Tim Smith Barossa Mourvedre Grenache Shiraz 2009
Tim Smith Wines Barossa Mataro 2010$38; 14.5% alcohol; Diam cork; tasted 11-12 JUN 12; 94++
I know it. Cubist Mataro. But a willy-willy’s gonna go through this review. Hang on. The Smithy. Hot forge, coke, sweat, greasy leather. The great mulberry tree dropping its purple sugarbombs on the galvo roof, ticking in unison with the fresh-parked Triumph. Oil. Petrol. One tight beetroot fart. Nostril shit. But it’s a drink! Aww! Carmen Miranda. A brief baked whirlwind of peppercorns and eucalypt. Some of Carmen’s bananas fell off; somebody’s heel broke. None of this fits together. Mataro is the most self-celebrating chameleon grape, leaping without moving from electric violets and gunbarrel swarf to sullen black ham meatiness, then retreating into the back of the cooling oven but leaving this kissy wrestling jello. I like a little jello now and again. Doanchew? This one is sexy black cherry syrup with diced mulberry, spread on laurel with juniper. It scratches your nose and makes your lips slippery. It asks difficult questions of your palate. It makes you thirsty. And it makes me friggin’ hungry! Mataro is cubist.
Viña Cascabel McLaren Vale Monastrell 2004
When the Lord smote eastern Australia with botrytis and other daggy moulds in 2011, a lot of very strange to execrable wine was made. After the first waves of unfortunate crap passed, we’re now seeing 2011 wines emerge from those who usually make the best of their district. And the wines are, well … sorry to suggest this, but I love it as much: they’re French. This marvel has all the black and blueberries typical of Tim Smith’s very Australian reds, but they’re set in a junkety/custard swirl of fatty acids that seem only to arise in the presence of even the smallest amounts of botrytis. As is common in France. So you have a lush red wine, bone dry, but with an illusion of sweetness and a layer of delightful puppy fat where Aussie usually provides red dust. There’s a whisper of something approaching fennel. As far as an experience goes, this is fleshy, sensual wickedness. Make no mistake. And it’ll show an exponential rise of more of that as it ages. MEMO FRANCE: We could well get a lot more of this weather.
RBJ Theologicum Mataro 2002
Yangarra Estate Vineyard McLaren Vale Mourvedre 2010
$32; 14% alcohol; screw cap; tasted 30 October to 2 November 2011; 92+++, more later.
One on level, after about 36 hours open, this wine brought to mind the cheery, glace cherry-like Pinot of Domaine Dujac, with the slightly-grilled cashew tones typical of Jacques Seysses. But there was always a glowering King Kong lurking behind, waiting for the silly flush of youth to realise somebody’s gotta carry it when it gets tired. Which adds up to a classic Mourvèdre, really. On this side of the glass, it’s as if the King of Cornas, August Clape, suddenly up and made himself a Bandol. The wine has a cheeky viscosity which teases you to fear that at any point, it might teeter over, and leave you with astringent tannin and acid, but that never occurs, and the see-saw keeps the palate highly entertained. It’s a great pity to release this wine so young.