Perth Wine Century Challenge – Sixth Meet

Hi everyone,

To see what wines we have tried so far you can check out my blog posts on the first (unofficial meet) along with our second,  thirdfourth and fifth meets (official meets). Back in September I caught up with some fellow Perth wine lovers and bloggers for the third official Wine Century Challenge Meet. For those interested in my progress of the Wine Century Challenge I am keeping track of my progress on this page. This sixth meet-up was held at the Bad Apples in Applecross. The Tasting was organised by Stacey from Untapped Fine Wines and comprised of a selection of wines from her portfolio. Notes for the wines are under the categories of eye (E), nose (N) and palate (P) as usual for these tastings. All the noted prices for this tasting are the online prices for Untapped Fine Wines.

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Before beginning the tasting I popped into Bad Apples a little early as I had spent the entire day writing assignments and had not had the chance to have lunch. A bad idea when I had a night of wine drinking ahead of me so I used the opportunity to try out their chicken skewers and sliders. I really liked the sliders and the chicken skewers in comparison did nothing to blow my socks off. My only gripe with the sliders is that it was $16 for the two of them, this places them in the ‘treats’ category unfortunately.

WHITES

Ossain Quintauna, Verdejo, 2011, Spain (RRP $28)

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E: pale, bright lemon yellow.

N: lemon, straw, slightly nutty, melon – a classic verdelho.

P: melon, lemon, peach, slight spritz, unoaked, and possibly a higher alcoholic content from the mouth feel of the wine.

Juan Carlos Sacha ‘Ad Libitum’, Tempranillo Blanco, 2010, Spain. (RRP $48)

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E: pale, bright, yellow lemon.

N: honey, nutty, with a possible floral nose.

P: dry, crisp, clean, and mineral.

This is the first production of this mutation which was performed at this vineyard also. An interesting varietal to have tried but one which would have done significantly better if paired with food and still needs some time for the winemaker to find the best winemaking technique to use with this varietal.

Pazo San Mauro, Albarino, 2010, Spain. (RRP $43)

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E: pale yellow.

N: sweetness, honey and melon – wow nose!

P: crisp, dry, hint of sweetness and possibly a hint of oak also.

Sant Josep Llagrimes de Tardor, Garnacha Blanc, 2009, Spain. (RRP $38)

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E: pale yellow.

N: lots of honey.

P: dry with a slight honey taste.

El Porvenir Laborum, Torrontes, 2012, Argentina. (RRP $35)

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E: clear and bright wine.

N: spicy, tangy, and pear.

P: very dry, good overall finish and mouth feel.

REDS

Catherine & Pierra Breton Chinon, Cabernet Franc, 2010, France. (RRP ~$35)

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E: deep plum.

N:mint.

P:silky tannins, oak, and there was some alcoholic heat at the back of the palate.

Neo Tercer Motivo Bierzo, Mencia, 2008, Spain. (RRP $26)

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E: deep plum.

N:spice and mint.

P:spicy and warm mouth feel.

Aquitania Reserva, Carmenere, 2011, Chile. (RRP $25)

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E: deep ruby red.

N: oak and musty – reminded me of a homestead.

P: warm with a hint of spice.

This wine was a favourite of mine on the night.

Mi Terruno Reserva, Bonarda, 2010, Argentina. (RRP $30)

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E: deep plum/brick red.

N: tobacco with a hint of mint.

P: dry and lots of tannins.

Juan Carlos Sanch ‘A Libitum’, Maturana Tina, 2010, Spain. (RRP $48)

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E: deep plum.

N: this was described as smelling like “sweaty gym socks” by another person on the night and I think it summed it up quite well.

P: not great, short, and mellow.

from discussions with Stacy it seems like this wine’s faults were more due to the wine maker than the grapes. This is a varietal which few wineries are making and therefore those who are making it are in the process of ‘rediscovering’ this varietal.

Mendel ‘Lunta’, Malbec, 2011, Argentina. (RRP $33)

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E: deep plum.

N: warm and hearty.

