Nice wines I have drunk recently - Red or White

camw

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Thinking of 4-5 days in the Hunter Valley mid May. Been 20+ years since last visit. Looking for recommendations for wineries and dinners. Probably staying at Chateau Elan or Spicers.

I'd try to do a bit of a mix of the big and small producers, some random thoughts (mostly pre-covid based) below;

Bigger names

Tyrrell's -
I rarely had a good experience here unless someone got me into the private bin room, your experience may vary
Mount Pleasant - New cellar door opening in May, Campbell Mattinson was raving about it calling it "game changing"
Brokenwood - Have also opened a newish cellar door with restaurants a couple of years back, I've found it hard to get to taste the top wines but they have a wide range to try anyway
Lake's Folly - Easy one to do, 2-3 wines, always been a good visit for me
Margan - 20-30 minutes out in Broke, wines are decent but restaurant is worth the trip out

Small-Medium Options

Gundog
- Hunter and Canberra wines, cellar door gets pretty busy. I like the wines.
Scarborough - Have always liked the tastings here, sit down tasting includes some cheese/biscuits and there is a nice view from the hill outside
Thomas - another good seated tasting with strong Sem and Shiraz options
De Illuis - I like the wines here, I think they deliver to the price points asked

Smaller again

Vinden
- as mentioned above
Harkham - More natural leaning with some interesting styles if you are keen on something a bit different
Hart & Hunter - Also some different styles and varieties here, I haven't been for a while but I enjoyed the change up after tasting a lot of young classic style semillon and shiraz

I won't talk too much detail on food as it's a while since I've been and a lot can change but I've had some good food at

Muse Kitchen/Restaurant - kitchen more casual at Keith Tulloch, Restaurant more fine dining at Hungerford Hill
Exp. - Last time I was here was excellent, would recommend strongly based on my meal
Margan - Consistently excellent
Brokenwood - They have a fine dining style restaurant and a more casual cafe, I've only been to the cafe which was good
Botanica is always reviewed well but it was just so/so when I went
Amanda's on the Edge is an institution now, I liked it but wasn't amazed
Esca at Bimbadgen (although some hiccups last time I was there so only a bit of a half heated recommendation)
 

billbro

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I'd try to do a bit of a mix of the big and small producers, some random thoughts (mostly pre-covid based) below;
Good list.

Wineries:
  • I would say that Tyrrell's is excellent in the Private Bin room, the staff are passionate and there always seemed to be something interesting on offer to taste (i.e. random back vintage).
  • I found Mt Pleasant previously a bit dated, although very generous with access to tasting anything.
  • Brokenwood CD is nice and the top end wines aren't too hard to taste - it will just cost you as it's ticketed pours from enomatic machines now.
  • Thomas flights are fun, Lakes Folly may or may not be open (so would check beforehand)
Food:
  • EXP I think is the best value fine diner in the Hunter at present and close to some top restaurants in Sydney. Fawks food (EXP cafe isn't quite as good).
  • Muse Restaurant I think is also very good, but I'd probably visit Muse Lorn (newer, better priced, etc) over Kitchen.
  • Bistro Molines I would also add to the list, more rustic in style but the rolling hills and backdrops are lovely.
Also, apart from Chateau Elan and Spicers, Voco in Kirkton Park was actually very good when we stayed.
 

paddywide

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Mar 23, 2017
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Deer farm is bad, light in favour, estate is better this one. sparkling good,bubble is a lot but not fine. fresh,apple,little nutty,it is big. it is still young and has long way to go.
 

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Daver6

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Deer farm is bad, light in favour, estate is better this one. sparkling good,bubble is a lot but not fine. fresh,apple,little nutty,it is big. it is still young and has long way to go.

Interesting comments about the Deer Farm. I've had a few bottles of the 2019 and thought it was really good. A definite step up from the estate PN. I wonder if 2020 wasn't a great vintage or perhaps just an average bottle?
 

paddywide

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Interesting comments about the Deer Farm. I've had a few bottles of the 2019 and thought it was really good. A definite step up from the estate PN. I wonder if 2020 wasn't a great vintage or perhaps just an average bottle?
It may be just this bottle, too many factors to affect the wine. It could be the whole barrel is bad. All the wine I drank within 2 nights.
 
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billbro

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One of the best Aussie Grenache I had, right in its drinking window I reckon.
Yep lovely wine, think it's still got time to go though? Might revisit another bottle, I think the old vines really sing through with those charcuterie-esque notes on this drop.

On a side note, this is probably one of the best Aussie Nebbs I've had and it's smashing. Lazy so some prior notes:

Domenica Nebbiolo was stomping, so pretty with a delicate floral and red berry bouquet on the nose. These notes carried onto the palate, supported by a finely etched but firm tannin frame. A pretty but serious thing where structure was the go and while the fruit was very present it left a clear savoury mark.

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TheRealTMA

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We braved the weather last night and did some suBNEworking and, while not hyPERventilating, I caught up with the West Australian Rain and Stormbringer (not really Perkūnas, Thor or Thunor, or even Donar, just @JohnM ).

Dinner at La Cache a Vin. Nice bistro food and french wines. (Wasn't me who ordered the cavoletti di Bruxelles - but they were nice.)

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boomy

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Interesting full flavour Grenache made by Stephen Pannell in memory of Joff Chappell and Taras Ochota.





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