The wine and jazz appreciation society news, vol 5, no 1, 1/2/99


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Region: Ay * Champagne, France.

Notes are sourced from the House of Bollinger.

The house of Bollinger owns 144 hectares of vineyards located primarily in the

Premiers and Grand Crus villages of Champagne. These vineyards supply 70% of

Bollingers grape requirement and therefore ensure continuity and consistency of the

style of its champagnes. Bollinger only uses the "cuvee" - ie the first pressing and

uses traditional methods such as fermentation in oak casks. The blend consists of 60%

Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay and 15% Pinot Meunier, harvested from 30 different

villages in Champagne. To ensure the consistency and continuity of the style,

Bollinger add to up to 10% of Reserve wines which have been kept in magnums.

Special cuvee is matured for a minimum of three years prior to release. Tasting notes:

The nose displays rich toasty aromas. The palate has rich flavours of dried fruit and

toasty yeasty flavours. Excellent length and depth of flavour.

$59.99 each or $699.00 per dozen


Region: Clare Valley, South Australia.

Notes sourced from BRL Hardy.

Established in 1893 Leasingham Wines has been an integral part of the Clare Valley

for over 100 years. The renowned dryland Schobers vineyard in South Australia*s

Clare Valley produces fruit of rare intensity and flavour.

Made from 100% Clare Valley Shiraz this wine has been released after 7 years of

bottle age. Fine and persistent bead. Deep red in colour with a slight amber hue. This

rich, powerful and flavoursome wine, resplendent in character and complexity shows

mature Shiraz fruit. Distinct spice, liquorice, aniseed and camphor characters are

enhanced by creamy yeastiness, while a firm, yet soft tannin structure supports a

profound depth of flavour. Excellent concentration and very long liquorice and

aniseed aftertaste. 13.5% alcohol volume.

$36.99 each or $432.00 per dozen


Region: Barossa Valley, South Australia.

Notes sourced from BRL Hardy.

The fruit for the E&E Blackpepper shiraz and sparkling shiraz are sourced from old

low yielding vines of the Ebenezer district of the Barossa Valley. The vines produce

fruit of great intensity, flavour and richness. The wine is aged for 24 months in new

American oak and 12 months on lees. Plum brick red colour. On the nose there are

aromas of leather, chocolate and hints of mint. The palate is full flavoured displaying

concentrated rich ripe berry fruit flavours along with chocolate, leather and vanillin

oak. Silky smooth fine tannins, good acid level and very long aftertaste. 14.4%

alcohol volume.

$32.99 each or $390.00 per dozen

Other Specials:

N/V Yellow Methode Champenoise - $9.99 each or $119.00 per dozen

N/V Andrew Garrett Pinot Noir Chardonnay Brut - $9.99 each or $119.88 per dozen
Cheers, Simon & Alex Chlebnikowski



- TOLL FREE PHONE: 1800 069 295

- FAX: 61 3 9848 4422


Let's face it: English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant or ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple.

English muffins were not invented in England, nor french fries in France.
Sweetmeats are candies, while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat.
We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square, and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.
And why is it that writers write, but fingers don't fing, grocers don't

groce, and hammers don't ham?

If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of booth beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So, one moose, 2 meese? Is cheese the plural of choose?
If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?
Why do people recite at a play, and play at a recital? Ship by Truck, and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run, and feet that smell? Park on driveways, and drive on parkways?
How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? How can the weather be hot as hell one day, and cold as hell another?
When a house burns up, it burns down. You fill in a form by filling it out, and an alarm clock goes off by going on.
When the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible. And why, when I wind up my watch, I start it, but when I wind up this essay, I end it?

Theak-tet is a group of young players from Sydney, comprising David Theak (tenor sax), Matt McMahon (piano), Phil Stack (bass), Dave Goodman (drums). I hadn’t heard them before but was aware that they released a well reviewed CD "Yellow Glasses" that also contained acclaimed guitarist, James Muller. The drummer took second place to Will Guthrie at Wangaratta in 1997, while the bassist was a winner of the James Morrsion scholarship. A very interesting and competent group – the leader Theak is clearly a be-bop fan, loving to race up and down the scales as fast as possible. However, this was not one-dimensional music, as light and shade were introduced by careful selection of tempo in the playlist, and through time changes within the numbers themselves. Most of the tunes were written by David – Dusklight, Yesterday’s News, Little Johnny’s Lament, Yellow Glasses, Up and Down, Bista, and a beautiful 3-part suite (Doubt-Contemplation-Resolve).

