I'm finally back home for a moment, and finally over that pesky flu. For some very specific reasons, it's a flu that I will never forget. It followed me from Melbourne, Australia, all the way to Nagoya, Japan, with brief stops in Adelaide (about which I will go into great detail), Perth, Osaka, Tokyo and Kawasaki.
Those who are familiar with my tastes can predict the content of this blog. For those who are not familiar, allow me to provide a bit of a backstory.
I'm a big fan of Penfolds Grange and its creator, winemaker Max Schubert. I was the fanatic (capital F A N A T I C) who paid more than most people's annual income for an imperial of '98 Grange and spent years collecting a full vertical of 750s one bottle at a time, as well as a couple of full verticals of magnums. I realize there is an endless list of superb Australian wines out there that I should be equally excited about, but none of them have as captivating a tale as that of Max and Penfolds' Magill Estate.
If you're traveling through Australia and you're coming anywhere near Adelaide, I highly recommend you visit Magill Estate. Take the Cellar Door Tour. Max's story, as well as Dr. Penfolds', or more importantly Mary Penfolds', is a story worth hearing. Try to get them to take you into the Grange Cottage if you can. Supposedly the ghost of Mary Penfolds is still in charge within this tiny home. Reportedly objects within the cottage that have been moved, for whatever reason, are mysteriously returned to their former positions overnight.
If you're not up for a history lesson, but like a great meal, the Magill Estate Restaurant is sure to please. Call ahead. They are usually booked months in advance. Although they offer an à la carte menu, I highly suggest you choose from the degustation menu, and just let them drive. Fantastic food served by a fantastic staff.
So, back to my flu. Picture me sitting at dinner, practically in tears, as current winemaker Peter Gago busts out a '90 Grange, a Bin 7, and a few other items I won't mention for fear of being carted off by Penfolds ninjas. Agony just doesn't quite sum it up. I couldn't taste the wine. Torture. And my dinner guests weren't about to wait up for me. I'm across the table, frowning, sniffling and muttering, "I can't smell or taste anything." Todd and Chris, practically giggling, chime in with, "We can. Tough luck, buddy."
I never really liked them anyway.
Phil Talamo — Bron, NY — February 28, 2007 4:11pm ET
Totv — La Quinta, CA — February 28, 2007 6:54pm ET
Karl Mark — Geneva, IL. — March 1, 2007 1:15am ET
Andrew J Walter — Sacramento,CA — March 1, 2007 12:36pm ET
Stephanie A Hubbell — winter — March 1, 2007 2:47pm ET
Maynard James Keenan — page Springs, az — March 1, 2007 4:01pm ET
Scott Stewart — solana beach, ca — March 2, 2007 4:07am ET
Andrew J Walter — Sacramento,CA — March 2, 2007 9:38am ET
Michael Levine — Kansas City, MO — March 7, 2007 7:40pm ET
Jason Johnson — Shreveport, La. — March 23, 2007 7:19pm ET
Wine Buyer — St. Louis, MO — June 1, 2007 4:46pm ET
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