My life and this blog have not coincided as much as I would have liked over the past week, which isn’t to say I haven’t tasted some nice wines. It’s been more about enjoyment than critique, though, with no detailed notes taken. Hence, the following impressions are broadly evocative rather than precisely descriptive.

Mesh Riesling 2009 ($A30, retail)

One of those astonishingly austere Rieslings we do so well in Australia. This is the archetypal dry Eden wine, completely focused and unswerving in its progression over the palate. Flavours at this stage are typically straightforward, mostly lemon-lime and flint on both the nose and palate. It lacks the floral lift one sometimes sees, expressing instead a sense of muscularity and power. Intense flavour and acidity in the mouth, this is almost too much to drink on its own. I’d pair it carefully with food now or just leave it alone for a decade.

Shaw and Smith M3 Chardonnay 2008 ($A45, retail)

This label usually impresses me with its sense of poise and balance while still showing a fair bit of winemaking. At the very least, it proves Chardonnay doesn’t have to be either/or in character. This is a good M3, with plenty of tight white peach flesh and mealiness, nicely textured in the mouth and sensible in proportion. The oak is used exceptionally well, I think, adding some subtle spice and warmth (emotional, not physical) to the flavour profile. It just tastes very right and is immediately complex. This is the dinner party guest who manages to do and say all the right things. No need to wait for it to settle.

Curly Flat Pinot Noir 2006 ($A65, retail)

This, by contrast, isn’t ready to drink (without a good decant, anyway). Quality isn’t in question, though, and what impresses me most at this stage is the wine’s immediate, unforgiving power. It’s like a punch in the mouth with a feather, mixing light bodied styling with quite brutal acidity and a detailed, etched flavour profile of red fruits, cedar, sap and general pinosity. Fabulous length. Despite its muscularity, there’s something alluring and seductive about it too; feminine, but in an angular, slightly severe mode. I can’t quite pin it down, but I love it just the same, and smile at the thought of how it might fill out in time (say, four to five years). Fascinating wine.

2 thoughts on “Offcuts

  1. Very much in agreement with your comments on the M3 proving Chards doesn’t have to be “either/or”. I like the M3 with a bit more age on it, but that’s a personal preference thing, perfectly enjoyable now.

    06 CF Pinot certainly needs a couple of days or a very good decant. Either of those will make sure the bottle gets drunk, but as with all the CF Pinots I’ve tried, around 5-8 years is when I think they really begin to show at their best. Powerful style of Pinot for sure. I’m digging lighter styles at the moment but I’m sure that will change again within the next few months.

    Gender dysphoric Pinot? Perhaps 😉

    • I thought of you when I opened the Curly Flat. It’s a really interesting, distinctive style; imagine tasting a Central Otago (or even Yarra Valley) Pinot alongside. Like chalk and cheese. I like the edginess of the wine, the sense that it is utterly marginal. I get the same feeling from some Pinots from Pemberton, and aesthetically the taste of something that is on the edge of not existing at all is quite thrilling to me, especially when it also shows the contradiction of great power. Very impressed.

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