“Sod the wine, I want to suck on the writing. This man White is an instinctive writer, bloody rare to find one who actually pulls it off, as in still gets a meaning across with concision. Sharp arbitrage of speed and risk, closest thing I can think of to Cicero’s ‘motus continuum animi.’

Probably takes a drink or two to connect like that: he literally paints his senses on the page.”

DBC Pierre (Vernon God Little, Ludmila’s Broken English, Lights Out In Wonderland)

Winner: Booker prize; Whitbread prize; Bollinger Wodehouse Everyman prize; James Joyce Award from the Literary & Historical Society of University College Dublin




25 March 2013


Yelland & Papps Second Take Barossa Valley Roussanne 2012
$40; 13% alcohol; screw cap; 92 points
This crack Barossa outfit blew me away with its Devote Shiraz Roussanne blend a couple of months back. Now they wind the price up a notch and forget a lot more technology to make a back to the future wild and cloudy wine that reminds me very much of a dry perry.  Take that Northman cross of the quince and the pear, the Passe-crassanne.  Ferment its juice dry, to remove the prophylactic effect of its sugar, and highlight instead  its bright oxalic-rhubarb acidity.  Then poach some fresh slices of the fruit in that liquor and have them cold in the morning with fresh ashed goat cheese from the Kangarilla Creamery and a glass of this and you’re on the session. “New world wine in an old world way” is the Y&P technical explanation and not once is the term “natural wine” used anywhere. Let’s call it wild yeast barrel ferment lees stirred bottled unfiltered Barossa Valley Roussanne and get on with it, shall we?  Stunning. What’ll become of it? I dunno. Not much point in waiting to watch it fall apart while it tastes this good now.  

Yelland & Papps Second Take Barossa Valley Grenache 2012
$40; 14% alcohol; screw cap; 93+ points
Prickly, bright and wild, here goes Grenache in a feral left-turn that throws the hairy gauntlet at the McLaren Vale proficianados and it serves vividly to show how much edgy natural flavour and perfume is removed from our grasp by the mindless industrial repetition of Adelaide University winemaking dogma.  The acid here’s not quite so oxalic as the Roussanne, but it’s out in that direction.  It reminds me much of some of the early Pinots of Bass Phillip with that acid structure and faint cloud of tannin floating above, like in the very best alpine Nebbiolo. Below that nebbia is the welling essence of Marello cherry, with its tantalizing bittersweet seesaw of flavour, so while it’s one step closer to the Equator than sharp-end Pinot, this wine pushes my belief that the best Grenache from the South Mount Lofty Ranges, which include McLaren Vale and the Barossa, will always be made with Burgundy locked in mind.  Not Adelaide University.  Burgundy. 

Yelland & Papps Second Take Barossa Valley Shiraz 2012

$40; 13.5% alcohol; screw cap; 93 points
Ink for pens.  That’s what Doddridge would mutter over his tanks of Mountadam Shiraz in the ’eighties.  This ink for pens is the sort of wine winewriters commonly see in the best wineries, before said tinctures have been strangulated, bleached and sanitized for release.  The thespian arrogance of the critic is so thick in this instance that the presumption maintains that nobody else is sufficiently advanced in the organoleptic division to appreciate or understand wines like this, undressed for bed.  If indeed it had ever been applied, the make-up is all wiped away here; the stilettos and fishnets are kicked well off, and the ink reserved for the sort of purple prose a lass, through the ups and downs of her official working week, a lass of this provenance triggers amongst many breathless wannabees and wouldbecouldbee scribblers.  Nope, the winehack’s lumpen readership can appreciate only the artificed version, the imagined, the purged, the defiled by sophists.  So something as honest and true as this, is made safe and misty as if by Hugh Hefner or somebody who owns a big lady’s underpants and teddys chain for women who want to look like whores.  They write with runny, watery ink, them Hefners. This real ink, on the other hand, is prickly with sun on the stubble and deep with blackcurrant and beetroot and bullwhip dressing.  I like the idea of spending a lot less money and effort by avoiding the usual “finishing” industrial manufacture, then charging an extra fiver for making available the privilege of drinking her raw and unwritten.  Get some mates and lovers round for dinner.  Dob in and buy one each of these. Then bring three conventional favourites, pour ’em blind, and argue all night.


Dazza said...

Love the notes Whitey. All three sound amazing. Cheers.

Dazza said...

Love the notes Whitey. All three sound amazing.