22 January 2012
GRECO di TUFO
Beach Road Langhorne Creek Greco 2011
($25; 13% alcohol; screw cap; tasted September and December 2011; 93+ points)
Jeez it’s good. Imagine a big ripe year Chablis with all that wet chalk in the part of its bouquet where lesser gourmands would impose spicy timber. Add the smell of honeydew melon, and watermelon, but with that edgy, hessiany smell of cantaloupe peel wrapping their soppy cool flesh. Then the even more prickly green smell of broad bean shells. I think this adds up to the presence of methoxypyrazine, which gives the Sauvignons red and white their leafy bits. Slurp. It’s really steely, with swarfy natural acidity (9 g/l!), and then lemon and water and I know I’ll get killed for this but in the guzzler that chalky character seems more like wet cement, like exceptionally good tequila, which mixed with that austere lemon reminded me of a friggin margarita! But it’s only 13% alcohol, so go figure. Then the afterbreath came out, and that was all the above, but decked with confectioner’s sugar, musk sticks, and those freaky estery banana lollies. Few wines are so entertaining as they refresh. It’s acid’s big enough to demand the greasier weed-munching bottom-feeders of the wet world: redfin, carp and scallops with beurre blanc. Brrrr. 2011 was blue murder at Larncrk – hardly anybody picked anything, and most of what they did was puce with various moulds and rots. Somehow this lot saved half the Greco di Tufo from the plagues, in spite of its thin skins and hyper-tight bunches – a terrible combo when the moulds are on the march. No sign of any of that in here. Briony gave it the ancient treatments: basket press, wild yeast, plenty of lees. Nuts at $25!