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Posted by: Aussie John Oct 10 2002, 12:03 PM

I was having a browse at the Langton's auction results,and yet again,there were incredible bargains to be had.
I find it difficult to understand why many of the large producers are out of favour in the Auction houses.Good for us,though,as there are plenty of great wines to be had!
Who can believe the 1995 Balmoral Shiraz sells for $47 when the Randall's Hill 1910 Block of the same vintage went for $216!!!
I have had these wines side by side in a horizontal tasting TWICE in the past three years,and there is no comparison.In the last horizontal in March this year,the Balmoral came in second out of twenty-odd shiraz from the 1995 vintage,ahead of Grange,GC Roennfeldt Road,Three Rivers,HOG,ETC.,ETC.
On that night,I rated it a 96 pointer,with only the freakish Houghton Show Reserve(99) ahead of it.
Other wines from the big fellas also persistently show dismally,despite their class-Sepplet's Dorrien is another example.
I don't see a lot of logic out there.Anyone got any thoughts on that?

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Posted by: Davo Oct 10 2002, 03:17 PM


I agree with your thoughts on the 95 Balmoral. Last year I had it blind in a line up of the best shiraz going around from the same vintage and it outclassed a lot of bigger names. mind you it was blitzed by the wine of the day, Hought Frankland River Show Reserve Shiraz 1995.

I also agree with your thoughts on the Houghton FR Shiraz 99, and further to that the 2000 is also a blinder, and I am eagerly awaiting the release of the 99 reserve, to be named the Gladstone.

I think the vintage seems to be the biggest factor in auction prices with the more vaunted years getting the better prices and some real stars from the so called "bad" years being relegated. There were still some mighty fine wines made in those "off" years and they are, IMO, well worth seeking at auction and represent much better value than the more sought after vintages.

Cheers, Davo

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Posted by: Mark D Oct 10 2002, 04:05 PM

Relax guys.
The 95 Balmoral is good not THAT good.
I have bought 2 doz of it at Langtons for $38 and $40 respectively in over the last year, and it's a really nice wine. The 96 by the way ($40 at Langtons last year) is better.

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Posted by: sanjay Oct 10 2002, 04:07 PM

There is a method in the madness- and that is peoples egos and lust for "named" wines.And probably a desire to show off these wines that are expensive or cult -so that otheres can say- WOW!!

However, there are several gems in the lower price bracket and if that particular style of wine suits your palate - go for it. for example, one of the wines to impress me immensely at the Wine OZ 2002 was a back vintage of Plantaganet- 1994 shiraz. It was just delicious! And its not going to break any bank. And for matter, I am quite happy with the 1996 and 1998 vintages of Magill which are substantially less expensive that the Grange.


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Posted by: Gary W Oct 10 2002, 04:47 PM

I drank my last bottle of 94 Plantagenet Shiraz a couple of weeks ago. A classic wine. Can't agree more. It was exceptional on release also.

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Posted by: Fadz Oct 10 2002, 05:56 PM

Just a note to you Davo...Gladstone is out! Better be quick though, I can't see it hanging around long.
My six pack is tucked away safely and I for one am scouting for more..



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Posted by: TF Oct 10 2002, 06:39 PM

Glad to see that someone else has discovered the quality of the fantastic Houghtons Show Reserve 95 besides us rednecks in the west.I have had this wine in a line up of the big name 95 shiraz's and it blitzed them all. I never cease to be amazed by the sheer quality of this wine and will treasure my remaining dozen. I have recently tasted the new release of the same wine which is called "Gladstones" and promptly put in my order.I suggest that you should try this 99 Gladstones before it runs out. The 99 and 00 Houghtons Frankland Shiraz in the shadows of the Gladstones is a bargain at the price considering the quality. If you haven't tried many of the shiraz's coming from the Frankland area of the Great Southern in WA you are missing out on the emerging giant killing area of shiraz's.

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Posted by: TF Oct 11 2002, 09:02 AM

Yes, I agree it's a very good wine, and not really a WA style.
I bought a few bottles of the 95 Reserve at auction last year (only $42) and really liked it.
Have been looking for more but alas has not appeared.
Bought a case of the 99 Frankland Shiraz retail last year, and at $22, it is a very good buy. It isn't as concentrated as the 95 Reserve wine though is good in a more typical WA style.
The 99 MR cab is good too and very good value.
Have not tried the recently released 2000s but they have also received very good reviews.

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Posted by: scott Oct 12 2002, 07:07 AM

I agree Balmoral is always one of my favpourite shiraz.

I have about 4.5 cases left of the 1992.

at the time, (still?) the only australian wine ever to be afforded a perfect score in international competition.

It was in switzerland. Zurich/Basle?

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