A melodramatic cork, weeping through the wax seal and breaking in half on extraction. Thankfully the liquid seems unaffected and it is very much as I recall.  Unfiltered, pale and full of scent. Spice and stems, earth, needles of pine and even my nemesis - black cardamon. Curved but lean in the mouth; structured, slightly stern, expansive and poised. I'm still enamoured.

Image: The last of my home grown apples.

Eucalyptus and wine. 

I've written about the scent of gum leaves and eucalyptus in wine before. My previous understanding was always partial and shallow, I'd assumed it was entirely caused by the evaporated oils blown and deposited onto the skins of grapes.

From a several year old AWRI report four snippets of additional information to expand my understanding.

I can't immediately decide which of the twins I prefer. This is clear and crisp, while the other is turbid, cheesy and slightly malodorous. The Cortez, free of additions is the easier to explain, the edges are sharp and distinct, but both wines are revealing in their own way and certainly the sum of the two is greater than the parts.

The scent is hard to transcribe. Wax and acacia, mustard fruit, tangerine and fleetingly (and most likely incorrectly) turmeric root.

Kooyong Estate Chardonnay 2012. They say there's a tendency for technique and method to trickle down. This is the first entry level chardonnay that I can recall having such a distinct and strong note of curry leaf. . . Peach and smoulder. . . despite the nose - the shape is still round and fleshy with butter scotch and cream. Nose yes, body no.

Voyager Cabernet Merlot 2001. Tasted blind, I assumed this was a Penfolds red from 2002. . . I called it a 389. . .

I pour and apologise at the same time. It's turbid and murky and I suspect my family are taken aback, it looks unfinished, it smells of microbes and glue and my son asks if it is safe for me to drink it. . . I like it, though again I concede that method supersedes soil and grape. It's Chenin blanc, but how can you tell, it's all about the skins - it's cider like with apple, cheese, glue and ginger. . . Quite tart and brisk in the mouth, spiced, fleshy and dry to finish.


It's commonly held that olfaction is a vestigial sense. . . one supporting strand for this argument is that the language we use is weak and imprecise, that there is no specific lexicon for what we smell. The vocabulary for olfaction is invariably tied to something else be it discrete or metaphorical. In contrast colour has it's own language mostly independent of object (though we speak of fire engine red, ocean blue, forest and olive green).

Vin de France. 12.5%. Approx $A35.

Bright with a slightly hard shell. The grapes are from the Ventoux and from what I gather they've been transported to Burgundy for vinification. It's fresh and new in scent - cherry and raspberry and later stems and spice. It's enticingly sour and juicy, but with convincing spice, weight and texture.

A quartet of notes to mark the start of the lunar year. 

Clemens Busch Trocken Riesling 2012. Mosel. 11.5%. Green, mineral and citric. Flint and lime leaf on the nose. It's razor sharp, intense, searing and long. Double tick, red pen.

Stella Bella Chardonnay 2008. Pale gold. Full, creamy and rich, this is quite sweet in the mouth - melon and peach flavours. It's self contained, round and bright. Small single tick, in pencil.

Graillot Healthcote Shiraz 2012.

The Mrs S breakfast platter for $21. I'm satisfied but not entirely convinced that everything belongs on the same plate. The hummus and dukkha are comforting but seem like orphans, while the undisputed star is the poached peach with granola.

The space is mostly as before, but it seems more complete and confident.

A quiet nose, though with a change of glassware and warmth is becomes more evocative, with honeysuckle and musk. Grippy and textured in the mouth - peach, apricot nectar, almond meal, flesh and fat.