Saturday 20 July 2013

Doomsday Desecrator

A friend put this one on the table a little while ago, just something he had laying around.

If the name “Bodega Del Fin Del Mundo” which translates to the “End of the World Winery” or “Doomsday Winery” is not cool enough alone, it was a cracking red on top of that!

The label said Pinot, not impossible, in fact probable for cool climate Patagonia, but blind I would swear it could have been Grenache  A Pinot in wolves clothing! Awesome! There should be more of it! One of the most interesting things I’ve tasted in years! The Patagonians have made Pinot palatable! Heheheh.
This would have to be the darkest glass of Pinot I have ever encountered. The slim hint of fruit showing through could only be likened to feijoa?  So random!

Super, super dry, with so much rich spice and sandalwood. It was a bit like sucking on some wine-soaked cinnamon bark!  
This freaky Patagonian Toothfish smoothed out beautifully with air, becoming a well balanced and graceful specimen. I’d like to see it again in 20 years time. It was made to last.

Something else that a friend slung my way some time ago, was a copy of the best damn Thrash I have heard in years! I haven’t been this excited by new music since the first time I heard Destruction! 

And the winner is....... Desecrator! Hell Yeah!

Bullet belts and epic solos, the whole deal! Throw in a couple of falsettos – sensational!
These guys could have stepped straight out of the eighties. Pure and simple; Thrash Metal how it should be.  (and the arty on the cover is a nice touch of nostalgia!)

So cheers to the two most interesting things I’ve seen in years!

Make sure Desecrator are playing at your Doomsday!

Sunday 7 July 2013

Ochota Threat

 Ochota Barrels - The Fugazi Vineyard Grenache 2012

Though preceded with a great reputation, I did have to try this one for the name!
Never a really big Fugazi fan, but I sincerely appreciate the link, between what was playing in the car while the makers were in the vineyard, and this being memorable enough to make it onto the label.

It makes me think of the songs that define a vintage (yes, I know how old that makes me sound)! You spend so much time at work, you get to hear a radio stations programming inside out and back to front over the course of a twelve... fourteen.... eighteen hour shift! That is, of course if you are lucky enough to have a lifeblood of music pumping through the cellar... and then there is the question of which station, or who's mp3/ipod is playing. This alone could be conceived as cruel and unusual punishment, depending who you work with!

I think back over vintages and there are definately some stand out songs, that were flogged on the radio, so they stuck in my mind. Not always great memories, both songs and vintages! But nevertheless, a good song can make you laugh.... or cry. That overflow may not seem so bad next time you hear that song! Or it may evoke that panic in your guts that turns up when you smell burnt stater!
On a positive note, it might remind you of that fling you had with an international cellarhand! Or the end of vintage party where you met your now significant other!
Never underestimate the cocktail of quality liquid lubrication and sheer exhaustion!

Anyway, the wine!
McLaren Vale Grenache. Very rich and weighty for a grenache. There were intense berry flavours, mainly blackberry. Really smooth with a chocolatey roundness.
Minimal spice, considering its a grenache. More of a sweet cinnamon spice which opened up over time to allspice.

I just can't bring myself to match this to Fugazi... But I'll meet it in the middle and say a little bit of Minor Threat would be acceptable! (though unfortunately not on my vintage memory list!)

Looking forward to seeing the next slightly random vineyard inspiration.... Husker Du perhaps?!

Friday 28 September 2012


BK Wines Cult
2011 Syrah, Adelaide Hills

A breath of fresh air away from the super serious, holier than thou “we make wine therefore we are above you” (thanks H.D!) Yes, unfortunately, those people still exist... come and see me when you get that aldehyde under control!

This is a savoury beast! Young and prickly, a vibrant mix of spearmint and mulberry smeared on a little carbon paper. White pepper spice, like a salad of Cress and pomegranate pith.
Full on spice nose, but a very gentle wine. Very soft to taste – so different from the nose. It held up well the next day, dried out and exposed a bit of fur – It’s a keeper!

Having a listen to “Torture of the Nameless” by Melbourne lads “Nothing”.
I came across these guys in a very cheesy way! Good mix of old and new styles, it’s a little bit thrashy, a bit nu-skool, there’s plenty of melody and even a hint of black! Looking forward to hearing something more recent, as this one’s from 2009. There was a touch of Mastodon-esqe styling going on in there, and that can only lead to good things!

I certainly need to get some Cult to put away. See how it grows out of its infancy and travels through the teen angst which awaits! I think it will make it out the other side a fine, upstanding citizen, in touch with the best of new world wine philosophy. No bullshit, just quality.

As it says on the BK website “low tech wines with amplification” – That’s what I like to hear!

These guys know what they’re doing!

Check out the BK website – It’s a classic!

“undeniably sexy but with a loud mouth, an over-confident strut and in need of a haircut and rehab. 2011 provided the makeover. The self-assurance remains but a year of hard knocks in the vineyard has tempered this wine an air of prudence and empathy. Warm, sensual, even contemplative. Our audacious rockstar has wised up.”

