“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)





15 September 2015


Dodgy Bros. Blewett Springs McLaren Vale Pinot Gris 2015 
$20; 12.9% alcohol; screw cap; 90 point 

Wes Pearson's the sort of sensory scientist I can take to: cold and analytical as a silver whipsnake in mirror aviators in the lab; happy to go out and get funky and dream and laugh afterhours. That's presuming he's cold and analytical as a silver whipsnake in the lab. 
(Comparing that precise alcohol number on the label to the friendly chaos in this bottle gave rise to such imagery. 

With his McLaren Vale grape-growing droogies, the Peters Somerville and Bolte, Wes makes good humourous easy-spend wines like this.

I wouldn't try to grow and make Pinot gris anywhere you can't grow and make presentable Pinot noir, which excludes McLaren Vale, but this unlikely fruit came up over the hill from my joint in The Vales so what the hell? In go the Dodgies. Munch munch.

It smells like pears, then yellow peaches, then quinces. It has that slight cordite top itch. Take a schlück, and it commences like fresh cordial of pear and quince, with that silky texture of the syrup from poaching quinces followed gradually but firmly by that very dry granular tannin unique to fresh quince.

By which I mean I quite like its see-saw from viscous to sandy, from syrupy peach to bitter peel. Like canteloupe skin. It's a comfy, perky, larrikin wine. And really good fun.

Grill scallops on the half-shell with mandarin peel, spring onion and soy, and pour this cool, not chilled. Keep the dried chilli handy. Laugh! 

Dodgy Bros. McLaren Vale Rosé 2015 
$20; 13.3% alcohol; screw cap; 91+ points 

To concentrate colour and flavour in their reds, many winemakers run off some free-run juice early in the winemaking. This often makes very good rosé. The Dodgies made this with juice run off freshly crushed Grenache and Shiraz grapes, before it picked up much colour.

The wine's a bit hazy, which means it hasn't been filtered too hard, if at all.

It smells brightly of roses and red currants, strawberries and raspberries, beneath a gentle insinuation of red summer dust.

For a few seconds it tastes like a syrup of all those, lush and comforting. For a moment it does the turkish delight. Then its natural acid and its young fresh tannins take hold, and the only way to get that dancing fruit back is take another sip. How cool is that? Perpetual motion?

The other way out is to eat food. Kippered herrings, or lightly-smoked silver perch out of the dam, with burnt rice. Posh types will insist on smoked salmon.

As long as you laugh. This wine's a vibrant ride.

By the time summer comes round, it'll be better settled, waiting for you. Only 100 cases! 

Dodgy Bros. McLaren Vale Grenache 2014 
$20; 14.3% alcohol; screw cap; 92+ points 

This fruit comes from Strout Road, near the old Bethany chapel. That's a sacred site for proper Valers, because Greg Trott's buried up the end of Strout Road. With many other good folks. Good place to go and ponder.

Which is never to say this is a ponderous wine.  It's all bright cherries and prickly white pepper. It has a delightful shade of musk confectionary. It reminds me of the earliest Church Block reds, which came from that precinct. Like they were in their youth, it's entertaining!

The palate's a drop more serious, but not much. It's weighty in the mouth and finishes with fine  tannin and a curl of junketty/custardy acid and leaves that lozenge of gel of those early fruits in the middle of the tongue. It's very more-ish.

And it brings a silly grin to the guzzler.

There are many very fine new Grenache reds emerging, some a touch too sophisticated and highly-stroked for me. This one's rustic, without overt hippy business, which is the extreme opposite of sophistry. This wine makes me happy. I'm gutsing it with spare pork belly ribs smoked with heaps of chilli and black pepper. And nothing else. But laughter.

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