Brett happens

All wine, most of the time

Lush life

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“Here. Try this,” says the wine advisor as he hands me a glass filled with an opaque, deep purple wine. It’s his response to my asking whether he’d tasted anything interesting lately.

“This” has a heady, effusive nose of black and red fruit and toasted coconut. Vigorous swirling brings out spice and dark mineral notes. The first sip reveals it’s full-bodied to the max, a velvety mass of fruit saved from bombdom by the wine’s dryness and a subset of savoury slate and tar flavours. Acidity is notable only because it isn’t and while tannins are present, they’re so round and compliant you can’t honestly say they structure the wine. If anything does, it’s the glyceriny wave of alcohol that buoys and carries the fruit from entry to exit. An underground stream of sweet vanilla oak surfaces on the long, vaporous finish.

“Obviously a warm-climate, sun-soaked wine,” I advance. “Lots of oak.” The wine advisor nods encouragingly. “The dryness and savour put me in mind of the Old World, though if so, from a place where international grape varieties are added to the traditional mix and oak is viewed as a desirable flavour…” I’m grasping at straws. “A newfangled Spaniard like you sometimes get in Castilla-La Mancha?”

The advisor takes pity on me and reveals the bottle.

South Australia 2013, Two Left Feet, Mollydooker ($29.05, 11747177)
Shiraz (70%), Merlot (16%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (14%). The grapes from vineyards in McLaren Vale and Langhorne Creek. Fermented and matured in oak barrels (96% American and 4% French, 46% new and 54% second fill). To reduce the sulphite content, the wine is bottled with gaseous nitrogen as well as sulphur dioxide, hence the winery’s recommendation that you shake it before drinking. Screwcapped. 16% ABV per the label. 120,000 bottles made. Quebec agent: Les vins Horizon.

My first-ever Mollydooker and, as suspected, the antithesis of everything I love in a wine. Low acidity, high alcohol, no sense of place, no subtlety, oak that draws attention to itself, an utter lack of refreshment. It doesn’t make me gag but I have trouble finishing a single small glass.

What would you serve it with? Grilled red meat, I guess. Anything more subtle would be overwhelmed. Anything spicy would bring out the alcohol.

Buy again? Not for personal consumption. Maybe to serve at a tasting to show what people mean when they talk about a Parkerized wine (“Sarah and Sparky now have more wines of 94 Parker points and above than any other winemakers in the world,” the Mollydooker website trumpets).

Alternate titles for this post? More is less. Purple haze. Unnatural wine. Go big or go home (I’m going home). Now my palate needs a shower.

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Written by carswell

December 6, 2014 at 14:40

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