Weekly Tasting Report (Oct 19-25): An Aussie ton, Napa nuance, and more

One of the best Australian wines we've ever rated combined with some beautifully subtle and non-'monster truck'-like Napa reds, as well as some top German whites last week. The post Weekly Tasting Report (Oct 19-25): An Aussie ton, Napa nuance, and more appeared first on JamesSuckling.com.

Weekly Tasting Report (Oct 19-25): An Aussie ton, Napa nuance, and more
James contemplated giving a perfect score for the the soon-to-be-released Laurent-Perrier Champagne Grand Siècle Grande Cuvée N.25 NV, which he recently tasted over a Zoom with two Laurent-Perrier team members.

“Oh man … so, so good,” read the email from Contributing Editor Nick Stock last week from his tasting office in Adelaide, Australia. He was talking about the Mount Mary Yarra Valley Quintet 2019, the top wine of our tastings over the last week. He added: “The 2018 I rated 99 and this is the perfect version.”

That was enough for James. It’s one of the best Australian wines we have tasted this year.

James himself raved about the quality of the soon-to-be-released Laurent-Perrier Champagne Grand Siècle Grande Cuvée N.25 NV, which he tasted by Zoom yesterday with two Laurent-Perrier team members. He contemplated a perfect score because the super cuvée vintage blend included 65 percent of the great and structured 2008 and 25 percent of the underrated 2007, with the remainder coming from the excellent and drinkable 2006. It all adds up to a great Champagne that impresses with its intense aromas of pure apple and mineral fruit with some complex bread dough undertones. It smells of structure, if this is possible. Meanwhile the palate is tight and shy with fantastic depth and power. The finish needs to come out of its reserved state. This means it’s one for the cellar.

Meanwhile, Senior Editor Stuart Pigott tasted 24 vintages of Schloss Gobelsburg Riesling Kamptal Ried Heiligenstein EL from Austria and the 2001 was in incredible condition. It was one of the best wines we rated over the last seven days. Stuart called it “An almost timeless masterpiece!”

James gave some reprieve to the 2017 Brunello di Montalcinos he has been rating, which will be released in January 2022. The vintage is one of the hottest and driest ever for Montalcino and he was afraid that most wine producers overdid their 2017 Brunellos making dense, tannic and fruit-driven wines atypical for the classy and finely structured bottles of norm. But he found a number of 2017s in this report that had an uncanny finesse and typicity giving him some relief from other Brunellos from the vintage. You can find them in the list below.

The 2016 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva continue to show excellence by comparison – it is a great vintage making wines of structure, depth and freshness. Brunello lovers are going to want some.

The 2019 and 2018 reds, mostly cabernet sauvignon, from Napa Valley continue to dominate the tasting room in Hong Kong. The tasting team, including James, maintain their preference for reds with firm textures and freshness instead of the old school Napa Valley reds that showed a fruit-forward (jammy) and high-octane style. James had a Zoom call with one producer this morning who said he prefers to make balanced and drinkable wines that are the complete opposite of the vinous equivalent of “monster trucks.” James had a good laugh on that comment.

The 2017 vintage is one of the hottest and driest ever for Montalcino but did any quality bottles come out of James' tastings?

If you are looking for some top wines from places cooler than Napa, check out the ratings for wines from two of Tasmania’s best producers: Tolpuddle and Chatto. “Stocky” loved their newly released pinots. They are definitely worth seeking out. He was also keen on new releases from some favorite producers such as First Drop and Kilikanoon. So don’t miss those.

Stuart also rated a few Israeli wines that didn’t make his report over the summer, including those from Jezreel Valley Winery and Five Stones Vineyards. He also rated a few dozen German whites, mostly from the Mosel, many of which were bright, lively and nicely balanced.

Finally, Jo Cooke continued his tasting of the Veneto and the South of Italy with some new wines and wineries making a case for serious consideration. Spend some time sorting the tasting notes by region, and look particularly for Etna, to find some new names.

– James Durston, Senior Editor

The list of wines below is comprised of bottles tasted and rated during the past week by James Suckling and the other tasters at JamesSuckling.com. They include many latest releases not yet available on the market, but which will be available soon. Some will be included in upcoming tasting reports.

Note: You can sort the wines below by country, vintage, score and alphabetically by winery name. You can also search for specific wines in the search bar.

The post Weekly Tasting Report (Oct 19-25): An Aussie ton, Napa nuance, and more appeared first on JamesSuckling.com.