Rallentando Riesling 2017
Rallentando 2017 has a shy floral nose as befits the tightly corseted creature she is: changing metaphors, our dry Riesling always has rapier-like acidity accentuated in 2017 by a pretty measly summer. To balance this up Lisa has left a slightly higher 6g/l of residual sugar – after all, austerity can be pushed too far even by the monkish standards of St Francis.
An already lovely full texture suggests that some bottle age will produce a softer food companion for those who have patience.
Although undoubtedly fake news, it was reported that an in extremis Kevin Spacey blamed a bottle of Rallentando for sweeping a youth off his feet a few years ago and carrying him across the wedding threshold. However, it doesn’t explain his behaviour of lying all over the lad.
Ragtime Riesling 2015
Early season was coolish, a bit of rain and windy (a euphemism for some howling gales of 120k). Typical in Martinborough over flowering – not ideal, but reducing yields which conventionally produces lower yields/better flavour concentration. Followed by nice hot conditions up to vintage on 17 April. The final result with around 20% Botrytis, 15g/l sugar, is the usual citric attack leavened by, maybe, peach and melon. And yes, the honeysuckle. A very approachable wine now, with ageing potential to 2020. Best with chicken and seafood or on its own.
Ragtime shows no fear or favour to the downtrodden or elevated socialites alike, so beware of its ubiquitous charms.
A recent example of the mighy fallen is George W Bush who joined the lengthening retinue of octogenarian rampants. A mightily surprised 34-year old actress complained that George, now a 93 year old pubescent, managed from his wheelchair to impart a dirty joke and then grab her butt. His loyal wife Barbara rolled her eyes at the clumsiness and said it was down to the bottle of Ragtime he’d consumed in the car.
The Ritz 2017 – A Spritzy Riesling
On a hot day our Ritz is supposed to conjure up notions like sassy and foxy – by definition female attributes and certainly the demographic that instinctively loves this wine. It’s partly the 30g/l of sweetness but also the light hit of carbon dioxide fizzing gently underneath those racy citrus flavours.
Occasionally we see a sturdy farmer wandering around with a glass of Ritz clutched in his hoary mitt, but invariably looking a bit shifty at drinking something so tasty.
Unlike our other Rieslings which are designed to age, this one should be drunk early.
The Ritz is ideal for weddings as an aperitif – with chicken and seafood nibbles.
The White House PR minders are constantly confounded by what Donald dreams up overnight and unleashes first thing after waking. Was he sleeping uneasily and were his dreams phychotic? What was the origin of these intemperate outbursts? Although apocryphal, we heard that in addition to a bundle of old Playboy magazines found under his bed, there was a stash of empty Ritz bottles.
Piccolo Pinot Gris 2016
A moderately priced glass of French Pinot Grigio we tried recently (expensive actually because in Dubai!) was exactly what many punters sometimes complain about in this variety – an anaemic/thin texture, with a bit of phenolic bitterness masking any interesting fruit. Yuk!
No such problem with Piccolo which we always pick late to give the best chance of overt ripeness, oily texture and honeyed character (botrytis plus shrivel) that is the hallmark of Pinot Gris from the Coney block. This underlying opulence allows us to lower the sugar level to its 7 g/l without running the risk of leanness. Anyway, to most palates Piccolo has a full rounded texture, plenty of typical pear/stonefruit and a pleasant dry finish which declares it to be a foodies wine. These hapless hedonists usually opt for spicy Asian or middle eastern cuisine as the most enthralling match. If your fitness regime, body contour, self-discipline are too strict for such indulgence, a glass on its own will suffice.
Ramblin’ Rosé 2017
We have the usual distinctive and lively Pinot based Ramblin Rosé nose of cranberries, strawberries and lollies which follows through to the palate.
Since one of the main applications of Rosé is to accompany malicious gossip and the latest of D Trump’s tweets, it needs to be refreshing as the larynx becomes hot and overworked. It is.
Harvested at 22.8 brix and a TA of 9.1g/l Lisa decided to run with a slightly higher level of sugar, reverting to our old norm of 12g/l. This interrupted our intended trend of inching towards dryness to ensure the best food matches for Margaret’s edgy dishes.
It has been reported that the recently departed Hugh Hefner (Hef to his mother and bunny companions) had a penchant for Ramblin’ Rosé. When asked what he attributed his longevity and virility to Hef said “Well, I’ve always worn a woollen vest under this silk dressing gown. And he admitted a weakness for Coney Ramblin Rosé – “I bathe in it, sometimes accompanied, twice daily”
Pizzicato Pinot Noir 2016
In the wide array of vocab mustered by the French to describe a delicious Pinot Noir (try forest floor, barnyard, feral and fecal for starters) Martinborough examples are often best described as funky/ savoury. In the fruit department plums and cherries are a fair rendition.
Coney Pizzicato was low cropped (1.7 tonnes/acre) harvested between 3rd and 18th April at an average brix of 24.5. Assiduously tended, it has the requisite silky texture. Bright ruby red to the eyeball the nose is lifted and sweet with cherry, toasty oak and a smidgen of menthol – palate much the same (nose and palate are supposed to align!) Our restaurant still favours pork, mushroom dishes and oily textured fish salmon/tuna/groper as the ideal companions. Cellaring until 2019 will reward the patient.
The final descriptive word goes to Karl du Fresne’s optimistic observation “Good Pinot Noir is like an orgasm – hard to describe but you know when you’ve had one”. Bonne chance.
Que Sera Syrah 2014
My sparse notes indicate a cool period over flowering followed by a windy patch and then a nice Autumn. Skill and luck led to a hasty pick on 15 April at 20 brix – 50mls of rain started next day!
To ensure full ripeness of our Syrah, over half the grapes are dropped unceremoniously to the ground soon after fruit set. The result of this austerity is a low 1.4 tonne/acre yield, financially suicidal, but favouring the imbiber.
Compared to the average Aussie shiraz, local syrahs are typically lighter in texture and more subtle in flavour – a distinction not always detected by our antipodean neighbours whose palates have come to prefer the bolder expression that comes from 40oC temperatures. Each to his own.
People mostly hone in on the peppery/spicy character of Que Sera to which our panel added dark fruits, eg raspberry and toasty oak. Goes with most red meats especially venison. Duck is good.