there are some new reviews oozing though here, but we're not deckin em up all pretty til we work out an otherwise unborn style for this sleazy rube we call drankster


that's a George Grainger Aldridge cartoon ... obviously a pre-screwcap man

23 September 2008


Cape Mentelle Margaret River Zinfandel 2006
$55; 15% alcohol; screw cap; 93+ points
Zin is a dreadful muck of a grape: all that hen-and-chicken cross-eyes the winemaker so convincingly they always wait for the tiny greener berries to ripen, meaning the big fat buggers elsewhere in the bunch get jammy and porty and the alcohol’s way up there near the edge of darkness which is where you end up being sucked. The wine drinks you. I remember calling a previous Mentelle Zin “King Kong in Manolo Blahnik stilettoes”. Mercifully, this one has elegance that goes up higher than the ankles, and a sexy dark bouquet of aniseed balls and old cedar spice box; maybe Mrs. Bagnara’s wooden coffee grinder. The berries are plush but swilling and oomy, like Amy Winehouse getting out of a stretch: all manner of red and black ones soaking in kirsch and confectioner’s sugar; maybe some meringue on top, a tit coming out of the halter. Deary me. The palate? Sooty, but finer than any of the above. More Eartha Kitt, really. (It IS a girl.) Suddenly, very dry, almost curt tannins, but the kirsch berries swill back and the little green berries have left some stunning brittle acidity to tease the extra sixteen bars right out ... er, bras? No. Bars. Whisky bars, dumbness. Where’s James Douglas Morrison when we’re having fun like this? Ooops! Spilt it! JAN 09

Ridge California Lytton Spring 2005
$70; 14.4% alcohol; cork(!); 92++ points
Zinfandel, petite syrah, and carignan make up this king-hell Sonoma County fruitcake. It smells like an obstinate Barossan showing off some new A. P. John quercus alba - the polite name for American oak barrelled by the best Tanunda cooper. So why bother? If for no other reason than to show how lucky we’ve been with prices: our high dollar has suddenly made this cheaper! It’s pretty flash wine, maybe a little more elegant than your avge Barv, with nice carbon basement flavours, and layers of date, fig, blueberry, mince and blood pud stacked up above. Huge juicy rostbif. Vintage Cellars

Groom Barossa Valley Bush Block Zinfandel 2008
$??; 14.7% alcohol; cork; drunk 7-8DEC9; 90+ points
Zin is an utter bastard of a grape. I dunno why anybody bothers. Like, at the bottom of this brute, there's the smell of oak bark tanned ox hides massaged with raw wool lanolin, which is, basically, well, it's a stink. It's what you build really smelly boats from in County Dingle. Atop that lies the confectioner's store and cosmetics counter and the fake walnut antique shop and the shoeshop with all the fresh Spanish dancing leather out the front. Then, the palate's a collision of tomato greens and fig jams and quince paste and caramel creams and raw alcohol, and, well, who'd wanna drink all that at once? America?

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