“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)





03 October 2013


Here are two new benchmarks for Australian wine.  Both are grown and made without any standard industrial chemicals, and while one is pink and the other white, with their varieties originating in the contrasting extremes of Europe, they end up being very similar in style: stunning.  Not to mention appetising to an overwhelming degree. 

Hahndorf Hill Adelaide Hills GRU Gruner Veltliner 2013
$28; 13% alcohol; screw cap; 94++ points 

Here's a triumphant wine of a new style for Australia, and one which is highly satisfying to review and recommend. Larry Jacobs and Marc Dobson pioneered this tricky, austere Austrian variety in Hahndorf after thoroughly researching the country to find the right climatic situation.  Seven years on, an ideal vintage coincided with their considerable confidence in their methods of entrapping the best flavours.  First, they picked across their three clones several times during harvest, so they had a collection of various batches of differing ripeness.  These were then fermented in various ways, from tightly controlled cultured yeast ferments in steel, to wild yeast versions in old barriques.  They must have had great fun assembling this final blend: the wine has a deep complexity along with a cheeky sense of humour.  It pokes its tongue out, for example, at the thinner, catty/grassy styles of Sauvignon blanc the early Hills growers planted madly in envy of the Land of the Wrong White Crowd.  It has a delightful sweet-and-sour melony aroma, somewhere between starfruit (Averrhoa carambola) and bitter melon (Momordica charantia) which is technically a squash, like a cucumber, and not really a melon at all.  There's also a good deal of something approaching the coarse-skinned Belgian Bosc pear.  This all entwines tidily with a little nose-tickling cordite and struck flint, an appetising illusion arising from the influence of wild yeasts and extended lees contact. The wine moves into the mouth with a certain authority and weight, with solid flavours perfectly reflecting those aromas.  While there's no wood evident, it has more presence and complexity than many a sophisticated wood-aged Chardonnay.  Its natural acid is buried in its overall form, but it's strong and persistent, and while its tannins are fine-grained, they're dusty, and in such abundance that this GRU will bloom beautifully in your cellar.  It makes me yearn immediately for veal scallopini cooked in white wine with lemon juice and capers. It deserves to sell out quickly, so jump on it, and do try to put some away for a few years.  Or many. Stunning.

Castagna Beechworth Allegro 2013 
$55; 14% alcohol; Diam cork; 94+++ points

 A little more primarily pink than some of its accomplished onion skin/pheasant eye predecessors, this Shiraz sets the bar a few notches higher for dead serious Australian rosé.  The wine hasn't happened by accident, as an afterthought, or as a convenient outlet for weaker-flavoured red juice bled off ordinary red to concentrate the rest, as often occurs elsewhere.  As Julian Castagna writes, "I continue to tinker in the vineyard and winery to unlock further complexity and intrigue that can be created with this most interesting of wine styles; it serves me no purpose to doctor my rosé with red wine to give it a deeper hue; I need no residual sugar to create the illusion of texture and weight – I just leave it alone to mature in old French oak to allow it build texture and complexity in a natural environment."  Inspired by the winemakers of Bandol and Tavel, Castagna has wrought a wondrous thing here, a complex and rewarding drink unlike anything else in Australia.  It has that glorious crushed hardrock prickle that makes the nostrils flare and the juices flow, over a welling bowl of turkish delight and maraschino cherry, aspects which serve as a sort of primary fruit gift-wrapping to the more complex and weighty aromas of cooked taro and sweet potato that make up its soul. It's an austere thing to savour, being more slender and elegant than that complex fragrance would signal.  Which is not to say it's supple - its tannins and form are almost brittle, like a young Grand Cru Chablis. It doesn't taste particularly red, either, but is more along the lines of a long, persistent, palate-teasing massage of the sensories, total.  By Bacchus it makes me hungry.  I want to take it to Marseilles for a triple-X bouillabaisse and half a pack of Gauloise.  I suspect I got a sneak preview, but the wine will be out soon, so get on to the Julian calendar and secure your share in advance.       


William said...

Hello Customer,

Greetings,well I would like to know whether you sell Grease hopper. Let me know the available sizes or the some few models you have. Also I would like to know the types of payment accepted.Hope to hear back from you soon.

Best Regards,

Anonymous said...

Hi William, Grease hopper is currently available in large, medium and extra large although leg length can be adjusted on request Send money order c/ The wheel has a squeak, 105 Nth Moron, Alaska