Friday 16 September 2011

The Velocity of Riorret

Not too long ago, a bottle of De Bortoli Merricks Grove Riorret 2008 found its way onto my wine rack. A donation of sorts, as I have several personal reasons for not buying De Bortoli products if it’s at all possible!
Anyway, it’s there, so it should be opened!

A Mornington Peninsula offering from one of Australia’s family wineries. ‘Riorret’ is ‘Terroir’ spelled backwards.... ok, whatever! That makes me think it’s been ripped out of its environment and put back together backwards! Anyway...

To use one of my favourite ever wine terms, this is a ‘Cluster-Fuck’ of flavours!

It’s on the savoury end of Pinot, a queer mix of toffee-apple but more barnyard. There’s a fair bit of toasty oak goodness in there too.
The acid is quite pronounced, in fact, it’s tighter than a fishes bum and would do well with a big decant, or splash it through an aerator (though I found the aerator was a bit rough on this one, left it a little disjointed - Precious Pinot!!). But this tart structure will hold it in great potential for ageing.

Amazing colour for a pinot, really bright ruby. The tannin comes through quite late, which gives it interesting length. This one’s hard work, but moreish at the same time! A well made wine from what must have been impeccable fruit.

The only tunes I could see truly doing justice to such a complex wine as this, are from Melbourne’s own Alarum. For those of you who never saw them, too bad, as I believe they may be no more? Correct me if I’m wrong...

As much as I appreciate the amazing music written by this band, they could be quite hard work on a first listen. They are definitely a muso’s band, being so damn technical! Have a listen to something like “Velocity”.... there’s a WHOLE lot going on there! There are some serious timing changes and there’s always the undertow of jazz to throw what you may have been expecting, straight out the window. Still, seriously good metal once you get your head around it!

My companion through this green glass journey put it fairly well when he said “ Pinot can be so uncomplicated but complicated at the same time” (JC).

So can metal! This is why we love it!

Thursday 8 September 2011

Salena’s Rosie Ink

Something a little bit different...
Salena Estate Ink Series 2010 Bianco d’Alessano

Hailing from Southern Italy, Bianco d’Alessano is a white grape variety, apparently known for it’s ability to retain acid in hot conditions. Perhaps I’m simplifying things, but that sounds like the perfect variety for several Australian growing regions!
Particularly where this one came from; Loxton. Riverland wines have a tendency to taste a bit flabby, like they’ve been overwatered to compensate for the extreme heat they endure. But not this one!

This wine was refreshingly crisp and acidic. It reminds me most of a Vermentino, with a little bit of Pinot Gris in there too. Mostly Nashi Pear with an almost fake confectionary touch on the nose, that reminds me of those old sherbet bombs I used to get as a kid, you know the pink ones? Then the acid follows through like the sherbet. Odd combination, but it does work.

I’m not into buying wines with medals on the label. In fact, it’s usually off-putting. There are a few reasons for this.
More often than not, the medals pertain to pokey little backyard wine shows that really don’t mean much from a benchmarking point of view – meaning, sometimes the competition isn’t up to scratch. Also, if you need to plaster your bottle with medal stickers, perhaps you need to spend some money on proper advertising or a better label to make your wine stand out. Of course there are exceptions to this; I just don’t like relying on it!

This wine, however, cleaned up well and truly at last year’s Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show. I have been to this one and it is a really interesting show. Lots of new and different things to get your head around and a good mix of big and small producers. Hard to judge with such a variety though!

What would an “Ink Series” be without matching it to some Rose Tattoo? I know, again not strictly metal, but it’s healthy to have an Alternative Variety of music to listen to sometimes!
How about some Rock & Roll Outlaw, to pay homage to the wineries that bother to try something different? Someone has to mix things up a bit!
This is a really good Spring/Summer Cheapie! You can get it from The WIne Lover's Warehouse, it's one of their few gems! Try something different!

Friday 2 September 2011

Master’s Apprentice TR222

So, Cabernet Day. What a cracking idea!

On quick inspection of the accessible cellar, I decided to pull a ’98 Tollana Bin TR222 Cabernet out. I was hesitant, as the last one was corked – badly! But lucky spoiled me; I was given two to play with!

A curious mix of Eden Valley and Adelaide Hills fruit, another cracking idea!
If Angas Park would start using Valrhona chocolate for their chocolate coated raspberries, this is what you would get!

Amazing blood plum colour, super smooth and wild blackberry fruit intact. Higher notes of throaties and liquorice allsorts come through as it opens up. It’s beautiful, but doesn’t have a long life left.

I know I mentioned Cannibal Corpse, but it just doesn’t fit. There WILL be a time and a wine for that! But this wine needs something with a little bit more class.

Get your head around Opeth’s Master’s Apprentices. Cheers to FK for the inspiration!
Long lasting at over ten minutes, this is one of those great songs that take you on a bit of a journey.

Starting out all dark and doomy, it elevates and spirals around like a bird that’s escaped from a cage but is still trapped inside a room.
The more melodic parts were something that put me off Opeth initially. They remind me of Alice In Chains or something. But there is enough of a mix of beauty and brutality, there’s no disputing they do it damn well!

If this wine is anything to go by, I certainly wouldn’t mind being Neville Falkenberg’s Apprentice!