A shiraz grenache blend from McLaren Vale. A stumpy cork and appealing price tag ($A25). It's a vinous Cheshire cat - mischievous, playful and round, with a short tail. . . Plush and direct - berries and spice, later raisins, augmented and underlined with stems. Zippy (? spritz) and frontal - fat and lush - drenched and full, raisins and a smudged slightly diffuse finish.

An improvised meal. Part Paella, part Hong Kong. . . I tried a delicious steamed fish rice served on a banana leaf. The rice buttery and garlic infused, the fish just cooked. Cantonese food at its best and not a grain of MSG in sight. I wanted to recreate and modify what I had tasted. . .

Footsteps into eternity. .

Tricked up. 12.5%. Adelaide Hills. Approx $A25 (a bargain).

A smouldering curry leave nose, flint and peach skins; matchstick. . . Worked and contemporary. . . Sunshine and flesh in mouth - not quite apricot nectar - but not far off. . . thick, textured, marzipan and almond meal with a nectar like finish - complex - sweet, acidic, layered and long. . .

With my morning after glasses I can discern more sweetness than last night, it a small negative, and over all there's still much to like.

Stature #1 as you walk onto the lake.

I remember seeing the documentary, Inside Australia more than a decade ago, Gormley made a comment that has stayed with me ever since. The place makes your heart slow down.

Each figure is based on a resident of the closest town, Menzies. The person was stripped bare and scanned in a machine and then virtually sliced and reduced by 2/3s.

A belated attempt at moderation. . . and so I find it's the last drop of my third glass that is the most delicious. It's correctly awkward and structured to begin - tar and rose petal, but there's no give or softness. It's a vinous hair shirt. . . at least initially. In time it softens and nose becomes rounder, more spiced and caressing. In the mouth it's a juxtaposition - lean and quick; tannic and meaty.
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My first glimpse of Lake Ballard. The picture does no justice to the place - it's vast, never ending and silent, other than the flies of course. . . In the foreground an unnamed rock, red and dotted with trees and brittle black stone.

A mural in making on the side of the Menzies town hall, just in time for Anzac day 2016.

Enticing and curiously familiar. Warm and worn; spice, cigar box, no edges. . . with some agitation pencil and blackcurrant; I've scribbled pheromones. . . there's something sweet and illicit about the nose. . . Slippery and toned, lovely lines and acidity, meaty just so tannins and again the impression of soft old leather. Yes.

It's hard not to be moved by this scar in the earth - 600m deep and several kilometres across. There's gold, but only if you use technology to blast, excavate and process. From what I've read each year they remove 15 million tonnes of earth to extract 28 tonnes of gold and it's getting harder to find. . . In a town where a quarter of the population is directly involved in mining, the super pit is Kalgoorlie's largest single employer.
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