The inaccurate notion that no one in the ANZ region pays serious
attention to the points ratings of wine critics was put paid following the
recent update of the Langton's Classification of Australian wines. This
classification system sans a number scale is in its fifth reincarnation and
has come a long way since premiering in 1990 with 34 wines. Last revised in
2005, there has been some chatter on the local forums with speculation of
what wines would be dropped and promoted.
There are now 123 wines divided
into four categories, namely Exceptional, Outstanding, Excellent and
All the wines was showcased at the St Kilda Town Hall at a one-night-only
Giaconda Chardonnay 2008, Beechworth, VIC
Langton's 2010 Exceptional category. Pale lemon colour. An even
slate of lemon aromatics and lime rind, mingled with matchstick, rock
minerals and hints of toasty oak. Well-round flavour profile, creamy
texture, elegant and subtle at first before the fruit flavours kicks in
~3secs later. It's almost like going from 2nd to 3rd then 4th gear. Lovely,
persistent fruity finish. A brilliant wine. Drink now - 2022. 93-94/100.
Grosset Polish Hill Riesling 2010, Clare Valley, SA
Langton's 2010 Exceptional category. The 30th vintage of this
stellar label. A step-up from the Springvale. No, this is in fact a
completely different picture. This is a connoisseur's Riesling. An elegant,
restrained nose of honeydew candy, sweet lemon aromas, lime blossom, hints
of river pebbles in cold streams. High acidity with clean pure lime-lemon
fruit, a sensation of lemon peel on the dryish finish that retains rich
fruit and a long aftertaste. Enjoy now, why wait, but if you must probably
up to 2025. 94-95/100.
Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay 2007, Margaret River, WA
Langton's 2010 Exceptional category. Pale straw colour with a tinge
of green. Grapefruit, talc minerality, white peach florals and a touch of
oak. Rich, ripening fruit flavours of white peach, lemon pith, cashew and
zippy spicy lime flavours. High acidity, 14.5% alc, a lovely long finish.
Drink 2012 - 2022. 93+/100.
Chris Ringland Shiraz 2003, Barossa Valley, SA
Langton's 2010 Exceptional category. Fruit from 1910 vines aged in new
French oak for 42 months. I don't think this even have a RRP, but I've seen
it auctioning for $800+. Medium+ - intense black ruby colour. Youthful nose
of blueberry reduction, plum, violets, hints of anise and smoky savouriness.
Clean, pure full-bodied shiraz, a high level of sappy tannins. Rich dark
fruit flavours, blackcurrants, Christmas cake, anise, earthy mushroom funk
(in a good sweet way). Robust structure, well-balanced. Long finish. Drink
2020 - 2040. 95+/100.
Clarendon Hills Astralis Syrah 2006, McLaren Vale, SA
Langton's 2010 Exceptional category. From 1920 vineyards. Medium+ - intense
ruby purple colour. Lovely youthful aromas of dark berry fruit, plum, purple
flower, sweet spice, pepper and toasty oak. Full-bodied wine with
integrating tannins and bitey, ripe fruit flavours of plum, blackberry
liquorice and cocoa powder. Long finish. Drink 2015 - 2035+. 95/100.
Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier 2009, Canberra District, NSW
Langton's 2010 Exceptional category. Which red wine label was the most
obvious choice to be elevated to the top category? Tim Kirk's SVs of course,
which have been consistently punching at the highest quality level. In
addition, consider its price of $90 compared to what others on this list go
for, it's no wonder this wine routinely sells out. The 2009 was released
with much hype, and Tim made no attempts to hide his optimism of this
vintage. Medium+ ruby colour. Awesome seductive, exotic nose left no doubts
of the presence of Viognier. I'm sure one could have picked it blindfolded.
Ripe purple fruit, warm summer aromatics, apricot flowers. Young raw tannins
that will need time to find their way. Sleek, ripe, rich red currant and
raspberry flavours with hints of roasted herb stalks. Long finish. Drink
2015 - 2025+. 94/100.
