Pasta e Fagioli


I had hoped to hand roll pici as a part of my Father's birthday dinner a few weeks ago, but I got savaged by a dog and my dominant hand has until the last few days been mostly useless for anything laborious.

It's a slow process - I think I spent two hours hand rolling these little slugs. . .

For the pasta - in a thermomix or similar - bring together 500g of plain flour, 2 eggs, 250g of ricotta, a teaspoon of salt and 4 tablespoons of water.  Tip out the dough, clump and kneed together before wrapping in cling film to rest for 15-30 minutes. Then pinch, roll and repeat x300.

Fagioli - just before you start on the pasta - take 150g of dried borlotti beans and soak in boiling water. They should be ready once you have finished rolling out all of the noodles (approx 2 hours). ...

Maison en Belles Lies Maranges 2016


12.5%. Cork.

Humble Maranges gets spell checked to manages. . . not entirely incorrect. I had the odd idea that my home cooked moussaka might be a match for a Musigny. Mouss and Moose. . . Sadly no redundant, sacrificial bottles of Musigny in my cellar. . . based on this wine, I think the pairing might work - though in my dish I used an eggy Bechamel sauce which might distract from a more profound bottle.

Tasting note - like it's sibling - a pretty nose - sap, spice, musk and florals. Mid weight and fast. It seems to evoke something shiny, small and new. . . rhubarb tartness. Unresolved.


A 2014 pair


One Block 'The Quarry' 2014. Gruyere, Yarra Valley, Victoria. 13%. a peach and apricot nose, lush, sunny. . . worked, butterscotch and flint, curry leaf. As I sniff I wonder - will it be fat or skinny?
Broad to open, but a terrific spine of acid; it's rich, creamy, indulgent. A modern hourglass with an appealing tension between acid and flesh.

Domaine Guillot-Broux Mâcon-Villages 2014. Mâcon, France. 12.5%. Much quieter to begin, stone and white pepper, a palette of grey. . . much later grapefruit, but it remains reserved. Pebbles in the mouth, then a sting of acid. . . quite different in shape and colour - pale, oxidised edges, the acids more citric and lingering. Again terrific texture - an impression of weight and apparent sweetness. By a small margin but many eventual glasses, my preferred wine of the pair.

Bouchard Volnay Taillepieds 1er Cru 2010


13.5%. Cork. Cellar.

In transition. . . deep, rust like, but entirely taint free. . . mature and rounded. . . changeable and evolving. Tobacco leaf and nori. . . roasted, cured leaves. . . an iodine edge perhaps. Fine and soft, loose and comfortable. It's warm and familiar; curved edges and perfectly weighted. Modest and self contained - Yes.


Dilworth and Allain Romsey Doug’s Vineyard Pinot noir 2017


Doug's vineyard, Macedon, Victoria. 12%. Diam. Approx $A45.

Like the only other pinot I've tried from the same plot - this is incredibly fragrant and light. A terrific nose - sticks and rose petals, floral, herbal with an undercurrent of savoury meatiness. Jolting and jagged, mineral acids. . . quite brittle to begin. It's an atypical descriptor for a pinot noir - but in the mouth this evokes a very ripe blood orange - it has the same pithy bitterness and lingering acidity.


Maison En Belles Lies L’Étrange 2016


With its Gothic equilateral arches it reminds me of Darth Vader. . . inside the liquid is Burgundy, but not as I know it. . . a blend of pinot noir, gamay and chardonnay - it's fast, slippery, sappy and absolutely delicious. Red fruited, musk and spice; a Morgon nose. Floral and beautiful, pixie like - small and delicate but intense. Sour and edgy, terrific acids, just the right side of jagged. #Yes.

One Block Shiraz 2014


A pair of Yarra Shiraz (both 13%) from One Block. On the left - Glory. The image like a beetroot hand axed. . . Deep in colour and scent, mulberries, a bristle of alcohol and black cardamon. Full and warm, for a moment cream and vanilla, it's more diffuse and tubby than expected.

Yellingbo. The gem more like a lozenge. . . A damp, luxurious nose - black currant and a hint of flint and smoulder. It seems sweeter and broader. . . like burnt toffee.

Partida Creus SM 2014


Sumoll (late ripening, large bunched varietal from Catalunya Spain). 11%. Cork. Spain. Approx $A45.

My first bottle from this small but well known label; a pair of ectopic Italians making lo fi wines with indigenous Spanish grapes. . .

Pale and lively; savoury, quite elusive, wild, salty, very delicious. . . A funky nose, animal and woody herbs, bark. . . but it also seems green and sappy - like a fresh cut star fruit. Dry and meaty, but playful acids and sharp edges; the technical taster in me finds brett - but at an acceptable level.

Pierre Cotton Régnié 2016


12%. Cork. Beaujolais. Gamay.

Feels like home; raspberry and stems, it's currently pure but who knows what creatures tomorrow will bring. . . playful, familiar. . . toffee apple and no shadows. . . Bright, tart, ebullient and after many hours the faintest suggestion of uncleanliness.