Langmeil Barossa Valley Floor 2009 Shiraz

Clear, deep purple-ruby in the glass. Clean, medium intensity nose of oak, plum, vanilla and blackberry. Dry, medium-plus acidity, and light tannins. Medium body with lots of ripe fruits: sweet plum and ripe blackberry, with spicy notes working with the sharp 14.5% alcohol. Good long complex finish with liquorice figuring in. Recommended.

This was about $40 at Crosstown. See Langmeil Winery and the winemaker’s notes on this vintage.

Langmeil Barossa Valley Floor 2009 Shiraz

Bird in Hand Shiraz Mount Lofty Ranges 2008

Clear, deep ruby red with a tinge of purple. Clean, medium intensity nose of red and black cherry, ripe plum, and blackberry with spice and candy sweetness. Dry, medium acidity and body, gentle tannins. The oak comes through on the palate along with a real heat from the 14.5% alcohol over a well-balanced base of ripe fruit—red berries with blackberry for balance. Good length with spices coming through in the finish. Very enjoyable: recommended.

$42 at Crosstown. See Bird in Hand.

Bird in Hand Shiraz Mount Lofty Ranges 2008

Ignorance of the Right

Reading idly through the Globe and Mail, I encountered this from (ultra right-wingnut) Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s Deputy Mayor: “My advice to the taxpayer would be: Don’t send us any more activists, don’t send us any more unionists. Don’t send us any more cyclists, send us some people down here with good common sense who just want to manage the city’s affairs” (Ford loses key vote that puts his contracting-out agenda in peril, April 10 2011).

The ignorance here is stunning, and a great example of either brain-dead thinking or attempted manipulation. This guy, one Doug Holyday, seems to believe that the vast majority of “taxpayers” are just like him, but for some reason frustratingly keep selecting those darned nutty activists, unionists, and—gasp—cyclists (who, by implication, aren’t taxpayers)—to “send” to city hall to make his life miserable. Maybe they’re doing it as a prank!

Of course, a pretty central concept this guy doesn’t seem to understand is that we elect people who actually represent us in government. Another is that he’s actually one of them, and he was “sent” there as well; he and his band of conservative compatriots doesn’t “own” government. He seems to assume that his position is safe and he’s just waiting for the voter-idiots to wake up and populate the rest of government with people just like him.

“Common sense” is one of the most overlooked and dangerous phrases in politics, and I’ve seen it invoked increasingly frequently (unsuccessful Vancouver mayoral candidate Susan Anton used it in her campaign last fall). “Common sense” is essentially carte blanche: nothing these people want to do needs justification or data; it’s—obviously—just so. Well, it’s just common sense that the world is flat, isn’t it?

I’d really like to know whether these anti-science, anti-evidence, and ultimately anti-people politicians are unhappy, uneducated, or just think they can fool the rest of us.

Kokomo 2005 Syrah Green Pastures

Clear, medium ruby red appearance. Clean, medium intensity sweet blackberry and pepper nose. Dry, medium-plus acidity and appealing medium tannins in a light body. Spice comes through in the mouth with a bit of heat from the 14.2% alcohol;  lots of ripe fruit and a good medium-length finish with a bit of sweetness and spice. Overall good; quite enjoyable, and recommended. $38 at Marquis Wine Cellars. See Kokomo Winery.

Kokomo 2005 Syrah

Dirty Laundry 2011 Riesling

Clear, very very pale gold in the glass. Clean, medium-plus intensity citrus, particularly grapefruit, and a hint of pear. Just off-dry, high acidity and light body. More green fruit on the palate with crisp apple and pear, along with lemon and minerals. Hints of residual sugar come through in subtle stone fruit through a medium-length finish. 12.3% alcohol. Overall good; recommended, particularly at the price: $21.50 (at Crosstown). See also my notes on the 2010, and the winemaker’s notes.

Dirty Laundry 2011 Riesling

Château Chéreau Lussac-Saint-Emilion 2000

Slightly cloudy, medium-plus ruby with a hint of purple, and a tawny rim. Clean, medium intensity plum and black cherry nose. Very dry, medium acidity and more tannins than I would have expected from a right bank Bordeaux. Light body. Nice balance of red and black fruits: cherries, a bit of plum, and berries; a bit of woodiness—not oak, more like the appealing dry boards of a well-loved home. Nicely balanced; good length. 12.5% alcohol. Recommended.

A gift from my father, who tells me this was about $30 at Kitsilano Wine Cellar.

Château Chéreau 2000