Cullen Diana Madeline 2008, Margaret River, WA
Langton's 2010 Exceptional category. Very different from the 2007 release, a
remarkable demonstration of vintage variation. Still dark ruby colour,
restrain nose of red currants, oak. Some would say this is elegant or
refined. Tight tannins, it's a good drop but I question its potential.
Henschke Hill of Grace Shiraz 2006, Eden Valley, SA
Langton's 2010 Exceptional category. Vines of 50 - 150 years in age with
original plantings going back to 1860s. Aged in new French (65%) and
American oak (35%) for 21 months. Poured by Stephen Henschke Medium+ ruby
crimson colour. Lovely clean, fresh aromas of plum fruit after the spring
rain. Hint of roasted herbs on blackberries and currants and aniseed. Rich,
youthful full-bodied wine balanced with ripe tannins and acidity. Sweet
fleshy flavours of redcurrants, blackcurrants, hint of plum skins. A complex
wine with depth and texture. Drink now - 2035+. 95/100.
Penfolds Bin 95 Grange 2005, SA blend
Langton's 2010 Exceptional category. Undoubtedly the jewel in the crown of
Australian wines, the engine of the Penfolds brand continues to steamroll of
challengers to its lofty status in the investment portfolio. And it's not a
bad drink too. Served from a magnum. 96% shiraz, 4% Cabernet Sauvignon and
matured for 18months in new American oak hogsheads. The bulk of this blend
was sourced from the Barossa. Black ruby with a purple rim. Youthful
restrained nose of plum, black truffle, peppercorn, granite rock road and a
hint of oak. Big chewy tannins on the front palate. An anise-chocolatey
mid-palate with flavours of plum skin, blackcurrants on the back. An
appropriate level of acidity keeps it fresh. 14.5% alc. Drink 2020 - 2040.
Penfolds 707 Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, SA blend
Langton's 2010 Exceptional category. Intense black ruby colour, lovely
blackberry aromas, granite, touch of herb with no green pyrazine odours.
Rich red currant and blackcurrant flavours, dry chewy tannins into a long
finish. Drink 2017 - 2037. 95+/100.
Rockford Basket Press Shiraz 2004, Barossa Valley, SA
Langton's 2010 Exceptional category. No tasting notes. 91/100.
Torbreck Runrig 2006, Barossa Valley, SA
Langton's 2010 Exceptional category. The 2006 Run Rig is a blend of
95% Shiraz and 5% Viognier. Dave Powell reckons that, while the 2005 is so
accessible and appetising right now, the 2006 Runrig will turn out to be the
superior wine and patience will be rewarded with a blossom of pure wine
essence. Intense ruby purple colour. Exotic nose of prunes, incense, bacon
fat, blueberry fruit and fragrant earth. A full-bodied wine with layers of
rich ripe blackcurrant flavours, plums, black raspberry liquorice and a
touch of burnt earth. The tannins are beautifully seamless, the alcohol
level a mere afterthought if you want to waste time on that. A lively,
well-balanced and structured wine. Long, ripe finish lasting close to a
minute. Drink 2015 - 2035. 95+/100.
Wendouree Shiraz 2008, Clare Valley, SA
Langton's 2010 Exceptional category. Medium+ ruby purple colour. Sullen
stewed dark fruit on the nose. High level of sappy tannins, with rich
blackcurrant fruit. Fades off fast, not much on the finish. 88/100.
Wendouree Cabernet Malbec 2008, Clare Valley
Medium+ ruby colour, lovely aromas of herb stalks, blackcurrants, toffee
candy. Dry medium-bodied wine with high level of velvet tannins, flavours of
red and blackcurrant fruit. Dry sappy finish. Drink 2013 - 2017. 91/100.
Grosset Springvale Riesling 2010, Clare Valley, SA
Langton's 2010 Outstanding category. The 30th consecutive vintage
of this label. Pale grass colour, lovely sweet aromas of honeydew, lemon and
lime blossom. Youthful and spritely palate with (oddly?) almost grassy
characteristics, zippy lime flavours with a slate of minerality on the
bone-dry finish. A precision crafted Riesling, with a rich, long aftertaste.
Brilliant! Drink NOW NOW NOW. 92+/100.
