Stelvins Tasting Evening Results – Onto Bordeaux – 29th September 2012

Team Stelvins finally went to where no Stelvins had been before, the land of Bordeaux, and to once and for all silence paperbagbrandivino ‘s critisism of the rest of us being Viognier drinking wusses.

In attendance:


Wine No.1  Dark. So utterly different from local wine. Different fruit note. It’s beyond fruit. We think it is cabernet sauvignon dominant, therefore Medoc. But we are really babes in the wood. Date, savoury earthy fruit. Relatively sharp. Bigger and more tannic than expected.Visual appearance of age, but very lively. Perhaps 2000? Beautiful grip. A bit short perhaps. Round 2 – clearly a young wine from a year that is going to last a long time. It’s opened up some, more middle to it now lots of structure still, you get the sense that it will fill in and balance with more time. A very good wine, but in extraordinary company. We think now it may be younger than we first thought, but it still doesn’t look young. 

What it is – Chateau de Fieuzal 2005 – from Graves, just south of the Medoc region, near

60% Cab, 33% merlot


Wine No.2


Looks a little older. Leathery tinge. A bit fig and baby’s bottoms.Juicy, length. At least 10 years old. More like a really good old Aussie.  Merlot-based perhaps. Really astounding.Hard to find descriptors for a wine so complex and complete. Not as tannic as the first. Still presenting a lot of fruit. Coming back to this, it’s like a graceful old gent with a red velvet jacket and an enormous erection. Might be a bit older than we thought at first.

Round 2 – very very classy wine, feminine, slash camp, extraordinary length, yes he’s gay, but god he’s smart , that sort of gay – Oscar wilde, Stephen fry kind of wine gay. Deep rich juicy flavours, low alcohol, goes on forever, a bit of cottonmouth…? Noice. Really reallynoice

What it is – Phelan Segur 1996, in the upper Medoc.


Wine No.6

Deep Deep red cherry.Shot through with blue. Younger and tighter.Very high notes – acetone.Liquorice. More like the first wine. Deep, jonno loves it. Beautiful balance. Something very gamey on the nose. More Cabernet Franc or Petit Verdot than Sauvignon or Merlot.

Round 2–vanilla hints, just too young for now, and its not contending in present company.

What it is – Batailley 2008 Paullac


Wine No.3

Pamela Anderson wine. A lot on the front. Beautiful. Rose petals and violets.Really reallyreally astounding.A lot of fruit. Not a fruit bomb. Magnificent balance in the mouth. Like No.6 but with an added layer. Similar blend to 6. Incredible wine. Balance. On the front of Bil’s tongue, vibrant youthful fruit.Quite cool in the mouth. I think it’s right bank.

Round 2 – still astounding structure, it has a spark, a tweak, that is unusual. It is like no wine we have had before. It has a hum, a note, that we can’t remember. Confirmed right bank, definitely less than 10 years old, probably more like 5… Fantastic wine, might not get wine o’ the night, but is certainly a new experience, which is valued above all else in this context.

What  it is – chateau du Tertre 2007 large amount of cab, planted on gravel, since 1997, new owner revived the property which was entirely renovated


Wine No.4

Appearance of age. Stinks of claret. Sarsparilla.More cabernet, low left bank. Doesn’t have the structure of 3. Not as long. A little bit of Aussie.Older than 1 and 6. Quite old. Maybe what one might become.Same shortness as No.1.Big cabernet hole. Raisins.

Round 2 – strangely, still old, smooth, integrated, balanced, superb. Still has the cabernet hole, but now has completely fulfilled the potential of its structure and length. Beautiful. Bit of stewed/dried pear/apple, old white characters.

What it is – chateau pichonlonguevillecomtesee de lalande 1990 softer and more opulent than most Paulliac’s – has often out pointed grand cru chateaux.



Wine No.5


Formic acid. Austere. Cabernet and darker.Capsicum.  Really chalky tannin. More than 10 years old. Stonking wine. Lengthy cabernet. Such power. Finesse. Just astounding. Again,

Round 2 –  Smells like the aftermath of a forest fire, after rain. Dark and tragic, with a hint of bbq. And brisket. Has really softened off, the structure has been accompanied by some delicious licorice and fermented blackberry. Still has some sweetness, but so savoury and whole.

What it is: duhartmilon  1990 – the third rothschild property – 4t growth, but gets some buzz cause it’s a bargain. To the left of lafite, since 1983, the dirt has started to fulfill its potential.



