Boy, this wine sucked ass. After having a glass, I went out to find another bottle of something - anything - else (and a Big Mac for Dan). I don't know what's wrong with this, but I suspect it might be corked, slightly. It's 80% nebbiolo, 20% barbera, but none of the things I've come to like about Italianate wines are there - it's flabby, with poorly integrated acids, no obvious fruit flavors, and no balls at all. A real disappointment, especially at A$19. I should have gone for the Mitchell grenache. *sigh*
2. NV Chandon Australia sparkling wine.
This saved the evening. This was only A$18 at a bottle shop down the block from the hotel, and it was lovely, if perhaps a wee bit too sweet. The smell of the stuff is adorable, the bubbles were pretty in our poor quality hotel room glasses, and all in all it's hard to go wrong with Chandon. I'm always amused that the differences aren't big between the California, Argentina, Spain, and Australia versions of their wines - it's usually very good at a decent price. I'm still most impressed by their cheap Spanish cava and their vintage reserve Australian wines, but this stuff hit the spot at a very low price.