Friday, July 13, 2012

Tour reading #2

Oh Cadel, did you go too soon? My lament is that you did, and with that I turned to some Tour reading; #2 - Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte or Ellis Bell, the pseudonym it was published under in 1847.

This passage by the guest Mr. Lockwood directed at the servent Joseph:

'"Sir," I exclaimed, 'sitting here within these four walls, at one stretch, I have endured and forgiven the four hundred and ninety heads of your discourse. Seventy times seven times have you preposterously forced me to resume my seat. The four hundred and ninety first is too much. Fellow martyrs, have at him! Drag him down and crush him to atoms, that the place which knows him may know him no more!'

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Mornington Peninsula Brown Ale and Sunday Night Blues

Its Sunday night and cold in downtown Brunswick. Henry is having a bath in an inch of water, with the remains on the bathroom floor. The heater down the back is on the fritz and the cold draft of wind is blowing right up my back. The only thing to cure my ales is this Mornington Peninsula Brown Ale and Eric Clapton singing the Blues.

Produttori Langhe Barbaresco DOC 2009, Piedmont Italy

When it's cold you should drink wine that warms you up; gives you a hug is something I have been known to say in this case at Albert Street Food & Wine. Well this wine does that without giving you a nose bleed due to excessive alcohol. The Produttori del Barbaresco Langhe DOC 2009 from Piedmont is a wine that is oozing in all things sexy that is Barbaresco, which for those not aware surrounds Barolo in Piedmont. Dusty dark red in the glass as on the nose, the palate is all racy tannins and acid up front with a generous lick of tar and juicy black licorice at the back. But it doesn't end there. After about an hour or so in the decanter the wine opens with effortless floral notes of violet and garden herb aroma's. What is even better is the palate shakes off some of those dusty old tannins and effortlessly delivers sumptuous black and blue fruit with an almost earthy feel as well. And like the first sip, gives you gorgeous tar and black licorice at the end. Sexy as!!

Drink with 2 day old cassoulet
Drink till 2029
Quality cork 13.5%v/v (unfortunately not available at Albert Street, but in due time, it will make a return to the shelves)

Monday, July 2, 2012

Tour reading #1

I do love The Tour de France, and I try and watch as much as possible. The thing is I get a little bored when there is not too much happening. So I read. An exert, and maybe a prediction of things to come, from something that has been on my bed side table:

'He (maybe Wiggins, but Godfrey for the purists) can have few illusions. he had been offered a glorious title, so glorious that he had not even dared to accept it, and yet the very men who had elected him were already disputing the rights bestowed on him ....'     Zoé Oldenbourg; The Crusades

NB: the flash race car is the closest thing Henry has to a bike

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Bindi Bottling 2012 - Quartz, Original Vineyard and Block 5

It's the day after bottling and the body is a bit sore and the house is quiet. And the rain keeps coming down. It's also cold! Hemingway I aint?

It should have been a quick day, but things don't always go to plan. What did go to plan however was the quality of the wine. The Bindi Quartz Chardonnay, Original Vineyard and Block 5 Pinot Noir's were all sitting in tank, all looking schmick as, but the mobile bottling truck got bogged at the top of block 4. It's a big truck, and big trucks do not get un-bogged easily.

It was also a slow start down here in Brunswick. All things being equal, I should have been in the winery at 7.30am, which is a 6.50am departure from home. Finishing work at midnight after a 15 hour day means that when the alarm goes off, a flurry a lewd expletives follows, the alarm gets tossed and sleep returns. So waking up at 8.45am, more expletives, a cold shower thanks to gas works and I'm off up the Calder. I pull up to the winery and the Quartz has all been bottled and some usuals, some newbie's, are milling around the winery enjoying cake and morning tea. I am greeted with a glass of Quartz Chardonnay, with Michael nodding, 'What do you think?'. Well, what do I think? I think this is a stunningly linear and focused wine that, the stuff I'm sipping anyway, didn't make it to bottle. Just imagine what it's going to be like in the bottle over the coming years - bit like a 1st year player winning the Brownlow.
It was the Original Vineyards turn next with the gremlins of earlier coming back. After a splutter the bottling line got rolling along nicely and the next thing you know there are 4 palates packed away and lunch is waiting in the winery. The Block 5 Pinot was next and like the Original Vineyard, some gremlins hindered the start but as soon as we knew it we had 2½ palates or so and things were motoring.

The last wine is one that Michael will be experimenting with over the next few years. When I say experimenting I mean that he is taking a sample of juice from the bottom and top of Block K, the highest altitude block on the vineyard, and holding it back for at least 3 years to then release to the thirsty public.
So another bottling done, my 14th, and like all bottling we pulled up seats in the winery and savoured some of Bindi's best wines. This year, like I said earlier, there were quite a few newbie's and they were duly treated to a recently disgorged Blanc de Blanc 1994 out of magnum. What a stunning wine with a beautifully tight bead and golden colour. this was followed with a 2007 Composition Pinot Noir which was pretty much drinking at its peak, a 2008 Block 5 Pinot Noir which is still quite young and not giving away too much and a specially made 2005 Vue de monde Pinot Noir that had all the hallmarks of an aged Bindi Pinot Noir - clean acidity with savoury earthy notes standing over a sun-setting tone of bright red fruit. So, another bottling done, with the end of February already booked in for the 2012 Composition's and Pyrette Shiraz. I will be heading up to Bindi before then for other bits-and-bobs, but it's always a little bit more gratifying coming home down the Calder with a booty of freshly bottled gems.

Mandoleto Sicily Nero d'Avola 2009

It has a pretty label, a pretty nose and a pretty darn good palate. And for about $15 this wine is easily for bargain find of the year. The Mandoleto Sicily Nero d'Avola 2009 is for me the perfect winter fed without the nose bleeding alcohol levels that you can find with some imported Sicilian Nero d'Avola's.
Now Nero d'Avola is very much the raisin de l'année in these parts with plenty of growers in central Vic and the Tobacco Road resurrecting vines planted back when Australia was the destination for thousands of Southern Italian  immigrants back in the 1950's, with people like Chalmers, Pizzini championing Italian varieties.
So to the wine. Quite a deep colour with a purple hue, the nose throws great wafts of blue fruit  a with a touch of garden lavender. The palate is quite tight up front but washes along the tongue to finish with quite a brightness and an almost cooling sensation as well.
For the price, this has gotta' be a no-brainer for any occasion and anytime of the year.
Drink with eggplant parmegania
Drink now
Screwcap 13.5% v/v $15 Albert Street Food & Wine soon