P: smooth, dry, lots of berries, with a spicy palate that developed towards the end.

This one was a definite favourite at the end of the tasting table I was at. I quite enjoyed it, it was definitely one of my top 3 picks but not the favourite of the night.

Vivanco Collection Parcelas, Graciano, 2007, Spain. (RRP ~$170)

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E: deep violet.

N: spice, plum, cherry and aniseed.

P: warm, smooth, with a very good mouth feel.

I loved this wine! It had so many layers to it and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Then we had the RRP’s given to us and I’d have to say that while I adored this wine on a value-for-money choice I would say the Carmenere was my second favourite and at a comparative RRP of $25 it is the clear winner.

During the later half of the tasting we had a selection of pizzas and chips brought out to us. I only managed a snap of the chips as the pizzas were devoured as soon as they were placed on the table, and I was one of those diving in for a slice or two. Really well presented and tasty pizzas and the chips were as good as last time.

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Bad Apples Bar on Urbanspoon

Wine(s) of the Week: Summer Break (week 5).

Hi everyone,

I caught up with some old work friends for a pub meal at the Sail and Anchor in Fremantle this week and had a few glasses of wine while I was there. I Unfortunately did not get any pictures or names of the wines I tried but I do know that I had an Australian Cabernet Sauvignon and a New Zealand Pinot Noir, both of which were quite nice. I was impressed with the food, drinks and the atmosphere of the Sail and Anchor. I have eaten here on a few different occasions it has impressed me each time, however be warned the portion sizes can get a little on the larger side so perhaps wait before ordering extra chips!

When my cousin came over this week so I pulled out a bottle of Brown Brothers Zibibbo which I had received at my 21st as she had not tried it before and I have and knew she would like it. The wine is a sweet sparkling with passionfruit really coming through on the palate for me. My cousin was a big fan of the Zibibbo. if you’re looking for a sweet wine you really cannot go wrong with anything by Brown Brothers.

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I also caught up with my Subiaco lunching friend for dinner to celebrate the end of the year and my degree and to also just have a catch-up. We ended up going to Fantastico in Subiaco as I was craving pasta. With my pasta I also tried Cape Mentelle Sauvignon Blanc Semillon with my dish and it was a nice chilled wine that relieved me a little after the hot and slightly humid weather that Perth had that day.

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Finally, BF and I went out for dinner on Friday night to The Quarter on Hay in the city to use a gift voucher that I had won when I purchased tickets to Unwined WA earlier this year. We sampled 2 wines from their impressive wine list with our meal. Below are the two wines we sampled (with images from the internet as we didn’t have the bottles of wine at the table with us).

Eidosela Albarino ’11, Rias Baixas, Spain.

Having enjoyed the Albarino I had at my Wine Essential Class when I saw this varietal on the list I really wanted BF to try it and let me know what he thought. Our first sips of this wine had it coming across unbalanced and slightly too acidic, once the wine had warmed a little from it’s overly chilled state the wine balanced out and was a delightful drop to enjoy, with a hint of fleshy peach fruit on the palate and a good touch of oak and acidity.

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Eidosela Albarino ’11, ($62 a bottle at The Quarter on Hay).

Chateau d’Yquem “Les Tertre Du Lys D’or”, Sauternes, France.

This wine was a slightly impulsive decision and one i did not regret! The wine had oak present on the nose and palate, with the wine being sweet and syrupy on the palate with a refreshing aftertaste that cleansed the palate quite well. A good wine to finish the meal off!

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Chateau d’Yquem “Les Tertre Du Lys D’or” ($14 a glass at Quarter on Hay).

Full reviews of my meals and the wines will be up over the next few weeks. Hope you all are having a wonderful weekend! Best of luck with any last minute shopping and hope you all enjoy a few days of quality time with loved ones this Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Perth Wine Group, First Meet

Hi everyone,

As many of you should know I stumbled across the Wine Century Challenge a few weeks ago and over that time there has been a lot of interest from other food and wine bloggers in Perth as well as general people. The founding members of the group consists of The Perth Wine Enthusiast (PWE), Perth Food Journal (PFJ), Travelling Corkscrew (TC) and myself. TC was not able to make it to our first meet at Steve’s Fine Wine and Food in Nedlands.

