Friday 30 December 2011

Hate Songs on Hanlin Hill

Petaluma 2002 Hanlin Hill Riesling

Touted at the time as the best vintage since 1980, this is possibly the best Riesling I’ve ever had the pleasure of not just tasting, but drinking!

At twenty years old (the wine, not me unfortunately!), I’m very happy to know there is more where that came from!! I NEED to see this in another twenty years! Serious Riesling!

It is bone dry – like my favourite aperitif-style Muscat in Montpellier, but without the floral nose. There’s a touch of lemon blossom there, reiterated with the concentrated citrus-like acid on the palate. Though this is thankfully not overpowering.
Minimal kerosene notes, disguise its age extremely well.

Still pale in colour, barely even a hint of straw. Being sealed under screw cap, we must take a moment to wonder what this wine may have been like under cork... A vastly different beast methinks!

Hats off to the winemaker!
What a combination! Some of the best old-vine Riesling fruit in Australia - in the hands of Brian Croser. Sadly a match not to be repeated! (Try his sparkling though.... damn fine!)

I’m matching this one to “Hate Song” by Fudge Tunnel – an oldie but always a favourite! And this isn’t losing any of its intensity with age either. Another combination most likely never to be repeated again. Sometimes it’s a good thing!

I think people in many streams of life can learn something from moving on while things are still good, rather than forcing the creative process when it just isn’t there.(I for one could have lived without “The Complicated Futility of Ignorance” – just sayin’!)

In any case, this one’s a real keeper!

Tuesday 13 December 2011

St. Thomas’ Solitude on the Sabbath

What happens when you make ‘Burgundy’ out of McLaren Vale Shiraz and leave it for 40 years?! Some new breed of Port perhaps?!

Hardy’s St. Thomas Burgundy.
Always worth a look!

This little lovely came from an interesting source – best left undisclosed!

Dry as Hell! Hues and clarity not unlike that of beef Jus, I was surprised at how well this one has stood the test of time.

Nose is not overly pleasant, slightly metallic. But softens into some yeasty, rancio, Porty characters.

Taste is almost malty, like molasses or that tinny taste you get from eating golden syrup straight off the spoon.
Surprisingly, this one didn’t self destruct in 10 minutes. It actually rounded out with time and air. Though the nose didn’t improve, it started to head towards acetone.

I’m matching this one to Black Sabbath “Solitude” off Master of Reality. Made in 1971, same year as this wine.

“My name it means nothing
My fortune is less
My future is shrouded in dark wilderness
Sunshine is far away, clouds linger on
Everything I possessed - now they are gone”

These poignant lyrics are a great reflection of much of the Australian wine Industry in its current form.
Who are Hardy’s anymore?
What’s it worth?

Where is the future – what will we be drinking in 40 years time?