“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)





26 March 2014


Véronique Old Vine Barossa Valley Grenache Shiraz Mataro 2012 
$22; 14% alcohol; screw cap; 93+++ points 

Vicki and Peter Manning moved to the High Barossa a dozen years ago to grow and make wine. When it became obvious the ground they chose wouldn't spare them a drip of underground water they chose to buy grapes from elsewhere around the Valley, and with the help of the friendly and most enthusiastic neighbour, Dominic Torzi, make the sorts of wines they loved the most. This fruit came from the young alluvial ground called The Moppa, which stretches east from the ancient rocks of Greenock across nearly to Nuriootpa. The Grenache and Mataro were co-fermented and finished in old French oak; the Shiraz deserved a little new French as much as old stuff, so was handled separately until blending. So whatter we got? It's a bit stand-offish for the first few hours, but then we've got something that smells about $40 more as far as your consideration goes. It's tight with black tea tin and bitter cooking chocolate reeks, and gives no hint that it could be up around fourteen alcohols. If you need fruits you could think along the lines of semi dried date and fig as much as the old mulberry tree, and that bit's as much bark and leaf as your actual berries. In the laughing gear division it takes the silly grin away and sets you marvelling and pondering until you once again remember that price. I'm about to share it with some osso bucco, and yes, I've sacrilegiously put some kalamatas in my sauce, with a great handful of fresh basil leaves from the garden. Yum, as they say, o!  As the day turns into night, it becomes more visceral, viscous and fleshy. Even more perfumed. The exhalation becomes musky. 420 cases made.

Véronique Barossa Foundation Shiraz 2012 
$22; 14.5% alcohol; screw cap; 90+++ points 

Immediately as dark and salty-smelling as Linke's blood pudding and a leg of black Iberian ham with some hair still round its hoof, this moody brute seems to deconstruct from that point and clomps backwards out the butcher's smokehouse door to reassemble itself into a real live snorting wild boar. Like it's got tusks. It's bristly and meaty and sweaty, and not at all happy about what the butcher just did to it. Its breath leaves quite a lot to be desired: It smells like it's been eating oily old railway sleepers, tussocks and potato peels, and its byre ain't all that sanitary. I wouldn't ever suggest the greatest Stone rolling has swine-like manners, but like Keef, this bugger's one that could drink nails and piss rust. It offers a brief illusion of sweetness when you chew it, like really ripe Juniper berries mashed up with the lolly bowl from the Star Wars Bar. And it is salty in a swampish manner, which merely serves to make you thirsty, and against all the above-learned knowledge and the smell of your own rank fear et cetera, you greedily reach out for more snoutwork. Which is exactly what I'd drink it with: the whole steaming head of the re-deconstructed boar, cooked in red wine barrel lees with nettles, juniper and beetroots, delivered intact to the table with the cold blue butcher's hand poked backwards down his throat, so the fingers hang out like garnish with a wedding ring. By Bacchus I can already taste the tongue, and the cheeks, and that lovely gristly little bit at the top of his nose ... the ears! Awwww, Lordy! Where's Dr Max Lake when you need him? Crusty bread and butter would be good, too. 580 cases made. We're in trouble! Next day: The boar just got ten years younger. Cleaner, softer, maybe even prettier. After this opportunity to reconsider, I'd stuff him with boned ducks and chooks, whole bunches of garlic and ginger roots, stitch him up, and have him dribbling on a spit. The butcher's hand tastes like chicken feet now. 92+ 

Véronique Barossa Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
 $22; 14.7% alcohol; screw cap; 91++ points