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If you want to find people who are passionate about wine then Steve’s is the place to go! Michael who runs the bottle shop brought such great energy to the place and he really loves his wines both to sample them and to talk about them!

We ended up adding sampling two new varietals along with a few well known varietals as it turned out that Wednesday nights is when Steve’s has a winemaker or rep in for tastings. We ended up also sampling most of the range from Soumah winery in the Yarra Valley, which consisted of their Pinot Noir, Wooded Chardonnay and Savarro (their trademarked name for Savagnin, due to their vines being planted as Savagnin intentionally while it was still being mistaken in Australia for Albariño). I adored their Pinot Noir and it made me quite excited for my trip to Melbourne next month! Their labelling was delightful and informative unlike many labels you see out on the shelves these days.

Soumah label.

Soumah label.

Our two new varietals tried were:

Müller-Thurgau

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This wine had some nice acid, minerality and a hint of spiciness that made for an exciting wine to sample.

Savagnin

(aka what was accidentally thought to be Albariño in Australia for quite some time)

The Savarro when first poured was very chilled and as a result there was little to no aroma that BF or I could determine and on the palate it reminded me of Gewürtztraminer and how it had been disappointing for me compared to Rieslings which I love. The wine improves as it warmed in the glass but by then I had moved on to other wines before ending up back with the Müller-Thurgau which had impressed me at the start of the night.

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The picture below is a shot of the sides of the labels on Soumah’s wines and what makes it clear that the wine makers are driving these wines. The detail on the side of the label are like nothing I have ever seen before but something that I truly hope more wineries will adopt as it makes selecting a wine so much easier when you actually know what is in the bottle.

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I adored the first wine (the Müller-Thurgau from northern Italy) from the aroma to the taste of the wine across your palate it continued to surprise me with where it went next. A real treat and one I just barely resisted adding to my collection, but it is on the list along with a few other wines for when I have depleted my stash.

After having a quick sample of the wines we were all quite peckish, especially after PFJ had told us all about her food adventure while she was in New Zealand recently, especially her all-time favourite fish and chips. We ended up grabbing a Fish and Chips and a Pizza to share. The fish and chips batter was a little on the soft side for my liking, however the tartare sauce and chips were delicious. The pizza was however the highlight of the two dishes, the base was delicious and cooked just the way I like it, the toppings worked very well together and overall the pizza was just yum.

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Pizza: prosciutto, fresh tomato, fresh basil and mozzarella.

Fish and chips.

Fish and chips.

We ended the night with one last wine which Michael brought to us as a blind tasting. It was a wine that threw us all. I knew it was a wine varietal I recognised, but could not narrow it down more than that. PWE said it seemed like an ‘Old World’ wine but Michael then went on to tell us he had thought the same but it was an Australian wine. In the end we all quite liked it but had no idea as to what it was, Michael then revealed it to be the 2010

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Torbrek, 2010, Kyloe, Barossa Valley. (Mourvèdre grape varietal)

It was a wonderful night and BF even popped in for a little while and gave both the new varietals a tick of approval. he too was more of a fan of the first wine, his preference being based upon the lack of aroma on the second wine as well as it being quite limiting on the palate until it had had a chance to warm up in the glass.

For anyone interested in attending our next meet and joining us on the Wine Century Challenge please feel free to contact any one of us on our blogs or Facebook pages as we will add you to the list for those to contact for the next meet which will likely not be until late January next year.

Until next time!

Steve's Fine Wine and Food on Urbanspoon

Monthly Review: November

Hi everyone,

So this is hopefully going to be a monthly segment that highlights some of the standouts for the month. Let me know if there are any questions you would like me to include in future monthly blog posts.

1. Favourite wine of the month?

Albariño from my wine essential course.

