“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)





09 March 2015


Drinkster wallowed through a long slow lunch on the clifftop at Port Willunga yesterday with two kings of California Cabernet: Jayson Woodbridge (left) and Chris Carpenter, who are both in McLaren Vale to make wine ... photo by Philip White

Woodbridge, owner of the stellar Hundred Acre in the Napa, was on his annual pilgrimage to add the McLaren Vale and Barossa Shiraz components to his phenonemal Layer Cake portfolio; Carpenter, mountain Cabernet master at the renown Jackson Family Napa wineries is here to make another vintage from their high country Hickinbotham Vineyard at Clarendon. "Man, those flavours are somethin' else," he growled.

There's a genuine layer cake of geology below Woodbridge's vintage house ... that's the author at the foot of the Port Willunga cliffs ... photo Emma Shepherd (from the map Geology of the McLaren Vale Wine Region - Government of South Australia)

With his typical delicate aplomb, Woodbridge butchered a fat lamb in a matter of minutes and the wine flowed as smoothly as the yarns as we sat waiting for his favoured cuts to sizzle away in his computer-driven Kansas-built Woodbridge-sized smoker/barbecue.

We gazed out over the glittering Gulf St Vincent, patron of viticulturers, vinegar-makers, schoolgirls and lost things, and quite literally chewed the fat and joked about what a brave soul it would be to hack the Woodbridge barbecue, while a who's-who of local winemakers and culinary identities drove past waving or wavered and stopped by.

Remnants of the Port Willunga jetty, from where thousands of tonnes of Willunga building slate was exported to Sydney and Melbourne in the 1800s ... photo Christau Reid (from McLaren Vale - Trott's view)

Later in the afternoon, another wine giant, Big Bob McLean arrived, making a rare exodus from his eyrie in the Barossa Tops. Bob's been very ill, so it was heartening to see him up and about, and as boyishly fizzy about his 2015 vintage as everybody else seems to be.

There are some great wines due to seep from the cellars this year.
 Stephen Henschke shares a schlück with Big Bob and Wilma McLean at their winery at the top of Mengler's Hill in the Barossa ... photo Philip White ... below is the Hickinbotham Clarendon Vineyard ... photo by Maynard James Keenan of Caduceus Cellars, Arizona.


1 comment:

Perfectly Frank said...