Denkmark Wineries (Singlefile and Harewood)

Hi everyone,

BF and I went down south to Albany for a few days and while we were there I managed to stop in at two wineries between Albany and Denmark. I had planned to visit a few more wineries around Albany and Mt Barker however I ended up getting sick towards the end of the trip and have spent the week since recovering. BF and I adored the region however! The scenery of the region is quite unlike that of Margaret River. The wineries too are not as well accessible as Margaret River, which has spent a significant amount of time, money and effort to create itself as the wine-seekers destination when heading south of Perth.

Harewood

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2012 Porongurup Riesling ($21).

Floral, citrus and passionfruit nose with green apple and passionfruit on the palate of this wine is finished off by a nice mineral finish. I did like this wine and would happily have it again!

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2011 Chardonnay ($34).

I quite liked this Chardonnay. Grapefruit, stone fruit and a nice touch of vanilla from it’s time on oak came through on the palate. Would have again.

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2011 Pinot Noir ($21).

A much younger and less complex Pinot Noir to the reserve. Nice, but didn’t wow me.

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2010 Reserve Pinot Noir ($45).

I really liked this wine but was hanging out to try more from Mount Barker before picking up some bottles to bring back. A really nice wine, a little more expensive that what I would have liked to paid for a Pinot I liked for the region but I would be happy to splurge for this one from time to time. Lots of dark berries, dried fruits and rich chocolate to be found in this wine.

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2009 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ($34).

Blackcurrant, plums and vanilla on the palate and nose of this wine had me quite excited! It was a nice delicate wine that could be drunk now, however I personally feel it would be superb with a few more years in the bottle.

Singlefile

I featured Singlefile winery in a Halliday Day post last, which can be found here.

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NV Run Free Serendipity Curvée ($26).

Quite a nice sparkling. Grapes sourced from Pemberton region. Citrus on the nose and palate with the palate having a nice texture and crisp finish. Would have again.

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2012 Pemberton Fume Blanc ($30).

This wine is a testament to how my palate has changed since starting this blog! I had the opportunity to try this wine back in November of last year at the WA Boutique Wine Show and was not overly impressed with the wine, this time around I ended up walking away with a bottle of it to take home with me. This oaked Sauvignon Blanc had a beautiful texture and it really enhanced the grassy and spicy flavours and aromas in the wine.

Reserve Chardonnay.

2012 Reserve Chardonnay ($45).

A delightful wine with stone fruit, a hint of citrus and a good creamy nuttiness across the nose and palate of this wine. This wine was very nice and getting closer to a Chardonnay that I feel I would enjoy (one with a good amount of oak). I contemplated picking up a bottle of this wine but in the end decided against it as the backseat of the car was beginning to look like a wine cellar. Would happily try this wine again!

Rose.

2012 Run Free La vie en Rosé ($20).

Shiraz and Grenache blended Rosé. Grapes sourced from Porongurup region. Lovely strawberry, herb and vanilla nose to the wine. Palate did not disappoint with a refreshing and clean finish. Picked up a bottle of this to take home.

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2012 Pemberton Pinot Noir ($30).

This Pinot Noir was nice, but it did not ‘blow my socks off’ as I was hoping for a Pinot Noir to do during my time in the region. Lots of cherries, other berries and spiciness on the nose and palate. Good texture and palate weight. Overall not a bad wine and would try again.

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2010 Mount Barker Syrah ($37).

A medium bodied Shiraz with delicate berry flavour on the palate and a hint of pepperiness. This is a Shiraz that I wouldn’t mind drinking and I ended up picking a bottle of this up as a gift.

Barossa Shiraz.

2010 Barossa Shiraz.

This Shiraz was full bodied and packed a punch. It was nice to try this wine however it was not a style of wine that I would quickly go back to, I must admit that Shiraz is not a favourite varietal of mine.

Until next time!

Halliday Day: Week 3 – Plantagenet Wines

Plantagenet Winery is located in Mount Barker region of Western Australia. Plantagenet is part of the Great Southern Wine district known to have a cool climate and rich soil, which produce good quality Riesling and Shiraz. The winery has been in existence since 1968 when it was purchased by Tony Smith who planted Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon at the Bouverie property and soon followed by planting Riesling at their Wyjup farm. 5 different vineyards are owned by Plantagenet around Mount Barker, giving the wine makers a variety of different grapes and climates from which to source from. Since the mid-2012, Plantagent’s wines have been over seen by wine maker Cath Oates. Prior to Oates, John Durham was the chief wine maker at Plantagenet. 4 different wine labels are produced by Plantagenet: Omrah, Plantagenet Wines, Hazzard Hill Wines, and Museum Wines. Plantagenet Winery was rated as a 5 star winery by James Halliday since 2011.

