Village Journal #307
Don’t you just hate it when someone comes up with a quote that you wish you’d woken up with in the middle of the night spinning around in your head? Apparently, according to psychological research, it’s when we are unguarded, when our brains are empty that we come up with good ideas, or Ah, Ah moments. They sneak up on you when you’re not looking.
Village Journal #307
I know that talking about wine is a 'first-world' issue, but what if you think of wine as art? James Halliday, the respected Australian wine critic, has posed the question: is winemaking an art? His answer—‘most would say so’—is guarded but gratifying for those who think it is. The creation of art is one of the markers of humanity, and art has a capacity for transformation. For example, the American Marxist academic, Eric Olin Wright, has said that the arts can present a sense of the aesthetics of alternatives and prefigure those alternatives through practices which embody them.
My most recent wine discovery is a very drinkable pinot noir at around $16. It's difficult to get a good pinot noir cheaply – but here it is: 2013 Mad Fish Western Australia Pinot Noir. Trust me, if you can, it's a drinkable pinot, and (relatively) cheap. The grapes are produced by Burch Family Wines from the cool climate Great Southern region of WA (pinot noir is traditionally produced in the cold), which equals the 'Porongurup ranges ... a small sub-region of cool climate elevated vineyards. The winters … are bitterly cold and the soils are extremely ancient … producing low yielding vines'. The colour is that clear red you'd recognise as pinot, with cherry and nuts in the perfume and honey and jam on the palate.
Further, with the coming-on of winter, and for those of us without disposable income, I'd like to also remind you of Upside Down Marlborough Merlot, the best one I've drunk (a scary, absolutist statement, if I've ever written one!), especially because it lacks a 'dusty' palate – for only around $12!
A comrade-in-arms recently gifted us a 2010 Hunter Valley Brokenwood Mistress Block vineyard Shiraz. Its 'heaviness' as a bottle is in sync with its 'weightiness' as a shiraz. I am always on the lookout for 'smooth'. And although this has no aroma to speak of (Unless it is hay! And I love the smell of hay.), all is forgiven. But perhaps, on a revisit, there is a forceful fluttering of vanilla in aroma and on the palate. A faultless ruby colour with a slip-down palate. I can tell you: a red that you don't think about (in winter) as it falls effortlessly down the throat. My god: the definition of a gift. One could die and think: ok, all is good.