Yearly Archives: 2013

Wine review — Tapanappa, Ten Minutes by Tractor, Quara, Pikes, Tyrrell’s and Truse

Tapanappa Foggy Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012 $51
Foggy Hill vineyard, Fleurieu Peninsula, South Australia
In 2003 Brian Croser planted three Dijon clones of pinot noir at around 350 metres altitude on the southern Fleurieu Peninsula. Elevation and proximity to the cold Southern Ocean give Croser’s Foggy Hill site a unique microclimate, dramatically cooler than the nearby shiraz country of McLaren Vale and Langhorne Creek – sufficiently so to give Croser great confidence in pinot noir. The vineyard’s pinots showed promise from the first vintage in 2007. But in the warm 2012 season, promise turns to excitement, with a slightly deeper, riper style than I’ve tasted in previous years. The underlying varietal flavour leans towards darker fruits like plum and cherry. This is overlaid with a subtly stalky touch, derived from the stems of whole-bunches, and the intriguing earthy–savoury notes of good pinot. The palate’s plush and generous and cut through with silky but quite firm tannins, setting the wine apart from many other Australian pinots.

Ten Minutes by Tractor Estate Chardonnay 2011 $42
Wallis and McCutcheon vineyards, Main Ridge,
Mornington Peninsula, Victoria

We’re spoiled for choice on top-notch Australian chardonnays for Christmas. From a wet, cool and latest harvest on Ten Minutes by Tractor’s record, comes this beautiful, elegant chardonnay. It was hand harvested in mid April, whole-bunch pressed and fermented by indigenous yeasts in a combination of new and older French oak barrels – where the wine matured for nine months, undergoing a malolactic fermentation and regular lees stirring. Mouth-watering white-peach-like varietal flavour provides the base for the wine, subtly supported by the textures and flavours of the barrel influence, and carried by zingy, fresh, natural acidity.

Quara Reserva Torrentes 2011 $23
Salta, Cafayate Valley, Argentina
Torrentes (full name torrentes riojano), a native of Argentina, is a natural cross between muscat of Alexandria and listan prieto. The muscat parent asserts it presence in this wine, imported by Canberra-based Alex Stojanov’s Latin Grapes. It’s highly aromatic, led by fruity muscat and cut by pleasant, fresh citrus-like flavours, before finishing off-dry with a tweak of tannin. This is far removed from most Australian table whites. But anyone familiar with moscato will recognise the presence of muscat in the flavour. Whether or not Australians take to the distinctive flavour remains to be seen. It’s available at Sage Restaurant ($49) and at

Pikes Impostores Savignan 2013 $20
Gill’s Farm block, Polish Hill River, Clare Valley, South Australia
“Impostores” refers to the mis-identification in Australian vineyards of savagnin – thought at the time of its planting to be Spain’s leading white variety, albarino. The two vines, however, appear similar and produce comparable wine styles. Neil Pike aggravates the confusion by spelling his wine “savignan” instead of the usual “savagnin”. But that’s of little concern as the wine provides a pleasantly tart, tangy, dry and savoury alternative to Australia’s usual fare of chardonnay, riesling, sauvignon blanc and semillon.

Tyrrell’s Lost Block Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 $17.99
McLaren Vale, South Australia
Tyrrell’s Lost Block wines deliver high quality regional specialties at a fair price. The range includes an Adelaide Hills sauvignon blanc, Hunter Valley semillon and chardonnay, Heathcote shiraz, Limestone Coast merlot and this McLaren Vale cabernet. Although shiraz is the Vale’s signature variety, its maritime climate also produces very good, well-defined cabernet. The 2012 vintage capture’s the variety’s ripe, juicy black and red currant flavours, seasoned with a lick of mint, so often seen in cabernet. It’s a vibrant, fruity style made for current drinking.