McWilliam's Mount Pleasant Lovedale Semillon 2005, Hunter Valley,
Langton's 2010 Outstanding category. Med- lemon colour with shades
of green. Rich opulent nose of freshly mowed grass, lanolin, fresh lemon
flowers after the rain. Oily gasoline notes. A young wine at present with
vibrant fruit and a robust structure, but will benefit from further time to
allow some mellowing out. Medium+ acidity, 11.5% alc, rich lemon-lime
flavours with a lovely long, flavoursome finish. Drink 2015 - 2022. 93/100.
Pierro Chardonnay 2006, Margaret River, WA
Langton's 2010 Outstanding category. 50% barrel fermented in new
French oak, the remainder in one-year old barrels. Full malolactic
fermentation is achieved in barrel with regular stirring of lees in the
first 12 months. Pale lemon colour with an icy cool aroma profile of
dampened clean fruit, lemon tart, white delicate florals and hint of raw
nuttiness. High acidity, 13.5% alc, creamy texture with rich lemon and
grapefruit flavours, fresh bitey acidity of lemon rind to finish. Drink now
- 2015. 91+/100.
Tyrell's Vat 1 Semillon 2003, Hunter Valley, NSW
Langton's 2010 Outstanding category. Pale lemon colour. Shy aromas
of lemon, white florals and toasty hints. Overall it's more 'smaller' than
the McWilliam's Lovedale. Despite some age on this, elements of youth
remain, it's easy to appreciate the elegant lemon flavours. 10.9% alc. Drink
now - 2015. 89/100.
D'Arenberg Dead Arm Shiraz 2007, McLaren Vale, SA
Langton's 2010 Outstanding category. Matured for 22 months in new and old
French and American oak barriques. From a very dry year, this is black ruby
colour. A dense nose that is youthful, more toasty than usual, plums,
blackberries, pepper, asian spice, lavender. Full-bodied wine, 14.5% alc
with high level of dry, sappy tannins which distract me from the rich sweet
fruit flavours, blackcurrants. Drink 2015 - 2025. 91-92/100.
De Bortoli Noble One Botrytis Semillon 2007, Riverina, NSW
Langton's 2010 Outstanding category. The ONLY dessert wine in the Langton's
classification. $25/half btl. Medium golden treacle colour. Intense mandarin
peel, apricot and green tea florals. Luscious sweet wine, tea-hinted apricot
juice. Dry on the palate. Long green tea-like finish. I will declare
that my favourites are still classic Sauternes and German TBAs, so this is a
'nice try'. Drink now - 2020. 89/100.
Grant Burge Meshache Shiraz 2005, Barossa Valley, SA
Langton's 2010 Outstanding category. Retail ~$130. Intense black ruby core.
Youthful intense aromas of truffle, dark berry fruit, blackcurrants, plums
and a hint of pepper. Lovely balance of high acidity, rich black fruit
flavours and young velvety tannins. The bulk of the fruit fades off on the
back of your mouth but remains on the tip of the tongue. Long finish. Drink
2015 - 2025. 93/100.
Greenock Creek Roennfeldt Road Cabernet Sauvignon 1999, Barossa Valley, SA
Langton's 2010 Outstanding category. Maturation in new and seasoned American
oak hogsheads for 36 months. Intense black ruby colour, aromas of salted
plum, blackberry and blackcurrant jelly. High level of even, velvety
tannins. Rich blackcurrant syrupy flavours, still young. rink 2015 - 2035.
Greenock Creek Roennfeldt Road Shiraz 2004, Barossa Valley, SA
Langton's 2010 Outstanding category. Maturation in new and seasoned American
oak hogsheads for 36 months. Intense black ruby colour, aromas of ripe plum,
blackberries, salted plums, hint of anise, liquorice raspberry. Full-bodied,
dry and intense with rich prune flavours, hint of burnt earth? ripe
blackcurrants. Even chewy tannins linger on the tongue. Absolutely LONG
finish. Drink 2015 - 2030+.
