This is an archive of tasting notes from participants in the UK wine forum, with notes from before 2005

UK Wine Forum - Australian white
Notes from participants in the UK Forum are added in chronological order.

02/04 Penfolds 1992 Padthaway Chardonnay
Tasted at cellar temperature which was quite cold enough. Lovely green-gold colour in the glass. Nose of nuts and a little melon scent. On the palate lots of fresh fruit flavours, some interesting complexity made me want to repeat the sips. Refreshing acidty and a long finish. Unlike the last bottle tasted, which was a bit past it, this one would have kept for some time to come but I think I'll be drinking the remaining bottles this year hoping they'll be as enjoyable as this one. (David Riach, UK)

01/04 1999 Late bottled Semillon - Ralph Fowler
37.5cl - £9.50 (US$16, 13 Euros). Light gold with a marzipan and apricots nose. The palate shows a tightrope balance between acidity and sweetness, with impressive staying power. 91/100. (Nicos Neocleous, UK)

11/03 2001 Giaconda Nantua Les Deux
85% Chardonnay, 15% Roussanne. The nose is immediately big and obvious with oily almonds and is curiously rather hermitagey: that roussanne knows how to make its presence felt. Huge attack. Rather over-oaked, though improves greatly with food, especially the trout fillet with which it was served. Seems a bit big an obvious to me, although the fruit and power of flavour disperses the 14.5 abv. Very Good. (Andrew Stevenson, UK)

11/03 Botrytised Sémillon, Cranswick Estate 2001
Orange colour. Sticky nose, strong scents of orange marmalade. For me, somewhat flabby, but very full-flavoured. Good plus. (Matthew Mellor, UK)

10/03 2002 Chardonnay Hellfire Bay, Plantagenet, Western Australia
Smoky buttery nose. Rich and clean. Full, but not heavy. Finishes with spice. Very Good. (Andrew Stevenson, UK)

09/03 Mount Mary Triolet 1997
The Bordeaux blend, and Bordeaux like - but then I don't like them with age. Well developed, for me overly so with honeyed, nutty oxidation - similar palate which while OK, was overall uninteresting. I prefer this style right out off the bat with freshness, fruit and vigour. (Nick Alabaster, UK)

09/03 Mount Mary Chardonnay 1997
An obvious Oz, buttery, tropical fruit nose, but not overblown - and in fact developing slowly for Oz. Strong acid on the palate which is started to feel disjointed. Seems more oaky as it sits - can't see it improving, just becoming more disjointed. (Nick Alabaster, UK)

09/03 Tim Knappstein hand Picked Clare Valley 2000
Good kero development on the nose, but then the palate seems fresh in comparison - the acid is quite intense - but I'm not totally sure this is going in the right direction anymore. Not bad for its type, but disappointing. (Nick Alabaster, UK)

08/03 Tim Adams 1995 Semillon
Bright saffron colour, the nose was waxy, some mature lemon, a touch of alcohol. The taste was medium bodied with some sweetness, but the mature taste falls off a cliff after a few seconds. Disappointing, this was much fresher and for me considerably better six years ago. Mature semillon from Australia is an acquired taste, and I have yet to hear its calling. 84/100. (Nicos Neocleous , UK)

08/03 1998 Grosset Polish Hills Clare Valley Riesling, 13.5%
Clear, pale gold. Intense floral nose with classic kerosene notes. Very intense, piercing lime and citrus notes overlaying strong petrolly palate. Intense, luscious acid-backed power as it hits you. Taste lingers for a long time. Very Good Indeed. (Ray Abercromby, UK)

08/03 1995 Mount Pleasant Elizabeth Semillon, Hunter Valley 11.0%
Deep gold, even in dimmed venue. Interesting medium intensity honeyed nose, smoky fusty edge, almost compost! Weird fat evolved flavour, almost like lime cordial, falling away very quickly. Watery finish. Good. (Ray Abercromby, UK)

07/03 1994 Henschke Eden Valley/Barossa Valley Semillon
Aged Semillon doesn't always do it for me, but this one did. The ripeness (14%) and oak have melded into a complete wine showing strong waxy/honeyed fruit, with good balanced between sweetness and acid - quite long too and very pleasant all round. The powerful flavours need an appropriately strong flavoured dish to go with it. (Nick Alabaster, UK)

06/03 McWilliams Hunter Valley Semillon Mount Pleasant Elizabeth 83
Dark urine colour. Waxy, slightly sherried nose. Rather dry taut and skinny style (I can tell the family resemblance to the 94 that I've been drinking with pleasure recently), tired but not dead yet, there's still some earthy complexity here ( and in fact this tasted better and fresher when tried again a couple of hours later). G (Paul Armstrong, UK)

06/03 Brokenback Vineyard Hunter Valley Semillon 87
Initial impression is of more acidity and life than the Elizabeth 83. Waxy and resiny. But with sipping it becomes a bit one-dimensional, with less complexity and interest. QG/G (Paul Armstrong, UK)

05/03 Lost Valley Cortese, 2001 13,5%
Tried a couple over the winter and they were poor. Amazing what a bit of sun does though, as this was great. Strong flavours of pears and melons, balancing acidity, creaminess and a long finish. Great outdoor sun wine, that is going to get better as the temp rises over the Summer. Available in the UK via Oddbins (Cameron Clark, Holland)

04/03 Penfolds Bin 202 Riesling 2002
A lovely refreshing glass, true to type with bright lime led flavours, soft but zippy enough acid; no great intensity or length, but good QPR and screw-cap to boot. (Nick Alabaster, UK)

03/04 Pewsey Vale The Contours Riesling 1997
Quite an evolved light golden yellow. Fully developed kerosene/oily nose, showing ripe pineapple and honeyed citrus fruit. Palate has good interplay between fructose like sweetness with good acid to dry finish (sugared grapefruit comes to mind). Persistent too. I recall this being an early evolving, riper style of Pewsey (not my vintage of choice), but the screwcap has not halted its early development at all. Perfect now; worked well with poached fish, but has gone its course as far as development goes. Will it stay like this under screwcap I wonder, or will its life not be extended at all? (Nick Alabaster, UK)

