Don’t knock Cleanskins

I recently enjoyed a blind tasting of 13 cleanskin wines aged 3 years plus from various cellars. Naturally they varied in quality but did spring up a remarkable gem.

This 1974 Murray River Red, Bin 537 was purchased for 65 cents from The Vintage Club, set up by Dan Murphy in a gallery in Chapel Street, Melbourne in the 1960’s. I got quite emotional drinking this 45 year old wine as its condition was exceptional. Soft lingering liquorice and chocolate overtones all through the palate finishing with a slight sweet vanilla finish.More remarkable was the contents were below lower shoulder and frankly I produced it as a curiosity only. I suspect it must have been a Rutherglen vineyard as a wine of this age could not really have come from anywhere else.


What a fantastic drinking experience.

This got me thinking. Do current cleanskins still maintain quality and value?

Cleanskins really became prominent in Australia in the early 2000’s as a way for the wine industry to manage a large oversupply of wine. Also, at that time the price of cleanskin wine dropped to around or below the price of bottled beer or even bottled water.

The former Gallery in Chapel Street. Home of the Vintage Club.

But it was the colourful Dan Murphy in the 1960’s and 70’s that was the founder of the cleanskin wine industry. In those days wineries did not have cellar doors and were struggling to dispose of their vintages and over supply so they would approach Dan and his Vintage Club concept and offer the vintage as a cleanskin so the source would be anonymous.

There is a famous true story that Penfold’s in the late 70’s were going through a financial crisis and sold Dan 45 gallon drums of St Henri which was on sold as a cleanskin for $1.10.

A cleanskin wine is usually from a commercial winery that decides not to sell it under their own parent label but sell it at very sharp prices off the normal price mostly in dozen lots. The labels usually only show the grape varietal and the year of bottling, as well as other information required by law such as alcohol content, volume, additives and standard drink information. But beware there can be plenty of surprises

1967 cover of The Vintage Club newsletter showing the months Bin end cleanskins selections.

Sometimes the wine in question may have been a branded wine that was originally sold at a higher price and then re-labelled as a cleanskin or they may be wines produced solely as a cleanskin. Consequently, the quality of various batches of cleanskin wines can vary significantly from bottling to bottling.

When we had little money we would buy a bottle of every cleanskin sold at the store, mask them and taste and the best was to be our home consumption. Boy there were some shockers I can tell you! But this was not a bad ploy so my advice even today is to avoid buying a case without tasting first or knowing it’s origin.

Many producers have to find inventive ways to turn their juice into profit so cleanskins allow them to quietly reduce their levels of excess stock – whether it is a prestige brand’s bin end or a boutique winery forced on balancing its accounts. It can be from a cancelled export order that had to have a different front and back label to meet the laws of that country. It could be that they ran out of labels during the bottling run.

Also when a winery has had trouble selling a certain line or need to clear the warehouse, or empty their wine tanks before the next harvest they may package it as a cleanskin.
But beware, some companies use it as a way to clear out a blend that is not as the winemaker expected, or can be the ends of several tanks or barrels that did not make the intended label or there could have been a slight mistake during bottling such as the level of sulphur, or too much exposure to oxygen and the wine will age faster than desired.

The wines are usually so cheap, insist the retailer open a bottle and pour a free sample to taste.  If you like the wine buy because finding the same wine again will be difficult.



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2019 Central Otago Pinot Noir Celebration

More than 150 delegates from all over the world including Burgundy converged on Queenstown, New Zealand for 3 days to celebrate Pinot Noir. 40 local wineries participated in a series of tastings, lunches and dinners.


Discovery tasting

Held in the ballroom at the Millennium Hotel six wines each from 6 sub regions of Central Otago were selected from vineyards established between 1998=2007. During this period there was huge growth with the introduction of new clonal material, rootstock, planting density, and new sub regions.

Unfortunatly the air conditioning was on full blast for the tasting and the wines, served at below optimum temperature took time to open out and show their best  However when warmed it was an interesting exersice  Wines specially selected were:

2010 Felton Road Cornish Point Pinot Noir – Bannockburn
Elegant mushroom and spice overtones, great intensity balance and length, powerful and still youthful  $85. 93/100

2015 Mondillo Pinot Noir Bendigo
Powerful fragrant nose, nicely balanced with red fruits, vibrant, nice acidity and tannins  Drink now. Great value. $45. 94/100

2015 Aurum Mathilda Pinot Noir– Lowburn
Silky overtones of chocolate, red fruit, balanced with good acidity. Organic. $55. 94/100

2015 Judge Rock Pinot Noir – Alexandra

Red berries, mushroom, spice. vibrant fine grains, very silky. Wonderful. Excellent value. $45. 96/100

2016 Two Degrees Pinot Noir- Queensbury
NZ Championship trophy. Bouquet rose petals, plum and cherries. Silky, long, complex, long lingering finish. Beautifully intergrated.  Outstanding. $40. 98/100

2015  Valli Vineyard Pinot Noir – Gibbston

Spice and red fruits, high acidity, rich, lusciously delicious blend of plums. $70. 96/100.

