mostly wine stuff

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Tony S

Tony S

I have a confusion to make ...
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There are plenty of non-classical elements to this wine. Generally speaking, not my thing. But with Thanksgiving dishes? Awesome!

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cantunamunch

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Who wants some Monkeypox?
Would someone please explain? Have I not been drinking too long and is my palate completely effed up by diet changes and coffee?

Someone had brought this to Thanksgiving lunch. 2018 Robert Oatley "Signature Series" Cab Sav with Margaret River as the origin.

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What is going on? Is this a thing now, that I've somehow missed? Is it a thing now to make Cab Sav taste like a Tempranillo/Merlot love child? With no real fruit on the front and nothing on the back either?


OFC, herself loved it (and didn't get any sort of headache from it, bonus I suppose). It made me think someone's been playing vacuum games. (Yes, I realise they'd prolly sue me for libel if I were saying that in Oz.)
 
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skibob

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Would someone please explain? Have I not been drinking too long and is my palate completely effed up by diet changes and coffee?

Someone had brought this to Thanksgiving lunch. 2018 Robert Oatley "Signature Series" Cab Sav with Margaret River as the origin.

View attachment 149511

What is going on? Is this a thing now, that I've somehow missed? Is it a thing now to make Cab Sav taste like a Tempranillo/Merlot love child? With no real fruit on the front and nothing on the back either?


OFC, herself loved it (and didn't get any sort of headache from it, bonus I suppose). It made me think someone's been playing vacuum games. (Yes, I realise they'd prolly sue me for libel if I were saying that in Oz.)
Vacuum games? I know a few technologies this could refer to so not sure what you mean.

The Australians are about the least tradition bound in the world when it comes to winemaking. I have no knowledge of this wine specifically. But chances are if it seems odd, it is Australian.

Still, I've had some exceptionally good wines too. Voyager Chard (MR), Dalwhinnie Syrah (Pyrenees), Tyrrell's Chard (Hunter). Have yet to find an Australian Pinot worth a damn, imo though.

I made that claim to one of Oz's top consulting winemakers once. He lined up a flight of 5 wines wrapped in foil. 4 were typical junk--I call it Syrah Jr. #5 was quite good. New world fruit, old world tannins. I told him he had won and I wanted to know what 5 is. He muttered "shit" under his breath and unwrapped it. Willamette Valley. I don't remember the winery anymore. Earlier I had extolled the virtues of Willamette pinots so he slipped one. Turns out he thought I was full of it and just running down Australian wines to be a jerk. He expected me to say all of these are crap and then he would smugly reveal the Willamette Pinot. It was a stupid move, as WV couldn't be more a) recognizable and b) different from Aussie pinots.
 
Thread Starter
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Tony S

Tony S

I have a confusion to make ...
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I made that claim to one of Oz's top consulting winemakers once. He lined up a flight of 5 wines wrapped in foil. 4 were typical junk--I call it Syrah Jr. #5 was quite good. New world fruit, old world tannins. I told him he had won and I wanted to know what 5 is. He muttered "shit" under his breath and unwrapped it. Willamette Valley. I don't remember the winery anymore. Earlier I had extolled the virtues of Willamette pinots so he slipped one. Turns out he thought I was full of it and just running down Australian wines to be a jerk. He expected me to say all of these are crap and then he would smugly reveal the Willamette Pinot. It was a stupid move, as WV couldn't be more a) recognizable and b) different from Aussie pinots.
What frame of reference do you suppose leads to that situation? I mean, you don't generally have top orchestra conductors who are confused about the classical repertory.
 

skibob

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What frame of reference do you suppose leads to that situation? I mean, you don't generally have top orchestra conductors who are confused about the classical repertory.
Australia is one of the most insular places in the world, and it shows in their wine profession too. As a generalization, Aussie wines are so easy to pick out (there are always exceptions of course). But he was also fairly drunk by that point (we all were). So partly I just don't think he thought it through. Eventually I came to respect his abilities and like him quite a bit. He knows his stuff, including old world. His specialties are chard and cab, not pinot. Still, he showed a remarkable knowledge of old world pinot. I just think his palate was irretrievably Oz-biased.

We later tasted through some Adelaide Hills pinots which was an emergent appellation at the time. He was quite sure I would see their virtues. Which seemed to be that they were "flawless" (they were), extracted, and tannins he called "soft" and I call "flabby". He made some Margaret River Cabs that were rated in the high 90s by Parker. His innovation was that he picked them ripe (instead of overripe). They were still heavily extracted using every trick in the book. They were good wines and maintained some important CS characteristics like a hint of bell pepper and some fine grained "seedy" tannin. Too much oak, but you weren't going to impress Parker otherwise.

So, like I said, great palate, broad knowledge, highly skilled both technically and artistically. I just think he was Aussie-biased and couldn't see past it. He knew that WV pinot was incredibly different. He even liked WV pinot. But, like a parent with an ordinary looking child, he saw beauty in Aussie PN that I just couldn't see.

EDIT: I just want to add that I am painting with a very broad brush here. There are going to be atypical examples of anything, anywhere. The Dalwhinnie Syrahs I mentioned above being a fine example. Those are made in a rare place (for Australia) and with a very traditional hand. They are balanced and sublime. And, not being tradition bound they don't rely on historic vineyard sites and rarefied brett strains to accomplish it. I highly recommend them. If you can find them.
 
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skibob

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Dunno about Oz, but across the Tasmanian sea, I would disagree as I've had some very nice New Zealand Pinot Noirs, especially from Central Otago, although I don't regard myself as an expert ...
I agree. NZ is a totally different beast. You can find those "syrah jr" pinots. I am not well versed in NZ wines, but PN seems to run the gamut from "syrah jr" to very light, fruity styles, and can include at least some earthy dimensions. What I have always had trouble finding (again, not an exhaustive sample) are nice fine-grained tannins.
 

RobSN

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What I have always had trouble finding (again, not an exhaustive sample) are nice fine-grained tannins.
Hmmm ... dunno what your palate would say, but I did a wine tour there and really liked the Gibbston Valley PNs and the Amisfield PN (always want to say Amityville for Amisfield ...).
 
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