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!

Wine Essentials Course: Week 3

Hi everyone,

This week’s class focused on red wines. The class went through the production process of red wines as well as discussing the impact that oak has upon wines as it is more commonly seen in red than white wine. We also had the chance to smell French and American oak chips to get a sense of the two different commonly used oak.

Tasting notes:

1. Estate 807, 2010, Pinot Noir, Great Southern ($39.95): a clear and bright ruby red which had luscious red berries, spices (cinnamon and cloves), chocolate and vanilla (oak) making for a lifted nose that saw the vanilla and fruit transfer to the palate with medium tannins

2. Churchview, 2011, ‘Silverleaf’ Merlot, Margaret River ($13): a clear deep violet in the glass that produced darker berries, vanilla (oak), savour spice and a hint of candied apple on the nose. The wine was dry with medium acid and finish, with cherries and toffee on the palate.

3. Kalleske, 2009, ‘Old Vine’ Grenache, Barossa Valley ($45): A clear dark ruby wine with a herbaceous nose including plum, spice, blackberry and liquorice notes. The wine was medium-dry on the palate with low acid and high tannins with classic ripe fruit and a hint of sweetness from glycerol in the wine. The high alcohol content of the wine (15%) made for a medium to long finish as the wine warmed your mouth.

4. Sitella, 2008, Cabernet Sauvignon, Margaret River ($25): My favourite of the wine’s tasted tonight. A deep plummy red wine in the glass. Eucalyptus/Minty, rhubarb, pencil shavings (oak), beetroot, bay leaves, blackcurrant, plum and toffee/chocolate sweetness on the nose. Dry red wine with high tannins, ripe stewed fruit and a hint of chocolate mint on the palate with a medium finish. Not a bad drink now but I would love to see this wine in a few years time!

5. Xanadu, 2010, Shiraz, Margaret River ($29): The wine was double decanted before serving (poured out of and back into the wine bottle). A deep and vibrant plum wine in the glass. On the nose it is clear that this is a young wine with black forest fruit and spicy notes on the nose. Harsh high tannins on the palate, a sign of the wine’s youth. Short to medium finish with vanilla, cherry and toasty notes from the oak and fruit coming through on the palate. This wine needs time in the bottle to age.

6. Freshy Bay, 2004, Shiraz, Geographe ($15): medium to deep brick red garnet wine. Personally this wine was disappointing for me, little to no fruit or oak on the nose or palate and smooth tannins and a medium finish.

We also had a few bottles of wine passed around at the start of the class that people had brought in. We had a Spanish and Adelaide Hills Tempranillo’s to compare, the Spanish Tempranillo was oaky and had body, while the Adelaide Hills Tempranillo was much lighter and fruit driven. There was also a Shiraz Viognier from Fire Gully from Margaret River, the Viognier really added a smoothness to the wine that helped balance out the youth of the Shiraz. Also had the chance to try a 2002 shiraz, there was quite a bit of sediment in the glass but it was not a bad drop still more partial to a Cabernet Sauvignon to a Shiraz however. Some interesting wine’s to have had the chance to try and ones which I would have likely never tried otherwise!

The Grenache was the favourite of the night with the Cabernet Sauvignon (and my pick) coming a close second.

Until next time!