03/04 Voyager Estate 2000 Semillon
Shows lime/lemongrass herbal nose with lovely fruit. Good acidity balanced with softer oak maturation characters. Very tasty. Long finish. Excellent wine. Wow. (Gary Walsh, Australia)

03/04 Voyager Estate 2002 Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon
Grassy/Green Bean/Herbal nose but not under-ripe. Fresh. Good fruit. Very enjoyable drink. One of the best MR SBS/SSB's. (Gary Walsh, Australia)

03/04 Voyager Estate 1999 Reserve Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc
This was to be the Tom Price but is released early. Spicy oak, rich buttery nose with lemon and herbs. Very dry and spicy. Good but showing too much barrel character for my taste. (Gary Walsh, Australia)

03/04 Voyager Estate 2001 Marsanne
Floral, citrus with some spicy oak character on the nose. Lemon fruited palate with more spicy oak. Interesting. (Gary Walsh, Australia)

03/04 Voyager Estate 2001Chardonnay
Nuts, nougat, white peach and grapefruit nose. Palate has grapefruit, some mlf but with good balancing acidity. Spicy oak finish. Maybe not quite enough fruit for the oak treatment? Good value and nice wine. (Gary Walsh, Australia)

03/04 Voyager Estate 2002 Chenin Blanc
Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek. Fruit salad (with lots of paw paw and mango),herbs and a lightly pissy nose. Rich fruity palate with plenty of residual sugar. Serve with a spoon and some ice-cream. Some will love it. Many will hate it. (Gary Walsh, Australia)

03/04 Voyager Estate 1998 Chardonnay
Melon, creamy French oak, peach and buttered toast. Very good fruit here balanced with savoury oak. Well integrated. Nice! (Gary Walsh, Australia)

03/04 Leeuwin Estate 2001 Riesling
Sweet citrus (with orange) and floral nose. Sweet fruit with good acidity. Big Riesling. Good result for MR but not delicate and not my bag. (Gary Walsh, Australia)

03/04 Leeuwin Estate 2002 Riesling
Melon with honeyed floral nose. Tangy spicy citrus palate. Not bad but a bit lacking all round. That being said this one is a step up from the 01. Save your money for Clare and Frankland River. (Gary Walsh, Australia)

03/04 Leeuwin Estate 2001 Prelude Chardonnay
Spicy oak and stonefruit nose. Palate has honeydew melon and is a bit lolly like. Spicy oak finish. OK. (Gary Walsh, Australia)

03/04 Leeuwin Estate 2002 Sauvignon Blanc (not yet released)
Very grassy, green bean, blackcurrant buds. Unripe blackcurrant palate with crisp acidity. Balancing on a knife edge between varietal and under ripe. Refreshing. Love it or hate it style. Interesting outcome for Margaret River and perhaps a common trait in SSB for the '02 vintage. (Gary Walsh, Australia)

03/04 Leeuwin Estate 2000 Chardonnay
Yum. Classic MR chardonnay. Ripe peach, melon, pear with lovely nutty spicy oak. Already beautifully integrated with a great balance between ripe fruit and oak. Well rounded and great flavour persistence. Keep the '99 in the cellar for years while you drink this. It will age but it is such a pleasure to drink now. Great stuff! Yum. (Gary Walsh, Australia)

03/04 Moss Brothers 2001 Semillon
Sulphur or volatile. My nose was twitching anyway. Citrus nose. Ripe and sweet. Harsh finish. (Gary Walsh, Australia)

03/04 Moss Brothers 2001 Chardonnay
Nutty oak, decent fruit. OK (Gary Walsh, Australia)

03/04 Moss Brothers 2002 Verdelho
Fruit salad. Crisp acidity and quite dry for the variety. Bit hard. Interesting. (Gary Walsh, Australia)

03/04 Lenton Brae 2002 Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc
Ripe tropical nose with some grassy notes. Sweetish with residual sugar. OK. (Gary Walsh, Australia)

03/04 Lenton Brae 2001 Chardonnay
Cashew/Nutty oak driven nose with quince/fig/grapefruit. Palate shows grapefruit/citrus flavours and spicy oak. I liked it. Pretty good. (Gary Walsh, Australia)

03/04 Gralyn 2002 Premium Dry White
Smells of sick and citrus. Residual sugar. Fresh summer fun. $20?...must be dreamin! (Gary Walsh, Australia)

03/04 Gralyn 2002 Late Harvest Riesling
Sweet apple. Good acid / sweetness. $20? fruity lexia and save $18 a bottle. (Gary Walsh, Australia)

03/04 Xanadu 2002 Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc
Asparagus/green pea/citrus. Some barrel characters on the palate with lime flavour. Good mouthfeel.Lively acidity. Creamy spicy finish. Very smart. (Gary Walsh, Australia)

03/04 Xanadu 2001 Semillon
Herbal/lime/toasty oak. Mouth filling toasty oak palate with lime and grassy flavours. Plenty of barrel ferment characters and a slightly wild aspect. Maybe too much barrel work. I think I liked it. (Gary Walsh, Australia)

03/04 Xanadu 1998 Semillon
Toasty kero notes. Quite herbal with a lemon palate. Interesting. Development is linear unlike Hunter Semillon. (Gary Walsh, Australia)

03/04 Xanadu 2002 Frankland River Chardonnay
Tropical fruit bowl nose filled with mangos. Ripe. Good acidity. Spicy oak. If you like them fruity then this is just the ticket. (Gary Walsh, Australia)

03/04 Xanadu 1998 Chardonnay
Showing a slightly feral/cheesy/lees/nutty nose. Spicy oak. Restrained fruit. Very Euro. Interesting. (Gary Walsh, Australia)

03/04 Moss Wood 2002 Semillon Sauvignon Blanc
Grassy/herbal nose with citrus and gooseberry. A slightly sweeter spicy style of SSB. Nice though. (Gary Walsh, Australia)