2. What has been the best value wine of the month?

Peel Estate has some wonderfully aged reds (Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz) think 2005-2006 for $30-$35. Excellent value for money and my review of their wines will be up on Monday in a weeks time with my review of the winery and my tour of it.

3. What has been added to my to-try wine list?

Turkey Flat Barossa Valley Rose 2012.

4. What restaurants do I want to return to?

Al Dente – I would like to see what their service is like.

5. What was my favourite meal this month?

It is a toss up between my tandoori chicken pizza from Blend Cafe and the lamb from Capel Vale that I had at Gourmet Escape.

6. Upcoming events for next month?

Summer of Riesling is happening today at Matilda Bay (3-7pm).

George Street Festival (East Fremantle 1-7pm)

Christmas (look out for a food and wine pairing post for Christmas Day this Tuesday).

New Years (Look out for a posts on Champagne and Sparkling wines over the next few weeks).

7. Favourite wine packaging?

The Abstainer, Capital Wines.

The Abstainer, part of the Ministry Series.

The Abstainer, part of the Ministry Series.

Back label for The Abstainer.

Back label for The Abstainer.

8. Best service?

Capel Vale and Darbar both had excellent service who were attentive but did not hover over the table.

9. Restaurant I am most keen to try next month?

Dinner at the Pickled Fig in South Fremantle is something I have been wanting to try after having had brunch there a few months ago and enjoying it.

10. Wine Century Challenge.

Total = 23 varietals.

Favourite = Albariño

Meetings with the Perth wine bloggers will begin in December so here’s hoping that number will rise quickly and that I will have new favourites to share with you all soon!

Until next time!

Wine(s) of the Week: Summer Break (week 1)

Hi everyone,

Hope you all had a good weekend and sorry that this post is up so late but I was down south all weekend and without internet so I had to delay posting this until I could get back to Perth to edit and upload this post.

For a review of the wines I tried as part of the Wine Essentials Class this week then head over to this post. This weeks wine class focused on white wines and the class was encouraged to bring in a white wine that we had tried over the past week, preferably one that was not a common white varietal. For the class I brought in a bottle of Vermentino. I went into the Wine Store bottle shop in Fremantle and spoke to the guy who was running the store at the time, he was so friendly and helped me out as I explained I was more a fan of Rieslings than Sauvignon Blancs but was looking to try a new varietal so he recommended the Vermentino to me. This varietal was a pale wine with a slight green tinge. Passionfruit and citrus notes on the nose that increases as the wine warmed in the glass. Crisp and creamy texture on the palate with just the right amount of acidity for me.

Vermentino.

I also had the chance to add two new grape varietals to my collection from people bringing in bottles of wine for the class to try in the Wine Education Course. For a review of these two varietals check out the blog post for the Wine Course linked here.

Verdecchio.

Albariño.

I spent this weekend down south at the Gourmet Escape in Margaret River. I had such a great time at the event and got to talk to lots of people involved with the different wineries from owners and wine makers to people who worked for the wineries or did sales in the city. This event is one to keep an eye out for next year!

Gourmet Escape Tickets.

I will have a blog posts up for the Gourmet Escape this Friday and the Blend your own Grand Cuvée Class at Howard Park Winery the following Friday as well as a review on the lunch I had at Capel Vale with BF before we headed back to Perth today tomorrow.

Quick Highlights of my weekend at Gourmet Escape:

Devil’s Lair – I adore this winery and cannot praise them enough! Fantastic value for money on their higher ranges but even their entry level 5th Leg range is a decent drink if you’re looking for something to go with a meal.

SBS with lychee notes – I am being slowly but steadily converted to SBS/SSB as I try this wine more and more thanks to this blog and BF loving white wine more than red but the lychee on the nose and palate as I can across first at Gourmet Escape at Knee Deep Winery, the wine was refreshing and definitely got me in the mood for summer!

