Perth Wine Group: Third Meet

Hi everyone,

Following on from our first unofficial meet and our second official meet, both at Steve’s Fine Food and Wine in Nedlands comes our third group meet. This time around we met south of the river at Bad Apples in Applecross. I had been meaning for far too long to come and check this place out after all the rave reviews I had read as well as BF having been on a few occasions already and loving it. Alas I had not been able to spare a night before, however my quick sample of their menu and the chance to eye off their wines and bar has made sure that I will be back a lot sooner than it took for me to here the first time. For a review of the food BF and I had while we were at Bad Apples head to the bottom of this blog post.

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Any who, enough about Bad Apples for now and on with the wines! For this meet Perth Wine Enthusiast and Tom (Wine Director at Bad Apples Bar) were in-charge of selecting the wines and even dipped into their own personal cellar for this meet. We ended up with a selection of 1 Rose, 5 Whites, 6 Reds and a fortified for tasting on the night. The atmosphere of the bar was much louder than Steve’s leading to our discussions this time around being much more limited and often isolated to those few around us at our long table.

The notes I made at this tasting were the same as last time, I scribbled down notes under the categories E (eyes: what I saw) N (nose: what I smelt) and P (Palate: what I tasted).

Rose

2012 Express Winemakers ‘Rosado’. Tempranillo (Great Southern) and Grenache (Swan Valley), Australia.

Wine Express Makers, Rosaldo.

I have previously tried this wine from Express Winemakers at Little Creatures, and was not overly impressed with the wine. This time around I had a much larger glass and was able to give it a much better ‘swirl and sniff’ before having a sip and was much more impressed with the slight sweetness of strawberries and cherries I could note on the nose coming through in the palate. The wine came across refreshing and balanced. A good wine to start the evening with.

Whites

2011 Mandoleto Catarratto. Sicily, Italy. [12.5%, RRP ~$15]

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E: vibrant, clear and pale lemon coloured wine in the glass

N: lemon, oak.

P: crisp, dry finish with a sherbet/rice-bubble texture on the tongue – quite an unusual feel.

2010 Benanti Biancodicaselle Bianco. Etna, Sicily, Italy. (100% Carricante) [12.5%, RRP ~$50]

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E: clear pale lemon wine in the glass.

N: lime, floral, light aromatic wine.

P: lime, smooth on the palate, dry finish which I wrote “great” next to.

2012 Vinteloper Pinot Gris. McLaren Vale, Australia. [14%, RRP ~$25]

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E: clear pale lemon wine in the glass.

N: lemon, floral, honey, lees, ‘fresh’ aroma.

P: crisp, dry, alcoholic, mineral, medium bodied – overall an unbalanced wine.

Note: This wine came from vines which were less than 10 years old and from a biodynamic and organic single vineyard.

2004 Rockford Semillon. Barossa Valley, Australia. [11.5%, RRP ~$23]

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E: the wine had a definite yellow tinge however it was still clear in the glass.

N: honey, mandarin, oak, toasty – this wine had a ‘weighty’ and sweet nose to it.

P: toasty, citrus, mandarin – my last note for this wine was ‘yum!’

This wine was top 2 of the whites for me along with the Gewürztraminer below.

2007 Montana “Patutahi” Gewürztraminer. Gisborne, New Zealand. [14%, RRP ~$30]

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E: forgot to record something for this wine…

N: lime, lemon, aromatic, fennel.

P: smooth, warm, medium finish.

Reds

2009 Judge Rock St. Laurent. Central Otago, New Zealand. [13%]

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E: plum coloured clear wine.

N: spicy – oak, plum, warm, inviting – reminded me of a cold winters night in front of a fire.

P: smooth, dry, lots of tannins, oak, spice, leathery.

This wine impressed me and from the people around me got quite a few nods of approval, however the strong tannins makes for this wine to be classed in the ‘with food’ category.

2008 Manso Ribera Del Douro. Spain. (100% Tempranillo) [14%]

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E: ruby red/plum coloured wine in the glass.

N: cherry and spice.

P: rough at the start of the palate, olive oil, bitter, lacked tannins – when tasting this wine I was reminded of Ribena (blackcurrant cordial) and it’s overly sweet taste.