Whereas some Kiwis from Auckland, hoping to find a trad jazz band on a Melbourne Tuesday night, considered this band “talented but waffly”, I enjoyed their writing and playing sufficiently to purchase their CD. Apart from the suite, I loved the contemplative piano-sax collaboration “Up and Down”; the atmospheric piano lead-in contrasting with some impassioned sax blowing in “Yesterday’s News”, and the delicate drumming on the same tune. It’s not often I see the bundles of drumsticks called “Hotrods” in use, Danny Fischer arguing that he prefers to hit the drums more softly with traditional sticks when quietness is required. I think that the sound of multiple narrow sticks bundled together produces a discernibly different sound to lightly applied traditional sticks – and I like them, OK?
On “Little Johnny’s Lament” Phil produced an original and very enjoyable bass solo that involved some delicious chords, while Matt added some swinging blues-drenched piano. Great stuff, all night – what a pity only 6 people turned up to hear them. My hands were smarting from trying to sound like a larger audience; however, the band members were philosophical about the attendance. “We’re from Sydney” David said, as if as an apology for having the timerity to chase some work down here. Things are pretty grim on the Sydney jazz scene he confirmed.
Of up-coming events, the Tony Gould-Anita Hustas duo are appearing at Bennetts next Tuesday (19/10) doing some interesting classical music/jazz music thingies. Should be a gem. Another date to keep in mind is Saturday night, December 11 at the Eyton-On-Yarra vineyard (near Healesville) for the first of this summer’s marvellous outdoor concerts. A talented latin jazz band, led by pianist Sam Keevers, is known as Un Grupo Cabrones (A Pack of Bastards). There is something very special about sitting out by a lake, sipping wine, watching the sun sink, and watching and listening to fine music among a happy crowd. The setting is a natural amphitheatre, so seeing is no problem. The band performs from within a sound shell and amplification is superb, so clear easily heard music can be achieved from any part of the amphitheatre. Most people bring rugs to lounge in, though the older, stiffer-limbed fogies prefer to employ deckchairs, further away from the stage. There are to be 3 music events over summer, but I’ve forgotten the others (maybe Vika and Linda Bull?)

