Tuesday, June 5, 2012

fruit and heat and all that

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2009 Hogue Genisis Syrah | Columbia Valley | Washington

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2010 Wits End The Procrastinator | McLaren Vale | South Australia

My uncle and aunt visited us from Melbourne at the end of April into the first week of May. It was great - we last saw each other briefly in April 2010, in Shanghai. They were on a big trip around North America, touching pretty much every major city on both coasts. Unfortunately, they had been out traveling a bit too long by the time they reached Toronto, and needed some rest. We didn't drink as much as I had hoped, but things happen, not to mention my preoccupation with GMAT.

We had a big dinner the last Sunday they were here though. Roast duck and all that love. I asked my uncle what he preferred - a white or red. The white was going to be an Australian semillon, and the red was the one above, a Washington state syrah. As I thought, being a middle-aged Chinese man, he went for the red. Under screwcap, it was typical of that big American style. All alcohol and overripe fruit, layered under oak. Not much there.

Which reminded me of a McLaren Vale cabernet blend I had drunk a few weeks earlier. The Wits End The Procrastinator is a blend of 63% cabernet franc, 23% merlot and 14% cabernet sauvignon. Is it hopeless to expect a wine of finesse from this part of Australia? More of the same, that macerated fruit, the total and utter lack of any varietal character. What's the fucking point? It drinks like a science experiment, totally devoid of any nuance or charm. I'm really hoping to come across a bottle to prove me wrong, but is McLaren Vale nothing more than a wasteland of 15%+ alcohol, sugary confections masquerading as real wine?!

Oh right, the Washington syrah. No syrah character whatsoever, but my uncle enjoyed it. Which is what those chemists were going for, isn't it.

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