Wine(s) of the Week: University (week 2)

Hi everyone,

I managed to survive my second week of intensive classes and along the way I had a few drinks. Australia Day also fell on this past weekend, hence the belatedness of this blog post as I spent the weekend down south with family and out of internet range.

First off was a Champagne Bellini from Olivers on James street in Northbridge, which I had with a lovely meal before going to the theatre with BF to see The Motherf**ker with the Hat. Consisting of Champagne, Peach Schnapps and Nectar. This drink helped me settle into my second week of intensive classes before I begin heading out into classrooms and meeting the teachers and students over the next few weeks.

Champagne Bellini.

My Australia Day drinks consisted of a 2011 Permberton Chardonnay from Capel Vale, which we were having lunch at to celebrate a family birthday. It was a tough way to spend Australia Day, especially the deserts which I put photos up on my Facebook page.

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I had a quick tasting on the way out of Capel Vale Winery. I think this is the last wine of theirs that I had to try, Their Sassy NV Sparkling. This wine was nice with lots of apples on the palate and a dry finish. I think this wine would do well with some fruit and cheese platter on a summer’s afternoon.

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We also cracked open a bottle of Emri sparkling Moscato which was on clearance for $4 at work. Unfortunately it is clear why the wine was being run out, the sparkling element was missing and the wine that remained showed great promise (the sweet marmalade element of Nobel 1 were just present on the palate for me) if it had of been a sparkling but was left lacking as a still wine.

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There ended up being a late entry into this weeks wine recap. We ended up having lunch before returning to Perth and did so with a bottle of Fermoy’s 2010 Geographe Shiraz. This little gem sold for $90 a dozen and has since sold out which is an absolute shame as from the first sniff to the last sip this wine was luscious and fruity and required no airing time at all. A definite standout for the wines I had this week!

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Hope all my Australian readers are enjoying their long weekend for Australia Day and my other readers around the world have had a good weekend!

Until next time!

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!

Margaret River 2012 Gourmet Escape

Margaret River 2012 Gourmet Escape

The Gourmet Escape was held one the lawn surrounding the Winery at Leeuwin Estate, which was reviewed by me in this post. There were a variety of Food, Distillery, Brewery and Winery stalls along with food and wine theatres for shows and classes.

Hay Bales outside the Rekorderlig Tent.

The Alchemists:

I recognised the name and am still yet to remember where but the lady running the stall was also the owner of the Winery, which she has owned for the last 6 years and was a delight to talk to! Their wines are mainly sold to restaurants in Perth or can be found at their cellar door on the Winery’s Estate.

Ashbrook Estate:

I had met the wine Maker (Tony Devitt) previously at the Blackwood Valley Wine Show last month and Tony recognised me at the Gourmet Escape so it was nice to catch up and continue our discussion about the South West wine region as well as to ask him many new questions that I had accrued along the way as I have continued to write and research for this blog. I also tried their range, while I spoke to Tony and I was quite impressed! Their red wines were made in French styling while the white wines were pleasant and many had seen a little oak, which made the red wine lover that I am quite happy.

Bahen & Co Chocolate:

This chocolate company had 4 chocolate on display, all with 70% cocoa which was too much personally for me and BF so we headed back to the wines after sampling them quickly.

Blue Cow Cheese Company:

This company is one which my grandparents adore and have gotten me hooked on their goats cheese which I get to have whenever I make it down south and have a meal with them. The cheeses for sampling and sale at the Gourmet Escape however was their Camembert, Brie, Cheddar and Shadforth. We had some left over tokens at the end of the day so I picked up a block of the Shadforth to take back to Perth and will let you know how it pairs up with wines!

Cape Mentelle:

This winery is one I have eyed off for a while now and have been meaning to head out to their cellar door but have not succeeded yet. I had hoped their Zinfandel would be out for tasting at the show but unfortunately they did not have it. Instead they had their basic range consisting of a Sauvignon Blanc Semillon and a Cabernet Merlot, which Liquorland stocks and personally these wine are well worth the ~$25 a bottle they are in Perth stores. They also had a few of their more premium range for sampling and I was impressed with the range, many of which have in the past year done very well with regards to gold medal award and trophies, this winery has a good solid repletion in the Western Australian wine industry.

Deep Wood Estate:

I popped over quickly to their stall to ask where I could find their Harmony Rose, which I had enjoyed at Rose Revolution. Those running the stall were not sure where in Perth it was stocked but did give me an ordering form the price was listed as being $13.50, a bottle with a minimum purchase of a dozen wines and a $5 freight charge.

Devil’s Lair:

This winery has impressed me in all their ranges. From their basic 5th Leg range, their middle range titled Hidden Cave, their premium self titled range Devil’s Lair and their side line Dance With the Devil, which, allows their wine makers to have a little fun. Their Dance With the Devil line was a fun and delicious discovery to make as one of the wine’s produced in this range was a blend of 60% Sauvignon Blanc with 40% Chenin Blanc. BF and I were big fans of this unusual blend and even took a bottle home with us at the end of the night with the last of our leftover tokens. This winery is one that I highly recommend and it is unfortunate that they currently do not have a cellar door so tasting opportunities besides buying a bottle is restricted to events such as Gourmet Escape.

