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  1. Bigger than Clive Palmer with all the finesse of Skippy having tea with the Queen

    Bigger than Clive Palmer with all the finesse of Skippy having tea with the Queen

    I must be talking about Durif aka Petit Sirah right? I often describe Durif to the uninitiated as 'Merlot on steroids' at which point they say 'is it Merlot?'... Okay, I'll explain myself a little better. Durif is one of my favourites because even in its youth the nose is generous and very 'pretty', a very attractive drink until you start wrestling with the often massive drying tannins and high alcohol. Not everyone that makes it finds the balance but a couple come to mind. 919 Durif from Glossup has a beautiful nose of violets and blue fruits with a firm but balanced mouthfeel. Stunning! Kalleske has achieved the same stunning nose but at this point in its life (give it a year or 2) the palate menaces with dry gripping tannins so drinker beware. If drinking big ballsy Shiraz isn't blowing your hair back any more, grab the Kalleske Durif, break out the latex, don the mask and make sure everyone in the room knows the safety word. [caption id="attachment_1340" align="aligncenter"
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  2. 919 Wines

    919 Wines

    It takes bold innovators and people with vision to stake a claim where others fear to tread, without Elvis, the Beatles post-LSD or all around weird genius Mike Patton of Faith no More, there would be many a contemporary band that simply would not exist.
    Eric and Jenny Semmler certainly fit this mould. Take a horticulturalist and a pharmacist and the South Australian Riverland and you’d think you'd be in line for some first rate oranges maybe? But throw in around 40 years of wine industry experience and what you end up with is some first rate vino! Founded in 1999 and first planted in 2001 on a patch of Glossop’s finest soil with a serious intent to bring unique and seldom seen varietals to the fore front. With a selection more in the World Music section of your local record store than the top 20 chart hits the range includes varietals like Tempranillo, Vermintino, Durif, Touriga, Petit Manseng and a Pale Dry Apera. The latter adding to a growing
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  3. 2011 919 Tempranillo

    2011 919 Tempranillo

    919 definitely prefer to let the wine do the talking and talk it does. They have a history of making big, bold reds and the 2011 Tempranillo is no exception. At the heart of this belter is cherry, spice and dark chocolate, to get to this though you move through some sour cherry and oaky vanilla, then head out the back to find some silky tannins that reign this girl back in. With a body and length more a kin to models of a bygone era than their sleek and slender modern counterparts, 919’s Tempranillo is quite simply very very good.  919-cellar-door
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  4. Christmas Wine Guide 2012

    Christmas Wine Guide 2012

    It’s always handy to have a guide to good drinking over the Christmas period. Here’s my pick for the best bots to crack this Chrissie.

    Bird in Hand Sparkling It’s an unusual wine this one with enough fruit and sweetness to keep the occasional wino happy and enough quality fruit to shift curmudgeonly wine snob from miffed to mollified. Pleasures best on its own but suspect it would be all over the turkey if given a sniff. Most accommodating Sparkling. Dandelion Vineyards Rosé 2011 A delight from its light pink hue to its delicate, near dry ending. The fruit in this is sourced from an 85-year-old bush-grown Grenache vineyard. Unusually the wine was left to wild ferment and stored on a bed of dead yeast in old barrels for a bit. The result is a superb texture with pristine and bright Grenache flavours and a whip crack of acidity that made me stand up and pay attention. Sugar is very low at four
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