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

21 January 2012


Eldridge Estate PTG Mornington Peninsula Gamay Pinot Noir II
$25; 13% alcohol; screw cap; 90 points
This scribe’s been nuts with frustration lately, waiting for the new ideal, retasting and rethinking, scouring the empties, wondering if it’ll ever happen again, or worrying that his sensories are too blistered to tell.  So it was a comforting and exciting relief to open David and Wendy Lloyd’s 2011 50-50 blend of Gamay, the grape of Beaujolais, with Pinot noir, the peak of Burgundy.  In fact Philippe The Bold, Duke of Burgundy (pictured), banished Gamay – “a very bad and disloyal plant” - from his kingdom away back in 1395, preferring the finer, more sinuous and less visceral Pinot noir.  So Gamay was exiled way off south to Beaujolais, where it better enjoyed the warmer weather and older geology.  Centuries later, these brave new world winemakers have drawn the two back together, and proven the blend works very well on Mornington: the damn thing jumped straight into my face.  While it was made more conventionally in the passe-tout-grains south-of-France style , it reminded me immediately of the revolutionary Cab Mac drink-soon reds Stephen Hickinbotham made by full-bore carbonic maceration in the ’eighties.  Determined to beat the Beajolais at their dodgy Nouveau game, he conjured lighter, easier-drinking reds that never made a fool of the drinker, but were both joyously frivolous and yet deadly serious in quality.  He’d love this wild yeast effort: marello cherries and old white pepper tins deck its bonnie bouquet halls; perfectly natural acidulous and savoury flavours pack into the laughing gear sector.  (If you’re not cackling with glee half way down the first glass you should go back on the tablets.)  It’s slender, bone dry and appetizing, and yet it has just the right level of viscosity to comfort the palate; its tannins are so fine and scarce that it’ll take ten minutes of ice bucket in its stride, but it is by no means a rosé.  While Burgundy has much to thank their old king for, methinks Australia should be offering much thanks to the Lloyds for finally setting things right so long after Hickie’s death and a lot bloody longer after my namesake’s demise.  Offer your thanks by getting on the Eldridge website and placing your summer slurping order – this wine’s not on there yet, but you can make contact.  While you’re there, check out their straight Gamay 2010, which is similarly lush and juicy, but not so disarmingly vivacious (13.5% alcohol; screw cap; 84 points).

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