I had the chance to sample some of their wines from their core- line titled Omrah, at UnWined WA this past weekend. These Omrah range retails from $15-$20 a bottle in Bottle shops across Perth. This wine label originated upon the unwooded Chardonnay in the range and has presently expanded to include all the major wine varietals. The vines that are used to produce the Omrah wines were planted in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s are reaching maturation and will see the wines being produced in the next few years to be some of the best vintages yet. The wines were pleasant, with the Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon Sauvignon Blanc being less acidic and still packing a flavour-filled punch that the Margaret River whites are known. Overall I would say that the Sauvignon Blanc and the Semillon Sauvignon Blanc were my favourite wines from the range. The below image contains the tasting notes from cards that they had at their Unwined WA Stall.

Plantagenet Wineries also scored well at the 2012 Qantas Wine Show winning 1 gold (2012 Riesling), 2 silver (2011 Riesling and 2011 Chardonnay) and 3 bronze medals (2011 Omrah Pinot Noir, 2010 Shiraz and 2009 Cab Sav) along with 3 trophies (Best Wine of Show – 2012 Riesling, Best White Wine of Show – 2012 Riesling, and Best 2012 Riesling – 2012 Riesling).

Their Plantagenet Winery range constitutes their premium line of wines. The Riesling reviewed tonight is from this range. The Riesling had a fresh and crisp bouquet with what seemed like possibly a hint of apple (do let me know what you think it is if you get a chance to try this wine). While from its bouquet you could tell the wine was quite young, it did not show the typical weaknesses of a young wine, instead the wine was smooth and well balanced without overdoing the acidity. This wine is definitely one you could enjoy now with a nice bit of fish as the weather warms up. The Riesling retails for $20-$25 in bottle shops, however the 2012 vintage will likely not be on shelves for a while so if you want to grab a bottle now, best advice would be to deal directly with the winery.

If you’re heading down to Mount Barker over the summer months this is definitely a winery to check out!

Until next time!

Wine(s) of the Week: UnWined WA 2012

Hi everyone,

I’ve just returned home from a day out at the UnWined WA show in Subiaco. Had some amazing wines and spoke to numerous lovers of food and wine as well as some very friendly wine makers and winery staff.

Some Highlights from the show (in no particular order):

1. Fifth Estate Wines (Harvey, Western Australia)

Their Rose was the standout for me out of all the ones I tried at the show! I cannot put my finger on what it was but I was so impressed I ended up with two bottle plus one of their Tempranillo to take home with me, thanks to winning a competition for pre-purchasing my tickets to the show. Jessica who was running the booth was friendly and approachable and a good ambassador of the winery! Keep an eye out for a more in-depth review of these wines in the near future.

2. Silkwood (Pemberton, Western Australia)

I tried their dry Riesling (still quite sweet), Verdelho and Pinot Noir. The Pinot Noir was definitely better than the ones I tried at the Blackwood Valley Wine Show last weekend and renewed my faith in their being potential for a Pinot Noir from Western Australia. The Riesling as well was a pleasant drink and one that I will definitely purchase once I’ve depleted some of the wines I currently have at home!

3. After Hours (Margaret River, Western Australia)

The wines I tasted at the After Hours stall were all solid Margaret River wines. The white wines were fresh, zesty and refreshing and the Cabernet Sauvignon was smooth but had a decent amount of body to please me. You can find these wines in Perth at Glendalough Liquor, Wembley Hotel and Bottel-o in East Vic Park.

4. Chalice Bridge (Margaret River, Western Australia)

The father and son duo running the booth were a pleasure to talk to and kept us entertained while the brief bout of bad weather passed over. The wines all had the expected Margaret River characteristics, and the quality was definitely there! Halliday has rated a number of their premium line at 93 or 94 points (wines RRP is $25). A tricky winery to find in Perth as they export much of their wines to the eastern states of Australia and overseas. However they are stocked at Celebrations in Myaree!

5. Woodland Winery (Margaret River, Western Australia)

This is the winery which produced the $45 wine to rival Penfold’s Grange in Halliday’s eyes (article here) – for a fraction of the cost! Their reds were a standout with their high use of Malbec across their red wines creating some interesting and yummy wines. Will have to check out their full range of wines at their new cellar door, which opens this summer!

6. Plantagenet Winery (Mount Barker, Western Australia)

This is the winery who’s Riesling took out three trophies at the 2012 Qantas Wine Show of WA, and will be featured in my Halliday Day Winery blog post tomorrow. While they only had their Omrah basic line available for sampling there was still very nice wines to sample! Their Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon Sauvignon Blanc being the best that we felt we had tasted across the day! The staff on at the booth were also a pleasure to talk to!

