- words by Stephen Fry
- words by Stephen Fry
Wine is for sharing.
Wine is for caring.
Nothing says, ‘I’m sorry, I’m leaving you’ like a bottle of wine.
How poetic. Though the words aren’t ever spoken aloud, this wily winey gesture clearly says, ‘I know you’re going to be drinking your sorrows away in a few hours, may as well be drinking in style.’ How thoughtful. And fairly spot on.
Pushing the soap-story details of my life to the side for one moment, let’s get cracking on this wine: Langmeil Barossa Valley Floor 2009 Shiraz. I’m greeted by a beautiful label, all black and gold and oozing sophistication. The front of the bottle pays homage to the Barossa earth, (terroir) ‘…a highly prized strip of prime viticulture land which is the very foundation and forms the essence of this wine, a true taste of the Barossa…’ while the back label delves into the family history, and the winemaking techniques that have evolved over generations to produce this piquant bottle of Shiraz.
The grapes that make up this bottle are sourced from a variety of sub regions of the Barossa, taken from Shiraz vines both new and up to 120 years old. Deep purple, nearing black in colour, the 2009 Valley Floor delivers a richly layered mouthful of plum, blackberries, vanilla, with a subtle, ever so smokey finish. Quite easily consumed with a light meal or a hearty one. I’d also suggest snapping off few cheeky pieces of Lindt 85% Cocoa, between sips for dessert.
All thumbs up from me, the Valley Floor was the perfect drinking buddy, just when I needed one. :)
Visit the Langmeil website for detailed tasting notes on every vintage stretching back to 2001. Browse the wider collection of wines, and make a pit stop on the Cellaring page, which gives the winemaker’s recommendation on each wine & vintage year. A useful little tool if you’re a novice on cellaring like me.
As it so happens, this wine also fueled the creative thought behind the the artwork below.
As many other aspiring artists out there can surely attest to, it takes a certain kind of mise-en-scene, or atmosphere to give the mind the kick it needs; to leave the clutter of everyday thought behind, and cross into a world that is pure colour, line and shape. I find that candlelight, music on full volume, and red wine the best remedy for a brain struggling to remove itself from the silly worries of everyday life. Two or three glasses down and viola! You’ve produced some worth a little twinge of satisfaction :)
A 2011 De Iuliis Cellar Release of Sangiovese.
Grown in the Hunter Valley, De Iuliis has done exceptionally well in producing such an enjoyable drop out of this Italian grape.
Radiant red, this Sangiovese has all the fresh fruit flavour minus the heavy alcohol content you’ll find in a Shiraz or Cab Sav. Crisp and delicate on the tongue, it’s one you’ll enjoy immensely with food. Work your way through a bottle over lunch or a light dinner, or sip on a glass when you’re after something sweet and refreshing.
If I had to give it personality traits, I’d describe this wine as both happy and youthful.
As a Cellar Release, unfortunately this wine is not readily accessible. To order a bottle (or half a dozen ;) I’d recommend contacting De Iuliis Wines and requesting some, or visit their Hunter Valley cellar door. If you’ve in the area, The Cracked Pepper restaurant adjacent to the winery looks worth a visit too.
Much to my delight, Michael De Iuliis seems quite active on Twitter too – so if you have any questions, or you simple want to say hi, flick him a Tweet!
At the end of a long work week, when all coherent thought seems to get lost in my scrambled egg of a brain, sometimes there’s nothing I crave more than a blank canvas and a paintbrush; the simple task of crafting a composition from raw colour.
What better way to get the creative juices flowing than with some chillout beats and a light glass of wine.
And so I sit and swallow light. And sound. And Sangiovese.
Eventually the once flapping, curling chaos of paint transforms into recognisable shapes – an eye, an ear, a hand.
In this way, music, colour and flavour combine and create a language of their own, clean and pure. Unlike the heaviness of the spoken word, it is weightless, lifting everything to new, unexplored and imaginative territory…
Call Me Maybe Cover – Ben Howard
Old Pine – Ben Howard
1000 Things – Jason Mraz
Give Me One Reason – Tracy Chapman
Amen Omen – Ben Harper
Closer – Kings of Leon
Message In A Bottle – John Butler Trio
I Remember – Deadmau5
Perth – Bon Iver
15 Step – Radiohead
California Dreaming – The Mamas & The Papas
Drop In The Ocean – Ron Pope