Pure Eden Valley Cabernet, this reminds me of a vivacious indigenous friend who when commenting on the Garden of Eden yarn, sniggered about Adam and Eve having navels, then cackled brilliantly when she said "Apple?  Bloody apple? Us mob woulda et the snake!" Here we have a glass containing quite a lot more snake than apple. Although it does have a little of the forbidden fruit, after the mealier ancient cider-specific types, like perhaps a Kingston Black. And that dusty dry smell of goanna. It's more bones than flesh, and triggers recollections of the sort of Cabernet Hamiltons made in that rocky spookhouse out east of Eden in the 'seventies. Being a colourblind synaesthete, snakes to me imply the flavours of British Racing Green and much darker aromas, right through the greens I cannot see and the dark mysterious Tawny Frogmouth bark of Pinus radiata to black snake and the sort of slide Ry Cooder added to movies like Southern Comfort (moist) and Paris Texas (dry). Now you've got your head around that, let me add the bitter, very dark green flavours of the nightshades, from tabac through Deadly to Lycopersicon lycopersicum, the spellbinding Black Russian tomato, and I mean its leaves as much as its fruit. This is a tight, lean wine, which may grow a little flesh, but it'll never be fat. That bloke in Rocky Horror. Was he Brad or Brett? Have it with dribbling pink lamb. 220 cases made. Next day: velvet, and waxy pink flesh growing on those sinews and bones. A bit urky. Pretty good in the cup John Ullinger made from the dirt under the Roussanne vineyard outside my back door and across the flat where the machines are harvesting beautiful Shiraz tonight. Give it three years, then take it to the sacrificial lamb with your pepper grinder and a lemon in every pocket. Or just tip it in a jug and waste it now with pecorino Romana, grana. Grazie.



Anna Akhmatova, 1922, by Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin
Russian State Museum , St. Petersburg, Russia

The Last Toast

I drink to home, that is lost,
To evil life of mine,
To loneness in which we’re both,
And to your future, fine, --

To lips by which I was betrayed,
To eyes that deathly cold,
To that the world is bad and that
We were not saved by God.

Anna Akhmatova

from The Break, 1934 
Translated by Yevgeny Bonver, 2000


25 March 2014


Stanley Wines Dolce Rosso Red Lambrusco 
$11.99 for 4l; 10.5% alcohol; silver plastic bag with rubber tap; 10

The artwork and packaging department installs me with confidence. As a writer I'm really interested in the words. It's almost square, like a brick with chamfered edges on the longer sides, giving it that posh feel in the hands, like a real big pack of Davidoffs, or a $1000 perfume pack from the Madelaine. Posh stuff aside, turns out it's not like a brick by accident. In the later 'sixties, when the brilliant winemaker Ian Hickinbotham, who at Max Schubert's invitation was then Penfolds' sales manager in Victoria, was working on the first modern bladder packs, principally to increase the sales of Grange in Melbourne, he designed it like a brick. "I recall using an Otis King round ruler," he recalled in his autobiography Australian Plonky, "to calculate the measurements of a small carton to contain the bag so that the height was twice width, which was one-and-a-half times depth - the same as a household brick." See? Style change! You can tell I got that out of a book! Hah! Anyway, because of my height, it's easiest for me to start reading at the top. 'Stanley WINES,' it says. 'EST BEFORE AUG 09 315 21:12.' At first I felt it was unusual for winery historians to be so specific about the actual time of their establishment but then I realised there was quite a lot of time already passed by twelve past nine on the night of the 9th August whichever year they chose. Some of that critical text has managed to slip off the little matte rectangle where it was supposed to go, so I can only presume the bit that says 'Fine drinking now, but will cellar well for ten to fifteen years' was part of the stuff that missed its patch. Which patch, just incidentally, seems made from that rubbery stuff on scratchy scratchy gambling tickets. 

That's always promising. Rub off to get rich.

Then, on the bit that looks like a legal seal, it says this: 'DOLCE ROSSO Established in 1893 The Stanley Wine Company has always prided itself on the quality and reliability of its products. This philosophy has been instrumental in the Stanley cask becoming an Australian icon. STANLEY WINE COMPANY,' which at least cleared up the date of establishment, although the term 'cask' had a different sort of a meaning in the 1890s. Then, you know, the fact is that it was actually November 1894 that Christison, Knappstein, Badger and Wein-Smith bought the old jam factory in Clare and began cleaning the joint. Maybe I'm wrong but the great historian George Bell thinks it was 1894 and so does Sir James Halliday. The local paper, The Northern Argus, reported the news on 29 March 1895 that they actually opened the doors for wine grapes that vintage, by which time Basedow had also bought in, having just returned from studying viticulture at Montpelier, and working vintage in Germany, Spain and Portugal. Then it says 'Stanley WINES NEW NAME SAME WINE,' with a little image of a Standard 220ml ISO XL-5 Wine Taster Glass, which is so small it seems certain to have been invented by some international committee of people who were really scared of wine in the early 'seventies. I use these for brine eyewash. They're just the right size for my bloodied  blue headlights. Then it says 'DOLCE ROSSO RED LAMBRUSCO A vibrant red wine, soft and fruity. Enjoy this mellow wine with pasta, veal, lamb, beef, continental foods and cheeses. SERVE CHILLED 4 LITRES.' That's a lot of imfo, but I can sorta handle it. 