This wine was not well liked by those around me.

2012 Fall From Grace “Mangarita” Montepulciano. McLaren Vale, Australia. [13%]

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E: deep plum coloured wine in the glass.

N: ‘funky’ smelling, Vegimite.

P: vinegar aftertaste at the end of the palate.

This wine lacked fruit on both the nose and palate.

2010 Bodega Mustiguillo, Finca Terrerazo, Vino de pago. El Terrerazo, Spain. (100% Bobal) [14%]

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E: deep plum coloured wine in the glass.

N: leather, spice, undertone of plum, oak lead to toasty/buttery notes.

P: very dry thanks to the tannins in the wine, overall still a very balanced wine.

2011 First Drop Wines “Nacional” Touriga Nacional. McLaren Vale, Australia. [RRP ~$25-30]Screen Shot 2013-04-01 at 6.36.13 PM

E: clear, plum coloured wine in the glass.

N: leather, spice, plum and oak.

P: smooth, creamy textured, warming, low in tannins.

This wine and the following were both excellent wines in their own merits. This first one was a perfect wine to drink on it’s own or would go excellently with some cheese personally. The following wine was not only twice the price but also packed twice the punch and was a delicious wine that made me crave a good steak to go with it.

2010 Bodegas Aralaya Almansa Alaya. Castilla-La Mancha, Spain. (100% Alicante Bouschet) [RRP ~$50-60]

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E: deep plum coloured wine in the glass.

N: leather and spice.

P: plum, dry, smooth, tannins, medium finish, warm, oak, decent body, fleshy.

Fortified

Dandelions Vineyard, Legacy of the Barossa, 30 year old Pedro Ximenez. Barossa, Australia.

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I have come across this winery before in the past and I was yet again impressed with their wines. I was first introduced to Dandelions Vineyard at the Rose Revolution last year. This fortified wine was a delightful way to end the meal and I slightly wish I had managed to savour some until I had the crumble for desert, alas this wine was too good to be saved until then!

Once we had sampled our way through the wines most of us had eyed off enough of dishes around the room and we famished enough to pick a few items off the menu to try. BF and I opted to try a few items off their share menu. I fell in love with the Beetroot dish off the menu, BF picked out the chicken and we decided to grab the share bread. When I went to order the food however we were informed that they had just sold out of the chicken dish. We ended up picking the venison chorizo instead and decided we have to return soon to see what is so good about the chicken.

Beetroot, Walnuts, Feta and Spinach warmed.

Beetroot, Walnuts, Feta and Spinach warmed.

While the warm beetroot was a little different on first bite, the flavours in this dish all worked perfectly together and this dish did not last long with my love of beetroot.

Margaret River Venison Chorizo served on fresh house bread with a lime wedge.

Margaret River Venison Chorizo served on fresh house bread with a lime wedge.

This dish was passed around the table before it reached us and was well received. The chorizo had a bit of a bite but the lime juice helped tone it down. Again more of the bread which BF quickly devoured as he had already polished off the bread platter (pictured below). We will definitely be back just for the bread alone!

Share bread.

Share bread.

Apple and Strawberry Crumble.

Apple and Strawberry Crumble.

When I looked over the menu I stumbled across the deserts and was instantly sold on the crumble. I had this confirmed by the staff member who took my order and commended me on my choice. I was not let down by the crumble which just hit the spot, and the ice-cream that came with it was to die for.

Overall Bad Apples was a great place to have dinner and a drink. The staff were more than friendly and helpful even when they had a line outside the door on a Wednesday night. I will be back for sure and early enough so I can score a table before the crowds begin to arrive.

Until next time!

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Wine Varietal Challenge

Hi everyone,

I’ve stumbled across a website which belongs to a group called The Wine Century Club with the condition of membership being that you have tried at least 100 different grape varietals while drinking wine.

Demi-Membership for those who are on their way to trying 100 different varietals of wine.