7. Woodgate Winery (Manjimup, Western Australia)

The best Bubbly that I tried at the show! The Wine Maker (Mark Aitken) followed the traditional methods from Champagne to make a wine that I would personally pay far more for than its $30 price tag and would say it is superior to many of the true French Champagne’s that I have tried in the past. One to keep an eye out for in independent bottle shops around Perth!

Overall it was a pleasant way to end the weekend and I am already looking forward to the 2013 show! For those of you who wish you had gone to the show this weekend fear not! There is also a show being run by this same company this coming weekend in Bunbury, details can be found here.

I did also get the chance to sample some dukkah, mustards and vinegars. This resulted in the only purchases I made at the event as the Guava Vinegar was so different a taste that I had to buy some so I could give it a try over a salad! I will let you know how the vinegars turn out!

Hope you all had a good weekend! Please feel free to add me on Twitter, Like me on Facebook and continue to follow this blog!

Until next time!

Qantas Wine Show of Western Australia 2012

The Qantas Wine Show of Western Australia has been occurring in Mt Barker since 1978 and judges Western Australian wines exclusively. The 2012 medals have been released already on the wine show’s website, and the trophies and other awards will be presented on tonight at the Hyatt Hotel, while last night the Top 50 wine from the Qantas Wine Show of Western Australia were up for tasting at the Hyatt Regency. Unfortunately I was unable to attend either of the events due to other commitments, however I will be keeping an eye out on next years date so I can hopefully attend the show and/or tasting event.

The awards for the wine show are divided into the trophies for certain specific categories while the medals are divided into gold, silver and bronze categories and are awarded based upon the tasting scores of the individual wines. The 2012 wine show saw the judges award 52 gold medals, 123 silver medals and 326 bronze medals from over 1000 different wines entered into the show. The tally of the wines have already been published on their website linked at the start of the blog.

Below I will list some of the wines which I know you can find at Liquorland (I cannot however guarantee the vintages available in stores however) along with normal shelf pricing for them at Liquorland. Listed below is only a small selection of what is on the list and there are many other wines that I wish I knew where you could find them in Perth.

Gold

West Cape Howe Cabernet Merlot 2011 ($19)

Vasse Felix Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 ($45)

Silver

Churchview Silverleaf Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2012 ($18)

Howling Wolves Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (16.50)

Evans and Tate Metricup Road Chardonnay 2011 ($24)

Rosabrook Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2012 ($17)

Voyager Estate Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2012 ($27)

Cape Mentelle Chardonnay 2011 ($24)

Stella Bella Chardonnay 2010 ($40)

Vasse Felix Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 (45)

Devil’s Lair Margaret River Hidden Cave Cabernet Sauvignon/ Shiraz 2010 ($24)

Houghton Red Classic Cabernet Sauvignon/ Shiraz/ Merlot 2010 ($13)

Bronze

Goundrey Homestead Sauvignon Blanc  2012 ($15)

Devil’s Lair Margaret River Hidden Cave Chardonnay 2011, 2012 ($24)

Moondah Brook Verdelho 2012 ($15)

Devil’s Lair Fifth Leg Semillon Sauv Blanc 2012 ($17)

Brookland Valley Verse 1 Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2012 ($18)

Devil’s Lair Marg River Hidden Cave Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2012 ($24)

Vasse Felix Classic Dry White Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2012 ($20)

Houghton White Classic (Chenin Blanc/ Chardonnay/ Verdelho) 2012 ($13)

Evans and Tate Metricup Road Sauvignon Blanc 2011 ($24)

Evans and Tate Metricup Road Semillon/ Sauvignon Blanc 2011 ($24)

Watershed Shades Sauvignon Blanc/ Semillon 2011 ($18)

Brookland Valley Verse 1 Shiraz 2011 ($18)

Cape Mentelle Marmaduke Shiraz 2011 ($19.99)

West Cape Howe Shiraz 2011 ($19)

Evans and Tate Marg River Classic Dry Red Cabernet Sauvignon/ Merlot 2011 ($19)

Devil’s Lair Fifth Leg Red Blend Cabernet Sauvignon/ Shiraz/ Merlot 2011 ($17)

Evans and Tate Metricup Road Chardonnay 2010 ($24)

Vasse Felix Shiraz 2010 ($42)

Watershed Senses Shiraz 2010 ($24)

Vasse Felix Classic Dry Red Shiraz 2010 ($20)

Rosabrook Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 ($22)

Watershed Senses Cabernet Sauvignon/ Merlot 2010 ($24)

Have you tried one of these wines already? If so let me know what you thought of it! Also if you are in want to find some new wineries to visit over the coming summer months then I recommend you check out their published results by region, which gives you a good idea of where the main contenders for different grape varietals are located.

Until next time!