Just to be thorough, let's have a read of the end. Near the squirter, there's like a private letter to me. It says 'Notice something different about your Stanley Cask? That's right, the name has changed. As part of the EU agreement on wine terms, Red Lambrusco can only be used to describe wine true to its varietal origin. For this reason, the Australian wine industry has adopted the name Dolce Rosso. So rest assured that while the name has changed, it's still the same great wine. Stanley WINES.' Noting the correct use of apostrophe's, I felt real confident about reading the other end. Down here it says STANLEY WINE COMPANY Stanley WINES NEW NAME SAME WINE DOLCE ROSSO RED LAMBRUSCO Stanley takes pride in producing wines of consistent quality.  If you are not totally satisfied with this wine please ring Quality Assurance 1800 088 711. Nothing's as sure as Stanley.' If you ring, you'll probably get Angela, who seems real helpful in a kind, motherly sort of way, but I only got her answering thing. I'll bet she was talking to Stanley. Then there's a proper official-looking bit that goes 'THE STANLEY WINE COMPANY PTY LTD SILVER CITY HIGHWAY, BURONGA, NSW 2739 THIS WINE WAS MADE USING FINING AGENTS WHICH CONTAIN EGG, MILK, AND/OR FISH PRODUCTS TRACES MAY REMAIN. PRESERVATIVE (220) ADDED 10.5% ALC/VOL PRODUCT OF AUSTRALIA (75%) AND SOUTH AFRICA (25%)' So there you go. A great example of how Australia is more honest at packaging than those friggin Froggies. Anyway, let's taste it. Ready? Okay. It seems just a bit fizzy on appearance, like frizzante. But it settles down. It's also a bit cloudy, like a natural wine. Hermann my butler tells me it's brown, advice which I must take, being a colourblind person, expecting he means that its' an orange wine. Mr Stanley was probly too far ahead of his time to tell us he made it in an amphora back in the days when I cellared it. Okay then, lets pour one. To be fair to them, I use the Riedel Dolce Rosso Red Lambrusco Sommelier snifter ($128 ea) for wines of this calibre. I have a couple of those 220ml ISO XL-5 Wine Taster glasses (presented free in the Adelaide Hills, see photo), but when I do the numbers, it says on the squirter there's 33 standard drinks in there and 33x220ml makes 7.26l not four so I prefer the Riedel Dolce Rosso Red Lambrusco Sommeliers because they don't even have a Plimsoll line showing me how much I'm allowed to have in each one of them. I reckon that's what they call rambiguity.

The bouquet reminds me of a cross between my Granny's hot water bottle (British Standards BS 1970 and BS 1970:2012 8 updated version) and the Infinit New Sensations vibrator Hermann left on the parcel shelf in the sun in the back of the Mazzer last time we got bogged at Cactus and when we got back it reminded me of the hot water bottle from my first marriage. Which is romantic, really. The other thing it reminds me of is polyvinyl chloride. I won't believe the nonsense the greenies spread about PVC giving you liver cancer, so forget that. The headache I'm getting is obviously from the Metallica the Irish wolfhound's got in his headphones. Loves Metallica. Maybe a bit of wolfhound smell, too? Then, it does actually have that lovely smell of a brand new car when you've left her in the sun for a few hours in January and then get in her. And then it reminded me of something else, which took me a while to recall. Turned out to be the saffron-coloured raven oil from W. J. Brady & Sons of 103 Flood Street, Leichhardt, New South Wales 2049, which is in the same state as Buronga. Okay let's taste it. It tastes a bit like the half full 1.5l bottle of Coke Hermann left in the sand behind the Mazzer when we had to desert her and pull out in the chopper and when we got back a week or so later it tasted all different. It was the summer. The bloke with the rastas Hermann gave the other coke to stuck around to keep an eye on the Mazzer so long as his wife and kids could sleep in it and we came back with more coke. All cool. Anyway, I agree with Hungry Dan's suggested food to have with this wine and remember to pop it in the fridge. Dan says 'A vibrant red wine, soft and fruity. Enjoy this mellow wine with pasta, veal, lamb, beef, continental foods and cheeses. Serve chilled,' which is so cool because that's just what Mr Stanley said. To chill with Kyles's new Mazzer ad with Roman Coppola, click here. Like it fits the whole plastic nature of like everything ... all the cooler when you realise that Roman's Dad's a winemaker! Sheesh!