Trust Shiraz 2010 $28
Crystal Hill vineyard, Nagambie Lakes, Victoria
Don Lewis and Narelle King, the winemakers behind Victoria’s Tar and Roses label, made their first Trust shiraz in 2004. King writes, “The fruit is mostly from Don’s vineyard, Crystal Hill, a hungry bit of dirt riddled with ironstone and quartz across the river from Tahbilk. It’s very low yielding and produces pretty special wine”. Certainly it did in 2010 – a rich but medium-bodied red with deep, earthy–savoury flavours, sympathetically cut with oak flavours and with a load of chewy but soft tannins providing the satisfying structure and finish.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2013
First published 27 November 2013 in the Canberra Times

Beer review — Little Creatures and James Squire

Little Creatures India Pale Ale (IPA) 330ml 4-pack $18
Anyone familiar with Little Creatures Pale Ale will immediately feel at home with the new IPA. It’s unusual for a beer three times more bitter than most, and weighing in at 6.4 per cent alcohol, to drink so easily. But in IPA, the pronounced hop flavour and intense bitterness give individuality and increase the drinking pleasure.

James Squire The Constable Copper Ale 345ml 6-pack $19.99
James Squire brewer, Jeff Potter, brewed The Constable in the English pale ale style. Munich and Crystal malts give it a burnished copper colour and rich, sweet, malty mid-palate. A modest level of hopping offsets the malt sweetness, giving a mild, slightly bitter finish.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2013
First published 27 November 2013 in the Canberra Times

Hops on the rise

Hops once drew very little attention from drinkers. If anyone other than brewers talked about hops, it was normally about bitterness.

The explosion of craft brewing, however, generated a fascination with all the flavour components in beer, but especially with hops.

Late and dry hopping with aromatic hop varieties gave us popular session beers like Little Creatures Pale Ale. And, at the other end of the spectrum, we’ve seen the rise of uber hoppy brews, sometimes quite confronting in their bitterness.

The search for flavour and aroma nuances, in turn, gave rise to the breeding of new varieties, and a global search by brewers for just the right combinations for their brews.

Indeed, the trend recently prompted Australia’s largest grower, Hop Products Australia, to begin replanting one fifth of its hop fields in Victoria and Tasmania, principally to exclusive proprietary varieties.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2013
First published 27 November 2013 in the Canberra Times

Wine review — Toi Toi, Yalumba and Pikes

Toi Toi Central Otago Clutha Pinot Noir 2012 $15.90–$18
Central Otago’s reputation for pinot noir stems largely from higher priced classics like those made by Felton Road. But the growing production of this cool region at 45 degrees south means not every drop wins a place on the top shelf. Toi Toi, made intentionally for this modest (for pinot) price, offers terrific value. The colour’s pale (not unusual for pinot) but the palate presents convincing, and delicious, red-berry varietal flavour, supported by fine, firm tannins and brisk acidity. It’s a drink-now style. Like sauvignon blanc before it, New Zealand pinot noir is now drives the rapid growth of pinot noir consumption in Australia.

Yalumba Old Bush Vine Barossa Grenache 2012 $17.09–$21.95
Spain and Sardinia both have plausible historic claims to being home of grenache (known as garnacha in Spain; cannonau in Sardinia), writes Jancis Robinson in Wine Grapes – A Complete Guide to 1368 vine varieties, including their origins and flavours (Allen Lane, 2012). However, writes Robinson, genetic evidence points to Spain as the birthplace. Grenache was documented in Spain in 1513 and Sardinia in 1549. It arrived in France in the late eighteenth century and in Australia in the first half of the nineteenth. Yalumba’s fine example, made from old vines pruned as individual bushes, gives a delicious, earthy, savoury expression of the variety built on pure, fruity varietal flavour.

Pikes Clare Valley Traditionale Riesling 2013 $16.85–$23
Judges at Canberra’s International Riesling Challenge 2013 rated Pikes Traditionale Riesling 2013 as the best of 371 Australian rieslings in the competition. The wine outscored rieslings, some of them far pricier, from more than 35 Australian regions. Pike’s victory underlines the tremendous value and drinking pleasure provided by Australia’s best dry rieslings. A blend of fruit from three Clare Valley sub-regions – Polish Hill River, Watervale and Sevenhill – the 2013 is highly aromatic with juicy, mouth-filling citrusy varietal flavours and thrilling, crisp acidity. It’s dry and weighs in at just 11.5 per cent alcohol.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2013
First published 24 November 2013 in the Canberra Times


Wine review — Oakridge, Wilson, Soumah, Larry Cherubino Ad Hoc, Penny’s Hill and Tahbilk

