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: Back at the books again… with a slight detour…

Hi everyone,

I have just entered into a month long practicum and I am hoping I will be able to find some down time to get a handle on the backlog of posts I have to put up. I attended the Vintage Cellar’s International Wine Festival in Perth roughly 2 weeks ago, being a team member for Coles Liquor I was granted free access to the event and used it as a chance to sample many new wines that I sell to customers as well as getting a chance to talk to the people behind the wines. It was, like last year an enjoyable evening and while I missed interacting with the patrons like I had the previous year when I worked the event this time around it was nicer to be able to talk to the wine makers and the reps about their products.

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I did not make any detailed notes at the event for specific wines, rather I used this event to gage what I liked and what I felt I could sell back at work. I also had the chance to speak to Matt Skinner briefly while he was in town and it was nice to finally meet the man who is the face of wine for Coles Liquor.

Matt Skinner and I.

Matt Skinner and I.

The event was segregated into two areas, one being Australia and New Zealand (with some Spanish booths) and the other being Old World. I ended up spending more time in the first area due to the stock on hand in my store, however I would have much preferred to have spent the majority of my time in the Old World section of the event – Unfortunately this is not what my current store stocks. Below are just some of the wines that I tried and thought were worth mentioning.

Australia

Dandelion Vineyard

This is the only Australian winery that I visited at the show and for a good reason – I have loved the wines from this winery every time I have come across them in the past.

Shiraz Riesling ($23.99) – The Riesling provided a nice pop of interest to the Shiraz, loved it!

Red Queen of the Eden Valley Shiraz ($99.99) – a VERY nice wine and it lingered in the mouth for a long time. Not sure if I would pay as much as they’re asking for it but it was a a treat to try this wine.

Chile

Casillero del Diablo/Cono Sur

Carmenere ($14.99) – plum and blackcurrant fruits with a toasty coffee finish. This one was recommended by a fellow wine taster and I’m glad they did, I enjoyed it.

France

Piper-Heidsieck

Brut Champagne NV ($49.99) – a fresh citrus driven Champagne. Not bad. I’m still have a soft spot for nutty and toasty sparkling wines but this one did not disappoint.

Italy

Ruffino

Prosecco DOC ($17.99) – my first Prosecco and I’m impressed! I will have to dabble with these more in the near future!

New Zealand

Blind River

This winery chose to stick to what New Zealand is known for – Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. Both of these varietals have been done exceptionally well by Blind River and their premier line was very nice, and consisted of a Sauvignon Blanc ($22.99) and Pinot Noir ($34.99) which highlighted why these varietals are the standouts for the region. The lady running the booth was fantastic to talk to as well!

Jules Taylor

Exceptional wines and it was nice to see a few different varietals that differed to the traditional Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. I spent quite a while here talking with the wine rep, it was interesting to go into more depth on the reasoning behind the alternative varietals as well as their struggles when it came to getting it out to a wider market due to the overwhelming popularity of New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs.

Rose ($19.99) – 100% Merlot grapes and it won me over from the first sip. I will have to get my hands on some bottles of this for next summer as it will be a perfect wine to sip away on a hot summers afternoon.

Grüner Veltliner – white peach, lime and floral notes. I was hunting for a Riesling from New Zealand and this was as close as I got to one. It was not quite what I was looking for but still a delicious wine.

Robinsons

This is a line which Coles has exclusive rights to in Australia. I have always been a little wary of their wines due to this fact. I have to say that I was wrong for being skeptical and really enjoyed tasting my way though their range. I was very impressed all around and the husband of one of the children of the owners who was running the booth was well versed with the wines and a pleasure to chat with.

900 Grapes/Squealing Pig/Matua

I had a wonderful time chatting with the wine rep and wine maker at this booth. They had quite a large range of wines to try over the three labels which I ended up comparing and contrasting with as I went through.

Ranking the Sauvignon Blanc’s (and the labels overall):

1. Squealing Pig

2. 900 Grapes

3. Matua

I also enjoyed the 900 Grapes Merlot over their Pinot Noir (both $19.99) – it seems that Merlot was out to surprise me this night and was trying to convince me to give it another try after swearing off it a few years ago.

Portugal

Casa Santos Lima

This is the same people who make the wine LAB which I loved and reviewed in this blog. I went through the rest of their range that they import to Australia and there were some other gems to be found like the LAB in their range.

Bons VentosRose ($9.99) – refreshing and a great value for money rose.

Quinta Das Setencostas Red ($14.99) – Not a bad wine, I still preferred LAB to this one personally but I wouldn’t mind having a bottle of this over dinner either.

Touriz ($26.66) – complex red wine with cherries, blackcurrant and plums. Loved it!

USA

Wente Vineyard

I worked this booth at last years show so I quickly popped by to try the Beyer Ranch Zinfandel ($19.99) and the Morning Fog Chardonnay ($19.99) once more. They were both as nice as I remembered from last year and the booth was very busy so I did not linger for very long.

Chalkboard Series

This is another Coles exclusive range. One which is in the process of being added to (Matt Skinner mentioned that there will be a Prosecco out in the near future from Brown Brother under this label, which I am definitely going to be on the look out for after my first tasting of a Prosecco at this event!)

The Central Otago Pinot Noir ($18.99) was a definite favourite of many people at the booth tasting the wines. However it was the Cote’s du Rhone ($11.99) which stole my heart in this range!

Until next time!