“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)





14 October 2015


Fox Gordon Charlotte’s Web Adelaide Hills Pinot Grigio 2015
$23; 13.1% alcohol; screw cap; 90 points 

I can’t for the life of me understand how a grape can smell more like pears than, well, pears do.

Wave this elegance beneath your receiver and you look twice to check that there’s not your actual Bartlett pear sliced open right there on the table. Skin, seeds, core, stalk, flesh: it’s all there.

While the wine’s fashionably clipped and crisp, the flavours are not so precise: you’d swear somebody’s put some grapefruit in there: not, however, the obvious citrus end of the grapefruit spectrum but that entertaining nuttiness grapefruit sometimes has.

Which leads me to suggest this is why grapefruit are named after grapes, but no. I mean they don’t look much like grapes, so maybe it’s this smell? Nope. They’re named after grapes because of the way they hang in bunches on the bough.

This wine’s called Grigio after the Italian style of grey Pinot. This can indicate a more frivolous, less austere wine, built for early drinking, as opposed to the dead serious cellaring Pinots gris of Alsace.

And of course it’s white. And dry.

So. We have a simple, clean, pristine waft of a wine: more of a passing thought than a big drink. Maybe it’s a bit like some of the Pinot noir they pick early to make white wine in Champagne?

Now you’re on it!

I want it in an ice bucket with a plate of those brittle Italian almond amaretti cookies. Eleven AM sharp. Maybe a little ristretto on the side. Grazie. 

Provenance Wines The Griesling 2015 
$25; 12.2% alcohol; screw cap; 92 points 

Scott Ireland made this at his Provenance Wines business near Geelong. It’s a blend of Pinot gris and Riesling. Considering these two most famously grow side-by-side on the slopes of Alsace, you could be forgiven for expecting a bigger, more austere drink after the dour Alsace style, but this is more along the lines of your north Italian frivolity.

If you want more Lutheranism in your drink, you’ll find some more spendy, more authoritative straight Gris on the major Provenance label.

Here, the Riesling has added that variety’s classic lemon pith and lime juice in place of the grapefruit we find in the unblended Fox Gordon.

Once again, it’s not a droll discussion piece for high-class winers, but a perfectly respectable whimsy of a drink, designed to refresh without much interruption.

Unlike the similarly dry Fox Gordon, it makes me dream of more savoury food flavours than sweet. It’d be cracking, like, almost chilled, with spaghetti vongole or marinara. Proper parmesan please, and plenty of contrasting black pepper …

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