Barossa Valley – Quoting from the 1988 ‘Australian Wine Guide’:
‘Nowhere has the turnaround in fortunes of the wine industry been so marked. In the 1986 edition of this Guide, there were no changes to speak of. Two years ago the opening words to the single paragraph introduction were ‘The Barossa soldiers on’. Morale was low, and the valley seemed intent on realising the prophecies of doom put forward by both academics and other industry observers. In the 1987 edition the gloom had deepened further: looking back at the 1986 vintage, growers could not give grapes away.
I recounted that Premium quality Rhine Riesling, which only a few years previously had brought $500 to $600 per tonne and with buyers queued up knee-deep, brought $180 – if, and only if a buyer could be found.’ The author [James Halliday] goes on to talk of newcomers to the valley. ‘Graham Melton, known universally as Charlie, has left Hoffmans and established his own tiny winery, whimsically named Charles Melton.’ He notes that the ‘vine-pull scheme is now a thing of the past’. It seems so hard to imagine but this is just over ten years ago. It pinpoints the year and vintage in which the turnaround occurred. I threw in the bit about Graham ‘Charlie’ Melton (also spelt Graeme in another part of the book Charlie {hands up if you knew that wasn’t his name?}) as a sign of how quickly legends are built in this industry. He is synonymous with the Barossa and also for having a passion to create individual wine to a style, regardless of fashion.
Who of the winemakers starting out in the last year or two (Charlie started out in 1984 as such) will be held in such high regard in ten years time? There is no doubt that the Barossa went through a stage of being ‘out of fashion’. Fashion isn’t everything, there are many great wines that aren’t ‘fashionable’ – look at Sparkling Reds or Vintage Ports or Spanish Sherry. The problem is that out-of- fashion also means there are fewer sales and lower prices. Ask any Hunter Semillon grower, or Clare Riesling maker. Their wine sells for $10 retail and $2 or $3 of that goes to the retailer and $2.50 of what is left goes to the Federal Government (Bless their Hearts, with the new GST it will be more than 41%, not less), so often they get a miserly $5. And they still struggle to get buyers in many instances!
Compare this with Chardonnay from the Yarra or Mornington that averages double that and then tell me why winemakers don’t like their wine to be unfashionable. Things have changed in the Barossa though. Not just a small change but a 180 degree turn around! One minute they are producing ripe rich hot-climate reds but everyone wants green herbaceous reds and not from Shiraz grapes but from Cabernet Sauvignon. They actually start ripping old vines from the ground. Next the only thing the punters can’t get enough of is an extraordinarily alcoholic red from ancient vines from the very same ‘hot’ climate. Alas you can’t grow 80-year-old vines in 10 months to cater for the whims of the wine-sipping set (that’s you and me by the way).
Sounds like a good excuse to line up some Barossa reds to ‘see how they go’. Worth starting out by saying that some 20% of the bottles were corked. Nothing more needs to be said on cork taint – I don’t have much time for cork producers who claim they are wine-makers’ faults. That flat, musty, wet cardboard smell is theirs and theirs alone. One of those corked was the Krondorf ‘Pioneers Rest’ Shiraz Cabernet. Luckily it’s brother/sister wine, Krondorf 1997 ‘Pioneers Rest’ Shiraz was sound. Krondorf have made some good ‘cheap’ wines (cheap, like sub $7) in recent years with no pretensions beyond their station. Use of composite corks are proof enough of that! I was surprised when wrapping these wines for the masked tasting to remove capsules and notice that they both had ‘real’ corks (as it turned out that didn’t benefit the first wine though!). I don’t know where this new label fits in, but it’s a pleasant wine. Stewed fruit on the nose, reasonable balance, hot (alcohol) in the mouth, oak was not obtrusive, light tannins. A drink now wine in a commercial mould.
The 1997 Basedow Shiraz is a grand wine. Also for mine a wine that begs to be drunk now. Better mouthfeel, with a more substantial platform of acid and tannins. Hot, rich, fruity Shiraz. We kept defining many of the Barossa wines as regionally typical, very much the case here!
Barossa Valley Estates Moculta Shiraz 1997 was next, a wine with pepper and spice on the nose – had a ‘richness’ to it, good fruit on the palate but still that spice element. Hot and spritzy in the mouth with a very long finish. Not my favourite wine but was well received by ‘the panel’.
The 1997 Saltram Classic Cabernet Sauvignon had won a Trophy at the Perth Show. Soundly made and offering good value for your dollar. One taster found ‘irony, vegetable’ aromas on the nose. Again the tannins were a little lacking next to the bigger wines – but this only made it easier drinking now. Hot with sweet fruit in the mouth and finally a fresh-acid finish. Meets with approval when you know how much (or is that how little?) it costs.
Another corked wine – Grant Burge Hillcot Merlot 1997 – there is a lot of interest in Merlot so I was keen to review this wine. Alas the furry softness and ‘yielding’ fruit of Merlot wines is quite rare sub $20, so this is one to watch. You’ll have to try it and let us know what you think since we couldn’t.
Another Saltram wine, the Mamre Brook 1997 Shiraz. Dense purple color gave a clear indication of what was coming. Big fruit, and big timber! Showing some heat on the palate but sweeter fruit with ‘soft’ tannins that makes it quite approachable. I’d leave this alone in the cellar for a few years
One grape variety famous in the Barossa is Grenache. Not everyone’s favourite as it becomes a little ordinary if cropped heavily. There are some commendable examples of old vine Grenache coming out of the Barossa. We had a bottle of 1997 Peter Lehmann Barossa Grenache, lighter in color but glowing nicely in the glass. Alas for me this was an unpleasant wine. Simple fruit, lean grip in the mouth. Nothing to recommend it other than the beautiful label {a beautiful redhead} and stunning bottles. Full marks to the marketing department for putting sex into this brand, alas I wasn’t looking to impress some pretty little thing, just my palate. Hence, rejection.
It needs for us all to be reminded that Peter Lehmann is the Barossa for many. He staunchly advocated it when others were deserting it. He makes some fine wines – this isn’t one of them. I’ve reread this having got up and gone for a walk and this is too harsh. This is not a faulty wine but I am trying to give you an idea of what we found impressive and what we didn’t. This is a sound wine but in the context of what this grape variety can do and what other wines we were trying, no it isn’t going to get my blessing [however insignificant that might be!]. If you are a Grenache fan, I’d love you to try one and tell me if that is what you look for in a wine? There are many more wines to talk about so I think I’ll conclude here but not before I mention one of the finest wines of the night,
