“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)





23 February 2016


Oakridge Wines Rose of Baton Rouge Yarra Valley 2015  
($21; 13.5% alcohol; screw cap)

Rosé. Ew. Gooseberries and loquats in a blood orange marmalade. Rich, fresh turkish delight. Soft, fresh maraschino nougat. Like all the best of David Bicknell's Oakridge wines, it pulls those fleshy delights into a cage of rapier acidity with a range of tannins stretching clear across the ridge from bone china to walnuts.

This is one of those rosés that needs no hard chilling. It's made from the first run juice they spilled off the Pinot noir and Pinot meunier wines reviewed below, before it absorbed much skin colour or tannin, so those would be thicker, darker and more complex, with more body. 

That worked. 

But maybe this one's got the best of it.

To most enjoy its carnal comfort, fifteen or twenty minutes in the ice bucket is ample. Had so, with all the foods the first paragraph mentions, and some smoked salmon, chèvre, feta, pecorino, capers, and saltimbocca, dammit, is to fall dangerously to my level.

Chet Baker, Stan Getz, Tom Jobim. Cool music. Walking music with a half-step. Astrid singing flat half a beat behind the Ipanema girl. Joe Pass. 

Oakridge Meunier 2015 
($26; 13.7$ alcohol; screw cap)

Meunier. I know what happens here. This is worse. Damn thing smells like the whole building just melted. Like a person stepped out of a blast furnace or a malting kiln with smoke coming off 'em. Like the scorched clutch of the vintage Mercedes-Benz W196 Mercedes racer Juan Fangio drove round at the first Adelaide Formula One street track. She was built to use the highest grade vegetable oil when all the petroleum had gone to the war, so once he'd got her warmed up the whole business smelled like a hot restaurant screaming past. Anyway, that's the smell. Hot metal; fried tyres; grilled beetroot and Fangio's hairoil. Haloumi. Melting buildings. Lots of crashing noises.

See. I can't stop. It does eventually begin to get something along the lines of the smell of fruit going down, but you'd hardly call that an exuberant or rapid development. And I can't quite peg the fruit but it's something very dark and runny from the tropical jungle. Phantom angry jungle tremble juice.

Then you realise that the very naughty things going on in your mouth is actually this wine and to the technical connoisseur I'd suggest mother's milk fatty acids are in it from some malo-lactic ferment but to everybody else I'll just say SENSUALITY. Then I'd go one step further, quietly whisper SENSUOUS in my own ear and try to be first to grasp it all, even before the Bandar put it on the tom-toms while pigmeat replaces the missionaries in the whale oil pots and the clearing fills up with writhing boogie.

Siouxsie and the Banshees. Grace Jones. Esther Phillips. 

Oakridge Lusatia Park Vineyard Yarra Valley Pinot Noir 2014 
($36; 13.5% alcohol; screw cap)

Moving across to Lusatia Park is like leaving all that jungle and aluminium and settling in a much slower, lower, more totally chilled hammock by the peaty fire in the Big Chief's study. She's serving quince paste and fig slice and prune chutney with her fingers in the dark and when you drink the liquor it's like it's got kalamata pickling juice in it and lots of brilliant whip-aerial acidity. Like suddenly you're old enough to be in a secret room with the one you adored through all your exploding years and she's got cheetah tails wound round her ankles and her voice is a low honeyed contralto like Nadia Reid's. Maybe it IS Nadia Reid. In the dark, she seems older than Nadia Reid. Now she pops you a pickled walnut.

But you know: you gotta take it slow. Learn all the chords. Calve's liver with morels and Nadia's first album, Listen To Formation, Look For The Signs. She might have only two dozen short years on her belt, but this woman speaks fluent Big Chief. 

Oakridge Willowlake Vineyard Yarra Valley Pinot Noir 2014 
($36; 13.4% alcohol; screw cap)

The Willowlake Pinot is a move back to the macho and abrupt: a square crash gearbox built by muscles with big hammers twenty years before the screwdriver men made the silver Merc lozenge Juan fanged around town. It's a secure vessel: the smoky oak of the Lusatia and at least a hint of the hot forging intention of the Meunier secure the fruits of all these dreams in a time capsule that you should forget until your dad's a boy and your dog can talk. 

No music yet. 

Very small crop.


LeMacNoir said...

Rolled again by your brilliant evocations, Unca Phil

Jesse said...

You worded the fuck out of these ones. Excellent. Thank you.