After this producer’s 2005 Morey St Denis 1er cru being very good but not great, it seemed a good idea to take this along to one of the three good BYO places within walking distance. Friday night noisey conviviality may not be the best place for lengthy wine pondering. Turned out the $20 corkage is a bargain as the wine was better than expected. Not only the food’s deliciously wine friendly but the owners of The Recreation have very acute palates. Half a glass blind and a confident stab at Burgundy was their verdict. OK, they know their stuff! Good Gabriel stems showed off the lovely perfume of really ripe wild strawberries and an earthy, ferrous, sweet charcuterie thing that Burgundy can do so well. Swirling around the mouth showed the same clean fresh fruit, some impeccable oak and silky tannin melded with delicious acidity. Perfect with The Recreation’s duck. Glad there’s two more stashed away.
Great to be able to drink something such good food deserves. Thanks, The Recreation Bistro + Bottle Shop, Queens Parade, North Fitzroy in inner north, dangerously left wing Melbourne.
13.50% alcohol. Cork. Was about $75 pre arrival, direct import.
The most elderly first. The mail out said 52% Shiraz and 48% Malbec from 1898 Central and 1919 Eastern vineyards. Youngest vines are now centurions, happy birthday. Like the best 2000s Wendouree vintages this took a while to unfurl. That unmistakable mossy, minty and eucalypt menthol lift with dark cherry and berry fruit and a puff of lemony oak. Builds on the tongue as Wendouree does do with more Clare dark cherry and an anchor of fair but firm skin tannin and natural ripe acid. There’s also something wine gum dark and mysteriously spicy too. Beautiful grapes and place no mucking about.
13.50% alcohol. Cork. $48 from the mailing list.
Now the younger. 65% Shiraz and 35% Mataro from 1893 Central and 1920 Eastern vineyards. The first Wendouree vintage sealed with screwcap, a posh Italian one too. If the mid 2000s started to show a bit less extraction, then by 2009 things are becoming positively elegant! Fragrant with menthol, anise, cherry and dark plum. Just a seasoning of nutty oak. Probably just imagination but this seems so fresh and pure, could it be the change to screwcap? Fine mid weight wine in the mouth that once again builds and then builds more flavour as it travels through. Fruit as above plus some earthy tar broods darkly. Such different poise and balance compared to Wendouree from last century. Must say I’d like a Tardis to try those young vine ones from before and between the world wars. Still very positive tannin but perhaps finer and more melting? Do enjoy telling those not aligned to Wendouree who ask how to join us to check out the Brady’s extensive social media presence. Rude cheek of a grumpy old man.
13.80% alcohol. Screwcap! $50 from the mailing list.
A very generous apero contribution, thanks. Happy to cook for you again! Opens clean and fresh with rich yeast and apple pie. Same in the mouth with mouthwatering acidity. The zero dosage isn’t really noticeable as the fruit’s so rich and full. Beautiful autumnal apples, sweet lemon and buttery, yeasty pastry. Great impact and riches to get the casual drinker’s attention and enough detail to please us boring winos. Great fizz equals best aperitif ever.
12.50% alcohol. Cork. What a nice share. Magnum next time, OK?
Small production, great value and gets more delicious from leaving somewhere cool and dark, all good. Opened fresh and clean, blackcurrant, leaf and fruit, a touch of mint and a savoury gravel cut. The texture is a delicious mingle of freshness and ripe, soft and cuddly tannin. Shows all the things that make the Yarra Valley a good spot for the Cabernet clan, softening the grainy edges and grumpy tannins. Oddly difficult to find good examples in Melbourne’s wine shops outside of the famous ones established in the 70s and 80s which fetch very good prices; itself an encouragement for growers perhaps? It’s easier to grow than Pinot they do say.
13.50% alcohol. Screwcap. $23.
The front label is a good piece of artwork but as this platform only seems to allow one image per post, here’s the very informative back label. Spotted this at the local large independent supermarket priced at $18 instead of $45 or thereabouts. In the case of a battling small wine shop, my conscience would prevail, I hope, but this particular supermarket has annoyed us locals with a horrible development application which looks to be the proverbial blot on the landscape. Sort of justified in taking advantage but can only hope whoever does the price stickers doesn’t get into trouble. Enough of shopping ethics and a dodgy self justification, the wine then. Opens very perfumed and inviting with wild strawberries, rose gardens and musky Australian bush scents. Tastes the same but perhaps the pale almost rosé colour alludes to a bit of dilution. Nice to see an attempt to avoid over extraction though. Finishes with nice ripe acidity and feathery tannin. Great for the money, cough.
13.60% alcohol. Screwcap.
Peeling the top from the clear plastic capsule, what looked like a Diam peered out. So, let’s see how a favourite version of Chardonnay ages under something that has to be better than mouldy tree bark. Amazingly well would be the answer here after the usual Diam battle to get the thing out of the bottle. Beautifully fresh and fragrant with sweet citrus, floral honey, beeswax and savoury chalkiness. Great coiled power as it hits the tongue, totally focused with the purest fruit and perfect acidity. One of those so completely delicious drinks that the bottle seems to be desperately small. Despite all the words and points, the best measure of wine quality has to be just how sad it is to see an empty bottle. Incredible self control saw it last two days. On the second it just sung. Oh my goodness, what a profoundly delicious thing.
12.50% alcohol. Diam, what a good idea. About $60 at the time?
2005 was the last..er..great vintage of the century when the promise of Pinot nirvana led to fetishistic credit card bashing. Prices seemed daunting at the time, now they’re just the realm of the very rich. Time to start opening the trophies then! The colour of this is still a deepish red and opens up quickly with clean, almost new world scents of very ripe wild strawberries and deluxe oak. More Burgundian are the scents of sweet earth and a well maintained farmyard. The flavours again suggest strict clean making with pure red fruit and spice that sit well in the middle but don’t quite have that drive and finish of the best despite some more typically old world fine acid and emery board tannin. There’s that luxury oak too which is almost a sort of terroir thing for Burgundians. Close to great forests and barrel makers, they’re probably the best exponents of adding oak flavours that just work so well. Pretty rare occurrence for those of us who normally think tree flavours a curse! Lovely, safely made modern Pinot but perhaps not quite the electricity of the best Burgundy.
13.50% alcohol. Cork. Under a hundred once upon a time.