Both Australian’s Cockfighter’s Ghost wines were excellent. The 2006 Un-Wooded Chardonnay ($19.95 - February 14 Vintages) has fresh apples and lemons ... while the 2006 Tasmania Pinot Noir Reserve ($33.95 - May 2 Vintages) was all you'd expect from good Pinot. From the get go you find some earthiness, sour cherry, nice tannins and a drying finish, as you delve deeper into the glass, raspberry and strawberry also emerges - lovely.
The assembled crowd, of mostly men, though two or three women did show up to this sausage party, (included my friend Kerri Henman – if you’re going to have any class in the room you should always start by bringing your own). They all seemed to adore the Ironstone Symphony Obsession ($14.95 – April 11 Vintages); this perennial favorite is a sweet, grapy number that smells and tastes like a cross between Muscat and Catawba grapes - it sells well because it appeals to everyone, but in truth neophytes and the ladies love it.
Finally, my two favorites where the following big reds: Italy’s Il Borro 2005 ($59.75 - February 28 Vintages) - this monster is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Petit Verdot; it has lots of red fruit and spice on the nose; followed by a textured palate that was complex and dry with lots of black fruit and spiced cedar. I located a decanter in the Fine Wine Reserve’s glass cabinet and converted a few tasters to this wine by opening it up a little (I was surprised the agents hadn’t thought of this because this wine really needed it). My other favourite was the Joseph Phelps 2005 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($73.95 – Vintages currently) - deep cherry, rich fruit, lots of spice on the palate … this is a big wine with a big price tag. I ended my evening by pouring myself a full glass of this one, then I lounged in a chair while talking with a few of my colleagues about wine – some of whom don't even blog on the subject, nor have they ever been to a tasting ... interesting.