A trio of pinot noir, each peculiar in its own way, but all some how missing the high bar.

2010 Riorret 'The Abbey'. Yarra Valley. Perhaps the best thing is the name, which is a semordnilap of terroir. A struck nose, it's savoury, ham and ginger flavoured, slightly sweet too.

2013 Fromm La Strada. Marlborough. More convincing than the last, grainy and dense, earth and something dark and unresolved. Short tail, a little gritty at this stage, should improve modestly.

2015 Murdoch Hill 'Ridley Pinot x Two'. Adelaide Hills. Meunier and Noir. I wanted to like this more. . . It's light and sappy, a bojo nose, stewed and spiced - but it seems diffuse and skinny and slightly metallic.

Some possibly connected facts and opinion:

PTU / PROP or more completely propylthiouracil is an extraordinarily bitter medication. Bitterness can be a marker of danger and PTU is toxic to a number of organs in predictable (on the thyroid) and less predictable ways (the liver and marrow).

Our ability to detect bitterness is partly if not entirely genetic and at least one gene has been identified for this ability / inability. TAS2R38. Taste receptor 2 member 38.

Three quarters merlot, the balance c franc.

Sharp and fleetingly edgy to begin, violets and perfume, later cream and warmth. A soft oak blanket, it's slightly sweet, long and large. Modern and pretty, the curves a little distracting and pronounced. I like it without being completely won over.

Late picked Loire chenin blanc - dry, large and formidable. It's certainly bold and distinct, pear and quince and glue on the nose, I found it clunkier and harder than expected, oxidative with little fruit and lots of texture and shape. 14.5% alcohol.


Macedon pinot noir, 13%, Diam. A beautiful label, a soft red wax seal and inside something unfiltered and natural. . . It's perfumed and beautiful, a surprisingly spiced mid palate and lovely grip and length. Fast and fleshy in all the right spots with pepper stems and playful tannins. Yes.

E for Egbert. . .

I've always loved the labels, the Gothic lettering and the muted olive green. . . It's a curious and quite wonderful wine. Gold beyond it's age, the nose, serious and stony, has a suggestion of botrytis - marzipan and fabric softener. . . There's citrus but it's preserved and cut with spice. . . Wax and honey in the mouth, but it still feels mostly tea leaf dry - the acids are particularly impressive and dominant. . .

I think I was a little heavy handed with my use of matcha - using 4 heaped teaspoons for my kilogram of ice cream. . .

I tend to use few egg yolks and a little more cream, I like the resultant texture. So 500g of full cream milk, 300g of whipping cream, 2 egg yolks, and about 120-140g (13-15% of the weight of the preceding three ingredients) of sugar, and the matcha. Cook like a custard, though for less time. 5 minutes at 80 degrees while stirring (thermomix speed 4, 80 degrees, 5 minutes).

Gris is one of the colour mutations of blanc. Prior to opening this, I had wondered, foolishly, whether there might be a slight blush.

Aromatically overt and typical. Green bean and cut grass, sharp, citric and salty.

19 months on, this has changed, but mostly I find my words are the same. It still has a beautiful nose - delicate, perfumed, satisfying. Again I can find flint and curry leaf, though not immediately. It's well paced in the mouth, still brisk and accented with stems. This bottle has more ginger heat than I can recall, making it fractionally hot. Still rewarding and fine.

My daughter kindly repurposed a clutch of corks for an invented board game that never ends. . .

The gamay is fragrant and true. It's recognisable and conforms to the latest style guides - rose petal and perfume, a suggestion of stem, a medium body, slippery and poised in the mouth. It's very good, I just found it hard to locate any distinguishing marks or scars that might be used for identification.

Also tasted - the 2012 Mt Difficulty Pinot noir, with it's exaggerated cursive label.