A small plate of Tori karaage washed down with a few too many glasses of wine. First something raised in a ceramic egg. . . the Pat Sullivan 2017 Baw Baw Shire Chardonnay – Gippsland – green tinges, sap and green bean, musk. Lovely texture – quite toothy. Older, but not obviously was the Kumeu River Estate Chardonnay 2008 – Flint and sulphur, worked, bristling with energy. Super wine. On to the reds and to begin the Domaine Chignard Fleurie ‘Les Moriers’ 2015 – My second brief encounter – it’s lovely – floral and pretty as you might expect, with correct weight and poise and welcome cleanliness. To conclude the 2012 Bream Creek Pinot – At the cola end of the spectrum, big and enjoyable, a rare blind tasting correct call.
Image. A fine plate from the quaint and worthy hole in the wall diner Washokudo. Hidden and petite the room sits …
The third encounter. . . 18 years old, mature and in slow and gentle decline. Deeply coloured, a leafy nose – blackcurrant and leather, lead pencil, it smells medium blue. . . Soft and lush in mouth; big and bold with fine milk chocolate tannins and a balsamic edge.
Image: middle aged wino climbing a rock near Yallingup circa July 2018. Camera bag in tow, note book and pencil at the ready. . .
A pair of reds, both worthy and terrific.
Amisfied RKV Reserve Pinot noir 2007. Central Otago. 14%. A deeply punted, very heavy bottle. The wine has a beautiful nose; plush, rich, ripe and quite delicious. Cola like, it smells and feels like a Central Otago wine, but with more finesse. Tadpole like, but convincing and enticing.
Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier 2009. Canbera, 14%. If the last bottle was dark red in scent, this is certainly more pink and pale purple. . . Very fresh and bright, Turkish delight and confection, the nose at least is much younger than expected. . . in contrast it feels inkier and older in the mouth.
This seems to have moved very little since my last encounter, though I concede it’s more complex and I’m more impressed this time around. . . It seems very fresh and bright, befitting of the seal and the over the top cellaring (4 degrees C for the last 5 years). . . stones and peach, citrus oil/curry leaf, marzipan and butterscotch. Flesh and zip, fatty and lush in the mouth, frontal but with lovely length and poise. A treat. 17.5 – 18/20
Context – paired with a fair to middling nasi lemak, a chicken curry and a beef rendang. . . no wonder my tasting partner thought this might be a Tempranillo. . . Even away from the food and the noise – it seems atypical and hard to place; it’s bigger and the tannins seem muddier than expected.
Fragrant, but elusive. . . cola like, plum and haw flakes, tobacco. . . it’s only the following day that some maraschino cherry pokes out. Bold and firm with mud and chocolate (unusual), then a sensation of sweetness, honey and size; later still rust to flavour the tannins.
A trio of home cooked pizzas (potato, margherita and Tuscan kale with pancetta. The last being the crowd favourite.) called for a drought breaker from the cellar. I’ve forgot where I bought this, which seems reflective of the reduced priority wine has had for the last six months. A delicious if predictable example of Barbaresco. Large but well shaped, the tannins making it slim. . . almost. Medium in colour, v/a, wilted leaves, leather, something familiar and earthy. Throat grasping tannins, meaty, firm, and savoury – not unlike a sweet ham.