Oakridge Local Vineyard Series Lusatia Park Chardonnay 2012 $38
Lusatia Park vineyard, Woori Yallock, Yarra Valley, Victoria
David Bicknell makes a number of Oakridge chardonnays reflecting the fruit qualities of various individual Yarra Valley vineyards. Bicknell’s Lusatia Park wine, from a Shelmerdine family vineyard at Woori Yallock, reveals the intense but elegant character derived from their elevated, cool site. Bicknell says the fruit was handpicked and whole-bunch pressed direct to 500-litre French oak barrels for spontaneous fermentation. This method retains the delicacy of the fruit, but also contributes to the aroma, flavour and texture of the wine. The excellent vintage delivered a delightful wine – tightly structured and restrained, but mouth wateringly delicious, featuring grapefruit- and white-peach-like varietal flavours.

Wilson DJW Riesling 2013 $24
DJW vineyard, Polish Hill River, Clare Valley, South Australia
Daniel Wilson established the DJW vineyard in 1997 and made the first wine from it in 1997. He says it’s on a higher, more fertile site than the original Wilson vineyard his father planted decades earlier and makes a softer, earlier drinking style. In 2013 that means a pure, loveable riesling of a very high calibre. The colour’s pale and the aroma, while a little coy, offers hints of lime-like varietal character. The lime comes through irresistibly on the fine-textured, dazzling fresh palate.

Soumah Savarro 2013 $26
Yarra Valley, Victoria
The Butcher family owns vineyards in the Gruyere-Coldstream sub-region of the Yarra Valley and created the acronym Soumah (from “south of Maroondah Highway”) as its brand name. Like many other Australian vignerons, the Butchers planted Spain’s albarino only to find the vine had been misidentified and was, in fact, savagnin (aka traminer, and several other names). The Butchers, however, opted for “savarro”. They hand pick the fruit, handle it gently and ferment it in stainless steel to preserve its purity. The 2013 appeals strongly for its lively, savoury, citrusy, tangy, melon-rind-like vitality.

Larry Cherubino Ad Hoc Middle of Everywhere Shiraz 2012 $19–21
Frankland River, Great Southern, Western Australia
Larry Cherubino sourced fruit for Ad Hoc from various sites in Western Australia’s Frankland River region – a distinct part of the much larger Great Southern wine zone. Vines endure heat pushing down from the continent, then benefit from cool afternoon and evening air flowing up from the cold oceans to the south. The unique conditions produce generously flavoured, medium bodied red wines. In Ad Hoc we enjoy ripe, juicy, blueberry-like flavours, cut with an attractive savouriness, on a soft, smooth seductive palate.

Penny’s Hill The Experiment Grenache 2011 $22–$30
Penny’s Hill vineyard, McLaren Vale, South Australia
Back in 1996, the folks at Penny’s Hill trained 18 rows of century-old, previously bush-pruned grenache vines to trellises. The venerable old vines clearly survived their retraining and subsequently made this distinctive dry red. Australian grenache varies enormously in style from floral and confection-like to earthy–savoury. This is more in the latter style. It’s underpinned by very ripe black-cherry-like fruit flavour, interwoven with earthy and savoury characters, partly derived from oak maturation. The savouriness and grippy, rustic tannin make a good match for tart and savoury food – tappas, pizza, olives, anchovy and the like.

Tahbilk Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 $17–$24
Tahbilk vineyard, Nagambie Lakes, Victoria
Tahbilk’s long-lived, medium bodied cabernet comes with a mother load of tannins – sturdy, grippy tannins that permeate the underlying fruit flavours, giving a satisfying, chewy texture. In the 2010 vintage, those tannins seem even more prominent than usual. Though the underlying fruit flavour provides an offsetting sweetness, tannin defines Tahbilk cabernet and account in large part for its great longevity. Serve the wine with juicy, pink lamb or beef, though, and the protein strips away the tannin to reveal the ripe, blackcurrant-like varietal flavour.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2013
First published 20 November 2013 in the Canberra Times


Vintage beers – Coopers takes the crown

Ten thousand individually boxed bottles of Australia’s most expensive beer hit Australian retail shelves last week. Crown Ambassador Reserve Lager 2013, the sixth vintage produced by CUB, has a recommend retail price of $99 for a 750ml bottle.