24 March 2014


Tomorrow did indeed come for these grand old glories, although it took many decades. None of these wines would have offered much pleasure (a) in their infancy, without a bloody good day or two's breathing, or at least double-decanting, or (b) without many many years in the appropriate cool steady cellar. So how should the critic report such wines in the awkwardness of their infancy? ... photo Philip White
 An argument about air and time
How much do readers deserve?
Should the critic even bother?

'Hey guys, tomorrow never comes,' was the headline in WBM - Australia's Wine Business Magazine.

'A trend with some wine reviewers is revisiting a bottle of wine the day after they first taste it,' wrote editor Anthony Madigan, left, 'or a few days later, noting any improvement or otherwise in the quality of the booze and adding it to the tasting note.  Don't know about you, but I think that's a cop-out. Ninety percent of consumers want to know what the wine tastes like when they open the bottle. Because, really, who apart from a few geeks in the wine industry would be interested in seeing how a wine evolves after it's been opened for a few days? Most punters just want to drink the bottle in one hit. So guys: open the bottle, taste it, write the notes and move on to the next one.'

While Anthony, better known as Madge, rightfully maintains the page this was published upon is generally a tongue-in-cheek piss-take, the item triggered a splurt of digifits on things like Twitter, with much micro misunderstanding leading to macro insults taken without necessarily being delivered. People were unfollowed, for Bacchus' sake!

One of the guilty pundits referred to in this bitchery was Max Allen, who plays a grumpy, cynical, roistering Gallienus to James Halliday's omnipresent God Almighty in the wine pages of The Australian.

In the hungover December 28th edition of The Oz, Max (left) dared to suggest that some of the Grenache wines on his desk tasted different, even better, 24 or more hours after they'd been opened. 'They all tasted different,' he wrote, 'some a little bit, some quite a lot.' In conclusion, he dared to suggest  'don't be too quick to judge a wine when you first pour it: give it some air, a chance to breathe and stretch its legs. Then taste it again and see if it's different. You never know: it might surprise you.'

Max Schubert playing blending tricks in his office at Penfolds Grange in the mid-eighties ... photo Milton Wordley ... image from our book, A year in the life of Grange

This was hardly revolutionary. When Max Schubert was in semi-retirement in his little office at The Grange, and as their cellarmaster was charged with stocking the cellars of Government House and the State Bank, he would ring this writer excitedly to get up there to see what he'd discovered. He was swamped in bottles sent in by winemakers hopeful of making the legendary gubernatorial and infamous State Bank collections, and enjoyed playing games with them. Mud pies. He'd have an ordinary red open for some days, then add a little of another and more of something else, and from commonplace discount bin plonk, with a dash of something fresher and more opulent, concoct drinks much more satisfying and fascinating than any of their ingredients.

It was fun. And funny to learn how close most winemakers get without understanding how to go that extra few percent to cross from passable to perfection. 

Max showed the young Whitey how simply educational it was to watch a wine decay, and learn about its composition in reverse as different aspects of it fell away through oxidation. He would open simple cheap wines dominated by whatever component the dying wine had lost, and in replacing it, teach unforgettable lessons.

As with his beloved Grange, many wines actually bloomed as they inhaled air over a day or two. With the advent of the airtight sanctity of screw caps, such airing is an even more important aspect of understanding a wine, but that's only the beginning. In his WBM piece, my respected colleague obviously referred to very thirsty people whom one hopes rarely drink alone.

Thirst is not foreign to your scribe, who drinks alone most of the time, and is thus very much more aware of just how much of a bottle or six one should properly 'drink in one hit.' Presumptuously writing in the suspicion that there are many lonesome couch cowpersons out there taking the odd schlück with a takeaway pizza as they gaze at Master Chef, wine that improves for a day or three after opening is always a desirable notion.

On another level, the expensive wine that takes some days to blossom is best recommended for those like the Governor, whose obligation was to present great wines of proper maturity to guests. Several decades with his nose on the winestone have taught the writer that wines that take longer to bloom after opening are usually the safest to recommend for longer cellaring.

