“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)





17 December 2015


Longhop Adelaide Hills Pinot Gris 2015 
$18; screw cap; 13% alcohol 

Just feast your eyes on them weenie little alcohols. Then get cross-eyed over the price. That must embarrass and annoy many more pretentious practitioners of the gris arts. Always up the top end of my bottom spend sector, the wines of Dominic Torzi, Tracy Matthews and Tim Freeland come in three brands and it's a sweet thing that these Longhop ones have lobbed in time for the birthday of Our Lord. 

I'm sure that had he actually been a real living walking dude, the Nazarene would've fit tight the scriptural account which warned "The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners."

If I just happened to be gluttonising with publicans and sinners I'm certain they'd love these wines, even before they saw the price. If the Son of God then walked in off the dusty track I'd pour him a jug of this baby straight away. He'd love this stuff.

Grown up on the ridge at Lenswood, it's a calmly-perfumed, confidence-stroking beauty. I tortured it with a deep chill and it seemed the perfect bushfire drink. Like your last one. Avoid that extreme and give it only ten or twenty minutes in the icebucket and it's so smooth and brook-simple and honest in its gentle viscosity about the only thing left to howl for will be the loaves and the fishes. Crunchy leavened bread with Paris Creek butter and kippers.


Smoked salmon if you don't extend to kippers.

It smells pale and creamy like like big fleshy petals of the magnolia and water lily, with a touch of ripe yellow peach juice. It tastes like a cool, poised, bone dry healing unction.

It goes on and on and makes you really happy.

When He arrives, we'll join together in singing "I've tried the broken cisterns Lord, alas the waters failed."

But just for contrast. Not a whiff of failure here. This is Masterly. He'll get the joke. 

Longhop Mount Lofty Ranges South Australia Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 
$18; screw cap; 14.4% alcohol 

Crisp, jumpin'-up-your-nose Cabernet with all its twitchy secret-service agent Cabernet ticks; its pretty violets and blueberries; the soft 6B carbon and wood of the builder's pencil; the cooking chocolate; the blackberries and mulberries glowering like conserve down below: this looks like a very rich bastard's wine. If it weren't so dainty at the pointy end, and steely clean in the worry of its long slice, it'd be right wing, like maybe Bin 707. 707 cuts blunt.

Drink. Glory be. Unctuous then sharp then looooonnngg. Acid at the end. While that train went past my eyelid cinema played random frames from a vast canon of gastronomic scenes, leaving me to wish very simply for dribbling pink lamb or baby goat cutlets and a fresh lemon.

If you're a staunch vego and my sentiment seems barbaric I reckon you'd be safe just hitting it all by itself. But then it's clean and determined enough to go with your hairless shampoo-washed-rind cat cheese. Joke only. Your cat will rush you for the cutlets. You can't milk cats.

This is brilliant, clean, intelligently-made upland Cabernet: fine humourous and lively, at a really silly little price. Start your stomachs, face the ink, BANG. 

Bellevue Estate McLaren Vale Shiraz 2014 
$20; screw cap; 14.5% alcohol 

Cigars and old jarrah rafters be wafting up here, adding their funk to the constant groove of the Bellevue parfumerie and confectionary down below.

And the fruiterers: We got lemons and bananas and musky confectioner's sugar; we got candied violets and turkish delight; we got half-dried prunes and pickled morello cherries; we got dried apple and soft fresh nougat. We got eau-de-cologne mint.

For years I've been first to belly-flop into raves about these releases from Corey Vanderleur. (That's his delicate hand, above.) Every one has then gone on to kick serious arse in the commercial gong races and The Edinburgh Hotel punters' taste-off. Like the '13 has just come second, regardless of price, in the huge Winestate Australia-New Zealand Shiraz thing. No surprise to this little black duck. All sold out, dammit. You first read of it here.

Corey's done it again with this 2014. Grown in some of the only real trusty limestone of the district, which is of course in the main street with terra rosa on the top if there's no houses in the way, it's a tickly, prickly youngster, sure. But like its older kin, it'll grow as well as many wines you may prefer to go out and spend an extra $100 on.

The only horror is that Corey's obviously feeling a bit like earning something, so the price has just gone up 10%. Seriously. All the way up to $20. That's three beers if you're lucky.

There are many Shiraz wines wearing the exclusive McLaren Vale Scarce Earths value-adding badge that wither in the presence of this flash, stylish bodgie. They may seriously cost $40-$100 more, but the buyer with the biggest grin will usually be the red-lipped one with a couple boxes of this stashed somewhere.

It's another elegant, tight, gloop-free zipping boogie of a Bellevue wine, ideal for swooshy, spacy music like that Notorious Byrd Brothers album nobody average remembers. Rickenbacker twelve-string; Crosby steering the vocals. Then coz everyone was bitch-tripped and dwuggled they threw Croz out and put a horse in his place in the photo. And went ahead and used his perfect voice all over the fucking thing.

It'll also sound good with a minimalist spaghetti parmigiano, if you must have solids.


Sorry about the swarms of adjectives. But you know.

1 comment:

Jesse said...

Oh! I was listening to that album yesterday! Your notes persuaded me to buy some of each when I get there for xmas.