Six Great examples showing delegates consistency across the 6 sub regions of Central Otago. Look out these wines and you will be rewarded.

In the evening a “garden gnome “ meet and greet was held at the Skyline restaurant, a 25 minute trip up a gondola which greeted visitors with sweeping views of Queenstown.  Plenty of discussion here as everyone got to know each other. Plenty of local back vintages to sample and access. Naturally I paced myself knowing the programme for the next two days.



40 local wineries hosted and showed two wines from different vintages in a stand up and walk around format at Amisfield winery in Cromwell starting at Yes I know an early start so it was all about pacing ones self. Too many wines to review but the show case provided the best the region has to offer. Everyone left for lunch in a good mood!

At 12.30 everyone was allocated a local winery for lunch and along with 30 others I was  allocated Cloudy Bay. They took over Northburn Station, a sheep and cattle station snce the 1840’s in 2014. The new owners have transformed the former sheep station to a gourmet restaurant called the Shed and now concentrate on formal functions.

Over a 3 course lunch the wines presented were:
Prophets Rock Pinot Gris 2014
Nice aromas of pear, peaches and delicate spice. A fresh long finish. $32. 94/100 +3 yr

Rippon Riesling 2011
Grapefruit, limes and orange peel and buttery similar to a Mornington Peninsular style with a nice citrus finish. Developing well  A pleasure to drink. Sold out 95/100

Cloudy Bay Te Wahi Pinot Noir 2016
I found the nose green with vegetable overtones on the palate. Sweet and with no where to go. Not my bag. The lunch though was superb. $85. 85/100

Gibbston Reserve Pinot Noir 2013
Pity this has sold out as it is a must for any cellar. Lifted floral nose full of cherries and herbal maintaining long ligering finish. Sold out. 97/100.

Aurum Mathilda Pinot Noir 2006
Still maintaining dark deep colour and softing plum and cherry length. At peak and going slightly pruney. A former beauty. Not sure if it is still available. 92/100

Providore Rose 2018
Not sure what to make of this. Bright colour but in the candy floss league and far too sweet. Quite perfumed to boot. Not my bag. $25. 82/100.

The wines were well matched by chefs from Wanaka. It was a top show. It was on the bus now for a 45 min trip back to Queenstown and an hours rest before dinner beckoned. Don’t worry folks I am still on me feet thanks to vast quantities of water!

For dinner once again the delegates were divided into groups and I was allocated Tatsumi, a new Quennstown Japanese restaurant born 6 months ago. Humm, pinot noir matched with Japanese food had me wondering about the food match. The food was western inspired which helped and I must say Yoko Kigami and her team did an admirable job. This restaurant hidden up a narrow staircase is well worth dining should you be in town.

Lets. get down to the wines specially selected.

Chard Farm Judge & Jury Chardonnay 2013
Nice citrus, hints of lemon and creamy, finished long, light oak, at peak. $40. 92/100.

 Mount Michael Bessie Block Pinot Noir 2013
Deep colour, with aromas of rich berries and chocolate, decant. $80. 96/100.

Two Degrees Pinot Noir 2014
Another NZ Championship trophy wine. Bright even hues, fresh and savoury fruit explosion, spicy, long lingering finish. Outstanding. Sold out. 98/100

Tarras The Canyon Pinot Noir 2007
Beautiful smooth,  fruit just fading on the palate but spice lingers. Sold out. 97/100.

Amisfield Pinot Noir 2012
Black cherries and luscious fruit combo, big and fights the palate. +5 yrs. $45. 95/100


It was an early 8.30 am start back at the Millennium for a formal tasting of wines which were a result over 12 years of an annual exchange between Central Otago and Burgundy wine makers. Fortunately the ballroom as more comfortable and gave the wines every chance. Up front to speak to the wines was wine writer John Saker, Jasper Morris MW and Louis Meunière from Domains Jean – Jacques. The room was full of expectation.

