12 February 2013
TWO UNLIKELY BLENDS WHICH ROCK
De Bortoli Sacred Hill South Eastern Australia Unwooded Colombard Chardonnay 2012
$7.50; 12.3% alcohol; screw cap; 80 points
When my expat Sefrikan/Taswegian wine scribbling colleague, Winsor Dobbin (real name) tweeted that this was “terrific quaffing wine” I jumped on him about encouraging humans to drink too much cheap plonk terrifically. I had the same bottle open at the time, and was less than whelmed. But I kept the damn thing open for days, gradually learning to marvel that whatever he meant, he was pretty much right. It reminds me of the days when Wolf Blass was adamant that Australia was no good for the Chardonnay that Croser and Evans were preaching about and released his Classic Dry White just to show ’em. That was usually a blend of Colombard, Trebbiano and Semillon, and it friggin worked. So does this, even if does contain some Chardonnay. The Colombard's the key. It’s sort of waxy, like fresh church candles, to sniff. Maybe like honeydew melon. And it’s similar to taste, but with fine acidity and that almost neutral melony juiciness. That low alcohol number is a big part of the secret. AND IT'S NOT SAUVIGNON BLANC. So go buy – it’s even cheaper in some joints – and chug-a-lug beneath the patio next weekend. Soft cheese, rye bread and nuts will put the necessary lumps in it. Maybe cold chook with chilli. Wine for drinking, not thinking. Just don’t blame me. Blame Winsor.
Yelland & Papps Devote Barossa Valley Shiraz Roussane 2011
$35; 13.5% alcohol; screw cap; 94+ points
Madam Lash once laced the eager young Whitey into what she called fidgeting restraints: a beautifully made pair of soft black leather silk-lined sleeves that tapered to a point and were webbed right up the sides, so my fingers were coned up and restricted at the ends when it was all pulled tight, and the arms were crossed so the hands were beneath the ears, with Bacchus only knows what knottage and buckling went on at the back of the neck, where I couldn’t see. It took a long time to have them affixed, with all the appropriate stern whisperings and nudges as the procedure progressed. One was chastened. I wore them on several occasions after fidgeting at table, which is the sort of thing one did in the presence of Her Majesty. Eventually, tired of the bondage, and hungry for the food and drink Bilson had laid out before me, I realized that all I needed to do was withdraw my arms, which simply slid out, leaving the leather and silk hanging stupidly limp down each side of my torso. I had been tricked by my own perverse yearning for punishment. This wine is like that.