Central Otago. 12.9%. Approx $A80.

Smells like Central - intense, brooding and dense - berries and stems, spice, sarsaparilla. It's defined and yet indefinable. . . There's something cold and biting about the nose, it smells like winter. . . 17% whole bunches, low input but high attention to detail. . . Sharper than most, perhaps a little too nervy and hurried for some. Rhubarb > cherry. Very fine tannins, plush, long, snappy. Yes mostly.

A long finger of Wagin duck with preserved muntries. So much depth, warmth and thrust on a small plate.

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Wildflower is a superb venue. Understated and 'hidden' from the ground, but immediately rarefied and serene once you alight from the lift, four storeys up, with a view to the river. A beautiful room, segmented - modern, light, minimal, and yet intimate. It is a champion for local produce and West Australian wines.

A beautiful plate of Manjimup marron.

It's been almost four years since I last ate one, finally they seem to have arrived in Perth - though these cucamelon (on the Bread in Common menu) seemed less succulent and impressive. . . Still, my first thought on seeing them was to harvest some seeds for cultivation at home. . .
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13%. Margaret River. Screwcap.

In short:

A Margaret river Chardonnay with white pepper and a green sting. Flint and match stick, smouldering, oatmeal and green bean. Mineral and sappy, very thick and textured; butterscotch, but cut with pips and stems.

To paraphrase the back label - everything is used - skins, pips, stems, whole bunches, lees. . . .

Crystal clear. It smells of Margaret river - but perhaps with more green bean and white pepper.

Alter weg - the old path - with a nod to Germany - barrel fermented and matured.

12.5%. Frankland river.

Struck and flint like; a citrus, curry leaf nose, perhaps the faintest hint of rot (botrytis). . . Soft and sweet in the mouth, spiced, mellow, fleshy. . . The tan and body are still Australian even if the accent is hard to place. . .

Something small and local. . . Try the Re store, but be quick.

Frankland river. Diam.

Crunchy and cloudy, even for a lover of murky wines, this is something else. . .Very aromatic, clean, ginger spice and bruised apples. . . I keep sniffing for glue and animals but not today. . . Tart and quick, here was I thinking it might be soft and attenuated. . . very savoury, quite delicious. Well worth the search.
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Despite the alcoholic warmth, this feels like winter. . . Deep and dark, shadowy. . . game and blood. . . a scary all alone in the forest type of pinot. . . I'm not completely convinced, it feels too cold and stern.

Before. More words, but similar ambivalence. .

A green curry of quail with purple snake beans. Poised, punchy and warming. Yet another David Coomer creation that will linger in my mind, though the spots on the podium are already occupied by his liquorice ice cream and the pata negra arroz. Very sad but understandable to hear that he has decided to pull up stumps and close shop. David - good luck and thanks for all the fine food memories. .

A pair of Fuji apples picked today, the bottom one polished for the photo. They are possibly the biggest apples my stunted tree has produced, almost supermarket size (the uneaten one was 180g). . .
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