The Fridge, I’m looking into it, the frosted icicle pane in front of me. Which you might think is a bizarre choice for winter, but you see I’m not in ‘the fridge’. I have escaped to Sydney, a land of important people with very high mobile usage, the corporates wear ties here, pedestrians still have fear of cars. Here in this temperate fertile land in late July you can look at a bottle of Pinot Gris, and not wonder if you’re going to be judged for liking white wine just a bit too much. The balminess has left my scarf wondering if we will get back together again, we have gone from a state of co-dependence to one of trial separation. I’m worried that she will stow away with the pillow cases tomorrow morning, down into the cesspool of spin-dry online laundry. Now maybe travelling to New Zealand could be on the cards, we could re-establish a connection. Take time to remember what we liked, and needed from each other, the firm fit, the tightening of the slip knot, the soft embrace. Enduring shivering cold can bring desperation, acidity, and integration into any relationship, the same though, could be said of wine.
New Zealand it was to be, and after liberating the Pinot Gris, and also an XL5 tasting glass from a nameless chain liquor stores tasting bench, I made good my escape back to the hotel. On a side note for any hotel managers out there, an over sized tumbler is not a wine glass fit for wannabe wine writers, or for that matter anyone attempting to drink aromatic whites.
Saddleback Pinot Gris 2013
New Zealand, land of sheep, hobbits, receding glaciers, and my personal un-favourite, tankers full of Sauvignon Blanc. Which is strange, when in my opinion it has the ability to make some of the most interesting white wines I’ve had. Once our Tasman cousins learnt they could grow aromatic varietals in their schist gravel soils with the stunting and distressing cold of Otago, they quickly figured they had a winner on their hands. Long hang time in the vineyard, tick, low temperatures, tick, low yields without hacking the be-Jesus out of the vines, brilliant. Let’s go then.
Pale straw and pretty in the glass, the hit to the nose is immediate and lifted. Confectionery banana quickly dissipates to deep ripe pears, touch of apricots, laced with cashew in a clean fresh lift. The palate is broad, luscious, a minute hint of spritz, a touch of residual sugar which you would expect with the fruit weight. Having good viscosity and mouth feel the points above meaning she will take all the coriander and chilli, that even Chin Chin in Melbourne could throw at you. I’ll be honest, I would like a touch more zip, and I would really like to see the 2014 soon. Take nothing away though, put her with whole fish, Thai herbs, ginger, and you have a meal that will make you feel in summer again.
At sub $20 a bottle you could leave winter, and drinking sauvignon blanc behind you, for now.
7 / 10 Sipps