03/04 Cape Mentelle 2002 Semillon Sauvignon Blanc
Grassy/green bean/tropical fruit. Creamy mouth-filling tropical fruit with balanced acidity. Great finish. A paragon of the style. (Gary Walsh, Australia)

03/04 Cape Mentelle 2002 Marsanne/Viognier
Honey/floral nose. Lemon palate with spice. Good. (Gary Walsh, Australia)

03/04 Cape Mentelle 2001 Chardonnay
Slightly wild barrel ferment nose with buttered toast , peach and melon fruit. Good acidity. Really very nice wine. Impressive. (Gary Walsh, Australia)

03/04 Cullen Chardonnay 2000
Nutty crème caramel nose with a lovely mix of citrus and tropical fruit. Mouth filling creamy nutty peach flavours countered with a fine grapefruit acid cut. Beautiful oak treatment. The finish has no end. This is absolutely classic chardonnay. Magnificent. (Gary Walsh, Australia)

03/04 Cullen Chardonnay 1999
Slightly wild barrel ferment aromas mingle with melon and stone fruit. Reserved palate minerally palate of peach and citrus with mealy overtones. Very French. Excellent wine. (Gary Walsh, Australia)

02/03 Nicholson River Semillon 1998
Huge deep shimmery golden yellow with a massive hit of candied pineapple, ripe apricot, shorn wool, Manuka honey & smoky oak. Follows with an extremely rich but suprisingly dry mouth feel with lavish pineapple, citrus & chunky tropical fruit with a slightly oxidised herby underlay & waxy overtones finishing with good acidity, huge length, reasonable complexity & weighing in at 13.5%abv. Perhaps this wine is more of an academic than hedonistic interest but at the eight quid paid for it it's certainly a unique wine and the complete opposite of the lean younger Hunter Semillons of a similar age. I'm not even sure if they make this anymore. However the huge richness of this wine sums up everything I don't like about New World barrel fermented wines with some bottle age as in they are, to me, so often OTT. This wine cries out for food though. (Phil Wilkins, UK)

02/03 Wirra Wirra 2002 Sauvingnon Blanc
New vintage has just arrived in Holland and its in a stelvin. Very pale colour, its got bags of citrus fruit in the nose and in the mouth there is more of the same. Lots of zingy acidity make it a bit harsh for now, but a couple of months from now this will make a good summer wine. (Cameron Clark, Holland)

02/03 1999 Elderton Eden Valley Riesling 11.5%ABV
Straw-yellow. Kerosene and lime cordial nose, and powerfully so. A very chemical aroma. The wine is light with a lovely initial attack of citrus fruit and acid, but quickly fades away somewhat. There's also a waxy feel to this wine. Disappointing finish after the promise of the initial aromas. Average. (Ray Abercromby, UK)

02/03 1996 Yattarna, Penfolds, Australia
Deep golden in colour, with a powerful blast of melon, tropical fruit and buttery cream on the nose. This butteriness also applies to the taste, but with surprising levels of acidity and the development of some nutty flavour as the taste progresses. Very good length, which improved after the wine had warmed up (probably a bit cold at the outset). Very good / Excellent (Ray Abercromby, UK)

01/03 Alkoomi Sauvingon Blanc 2001
Visted most of the UK Supermarket chains over Xmas and Safeway was my favourite. This came from them and is a good, grassy style sauvingon. Drank the 2000 over the summer, and I think there is some development potential here. (Cameron Clark, Holland)

01/03 Starvedog Lane Sauvingon Blanc 2000
2nd label of the great Ravenswood Lane. Tighter than the Alkoomi. More fruit than the Alkoomi, and also better balanced acidity. Good. (Cameron Clark, Holland)

12/02 1991 1995 Penfolds Cellar Reserve Chardonnay, Sth Australia 13% ABV
Deep yellow / gold colour. Lots of butterscotch on the nose with creamy oak to boot. Again, first impressions on the palate are creamy buttery flavours overlaid with smoky oak, but then some hints of citrussy lime follow through. . Surprising acidity for an Oz brings balance and harmony to the wine – this is big but not fat. Good long length and balanced finish. Excellent. (Ray Abercromby, UK)

11/02 1999 Brokenwood Riesling Vineyard Selection Jelka, McLaren Vale 12% 50cl
This is a sweet botytrised Riesling. Jelka is the vineyard according to the back label. Nice orangey gold, quite deep fading to quite pale at edge. Interesting nose - pleasantly honeyed and waxy. Touch of orange flower water and vaseline. Lovely attack.. Quite fresh with good fruit, but then fills enormously. Big, rich honeyed flavours. Bit on the sweet side - personally I'd like a bit more acid, but this is a very fine dessert wine. Very pleasing & rounded. Good with (selected!) desserts as well as for sipping. (Andrew Stevenson, UK)

11/02 Brown Brothers Noble Riesling 1997 375ml 10%
Rather unctuous orangey brass colour. Not a lot of Riesling varietal on nose, just huge raisiny botrytis. Fabulous attack. Remarkably fresh and light (all the more remarkable given the nose, which suggested something really sticky). Fills nicely, but by no means heavy. VG acidity and not the merest hint of cloying. Rich, slightly raisined, distinctly citrussy - a sort of orange oil background. Quite distinctive and thoroughly enjoyable. VG indeed. (Andrew Stevenson, UK)

11/02 Delatite 1995 Hell's Window Riesling - Victoria, Australia - 12% - £8 (US$12)
Colour: Pale yellow. Nose: Comments ranged from petrol (US translation - gasoline) to nail varnish remover. Once you got past the stinky nose the taste was ok. Very little acidity, soft, fairly dull, uninspiring. When I bought this I was told that it could keep and develop for up to 10 years if properly stored. I did not enjoy this at 7 years old and nobody else liked it. 78/100. (Nicos Neocleous, UK)

