Wine(s) of the Week: Summer Break (week 6)

Hi everyone,

Last Sunday I only posted up my drinks from Christmas Day, which can be read here. With the heatwave that has struck Perth the last week or so, drinking anything other than water has been not a significant priority for me last week so this blog post and this Sunday’s blog post will likely be quite small. I will be heading off to Melbourne on Sunday so I’m hoping there will be less humidity and heat over east so I can really delve into and enjoy some Victorian wines while I am there.

Last week I also opened up a bottle of Banrock Station’s Moscato so I could tell customers what I thought of it when they ask. This moscato reminded me of Brown Brother’s especially the almost syrupy finish of the wine. For a $5-9 bottle of wine it isn’t bad if you’re in the mood for something sweet however you may feel a little sick by the end of the bottle due to the after taste, not enough acid in the wine to cleanse the palate. Tropical fruit on the palate and served chilled made it a nice wine to have a glass of after getting home from work during the heatwave.

Banrock Station Moscato.

Banrock Station Moscato.

BF and I decided to head out for lunch late last week and opted for the Left Bank outside Fremantle for lunch overlooking the river. The location seemed to attract the breeze which helped fight off the horrid heatwave heat. While we had lunch I opted to try West Cape Howe’s Mount Barker Riesling ($10.5 a glass) for some refreshment. The crisp dry Riesling was a good pick for the weather.

West Cape Howe Riesling.

West Cape Howe Riesling.

I ended the week by heading down south to see some family before heading to Melbourne, where the temperature and humidity were lower and a little more pleasant. While I was there we opened and shared a bottle that Mum and I had picked out for them for Christmas when we went on a tour of Peel Estate Winery last year as part of my Wine Essential’s Class (write up of the winery tour can be found here) a 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon. For a mere $30 if you buy the bottle individually you receive a bottle of wine which in my opinion stands in the same league (possibly even better) as wines from Margaret River which attract prices over $60. The wine had body, and was showing balance on the palate as well as the potential to have cellared for a few more years. Thinking I need to head back to the Cellar Door at Peel Estate sooner than later to not only try their famous Zinfandel but also to stock up on some more of their value-for-money reds!

2006 Cabernet Sauvignon.

2006 Cabernet Sauvignon.

Until next time!

Halliday Day: Week 9 – Peel Estate Winery.

Hi everyone,

As part of my Wine Essentials Class with the Wine Education Centre of WA we had the chance to be given a tour of Peel Estate Winery in Baldivis by its owner and senior winemaker Will Nairn. Peel Winery is located in the Peel wine region, which is located at the southern end of Perth; situated roughly between Rockingham and 50km south of Mandurah and runs from the coast to the Darling Scarp.

James Halliday rated the winery 4 stars in the 2012 Australian Wine Companion, and commends them on their “remarkably consistent track record”. Peel Estate is known for it’s unique ‘wooded-Chenin’ which Halliday rates as the best wooded-Chenin in Australia and compares it to that of the Loire Valley in France.

We were taken by Will Nairn for a tour of his vineyard and winery and I managed to grab a few half-decent pictures along the way. Below are some pictures I took while we were given a tour of the winery. Will spent about an hour discussing with us the formation of the winery and where he had sourced the grapes cuttings from, how they had developed and how he had altered the vision of the winery along with their successes and failures and his views on oak and other wine making methods and advances. Climate change was of great importance to Will as it is impacting many aspects of the Wine Industry, regarding irrigation, harvest and the success of certain grape varietals.


Mature Grape Vines.

Recently grafted grape vine.

Recently grafted grape vine.

Newly grafted section of the vineyard along with most of our teacher in the wine class.

Newly grafted section of the vineyard along with most of our wine educator from the Wine Education Centre.

This tour was possibly the highlight of the Wine Essential Course that I have been completing this past month. It was so interesting and exciting to hear from a man who has been in the industry for years as well as to see him in his own environment, that of his winery and vineyard.

Review of wines sampled:

2011 Verdehlo: dry, crisp, fresh, and citrus on the nose. The palate was dominated by apple, floral, and zestyness from the citrus notes in the wine. The Verdelho had been left on lees for a bit which made it different to other Verdelho’s I have tried, but still overall one that I would happily have again.

2012 Oaked Chardonnay: On the nose you could note floral, fruity and a hint of butteriness from the oak. The acid was balanced on the palate and the time on oak led to it having a good texture as well as giving the wine a toasty flavour along with citrus and spiciness from the fruit.

2011 Wood-matured Chenin Blanc: this wine was different to any Chenin I have tried in the past, while at first it seemed unfamiliar and therefore slightly odd tasting I warmed up to it in the end. On the nose the wine was crisp but still nutty and toasty thanks to the time on oak (between 12-18 months for the Chenin). On the palate the wine was fruity, rich, dry and a hint of honey. This is a wine which would do best I believe with food.