The line up for the formal tasting

Quartz Reef Bendigo Single Ferment, Ginger, 2016
Quite toasty with sour cherries but rich undertones. Plenty of oak power which needs to soften over the next 5 years to make this wine more approachable. + 8 years. $95. 89/100

Domaine R & P Bouley, Volney 1st Cru, Champans 2016
Brilliant ruby, rich and very clean. Died quickly on the front palate. For all that it is well structured. Great potential. $95. 94/100

Domaine Anne  Cros, Bourgogne Hautes- Cotes, de Nuits,2015
Needed time to open. Very delicate soft fruit with hints of black pepper. Great texture and long finish. Bargain buy here, Drink now. $55. 98/100.

Domaine Decelle- Villa, Beaune 1st Cru, Les Teurons, 2014
Enjoyed this, nice tannins, a little lightweight, but soft intergreated fruit, good structure and finished long. $65. 96/100.

Domaine Jean-Jacques Confuron, Romanee-Saint-Vivant Grand  Cru 2014
Bright ruby colour. Plenty of blackberry and chocolate. A little sweet but finished very dry with a sour front palate. Not worth the price. $380. 89/100.

Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux, Vosne-Romanee, Les Hautes Maizieres, 2013
Very light with overtones of raspberries but a hit of oak dominated for me. Slightly sour and finished dry. Pity. $80. 90/100.

Well we are not done yet. All aboard a couple of coaches for the 25 min trip out to Jacks Point set amongst an estate that has had a chequered development past. It is better known as one of the finest golf courses in NZ and we gathered at the cafe/ restaurant run by Amisfield catering. Another line up of local old and new vintages was there so help yourself.

After 2 .hours of tasting back to town for a 3 hour rest and then all aboard again for the grand finale dinner held up the mountain at the top of Coronet Peak, NZ’s internationally known ski resort.

More speeches but some of the speakers were not at their best due to the heavy 3 day work load. Those attending were encouraged to bring a special bottle and as usual I did the circuit and can report there were some great old back vintages from all over the world. After a charity auction which raised $40,000 it was mid night I said good night too.

This internationally expression of Pinot Noir is held every year alternating between the nations capital Wellington and Queenstown.

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The Wine Table celebrates it’s 4000th lunch

The  Wine Table, founded in 1927, meets every Wednesday in the upstairs Mural Room  at Melbourne restaurant institution Grossi Florentino. On 5 December it celebrated it’s 4000th lunch. Putting it into prospective members have consumed more than 37,000 bottles of red wine from all over the world! It is believed to be the longest running wine group in the world spanning 91 years.

Immediate Past President and notable historian Jed White foreground with curent President Graham Alderman

The Wine Table was formed in 1927 at Cafe Denat which became Cafe Florintino and then meandered to Luccattini Restaurant, La Maschera, The Kingston Hotel before returning to Grossi Florintino in 2010.
Jed White who is The Table’s historian was the only current member to attend the 3000th meeting in March 1999 recalls a 1982 Chateau La Lagune, 1991 D’Arenberg Ironstone pressings Shiraz, a 1996 Rymill Shiraz and vintage port of course among others. Since 1983 Jed has recorded every wine consumed.
President Graham Alderman meticulously emails the 20 plus members each week with the theme for the following Wednesday based on a pre-determined quarterly list. Members attend with a masked bottle and then over lunch they individually try each others bottle, discuss and assess it’s grape variety, age and origin before its revealed. 
Membership is by personal invitation by existing members and I am privileged to have been invited by Jed.

So lets get down to business and look at some of the favorite wines bought by members for this special occasion.

2003 Mt Pleasant Elizabeth Semillon
Deep golden, hints of lemon, aniseed and tropical fruit, still vibrant with hints of toast. beautiful. 95/100
2009 Rockford Basket press Shiraz. Magnum.
Expansive nose, hot sweet red fruit,  rich and textured palate but finished dry on back palate, Not sure if decanting would have helped, drink+5 yrs, 90/100,

