AFLW Round 5 – Adelaide v Carlton: In Wine, There is Truth


Wine is not a stable chemical solution.


We pondered this assertion as we tasted our way through the Barossa and McLaren Vale. There are so many variables when contemplating the purchase of that wooded dry white or bold red for dinner later on.


For one’s perplexity and pleasure, a similar number of variables were to be considered leading into the Crows and Blues match at Norwood. By game’s end, it was obvious!


Surely if you’re asking for the best from your team, it is essential that they share similar properties and locations. The Crows source the majority of their players from SA and the NT thus providing a rich commonality. Finding out that the Chardonnay at Hardy’s was a blend of grapes from regions as far as Margaret River to Tumbarumba was comparable to the make-up of the Blue girls – from Brisbane to Seaford, Bendigo and beyond. The tasting is just starting to become complex.


Norwood was bedecked in yellow, blue and red expecting nothing but percentage. The finest Carlton had to offer was on crutches. Brianna Davey was the Grenache from D’Arenburg, of 100-year-old vines that only an ACL can tarnish. The Crows were ready to pounce.


The Blues needed to rebound from their previous week’s disaster with a much-improved effort … after all, a grand final was still possible. Following on from a Charles Melton 2015 Rosé of Virginia, they added structural integrity to their line up with Tayla Harris back from suspension to join Danielle Hardiman and Katie Loynes. Players of their calibre automatically add the depth of flavour.


They tested the vine that is the backbone of Crow’s team and were found wanting in the face of the Samuel’s Gorge four:


  • The 2015 Grenache, delicious in the flavour of any McLaren Vale grenache, was Dayna Cox, once suspended yet still a gutsy defender; was always finding position and was a trusted user of the ball.
  • Ebony Marinoff showed signs of the 2016 Tempranillo that was smooth beyond the mid palate taste as she bullocked and blocked in her scrappy, yet commanding style of play.
  • As with a 2016 Graciano, Courtney Cramey was all style and grace. Aggressive from far too much sugar in fermenting, the blues attacks fell like autumn leaves off the vine before her.
  • Chelsea Randall is the premium drop of this vineyard, the 2016 Shiraz  – bold in taste and purpose. While Tayla Harris may have all the highly fancied qualities of Rockford’s 2014 Basket Press Shiraz, she was shut out by Randall in a display that underscored her All Australian credentials.


The GSM blend from Yangarra Estate winery clearly identifies Ruth Grenache Wallace and her three goals. Her shiraz partner, Eloise Jones chipped in with two goals (one from a delightful aerial mark) while Jessica Sedunary made up the Mourvèdre as sneaky goal kicking portion of this delightfully created blend.


Another D’Arenburg trait in the 2014 Dead Arm Shiraz tells the story of Sarah Perkins as she seems to be falling to the trellised eutypa fungus. While one half of her uses exquisite skills in positioning and assists, the other is not continuing the goal scoring of last year. Sadly, if this situation persists, she may be uprooted and discarded.


Carlton have dilemmas of its own, not unlike the cork vs stelvin seal caps quandary.


The coaching panel must feel akin to Charles Melton who endures sleepless nights over how much sulphur dioxide to add to his capped bottles. Better to stick with the cork of Vescio in attack or use her as a stelvin seal caps in the midfield? Maddy Keryk on display at the cellar door or Tiahna Cochrane maturing back in the cellar?


There is no doubt from Saturday night’s game that the Rockford Rod & Spur Shiraz-Cabernet that is Adelaide, shows excellent cork integration and is bold in its outlook. On the other hand, the Charles Melton blue girls 2015 La Belle Mère GSM is a middle palate weight drink, short finish and doesn’t last long.


Can the Crows back up again this year and claim the Seppeltsfield Centenary Para Port?


When James Halliday gives it 100/100 you know you’re the best. There are those like Carlton who are only allowed to sniff this concentrated flavour. The crows have two weeks to show whether the French oak that they are lovingly produced in, comes to bear.




  1. Yvette Wroby says:

    Love it like a fine whisky. Game was top shelf if u wore the red yellow and blue. Fine report

  2. Dave Brown says:

    Love it, Dave. The D’Arenburg a particularly good example given their founder was a Norwood footballer. A bit more Wolf Blass and Grant Burge to be had at the ground

  3. Steve L says:

    Dave, glad you left SA with priorities sorted. McLaren Vale Rhone varietals rule, but Barossa class puts up a good fight. Footy was good too. Blues seem to have some sort of curse on them at present. All the 50/50’s seemed to go against them, from bounce of the ball to umpiring calls and even shots at goal. Crows are not world beaters but cashed in on the night. Full respect to Katie Loynes— as honest and tough as they come. Who knows, a tweak here and there and Blues fortunes could change quickly. Too late for 2018 now but draft a big defender or two and they’ll be in the mix come 2019. Crows fall short but new small forwards look exciting even if Erin Phillips needs to be managed for the rest of her career. All we can hope for now is not an all Victorian GF.

  4. Yvette Wroby says:

    Hey Steve L, if it’s an all Victorian final it will be packed to the rafters! Would love to see teams Melbourne and Western Bulldogs slug it out in front of a respectable crowd.

  5. John Butler says:

    Suddenly I feel like cracking open a bottle.

    Nice work, Dave.

  6. You would hit a nerve with that kind of comment Yvette! Steve would HATE to see any Victorian team in the granny. But we all know if one does, it is an automatic 50,000 crowd at Etihad. If there are 2 teams, then it is 80,000 at the G.
    Victorians just love their sport. Give them the appeal of “the first ever” for anything and they will go just to say to their mates that they were at that first match.
    Yet I fear they will hold it at Ikon for the sell out factor.
    I must get back to my Cab Sav from Margaret River … just getting warmed up for the Carlton v Freo game!

  7. Good stuff Dave, v happy that common sense prevailed and that our sponsors product was available.The Redlegs trio of 2017 were decisive, Wallace has become a key player.Norwood oval is a fantastic venue, it provides the real cauldron atmosphere.( I did walk behind Sam Lane to get on tv for the knackery get together ). Love the old mathematic possibility.

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