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.


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.


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


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)


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)


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)


E: pale yellow.

N: lots of honey.

P: dry with a slight honey taste.

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


E: clear and bright wine.

N: spicy, tangy, and pear.

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


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


E: deep plum.


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)


E: deep plum.

N:spice and mint.

P:spicy and warm mouth feel.

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


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)


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)


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)


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)


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.


Bad Apples Bar on Urbanspoon


Wino101: Like This, Try That (second instalment)

Hi everyone,

You may remember one of my earlier posts on this blog where I suggested alternatives for common white wines. In this post I will hopefully make red wine varietals a little more approachable.

Like Shiraz, Try Zinfandel

When I say Zinfandel, I am referring to the robust style seen in Australia and not the one that many Americans will think of. Zinfandel in Australia is a red wine which ranges in its body and intensity of flavours depending upon the climate it was grown in as well as the winery producing it. Below is the description for the 2010 vintage Zinfandel from Cape Mentelle in Margaret River, Western Australia which has been described to me as the Holy Grail of Western Australian Zinfandels.

APPEARANCE: Dark crimson.

NOSE: Ripe plums with chocolate, allspice, maraschino cherries, juniper berries and aged tobacco.

PALATE: Ripe mulberry, rhubarb and summer pudding with cinnamon, dark chocolate and fleshy plums. The wine is opulent and rich with savoury spicy tannins balanced by fresh and vibrant red fruits. The sweet fruit carries the entire palate contributing to length of flavour.

Like Cabernet Sauvignon, Try Cabernet Franc

Cabernet Franc is a softer wine in comparison to a Cabernet Sauvignon, however it is a wine that can be overlooked if you are not aware of and looking for the finer, softer elements in a wine. Cabernet Francs are often listed as having, fine tannins, spicy aromas, peppery accents, violet nuances and an understated elegance plus lots of red and black berry (mainly blueberry, raspberry and sometimes plum) flavor.

 It is subtly fragrant and gently flirtatious rather than massively muscular and tough in youth. Because Cabernet Sauvignon has so much more of everything – body, tannin, alcohol, colour – it is often supposed to be necessarily superior, but I have a very soft spot indeed for its more charming and more aromatic relative, Cabernet Franc – Jancis Robinson

Like Pinot Noir, Try Merlot or Cabernet Merlot

Merlot is a grape varietal which bring sweetness into a red wine rather than tannins and spiciness as Cabernet and Shiraz do. If you are finding your Merlot’s too sweet as I did when I first started drinking red wine then a Cabernet Merlot may be a better wine for you to drink as your branch out in your red wine drinking.

Like Rose, Try Pinot Noir

Rose’s tend to be light bodied, fruity (think strawberries, rasberries and cherries) and can range from sweet to dry with their finish. Pinot Noir’s tend to have more body than a Rose however they are still a lighter bodied red than your Shiraz, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignons. Pinot Noirs such as the Village Pinot Noir from Yering Station – review can be found in this blog – can also have similar fruity characteristics to a Rose.


Hope this post helps and if there are any other varietals you like to drink that wasn’t included in either post please let me know as there will be more of these entries in the future!

Until next time!

Halliday Day: Week 9 – Peel Estate Winery.

Hi everyone,

As part of my Wine Essentials Class with the Wine Education Centre of WA we had the chance to be given a tour of Peel Estate Winery in Baldivis by its owner and senior winemaker Will Nairn. Peel Winery is located in the Peel wine region, which is located at the southern end of Perth; situated roughly between Rockingham and 50km south of Mandurah and runs from the coast to the Darling Scarp.

James Halliday rated the winery 4 stars in the 2012 Australian Wine Companion, and commends them on their “remarkably consistent track record”. Peel Estate is known for it’s unique ‘wooded-Chenin’ which Halliday rates as the best wooded-Chenin in Australia and compares it to that of the Loire Valley in France.

We were taken by Will Nairn for a tour of his vineyard and winery and I managed to grab a few half-decent pictures along the way. Below are some pictures I took while we were given a tour of the winery. Will spent about an hour discussing with us the formation of the winery and where he had sourced the grapes cuttings from, how they had developed and how he had altered the vision of the winery along with their successes and failures and his views on oak and other wine making methods and advances. Climate change was of great importance to Will as it is impacting many aspects of the Wine Industry, regarding irrigation, harvest and the success of certain grape varietals.


Mature Grape Vines.

Recently grafted grape vine.

Recently grafted grape vine.

