“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)





07 July 2018


Duane Coates finally has his own winery. It's in the chill woody hills atop the Willunga Escarpment, over the ridge from here, east of McLaren Vale ...  photo Milton Wordley

I'm open to challenge, but of the famous names spread quietly in fine vineyards around him, the breadth and depth of Duane's decades of quiet astute winemaking sets a new bar ... I photographed and reviewed three whites from last year's release here 

To spill some gastronomic glory on the new baby's head, Rebecca Stubbs, Duane's partner, cooked lunch for 20 today. 

And a shiny new baby the Coates  complex is, crisp Wallpaper/Dezeen, part slaty grey colourblonde but every inch of it precise, very cool on the eye and utterly functional ...  I love it ... photo Milton Wordley

You see the measured touch of these two utterly practical æsthetes, brilliant modernist classical chef and scientifically-focused international winemaker, all over it.

... I reviewed and photographed some of last year's red releases here ...

Like it has plenty of Euclid in the right angles, with the best library I've seen in a tasting and sales room, and this afternoon, the most swoony, seductive aromas.

Because Bastille Day looms, they put together a gradual feast in which Duane served his wines with French ones which he finds inspirational. Rebecca accompanied each brace with brilliant cuisine.

In every case, the wines danced a pretty three-part harmony with the food. 

It was nothing so simple as a threeway or trinity of course. This was surfin the real deep colour charts with Fibonacci, Mandelbrot and the Muses, led by Sister Polyhymnia. Got that vision? Convert it to smell, flavour, exhalation and high. Selah.  

While the French wines Duane regards as exemplars were more obviously  menhirs of Gaul than his canny, audacious Australians, the latter, in all their brash presumption, very soon sat down there on our table with their own monumental weight. 

Asterix watches Obelix make a menhir ... Duane's are much more Australian ... 

Get on the good list at Coates and you might score a chair at the next affair. They'll always be twenty people only. Another hot reason to live on the faultline.

photo Milton Wordley

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