Some situations just flow onto another, quite seamlessly, and it’s a pleasure especially in the summer holidays. It’s a timeless scenario when everything is relaxed and life is good. We enjoyed a pre-Christmas Christmas dinner with The Young One and Jo Lo, as well as the Mo-Ment Girl, and it was story upon story and pun after pun. We were all on a roll.
The wines flowed easily too, but two in particular just seemed to slip down with ease, rolling along the tongue and palate. Firstly, a favourite producer, but a new vintage, the 2013 Donnhoff Oberhauser Leistenberg Riesling Kabinett, from the Nahe, and from land less cool and precipitous than our normal fare of Mosel wines. While many vineyards can be steep, the land can be relatively more rolling and undulating in comparison. I see the Nahe sits between the Mosel and Rheingau in character, with a roundness, but there’s enough acid vivacity there too. The wines have a delicious richness and weight that is enhanced when hands such as at Donhoff are involved. A gorgeous wine that could have been the favourite of the night.
Then moving on to the 2011 Honour Roll Hunter Valley Shiraz, made by our friend Mike de Garis. He’s a man with his heart still in the Hunter Valley. Having worked there for well over a decade, you can take the man away from the Hunter, but you can’t take the Hunter out of the man, along with other Nick Nock sayings. This is thoroughly modern stuff, elegant and supple, still youthful and primary, and somewhat innocuous drinking on first impressions. Then you see the complex savoury nuances lurking behind. This is a Hunter classic for sure. And a top vintage. We broached it far too early. The label is a tribute to how many awards Mike’s wines have won, and no doubt his love of puns. He keeps on making top wines and punning.