2012 Rose: Their rose is a blend consisting of mainly Cabernet Franc with some Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon also. The wine began with strawberries and cream on the nose and was fruity and smooth on the palate. The wine began sweet on the tip of the mouth it’s overall finish was medium-dry. I was a fan of this and think I have have preferred it to the wine’s I sampled at the Rose Revolution earlier.

2006 Cabernet Sauvignon: the bit of age on the wine had done it some good thought it was still a little on the young side. The acid and tannins on the wine were still noticeable but it was still a pleasant drop. Dark plum was present both on the nose and palate and along with vanilla, spiciness, and a slight hint go earthiness or chalky-limestone thanks to the location of the vineyard on the old limestone coastal plain in the region.

2005 Old Vine Shiraz: spice, black olive, vanilla, licorice, chocolate and toasty all came to mind from the nose of this wine. On the palate you could taste berries and chocolate as well and it was quite a smooth wine. Not a bad wine either and it came close to usurping the  Cabernet Sauvignon as my favourite red.

Fortified Shiraz: wow! This is a wine which I am so glad I had the chance to try! It was like liquid gold for me! If you make it to the winery this is one to try and you will likely end up taking a bottle home with you!

They also do a Zinfandel which they were currently out of stock on the previous vintage and a few weeks off having the next vintage available for tasting which was a shame as it came highly recommended. There was also a Shiraz Cabernet which we accidentally passed over during the tasting. All the wines sampled on the day were very reasonably priced, with the aged reds being $30-35 which impressed me greatly, in comparison to what they would have likely cost had they come from a Margaret River winery.

A big thanks to Will for having the class on the tour and for being such an entertaining host! I do hope some of you make it down to the winery as it is the perfect location for a lazy weekend barbecue with their electric barbecue and wine cellar open 10am-5pm 7 days a week.

Until next time!

Monthly Review: November

Hi everyone,

So this is hopefully going to be a monthly segment that highlights some of the standouts for the month. Let me know if there are any questions you would like me to include in future monthly blog posts.

1. Favourite wine of the month?

Albariño from my wine essential course.

2. What has been the best value wine of the month?

Peel Estate has some wonderfully aged reds (Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz) think 2005-2006 for $30-$35. Excellent value for money and my review of their wines will be up on Monday in a weeks time with my review of the winery and my tour of it.

3. What has been added to my to-try wine list?

Turkey Flat Barossa Valley Rose 2012.

4. What restaurants do I want to return to?

Al Dente – I would like to see what their service is like.

5. What was my favourite meal this month?

It is a toss up between my tandoori chicken pizza from Blend Cafe and the lamb from Capel Vale that I had at Gourmet Escape.

6. Upcoming events for next month?

Summer of Riesling is happening today at Matilda Bay (3-7pm).

George Street Festival (East Fremantle 1-7pm)

Christmas (look out for a food and wine pairing post for Christmas Day this Tuesday).

New Years (Look out for a posts on Champagne and Sparkling wines over the next few weeks).

7. Favourite wine packaging?

The Abstainer, Capital Wines.

The Abstainer, part of the Ministry Series.

The Abstainer, part of the Ministry Series.

Back label for The Abstainer.

Back label for The Abstainer.

8. Best service?

Capel Vale and Darbar both had excellent service who were attentive but did not hover over the table.

9. Restaurant I am most keen to try next month?

Dinner at the Pickled Fig in South Fremantle is something I have been wanting to try after having had brunch there a few months ago and enjoying it.

10. Wine Century Challenge.

Total = 23 varietals.

Favourite = Albariño

Meetings with the Perth wine bloggers will begin in December so here’s hoping that number will rise quickly and that I will have new favourites to share with you all soon!

Until next time!

Wine(s) of the Week: Summer Break (week 2)

Hi everyone,

This week has been quite uneventful on the wine tasting after last weekend. I did also come down with a 24ish hour virus which didn’t make me all that inspired to have any wine so unfortunately this post will be rather short and sweet. For those of you who missed my review of the red wines I tried at this week’s Wine Essential’s Class you had see my review of them at this blog.

I did make my first purchase for my future wine cellar this week. I went in the shop to browse and ended up coming out with a bottle of 2003 vintage Dom Pérignon. While it was quite a splurge I must resist this little gem for a few years. Any suggestions on what I should save this little gem for?

Dom Pérignon 2003 vintage.

I also went to Peel Estate Winery yesterday as part of my Wine Essential Course. We had the chance to walk through the vineyard, speak with their senior wine maker Will Nairn, see the winery and finally have a tasting guided by Will of most of their range. There will be a post up on this tour the following Monday.

Hope everyone has had a good weekend! Feel free to leave me recommendations of things you think I should try or potential additions to keep my Dom Pérignon company. Also if anyone is interested I will be meeting with a group of Perth wine bloggers on December 12th to begin our Wine Century Challenge and it is not too late to join us! (Note: we are not attempting to do all 100 wines in a single sitting.)

Until next time!