I came across this bottle - or rather, I discovered it - in my "back-up" rack over the weekend.
I don't recall buying it, so I can only assume that a charitable friend (or fiend) brought it for dinner once and left it behind. On that basis, I will be kinder than I might otherwise have been. But, should you choose to read on, please keep that indulgence in mind.
Sevenhill Cellars is the oldest winery in the Clare Valley. It was founded, and is still run today, by the Jesuits. It is a lovely spot, with a lovely old church and lovely old cellar. And apart from table wines, they also enjoy a healthy monopoly in the supply of sacramental wine to the other Catholics. The sacramental wine sells for $15 a bottle. Precisely the same price as the White Spider... And that is your first clue.
Now, we all know that if you happen to attend a Catholic mass, there are sensible reasons for only pretending to take a sip from the Communion cup. Mostly, they involve a desire to avoid the proliferation of herpes. But, equally, you may simply wish to avoid partaking in a ritual which involves swallowing pure gasoline.
I am sorry to say that the White Spider (which is an unusual blend of Semillon and Chardonnay) is not dissimilar. It claims to have the aroma of peaches, and that may certainly be true if they mean Peaches Geldof. Unbathed. And then doused in Impulse bodyspray. It is sickly sweet to the point of suffocation.
The taste is then anodyne in the extreme (to the extent that is possible). There is really little discernible flavour to speak of - although there is a nice, dry finish and just a touch of traditional Clare flintiness. It is relatively easy to drink, in the same way that water is easy to drink. But that is really the best I can say for it because, put simply, it just doesn't have that much to offer.
The last time a Jesuit bored me this much, I was watching the art-house film tedium that is The Mission. I recall, after a mere ten minutes, pleading for the natives to get it all over with by cooking up Father Gabriel and throwing his oboe down the waterfall. And so it was with the White Spider - except that you should replace the words "natives", "oboe" and "waterfall" with the words "me", "wine" and "sink". And leave out the part about Father Gabriel, obviously.
In other news, there is no truth to the scurrilous rumour that the brethren are also planning to release a Rock Spider Shiraz in the near future, that kind of thing now, of course, being widely frowned upon.
Drink with: Raspberry cordial...?