Hat tip to the vinsomniac for bringing this to my attention. We see what we wants to see. . . and so after reading his words (fuck, superb and 94), I scoured the web looking. . . I thought (why I'm not sure) it might be leaner and tighter, but then would this be a white Burgundy if it were rakish and hard?

Diam sealed. 13%. A grand total of three barrels were made. It's quiet to begin, marzipan and almond meal. Large, round and full. Fatty and creamy in the mouth, butterscotch. . . it evokes sweetness but it's dry with pith and sea salt. Emphatic, but not enough to make me swear.

Blue skies and the tail end of a very mild upper respiratory ailment. I decided to forgo my midweek tipple, though I'm still thinking about wine, and mostly how I seem to have run out of interesting bottles to open. . .

This recipe calls for a combination of cooking modalities.

Start with the pumpkin and carrots - dress lightly in olive oil and then toss with the cumin and coriander seeds that have been pounded with a pestle.

Steingarten Riesling 2011 - Good but not great. Toast and honey, lemon curd. It feels slightly thin and wanting. My single hit and mostly miss relationship with the label continues.

Penfolds Bin 10A - A little more cream and puppy fat than expected. Flint, peach and wheat meal on the nose. Citrus pith and grape fruit phenolics. It's unified and quite good. Earlier.

Bay of Fires Chardonnay 2013 - Quite different in profile - there's more melon and steel, though again citrus and pith.

The starting point was the wonderful Ottolenghi recipe for a Jerusalem artichoke and Swiss chard tart. Being unable to procure the necessary chokes and having a garden full of gigantic and neglected Tuscan kale, I made some changes. Blind baking too is a weakness and so some technical shortcuts. . .

1. Make the short crust pastry. Use a thermomix or similar. 300g of flour, 150g of butter (unsalted and diced into 1 inch cubes) and a pinch of salt.

Wine match - A scrawny half marron, with little more than 50 grams of meat on a bed of cucumber and a moat of gazpacho. $A38 from the Trustee.

Context - A half bottle with my half marron. The waiter insisted on pouring 15-20ml aliquots of the wine so it might remain cold. I had to protest and seize the bottle.

Note - A wonderful wine. Electric and citric. Lime and pollen, slate and sap. Tart and fast, it's mouth puckering and then a curious whisper of sweetness.
2

Like the 11 and 12 this is wonderfully aromatic and expressive. Rose petals and musk, skins, perfume, orange blossom water, loquat. . . Tasted a few days after the Brash Higgins Zibibbo, this has less texture than expected, a gentle bite of citrus (grapefruit mostly) and very little oil and heat. The unfair might even call it watery.

The wine was an olfactory match for this rose petal and freeze dried blueberry couscous.

I eventually opened the bottle.

Expressive but not unexpected. Violets and dried herbs, blackcurrant with a green point, eucalyptus. . .

It's surprisingly soft to open, especially after the barrage of scent, though there is an expansive sting in the tail. It becomes warmer and more enveloping with a few minutes, the hollowness disappearing, replaced by fruit and a tickle of spice and cedar. I wonder if the gap is a function of the screwcap. . .

150 days in an amphora on skins.

Like the first release, this is a wonderful and compelling wine. Aromatically distinct while gripping and evocative in the mouth. I thought there were two sides to the aromatic coin - mostly it's musk and spice, almond meal and orange blossom; but at other times there's the sea and pine resin. . . Perfume like in texture - unctuous and thick, like an Alsace Gewurtz. . . but with more bitterness, sap and pith. . . Yes.
2

Pale, waning and full of seeds. According to The book grignolino has more pips, 3-4 times the number, when compared to most other grapes.

The back label is curious, there are two. One from the producer and one from the local importer. There are also two quoted alcohol strengths - 12.5% and 15%. In the mouth it feels much closer to 12.5%

It's an unusual wine. Pale and tannic with a suggestion of saddle. It smells of resin and sticks, rosewood and small goods. Grippy, tart and fast.

I had planned to compare the two, but perhaps my habits are growing more temperate with age. After another cracking bottle of 2011 Oakridge 864 Chardonnay and then mistaking the 2000 Dalwhinnie Moonambel Shiraz for a Cabernet blend (it was all ginger and DMS) we only managed to get through half of the Xanadu.

It is dense and polished, seamless and full - but there's nothing that separates this from its dress circle peers.
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