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Expresses the Exceptional and Rare Climate












High Country Flavours with Less Palate Weight




































On Tasting
The Story of One Lonely Bottle
Friday, 26th December, 2008  - David Farmer

I've never been a show judge. The opportunity was there but I found judging tiresome, indeed boring, plus it hurts your teeth. Now being older and wiser I find the idea of a group of self appointed professionals kidding themselves that they display superior skills in deciding which wines are better as frankly absurd.

The show I did enjoy judging was the Canberra amateur wine show and particularly the class of wines or should I say beverages made from fruits or any fermentable product. I believe my crowning achievement was to award a Trophy and Gold medal to a wine made from bananas. It nudged out a high pointing wine made from grass which had captured perfectly the aroma and taste of a pile of lawn clippings. Good wine after all should display the strong fruit aroma of what it is made from, a thought that has been lost today in the sea of wines wrapped up in advanced wine making techniques, multiple oaks and rinsed with lees stirring and other secondary methods; all designed in my mind to mask the fruit. These wines are also frequently very expensive. So the grass wine deserved to be rated highly. Although on reflection I may have been too generous with the other judging criterion-would you like to drink it. Perhaps this is why the assembled amateurs booed my choices.

With the banana wine though I was on much safer ground. I prefer my bananas slightly on the green to firm side and this wine was made from ultra-ripe bananas. Still I was able to put my prejudice aside as the wine maker had captured perfectly the smell and taste that a pile of bananas takes on when the skins have turned black. Indeed in my mind it was an overwhelming masterpiece as not only did it smell and taste of the fruit but also displayed the pungent decaying aroma and taste of the black skin. My selection did not meet approval and I was never invited back to judge.

Thus when a wine arrived in the mail with a message describing the wine as having a "chemical flavour" and tasting quite "awful", with the Producer of the wine asking for some advice, I knew I was eminently qualified to give an opinion.

We sent it off for analysis and the VA was not too bad (0.84 g/l) but the sulphur reading was ultra low to missing (3 mg/l). We prepared for the worse with the tasting. We could find no brett, a bad yeast smell, but a thousand and one other bacterial and microbe faults it did contain. The Producer was right - it was awful and on a scale few have climbed.

We asked Dave Brooks, one of the hottest palates in the Barossa Valley, to write a tasting note:

"A little drop that could well become the poster-child for wine faults and one that should be sampled whilst wearing a Haz-Mat suit.

"Turbid, soupy and cloudy in the glass this little beauty throws up aromas of burnt plastic, crushed insects, rancid prawn crackers and airplane glue with a hint of dogs bunghole and a waft of sappiness that one can only assume would originate from a plant that would be deadly to humans.

"The palate was so intense I managed to spray the wine over the kitchen bench-top in my haste to rid the foul liquid from my mouth. After quickly sticking my head under a running tap and bolting out the tasting room door I had to make a mercy dash to the nearest servo to rinse my mouth out with a speedily consumed bottle of Coca Cola.

"The only positive to come from tasting this wine was the knowledge that it will never be available to the wine consuming public."

Sorry to the Producer as this is not flattering. Better watch the PH levels next year and while wild ferments and low sulphur are the de-rigueur of advanced wine making a big dollop of sulphur and cultured yeast is best at your skill level.

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ON TASTING ARCHIVE 2013
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Thursday, 8th August, 2013

A Wine for Richard

Monday, 5th August, 2013

Morrisons - Never Fail Method for Buying Wine

Tuesday, 9th July, 2013

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Wednesday, 2nd May, 2013

Is a Tasting Note Helpful when Shopping?

Wednesday, 24th April, 2013

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Friday, 22nd March, 2013

The Five Secrets of Stylish Women Applied to Drinking Wine

Tuesday, 12th February, 2013

ON TASTING ARCHIVE 2011
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Saturday, 10th December, 2011

A Morning at the Mount Barker WA Wine Show

Sunday, 20th November, 2011

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Friday, 26th August, 2011

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Sunday, 24th July, 2011

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Sunday, 15th May, 2011

ON TASTING ARCHIVE 2009
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Wednesday, 25th November, 2009

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Wednesday, 25th November, 2009

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Friday, 30th October, 2009

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Friday, 30th October, 2009

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Thursday, 8th October, 2009

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Friday, 2nd October, 2009

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Monday, 21st September, 2009