11/02 Penfolds Rawsons Retreat 2001 Riesling, 4,69
Best of the 4 Tesco wines but given the price, it was poor value when compared to the Majestic wines. None of the honeyed flavours from the other Aus wine, this was still tight with some lime flavours and a modicum of acidity. Still young, so may evolve a bit, but nothing special. If you want to try good Aus Riesling then I think you need to go up a few price points. (Cameron Clark, Holland)

10/02 1998 Leasingham "Bin 7" Riesling
Ok, so Australia is not the first place I think of for production of Riesling. Regardless, this stumped every single person in my tasting group both as to variety of grape and country of origin as many of these gents are into German/Alsatian wine. The color depicted a much more mature vintage with a dark golden hue but on the palate it was fresh and primal. Unusual flavors that are not easy to describe and in a very dry style. Most people guessed Pinot Gris or Pinot Blanc from various areas and others, Viognier. The only other Riesling from Oz that I can remember tasting is Pirammima. (Roy Hersh, USA)

10/02 Tim Adams Riesling 2000
(£7.49 from Tesco) Pungent, distinctive, golden wine with great flavour and length. 15/20 (Simon Wharton, UK)

10/02 Chateau Tahbilk Marsanne 1999
(about £6 from Wine Soc) - Another great value wine that has developed significantly since I first had a bottle of this vintage a couple of years ago - colour deepening and taste opening out with clean fruit and enough complexity to make an interesting drink. 15/20 (Simon Wharton, UK)

09/02 Freycinet Radenti, 1996
A sparkler to begin with. 60% Chard, 40% Pinot. Apart from sparkling shiraz, I'm not keen on bubbles, but this was very good. Strong bubbles, clean fruit, long finish. The fruitiness of the wine reminded me of a top German Sekt and this is definitely a wine I would consider buying. (Cameron Clark, Holland)

09/02 Grosset Polish Hill Riesling, 2001
Very pale colour and bone dry. Chalk and lime on the nose. In the mouth it's very dry, slightly spicy and again lime an citrus flavours dominate. Finish is long. One to keep. (Cameron Clark, Holland)

09/02 Grosset Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2001
Nothing special. Nose is a bit closed. Lots of acidity but with food this tamed down a bit and brought out some nice grassy flavours. Needs time to put on some weight. (Cameron Clark, Holland)

09/02 Cullen Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2001
Interesting nose of nettles and oak. Even more closed and acidic. Fruit is quite hidden, but you can tell there is a lot waiting to come out. Pre-Ordered a case of this, and I think this needs a year or 2 to flesh out and put on some weight. (Cameron Clark, Holland)

09/02 Cullen Chardonnay 2000
Another wine I'd pre-ordered. By far the best young Australian Chardonnay I've drunk. Hangs in the glass. Nose is slightly closed, but you tell there is some new oak. In the mouth it is a joy. Your whole mouth is coated in lovely flavours - melons and butterscotch - with well balanced new oak in the background. Great balance and great finesse. Long finish. Very recommended. (Cameron Clark, Holland)

09/02 Mount Horrocks 2000 Cordon Cut Riesling
Dark rich colour. Heavy, sweet riesling fruit. Very nice, well balanced and rich. Probably one to keep now rather than to drink. (Cameron Clark, Holland)

09/02 2001 Taltari, Sauvignon Blanc - Victoria
Very pale yellow. Green nose with medium intensity nettles. Palate is sweet with strong fruit. This is quite long too. Good. (Bill Nanson, Switzerland)

09/02 1999 Rockford, Semillon - Barossa
Pale yellow. Some peach on the nose. Medium intensity fruit and 'okay' acidity. Not very interesting after the previous wine, should have tasted the other way round. Okay. (Bill Nanson, Switzerland)

09/02 2001 Tatachilla, Chardonnay - Padthaway
Pale green. Clean melony nose. Good concentration and acidity. A little tough on the finish though. Quite good. (Bill Nanson, Switzerland)

09/02 2001 Chapel Hill, Unwooded Chardonnay - South Australia
Very pale yellow. This unwooded wine actually has a nice sandalwood twist on the sweet nose. A sweet palate too with good acidity. Good. (Bill Nanson, Switzerland)

09/02 2000 Chapel Hill, Reserve Chardonnay - McLaren/Padthaway
Medium yellow. Some toasty oak. Palate is reasonably fat and a little buttery. Nice acidity. Quite Good. (Bill Nanson, Switzerland)

09/02 2000 Grosset, Piccadilly Chardonnay - Adelaide Hills
Medium yellow. No obvious oak but some boiled sweets on the nose. The palate has medium density but intense fruit. Good length too. Good. (Bill Nanson, Switzerland)

09/02 2000 Dalwhinnie, David Jones Chardonnay - Victoria
Pale yellow. Medium strength nose has sweet melon. Palate is fat, but the fruit is hard to get at. Good length though. Good. (Bill Nanson, Switzerland)

09/02 2001 Mount Horrocks, Cordon Cut Riesling Dessert Wine - Clare
Actually the last wine tasted, but fits better in this section. Nice gold colour, looks thick in the glass too. Lovely sweet nose with citrus peel. Palate is sweet and nicely coats the palate. Only medium length, but for such a young wine, definitely - Very Good. (Bill Nanson, Switzerland)

08/02 2000 Penfolds, Bin 21 Rawson's Retreat Semillon-Chardonnay
Pale gold colour. Sweet, melony note on the nose. Nice acidity with some pineapple. Though a bit short in the mid-palate, surprisingly long in the finsh with subtle vanilla. A nice wine. (Bill Nanson, Switzerland)

08/02 2000 Penfolds, Koonunga Hill Chardonnay
Paler yellow. Nose more like chardonnay, high flowery tones with sweet melon and candied fruits. Also sweet on palate with medium length. Quite good. (Bill Nanson, Switzerland)

08/02 1995 Penfolds, Yattarna
Medium yellow colour. Still high toast oak on the nose which obscures most of the fruit behind it. The peachy palate is broad with good acidity and is a little nutty. The finish is very long with coconut coming through at the end. This is more interesting than a half a dozen 1er Cru Puligny-Montrachets I tried last week, though the P-M's were much younger (1998-2000) and oak was much more severe. A fine wine. (Bill Nanson, Switzerland)