Hardy's Eileen Hardy Shiraz 2004, McLaren
Langton's 2010 Outstanding category. Retail ~$100. Fruit from 45 - 105 year
old vines. Matured for 20months in French oak barriques. Heady black fruit
with substantial raspy tannins, blueberry, plum fruit and swath of dark
grainy chocolate. Drink now - 2015+. 91/100.
Jim Barry The Armagh Shiraz 2006, Clare Valley, SA
Langton's 2010 Outstanding category. $205 from cellar door. Intense black
ruby colour. Lovely delicate nose of blackberry and blueberry confectionary,
herb stalks, black raspberry, black cherry cough syrup and cinnamon spice.
Intense full-bodied wine, ripe raspy tannins, high acidity, rich black
cherry, dark ripe summertime raspberries, anise and cloves. Long finish.
Drink 2012 - 2025. 96/100.
Kay Brothers Block 6 Shiraz 2008, McLaren Vale, SA
Langton's 2010 Outstanding category. $65 from cellar door. Impenetrable
black ruby colour, fine legs. Dense core on the perfume of burnt black
fruit. Young tannins, high acidity, rather one-dimensional for me.
Penfolds Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz 2007, SA blend
Langton's 2010 Outstanding category. Intense ruby with a crimson edge. Nice
perfume of roasted herbs, blackcurrants, plum skins. Dry, full-bodied wine
with high levels of velvety tannins. Rich fruit, but the tannins overwhelm
at the moment. Drink 2015 - 2025. 92+/100.
Penfolds St Henri Shiraz 2005, SA blend
Langton's 2010 Outstanding category. Intense black ruby core with garnet
rim. I get this burnt, funky nose, herby, blackcurrant liquorice. Sweet
fruit flavours, blackcurrants, plums and a touch of herbs. Tannins are
plasticky. Needs time. Drink 2015 - 2025. 92+/100.
Tahbilk 1860 Shiraz 2005, Nagambie Lakes, VIC
Langton's 2010 Outstanding category. Medium dark ruby colour,
Ribena blackcurrants on the nose with roasted herbs and quite a whiff of
game fowl (READ Brettanomyces). Medium bodied with high acidity, savoury
flavours of red currants, toasted herbs with mild even tannins. Drink now -
Torbreck Descendent 2007, Barossa Valley, SA
Langton's 2010 Outstanding category. $125. The 2007 Descendant is composed of 92% Shiraz and 8% Viognier
sourced from a single vineyard. Medium+ ruby/garnet colour. A fragrance of
blackcurrants, blueberries, roasted herb and bacon grilling on the skillet.
This is an infant and is still coming together. Rich fruit flavours with a
smatter of lavender flowers. In this tricky vintage, the tannins are rather
harsh and that sleek sexiness is not to be found. However, I think once the
tannins settle in, this wine will be quite the whopper, challenging the top
wines of this vintage. Drink 2013 - 2027. 92/100.
Yalumba Octavius Shiraz 2005, Barossa Valley,
Langton's 2010 Outstanding category. Retail ~$90. Old vine material matured
in 90L American oak octaves. HEAPS of oak in this one. Intense black ruby
purple colour. Aromas of dark plum, blackcurrants, clove spic, swash of oak.
Massive full-bodied wine with spicy dark fruit flavours, fine ripe tannins
and the required acids to keep it alive in your mouth. Drink 2015 - 2012+.
Leo Buring DW118 Leonay Watervale Riesling 2005, Clare Valley, SA
Langton's 2010 Excellent category. Med- lemon colour with a hint of
green. Rich lemon fruit aroma with developing kerosene characteristics.
Clean lemon-lime flavours. This is easy drinking and boasts a rich rich
finish and long aftertaste. 12% alc. Drink now - 2015. 91/100.
Mount Mary Chardonnay 2008, Yarra Valley, VIC
Langton's 2010 Excellent category. Pale lemon colour, nose of green
lemon peel, old Burgundy funk, and elements of oxidation? Fine legs. Steely,
straight down the line alcoholic lemon bitterness. Might do it for some and
it must have a strong following for it to have well performing Langton's
sales figures, but definitely not my style.