Of course many sink the whole damn thing within an hour or two of purchase, and slouch back to Hungry Dan's for another, but that's hardly what the thinking critic should recommend.

Return from Howard Twelftree's wake: one of the dangers of drinking too much very young wine without breathing ... Milton Wordley, the author, and Miss Tilley ... this photograph was found in the author's camera in the midst of an eight Richter hangover ... it is suggested these figures should be cast in grand-scale bronze by Alf Hannaford and erected in the remodelled Victoria Square, just as a warning to our youth.
One presumes that this 'ninety percent of consumers [who] want to know what the wine tastes like when they open the bottle' and then proceed to guzzle the lot are rarely the type to bother about what the Maxes or James or indeed Whitey have to say about nuances and the finer aspects of the gastronomic arts. These people may indeed enjoy a rollicking read, but this scribe's long experience writing in the mainstream chip wrappers taught him that such folks are much more likely to buy a product on its score, regardless of whether such measure is made in points out of this or that total, or in James' incredibly influential world, the number of stars he throws about. Godhead, see?

Max recently remarked that he'd lost a job writing for some big international journal because of his refusal to award scores. He'd prefer to write considered appraisals without pleasing producers and thence ad-hungry editors by scoring everything five stars or points in the high nineties. May Bacchus and Pan continue to bless him.

Anyone who's faced a serious line-up of baby reds knows immediately that young wines - especially the best of them - need plenty of air and time ... photo Philip White

It's frustrating to be called a critic who always points high, especially given the number of bottles it takes to find one worthy of slotting in the heady scores above ninety: it's easy to fill a wheelie bin with empties in order to find two or three deserving of those outer-space nether regions. (The 'plus' characters that often follow the score are there to indicate a wine that will be more satisfying if given air or years in the cellar.)

So what do such scores really indicate? Dear Max (Schubert) often talked about the mood, the feeling, the warmth and atmosphere a good wine would conjure in the mind of the drinker. He spoke lovingly of the wines he thought had what he called soul. I can promise you such heresy was rare in those blazer-and-tie days. Measuring stuff like 'soul' with digits or stars is pretty much impossible.  Writing about it is a personal matter tricky if not outright impossible for most, and it's a risk to presume the author's sentiment will be shared by the reading drinker. 

Remember what we're talking about: The base ingredient in wine is ethanol, a powerful psychoactive depressant, lethal in large doses. Better winemakers dress this coarse relaxant drug in veils of gastronomic mystique: satisfying, almost hypnotic layers of sensory intrigue and confounding complexity.

Or, indeed, simple joy.

Some properly-matured wines don't need much breathing - they've had enough of it indeed if they've survived fifty or sixty years under the curse of porous corks ... photo Philip White

This writer hopefully, perhaps naively presumes his reader will appreciate this ingredient in his recommendations, and strives to somehow relay some of his feelings and forecasts in each instance.

Put simply, the mystical top end of vinous literature is entwined with the immeasurable experience that takers of other drugs call the high. This old drinkster writes to share the high he finds in his preferred cups. It is an attempt to please determined seekers of ecstasy, like that patriarch, Leonard Cohen.

'I only drank professionally,' Leonard once recalled of his more absorbent days. 'I found this wine: it was Chateau Latour. The experts talk about the bouquet and the tannins and the fruit and the symphonies of tastes. But nobody talks about the high. Bordeaux is a wine that vintners have worked on for 1,000 years. Each wine has a specific high, which is never mentioned.'

Put even more simply, 'dance me to the end of love.'

Even the most hardened connoisseurs need plenty of time to mature ... drawing by George Grainger Aldridge, from our book, Evidence of vineyards on Mars