Stelvins Tasting Evening Results – Aussie Red Blends – 18 May 2012

Results from Fridays blind tasting, exploring Australian’s great blends, typed LIVE into Dr Vandermast ‘s iPAD2. Live blogging from Stelvins at @mike ’s. Theme is ‘Aussie Red Blends’. A report wine by wine as follows:

See it as it happend HERE

In attendance:


Wine No.1: Big Hot. Shiraz Grenache (guess) Barossa, shitty Grenache BBQ meat North of 14.5%

D’arenberg Shiraz Grenache it is. 14.5. The boys are fast out of the gate!

Wine No.2: dense, dark, minty and cedar wood.Sawmill nose. paperbagbrandivino reckons its Margaret River, jld reckons its Coonawarra. Probably Cab Merlot. around 2004. jld thinks older. Very elegant. paperbagbrandivino’s taking a punt on a Diana Madaleine.

Wine of the night. Lindeman’s ‘Pyrus’1998 cabernet sauvignon merlot malbec

Wine No.3:  A very nice wine, started very similar to No.2, but perhaps less savoury, more fruit released. Wine #2 was more restrained and sophisticated, but the similarities are doubtless. Good structure, suspect cab shiraz, and indications of age. 8-10 years on it. Perhaps a warmer area than 2.

Rosemount traditional 99 cab merlot petit verdot

Wine No.4: paperbagbrandivino just had an olive. Black pepper, olive bread, savoury, dense colour and flavours, shiraz blend, which suggests the blend is viognier, but its tight, young ahem etc. Warm area, barossa? Hunter? unlikely… The difference, going back to 3, is stark. 4 is not B, H and S’s bag. Sour, unbalanced – its hard work. It got tipped into the bucket. That is a rare occurrence.

d’Arenberg – 2006 – Sticks & Stones – Tempranilllo, Grenache, Tintacow, Souzo – Weird !!!

Wine No.5: Attractive nose. Bordeaux style blend. Cabernet-driven blend elegant. A bit soapy.   Pommegranate green fig, mint, god, smoky, great tannins – like those mint leaf lollies. About 6-8 years. Great structure. Chewy, very sophisticated. moreish. a cracker more margarets than cooners! Dr Vandermast

Voyager – Cab Merlot 2005. Bang on.

Wine No.6: That bastard -it’s almost black – the black hole of red wine. pencil shavings. Coonawarra. Locus classicus of aussie red blends. A beautiful but not as complex. 4-6 years. lovely but not spectacular.

1998 Penfolds Bin 389. Cab Shiraz. The locus classicus indeed…

Wine No.7: Black as night. Shiraz Voignier. A V8 commodore. A younger man’s wine. Changing in the glass, quite quickly. Fruits have come up.

Cullen Mangan 2004. Malbech Petit Verdot.

Wine No.8:  Red capsicum, herbaceous, cabernet shiraz blend, High quality Margaret. jld doesn’t like the finish. Lots of Oak. He’s on his own. @stewart likes the tannins. jld and @stewart are taking it out the back. jld thinks it’s over oaked. jld thinks it’s a cab merlot. paperbagbrandivino thinks it’s Margaret River. This is the most controversial wine of the night. I think it’s OK. BTW the other posts are by some of my drunk fellow Stelvins hence the spelling.

ok, so now we worked out that this wine is corked

Cab Shiraz from Coonawarra. 2002.

Wine No.9: A dirty old bastard. Old cork. Age. It smells. Soft Silky, It’s the smell of memory without the fact of memory. A bit of rubber band and leather, Caramel. Hasn’t got long. Palette’s got 3 minutes left. Just on its last legs. Sticking your nose in an ugg boot of a vestal virgin. If one closed one closed one’s eyes, it could be an old chardonnay. Sensational and a privilege to farewell such an elegant old gent. We think it’s 15-20 years old.

Jamison’s Run. 1988. A very old bastard.

Wine No.10: Another black bastard. A bit sweet and overcooked. a bit of age. Hot young. too early to tell. Raspberry jam Coonawarra stink. Attractive. Young 389 (jld). North of 14.5%. Needs to be drunk later. Shiraz cabernet.

Bin 389. 2004. Cab Shiraz.

Well that wraps it up for this installment, thanks again to @mike for such a great venue. Next stop on the @thestelvins train is paperbagbrandivino ‘s place in a few months, theme to be decided.

Stelvins Lord