there are some new reviews oozing though here, but we're not deckin em up all pretty til we work out an otherwise unborn style for this sleazy rube we call drankster


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that's a George Grainger Aldridge cartoon ... obviously a pre-screwcap man



12 August 2012

TOURIGA NACIONAL

NEW!
Quattro Mano la Morada 2010
$25; 13% alcohol; screw cap; 310 cases made; tasted 3-5 JUL 12;  94+ points
Quattro Mano is a wine-bent trinity more than a quartet: sommelier-cum-cooper Philippe Morin, wandering winemaker Tony Carapetis and agricultural scientist Chris Taylor.  These three Quattros reckon there is a fourth one but he’s a mystery like Zorro or something.  They also reckon morada means purple in Spain.  Across the border it means the house. It’s the Portuguese equivalent of Dr Penfold calling his farm cottage The Grange. The subconscious presumption is not misplaced.  Operating from a Hahndorf address but in this instance using Barossa piedmont fruit from a forty year old Stockwell vineyard, they’ve got a fair dinkum trinity of Portuguese reds into this bottle: it’s 53% Touriga nacional, 31% Tinta amarelle and 16% Tinta cao.  It’s a very different style of wine, but with the changing weather, history could well see such a blend eventually become as important to Australia as Max Schubert’s famous Shiraz-based blend.  How?  (1) Beauty.  (2) Authority.  (3) Adaptability.  Last one first.  For example: The Widdops of Old Mill Estate in Langhorne Creek are the unsung pioneers of Touriga nacional in today’s marketplace.  From this hardy, characterful vintage port grape they make a fine pink sparkling, a great dry rosé, a meaty dry red blend, an authoritative premium dry red varietal, and, you guessed it, a vintage port. See. So, next?  Authority. Without having to wait for five years, as is the minimum with serious Shiraz of Grange standard, and at the meager alcohol of just 13%, this blend offers plenty of authority without shouting. It does this through (1), beauty.  It is immediately ravishing: you can smell its heady peppery blueberry perfume spilling across the table as you pour. It has amazing intensity of flavour in a totally seductive, slender – but not wiry - frame.  And it’s as silky as the finest lingerie: it is not velvet.  It has no macho molecule in its body.  Pity more of those who’ve just madly planted Tempranillo everywhere didn’t have a hard think about these varieties instead.  I think history will show Touriga nacional to be better suited to our coastal viticulture – most of Australia’s prime vignobles lack the high diurnal temperature extremes required by Tempranillo.  Go buy this exquisite wine.  

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