Saturday 14 July 2012

HOPP'S Angel Of Death

Heretic Beer "Evil Cousin" American IPA Usually cool labels don't bely what's in the bottle, but this one's not bad! A "Hop Monster" indeed! Dark honey colour, over the top fruity on the nose, tropical, feijoa, pineapple backed up by a seriously bitter finish. Listen to Hobb's Angel Of Death, Skeptics. This one's for savouring!
Friday 6 July 2012

Illusions of Grange

1974 Penfolds Bin 95 Grange Hermitage Often touted as the pinnacle of Australian Wines, I was looking forward to trying this ’74 when the offer came up. I just hoped that the anticipation and hype wasn’t going to produce rose-coloured glasses. This grandfather of Australian reds certainly had his Sunday Best on (probably even had a shave). It was so structured it gave the impression of being somewhat austere, but then also very clean and smooth! There was a fleeting moment of Brick Red colour, but then no, brown hues, bordering on port-like. It needed air, but was browning more and more by the second, like watching its life slip away before your eyes. Sad but beautiful. Structurally sound, but musty like an old wardrobe that does the job but makes your clothes smell... old. No matter how clean they are! Gravelly, stony, with hints of chocolate mint, shrouded in tobacco. Great length, a long, dry palate. Drier than dry. Very savoury. Amazing balance. I can only liken the lead up to this wine, to being like the wait for Slayer’s 6/6/06 release of “Cult” off Christ Illusion (yeah, I was one of those people that set an alarm for the minute it was released, shut the door to the winery office and downloaded, like a teenage boy waiting for porn). Even though that was the only song that really evoked those old, epic Slayer moments, it definitely had a certain unmistakable energy. The rest of the album took awhile to get into when it finally came out. No denying that Grange is an extremely well made wine! And an origianl Slayer lineup is a force to be reckoned with! Though I think the “pinnacle” of anything is open to personal preference. I certainly wasn’t disappointed, but it’s far too complex for everyday drinking (or maybe I'm just getting lazy)! Heavenly without the Illusions!
Friday 27 April 2012

Sacrificial Purple Hands

Vintage has a lot to answer for. It’s the time of year when huge amounts of bands are touring, the weather is great, the festivals are on, there are public holidays galore.... and wineries are working through it all! NO FUN! So why do it? It’s an addiction. Hate it when it’s happening, but look forward to it again by the end of the year. It’s the rush which comes from sheer exhaustion. Minimum 12 hours a day, 6 days a week (sometimes even for minimum wage!!) Spend your one night off generously sampling the fruits of previous years labour.... then start it all again! Such an intense time, it’s hard going, but oddly satisfying.
The people you work with can make or break your vintage. Living in each others pockets for a few months certainly sorts the pack. And it can go either way. If you’re lucky enough to experience that vintage camaraderie which is possible with the right dynamic, hold onto it, or you may never line up for a second beating! I was pleasantly surprised on a recent trip to the Barossa. It would seem there may have been Some progress since I was last in town. Caught up with a couple of friends at Bibu – nice to see somewhere new open and showcasing some of the best in the region (by all accounts not without a fight though.... will you people never learn that progress is positive?!) I hope local support can keep the momentum going.... We made our way through the Purple Hands Grenache, following it up with the 09 Shiraz. Old bush vine Grenache, vibrant violet colour, soft tannin, so, so smooth with the right amount of berry sweetness. Great food wine. The Shiraz had amazing length. It was deep and spicy, with an inky blackness – just the kind to give you purple hands! This gear is made by one of the nicest blokes you will ever meet. I have had the privilege of meeting Craig Stansborough on more than one occasion. One of the old-school who got there on hard work and loyalty. Great name! Purple Hands are certainly part of vintage. I stopped playing guitar when I started doing vintage – SORE purple hands. The old tartaric and pms wash does wonders for cauterizing cuts! Pull out your old Bathory vinyl and pay homage to those who “Sacrifice” months of their life every year, for the alcoholic enlightenment of others. It’s a dirty job but someone’s got to do it!
Friday 23 March 2012

Arch Nemesis

2008 Kooyong Massale Pinot Noir

This one was a breath of fresh air for the Pinot Noir struggle within!
Yep.... still find it difficult to get excited about these Beasties!

Funny thing, I’d never tasted this wine before (probably through ignorance.... and because it’s Pinot!) and a work colleague was talking about it one day. Low and behold, I get home and this is what gets put on the table! Same Night! Spooky! Some things are meant to be!

I had the iPod on shuffle cooking dinner the other night. I had to check that it really was Arch Enemy when Nemesis came on! That voice still blows me away!
There are not many chicks that can pull that off, let alone do it so well!

I remember one of the worst female vocalists I ever saw was at the Arthouse (r.i.p) way back when! It was like slowly squeezing a cat to death, recording it and playing it back at a higher pitch and a lower speed! Choose not to remember the name of the band, but there was a Spiderman suit involved.....!? Damn 90’s punks!

I digress..... As usual!

This Kooyong didn’t need a costume for a gimmick! Nothing to hide here!
Great deep garnet colour.
Like drinking straight raspberry cordial – but proper, real raspberry, like the one that Seppelts used to make? Was it them?

Sensational, velvety mouth feel with a concentrated aftertaste of dried cherries and cranberries.
Fine tannin on the finish. It did well with a bit of air, opened up nicely.

Put on some Arch Enemy when you crack the Massale. Be reassured that sometimes the planets will align and some things are just meant to be!