west France- and I doubt I’ve tried any! Some information is here.

2009 willliam downie
But this wine is still a bright clear lemon colour; aromatics are subdued but lemon and lanolin are present. The palate has more interest- stonefruit, lime, candied peel, green apple, and quince. There is perhaps 40 g/l residual sugar, but this is very neatly absorbed in its balanced tangy acidity. Some phenolic texture rounds out the picture. This wine is right in the slot, and more time won’t add to its nuances. Unusual, and a pleasant, enjoyable surprise.

Drink to 2020 (for its brisk and refreshing aspects) and 88 points.