27 April 2011

Campbells 2006 The Brothers Rutherglen Shiraz

On my second day in London, I quite literally ran into Liam Gallagher on Hampstead Heath. No, I wasn't on a cruising mission with George Michael (although I did notice a suspicious bearded man in a leather jacket crouched in the bushes calling out for Jimmy - I think it must have been his dog).

No. Believe it or not, I was actually taking an early morning jog (walk...) around the Heath.

For those who know me well, the preceding sentence will have conjured up two reactions.

The first will be out-and-out surprise at my claim to have been moving above walking speed. Admittedly, I have not pounded a pavement in anger since... well, let's just say it was 10 kegs and a long time ago. But here I am, back in sunny (I know, I laughed too) London, and determined to engineer a kind of reverse Heathrow injection. So, stop sniggering and get over it.

The second reaction will undoubtedly be jealousy at the fact I have just been within head-butting distance of the lead singer of what was the world’s greatest band. I am Australia’s foremost Oasis tragic, it's true. But since Liam threw Noel’s toys off the stage and broke up the band, I have declared my allegiance to the elder brother, and my undying enmity to Liam.

So, there I am, rounding the Highgate Ponds, when I am affrontingly confronted by the beady eyes of "our kid" Liam all dressed up in his dandy running kit and a naff hoodie.

Bizarrely though, as he ran towards me, I could see what appeared to be a large red stain on his chest. Either he was suffering a bad case of jogger's nipple, or else it was that time of month and my long held suspicions about what lay at the heart of the man had been confirmed.

I nodded/waved to him (begrudgingly). He ran straight into my shoulder.

“See you next Tuesday”, I shouted after him. And I meant it.

I gather that he understood my insult because he half-stopped and turned. I suspect he would have come back and glassed me had it not been for the long lens of The Sun poking out of the bushes (at least I think it was a camera, but on the Heath you can never be sure).

Anyway, as you might imagine, I was pretty keen to dine out on my brush with celebrity and did so that very night while catching up with some old friends.

When the wine list was proffered, the feuding brothers Gallaghers were still fresh in my mind, and the bottle of Campbells "The Brothers" Rutherglen Shiraz 2006 immediately caught my eye. And, I'm glad it did.

First things first. The price was 32 squid. In a pub. Which is less than the list price from the cellar door. Got to love the strong Aussie dollar.

After a couple of cleansing pints, this was just the ticket to go with my pie and mash. Even the Poms we were eating with had to agree it was a ripper, despite their inherent snobbery and preference for Froggy wine.

It's a big-looking deep purple and gives off an absolute load of savoury spice. Despite first impressions though, it's a relatively mild-mannered fellow and is certainly not a big, hot shiraz in the Barossan mould.

Don't let that description fool you though. It's packed full of flavour, no doubt, but it is not going to blow your head off. Which is a good thing.

In the mouth, it's a fist fight of raspberries and Easter eggs all wrapped up in a velvet glove. It's a rewarding drop, with length and class written all over it, and at the same time is so fabulously smooth and finely balanced that you barely notice the whack of alcohol at all.

This is a great wine no doubt. It should keep on keeping on too, so I will be getting some for the cellar when I get back (although it might be cheaper to import it from the UK...).

Campbells and Rutherglen wines are generally better known for their fortified offerings, but this wine is testament to their table wines skills also.

Show it some brotherly love, and pick up a bottle today.

Rating: 9
Drink with: Noel
Price: $60 (but offensively cheap overseas)

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