jamie goode's wine blog: Chardonnay, Shiraz and Airfix

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Chardonnay, Shiraz and Airfix

It's been an easy family day here chez Goode. And we don't have all that many of those. On this blog, I'm probably guilty of painting a picture of domestic bliss. But, like many families, I suspect, we have lots of struggles. [Indeed, one of the reasons why we probably have so many, and also one of the reasons why I don't post pictures of my children here, or name them, is because they are both adopted.] It's probably because of all the struggles that the times where we function as a normal family are all the sweeter. You've no idea how much pleasure a day out without serious conflict can bring us...

Having said this, things have been good of late. Since our day at Duxford, reported below, the boys have been crazy about Airfix models models. As someone who grew up on airfix models, I'm very pleased about this, and I've been happy to assist them, bathing in a warm glow of nostalgia as I sniff the heady aroma of enamel paint, polystyrene cement and white spirits. In this age of the playstation (I'm not knocking it - how we would have loved to have a playstation in our day - it would have killed a lot of boredom), doing something physical like assembling model kits has a sort of moral premium over the virtual world of electronic gaming.

The boys are currently working hard on various projects, including a Gnat, a Stuker, a Hawker Hunter, an M24 tank and a forward command post (whatever that is). A little militaristic, I agree, but then I did spend most of my childhood immersed in guns, tanks, planes and battleships without turning out to be at all violent (except on the football pitch). I think you grow up to realize the waste, sadness and tragedy of war - but you can still admire the Spitfire, Lancaster and B29 as fine aeroplanes.

Back to wine. Two Aussies tonight. The first, which is pictured, took me by surprise a little. I was expecting Hardy's Winemaker's Parcel Chardonnay 2005 to be commercial crap. But when I tasted it, I was really impressed by its balance. Then I looked more carefully at the label: it's from Padthaway, in South Australia. The terroir is the difference: in this case, red/brown loam over limestone, and a relatively cool climate. A great region for Chardonnay, and the soil has made this wine, which shows nice nuttiness, really good fruit, and a hint of almost Burgundian cabbagey reduction, which adds complexity. The big company, Hardy's, has done well here - this is a really nice Chardonnay.

The second wine is another which shows the benefit of a really good vineyard site. The vineyard in question? Jim Barry's Lodge Hill in the Clare Valley, and its the 2005 Shiraz. From several recent experiences, I'm beginning to think that the Clare Valley is a special place for red wine. Note follows:

Jim Barry The Lodge Hill Shiraz 2005 Clare Valley
(Natural cork closure) Very deep coloured. Wonderful fruit purity here, despite the 15% alcohol which means that in the EU this wine has to be labelled 'special late harvested'. Ripe, sweet nose with lovely lush red and black fruits, but it's still alive and fresh. Not at all dead. The palate has pure, vivid spicy fruit with lovely focus, backed up by some tannic structure that keeps it savoury. There's a bit of alcoholic heat here, adding sweetness and bitterness at the same time, but that's my only negative on what is a lovely, intense, fruit-driven wine. 92/100

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At 9:26 PM, Blogger Salil said...

I'm also finding that the Clare's capable of making some incredible red wine. I had the pleasure earlier this year of drinking some of the Jim Barry Armagh Shiraz from there, and it remains among the best reds I've ever tasted.

I've also heard very good things about the Jim Barry "Cover Drive" Cabernet from there, which might be another worth trying.

At 9:38 PM, Anonymous Alex Lake said...

Ah, airfix...

I've come over all emotional!

I recall building a 1:24 spitfire and putting in some customisations such as an electric motor to make the propeller spin and lighting behind the dials (although that might have been standard). Of course it wasn't really me doing all that, but my father - a wonderful bonding experience. Probably better than Nintendogs "Bark mode".

I also have fond recollections of Jim Barry's Armagh, but when I've tried it occasionally (eg. at LIWSF) it's failed to thrill me as much as (for example) Ben Glaetzer's wines.


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