20 October 2011

Best's Great Western Bin No.1 2010 Shiraz

I don’t have much to say this week.

I’ve been left deeply depressed by the Wallabies’ performance at the Rugby World Cup and an All Black dog has been following me around since exactly 6.01pm (AEST) on Sunday night.

I would be wearing black if not for the obvious unsuitability of the colour in the current context.

And so I have sought consolation in the bottom of a bottle all week. The best of these was Best's Great Western Bin No.1 2010 Shiraz. That's a mouthful of a name, but pleasingly it's also a nice big mouthful when you actually get it into your mouth.

Ok. It's probably not the most sophisticated drop. It's not mind-blowing in the manner of some of the pinot I've dug into recently. It's not When-Harry-Met-Sally, I'll-have-what-she's-having good. But it is tasty. Damn tasty.

Like that English bloke with his face on the couscous, it's dark and fruity and easy-going.

Easy to pour. Easy to drink. Easy to pour yourself another and forget that your rugby team has been infiltrated by a sleeper cell of Kiwis who have just ruined the final week of the World Cup for you.

And at $25, it's good value for such a friendly drop.

Vive la France.

Rating: 8
Drink with: Ainsley
Price: $25

06 October 2011

By Farr 2009 Sangreal Pinot Noir

I’m on a bit of a Pinot run at the moment.  It must be the weather. One week, the first wave of summer is prematurely rolling in. The next, I’m having to re-don the doona.

Because the sun and wind and rain have been unable to make up their collective minds, I’ve been left in a state of wine purgatory where I don’t really know whether I want to drink white or red.

And so the answer has been, invariably, to opt for a Pinot.  It’s red, obviously. But it’s also nice and light and I reckon it’s just about perfect in these difficult climatic times.

I must say I don’t often shop at Uncle Dan’s these days. But I did stop in last week to bulk up my dwindling stock of quaffers and happened to get chatting to the first employee in their history to know anything about wine. 

He was an unfortunate looking fellow: third world ugly, with sticky out ears and a pair of glasses which indicated he most certainly should have gone to Specsavers.  But boy did he know about wine.  And boy did he love to talk about it.  A genuine case of upside down vinous diarrhoea.

After steering me into a couple of decent cheapies (which subsequently turned out to be very good), he also talked me into treating myself to the pricier By Farr 2009 Sangreal Pinot Noir.

By Farr/Farr Rising is the father and son team of Gary and Nick Farr based out of Geelong (and that said, I wouldn’t mind betting they got very high on their own supply last Saturday night).  The old man uses the By Farr moniker, while his protégé son produces under the (slightly cheaper) Farr Rising label.

I’ve had quite a few of the Farr Rising pinots, and they are consistently excellent drinking.

This was my first dive into Dad's topshelf Sangreal Pinot though, and it was as good, if not better, than I was expecting.

Sangreal is properly French for Holy Grail. Although, if you subscribe to the Dan Brown school of etymology, it could also mean royal blood or Mary Magdalene’s privates (as I understand his pulp fiction theory).


It pours out quite dark for a pinot; smoke on the water purple, with a bright border and a passion for flashing.  It throws off a heady, earthy sniff full of  berries plucked fresh from the dirt and warm from the sun. And while the smell is insanely good – insanely, insanely good – the only real way to tell how good it is to drink is to, as Berlusconi likes to say, suck it and see.

And…wow. Wow, wow, wucking fow.

This is the duck's nuts of deliciousness.  An alacritous concoction made with a messianic brilliance.  

The first glass evaporated down my throat in no time, but I made sure I took my time to savour the second and the third. 

When I was done, I was licking the inside of my glass, and wishing, like Berlusconi, that I had a longer tongue.

I didn’t think I’d be topping last week’s NZ offering from Felton Road for quite some time.  But I think, just maybe, I just have.

Seriously impressive.

Rating: 9.51 
Drink with: Audrey Tautou
Price: $65-$70