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The scrum around the Iconic Australia tasting table was not the most conducive to serious sampling and note writing; being interrupted by some ol’ fart comparing this bottle with last years vintage, that bottle with what so-and-so made four years ago and such-like didn’t help either. God, I hate that sort of conversation. I don’t bloody remember if I even sampled half the wines last year let alone have the memory capacity of a Cray in comparing them. I leave such malarkey to the Bordeaux and Burgundy specialists; for the finest of wines not for sub-tenner bottles.

Not that there was much laid out in this corner for under fifteen pounds mind, for these are the upper echelons of Australia – their icon wines.

  • The Lane ‘Gathering’ Sauvignon Blanc, 2005, Adelaide Hills, South Australia.
    Price £13.99.
    Superb lifted pear and guava aroma. Stylish palate. Apricots, guava, fresh, clean citrus acidity Wonderful balance.
  • Yalumba Virgilius Viognier, 2004, Eden Valley, South Australia.
    Price £19.99.
    Gorgeously smooth and soft, pineapple, grapefruit, pear and exotic spice flavors. Honeysuckle finish. Super.
  • Fermoy Estate Reserve Semillon, 2002, Margaret River, Western Australia.
    Price £13.99.
    Pea-shoot aroma, attractive herbaceous. Lovely fresh and complex grapefruit and subtle vegetal notes.
  • Tamar Ridge Batman Selection Pinot Noir, 2002, Tasmania.
    Price £19.50.
    Full and rich, lightly spicy, ripe fruit, excellent length.
  • Scotchmans Hill Norfolk Vineyard Pinot Noir, 2002, Geelon, Victoria.
    Price £24.95.
    Full with great structure. Deep plum flavours with an earthy-spice touch.
  • Penley Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, 2002, Coonawarra, South Australia.
    Price £25.
    Stunning aroma. Depth, complexity, with rich, sweet berry flavours on the palate. Medium to full bodied.
  • Godolphin Shiraz, 2004, Barossa Valley, South Australia.
    Price £29.99.
    Gorgeous label – the Ancient Egyptian Ankh symbol symbolising sunrise, regeneration, regrowth and renewal. Wonderful bramble fruit with a deep and full feel. Rich fruit enlivened with a touch of spice and chocolate.
  • Leconfield Centurion Shiraz, 2002, McLaren Vale, South Australia.
    Price £26.99.
    Big and bold but richly textured and damn tasty. Flavours of spice, coffee and chocolate add complexity to the ripe fruit.

Also sampled were two other Semillons that I didn’t take too at all – Brokenwood ILR, 1999, New South Wales (£13.99) and Tyrrell’s Vat 1 Semillon, 1999, New South Wales (£19.99).

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