08/02 2000 Leeuwin, Art Series Riesling
Pale yellow. Nose is a little earthy with faint cooking apples, with a little swirling some grapefruit develops. Palate is oaky but the fruit just about wins the battle with the wood. Acidity is good, pushing the finish reasonably long, though the oak is there on the finish too. Good, perhaps very good when the oak softens. This time last year I remember the 1999 being more interesting. (Bill Nanson, Switzerland)

08/02 Slaley Hunting Family Chardonnay 1999
Very pleasant buttery smokey nose, light oak butterscotch and toffee on the palate, would prefer a tad more acidity as in say the Hamilton Russell, good though and may develop given another 2 years. (Charles Adams, UK)

07/02 Watervale Riesling 2000, Grossett, Clare Valley
Lemon/slightly green colour. Very closed on nose and palate. Lot of acidity. Full-bodied. Dry. Difficult to judge at present. (David Pope, UK)

07/02 1995 Peter Lehmann, The Barossa Reserve Riesling
Deep gold colour to the rim. Understated nose with sweet botrytis, Granny Smith apple and lime. After a while develops a 'burnt plastic' note. Thick in the mouth, but despite reasonable acidity comes across as 'claggy'. Although we have the volume there is something missing in the middle (fruit?). Length is not bad though. After a couple of hours from nowhere we have some citrussy fruit. So with some patience the rating improves from 'okay' to 'good'. Still a disappointment after the superb 1994. (Bill Nanson, Switzerland)

07/02 Yarra Yering chardonnay 1996
Golden hue, with deep honeyed nose with a hint of oxidisation. Interesting balance of restrained (for Australia) fruit, and a stong acidic backbone. Well structured with good length. Very good. (Ray Abercromby, UK)

07/02 Tim Adams Riesling 1998
Great limey grapefruit flavours, superb concentration, slight petrol but not offensive, easy drinking and plenty of motivation to buy more Clare rielsings. Excellent. (Charles Adams, UK)

07/02 Tim Adams Semillon 1998
Good trpoical fruit semillon bouquet, palate is very dry, light finish but overall well balanced. Good. (Charles Adams, UK)

07/02 Ch. Tahbilk Marsanne 1998
Tropical fruits, good concentration with long flavour, perfect balance, unbelievably good value! Excellent.

07/02 The Willow Vineyard Semillon 1998
Butterscotch and almond bouquet, good acidity and rich too, improves with air, probably the best dry semillon I have tried. Very good/excellent. (Charles Adams, UK)

07/02 Mitchelton Marsanne 1994
Deep gold, delicious honey on toast with peach fruit, really impressive stuff. Excellent. (Charles Adams, UK)

07/02 1999 Nepenthe, Lenswood Riesling
Pale gold colour. Nose has some citrus notes, very faint kerosene and some lower notes – probably from oak. This is bone dry with 'not bad' acidity, but I would have preferred more. The kerosene doesn't come through on the palate, but (to me) there is an aggressive oaky element that means this needs food. Good balance with food, but not a wine for sipping alfresco, or as an aperitif – which is exactly how I prefer my Riesling. Good but not my style. (Bill Nanson, Switzerland)

07/02 2000 Grosset, Watervale - Clare Valley Riesling
Pale gold still with hints of green. The nose is lovely - a sweet apple crumble affair. The palate has nice acidity, though to me, despite the good volume of fruit, it seems a little 'mushy' and indistinct in the mid palate. Nice follow through to a good finish. Ignoring the different ages of the wines, I find this much more interesting than the Nepenthe, but still prefer the (cheaper) Marcel Deiss from 1997. (Bill Nanson, Switzerland)

06/02 d'Arenberg Olive Grove Chardonnay 2001
This was a pleasing drink to match with Chinese food. It was rich and sweet, no great fruit on offer, but highly drinkable in an identifiably Australian way. I've always enjoyed Olive Grove wines and this is no exception. Perhaps lacking a little definition and poise but a good glug (more serious than that) at seven quid. Good plus plus (Matthew Mellor, UK)

06/02 Jasper Hill Winery Georgia's Paddock Heathcote Riesling 1998
12% alc. Quite soft, quite flowery on the nose with some petrol showing. Same on the palate, with some rubber notes, not much fruit showing. Medium long, rather low acidity. Not really my style of Riesling. Ridiculously expensive at L13.50. (Nerval, UK)

06/02 Saxenburg Private Collection Sauvignon Blanc 2001
Discrete nose with hints of mown grass, lettuce leaves and freshly washed spring greens. Very green, less vulgar than most but still rather lacking sophistication. L7. (Nerval, UK)

05/02 1998 Bin 98a Reserve Chardonnay
Very bright golden straw colour. First impressions on the nose were of major oak and acetone, but these both blew off quickly to reveal a serious nougat/butterscotch note. Sort of the toffee sauce you have with sticky toffee pudding, but without that cloying nature. Again on the palate that butterscotch came through, but was really balanced by the acidity. The overall impression was an incredible mouthfeel, with any oak detected on the nose wonderfully integrated. Long length (Nayan, UK)

05/02 1999 Penfolds Yattarna Chardonnay
Pale gold with a trace of green. On the nose had notes of grapefruit marmalade (rind) with touches of butter. Very soft on the palate with more serious grapefruit flavours (not used to finding these in a Chardonnay). Long, long tingly finish. Found it a touch astringent at the back of the palate, with the finish maybe being a little too hot for me. (Nayan, UK)

05/02 1997 Penfolds Yattarna Chardonnay
Slightly deeper colour than the '99, but still flecked with the same green. There is definite development on the nose (a little vegetal, maybe?), with some butterscothy character. On the palate it is quite open knit, but not really the worse for it. There is a kind of buttered grapefruit, and butterscotch. Has a hotter finish than the '99, but a wonderfully long length. (Nayan, UK)

