It is one of those wineries frozen in the 1900s. And for that I love it.
I had tried their wine a while back in mid 2000s while working at SPICE magazine as their winewriter and it notched something in my hippocampus. So in 2011 while cruising past that region we stopped in for a squiz.
We tried the 2008 Shiraz (of which we bought a 12 bottle case and promptly went back to purchase another), their Pinot (yet to open) and a bottle of the 2008 Chardonnay.
I must admit at the time of tasting the Chardonnay had not yet come together, which I why I gingerly only bought one bottle. How wrong I was.
Having a few years of age, and being sent across the other side of the country, it was cracked open on a balmy QLD afternoon. We've all had those moments where wine dominates the afternoon, and this was one of them.
Made from seriously small quantities of hand-harvested dry-grown single-vineyard grapes, wines from the Laissez Faire are as rare as they are self-making. From the Porongurup region of Great Southern, this shiraz is juicy, plush and uber smooth. Steering this fermentation to dryness (zero residual sugar) is just one of the accomplishments for this wine (as often in the case with natural or indigenous yeast fermentation—they often don’t finish fermenting). The clarity and pureness to come through on the palate; strawberry and blackberry on the fore, herbal tones on the aftis something worth stopping to ruminate over. Not a hint of oak gives this wine lushness and an approachable demeanour, something an unacquainted red drinker can appreciate. 96 points.
“Most people do not overeat because of a feeling of hunger emanating from the stomach; they are giving in to a desire to consume – they are seeking pleasure or relief, or hoping to fill a void.”––‘Fat City’ by Karen Hitchcock, The Monthly (March 2013)
I’ve been prompted to explore the concept of consumption and obesity after reading Karen Hitchcock’s stellar piece on that very subject published in The Monthly March 2013. The article is freely available online here.
She opens the congested heart on our obsession with kilojoule-laden food, the persuasive marketing of it, and the role(s) governments can play in reducing the impact of a rapidly billowing fat price-tag of managing it.
The fruit from this vineyard is from the Karridale region, and the Five Ashes Vineyard. I’ve held on to this wine for a while as I wanted to see a little more of the bottle age (toasty, nuttiness) develop as I knew this wine is straight edged and aromatically delicate. This is a fig, cashew and persimmon-like wine is still not anywhere near its full potential after a few more years in the bottle. My rationale is that the acid structure is totally complete so once there is enough oomph from the bottle age richness you get the best out of this wine, should it last that long in a cellar. 94 points