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  1. A Quick Chat with Mike Farmilo & Nathan Hughes of Willunga 100

    A Quick Chat with Mike Farmilo & Nathan Hughes of Willunga 100

    To celebrate International Grenache Day this year we opted to hold a bit of a Masterclass on what is quite possibly our favourite variety. We invited a few of our regulars along and figured we may as well get old mate, winemaker extraordinaire, Mike Farmilo (ex-Grange winemaker and 2 x Jimmy Watson winner) along to walk us through a few vintages of Willunga 100 Grenache in its various guises: their 'regular' Grenache - sour cherries,raspberries, savouriness and persistent length (in fact, I'm enjoying one right now as I type); their 'The Hundred' Grenache - completely unoaked, allowing the grape's natural sweetness and spice to shine through; and their 'The Tithing' Grenache - a premium offering which is lush and velvety. While we were setting up we had a quick chat to both Mike and Willunga 100's Sales Marketing Manager and all-round good fella, Nathan Hughes.
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  2. Good Treason to Drink...

    Good Treason to Drink...

    If only Ragnar, Floki and Rollo from Vikings could sit down around the fire, discuss their differences and share a horn full of Willunga 100 Grenache. Grenache you say? Would a potentially sweet, confected type of wine be suitable for the manliest of men? This isn’t your typical Grenache as it exists on more of a savoury, earthy, spicy realm. You can taste the bolder, blacker fruits in this fuller style and the spice and tobacco will smack you on the nose. Willunga 100 have taken parcels from a variety of vineyards in McLaren Vale to get a Grenache that is ready to be appreciated and drunk now. Bjorn Ironside would venture into the wilderness, slay a bear and celebrate with a horn full or two.
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  3. Peaking - it's a Blinder!

    Peaking - it's a Blinder!

    Most things should be consumed in balance and the one thing that could balance my wine consumption is the binge watching of an entire season of Peaky Blinders. With a 2013 d’Arenberg Custodian Grenache in hand, the sin, guilt and redemption of Tommy Shelby was on full display. Although a little patchy at the start, the season became a little more balanced, much like the vino. The sweetness of the fruit is balanced by a nice level of acid and grittiness. The low yield old vines have produced juice with character and a little intensity. Red liquorice on the nose highlights the undeniable grenachiness and the red fruit of raspberries, mulberries and cranberries come across on the palate. Arthur may not be a wine drinker but this may be a good one for him to start on as it would go really well with a slow cooked hog. Tatiana would love it as it reflects her perfectly. Approachable, delightful, yet give her some time and she will open up and reveal she is much more than you first
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  4. Slow Cooked Stew - Beef Cheeks and Kangaroo in Red Wine

    Slow Cooked Stew - Beef Cheeks and Kangaroo in Red Wine

    I love making this stew when in the depths of winter we have the slow combustion fire going.

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  5. Grenache - the oldest new world wine ever!

    Grenache - the oldest new world wine ever!

    You gotta love the classics - a true classic will be a true classic forever! It will ride the waves of trends and bide it’s time until the next generation discovers it in their Mum and Dad's record collection or cellar - who then go on to painfully tell their parents how they discovered it and how cool it is.

      Those who have been enjoying Spanish wines or Rhone blends for years will already know of the classic varietal I’m taking the long road around to. It, like so many classics, has been rediscovered over the last little while and is enjoying a resurgence in popularity that is seeing it bust out from cult hero status at the local pub open-mic night to front and centre in stadiums, thrusting and twerking on its own headline tour. The humble varietal Garnacha or Grenache as we know it.
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  6. Grenache Table 2014