The 1996 Richmond Grove Barossa Shiraz. Dark purple in colour with a nose that hinted at the oak used. Big nose, good fruit there too. Beautiful fruit in the mouth with excellent balance and mouthfeel, firm tannin grip – ‘all this wine needs is time’. I guess many people are aware of the top class Rieslings available under this label or even of the great Cabernet Sauvignon from Coonawarra, but this was an eye-opener. Not a good wine, a great wine. (and way under-priced too!). I’m always fascinated by the turns that history takes. In 1811, Lord Lynedoch lead the British in an attack on Napoleon and the French in Southern Spain as part of the Peninsular War. It is said a handful of English troops defeated a crack French regiment at a village near Cadiz. This village was on a steep ridge. The ridge, that was the entrance to the Bermeja Peninsula, was called Barrosa and meant literally, ‘Hill of Roses’. One of the men in Lynedoch’s army was later to be the first Surveyor-General of South Australia; Colonel Light. An area Colonel Light traveled through in South Australia during 1837 reminded him of this ridge and he named it the Barrosa Valley. Both the town named after his old commander (Lyndoch) and the valley are now misspelt. Meanwhile, an Englishman born in Newcastle called George Fife Angas was busy ‘building’ South Australia. He sent a German Geologist, Johann Menge, to look for suitable land to fulfill his expansive ideas (he set up the South Australian Company). Menge’s reports of the Barossa were glowing! ‘I am certain we shall see the place flourish, and vineyards and orchards and immense fields of corn throughout. It will furnish huge quantities of wine; it will yield timber for our towns, and superior stone and marble abounds for our buildings’.
Soon after, in 1838, Angas organised with Pastor Kavel to bring out three boatloads of German migrants from Silesia keen to escape religious persecution for their Lutheran beliefs. 4 years later in 1842, 28 German families formed their own village and called it Bethany. Johann Henschke was one of those pioneers at Bethany. Today his Great, Great, Grandson Stephen still knocks out a fair drop with help from his wife Prue. Many others have links back to these original ‘refugees’. Of course, before the Germans there were Aboriginals. While hardly grape growers or wine lovers, many local towns and companies have names of aboriginal origin. Yalumba converts roughly to ‘all the country around’ and Tanunda meant ‘water hole’ while Nuriootpa was simply ‘meeting place’.
Enough of your history lesson, when I think of the Barossa, I think of Shiraz. Why? Why indeed, I’ve had many fine Rieslings from the Barossa, an occasional Chardonnay worth remembering and some excellent Semillon too. Cabernet Sauvignon from this region is worth seeking out when at its best and Grenache lovers call the Barossa home too. But it’s Shiraz that is synonymous with the Barossa. With 6 Shiraz based wines in front of me I expected to be moving onto a higher plane. And we did have some good wines there too.
Two of the St Hallett range; the 1995 Old Block Shiraz and the 1997 Faith Shiraz. The OBS disappointed. This wine was described by Halliday as ‘an understatement rather than an overstatement’. Shields and Hooke in the Penguin guide said of the 1994 ‘A good wine, but it doesn’t raise the roof. Is it a case of expectations being too high?’ I found a wine that was slightly dirty, slightly metallic on the nose. Very austere next to the neighbouring wines. Certainly not a big wine, quite subdued tannins. Luckily one of the group had tasted an Old Block within the previous 5 days so could compare. More importantly he said this wine ‘didn’t’ compare to the wonderful 1991 he’d consumed earlier in the week. I couldn’t encourage you to buy the wine based on this tasting. Please do buy your own bottle and see how it stands up. Maybe it is just the vintage or maybe it was just this bottle. We look forward to trying the 1996 in hope of a return to form.
The 1997 St Hallett Faith Shiraz is the cheapest of their three Shiraz. ‘Typical’ was the word I’d underlined. Warm-climate fruit and less evident oak make this a different style to the other Shiraz in this Barossa stable. I’d much prefer to be buying this than the top-line Old Block.
Two other wines stood out for tasters. The Yalumba Growers Shiraz from 1997 was an interesting wine. Ripe plum fruit, but not cooked (as was the case in one or two other wines we tried). Good structure, soft rather than firm tannins and excellent length. AND excellent value being under $12. This was for some the most obvious choice for the best Barossa Shiraz we tasted on the night.
The other wine that carries some favour was the 1996 Elderton Shiraz. Dark dense purple colour. Cinnamon or nutmeg on the nose and the spice carries through to the palate. Intense plum fruit but smooth mouthfeel, not showing the excessive oak that (in my mind) characterises this label: a very good wine but a step up in price.
The Saltram Classic Shiraz 1997 was corked. The Peter Lehmann 1997 Shiraz was a well-made wine in the early drinking style. ‘Simple’, ‘mellow’, ‘soft’, were all comments made about the wine. It did have good ripe fruit, excellent balance, some gamey characters in the Rhone style but also exhibited some alcohol-hotness too. Not the pick of the bunch but a good wine (and yes, that sexy packaging almost works for me).
While on Peter Lehmann, the 1997 Cabernet Sauvignon in the next flight was not as welcoming. Greener with a shorter finish it didn’t stand up well compared to the other Cabernet Sauvignon’s no it (didn’t need assertiveness training).
The Elderton Cabernet Merlot from 1995 was also a lesser wine in this flight ‘ again I stress that these aren’t faulty wines just lesser wines compared to the others in the flight. Big oak, grippy tannins and an undesirable dry finish. In the same vein the Barossa Valley Estates ‘Moculta’ 1997 Cab Merlot was a simpler wine with sweet but ‘thinner’ fruit. Less complex, less intense. More pleasing was the ‘Mamre Brook’ 1997 Cabernet Sauvignon. Spicy on the nose, it was all cherry and plum fruit in the mouth. Better balance with a good tannin grip. Yes go and buy this one!
Likewise the Leo Buring Cabernet Sauvignon 1996 was a good wine. More complex with obvious but well handled oak. Very sweet fruit and lovely mouthfeel. The really good news is the price! Isn’t it grand when good value meets good quality. As it was with the Shiraz, the Yalumba Growers Cabernet- Merlot, was a good wine. I preferred the Shiraz, here there were aromas of chocolate - bitter chocolate, on the nose. A good acid backbone, strong tannin grip and leaner more austere fruit. One said it offered ‘the best structure’ of any wine in this flight. So you don’t have to pay a fortune to drink good Barossa Red. In fact paying more may not guarantee you do drink well!
A return to these traditional areas, like the Barossa, is based on sound principles of enjoyment and quality. They are two things the Barossa reds offer in abundance. Drink the history but more importantly drink the future. I feel sure the Barossa has seen it’s worst days. Vince <>

