Then again, as memorable a moment was the time he was telling Stuart Halliday that “the funny smell meant that his wine was corked… I think he probably knew that himself!”
Marcus has been wielding his Code38 for five years now – and is hard-pressed to judge which was the most exciting wine, in all that time, he has opened with it. He suspects it was a 1982 Chateaux Margaux in the company of friends – but assures me that over the years there have been “too many”. He last opened a M.Chapoutier Gigondas 2007 with it.
Current crush is a Domaine des Espiers 2010 Cotes du Rhone Blanc Les Diablotines, which he sums up as “just a really great food wine, really textural, great drinking. Did I mention the texture?” This is not, however, his current favourite variety, which Marcus says is riesling, due to its versatility and its adaptability to food. White-wise, he loves anything by Joh.Jos. Prum, and in the red department “all things pinot”.
No surprise, then, that his favourite wine region is Burgundy – “although”, he adds, “I’m drinking a lot of Rhone lately.” (Must be those cold Southern Highlands, surely…)
And to be sure it is a Southern Highlands wine Marcus recommends to other Code38 members: the Tertini Riesling. “Grab the 2006 ’1855′ Museum if you can find it: beautifully weighted, structured, and still so clean. Or”, he continues, “the 2008 which is just as good, but so big, powerful and highly aromatic…” He suggests teaming it with cured mackerel, nashi, grapes and finger-lime, and says it can be bought directly from the winery (tertiniwines.com.au) or through the wholesaler (altitude701.com.au)
What, after five years, does he love most about his Code38? Firstly, that in all that time, “it’s exactly the same as if it was new”, he tells me. “I think Jeff has serviced it twice in that time, but it has never faulted, broken, become loose or anything at all. It’s now literally an extension of my hand. I actually notice if its weight is missing rather than present. Oh, and it’s very very good at what it does. I trust it totally.”