03/02 Stonier Reserve Chardonnay 1999
A little muted on the nose, certainly compared too the impression once tasted.From the first sip this wine showed wonderfully integrated fruit/oak finesse becoming almost caramel/butterscotch with food.A very subtle & well balanced wine worth every penny of the £14.99p I paid at Waitrose. Sally dislikes oaked Chardonnay,but she loves this! Very much more Burgundian than anything else I have tried from Oz & another winner from Waitrose. (Don Reid, UK)

02/02 Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay 1997 Western Australia
Ripe toasty nose with flint and peaches. Palate has full rip tropical fruits/pineapple flavours finishing full and long. A bit too blousy just lacking a bit of balance for me. (Paul Anderson, UK)

02/02 1997 Rosemount Roxburgh Chardonnay
Deep gold colour. Weird, somewhat confected, pancake-mixture nose. Huge oak on palate, ok peachy fruit, but a weird, slightly astringent finish. This seems to have aged well before it's time and appears on the way down - maybe a duff bottle? Moderate. (Stephan Muller, UK)

02/02 Chambers Rutherglen Grand Muscat Rosewood Vineyards NV
Deep oloroso-sherry-like colour. Glorious nose of fruit cake, cinnamon, molasses and raisins. On the palate, nutty rich and sweet, more molasses, and a beautiful refreshing acidity giving it some backbone. Rating: excellent/sublime (Paul Armstrong, UK)

02/02 Campbells Silverburn White Quartet 1999
good value mongrel (Semillon, Chardonnay, Trebianno, Pedro Ximeniz) with an interesting floral nose. (Paul Armstrong, UK)

02/02 Mitchelton Estate Marsanne 1996
Gobs of fat, butter, lard, marzipan and vanilla...and then some. (Paul Armstrong, UK)

02/02 Chateau Tahbilk Marsanne 1997 Victoria
Has put on weight over last 18 months or so. Now wonderfully expressive nose of honeysuckle, orange and lemon. Palte has peaches, lemons and apricots, with no wood and lovely cleansing acidity on the long finish. delicious 16.5/20 (Anthony Taylor, UK)

01/02 Henschke Eden Valley Sémillon 1993
Lovely medium yellow with flashy green tints. Smashing nose of lemon grass, blossom, melon and hints of pineapple, lime and lanolin-like aromas. The palate is complex, fleshy and concentrated with gobs of creamy honey, lemon, honeydew melon, ripe pineapple and peach balanced with good refreshing lime-like acidity with underlying smoky vanillin French oak and a long dry finish. Great and interesting stuff. Drink over the next year or so. 14% abv. (Phil Wilkins, UK)

01/02 Henschke Tillys Vineyard Barossa Dry White 1998Lime gold colour with nose of melons, bananas, soap & dampness. In the mouth rich and rounded with a fine acidity, boiled sweet, banana and tropical fruit - banana dominates, finishes a little short but is nicely balanced. Very nice (but a bit overpriced). (Dave Sansom, UK)

10/01 Nicholson River Chardonnay 1998 £26 D Byrne
Golden colour. Nose has alsorts of tropical fruit with butter, honey and toast. Palate was so rich it put me in mind of sauternes. Definite botrytised elements and overripeness. Couldn't manage much more than one glass. Delicious and long but overwhelmed the food and then my tastebuds. Curious. 12 or 18/20 depending on your tolerance. (Anthony Taylor, UK)

09/01 Howard Park Riesling 1994
A somewhat pale-medium yellow colour. A grapefruity, honeyed intense nose with a delicate toasted honey and a still fresh grapefruit/lemon palate with curious a exotic citrus (passionfruit?) scent with a slight wetstone feel, combined with that ever-so-slight kero taint. Quite an unusal wine with natural mineral acidity with good concentration. Only slightly showing its age. Still has a few years to go yet. Wonderful stuff. This was in cork BTW. Howard Park must produce some of the WA Rieslings IMO. A very fine example. (Phil Wilkins, UK)

09/01 Penfolds Yattarna '98
The initial glass was promising, with that green tint to the light straw colour of a young Burgundy, although that's where the comparisons end. However, Susan wasn't disappointed, and while I took to ignoring the cost, I also enjoyed what I had. However, it's primary focus is oak, albeit very high quality stuff offering a nose of cashew and vanilla, maybe a touch of mealiness too. However, I couldn't detect fruit as an entity (some peoples idea of finely judged oak no doubt !). The palate is quite weighty, again the oak playing the fiddle, and length is also sweet oak. The balance is fine with the acidity seemed nicely integrated. I suspect it'll have some upside, but I don't think by an awful lot. (Nick Alabaster, UK)

08/01 Yarra Yering Chardonnay 1990 £24 Fortnum and Mason
Golden colour, burnt maccaroon nose, slightly cheesy oxidised nose. Very curious palate, I can only assume due to oxidation. Little fruit. Still has long finish. Probably good within a year or two of vintage but interesting rather than enjoyable.13/20 (Anthony Taylor, UK)

08/01 Petaluma Tiers Chardonnay 97 Australia £35 Tanners
Gold colour, nose of hazelnuts and cashews with some mealy notes. Palate initially very dumb then explodes with nuts, wood tropical fruit and a hint of minerals with a lovely focused and very long finish. Less subtle than Leeuwin Estate but powerful in the way I hoped Pierro would have been without being overbalanced. 17/20 (Anthony Taylor, UK)

08/01 Smithbrook Early Release Chardonnay 1997
Pale gold, nose of citrus fruits and strong grapefruit aroma, much more grapefruit on the palate with strong acidity. Not an over oaked monster (if there's oak there it's not up to competing with the potentially overbearing grapefruit) but disjointed. I've had three entireley different bottles of this wine. One good, two poor. (Mark Pearce, UK)

07/01 Lindemans Hunter River Reserve Semillon Bin 8650 1995
Lemon yellow colour. Waxy lemon nose (maybe jif lemon??) palte has more of the lemon but still quite simple. Fierce acidity to finish but nice on a day like today. 14/20 (Anthony Taylor, UK)