CUB produces the beer just once a year, coinciding with the Myrtleford, Victoria, hop harvest. Galaxy hops from the region, hand harvested and added to the kettle within 24-hours, add to the brew’s distinctive character.

The 2013 vintage was brewed from 100 per cent Australian malt and hops. A portion of it was matured in seasoned French oak barrels, and the final product weighs in at a chubby 9.6 per cent alcohol. The high alcohol content and significant level of hops both add to the beer’s cellaring ability.

Brewers make most beers for current drinking. But the two reviewed today – Crown Ambassador and Cooper’s Extra Strong Vintage Ale – have the capacity to evolve with bottle age.

Crown Ambassador Reserve Lager 2013 750ml $99
Crown Ambassador pours into the glass cloudy and caramel–amber, topped by a dense, persistent foam. It’s fruity and pungently, florally hoppy, with deep, sweet, malty notes. The opulent, malt-sweet palate finishes hop-bitter with alcohol sweetness and warmth – the alcohol at present taking over the finish.

Coopers Strong Vintage Ale 2013 355ml 6-pack $25
Cooper’s vintage ale lurches strongly towards hops in 2013, their pungent aromas leap from the fresh-poured glass; their flavours dominate the palate; and their lingering bitterness complete the hoppiest vintage to date. However, the high alcohol (7.5 per cent) and rich, sweet malt largely offset the hops, suggesting a long flavour evolution in bottle.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2013
First published 20 November 2013 in the Canberra Times and

Wine review — The Winesmiths, Mad Fish and Dopff au Moulin

The Winesmiths South Australia Chardonnay 2-litre cask $18.99
In July, Samuel Smith and Son, an arm of Robert Hill Smith’s Yalumba group, launched this new upmarket range of wine casks – pinot grigio, chardonnay, tempranillo and shiraz. The cask, made from a claimed 75 per cent recyclable goods and 13 per cent the carbon footprint of wine bottle, has a decidedly wholesome, wholemeal appearance. The tempranillo appealed for its rich fruit and rustic tannins. The chardonnay, too, slips down pleasantly. It’s full-bodied and richly textured with clean, fresh, peachy varietal flavour.

Mad Fish Western Australia Shiraz 2010 $14–$18
Mad Fish is the entry-level brand of Western Australia’s Burch Family Wines. The family owns wineries in Margaret River and Denmark in the state’s south, where it produces wines under the Howard Park and Mad Fish labels, and the Australian wines in its Australian–French joint venture, Marchand and Burch. As we so often see with Australian top-end producers, quality trickles all the way down the line – meaning very high quality in Mad Fish shiraz. Sourced from Great Southern and Margaret River, it offers bright, fresh fruity flavours, medium body and gentle, soft tannins for current drinking.

Dopff au Moulin Alsace Pinot Blanc 2011 $12.35–$13
Pinot blanc is the little-known, third face of the pinot vine – the other two being pinot noir and pinot gris (or grigio). It’s an important white variety in Alsace, though on a lesser scale than pinot gris (formerly known there as tokay d’Alsace). They’re hardly recognisable, though, as expressions of the same variety. Alsace pinot gris tends to be unctuous and often a little sweet. Pinot blanc, on the other hand, is leaner, lighter, tighter and made as an aperitif style – with a nice little bite of tannin emphasising the dry finish. Dopff, a good example of pinot blanc, is imported by Woolworths and available in their Dan Murphy outlets.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2013
First published 17 November 2013 in the Canberra Times

Clare and Eden dominate 2013 International Riesling Challenge

This year’s Canberra International Riesling Challenge attracted 487 entries from eight countries – up from 426 entries from six countries in 2012.

Despite increasing entry numbers, the challenge remains largely an Australian event. Our 371 wines comprised 76 per cent of the 2013 total. Second biggest exhibitor, the USA, fielded 35 wines, followed by New Zealand (34), Germany (26), France (17), Czech Republic (2), with one each from Canada and South Africa.

A sweet riesling from German’s Rheingau district topped the awards; a Marlborough, New Zealand, wine beat all the other dry rieslings; and Ravensworth 2013 won the trophy as best Canberra district riesling.

As well as taking out the top award, Germany enjoyed the highest medal strike rate. Twenty-two (85 per cent) of its 26 entries won medals – 11 bronze, four silver and seven gold. New Zealand and France tied for second place, each with a 77 per cent medal strike rate.

