Sunday, August 3, 2014

Spinifex and Fireworks

Photo from 

Normally, that fireworks photo would have been one of our own and I wouldn't have lifted if from Huffington Post, but as you'll see with the post, my bloglife is a little out of skew nowadays - and desperate times call for desperate measures.

I'm what we'll call "hazardously behind" in my postings. I haven't lost count of the wines we've polished off, we just seem to drink them faster than I'm able to blog about them. So, I'm going to do a little jumping over some wines - while hitting a few memorable wines - with the idea of staying more current AND then catching up with the earlier posts as time permits.

As the day we pull the cork on my 2001st bottle starts seeming a whole lot closer at hand, I'm hoping to keep better tabs on the number of the bottles as we open them. I really had no idea that Boo and I were enjoying a landmark bottle #1700 as we were sipping away.  We might have made more of an event for it had I known.

Luckily, it turned out to be a memorable bottle and a fun evening in any event - although Boo opted to call it a night after the wine.

1700.  2004 Spinifex Esprit (Barossa Valley - Australia)

Spinifex is a relatively new winery to set up shop in the Barossa. It's owners, Peter Schell and Magali Gely, started the winey in 2001. In doing so, however, they decided to pay respect to Magali's French roots. Their website notes that Magali's parents were vignerons in the south-west of France and that Peter has worked six vintages throughout France over the last decade. The pair work primarily with Rhône grapes that have traditionally been successful in both the Mediterranean and in Australia.

Spinifex chooses to make wines that are predominantly blends and Esprit fits right into that scheme. With 36% Grenache, 34% Shiraz, 20% Mataro (Mourvèdre), they've constructed that Barossan take on the Rhône blend - the well known GSM - but they've ramped up the Rhône by adding a 10% touch of Cinsault.

Although it might take me awhile to actually get around to writing the post, Boo and I had a thoroughly enjoyable Châteauneuf-du-Pape last night and, while this Esprit is primarily the same take on grapes involved, it had bigger fruit but was equally tasty.

I figure we're lucky that Marquis Wines has carried a few Spinifex wines over the years because they don't make an awful lot of wine. A Robert Parker reference on this vintage of Esprit said that only 330 cases were made. I don't even think the winery is big enough to have its own cellar door. When Boo and I were in Barossa a couple of years back, we didn't see the winery itself but we did taste a couple of their wines at the Artisans of the Barossa - a cooperative tasting room for a group of "small batch, sub-regional" winemakers. I'm more than happy to grab a bottle or two by whichever method we can run across them.

So, I figure opening #1700 is worthy of the fireworks display at the top of the post on its own; however, the evening was the third night of this year's Celebration of Light fireworks display. Boo decided against fighting the crowds downtown to watch Japan's entry but I ventured down to Mr. D's.

I figure the photo above would have approximated what we'd have seen from his apartment. After all, it is of the evening's show. However, we didn't even stick around to watch the fireworks. Since it was the Saturday night of Vancouver's Pride weekend, Mr. D. proposed a visit to one of the local watering holes and he figured we wouldn't be able to take in both the fireworks and the bar as the line-up to get into Pumpjack would have been down the block by the time the last firework rocket had been launched. We decided to see if we could enjoy some fireworks of an even more intimate nature and just head straight off to the pub. Running into Will and Harry and a few other boys was a great start.

Unfortunately, from the blog's point of view, there wasn't another bottle of wine to be had. Funny, but I hardly think that a leather bar is going to be the best place to find a bottle of wine. But we did see a firework or two - particularly Mr. D. I think I might just leave that photo to your imagination though. No need to post it and detract from the wine at hand.

So, with 1700 bottles down, I've got my work laid out for me to try and get all my posts in order by the time number 2001 rolls around. Best get to it.

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