04/01 Lark Hill Vineyards 1998 Chardonnay
Another first. An Oz Chardy that I could drink until the cows come home. Just beautiful delicate fruit with french oak. A subtle and elegant Oz chardonnay. A lovely drop. Nicely mature. $26.00 CD (Phil Wilkins, UK)

04/01 Noble One Botrytis Semillon 1996 de Bortoli
Rich gold colour. Massive, heavy botrytis nose. Fruit has got lost behind all the spice. Palette is pretty well balanced for a wine this sweet, but I find it rather dull - all power and no interest. Wines this big *can* be complex (cf. Tokaji), but this isn't. Ok, but nothing special (Lucian Holand, UK)

04/01 Cranswick Estate, Nine Pines Vineyard, Botrytis Semillon, 1996
There was really rich apricot and orange fruit with honey, liquid marmalade with perhaps a slight hint of urine, but not too sweet with nicely balanced acidity. I am not a big sweet wine drinker but if one can obtain such pleasure from a fiver I wonder why I should spend more. Sauternes? Forget it, I'm sticking with Oz! Asda £4.99 (CharlesA, UK)

03/01 1998 Baratt ‘Piccadilly Hill’ Pinot Noir, Adelaide Hills
Served blind I took one sniff and thought New World Pinot due to the amount of oak on this baby. It is quite loaded with sweet Pinot fruit, though not in a jammy style, and my only complaint, quite honestly, is the oak, which everyone else found at least tolerable. The acid and tannins seemed fairly unintegrated at the moment, and this is not a blockbuster Pinot like the riper Australians and New Zealanders, but it does do its understatedness fairly well. To be fair, when I went back to it at the end of the dinner, it had blown off some of the oak to become a really attractive Volnay clone. Well worth a look. (Yixin Ong, Singapore/UK)

03/01 Pierro Chardonnay 97 W.Australia £20
Golden colour, nose of butterscotch and wood. Palate overwhelmed by wood, burying the fruit entirely, slightly hot finish from the 14.5% abv. Long but very unbalanced. Supposedly a top Aussie chard but not a patch on Leeuwin and Petaluma. 13.0 (Anthony Taylor, UK)

03/01 Heggie's Vineyard Chardonnay 1998 at £12.99
This was a very rich, high-powered wine of deep, ripe fruit and plenty of oak. Low acidity. Classy nose - oatmeal, notes of dough. One problem: it's totally boring. After 2 glasses I really felt like a change... my palate has been calibrated to subtle, floral, much lighter Italian whites and I just couldn't handle this at all. I just felt it was too tarty - everything about the wine was obvious, there was nothing to keep you coming back to the glass to search for nuances/complexities that for me are the difference between £7 wines and £13 wines (Joel Hopwood, UK)

03/01 Penfolds Yattarna 1995
Well, where do I start. It is just the biggest load of boring rubbish I have ever tried. This is just the fattest, flabbiest and biggest disappiontment ever of a promised wine yet. God only knows why you will pay mega bucks for the introductory vintage of this, but my advice is , just don't even think about it. It is just boring. (Phil Wilkins, UK)

02/01 1999 De Bortoli Yarra Valley Chardonnay
Okay, I brought this along thinking it was actually going to be drinkable chardonnay. Tonight, it failed me, showing lots of tropical fruit and a down-the-line very ripe nose. But the palate was a real disappointment, where it seemed disjointed and had very odd chunks of acid and bitterness all over the mouth and especially in the finish. (Yixin Ong, SIngapore/UK)

02/01 De Bortoli 1996 Rare Dry Botrytis Semillon
De Bortoli are famous for their sweet botrytised 'Noble One', but they also make this oddity, a dry white wine made with a proportion of Botrytised grapes. It's a full golden colour, with a remarkable nose of honey, citrus fruit, spice and marmalade. The palate is spicy and bone dry, with more of the distinctive marmalade/apricot botrytis character. A very unusual wine, but one with real appeal -- so unusual, it is likely to make just as many friends as enemies. Very good/excellent (Jamie Goode, UK)

01/01 Mount Eden, Chardonnay, 1997
Huge buttery vanillin nose. The fruit is light, however and one has the feeling that the overoaking is an attempt to cover this. (Mark Robertson, UK)

01/01 Hanging Rock "The Jim Jim" Sauvignon Blanc 1998
Although my hand hovered over the bottle of Cloudy Bay what I actually bought was this. Time was that the "Jim Jim" commanded £9.99, now you can get it in Morrisons for £4.99. I read somewhere the quote "Australian Pinot Noir - why do they bother?" Although I don't necessarily agree with that I think you can substitute in Sauvignon Blanc to the phrase. After an initial flourish of goosegog there was just so little to this wine. It was fairly boring. No wonder the price has come down. 13.5% abv. (Daron Fincham, UK)

01/01 Ashton Hills Riesling 1997, Adelaide Hills
A bit shy on the nose, with just a hint of lime fruit, but on the palate it is well rounded and shows good balance between the citrus fruit and acidity. Very good. (Jamie Goode, UK)

11/00 de Bortoli 'Rare Dry Botrytis Semillon 1996
C: deep gold glow, strong legs (13.5% ABV)
N: intense botrytis, rich creamy buttery vanilla, caramel
Palate: strongly vanilla, toffee, moderately long, thick viscous feel. Certainly NOT dry though - maybe compared to their Noble One, but the residual sugar must be considerable in this
Overall: Good to very good - interesting certainly. Go try it if you see a bottle (£8.50) (Stephan Muller, UK)

09/00 Angove Floreate Savignon Blanc '95Heavier, richer dessert wine that combines caramel, molasses, barley sugared fruit and cutting citrus acids which seemed of the added variety. Not bad though. (Nick Alabaster, UK)

