Regional Heroes Wine Tasting @ 2013 Good Food and Wine Show, Perth

Earlier this year I attended the Good Food and Wine Show in Perth. I only had a few hours at the show so it was a rushed visit but I managed to book tickets to the Regional Heroes Wine Tasting. This tasting consisted of 6 wines from different wine regions across Australia that the presenters felt were good and solid examples of the wine being produced in Australia.

Riesling

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E: pale colour.

N: sweet, fruity, apple, aromatic, lemon, and lime.

P: hint of sweetness, crisp, acidic, lively, lemon, dry, fresh and also a hint of minerality.

Semillon

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E: pale clear lemon.

N: oak, lemon, sweetness – reminded me of a lemon meringue pie.

P: dry, crisp, acidic, with a hint of oak.

Chardonnay

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E: clear pale lemon.

N: soft nose, oak, lemon.

P: good mouth feel, good length, lemon, oak, fruity and a hint of acidic minerality.

Pinot Noir

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E: clear ruby red.

N: oak and berries – cherry in particular.

P: dry, spice, silky tannins, acidic and berries.

Cabernet Sauvignon

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E: vibrant plum coloured wine.

N: berries, oak and spice – I had YUM! down next to this wine.

P: dry, luscious berries, oak, good finish, some grippy tannins and vibrant fruit.

Shiraz

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E: brick red wine.

N: oak, spice, plums, and dark berries.

P: smooth, very dry, balanced, spice, rich and savoury.

Overall it was a lovely wine tasting and I enjoyed being introduced to some staple wine regions in Australia. While I have personal preferences that differ to some of their recommendations I still enjoyed the wines they had presented.

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Wine(s) Of the Week: Yet Another Collective Blog Post (during prac)

Woody Nook 2011, Late Harvest Semillon, Margaret River, Western Australia.

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I raided my wine collection while on prac and discovered this bottle towards the back of my collection. I figured it needed to be opened sooner than later from the date and it was a wine, which was getting old and dull. It’s a shame as when I purchased this wine at the cellar door a summer ago it was a really nice wine from memory. Hints of the usual late harvest semillon flavours but it was really past it’s drinking age.

Chandon 2008, Barrel Selection Shiraz, Yarra Valley, Victoria.

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This was a bottle that was brought back from my trip in the Yarra Valley as a gift. While I was down south it was opened and this wine was as good as I remembered it being when I sampled it back in January in the Yarra Valley. Lots of blackcurrant, plums and toasty spicy oak flavours. A beautiful wine!

Clairault, 2009 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Margaret River, Western Australia

While I was down south for a weekend I went to Clairault winery to have lunch at their café. To go with lunch we opted to share a bottle of the 2009 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine had lots of luscious berries, with a hint of oak and chocolate on the palate and was a balanced and very easy to drink wine.

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Lunch at the Clairault Café.

We shared the Gourmet Platter and a serving of bread between the three of us and two of us also opting to have the soup as well (pumpkin with a sliver of brie), see the picture above. The food was all well presented, delicious and made for a wonderfully relaxing afternoon of catching up. I will be back for sure in the summer when I can borrow a picnic blanket from them and buy a hamper to eat out in their garden.

Clairault Estate on Urbanspoon

Plantagenet 2010 Hazard Hill Shiraz, Mount Barker, Western Australia.

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I had to make a rushed decision on a bottle of wine for the group while dining at Junction Grill at Crown Casino. I noticed Plantagenet’s Hazard Hill 2010 Shiraz on the wine list and decided to play it safe with a winery I trusted. The wine has luscious fleshy fruit and a hint of cherries on the palate and had a very soft, warm finish. I was very impressed and look forward to trying more wines from Plantagenet.

Dinner at Junction Grill

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We ended up dining at Junction Grill for dinner over the weekend to celebrate a friends birthday as the Merrywell had a 3 hour waitlist and we were not prepared to wait around for dinner for that long. We ended up wandering past Junction Grill and saw a short and quickly moving line and decided to have dinner there.

For dinner I had the gnocchi from their menu. It was alright, nothing spectacular with regards to the gnocchi and the spinach had a funky taste, which resulted in most of it ended up on the side of my plate. Those also dining with me mainly ordered the pizzas or the steak sandwiches and those were all raved about so I would recommend sticking to those if you choose to dine here.