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The Tony Gould – Anita Hustas collaboration was an event savoured by a small and appreciative crowd at Bennetts Lane on Tuesday (19/10). Gould is a grizzled, hairy, bearded veteran pianist who shifts easily between his twin loves of jazz and classical music teaching and (to a lesser extent) performing. As a composer and player, he is recognisable by his romantic style, sensitive accompaniment to his fellow players, appreciation of humour, and an unprepossessing, self-effacing manner. He considers himself a little too restrained by his classical past to ever be a truly original player, and admires pianists like Bob Sedergreen who thrive entirely within the jazz idiom, and improvise fearlessly. Their duo piano sessions are quite something, and their CD “Unanimity” is a thing of joy, and a wonderful example of their contrasting though complementary styles.
Anita is a bassist from Perth who I first saw withDancing in Your Head” at Bennetts Lane a month or two ago. On that occasion, she performed with a reeds-based trio (Phil Bywater, reeds and Will Guthrie, drums). I thought then that Anita Hustas was a revelation on acoustic bass - beautiful, inventive playing - very tasteful and interesting at the same time. Her bowed bass duets with Phil on “Waiting for Tony” and “Awakenings” were a treat, and hence my anticipation of her playing with Tony.
One advantage of a smallish crowd, there primarily to listen, is the opportunity for a group to make maximum use of the dynamic range of their respective instruments. Both Tony and Anita used this range to perfection on the opening number, Ice Dreaming. Written by Anita about winter in Tasmania, it commenced with a bowed bass solo that was very evocative of its title – and the remainder of the tune was similarly atmospheric, gradually building in intensity though always with a sense of serenity.
Anita is tall, rather severely regal in appearance, with a scrubbed look, shapeless drab clothes, and swept-back, pig-tailed hair. She sways with her bass, giving the appearance of a sort of partnership between player and instrument, rather than the player dominating the tool. When playing, she can look rather beatific at times of great concentration, and this concentration is sometimes snapped by an unanticipated note or phrase from Tony that evokes in her a brilliant smile. Tony, too, was at times delighted by a contribution from the bass, and an appreciative smile or chuckle indicated that each received enjoyment from their playing together. This was, apart from a brief rehearsal, their first duo performance together.
Other tunes included Revelation 21.4 (Bob Magnussen), Carryong (Anita), Turn Up The Stars (Bill Evans), Little Shepherd’s Girlfriend (Anita), Spring Songs (Bill Dobbins, in 3/2 time), Dreaming Girl (Andrew Ogburn), Mona Lisa (Nat Cole), and a piece from Tony based upon an opera, the name of which escapes me. There were a couple of up-tempo tunes, though the predominant theme was introspection, delicacy, and elegance. There was no applause for solos, as sometimes happens when a mood has been set that allows the music to flow seamlessly from player to player. The room was silent, even the Espresso machine was listening. No one wanted to break the spell by applauding, but all were enthusiastic at the conclusion of each spellbinding number – waiting until Tony squeezed out the last barely discernible note or chord. Wow, when can we do it again!

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