05/00 Mayfield Vineyards Chardonnay, 1998. (S. Aus)
I'm not a big fan of Oz chardonnays in the mid-low price range. I find them far too over-oaked and terse. This one wasn't too bad though. Nice golden yellow colour. Nose was sharp with honey, lemon and butter. Palate was mouth filling, well balanced and subtley oaked, with good fruit character. Still not my scene though and a taste was sufficient. My brother enjoyed it though. (Graham Simpson - UK)

05/00 Lindemans Padthaway Chardonnay 1998 (A$15.50)
Not from the Hunter, but instead from a cooler region in South Australia well known for producing great Chardonnays. I was really impressed by this wine. Fully barrel-fermented. Deep yellow colour. Complex fruit flavours combined beautifully with new oak. Rich, intense and concentrated, with figgy, tropical fruit and spice notes. Superb stuff. Very good + (Jamie Goode - UK)

05/00 Brokenwood Graveyard Vineyard Chardonnay 1998 (A$34.50)
This is a single-vineyard Hunter Chardonnay that spends 12 months in new French oak. There is a huge nose of butterscotch and tropical fruit. Spicy and complex, this superb wine is concentrated and delicious. Excellent. (Jamie Goode - UK)

05/00 McWilliams O'Shea Chardonnay 1996 (A$29)
8 months of French oak. I was really impressed with this wine. Lovely rich nose, complex and toasty. On the palate the rich fruit is combined with well handled new oak, to give an intense and powerful wine. Very good/excellent. Well priced too. (Jamie Goode - UK)

05/00 Pewsey Vale Eden Valley Riesling 1997
This was stashed away behind three bottles of the '98 vintage on the shelf in Oddbins and I'm so glad I found it. A pale golden yellow colour with a moderately intense nose full of citrusy, tangy lime and a subtle hint of kerosene. Palate was well balanced with vibrabnt acidity, lemon + lime rind aromas leading to a lingering finish. Opened up a bit since I tried it 12 months ago. A lovely wine to enjoy outdoors on a summer's day. (Graham Simpson - UK)

05/00 Knappstein Clare Valley Hand Picked Riesling 1998
A pale straw-yellow colour. Light and fragrant nose with a nice touch of kerosene and lemon rind. Good kerosene mouthfeel with lively acidity balanced with citrus fruits. A very quaffable Riesling with some distance in it yet. (Graham Simpson - UK)

05/00 Henschke Louis Eden Valley Riesling '95
Waxy, oily buttery fruit, good weighty and persistent flavours all nicely balanced. Much more impressive to be than the alcoholic and cumbersome Henschke Julius Riesling that I had recently. (Nick Alabaster - UK)

05/00 Mount Pleasant "Elizabeth" Hunter Valley Semillon 1994
I've had a few Aussie Semillons before, but never one from the Hunter Valley. Certainly a wilder beast than the Clare/Eden valley Semillons I've had previously. Pale but quite a bright yellow. Quite an 'oily' texture, with interesting good contrast between the firm nutty mid palate and a long crisp lemony finish. Definitely a food wine. Maybe an acquired taste, but I liked it a lot. An interesting wine. (Paul Armstrong - UK)

02/00 Tim Adams Clare Valley Riesling 1998
A: pale yellow with a hint of green entering, crystal.
N: Tropical fruits, pineapple, honeydew melon with a creamy, creme anglaise backdrop.
P: Again pineapple, with a beautiful finish that lingered on.
Overall I was extremely impressed with this wine, shame it was my only bottle! (Ham - UK)

02/00 Pewsey Vale Eden Valley Riesling 1998
Huge, fresh, exhilarating nose of lime fruit. On the palate this is concentrated and intense, with fresh citrus fruit and some honey notes. Nice, crunchy intensity and good balance. Australian Riesling can age well, but I'd drink this while it has its youthful freshness.Excellent. (£5.99 Oddbins) (Jamie Goode - UK)

02/00 Peter Lehmann, 'The Barossa' Semillon 1998
Yellow gold colour, with a lovely nose of lemon and lime fruit. On the palate it has racy citrus fruit and fresh acidity, coupled with a nice smooth texture. There may be a touch of oak (undisclosed) filling the wine out, but certainly not too much. A rounded and tasty wine. Highly recommended. (£5.49, Oddbins) (Jamie Goode - UK)

01/00 Yarra Ridge Chardonnay 1997
Part of the Mildara-Blass empire. This is another new world white that should have been drunk some time ago. The deep golden colour is alarming considering that this wine is less than three years old. Still drinkable, despite its premature sensecence, this wine has a smooth palate with complex nutty and honeyed notes, supplemented by elements of coffee and spice. No malolactic fermentation was allowed, but despite this the wine is low in acid and dying fast. Some may enjoy it, but I was disappointed. (Oddbins, £5.99, down from £7.99) (Jamie Goode - UK)

01/00 Rosemount EstateOrange Vineyard Chardonnay 1997
This second single vineyard Chardonnay from Rosemount may be the cheaper of the two, but I prefer it. It is rich, spicy, intense and savoury. Very good. (Jamie Goode - UK)

01/00 Rosemount EstateRoxburgh Chardonnay 1996
Intense, ripe, enormous wine with good oak handling. The complex tropical fruit flavours belie the warm-climate origins of this wine. Good, but expensive at £34. (Jamie Goode - UK)

01/00 Rosemount Estate1998 Show Reserve Chardonnay
Hunter Valley fruit, from two vineyards, Roxburgh and Giant's creek. 11 months French and American new oak. Big vanilla oak nose. Savoury and fresh, but with plenty of complexity. Very good if you are not averse to a bit of oak: I quite like this wine. (£9.99) (Jamie Goode - UK)

01/00 Rosemount Estate1998 Chardonnay
Subtle oak influence (3 months part new oak). This is savoury, fresh and tasty: very good for the price (£6.99). (Jamie Goode - UK)

01/00 Rosemount Estate1999 Semillon Sauvignon blanc
Good crisp, fresh dry white, but unremarkable. A little overpriced at £5.99. (Jamie Goode - UK)