Australia’s 371 entries, from more than 35 regions, earned 230 medals. The strike rate of 62 per cent is impressive considering the large number of entries and their geographic diversity.

And the results highlight the continuing dominance of Australia’s traditional riesling heartland – the Clare and Eden Valleys. These two distinct regions lie on South Australia’s Mount Lofty Ranges – Eden Valley in the high country on the Barossa Valley’s east, with Clare a short distance to the north. A third region, High Eden, is a higher, cooler sub-region of the Eden Valley, registered separately in 2001.

Combined, Clare–Eden–High Eden exhibited 166 wines, or 45 per cent of the Australian total. And the three regions raked in 107 medals, 47 per cent of the Australian gongs.

Clare Valley alone entered 104 wines, the greatest number of any region or country, and won 13 gold, 13 silver and 42 bronze medals. The medal strike rate of 65 per cent, significantly below last year’s 73 per cent, underlines the stellar quality of the region’s 2012 vintage. The gold medal tally strengthens this perception – 16 from 90 entries in 2012, versus 13 from 104 entries in 2013.

As a pointer to the future, tiny Tasmania entered the greatest number of wines after Clare and Eden Valleys. The state’s 39 rieslings won 17 bronze, three silver and five gold medals – strike rate of 64 per cent. Like the Clare Valley, Tasmania’s performance in 2013 fell short of its 2012 results – 34 medals from 42 entries, a remarkable strike rate of 81 per cent. Tasmania is on track to be Australia’s capital for riesling as well as chardonnay and pinot noir.

Western Australia’s vast Great Southern zone, fielded 37 wines to win 26 medals (strike rate 70 per cent), comparable to last year’s 38 wines, 28 medals and 73 per cent strike rate. The high strike rate is consistent with the area’s long-established reputation as one of Australia’s leading riesling producers.

The serious underperformance of Canberra rieslings in the competition raises yet again the puzzling issue of inconsistency in wine show judging. A couple of weeks before the riesling challenge, judges at the Canberra and Region Wine Show awarded 21 medals, including six golds, to 26 wines in the 2013 vintage riesling class.

In the catalogue, the judges wrote, “An extraordinary class of glorious Rieslings – a true benchmark nationally and beyond. Purity, delicacy, beautiful fruit to the fore – a regional champion variety. Thank you”.

Fourteen of those 26 wines entered the riesling challenge. They won just six medals (one gold, one silver, four bronze) for a strike rate of 43 per cent. In the regional show, the same 14 wines won three gold, three silver and five bronze medals (strike rate 79 per cent).

Depending on which set of judges we believe, Canberra riesling is either pure, delicate and a national benchmark – or an also ran. The discrepancy is hard to explain. Both sets of judges can’t be right.

With that grain of salt then, we should troll the catalogue of results and always try before we buy.

Copyight © Chris Shanahan 2013
First published 13 November 2013 in the Canberra Times and

Wine review — Moppity Vineyards, Oakridge, The Winesmiths, Yalumba and Hahndord Hill

Moppity Vineyards Lock and Key Chardonnay 2012 $17
Coppabella Vineyard, Tumbarumba, NSW
At the 2013 regional show, Lock and Key topped a line up of 24 chardonnays, ultimately winning the trophy as best chardonnay of the show. Wines from Tumbarumba dominated the class, winning all five gold medals. Moppity entered four chardonnays and won four medals – two gold, one silver and one bronze. That humble Lock and Key, the cheapest of the four, topped the class underlines the inherent quality of Tumbarumba chardonnay – and the wine’s greater drink-now appeal when compared to its more austere, slow-evolving cellar mates. Moppity’s Jason Brown says it’s a blend from several blocks on his 70-hectare Coppabella vineyard. He selected fruity components for the blend and fermented 70 per cent of it in stainless steel tanks to preserve freshness. A barrel fermented component added texture and complexity. Nevertheless, it’s a lean, taut, delicious style, reminiscent of ripe, fresh nectarine, liberally doused with grapefruit juice – a thrilling combination.

