Import Selection: Wintervine, 1988.

Mark Cashmore, a chemistry and physics school teacher, turned winemaker, is giving the French wine industry fits. He is an Aus­tralian winemaker who has dared to try the unusual… made a suc­cess of it… and has had the una­bashed gall to tweek the nose of the French (Hmm!).

First he blends Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon… unheard of sacrilege! How can you do this to the French? (Bordeaux and Bur­gundy are apart… and so are their grapes… for always and for ever… ask them!). Then he dares call it Beaujolais style… very innocently I presume… after all he made it using similar fermentation techniques (partially he says). So they tried to throw the book at him through the courts… So… now he calls it “non-Beaujolais” and ap­pends it with further disclaimers on the back label of his bottle. (look at it!).

Who cares… the wine is great… and you and I are “king”… we are the consumers… and Mark knows it. Hey you guys from across two oceans… leave the chap alone… he is making good wine.

“I will have nothing to do with technical excellence purely for the sake of technical excellence” he says. “High acids are no good for the stomach; huge perfumes be­come boring after the third or fourth glass. And… the idiotic search for the colder climates, higher acids, and extended time in the bottle before a wine can be en­joyed, are an example of that. Wine should be delicate, easy to drink, enjoyable and have the nu­ances of flavor and aroma if one wishes to look for them. Above all, wine should be enjoyed and enjoyed with food.”

Our Wine of The Month Club philosophy includes many of Mark’s beliefs.

The wine is deep purplish red. It has a big, explosive fruity aroma, with an interesting pinot noir char­acter, that really says “something else is in here.” On swirling, a bouquet emerges, and indicates some maturation. The taste is a surprise. It is rich, young with fruit, but dominated with a pinot noir “oiliness” that has been hard to find in many recent Pinot Noirs I have tasted. It has a full body, with subdued acid, and a cherry/ berry character that does not quit. The finish is dry and with a hint of tannic bitterness which is very complementary.

Serve alongside a hearty pasta dish with marinara sauce, or with English Stilton cheese and crusty French bread.

Cellaring Notes: Great drinking now. Should not improve.

Reviewed by PK Sr.

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