Junction Grill on Urbanspoon

Cherry Bomb cocktail at South Street Ale House.

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Above is the Cherry Bomb cocktail I had at the South Street Ale House. The cocktail included VOK Parfait Amour Liquer, VOK Cherry Brandy Liquer and Lemonade. It was quite a nice cocktail but a little on the sweeter side of things.

Cocktails at Midnight Fox  

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At the end of prac I went out with BF to celebrate. I decided to finally check out the new small bar in Melville called Midnight Fox which is run by the owners of Blend Cafe which is located next door.

Lady Peaches ($12)

Bottom Cocktail in the image above. The cocktail contained peach liqueur, bubbles and a sugar cube. This was a great cocktail to start the celebration with, not overly sweet and a easy cocktail to sit back, relax and sip on.

Apple and Eve Cocktail ($17)

Top cocktail in the image above. The cocktail contained absolut vodka, cointreau, fresh apple and lime, finished with cinnamon sugar and baron von moustache spiced apple bitters.​ I went to the bar and asked to be surprised, however I’m not a big fan of gin based cocktails and this is what they chose for me. I really enjoyed this cocktail also.

Dinner at Midnight Fox/Blend Cafe

Pumpkachicken pizza ($20) consists of tomato base, mozzarella, free range chicken, pumpkin, pepperoni and onion.​​ I decided to give this pizza a try as I love having pumpkin on a pizza. BF got our traditional Little India pizza ($19.5) consisting of tomato base, mozzarella, tandoori chicken, red onion, and chilli, finished with a cucumber and mint raita. I did like the pumpkin on the pizza however it was significantly bland in comparison to the Little India and could not really compete with it.

Overall BF and I thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the Midnight Fox and we will be back for sure to enjoy the pizzas from Blend along with some well made cocktails in a intimate and cosy location.

Blend Cafe on Urbanspoon
Midnight Fox on Urbanspoon

Curious Peach Cocktail Jug ($35 for a 1/2L jug)

The cocktail contained appleton Rum, peach liqueur, earl grey tea and lemon juice. It was a really nice refreshing cocktail to have on a warm Sunday afternoon when BF and I caught up with some good friends. The flavours in the cocktail were well balanced and nicely done. Overall I’m still loving the cocktails at the Merrywell!

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Lunch at the Merrywell

For my main I had the Grilled Tuna Salad ($24), consisting of garden vegetables, roasted capsicum aioli and devil egg from the share plate menu. I really enjoyed this dish as a non-shared plate as it was a good sized meal for lunch to allow me room for desert also. The flavours of the aioli and vegetables was well done also and the tuna was nicely cooked. For desert we ordered the Key Lime Cheesecake and the Chocolate brownie (both $9). both were very nice however the brownie is a very rich dish and I ordered and finished this one off, feeling very full by the end of it.

Overall it was a very nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon and the crowds were not as bad as I have seen at dinner time. We managed to grab a table outside to enjoy the nice weather and it was very pleasant.

The Merrywell on Urbanspoon

Hazlenut Milkshake at San Churro

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I went out for a churro and milkshake fix at the end of my prac. I had my usual white chocolate dipping sauce with my churros and as we were having a warm summers day I chose to try their hazelnut milkshake which was delicious! This is a the perfect place to visit in Perth if you are in need of a chocolate fix!

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Chocolateria San Churro Fremantle on Urbanspoon

Cocktail at the Lounge Bar at Crown Casino

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Lastly is a cocktail (~$19) that I had at the Lobby Lounge at the Crown Casino when I went there to celebrate a friends birthday. I cannot remember what was in it exactly but it was a similar cocktail to the Lady Peach from Midnight fox with a sparkling wine base, sugar and then a liqueur (from memory this cocktail used chambord). I quite enjoyed the cocktail as well as the lobby lounge.

Denkmark Wineries (Singlefile and Harewood)

Hi everyone,

BF and I went down south to Albany for a few days and while we were there I managed to stop in at two wineries between Albany and Denmark. I had planned to visit a few more wineries around Albany and Mt Barker however I ended up getting sick towards the end of the trip and have spent the week since recovering. BF and I adored the region however! The scenery of the region is quite unlike that of Margaret River. The wineries too are not as well accessible as Margaret River, which has spent a significant amount of time, money and effort to create itself as the wine-seekers destination when heading south of Perth.

