A wine jerk I met recently made the absurd claim that he would only drink Cabernet Sauvignon from the Coonawarra.
Now, I am all for narrow-minded parochialism, but this, to me, is an argument that flies as poorly as Peter Roebuck.
For sure, there are many great Coonawarra cabernets, but to limit yourself to one region like this is just bigot-laden madness.
Godammit man, have you never heard of the Margaret River? Not to mention Bordeaux and Napa and the Yarra.
To say he is missing out is an understatement, but there is also a sense of sweet justice in this whole sorry saga because:
a) he was a tool smoker of the highest order; and
b) it means there is more good wine for the rest of us.
And the truth is that he doesn’t really have to go that far from his beloved Coonawarra cigar to find an equally acceptable alternative.
My friends at Purple Palate hooked me up with some lovely gear from one of my favourite winemakers, the complex and clever David Franz.
I always drink his wine and avidly promote it to my friends. And so it continues with you and with his 2006 Georgie's Walk Cab Sauv from the Barossa. Only a few hours north of Coonawarra, but a few hours too far for our fetid little friend.
Anyway, let’s crack on – it’s late, I’m tipsy and it’s likely that I’ll run out of words before too much longer.
Running out of words is not a problem that ever seems to have troubled young Dave though – he is a master of verbosity (in the best way) and the livery on the bottle contains his usual hand printed word salad which covers almost the entire surface. It’s fun and classy and makes it stand out from the crowd on the shelf.
I poured myself a generous lug and gave it a good swish around to liven it up. In the glass, it was as dark as a lawyer’s heart and the nose started out as tight as a Scotsman’s shout.
And so I kept swirling and swirling until it was circling the glass like Magellan and pretty soon I had a churning black current of blackcurrent smelling cabernet. It’s an addictive bloody smell, this one. It smells alive and stings the nostril with a hint of the heat to come.
In the mouth, it starts a fire that can only be put out by consuming more product and then waiting for the fresh coolmint breeze to hit you on the follow through. It’s long and dark and delicious, and while that may sound like just another line from the Roebuck school of grooming, it applies equally to this bottle of booze.
Sure, it’s not Coonawarra cabernet. But who really cares? The best wine to drink is the one you like. And I like this. A lot.
As Liza Minelli once said, "Life is a cabernet, old chum". Or something like that.
Drink with: a big glass