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Somewhere along the lines, the chains came off…

That’s what has been going through my mind as of late.  I seem to have achieved something of a soul equilibrium I guess (for lack of a better expression).  Things at home are settling down, my wife is feeling a bit more alive, and I am starting to forget that feeling of the Apocalypse lurking somewhere outside my door.  And as for my writing, I am feeling that the need to keep things reined in has been unwarranted, and a simple diary of my on-the-job wine exploits is giving way to its integration with the mess of analog ideas, dreams and flashbacks roiling in my brainpan.

I am finding all this liberating.

As the future unfolds without the looming shadow of Armageddon in front of me, I find the ghosts of my professional past are being vanquished, exorcised, as their power over my mental haunted house grows weak.  I really have to struggle to remember what it was like to work in such a hostile environment, lugging the chains of Mordor around with my fellow orcs in the steamy, molten dungeons of Sauron.  These days, I feel like I live and work in the Shire, and everything is green fields and blue skies.

So much for the LOTR references.

Digressing, I came across an article in which the 2008 Penfolds Grange was pitted against the 2011 Robert Oatley Shiraz in the besotted equivalent of a cage match, and in mentioning it to the staff, their initial reaction was, “What vintage was the Grange?”

The factoid being played up in the article, which was a tasting between Grange, Oatley Shiraz, First Drop Fat of the Land Shiraz and De Bertoli Sacred Hill Shiraz, showed a tie between the first two as determined by four judges (only one of which was an industry professional), and that the Oatley, which clocked in at $17, matched the Grange, which is stickered these days for over $700.

Impressive really.  Yet one could discount the tasting with the mere fact that the 2008 Grange, last year’s release, is not even close to being ready to drink, while the Oatley is softer, more approachable now.  One would argue the tasting should be recreated at 5 years and 10 years from now, to see which one wins then.

Anyway, Brother Lou dropped off samples of the Robert Oatley Shiraz, along with its siblings Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon:

Robert Oatley Chardonnay Margaret River 2012.  Grade=Very Good.  There is something to be said for Margaret River Chardonnay, as this nice, light-bodied Chard, with clean green apple skin, lemon and a touch of vanilla cream.

Robert Oatley Shiraz McLaren Vale 2010.  Grade=Very Good.  Soft and round tannins reveal juicy red fruit, touches of blueberry, huckleberry and sassafrass.  Medium-bodied and generous through the finish.

Robert Oatley Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River 2011.  Grade=Very Good.  Full-bodied red, showing off blackberry, dark plum, spice and mint.  A juicy, giving Cab ideal for everyday.

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