Harewood

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2012 Porongurup Riesling ($21).

Floral, citrus and passionfruit nose with green apple and passionfruit on the palate of this wine is finished off by a nice mineral finish. I did like this wine and would happily have it again!

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2011 Chardonnay ($34).

I quite liked this Chardonnay. Grapefruit, stone fruit and a nice touch of vanilla from it’s time on oak came through on the palate. Would have again.

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2011 Pinot Noir ($21).

A much younger and less complex Pinot Noir to the reserve. Nice, but didn’t wow me.

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2010 Reserve Pinot Noir ($45).

I really liked this wine but was hanging out to try more from Mount Barker before picking up some bottles to bring back. A really nice wine, a little more expensive that what I would have liked to paid for a Pinot I liked for the region but I would be happy to splurge for this one from time to time. Lots of dark berries, dried fruits and rich chocolate to be found in this wine.

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2009 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ($34).

Blackcurrant, plums and vanilla on the palate and nose of this wine had me quite excited! It was a nice delicate wine that could be drunk now, however I personally feel it would be superb with a few more years in the bottle.

Singlefile

I featured Singlefile winery in a Halliday Day post last, which can be found here.

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NV Run Free Serendipity Curvée ($26).

Quite a nice sparkling. Grapes sourced from Pemberton region. Citrus on the nose and palate with the palate having a nice texture and crisp finish. Would have again.

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2012 Pemberton Fume Blanc ($30).

This wine is a testament to how my palate has changed since starting this blog! I had the opportunity to try this wine back in November of last year at the WA Boutique Wine Show and was not overly impressed with the wine, this time around I ended up walking away with a bottle of it to take home with me. This oaked Sauvignon Blanc had a beautiful texture and it really enhanced the grassy and spicy flavours and aromas in the wine.

Reserve Chardonnay.

2012 Reserve Chardonnay ($45).

A delightful wine with stone fruit, a hint of citrus and a good creamy nuttiness across the nose and palate of this wine. This wine was very nice and getting closer to a Chardonnay that I feel I would enjoy (one with a good amount of oak). I contemplated picking up a bottle of this wine but in the end decided against it as the backseat of the car was beginning to look like a wine cellar. Would happily try this wine again!

Rose.

2012 Run Free La vie en Rosé ($20).

Shiraz and Grenache blended Rosé. Grapes sourced from Porongurup region. Lovely strawberry, herb and vanilla nose to the wine. Palate did not disappoint with a refreshing and clean finish. Picked up a bottle of this to take home.

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2012 Pemberton Pinot Noir ($30).

This Pinot Noir was nice, but it did not ‘blow my socks off’ as I was hoping for a Pinot Noir to do during my time in the region. Lots of cherries, other berries and spiciness on the nose and palate. Good texture and palate weight. Overall not a bad wine and would try again.

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2010 Mount Barker Syrah ($37).

A medium bodied Shiraz with delicate berry flavour on the palate and a hint of pepperiness. This is a Shiraz that I wouldn’t mind drinking and I ended up picking a bottle of this up as a gift.

Barossa Shiraz.

2010 Barossa Shiraz.

This Shiraz was full bodied and packed a punch. It was nice to try this wine however it was not a style of wine that I would quickly go back to, I must admit that Shiraz is not a favourite varietal of mine.

Until next time!

Wine(s) of the Week: University (week 14)

Hi everyone,

Sorry for this post going up a little late I have been down south for a wedding and a then spent a few days in Albany to recuperate from my first term of studies. Ended up getting sick as the body slowed down after the last 14 weeks of studies.

To celebrate the end of our first term as well as a major assignment some of my fellow classmates and I returned to our local pub for lunch and a few drinks, The Inglewood Hotel. I began with Bulmer’s apple cider (pictured below) before being convinced to give Cooper’s Pale Ale a try as a new keg of it had just been opened. The cider was as always a good drink to start the weekend and the pale ale was surprisingly not that bad of a drink.

Bulmer's apple cider.

Bulmer’s apple cider.

