Archive for October, 2006

Pikes 2005 Luccio Pinot Grigio…. Sauvignon Blanc & Semillion

PikesTasting today is from Pikes Vintners of South Australia’s Clare Valley.

It’s becoming ever more popular to see a Pinot Grigio produced in Australia, and with the Clare Valley being renowned for its Rieslings, a close cousin of Pinot Grigio, it should not be a surprise that a good Pinot Grigio should come out of the Clare Valley.

Pikes 2005 is really not a Pinot Grigio, despite the label (if casually glanced) might lead one to believe. Beneath the large Pinot

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Grigio print, there is a small note to the presence of 38% Sauvignon Blanc and 3% Semillon grapes, leaving us with 59% Pinot Grigio.

But that’s ok. It’s a very pleasant ménage d’trois.

The nose is fruity, but not sickly.
The palate shows subtle apricot/peach tones. A little acidity ensures it is well balanced and not at all too sweet. The mouth feel is soft.

Pikes 2005 Luccio Pinot Grigio was paired on this occasion with Italian sausage pasta. A nice combination.

I cannot recall where or what I paid for this bottle, so cannot state if I felt it was good value, but can certainly say it was well enjoyed.

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Camille elle est magnifique!


I’ve been listening to Camille the past few days and enjoying very much.

Here is an artist doing amazing things vocally. Camille tweeks and tickles your ears with her amazing lyrics and sonic abilities. She has the uncanny ability to move from sweetness to angst-ridden to passionate and back again. Yet without sounding at all contrived.

This album has little in the way of a big backing band, hence is predominatly percussion & bass, which in my opinion really lets Camille shine.

Some standouts are tracks such as ‘Au Port’ & ‘Ta Douleur’

Comparisions might be drawn between Camille’s style and that of Björk or Stina Nordenstam, but that wouldn’t be entirely accurate, either to these artists or to Camille. There is something going on here on a whole other level, and it’s for that reason that you should have a listen.

Her latest album is titled ‘Le Fil’

You can hear a smattering on LastFM

It’s French pop, but unlike anything you’ve heard before.

Non-francophones (like me) don’t let the fact she is French put you off Camille, she is magnificent and worthy of your ears.


The Fatal Shore

I recently finished reading

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Robert Hughes’ The Fatal Shore.
What a magnificent work. This book should be mandatory reading in all Australian schools; and is a valuable read for anyone even mildly interested in the formation of the Australian nation.

Hughes is, as always, ever eloquent as he draws the reader through the perilous growing pains of our nation during the convict settlement of Australia.
I really valued this book, especially in the way Hughes details the specific thought processes of the various Governors of that time. I found this particularly interesting when looking at the parallels with our government today. In doing so I felt I gained a slightly deeper understanding of some of the reasons behind laws that are still significant in our society today.

In The Fatal Shore, Hughes gives us a close look at who we Australians were, and who we are today as a result of our convict and colonial past. This is a tremendously valuable perspective to have and one that gives us a better understanding of the Australian psyche today.

Buy, Borrow or Steal this book. (Disregard the possibility of deportation to a distant foreign land)
It’s worth it.

20 Million Australian’s now call this continent home, you ought to know what occurred prior to you stomping your feet here.

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Warraroong Estate – 2005 Malbec

Oh Yeah. I love this vineyard.

Warraroong Estate has to be my absolute favorite winery in Australia’s Hunter Valley, come to think of it, probably favorite period. (I’ll save why for another post on their Sav Blanc)
I’ve just polished off the better part of two-thirds of a bottle of the 2005 Warraroong Estate Malbec along with a Lane Cove Gourmet Pizza, Tijuana (Chilli Beef, Pepperoni, Roasted Capsicium /w guacamole & sour cream)

Now, I like to think I’m not a wine-wanker. I know some of those types and their drivel makes me want to spike their next glass with radiator coolant.
I didn’t read the back of the label before I opened this bottle, but to my surprise, after the first slice of pizza and a swill from my glass, I thought I ought to read the label. To my surprise I read “Malbec is a quick developing wine and a great accompaniment to spicy foods”


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Tijuana & Warraroong Estate 2005 Malbec, now a match made in heaven.


Nose: Plum, Charcoal
Palate: Berries, Not too tannic (I hate that feeling as though you bit a green stick from a tree)
Eyes: Ruby Red, as you would want a rock on your finger to look. Deep & luscious.
And with the spicy Tijuana, I had a party on my tongue.

This is one to enjoy, from an unpretentious vineyard in the beautiful Hunter Valley.
My salvation is in the knowledge that there is one last bottle in the cellar awaiting opening.
(Before I drive back up to Warraroong to re-stock)


The Wind That Shakes The Barley

Went to see ‘The Wind That Shakes The Barley’ this evening.

Overall an interesting film, although I felt it only scratched the surface of the Irish troubles during the period of the early/mid 1900′s.
There was a significant amount of violence and some very squirmy sections during the torture

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scenes, I had the feeling that the whole film was about the violence of war and only a little of the futility and frustrations of the struggle.

The Wind That Shakes the Barley lacked the depth of other films that have covered similar territory; such as ‘Michael Collins’. The complexity and colour that the Irish are able to give the spoken word was not really exposed in TWTSTB apart from a brief discussion/argument scene on the value of the initial peace treaty, and even that discussion was lacking substance or beautiful oratory.

Apparently the film has not been marketed well or there is little interest, as we shared the cinema on a Friday night with only five other patrons. ???