24 November 2011

David Franz 2006 Georgie's Walk Cabernet Sauvignon

wine jerk I met recently made the absurd claim that he would only drink Cabernet Sauvignon from the Coonawarra.

Now, I am all for narrow-minded parochialism, but this, to me, is an argument that flies as poorly as Peter Roebuck.

For sure, there are many great Coonawarra cabernets, but to limit yourself to one region like this is just bigot-laden madness.

Godammit man, have you never heard of the Margaret River? Not to mention Bordeaux and Napa and the Yarra.

To say he is missing out is an understatement, but there is also a sense of sweet justice in this whole sorry saga because:

a) he was a tool smoker of the highest order; and

b) it means there is more good wine for the rest of us.

And the truth is that he doesn’t really have to go that far from his beloved Coonawarra cigar to find an equally acceptable alternative.

My friends at Purple Palate hooked me up with some lovely gear from one of my favourite winemakers, the complex and clever David Franz.

I always drink his wine and avidly promote it to my friends. And so it continues with you and with his 2006 Georgie's Walk Cab Sauv from the Barossa. Only a few hours north of Coonawarra, but a few hours too far for our fetid little friend.

Anyway, let’s crack on – it’s late, I’m tipsy and it’s likely that I’ll run out of words before too much longer.

Running out of words is not a problem that ever seems to have troubled young Dave though – he is a master of verbosity (in the best way) and the livery on the bottle contains his usual hand printed word salad which covers almost the entire surface. It’s fun and classy and makes it stand out from the crowd on the shelf.

I poured myself a generous lug and gave it a good swish around to liven it up. In the glass, it was as dark as a lawyer’s heart and the nose started out as tight as a Scotsman’s shout.

And so I kept swirling and swirling until it was circling the glass like Magellan and pretty soon I had a churning black current of blackcurrent smelling cabernet. It’s an addictive bloody smell, this one. It smells alive and stings the nostril with a hint of the heat to come.

In the mouth, it starts a fire that can only be put out by consuming more product and then waiting for the fresh coolmint breeze to hit you on the follow through. It’s long and dark and delicious, and while that may sound like just another line from the Roebuck school of grooming, it applies equally to this bottle of booze.

Sure, it’s not Coonawarra cabernet. But who really cares? The best wine to drink is the one you like. And I like this. A lot.

As Liza Minelli once said, "Life is a cabernet, old chum". Or something like that.

Rating: 9
Drink with: a big glass
Price: $40


03 November 2011

Turkey Flat 2009 Barossa Shiraz

I saw Cold Chisel play on Tuesday night.

Oh, we’ve shared some history, this band and I.

I’d seen them here, at the same venue, 13 years earlier; the last time they “re-formed”. Don Walker essentially wrote the soundtrack to my adolescence.

The scream of Jimmy’s voice tearing at the air...the magic of Mossy’s fingers dancing along the frets...every note they’ve ever played is permanently ingrained on my brain.

And so there we were again, in deepest, darkest Boondall. Sitting at a table with old friends. Seeing which one of us could tell the biggest lies. Watching the tide of human detritus that is a Cold Chisel crowd wash by us.

We drank cans of Wild Turkey and bought bandanas so that we could hide in plain sight.

All I can say is that it must have been a quiet night in Ipswich that night because I swear every single scrawny, singlet-sporting, slack-jawed Swicher had travelled East for the evening.

More Holden Racing paraphernalia than you could possibly poke a short stick at. Millions of doled out dollars sensibly spent on shrivelled up tuffy-stickers. I’ve seen Halloween pumpkins with more teeth. And that was just the women.

It was one of the best nights out I’ve had in ages.

But let’s now move on from one Wild Turkey to another. The Turkey Flat 2009 Barossa Shiraz is an absolute steam-roller of a drop.

Born from vines that are over 160 years old, it’s dark and dense and brooding and smells sweetly of double Dutch liquorice.

The colour is black syrupy espresso, with flame tree red striking along its edges.

In the mouth, it’s a massive attack of concentrated Barossan intensity – a degustation of delicious dark fruit and smoky BBQ sauce, rounded out with a cheeky cinnamon doughnut for dessert.

It’s smooth but powerful and keeps on delivering a persistent hum of flavour long after you’ve licked your lips.

Great drinking now, and I have a feeling it will be doubly exceptional down the track. Less than $40 for this wine is seriously outstanding.

My good friend Fraser bought me a bottle of the ’03 many years ago. It’s been doing hard time in my cellar and probably still has another 5 or 10 years left to serve.

But I don’t know. Tonight’s wine was so delicious, I think I might just give the '03 some time off for good behaviour and crack it with him soon.

Rating: 9.25
Drink with: a Danneman cigar
Price: $38