Also recommended: 2006 Shiraz Langhorne Creek (85), 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Langhorne Creek (85).
Other wines tasted: NV Brut South Australia*. (Kysela Pere et Fils, Winchester, VA)

2007 Step Rd. Sauvignon Blanc Adelaide Hills

($17) Pale straw. Racy lemon, grapefruit, quince and mint on the nose, with a bracing sea spray quality. Mint-accented citrus and citrus pith flavors are impressively energetic and precise, carrying well through the long, dry finish. A bit uncompromising but I like this style.


2006 Step Rd. Chardonnay Blackwing Padthaway

($13) Light straw. Spicy pear, melon and orange on the nose, with a light mineral accent. Light and crisp but showing plenty of ripe orchard and citrus fruit flavors as well as suggestions of anise and basil.


2006 Step Rd. Chardonnay Adelaide Hills

($17) Pale gold. Smoky pear and peach aromas are complicated by anise, sweet butter and mineral notes. Light in body but pleasingly juicy, with fresh apple and melon flavors and good mineral lift. Not as inspiring as the amazing 2005 but this is a very pleasant example of Old World-styled Australian chardonnay.


2006 Step Rd. Shiraz Blackwing South Australia

($13) Ruby-red. Red and dark berry scents are elegant and precise, with complicating notes of sexy vanilla and baking spices. Jammy blackberry and blackcurrant flavors are gently lifted by fresh acidity and a hint of cracked pepper. Finishes silky and sweet, with good length.


2004 Step Rd. Shiraz Reserve McLaren Vale

($27) Bright purple. Intensely perfumed nose features powerful blackberry, creme de cassis, vanilla and mocha aromas, with a strong dose of baking spices for good measure. Packed with sweet, jammy dark berry and plum flavors, this shiraz verges on candied but is saved by fresh acidity. A lush, creamy midweight, solidly in the modern school but displaying more freshness and verve than many outsized examples of shiraz. Finishes with a very persistent boysenberry flavor. I wish that the basic shiraz had the restraint shown here.

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