Sometimes I get a little silly in the middle of a tasting, not from the alcohol (I don't know about you, but I'm spitting) but probably from trying to concentrate too hard.
So I take the bag off a wine, and the label is "Five Geese." It's relatively new to the U.S., one of the myriad brands being made by wine consultant Mike Farmilo at his McLaren Vale winery Boar's Rock.
It was toward the end of the day, and my mind started flitting around, trying to think of other Australian wines with numbers in their names. It's kind of like the game hardcore baseball fans play to while away the innings, making up "all-star" teams of left-handed Venezuelans or guys named Charlie.
Here's the countdown. I got everything but six.
10. Ten Minutes By Tractor, a Mornington Peninsula winery made up of three family-owned vineyards close to each other. How close? You guessed it, 10 minutes if you're on a tractor. The wines are pretty good, too.
9. Nine Popes, an excellent Châteauneuf-du-Pape-inspired red blend of Shiraz, Grenache and Mourvèdre, made by Charles Melton Wines in Barossa.
8. Eight Songs, a high-end Shiraz made by Peter Lehmann Wines from old-vine vineyards in northwest Barossa Valley.
7. Sevenhill, a Jesuit-run winery in Clare Valley, one of the oldest in the region. The wines are distinctive, although often gamy.
6. If only someone in Australian made a six-puttonyos Tokay-style sweet wine!
5. Five Geese, the McLaren Vale winery mentioned above.
4. Four Sisters, a brand made by Trevor Mast, the winemaker at Mount Langi Ghiran. The Semillon-Sauvignon Blanc is pretty good.
3. Langmeil Three Gardens, from a small winery in Barossa, like Nine Popes a Shiraz-Grenache-Mourvèdre. It's really plush-textured stuff.
2. Two Hands, the hot hot hot Barossa-based winery that makes killer Shiraz from six different regions.
1. Noble One, De Bortoli Winery's Sauternes look-alike and taste-alike, often one of the best botrytised sweet wines from Australia.
Adam Lee — Santa Rosa, CA — June 12, 2006 5:16pm ET
Linda Nix — June 13, 2006 12:34am ET
Harvey Steiman — San Francisco, CA — June 13, 2006 1:10am ET
James Molesworth — June 13, 2006 1:32pm ET
Alfred Gregori — June 14, 2006 1:54pm ET
Bob Brack — Canada — June 21, 2006 2:00pm ET
Harvey Steiman — San Francisco, CA — June 24, 2006 1:58am ET
Sebastian Golitz — Argentina — April 21, 2007 7:54pm ET
Harvey Steiman — San Francisco, CA — April 21, 2007 8:03pm ET
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