“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)





10 July 2014


 Corey Vandeleur's hand by Edwin Niczynski

Bellevue Estate McLaren Vale Shiraz 2012
$19; 14% alcohol; screw cap; 93+++ points 

The 2011 version of this won the ol' drinkster's heart then went on to win hat-trick gongs at the national Boutique Wine Awards and is only just now beginning its ascent. This one, a more conventional wine in every way other than its sublime quality - it was a much more conventional vintage - has just won Best Value Shiraz Under $25 retail at The Edinburgh Cellars Shiraz Challenge. The other Ed winner, the Torbreck Factor, is $120. Snigger. You don't get more honest or lovely wine than this. It's a bit thick first thing in the morning, maybe a bit blocky, but last night and the night before it was creamy and silky and caressing. It was grown and made in the main street of McLaren Vale. Right across the street from Elbow Room, come to think of it. In marine limestone. On the family block by Corey Vandeleur. It's like a sinful syrup-filled lozenge, whimpering for a big stack of field mushrooms, or thin slices of rare veal liver with morel cream sauce. Like it's royal wine. Like the 11, it'll start its take-off about a year or three from now. It's an impossible gift at this price so climb aboard and enjoy listening to the engines warming.
Atzes Corner The Bachelor Barossa Valley Shiraz 2012
$26; 15% alcohol; screw cap; 91+++ points

Named after Bert The Bachelor Kleinig already, and made by Andrew Kalleske from his mum and dad's block at Koonunga, which used to be 'the Bachelor's', here's a classic punch in the forehead red in the old Ross Kalleske style. Like Ross would slug you out of pure affection. He whupped me once with that mighty bowed right in Schluter's Greenock Creek Tavern and it was like somebody'd sucked my elevator shafts out from the bottom. Collapse without malice. This is a chocolate and licorice unconciousness with that mysterious and threatening gunbarrel blue glint of star anise and really ripe juniper berries. And it's Andrew and John and Barb Kalleske not Ross. Whew. It's a bit compacted and jackhammered right now, like all the best 2012s, so don't judge it severely. Drink some now, and start on the rest in a year or two. Like twelve. If there's any sauce left the morning after that feast outlined above, wipe it out of the pan with crusty bread and butter; digest it with a backhand schlück of Bachelor and pretend it's a swoon not an assault. See? I knew you'd be surprised. 
Coopers' hands at Langmeil coopers' lunch photo by Dragan

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