For lunch I opted for their classic beef burger with chips (classic 100% beef burger in a sour dough bun with lettuce, tomato, beetroot relish, swiss cheese, and aioli). The burger was  filling but a quite a messy eat, while the chips were alright but nothing to rave about. I would happily reorder this dish as I quite enjoyed the flavours of the burger, in particular the beetroot relish.

classic 100% beef burger in a sour dough bun with lettuce, tomato, beetroot relish, swiss cheese, aioli & chips

Classic beef burger ($20)

The wedding and reception was held at Ferguson Farmstay, and this location was just breath taking! There was a small selection of wines from the winery across the road from the venue as well as a sparkling from a winery down the road and a selection of bottled beers and ciders available for consumption at the reception, which was held at the restaurant on site.

Table setting at the reception.

Table setting at the reception.

The highlight wine for me at the wedding was the 2011 Panis sparkling wine that they were serving from Angelicus Winery which is located nearby to the farmstay. This sparkling had a gorgeous salmon colouring in the glass and was a delightful drink, one that I got the rest of the table onto with very little encouragement. This sparkling is made in the Traditional Method with an emphasis on the Pinot Noir grape. I noted plenty of berries on the nose and palate, strawberry in particular. The sparkling also had a crisp pleasing finish.

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The still wines we not bad, especially considering they were from the winery across the road however they were also not the kind to ‘blow my socks’ off. Over the course of the reception I had the chance to try their 2011 Semillon Sauvignon Blanc as well as their 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon. The Cab Sav had an enticing aroma however my first sip was watery and smooth and overly disappointing. After letting the wine breathe in the glass for a little while I tried the Cab Sav again and was much more impressed by the body that had developed. The SSB was again a nice wine but not something that really caught my attention.

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I ended the night discovering their selection of teas and opted for the Twining Darjeeling and it was a nice way to end the evening. The milk that was provided at the restaurant was also delicious, and well presented. Dad commented on how the milk brought him back to his years of the milk arriving fresh and with a layer of cream on top.

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I didn’t get the chance to take pictures of the food that was brought around on platters over the course of the reception but it was well timed, well presented and surprisingly filled us up quite quickly. The view from the restaurants down through the valley to Bunbury is also one which I do hope to see again over lunch or dinner at the restaurant in the near future! The staff were fantastic and there was nothing to fault over the entire night.

Until next time!

Wines of the Week: University (week 7)

Hi everyone,

This week I have been kept very busy with my university degree and haven’t had much spare time for this blog or to have a glass or two of wine. I did however finally open a bottle of wine I picked up at Lenton Brae last summer. I had chilled the 2010, Late Harvest Red making it a pleasant wine to sip on at the end of on of the warm final days of summer in Perth. The wine was fuller luscious bodied wine, with a soft warm finish on the palate.

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Until next time!

Wine(s) of the Week: University (week 6)

Hi everyone,

I started off the week with a glass of Brown Brothers Rose Crouchen Riesling with dinner after work one night. The wine had a touch of sweetness but finished refreshingly with enough acid. Strawberries and tropical fruit came through on the nose and palate.

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Another wine I had with dinner over the week was De Bortoli, 2010, La Bossa Shiraz Cabernet Merlot. This wine had ripe berries and a hint of oak on the nose, medium bodied with some fruit flavours on the palate along with some oak and tannins. An alright wine, went well with food.

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Another wine I had a glass of over the week was Coward and Black, 2009, April Harvest Semillon, Margaret River. This wine was not as sweet as I was expecting given that it was an April Harvest. Lots of tropical fruit on the nose and palate. The wine as well felt a little tired and it would have been I think a lot more appealing for myself had I of tried a younger vintage. Would reconsider trying this one again if I came across a more recent vintage.

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Working in a bottle-shop means that I need to sample wines from a variety of price brackets, I decided to open a bottle that I had purchased from my $5-$10 price range at work. The bottle of wine was a 2011, Wolfblass, Eaglehawke Cabernet Sauvignon. I found this wine to be young, unbalanced and it had a funny taste which BF noted also and was sort of reminding me of ‘menthol’. I think my preferences regarding wines has been elevated too quickly as all I could see this wine being used for was cooking at best.

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I did also attend another Wine Century Challenge Meet, I will do a write up of those wines soon.

Until next time!

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.

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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!