2010 Mt Mary Cabernet Quintet
Fruit well integrated with  cherry and blackberries on the nose. Well balanced with hints of tobacco, fine tannins and  good length.  95/100
1992 Mt Mary Cabernet Quintet
Showed age with fading colour, stewed fruit overtones, fruit just hanging in, but short on length and balance. 85/100
2005 Wild Duck Creek Shiraz – magnum
Intense nose of licorice and sweet fruits. Great palate rich, long and sweet almost not unlike port. Would have benefited with decanting though. Outstanding. drink +10. 96/100
2012 Chateau La Fleur-Petrus, Pomerol
Dark and dense chocolate, mint, nose of  black cherry, lingers on the palate, I loved this wine with long smooth length and beautiful balance, drink +20, 97/100
2008 Bremerton Old Adam Shiraz
Brick color, big and full lush dark intense fruits, subtle oak leads to sweet long finish. Drink +10. 94/100
1998 Penfolds Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz
Every serious cellar has Bin 389 and this was in an era when it was affordable. Browning colour with residual purple at the core. A ripe nose loaded with dark fruits, blackberry and plum. Beautiful balanced full bodied palate driven from the back palate. The length was fantastic. Kept changing in the glass. Built to last another 10 yrs. 96/100
2000 Cyril Henschke Cabernet/Merlot/Franc
Ruby colour. Nose of blueberry and raspberries. Palate very clean and balanced with soft tannins. Great length. Loved it! Drink + 3 yrs. 96/100
2007 Balnaves The Tally Reserve Cabernet
Deep consistent colour to the rim. Nose dominated by mint and plums. Loads of fruit but a little thin but constant fruit rhythm throughout on the palate. Lovely drinking and still time. Drink + 5 yrs. 96/100
1998 Wynns John Riddoch Cabernet Sauvigon
Sensational! This was first made in 1982 by winemaker John Wade. It cost $12 per bottle but bare in mind Black Label was $5.50. Now Black Label sells for $28 and John Riddoch $150!
Classic Coonawarra, with lovely aromas of sweet cassis. tobacco and eucalyptus leaping out. Deep constant colour, full rich fruit with spice, eucalyptus and plums. Lingering finish. and balanced along the palate. Tasting highlight. Try again 2020. 97/100
2012  Houghton C W Ferguson Cabernet Malbec, Swan Valley
Overloaded with blackberry and blackcurrant on the nose which showed through with hints of plum dominating the palate. Lovely balance and quality oak influence. Long and still youthful. Most of you probably do not know this quality Swan Valley blend from Houghton but worth seeking out. Drink to 2022. (96/100.
 1976 Redman Cabernet Sauvigon Magnum
Browned off. Stewed stale fruit, well over. Flag job
1974 Grange Hermitage
One of the most difficult vintages in memory for Max Schubert. Rigorous grape selection saw one of the smallest Grange yields on record – only 2300 cases.
I think this example suffered from poor cellaring as the Grange characteristics were sadly missing. Was thin and disjointed slight layer of coffee. Pity for a gem from a difficult year.
1999 Grange Hermitage
As expected one of the highlights of this special day. Colour was dense ruby/purple to the edge, with a bouquet of blackberries, mulberries and floral-like aromas. Medium to full body with plenty of  punch,  also wonderful dark fruit and rich extract. Elegant and nicely balanced. Yum. Is it worth $800 plus? Connoisseurs will say yes! 98/100
1975 Chateau Coutet Barsac 1st Growth cru Sauternes
A blend of Sémillon (75 5%), Sauvignon Blanc (23%) and Muscadelle (2%). The wine showed aromas of citrus, tropical fruits, and honey. But I found it high in residual sugar. The palate provided orange overtones and grape fruit. Finish was enjoyable and lingering with the citrus overtones. Drink +3yrs. 96/100

It was getting late in the afternoon and as there were two tables of 10 I did not get to try these other gems.
2009 Katnook Estate Prodigy Shiraz
A 2010 Bordeaux Grand Cru
2012 Penfolds St Henri
2001 Jamiesons Run Rothwell Cabernet Sauvignon
2013 Clonakilla Shiraz Voignier
1995 McWilliams Eileen Hardy Shiraz Magnum

So there you are. I will make every effort to make the 5000th tasting!

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Wine Spectator top 100 wines of 2018

I am most grateful to Wine Spectator magazine for allowing me to publish their top 100 wines for 2018.

Each year, Wine Spectator editors survey the wines reviewed over the previous 12 months and select their Top 100, based on quality, value, availability and excitement. This annual list honors successful wineries, regions and vintages around the world.

Of course this only reflects the many thousands of  wines tasted for the publication and as you will see there are some interesting selections. I am astonished that Felton Road Pinot Noir from Central Otago comes in at number 12 when constantly outclassed by many smaller boutique brands such as Two Degrees Pinot Noir in the major NZ wine shows.

