19 January 2010

Some Young Punks 2008 Passion Has Red Lips

It's just dawned on me that I've been leaning heavily in favour of wines of the white persuasion recently. You shouldn't read anything too One Nation into any of this of course.

In fact, while I'm certainly no fan of Pauline Hanson (or gingers generally), when it comes to the booze, I'll happily own up to the fact that I'm partial to a nice, big, juicy red.

So, this week I rummaged around the rack in search of a big-boned claret of ample proportion and happy-go-lucky charm. And lo and behold if my eye wasn't almost poked out by the golden globes of a décolleté piece of trailer-trash whose plunging neckline suggested she may have seen more helmets than Hitler.
Man, what a label. Provocative, but in an ironic sense. Tacky, but in an iconic sense.

The label design is an unabashed knock-off of the pulp fiction novel Sin on Wheels, and the Punks' other offerings (Quickie!; Naked on Roller Skates; The Squid's Fist; Double Love Trouble) follow a similar vein.

Usually, brands that resort to this type of packaging do it because their product is rubbish and it's a way of attracting the attention of the great unwashed. But here, your tawdry taste in labels will be excused as soon as you pour out a couple of glasses for your mates. The window dressing is only a garish garnish for the decidedly serious main course inside the bottle.

These Young Punks certainly know what they're doing - they are actually a PhD-toting crew of vignerons who just happen to have an incongruous penchant for tuffy stickers and funky glasses.

Pop the top, and this Clare Valley blend (almost equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz) pours as dark as a Venetian canal. Happily, it doesn't smell like one.

What it does smell like straight up is Wonka's chocolate factory. But give it some time and a lovely smokehouse feel also wafts through. It's pretty big in terms of alcohol content, and it shows as a parade of long legs goose-step around your glass.

The flavours are as tight as a PE teacher's tennis shorts, and give you some nice, tarry chewiness that is full of Old Gold cherry ripeness. It fills the mouth, and is as warm as a leopard-skin Snuggie on a cold night. But it's also beautifully rounded and there's none of that initial tannic pucker that can sometimes make you recoil at your first sip.

It's an unpretentious, rough-and-ready drop just begging to be teamed up with something rich like a lamb stew or a beef bourguignon.

I like the Punks because they are knocking the often po-faced wine industry down a peg or two. Their success is a good lesson learnt in taking things slightly less seriously and becoming relevant to audiences other than just the regular old crusties.

Right-o then. That's it from me. I'm off for a Quickie! and, just maybe, a Squid's Fist.


Rating: 8.25
Drink with: Two trailer-park girls
Price: $20-$25 (try Drinx Grand Central or Rosalie Fine Wines in Qld)

Images courtesy of
http://www.bouchon.com.au; http://www.winelistaustralia.com.au; http://www.kevinlynchonwine.com

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