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

28 April 2009



Been heavy rain here but we just got the last of the fruit in before it arrived. I haven't been blue but absolutely flat with heavy cold.

Roundstone lost their vineyard, winery, home and restaurant in the recent fires. We have volunteered to sell it at our cellar door and also give it a bit of a push.

It has not been offered in SA so if you happen to like it then we may move some in Adelaide for Roundstone.

I should also add that their agent, Rob Davey, his wife and 2 kids also perished in the fires so their marketing/sales have been a little low.

The wine is made with maceration carbonique and is classical pepper, spice, blueberry and cherry flavours seen in Beaujolais Villages. It is $25 rrp.

The words below were in various papers just after the fires:

LYNNE Derwin cannot forget the roar of the fire, like constant thunder she said, as it kicked over the ridge from Kinglake and down the hill towards Steels Creek Road. Nor can she forget the furious orange glow everywhere, the speed of the flames and the way chunks of burning debris blasted into the panels of the car as she and her husband John fled from their Roundstone winery on Saturday afternoon.

"There were kangaroos just jumping out, black, in a silhouette of orange," Mrs Derwin said. Birds dropped dead out of the sky, thumping on to the car bonnet as the pair hurtled through a corridor of flames along Steels Creek Road then east along Pinnacle Lane, which links the hamlet of Steels Creek with Dixons Creek on the Melba Highway.

The Derwins had just farewelled the last of the late lunchers from their bistro and closed the cellar door sales at 5pm when the flames appeared on the ridge.

"There was no warning, nothing, and then there was just this amazing roar," Mrs Derwin said.

"It was like thunder, constant thunder, and you could start to see the redness, the glow.

"We turned around to let the sheep out, and then the vineyard was on fire. We tried to turn the hoses on around the house, but the electricity was off because the lines had burnt."

As they headed south on Steels Creek Road, a fallen tree blocked their path, so the Derwins U-turned up Steels Creek Road, back into walls of flame on both sides of the road.

"I thought we were going to die," Mrs Derwin said. "You are just so frightened, and it's so hard to make a rational decision."

Eventually they found safety with a small group at the CFA depot at Dixons Creek on the Melba Highway.

The Derwins are safe and have been sheltering at Yarra Glen. But their home of the past 11 years, their winery business, their business records - along with all bookings for weddings and parties - have been destroyed. Friends and neighbours have lost their homes. Some have died.

"We lost our vineyards, pretty much all the blocks have been destroyed," Mrs Derwin said.
"It's just gone right through. We've lost the cellar door and bistro, and our home and belongings, all the outside sheds, all the winery, all the storage areas."

Early yesterday, the Derwins returned to their blackened property, but there was little to be salvaged. The 50 or so French-oak wine storage barrels had burnt to ashes, leaving charred iron hoops. A well-stocked hay shed was untouched, as was a tractor that the CFA commandeered.



Eldridge Estate,

120 Arthur’s Seat Road,

Red Hill,

Mornington Peninsula,


Roundstone Yarra Valley Gamay 2008

$25; 13.5% alcohol; screw cap; tasted 26-28 APR 09; 92 points

Draw a line south from Champagne to Marseilles. In reds, you commence with pinot used as a white grape in Champagne. To the south it turns red in the calcareous chalks and clays of Burgundy, then as you hit the granites of Beaujolais, you get gamay, lost in the nether regions between pinot and Hermitage. Not far back the three were blended together. Shoulda bin schmick! Further south, it goes grenache and shiraz through the Rhone gorge to its delta, and eventually, as you tournez à droite before drowning in Mediterranian, bouillabaise or cassoulet at Marseilles, you hit mourvedre, carignan, cinsault and Bacchus only knows down into Spain. King Philippe the Bold banished gamay from Burgundy in 1395 as a bad and disloyal intrusion on the finer wines of pinot. It made better flavour in the leaner granitic geology to the south, anyway. It’s in much richer ground in the Yarra, and seems to love it, if this beauty is any indicator. It’s sicko-wholesome, aka fulsome wine: just so open-hearted and rich and sweet, yet with a neatly spicy, sweaty edge. Think Dolly Parton in a red and white gingham shirt, having just unloaded a trailer of green hay by pitchfork. There’s not a speck of tannin in sight, not one straw left unforked, but ample refreshing acidity amongst all that syrupy fullness.

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