However there are plenty of bargains here and I suggest whatever country you are in you google to find availability or the local distributor.

If you are interested I have every top 100 published by Wine Spectator magazine since 1988. If you are interested reply to me.

NOTE: All prices are in US dollars.

                    No 1                                 No 2                                   No 3                             No 4                                      No 5                                                                                 

Tenuta San Guido Bolgheri-Sassicaia Sassicaia+
2015 97 $245
Château Canon-La Gaffelière St.-Emilion+
2015 96 $84
Castello di Volpaia Chianti Classico Riserva+
2015 96 $35
La Rioja Alta Rioja 890 Gran Reserva Selección Especial+
2005 95 $175
Moët & Chandon Brut Champagne Dom Pérignon Legacy Edition+
2008 96 $180
Aubert Chardonnay Carneros Larry Hyde & Sons+
2016 96 $85
Colene Clemens Pinot Noir Chehalem Mountains Dopp Creek+
2015 95 $26
Le Vieux Donjon Châteauneuf-du-Pape+
2016 95 $70
Tenuta delle Terre Nere Etna San Lorenzo+
2016 95 $60
Bedrock The Bedrock Heritage Sonoma Valley+
2016 95 $46
Carpineto Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva+
2013 95 $30
Felton Road Pinot Noir Central Otago Bannockburn+
2017 96 $50
Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Rabajà Riserva+
2013 96 $66
Warre Vintage Port+
2016 98 $98
Canalicchio di Sopra Brunello di Montalcino+
2013 97 $79
Château Monbousquet St.-Emilion+
2015 95 $53
Caparzo Brunello di Montalcino+
2013 95 $45
Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape+
2015 97 $99
San Felice Chianti Classico+
2016 94 $17
Jasper Hill Shiraz Heathcote Georgia’s Paddock+
2015 95 $85
Scott Base Pinot Noir Central Otago+
2016 93 $18
Vik Milla Cala Cachapoal Valley+
2012 94 $39
Taylor Fladgate Vintage Port+
2016 98 $120
Antinori Toscana Tignanello+
2015 97 $135
Tensley Syrah Santa Barbara County Colson Canyon Vineyard+
2016 94 $42
Bodegas y Viñedos Valderiz Ribera del Duero+
2015 94 $45
Roederer Estate Brut Anderson Valley+
NV 93 $24
Penley Cabernet Sauvignon Coonawarra Phoenix+
2016 93 $20
Bodegas Breca Garnacha Aragón Old Vines+
2015 92 $16
DeLille Syrah Yakima Valley Signature+
2015 94 $46
Domaine Giraud Châteauneuf-du-Pape+
2016 95 $55
Nautilus Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough+
2017 92 $17
Château Branaire-Ducru St.-Julien+
2015 94 $58
Lingua Franca Chardonnay Willamette Valley Bunker Hill+
2016 94 $50
Descendientes de J. Palacios Bierzo Pétalos+
2016 92 $21
Ferrari-Carano Chardonnay Russian River Valley Tré Terre Vineyard Select Collection+
2016 93 $28
Bodegas Hidalgo La Gitana Manzanilla Sanlúcar de Barrameda La Gitana+
NV 92 $26
Leeuwin Chardonnay Margaret River Art Series+
2015 95 $89
Patricia Green Pinot Noir Willamette Valley Reserve+
2016 93 $27
Cline Zinfandel Contra Costa County Ancient Vines+
2016 91 $15
San Román Bodegas y Viñedos Toro+
2014 94 $67
Loveblock Pinot Noir Central Otago+
2015 92 $22
Milbrandt Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley+
2015 91 $17
Nik Weis St.-Urbans-Hof Riesling Qualitätswein Mosel From Old Vines+
2016 91 $19
Easton Zinfandel Amador County+
2015 92 $22
Henri Bourgeois Sancerre Les Baronnes+
2017 92 $25
Edetària Garnatxa Blanca Terra Alta Via Terra+
2017 91 $15
Nigl Grüner Veltliner Niederösterreich Freiheit+
2016 91 $20
Domaine Gerovassiliou Malagousia Epanomi Single Vineyard+
2016 91 $23
The Four Graces Pinot Noir Willamette Valley+
2015 93 $32
Radikon Venezia-Giulia Slatnik S Label+
2015 95 $35
Domaine des Baumard Quarts de Chaume+
2015 98 $80
Sequoia Grove Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley+
2015 93 $42
Terre del Barolo Barolo Undicicomuni Arnaldo Rivera+
2013 93 $30
Château Beau-Séjour Bécot St.-Emilion+
2015 95 $65
Yalumba Viognier South Australia The Y Series+
