It has been a good week of passive research, I have discovered two things so far. One; drinking red wine makes you immune from the effects of an earthquake, for I didn’t feel a thing and I was all prepared to jump into the bathtub, I am assuming that is what you should do. The second discovery being my Riedel Vinum series wine glass is officially rated to 5.3 on the Richter Scale. She handled it like a dream; impressive engineers those Austrians – the bullet proof vest, Me-262 engine, designer glassware, and then a small annexation spoils the party. Now for me you only truly know who your friends are when they break your fancy stemware, and you still talk to them. This is a difficult task for me, I feel it comes from the ‘wrongness priority disorder,’ that I have inherited from my father, symptoms being; take the car for an afternoon joyride, no worries son, high school girlfriend in your room, nice one, elusive pea falls on the floor at the dinner table, now you will not be leaving the house for a month. The thought of throwing ‘breakees’ off my balcony does in fact cross my mind, that or threatening them with the broken stems, enforced wine-floor licking, dispensing super glue, but I smile, get up, and pass the banister broom, and walk away, this is Zen glassware.
I love a big glass, I like swirling it, I like watching the legs erotically flow down, how a wine develops, and most importantly I can fit my nose in them. All the better to smell things with, and well this week I have had a craving for ‘dirt’. Bearded Wine Man was a bit light on in the Spanish and Italian departments, so I went for an Italian in Australia. My first dalliance with Sangiovese was the Primo Estate Shiraz/Sango and it was time to take another spin on the merry go round. The King Valley seems to be ground zero for Italian varietals in Oz at the moment, and really, why grow apples, when you can make wine; and lose money.
Pizzini 2010 Sangiovese
The European styles really lend themselves to enjoying with food, and to be honest, the drinking of wine as a standalone entity is really a ‘new world’ philosophy. Hence we go for the big, flashy fruit driven styles, though I see this changing, and wines like this, for me are leading the charge. The nose has a dusty, developed fruit character that just sucks me in. There is still a ping of zippy primary fruit to keep it vibrant; dark mulberry, and cherry, cedar box / cigar old French oak, minimal vanilla. The overall effect as described by an old fellow hospitably worker as ‘dusty, strawberry jam,’ and you are there. I often think there are wines that taste as they smell, and this is most defiantly one of them, she has an interesting mix of savoury characters, with the ripe fruits punching through on the palate. I could maybe want for more tannin from the older oak, but then I am a slut for tannin, but I am none the less left wanting. The possible oxidative handling techniques have maybe stripped the primary fruit characters, at the expense of a weighty feel on palate. There is a textural feel to the wine, the palate is defined and structured, but this is a wine designed to enjoyed with food, and for my money snacks are required reading on this one.
If you are going to take your Australian drinking hat off for a second, then this a one to have a look at. This is a Sunday afternoon conversational cheese wine with friends, some pâté, sour dough, capers, smoked salmon, and at 13.1 % alcohol you will respect yourself in the morning. This is not a light weight wine, but I feel she is best enjoyed with friends, and with compliments, plenty of both really for maximum effect. She is a nice introduction to her more chalky tannin European cousins, the gateway wine so to speak, and I like that an Australian Vineyard is moving in this direction.
So it’s a relaxing book and bath wine, or getting together with friends by the lake, with overly tame ducks stealing your crackers. I like that she is a vehicle to take you somewhere, and that you just might remember it afterwards.
6.5 / 10 Sipps