2011 BLACK AND BLUE - FORTIFIED ZINFANDEL
DRINKSTER - REVIEW BY PHILIP WHITE
$35 FOR 375 ML., ABOUT 17% ALCOHOL; CORK STOPPER; 94+++ POINTS
Forget about that winery dog porn, and all those poncy crotch-sniffing hounds that hang around cellar door, begging you to fondle their ears and buy more wine while they wait for the make-up division to get 'em in another centrefold. Dudley Brown's dog, Satchmo, actually picked this. The mouldy blights of the mega-wet 2011 played hell with a lot of vineyards, and Dudley had written off a fair slice of his Zin, and left it to perish on the vine while he sorted other stuff. Then Satchmo, a vigilant lover of clean ripe fruit, took a likin' to the fruit of a small patch of the abandoned vines, leading his human to them. Turned out they sure were ultra-ripe, but miraculously clean, so the Brownman picked them and hit them with some clean fortifying spirit, to snap freeze the fruit that so impressed Satchmo. So here's the first dog-picked wine I know. It's even more Christmas pud than that Goodieson's Stout, which is saying a lot. The blackest-bluest Zin has sucked the SVR spirit into itself and closed the lid on it, smothering it with a thick layer of something so darkly syrupy that it could well have come from a dense equatorial jungle. More like a liqueur port than your actual vintage model, with bright drying tannins and a 17 per cent (sic) exhalation, it's just nuts to sip now. But I hope somebody keeps some and gives me the buzz in ten years. Knock on the lid of my box if necessary. Once this was made and maturing, Satchmo got so much long life into him that he up and joined his namesake in the Juke Joint of the Hereafter, leaving Dudley to locate another canine viticulturer. Daisy, the new pup, got straight into the goldtop mushies she found in the scrub somewhere well before any grapes have even formed, and is currently reacting well to veterinary attention, counselling and a lot of cuddles. Meanwhile this lovely Black and Blue for Satchmo is in strictly limited supply, so hit the human for a bottle of dog-selected now. And keep your eyes on Daisy. She shows promise.