2017 90 $13
Hamilton Russell Chardonnay Hemel-en-Aarde Valley+
2017 93 $40
Vasse Felix Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River Filius+
2015 92 $27
R. López de Heredia Viña Tondonia Rioja White Viña Gravonia Crianza+
2008 93 $36
Fontodi Chianti Classico Vigna del Sorbo Gran Selezione+
2015 95 $89
Merlin Mâcon-La Roche Vineuse+
2016 92 $25
Joel Gott Sauvignon Blanc California+
2017 90 $15
Château Gloria St.-Julien+
2015 93 $44
Terra Santa Île de Beauté White+
2017 90 $15
Bodega El Esteco Malbec Calchaquí Valley Don David Reserve+
2017 90 $16
Peter Lauer Riesling Qualitätswein Feinherb Mosel Barrel X+
2016 91 $22
Tiefenbrunner Pinot Grigio Vigneti delle Dolomiti+
2017 90 $16
Louis Jadot Bourgogne+
2015 90 $19
Bookwalter Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley Readers+
2015 92 $28
Concha y Toro Carmenère Peumo Serie Riberas Gran Reserva+
2016 90 $17
Odette Cabernet Sauvignon Stags Leap District+
2015 95 $140
Casa Ferreirinha Douro White Papa Figos+
2016 90 $18
Prà Soave Classico Otto+
2017 90 $20
Big Table Farm Pinot Noir Willamette Valley+
2016 93 $45
Schloss Gobelsburg Grüner Veltliner Kamptal+
2016 90 $20
La Stoppa Emilia Trebbiolo+
2014 91 $22
A. Clape Cornas+
2015 98 $140
Landmark Chardonnay Sonoma County Overlook+
2016 91 $25
Henri Gouges Nuits-St.-Georges Clos des Porrets St.-Georges+
2015 95 $94
Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon Knights Valley+
2015 92 $36
Librandi Val di Neto White Critone+
2017 90 $15
Pendulum Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley+
2016 90 $19
HW Wine Company Languedoc Rosé Diving Into Hampton Water+
2017 90 $25
Château Ducru-Beaucaillou St.-Julien+
2015 97 $177
Sleight of Hand Syrah Columbia Valley Levitation+
2015 93 $45
Massican Annia Napa Valley+
2017 92 $30
Golan Heights Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Galilee Yarden+
2014 91 $33
Paolo Scavino Barolo+
2014 93 $49
Lucienne Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands Doctor’s Vineyard+
2016 93 $50
Domaine St.-Préfert Châteauneuf-du-Pape Auguste Favier Réserve+
2016 97 $62
Ridge Lytton Springs Dry Creek Valley+
2015 92 $40
Sadie Family Skerpioen Swartland+
2016 95 $60
Carol Shelton Rosé Wild Thing Rendezvous Mendocino County+
2017 90 $15
Matervini Malbec Luján de Cuyo Finca Perdriel+
2015 94 $90
Ghost Pines Pinot Noir Yolo-Sonoma-Monterey Counties Winemaker’s Blend+
2016 90 $23
Tabarrini Montefalco Sagrantino Colle alle Macchie+
2013 95 $75
Drouhin Oregon Roserock Chardonnay Eola-Amity Hills+
2016 91 $35
Loring Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills+
2016 92 $38
Cleto Chiarli e Figli Lambrusco di Sorbara del Fondatore+
2016 90 $17
Foley Johnson Meritage Rutherford+
2014 92 $45
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Message from The Wine Commander Blog

Hi Blog subscribers

Thank you for the many esquires as to when you will receive more news, tasting notes and features on what is happening in the world of wine.
My apologies for not keeping in touch but I have been indisposed and unable to access my computer.
However that is about to end and thank you for your patience.
The next feature will (among others) focus on a 4000th consecutive Wednesday lunch club which will be held in early December. The Wine Table started in 1927 and has been going strong every Wednesday since then. Each member has been asked to bring a special bottle for the celebration lunch so lets see what they come up with!

In the meantime you may wish to access articles such as:

A six part feature on Wynns Coonawarra and  tasting notes on every Black Label Cabernet 1954 – 2016.

The 2018 MW exam paper revealed

Spotlight on Central Otago pinot noir
…..and lots more.

Simply go to to read all the features.

Thank you for waiting

Cheers for now
The Wine Commander

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