Another Know All Wine Wanker

Monday, 21st September, 2009

Further Thoughts on the Australian Wine Show System

Thursday, 3rd September, 2009

Wine Advice from Craigslist

Thursday, 3rd September, 2009

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Saturday, 1st August, 2009

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Monday, 15th June, 2009

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Monday, 5th May, 2009

The Gimblett Gravels Travelling Road Show Surprises London

Monday, 20th April, 2009

The Beauty of the Five Point Judging System

Thursday, 26th March, 2009

Ideas for a New Wine Judging Scale

Thursday, 12th March, 2009

The First Growth Gimbletts

Monday, 26th January, 2009

ON TASTING ARCHIVE 2008
The Story of One Lonely Bottle

Friday, 26th December, 2008

The Future of Capital City Wine Shows

Friday, 5th December, 2008

The More You Spend the Better the Taste

Friday, 2nd May, 2008

The Key to Tasting Wines

Friday, 11th April, 2008

Buying Wines That Have a Sense of Place

Friday, 11th April, 2008

What Are We to Make Of Wine Tasting Notes

Monday, 4th February, 2007

ON TASTING ARCHIVE 2007
Study of the Label Alters Our Tastes

Sunday, 9th December, 2007

One in Five Cannot Smell Alpha-ylangene

Monday, 24th September, 2007

Charles Must Love It

Friday, 24th August, 2007

Liking Rough Red

Thursday, 28th June, 2007

The Ultimate Masked Bottle

Firday, 24th May, 2007

Create the Atmosphere for the Tasting Result You Want

Monday, 19th March, 2007

Confessions of Wine Deceit, Other Deceptions and Fooling Yourself

Monday, 29th January, 2007

ON TASTING ARCHIVE 2006
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Sunday, 12th November, 2006

Wine Labels, Ranking, Ratings, Experts and Wine Prices

Friday, 27th October, 2006

A Story About Verdelho

Wednesday, 4th October, 2006

The Magnetic Appeal of Wine

Sunday, 24th September, 2006

Geology Cannot be Found In Wine

Thursday, 18th September, 2006

More on the Impact of Scoring Wines Out of 100

Thursday, 14th September, 2006

How a Three Star Wine Became a 90 Point Wine

Saturday, 9th September, 2006

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Tuesday, 5th September, 2006

So You Suffer from Anosmia

Monday, 7th August, 2006

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Tuesday, 18th July, 2006

Terroir - Can It Possible Shine Through the Background Noise

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Thursday, 15th June, 2006

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Friday, 9th June, 2006

The Judgement of Paris Part II

Monday, 29th May, 2006

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Friday, 5th May, 2006

The Other French Paradox

Tuesday, 2nd May, 2006

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Sunday, 30th April, 2006

Judging Wine and the View of the American 'Wine Spectator'

Thursday, 6th April, 2006

The World Versus Robert M. Parker, Part Three

Saturday, 18th March, 2006

Halliday v Parker Continues to Attract International Attention

Thursday, 5th January, 2005

ON TASTING ARCHIVE 2005
"Thank You Mr. Evans and Sorry Mr. Parker"

Thursday, 8th December, 2005

The Differences of Opinion Continue: Mount Mary Quintets vs. Robert M. Parker Jr. Part 2

Monday, 5th December, 2005

Sharp Differences of Opinion Over Mount Mary

Monday, 14th November, 2005

The Views of the Economists With a Sense of Humour

Friday, 14th October, 2005

Wine Quality: Does Terroir Matter?

Friday, 14th October, 2005

Thoughts on Wine Judging

Thursday, 13th October, 2005

What You See Affects What You Smell and Taste

Tuesday, 13th September, 2005

The New Taste of Wine

Friday, 2nd September, 2005

Consumers Disagree with Wine Experts

Saturday, 27th August, 2005

Drinking From Special Wine Glasses

Thursday, 4th August, 2005

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Monday, 18th April, 2005

Corks, Stelvin Caps and Oxygen

Wednesday, 6th April 2005

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Thursday, 17 March 2005

ON TASTING ARCHIVE 2004
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Saturday, 11th December, 2004

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Saturday, 4th December, 2004

What Do Show Medals Mean - Part 2

Tuesday, 7th December, 2004

What Do Show Medals Mean - Part 1

Friday, 3rd September, 2004



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