“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)


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28 May 2013

OLD WORLD NEW - NEW WORLD OLD


Marc Brédif Vouvray 1999
$40; 12.5% alcohol; cork; 93++ points
Chenin blanc. The great white grape of the Loire Valley, presented here at its humble regal best: fourteen years of age, and forty measly dollars.  It’s toasty and rich, without being overtly honeyed or advanced, with rich layers of spice, along the cassia and nutmeg veins, and an intriguing tidy mess of citrus marmalade lost in a subtle cloud of smoke. It’s a dry high acid grape that loves a small touch of botrytis, which adds an immediate peach and apricot tinge to its pickled lemon flavours.  By the end of the bottle, these take a tweak of grilled rind.  It works the mouth like a masseur, setting the juices running and the anticipatories aflame in a confident and cool way.  It never rudely challenges or talks down to the drinker, but entertains and teases, and then calms and soothes, and then sets in the brain a feeling of overwhelming calm as much as the trigger of more curiosities yet to be satisfied.  Like, you want to have it again soon.  But you’re very very happy to have discovered it.  Pour it to a table of friends with Alison Paxton’s Kangarilla Creamery Funky Goat cheese – declared interest: Alison’s creamery’s a few hundred yards across the vineyard from me – and they’ll go quiet and then when it’s gone they’ll begin oozing groans of satisfaction.  It sits in the mouth for a very long satisfying time.  I found this bottle in the clever wine shop behind the Stirling Hotel.  They seemed to have a lot of it.  It’s distributed by Robert Hill Smith’s Yalumba subsidiary, Negociants Australia.  Go get. 

Torzi Matthews Single Old Vineyard Moppa Hill Barossa Grenache Mataro 2012
$35; 14.2% alcohol; screw cap; 92+++ points
This bottle’s been open for two days, and it’s getting better by the hour.  It’s not a matter of it being healed, but being given the opportunity to grow and awake as young ones deserve.  Beautiful smooth raspberry essence, and all those liqueurs they make from non-grape berries in Burgundy, simmer away in this mega-cool, acid and silk syrup.  The grapes are from Domenico Martino’s 110 year-old bushies in the northern Barossa.  It’s not gloopy or gluggy, but as I say, silky.  There’s some chocolate, which adds to the pulchritude. It’s hot in the tail, from all those alcohols, but in this its youth there’s a good chance they’ll serve to make you hungry more than thirsty, and when it’s properly aged, they’ll be enveloped and disguised by the fruit as it mellows and rises like a monarch born to rule.  I gutsed my bottle with a hybrid Bolognese type sauce I made using the pork and veal mince from that butcher among butchers, Max Noske, of Hahndorf.  No butchery I know smells so good and sweet, which is a statement I know I’m gonna get trouble for next time I walk into Tony Marino’s in Gouger Street. I’ll bet neither prime house of meat would complain were I to drop them a bottle of this.  But they’ll probably clash boners over my choice of Bolognese mince.  I’ll run back to Kangarilla (no butcher here), knowing Germany and Italy will eventually work on a truce, if not a cross-blend mince.

3 comments:

Jesse said...

Didn't like the 99 Brédif anywhere near as much as the 98 or the 00. Have you tried either of those?

Philip White said...

I think it depends as much on the fucking corks as the degree of botrytis. Given a sympathetic cork, 99 MB reminds me of the 55 and 49 Moulin Touchais, which I drank by the case at $15 per bottle in 1983.

Philip White said...

Sorry forgot to answer your question. Yes I have tried them. Delish.