    Grenache Table 2014

    A simple premise, a simple plan... To break bread, share a glass and have a good old chin wag with some great people. This was the mantra we set out with when we first said “hey we should have a Grenache dinner to celebrate International Grenache day”. And after a few tweaks and re-interpretations, that is exactly what we ended up with on Friday the 19th September. The back drop to this was the stunning shop front and workshop that is home to The Props Dept and Justin Hermes Design. And a better place we could not have asked for to have our guests, no not guests, our friends, join us for dinner. grenache-table-2014-1 First drop off the rack was Year Wines 2012 Mclaren Vale Grenache and the words I heard a lot were “SO GOOD” (and not in reference the Delta Goodrem endorsed milk!). A beautiful way to start off the night - Luke and Caleigh make small batch Grenache from vines dating back to 1958 and the 2012 was their debut wine under their own label - and a pretty impressive one at that. [caption id="attachment_1350" align="aligncenter" width="200"]luke-year Luke from Year Wines talking us through the process they used to make their delicious 2012 Grenache.[/caption] Kate from Richard Hamilton was on hand to take us through the Burton's Old Bush Vine Grenache story whilst we tried Georgie from El Choto's first treat of the night in the form of some Banderillas Gildas; pickled garlic, white anchovies and Basque pepper skewers. Both the wine and food were delicious - a teaser of what was to come as by now the smell of our Paella cooking away had filled the room. [caption id="attachment_1351" align="aligncenter" width="200"]Kate from Richard Hamilton sharing with us that the Burton's Old Bush Vine Grenache is the staff favourite - it's one of them at too! Kate from Richard Hamilton sharing with us that the Burton's Old Bush Vine Grenache is the staff favourite - it's one of them at too![/caption] We ushered our mates through to the dining area where Lino and Nino were the stars of the next course - Andy and Angela introduced their Lino Ramble 'Treadlie' GSM to the crowd who sat down to Nino’s cured pork loin, some La Boqueria Longaniza Chorizo and Black Garlic - the added earth and spice of the GSM complimenting the cured treats brilliantly. [caption id="attachment_1352" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Andy and Angela from Lino Ramble sharing a few chiidhood stories Andy and Angela from Lino Ramble sharing a few chiidhood stories[/caption] Cometh the hour, cometh the paella - and what a paella; slow sherry braised rabbit and morcilla paella with artichokes. The morcilla (Spanish black pudding) gave the paella such a depth of flavour that the 2010 Schwarz Thiele Rd Grenache had a fair challenge on it's hands to match it. But match it did and the combo was definitely a highlight amongst many for the evening. [caption id="attachment_1353" align="aligncenter" width="300"]This was one helluva paella - thanks Georgie! This was one helluva paella - thanks Georgie![/caption] [caption id="attachment_1354" align="aligncenter" width="300"]2, 4, 6, 8... 2, 4, 6, 8...[/caption] If Year Wines Grenache was a bloody good start then Oliver's Taranga Banished Fortified Grenache was a brilliant finish. The 20 year old fortified’s sweet vanilla and apricot flavours were the perfect foil for the Gorganzola Piccante and Cave Aged English Cheddar with caramelised figs. A perfect end to a perfect night. Self-indulgently I had set up a dining experience I’d liked to have gone to - sh*t-hot wine paired with sh*t-hot food in an amazing space with a soundtrack that included everything from early Misfits and the MC5 to Nick Cave, Neil Young and Elvis Costello! All with a group of people who seemed to embrace everything that food and wine should be about. Thanks to all that came - we had a blast! A simple premise, a simple plan... To break bread, share a glass and have a good old chin wag with some great people. grenache-table-2014-2 grenache-table-2014-3 grenache-table-2014-4
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  7. Grenache Decision

    Grenache Decision

    The great all-rounder… The Christmas/New Year’s period brought all kinds of people to my place each craving a tipple… of course being the gracious host I found myself asking ‘what sort of red would you prefer?...’ on one occasion I didn’t think this through too well because all I had was two bottles of Hamilton Burtons Vineyard Grenache 2010… enter the inner rascal in me that thought it would be fun to put this wine through its paces… interesting exercise, here’s what happened… ‘… something fruity but not too heavy’ – verdict, ‘wow, what’s this? This is lovely’ Next ‘… something full bodied but not too tannic’ – verdict, ‘this is fantastic! What’s the grape variety?’ Finally ‘…anything as long as it’s not grenache’ – verdict, ‘you arsehole! This is Grenache!’ Conclusion…
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