Blend your own Grand Cuvée – I got to ‘disgorge’ a bottle of bubbly which involved me removing the crown cap off a bottle after the neck had been frozen so that the lees would be trapped in the ice and expelled by the pressure of the wine. And then after doing so I had the chance to select my choice of ‘dosage’ which is the final step of the traditional champagne method which sees the addition of sugar of brandy to bubbly to determine the bubbly’s final sweetness. A full review including tasting notes and photos will be up friday week.

Have a great week everyone!

Until next time!

Wine Essentials Course: Week 2

This week the Wine Essential Course focused on white wines including their production as well as a tasting of some common varietals along with samples of different white wine varietals which were brought in by members of the class at the request of .

1. Kilikonoon, 2011, Mort’s Block Riesling, Clare Valley ($36): pale lemony clear wine with crisp citrus and green fruit (pear and apple) on the nose, pronounced fruit on the palate balanced well with the acid and a long finish.

2. Redgate, 2011, Sauvignon Blanc Semillon, Margaret River ($19): bight and clear pale yellow wine with waxy, grassy and tropical fruit (pineapple) on the nose. This wine was quite disappointing when tasted, while the wine was smooth and balanced it was weak on fruit, acidity and overall not an impressive SBS for me personally.

3. Upper Reach, 2010, Verdelho, Swan Valley ($20): this wine surprised many of us in the class. Clear pale yellow in the glass, pronounced stone and melon fruit on the nose and ripe fruit was balanced on the palate well however the wine lacked persistence of the fruit flavour and developed at the back of the mouth into what one lady described on the night as a ‘sherberty’ texture. This wine would do well with a chicken salad this summer and was personally preferred to the SBS.

4. West Cape Howe, 2011, Unwooded Chardonnay, Margaret River ($17, $19 at Liquorland): clear and bring yellow wine in the glass with tropical, melon and cucumber on the nose. The wine was dry and fruity with ‘structural richness’ on the palate. This wine is one of the few Unwooded Chardonnays, which I have enjoyed and is making me rethink this wine style. This wine is great value for money and another excellent wine from West Cape Howe.

5. Rosabrook, 2010, Chardonnay, Margaret River ($22 at Liquorland): Clear and pale golden wine with a vanilla and charred oak notes on the nose combined with zingy tropical fruits (pineapple) making for an interesting bouquet. The wine was well rounded between the fruit, oak, acid and alcohol with fruit such as grapefruit and nectarines coming through on palate. This wine while not being overly complex also endeared me to the more fruiter styled Chardonnays which Australian wine makers and drinkers tend to favour.

6. De Bortoli, 2008, ‘Nobel 1’ Botrytis Semillon, Billal ($60 for a 700mL bottle, $36 at Liquorland for a 375mL bottle): dark orange in colour and smells devine! Think marmalade and honey notes on the nose. Sweet and fruity on the palate with enough acid to allow the palate to not feel gluggy from the sweetness of the wine, this wine would be perfect for Christmas desert or cheese platter!

The favourites of the night, not including De Bortoli’s ‘Nobel 1’ was the Rosabrook Chardonnay and the Kilikonoon Riesling, both of which I highly enjoyed and ended up being the swing vote to make the Riesling the overall favourite wine of the night.

I also had the chance to sample 2 new wine varietals from samples, which people brought into the class. I had the chance to try an Italian Verdecchio and a Spanish Albariño. Both were new varietals for me as part of my Wine Century Challenge and I enjoyed trying both varietals and would happily try them again. The Verdecchio was brought to the class warm and was quite watery on the palate; it would be interesting to try this varietal again but chilled. The Albariño was delightful with white peach coming across on the palate.

Albariño.

Verdecchio.

This weeks course definitely opened my eyes up to the numerous white wine varietals as well as how even a well known wine varietal can still surprise me in how varying the textures, bouquets and tastes different wineries can produce with the same grape varietals.

For those of you who missed my post for the first week’s class you can follow the link here to it.

Currently down in Margaret River for the Gourmet Escape event which is occurring this weekend. Tomorrow’s post will be late as I am driving back that afternoon. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! And come say hi if you are at the Gourmet Escape today (Saturday) and see me!

Until next time!