Newly grafted section of the vineyard along with most of our teacher in the wine class.

Newly grafted section of the vineyard along with most of our wine educator from the Wine Education Centre.

This tour was possibly the highlight of the Wine Essential Course that I have been completing this past month. It was so interesting and exciting to hear from a man who has been in the industry for years as well as to see him in his own environment, that of his winery and vineyard.

Review of wines sampled:

2011 Verdehlo: dry, crisp, fresh, and citrus on the nose. The palate was dominated by apple, floral, and zestyness from the citrus notes in the wine. The Verdelho had been left on lees for a bit which made it different to other Verdelho’s I have tried, but still overall one that I would happily have again.

2012 Oaked Chardonnay: On the nose you could note floral, fruity and a hint of butteriness from the oak. The acid was balanced on the palate and the time on oak led to it having a good texture as well as giving the wine a toasty flavour along with citrus and spiciness from the fruit.

2011 Wood-matured Chenin Blanc: this wine was different to any Chenin I have tried in the past, while at first it seemed unfamiliar and therefore slightly odd tasting I warmed up to it in the end. On the nose the wine was crisp but still nutty and toasty thanks to the time on oak (between 12-18 months for the Chenin). On the palate the wine was fruity, rich, dry and a hint of honey. This is a wine which would do best I believe with food.

2012 Rose: Their rose is a blend consisting of mainly Cabernet Franc with some Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon also. The wine began with strawberries and cream on the nose and was fruity and smooth on the palate. The wine began sweet on the tip of the mouth it’s overall finish was medium-dry. I was a fan of this and think I have have preferred it to the wine’s I sampled at the Rose Revolution earlier.

2006 Cabernet Sauvignon: the bit of age on the wine had done it some good thought it was still a little on the young side. The acid and tannins on the wine were still noticeable but it was still a pleasant drop. Dark plum was present both on the nose and palate and along with vanilla, spiciness, and a slight hint go earthiness or chalky-limestone thanks to the location of the vineyard on the old limestone coastal plain in the region.

2005 Old Vine Shiraz: spice, black olive, vanilla, licorice, chocolate and toasty all came to mind from the nose of this wine. On the palate you could taste berries and chocolate as well and it was quite a smooth wine. Not a bad wine either and it came close to usurping the  Cabernet Sauvignon as my favourite red.

Fortified Shiraz: wow! This is a wine which I am so glad I had the chance to try! It was like liquid gold for me! If you make it to the winery this is one to try and you will likely end up taking a bottle home with you!

They also do a Zinfandel which they were currently out of stock on the previous vintage and a few weeks off having the next vintage available for tasting which was a shame as it came highly recommended. There was also a Shiraz Cabernet which we accidentally passed over during the tasting. All the wines sampled on the day were very reasonably priced, with the aged reds being $30-35 which impressed me greatly, in comparison to what they would have likely cost had they come from a Margaret River winery.

A big thanks to Will for having the class on the tour and for being such an entertaining host! I do hope some of you make it down to the winery as it is the perfect location for a lazy weekend barbecue with their electric barbecue and wine cellar open 10am-5pm 7 days a week.

Until next time!

Wine Varietal Challenge

Hi everyone,

I’ve stumbled across a website which belongs to a group called The Wine Century Club with the condition of membership being that you have tried at least 100 different grape varietals while drinking wine.

Demi-Membership for those who are on their way to trying 100 different varietals of wine.

The application form for the group can be found here, and on the form is a list of all the current grape varieties used in the production of wines. From this form I checked out the varieties that I know I have tried in the past and realised quickly that there is still plenty of wine’s for me to try to be able to qualify. So I have set myself the challenge of trying to tick off as many new wine varieties over the summer as I can, and I want anyone who want to do the same to join me as I am sure it will be quite the challenge to make it to 100 different varieties from the limited range available in the commercial liquor stores in Perth! Below is a list of what I know I have tried so far.


Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Gewürtztraminer, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, and Verdelho.


Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Dolcetto, Grenache, Malbec, Merlot, Mourvèdre, Petit Verdot, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, Shiraz, and Zinfandel.

This list puts my total at 20 different varietals. If anyone has one to recommend that I can easily get my hands on a bottle in Perth than please let me know! And if anyone in Perth would like to help me finish the many bottles of wine that this challenge will lead me to consume, or even to begin adding to their own tally then feel free to tweet or comment to me and I’m sure we can arrange a tasting over the summer months!

Until next time!