Cape Mentelle Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, Margaret River, WA
Langton's 2010 Excellent category. Retail ~$75. Med+ - intense ruby core
with crimson rim. Lovely soft aromatics, typical greenish pyrazines of
Cabernet Sauvignon but not overwhelming nor off-putting, additional toasted
beans and blackcurrant notes. Dry, full-bodied wine with high level of fine,
velvety tannins and high acidity to keep it fresh. Ripe blackcurrant and
mulberry fruit with roasted herbs. Long finish. Drink 2012 - 2025. 94/100.
Elderton Command Shiraz 2006, Barossa Valley, SA
Langton's 2010 Excellent category. Retail ~$80. Intense purple black-ruby
colour. Youthful aromas of blueberry, dark fruit, sweet bakes. Full-bodied
wine with blackberry, dark plums, espresso roast, pepper. A high level of
tannins support the rich flavours with fresh youthful acidity. Long finish.
Drink 2015 - 2025. 93-94/100.
Lake's Folly White Label Cabernets 2007,
Hunter Valley, NSW
Langton's 2010 Excellent category. Medium+ ruby colour, fine legs. Seductive
nose which is surprisingly quite like a Pomerol. There is roasted meats,
purple florals, plum skin, blackcurrants. Dry raspy tannins, high acidity,
ripe blackcurrants, touch of roasty herbs, blackberries. Long finish. Drink
2013 - 2020. 91+/100.
Penfolds Magill Estate 2007, Adelaide, SA
Langton's 2010 Excellent category. Intense black ruby colour. Youthful nose
with ample dark berry fruit aromas, plums and hint of vanillin oak. Dry,
full-bodied wine with amalgamating velvety tannins. Rich flavours of plum
skins and blackberries. A fine drink. Drink now - 2020. 92+/100.
Penfolds RWT Shiraz 2007, Barossa Valley, SA
Langton's 2010 Excellent category. Medium+ black ruby colour with srimson
core. Lovely aromas of plum fruit, dark earth and hint of pepper. Dry,
full-bodied wine with high level of dry tannins. Rich, ripe fruit flavours
of black plum and red currants. Long finish. Drink 2012 - 2025+. 94/100.
Peter Lehmann Stonewell Shiraz 2005, Barossa Valley, SA
Langton's 2010 Excellent Category. Retail~$75. Made from select fruit from
the best vineyards, matured in new French and American oak barrels. Intense
black ruby colour. Lovely youthful and coy nose with the dark fruit hiding
behind the bushes. Purple berry fruit, spice and the truffle element just
hits me. This is latent depth to this one. Dry, full-bodied wine with high
acidity and high velvety tannins. Rich plum, blackberry with hints of
pepper. Long finish. Drink 2015 - 2025. 93-94/100.
St Hallett Old Block Shiraz 2007, Barossa
Langton's 2010 Excellent category. Retail ~$70, $60 in a 6-pack from
graysonline. Fruit from various parcels of 60-110yr old Barossan and Eden
valley vines. Medium+ ruby colour, youthful nose of blackcurrants, herbs,
liquorice. Full-bodied with high acidity, high level of velvety tannins and
rich blackcurrant, raspberry fruit. Long finish. Drink now - 2022+. 92/100.
Crawford River Chardonnay 2004, Henty, VIC
Langton's 2010 Distinguished category. $60 museum release via
winery (the current 2009 vintage is $35). Pale lemon colour with green
tinge. A developed nose with steely lemon flavours with a distinct touch of
minerality. A well structured dry wine with rich lemon flavours and acidity
that cuts straight down the palate. 12% alc. Drink now - 2015. 91/100.
Savaterre Chardonnay 2008, Beechworth, VIC
Langton's 2010 Distinguished category. Pale lemon colour. Youthful
lemon aromas with hint of honey. High acidity, 12% alc, intense lemon rind
flavours with a splash of lemon juice. There is residual dryness on the
palate. A bit rough by my reckoning. Drink now. 89/100.
Tyrell's Vat 47 Chardonnay, Hunter Valley, NSW
Langton's 2010 Distinguished category. Pale lemon with a tinge of
green. A touch of oily oak on the nose, granite powder minerality. High
acidity, 14% alc, clean steely lemon flavours with rich long-lasting finish.
nice. Drink now - 2022. 91-92/100.