23 March 2014


Ben Neville took the lucky DRINKSTER  - and key folks from McLaren Vale and Fleurieu tourism, the South Australian Tourism Commission and Wine Australia - to lunch at the bottom of the little-recognised Onkaparinga Gorge. The Gorge, which looks and feels like the wildest canyons of the Flinders Ranges, is not widely recognised because it's a very difficult place to get in and out of, regardless of the fact that it forms the northern rim of the major viticulture section of McLaren Vale, and is only forty minutes from Adelaide. (Unfortunately, the northern half of The Vales has been eaten by villa rash and dormitoria, which the Labor government's McLaren Vale and Barossa Character Preservation Act finally promises to put a halt to. That's one good reason for both the big regions to praise Bacchus that today, with help of independent Geoff Brock, they formed the new South Australian government. Brock's electorate of Frome includes some of the Southern Flinders Ranges vineyards and all of Clare.) Ben's Off Piste 4WD Tours specialises in showing off secret and wild bits of the south. With Chook's Little Winery Tours, we also visited other major geological sites, beautiful vineyards at the end of harvest, and Noon's Winery, for a taste of the new ferments. Nigel Rich, of the Elbow Room restaurant, made us this memorable lunch amongst the River Red Gums ... photos by Ben Neville


20 March 2014


Murrindindi Vineyards Don't Tell Dad Yea Valley Riesling 2013
$18; 12.5% alcohol; screw cap; 92+ points

I first met Hugh Cuthbertson in an ancient cellar full of big old oaks dribbling equally ancient fortified wines somewhere beneath the city of Melbourne about thirty years ago. He's still got those ageing in a dungeon somewhere. While we're waiting, he works on his family's wine business near Yea in the Victorian highlands. Typical of the family style, this Riesling is of the delicate, floral type - it's much better, shall we say 'mannered' than its staunch and steely rivals from Clare and Eden. It has a slight spread of lemon butter on its cracker, and would be schmick with garfish, fresh thyme, lemon and black pepper. Delicious rather than vicious.

Murrindindi Vineyards The AMC Yea Valley Chardonnay 2010
$45; 13.5% alcohol; screw cap; 93 points

As does the Riesling, this elegant Chardonnay shows its posh schooling in the most polite and refined manner. Reaching a proper age, it has nutty nougat aromas where many others display expensive oak and other faddish artifice. Its palate is creamy and smooth, and has a profound calming effect. It seems to have an uncanny ability to satisfy. It's a much more rewarding wine than the cheap Chablis Chardonnays which are suddenly replacing Kiwi Savvy-Bs in the waterside bistros out east. I wouldn't waste it on salt'n'pepper squid, which is where so much of that Kiwi battery water deservedly meets its fate. This is no mere greasecutter. It makes me think more of a delicate veal scaloppini, with a creamy lemon and caper sauce.  It'll hit the shelves (gently) in a week or so; perhaps best to ensure supply via the Murrundindi Vineyards website. A whole tenner cheaper is the Family Reserve 2012 model (13.5%; screwie), which has a little more edge in the division many call 'mineral'. To me it's like the best bone china, ground to powder.  To balance this in the typical son of Cuthbert manner, the wine has a swoop of perfectly smooth butter, much like that lovely Riesling. Once again, it's a beautifully elegant, refined thing. 94 points

Murrindindi Vineyards Family Reserve Yea Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
$25; 14% alcohol; screw cap; 92++ points

Here it is again: uncommon polite elegance. It's rare to find a young Cabernet this supple and silky, and authoritative in such an understated way. It is blackcurrant without the leafy greens most Cabernets display - it has a beautiful, confident polished sheen. There is oak, but it's most subtle in a cigar box/cedary manner, and serves only to add tantalising counterpoint to that delightful Bordelaise syrup. I can't recall any South Australian Cabernet offering such satisfaction in such an elegant frame at a price anything like this. With the April release of the whites will come another lovely red, the Family Reserve Shiraz 2012 ($35; 14%; 93+) which seems to me to be a much better cool area Shiraz than the 2011 Best's which won the Jimmy Watson last year. This has the classic Murrundindi restrained elegance yet packs that template with silky unction and wholesome ripe blackberry syrup without showing the slightest hint of jam, goo, or gloop. If you're tired of drinking tattooed steroidal boofheads, get on the net and buy yourself a mixed dozen from this overlooked corner of the Alps. I'll take the blame.


19 March 2014



Bits fly away

This autumn is so unsure of itself 
I feel like I should be cold.
As quiet as science you do not come.

We were going to the ocean.
But beside the cutting horses at Kangarilla,
I watch the bulldogs fucking on the lawn,

knowing that you will not come.
When farmers watch their livestock hump,
they think of wives and lovers.

Bits fly away from me very quick now
as the windscreen shatters.
I was in another direction.

Philip White

photo is Sally Wicks' "All in one", taken by me on Greg Johns' sculpture hills at Palmer