Wine(s) of the Week: University (week 4)

Hi everyone,

Sorry for this post going up a day late, after a long weekend of catching up with friends, my Cousin’s 21st party and work yesterday it was too hot to do anything but lay under the air-coniditioning  to try and remain cool. This week was a little quite on the wine front, with the heat coming back into full swing in Perth for ‘sweltering February’ drinking anything but water has been low on the priority list.

BF and I went out for dinner this week to Blend with the intention of checking out the recently opened wine bar next door which is run by the owners of Blend. BF ended up requesting to select the wine for dinner and came back with a 2011 Riesling from Claymore Wines. We spent much of the meal not only enjoying the wine but also trying to pin point a flavour in the wine that we ultimately called the ‘margarita’ as it began quite citrusy at the front of the palate but as it slipped down your throat it reminded us of the kick you get from tequila. Not the best description but it really was a nice wine and a very good pick by BF. By the end of the bottle however we wandered past the wine bar next door – Midnight Fox – but decided we would have to return on a different night to sample some of the drinks on offer there.

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This weekend has been another scorcher in Perth. To combat the heat I spent an afternoon with friends with a barbecue, pool and a bottle of 2012 Shiraz Rose from Casillero del Diablo in Chile. This was a dry Rose which I picked up for half-price ($7.50 a bottle) late last year. While normally I would have wished for more flavour in the wine as I felt it was a little lacking. However for the hot weather sipping this wine over ice was the perfect remedy for surviving the hot weather.

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There will be an increase in new wines however in a week or two as we are in the process of gearing up for our next Wine Century Challenge meet – if anyone is interested in meeting up in Perth and trying a few new wine varietals with some food and good company than feel free to send me a public or private message on my Facebook page or send me an email (gourmet . vicariously @ gmail . com – just remove the spaces) if you have any questions or want to be added to the growing list of members. It’s looking like Wednesday nights will be the norm for our meets and we are currently building a collection of locations both north and south of the river.

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!