Wine(s) of the Week: University (week 9)

Hi everyone,

 This week BF and I shared the bottle of wine we picked up at The Gourmet Escape last year. We had enjoyed the range avaialble for tasting at the Devils Lair stall, however it was the Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc blend that stood out for us and we ended up taking a bottle of the 2011 vintage home with us. On the nose the Sauvignon Blanc showed lychee notes while the Chenin Blanc brought out sherbet notes. The Sauvignon Blanc brought a tropical element to the wine’s palate while the Chenin Blanc brought some sweetness and rounded out the palate. It was a blend which BF and I would be happy to try again.

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I also caught up with girlfriend C for cocktails and nibbles before we caught up with some other friends to see The Importance of being Earnest at the theatre. We ended up at the Trustee sharing a Charcuterie Plate ($32.50) while having a few cocktails.

Tasting plate and cocktails from The Trustee.

Tasting plate and cocktails from The Trustee.

For the cocktails, I started with a Berry Cobbler (vodka, house white, gomme, apple juice, white peach puree, berries, and soda water – $15) and followed with a Cider Slider (Contreau, pomme de vert, St Germaine, orange juice, Monteith’s cider – $16). C had a Trustee Sunrise (sake, vodka, honey water, lemon juice, elderflower – $18) which she enjoyed so much she ended up having a second one. We thoroughly enjoyed the cocktails and the tasting plate was delicious! A full list of the wines and cocktails available at the Trustee can be found here.

Berry Cobbler ($15).

Berry Cobbler ($15).

Cider Slider ($16).

Cider Slider ($16).

Trustee Sunrise ($18).

Trustee Sunrise ($18).

BF and I went out to Fremantle for lunch yesterday and I ended up suggesting The Picked Fig at South Beach after having eyed it off for too long. To go with our lunches BF had a Pear Cider from Little Creatures while I had a ‘Fruit Fetish’ Juice consisting of orange, pineapple and passionfruit. The cider impressed BF, however while it did grow on me I was still not overly impressed with it, I had hoped for more fruit flavour in the cider.

Little Creature's Pear Cider.

Little Creature’s Pear Cider.

'Fruit Frenzy' Juice.

‘Fruit Fetish’ Juice.

I do apologise for not having posted and blog posts this week. I have a backlog of restaurant reviews to write up and will hopefully get some out this coming week. I hope everyone has had a fantastic week and weekend.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Until next time!

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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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Wine(s) of the Week: Summer Break (week 1)

Hi everyone,

Hope you all had a good weekend and sorry that this post is up so late but I was down south all weekend and without internet so I had to delay posting this until I could get back to Perth to edit and upload this post.

For a review of the wines I tried as part of the Wine Essentials Class this week then head over to this post. This weeks wine class focused on white wines and the class was encouraged to bring in a white wine that we had tried over the past week, preferably one that was not a common white varietal. For the class I brought in a bottle of Vermentino. I went into the Wine Store bottle shop in Fremantle and spoke to the guy who was running the store at the time, he was so friendly and helped me out as I explained I was more a fan of Rieslings than Sauvignon Blancs but was looking to try a new varietal so he recommended the Vermentino to me. This varietal was a pale wine with a slight green tinge. Passionfruit and citrus notes on the nose that increases as the wine warmed in the glass. Crisp and creamy texture on the palate with just the right amount of acidity for me.

Vermentino.

I also had the chance to add two new grape varietals to my collection from people bringing in bottles of wine for the class to try in the Wine Education Course. For a review of these two varietals check out the blog post for the Wine Course linked here.

Verdecchio.

Albariño.

I spent this weekend down south at the Gourmet Escape in Margaret River. I had such a great time at the event and got to talk to lots of people involved with the different wineries from owners and wine makers to people who worked for the wineries or did sales in the city. This event is one to keep an eye out for next year!

Gourmet Escape Tickets.

I will have a blog posts up for the Gourmet Escape this Friday and the Blend your own Grand Cuvée Class at Howard Park Winery the following Friday as well as a review on the lunch I had at Capel Vale with BF before we headed back to Perth today tomorrow.

Quick Highlights of my weekend at Gourmet Escape:

Devil’s Lair – I adore this winery and cannot praise them enough! Fantastic value for money on their higher ranges but even their entry level 5th Leg range is a decent drink if you’re looking for something to go with a meal.

SBS with lychee notes – I am being slowly but steadily converted to SBS/SSB as I try this wine more and more thanks to this blog and BF loving white wine more than red but the lychee on the nose and palate as I can across first at Gourmet Escape at Knee Deep Winery, the wine was refreshing and definitely got me in the mood for summer!

Blend your own Grand Cuvée – I got to ‘disgorge’ a bottle of bubbly which involved me removing the crown cap off a bottle after the neck had been frozen so that the lees would be trapped in the ice and expelled by the pressure of the wine. And then after doing so I had the chance to select my choice of ‘dosage’ which is the final step of the traditional champagne method which sees the addition of sugar of brandy to bubbly to determine the bubbly’s final sweetness. A full review including tasting notes and photos will be up friday week.

Have a great week everyone!

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!

2012 Margaret River Gourmet Escape

Hi everyone,

So I’m sure many of you know about this event already as it has been advertised and talked about for many months now but I thought I would still share it with you all anyways. The Margaret River Gourmet Escape runs from Thursday the 23rd of November to Sunday the 25th this year, with the main event (called the Gourmet Village) being run on the Saturday and Sunday at Leeuwin Estate, along with numerous fringe events occurring in the towns and wineries surrounding Margaret River.

Gourmet Escape 2012.

The main event will have numerous wineries, chefs and other local industries showing their wares, along with shows from the different chefs and wine sessions. Heston Blumenthal is a big draw card for many attending this year.

The fringe/side events include beach dinners by different chefs, the chance to make your own champagne (which I will be doing and I will report back on how it goes!), wine tours, brunches, and lunches. Basically it is a weekend of decadence!

This link will allow you to purchase tickets to visit the Gourmet Escape on the Sunday at $50 for 2 adults instead of $35 each!

To start of my summer break I’m going to the Gourmet Village on the Saturday and making my own bottle of champagne on the Sunday. Will I be seeing anyone there?

Until next time!