Moppity Vineyards Chardonnay 2012 $25
Coppabella Vineyard, Tumbarumba, NSW
Judges at the regional show awarded gold medal scores (55.5 and 57 respectively out of 60) to this and its cellar mate, Lock and Key. Both come from Jason and Alicia Brown’s Coppabella vineyards, but offer different expressions of the variety. This one uses fruit selected for its power and intensity – characteristics emphasised by fermentation and maturation of 70 per cent of the blend in oak barrels. Tasting the two side by side, the judges’ preference for the drink-now style of the cheaper wine seems understandable. But the Moppity, I suspect, will blossom after another year or two in bottle.

Oakridge Local Vineyard Series Guerin Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012 $38
Guerin vineyard, Gladysdale, Yarra Valley, Victoria
Winemaker David Bicknell offers two 2012 pinot noirs from the Guerin vineyard. The flagship 864 Block 4 sells for $75. But for half that price this cheaper wine delivers 90 per cent of the quality. That’s the law of diminishing returns for you. Bicknell’s pinots rate among the best in Australia. And he makes quite a pile of them – each fine-tuned to express fruit from various Yarra Valley sites. Of the current single-vineyard releases, Guerin appeals strongly. It brings the pure ripe-berry flavours of pinot, deeply meshed with mouth-watering savouriness, a twist of stalkiness and the great weight and textural richness of really good pinot. A firm tannin backbone completes the picture.

The Winesmiths Tempranillo 2012 $18.99 2-litre wine cask
South Australia

In July, Samuel Smith and Son, an arm of Robert Hill Smith’s Yalumba group, launched this new upmarket range of wine casks – pinot grigio, chardonnay, tempranillo and shiraz. The cask, made from a claimed 75 per cent recyclable goods and 13 per cent the carbon footprint of wine bottle, has a decidedly wholesome, wholemeal appearance. It looks like recycled cardboard. But the wine inside certainly doesn’t taste like it’s been drunk before. This is rich, fresh, fruity tempranillo with a healthy load of mouth-puckering tannin.

Yalumba The Strapper Grenache Shiraz Mataro 2012 $17–$22
Barossa, South Australia
After the leaner, lighter 2011 vintage reviewed in July, The Strapper 2012 returns to its opulent Barossa best. The floral, sweet, enticing aroma of grenache leads to a full, round, juicy palate with the body of shiraz and spicy, tannic character of mataro. It’s a blend of 40 per cent grenache, 35 per cent shiraz and 25 per cent mataro, matured for nine months in a variety of Hungarian and French oak vessels, new and old. The oak built the texture of the wine with inserting oaky flavours.

Hahndorf Hill Winery Gruner Veltliner 2013 $28
Hahndorf Hill vineyard, Adelaide Hills, South Australia
Hahndorf Hill owners Larry Jacobs and Marc Dobson identified a fit between Austria’s late-ripening gruner veltliner and their elevated, continental-climate vineyard site in the Adelaide Hills. Jacobs says the 2013 season provided ideal, slow, ripening conditions. He picked fruit at various ripeness levels, allowed a portion of juice contact with skins (encouraging uptake of tannin), then fermented the juice in various parcels – some in stainless steel with cultured yeast, some in old oak barriques using ambient yeasts. The combination captures the freshness of the fruit but builds in a rich texture, from the barrel-fermented component, and a little tannic tweak to the finish, courtesy of the skin contact. It’s a unique, full-bodied, bright, spicy, savoury dry white of great appeal.

Copright © Chris Shanahan 2013
First published 13 November 2013 in the Canberra Times and

Beer review — Balmain Brewing Company and Stone and Wood

Balmain Brewing Company Original Pale Ale 330ml $4.00
Formerly working class Balmain completes its gentrification with the addition of a very good craft brewery. The golden amber ale strokes the palate with silk-smooth texture, sweet, opulent malt and teasing, finely balanced hops flavour and bitterness. What a beautifully balanced ale it is. Tasted twice now and becoming a favourite.

Stone and Wood Mash Collective The Old Persuader 500ml $10
The third Mash Collective beer hits the palate at a big, sweet 6.6 per cent alcohol. It’s fruity for a lager, malty, subtly bitter and hoppy. The design collective comprised graphic designers Sonny Day and Biddy Moroney, photographer, Ingvar Kenne, architect Stuart Vokes and author, John Birmingham. (Stockists at

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2013
First published 13 November 2013 in the Canberra Times