Devil’s Lair Stall.

Knee Deep Winery:

I tasted my way through their range, which they had on display at Gourmet Escape. Their SBS was a stand out for me with lychee notes on the nose as well as being pronounced on the palate. Different but a winner for the summer months! Would be interesting to pair this with cheeses for a lazy afternoon drink or two with some friends. Will have to find where this wine is stocked in Perth!

Rosabrook Margaret River Winery:

I had the chance to sample their Chardonnay at the wine class that week and it had been the standout for the session as the best value for money for what it offered. The rest of their range was not bad, but I personally preferred their white wines to their red wines.

Stella Bella Wines:

This winery does some amazing wines! The whites were fresh, crisp and zesty while their reds had a nice balance between the oak, tannins and fruit. They also had some of their premium ‘Suckfizzle’ range which was delightful!

Swings and Roundabouts:

I had been eyeing off Swing and Roundabout wines in stores over the last month but had not yet tried any of their range. I however enjoyed trying their SBS with lychee on the palate, this is a winery that I will be looking out for in Perth! Staff at the event were also a pleasure to chat with!

Swings and Roundabouts Stall.

Xanadu Wines:

This was another winery that I had been wanting to try having heard many good things about their wines. Their range of wines on display were well made and the staff running the stall were a pleasure to chat with.

I am sorry to say that the food I sampled at the show did not last long enough to take a picture! The ‘char sui braised lamb shoulder with sour cream labna and wattle seed roll’ that Capel Vale was making at the show was to die for and was highly recommended by everyone that we ran into at the show! I also had many people tell me that the ’12 hour braised Margaret River ‘big red pig’ port, house made tortillas with condiments’ by Leeuwin Estate was also a standout dish.

Until next time!

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Halliday Day: Week 7 – Capel Vale Winery

Capel Vale is a winery located just off the Bussell Highway about 25 minutes north of Busselton. Capel Vale is a 5-star winery for James Halliday in his 2012 Australian Wine Companion.

Established in 1974, by Dr. Peter Pratten and Elizabeth his wife and was one of the pioneering wineries in the region. Capel Vale has since expanded beyond it’s original Geographe location to including vineyards in Mount Barker, Pemberton and Margaret River.

Restaurant overlooking the vines.

I went to Capel Vale for lunch late at the start of this year and it was a delightful and relaxing experience. The food was delicious and fresh with the view over the winery making the long lunch pleasant and enjoyable. As can be seen in the image above, the winery’s restaurant and cellar door is located in an elevated building which overlooks the vineyard. I sampled their range of wines when I was at Capel Vale this time and I enjoyed their regional range which I am yet to see in a store in Perth.

BF and I ended up heading to Capel Vale for lunch on the way back to Perth after being down for Gourmet Escape and enjoying their ‘Char sui braised lamb shoulder with sour cream labna and wattle seed roll’. While the lamb wasn’t on the menu at the restaurant we still had plenty of options from their spring menu and specials board.

Whispering Hill Riesling.

Both of us ended up having a glass of the Whispering Hill Riesling with lunch. We both ended up picking from the specials menu. I had the barramundi with pan fried gnocchi while BF had a 250 gram scotch fillet with seasonal vegetables. Both were nice, the gnocchi was a little too heavy for the fish, however the side salad with goats cheese and walnuts went very nicely with both of our meals. The service at Capel Vale was excellent! The staff were attentive and friendly, really could not have asked for anything more regarding their service!

Barramundi with pan fried gnocchi.

Scotch fillet with seasonal vegetables.

Spinach, goats cheese and walnut salad.

Capel Vale is definitely a nice location for lunch and a wine tasting. And located between Busselton and Bunbury just off the Bussel Highway; Capel Vale makes for a good stopping point as your drive between Perth and the South-West.

Until next time.

Capel Vale Winery & Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Giveaway Wines

Hi everyone,

Thought I would show you the wines that I will be giving away at the end of the week (pictured below). The white is a Pemberton Sauvinon Blanc from Capel Vale and the red a Margaret River Cabernet Franc from Hay Shed Hill.

While I was at Capel Vale on the way back to Perth I also had the chance to taste their newest wines, spritzy sweet wines – perfect for the upcoming summer months! The wines are called Frizzante (pictured below) and they have a Bianco (sweet as expected) and a Rosa (dryer than expected). I ended up picking one of each up for mum as a gift, so I will let you know what she/I (if she shares) thinks of it!

Capel Vale is a gorgeous winery to have lunch at (did so during the past winter). The restaurant gives you the view of the vineyards from the elevated location of the building. And the menu at this place has a variety of dishes which are all to die for! I recommend this as a stop off on the way south for anyone.

Until next time!