Charles Melton 9 Popes Grenache Shiraz
Mouvedre 2008, Barossa Valley, SA
Langton's 2010 Distinguished category. Retail ~$50. Not available from
winery website at present. Intense ruby colour with a lovely youthful nose
reminiscent of Beaujolais. Purple fruit, liquorice and plums freshly plucked
off the trees and trodden on the summer sunshine. and plums. Dry,
full-bodied wine with fine, even tannins appropriately weighted against rich
blackcurrants and plum skin flavours. Drink now - 2017. 92+/100.
Jacobs Creek St Hugo Cabernet Sauvignon 2007,
Langton's 2010 Distinguished category. The latest offering of Jacob Creek's
star Cabernet will be released late-2010. Med+ - intense ruby colour with
fine legs. Aromas of red berry fruit, blackcurrants and hint of oak.
Full-bodied with young velvety tannins, medium+ acidity. Flavours of
redcurrants, berry fruit and blackberries. Stalky finish. Drink 2015 - 2022.
Kilikanoon Oracle Shiraz 2007, McLaren Vale, SA
Langton's 2010 Distinguished category. $450 per 6 pack from the website,
oddly single bottle purchase is not an option. Fruit from the Golden
Hillside vineyards, basket pressed, matured for 24 months in new and 1-year
old French oak hogsheads. Intense black ruby colour, youthful nose of salted
plums and perfume of dried blackcurrants. Full-bodied, rich black fruit
flavours, raspy tannins, velvety texture, medium+ finish. Nice drink but
don't think it will hold up over the years. Drink now - 2015. 91/100.
Penfolds Bin 28 Kalimna Shiraz 2007
Langton's 2010 Distinguished category. Dark ruby colour, earthy dose of plum
perfume with burnt earth. Dry chewy tannins, fruit drops off quickly but a
long finish on the back palate. Drink now - 2015. 88/100.
Penfolds Bin 128 Shiraz 2008, Coonawarra, SA
Langton's 2010 Distinguished category. Intense black ruby colour. Sullen hot
earthy, black and dark fruit characteristics. Hint of black pepper. Simple
black fruit flavours, again the peppery flavours linger. A good wine. Drink
now - 2020. 89/100.
Penfolds Bin 407 Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, SA blend
Langton's 2010 Distinguished category. Intense black ruby colour.
Characteristic greenish pyrazines on the nose, typical varietal smell. There
is a hint of plum flesh too. Dry full-bodied wine with rich peppery plum and
blackcurrant flavours, hint of red currants. High level of dry and raspy
tannins. This needs time. Drink 2015 - 2030. 91/100.
Tim Adams The Aberfeldy Shiraz 2008, Clare
Langton's 2010 Distinguished category. Retail ~$45. Intense ruby purple
colour. Fresh youthful nose of ripe, spicy blueberry fruit with hints of
black plum. Med+ acidity, even slate of med+ tannins, ripe dark berry fruit
in this easy drinking wine. Med+ finish. Drink now - 2018. 91/100.
Voyager Estate Cabernet Merlot 2007, Margaret River, WA
Langton's 2010 Distinguished category. To be released 2011. Retail ~$50.
Intense ruby colour, nose with varietal cabernet pyrazines with sweet
blackcurrants. Medium+ to full-bodied wine with high acidity and high level
of tannins. Savoury black fruit, black raspberry, blackcurrants. Easy
finish. Drink now - 2020. 91-92/100.
Woodlands Nicolas Cabernet Sauvignon 2007,
Margaret River, WA
Langton's 2010 Distinguished category. $120/btl or $105/case order from the
winery's website. Primarily cabernet with touch of malbec (4%) and cabernet
franc (1%). Intense black ruby colour. A consummate cabernet with typical
pyrazine nose, flour, uncooked dough?, black plums and cassis. Youthful
medium+ -bodied wine with rich blackcurrant, plum fruit and sappy tannins.
Easy finish, would be a great accompaniment for rosemary garnished grilled
lamb chops. Drink now - 2018. 91/100.