The application form for the group can be found here, and on the form is a list of all the current grape varieties used in the production of wines. From this form I checked out the varieties that I know I have tried in the past and realised quickly that there is still plenty of wine’s for me to try to be able to qualify. So I have set myself the challenge of trying to tick off as many new wine varieties over the summer as I can, and I want anyone who want to do the same to join me as I am sure it will be quite the challenge to make it to 100 different varieties from the limited range available in the commercial liquor stores in Perth! Below is a list of what I know I have tried so far.

Whites:

Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Gewürtztraminer, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, and Verdelho.

Reds:

Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Dolcetto, Grenache, Malbec, Merlot, Mourvèdre, Petit Verdot, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, Shiraz, and Zinfandel.

This list puts my total at 20 different varietals. If anyone has one to recommend that I can easily get my hands on a bottle in Perth than please let me know! And if anyone in Perth would like to help me finish the many bottles of wine that this challenge will lead me to consume, or even to begin adding to their own tally then feel free to tweet or comment to me and I’m sure we can arrange a tasting over the summer months!

Until next time!

Wino 101: Like This? Try That!

Welcome to the first edition of ‘Wino 101’! Working in a bottle shop I often have customers coming in who do not know much about the different grape varietals and are often unsure about how they can branch out to try something new. This blog will hopefully leave you more informed next time you want to try a white wine a little ‘outside the box’ or next time the shop assistant is offering a recommendation/advice you won’t feel so lost.

Like Sweet White wines? Try a Chenin Blanc!

(For example the well known Chenin Blanc by Amberley – pricing tends to be $10-15 in bottle shops in Perth. Amberley no longer has a cellar door due to the estate being sold in 2011.)

Chenin Blancs are dryer than your typical sweet wines such as Moscato, Crouchen Riesling, Traminer Riesling, Soft Fruity White, etc. But what makes a Chenin Blanc a nice difference is its greater ability to be paired with a meal, as well as the lack of a syrupy aftertaste that some sweeter wines have left me with in the past after a few glasses. The higher alcoholic content (from less sugar remaining for the sweetness) is also a plus if you want a bit more of a kick from your glass of wine. Chenin Blancs tend to have more fruitiness than the sweeter wines to make up for the lower sugar content, as well as just a hint of zesty acidity to balance out the fruitier flavours.

Like Sauvignon Blanc? Try a Semillon Sauvignon Blanc or a Pinot Gris/Grigio!

(For example a Margaret River SSB/SBS – pricing tends to be $15+ in bottles hops in Perth)

Sauvignon Blanc has really been put on the map from the wines coming out go the Marlborough region in New Zealand. A Sauvignon Blanc (SB) tends to be zesty, with grassy and tropical fruit notes to it. By adding a Semillon to the SB you produce a Semillon Sauvignon Blanc (SSB) or a Sauvignon Blanc Semillon (SBS) depending on which is the dominant grape in the wine blend. The addition of Semillon will add a more a more citrusy flavour. Margaret River is well known in Australia for producing SSBs and SBSs, there is little variation between the different wineries with regards to overall flavour of the wines produced in the region, the greatest variety can be seen in their varing degrees of quality.

(For example – Pinot Grigio/Gris from Australia, NZ or Italy – pricing tends to be around $10-15 in bottle shops in Perth.)

Pinot Grigio/Gris (originally the name varies as to whether you adopt the Italian or French name for the grape and its subsequent wine) is a very rich fruity dry wine. In Australia it seems ‘grigio’ is used to imply that it is dryer than a ‘gris’ wine, however the term is often used so interchangeably that there has been talk of doing away with one of the terms. If you are wanting to try a much fruiter alternative to your SB then give the grigio/gris a try.

Like Chardonnay? Try what I’ve recommended in this post!

Generally if you’re a Chardonnay fan like myself you’re not big on the acidity that comes with drinking a SB, this can be overcome by avoiding the SB’s and even the SBS/SSB’s to an extent, the Pinot Grigio/Gris while being slightly acidic has much more emphasis placed upon the fruitiness of the wine, and the Chenin Blanc is a more sweeter and less fruiter alternative to the Pinot Grigio/Gris.

If you think I’ve missed a wine and think that I should include it, feel free to comment below and let me know! Look out for the red wine version of ‘Like This? Try That!’ to come in the near future, depending upon requests. Let me know if you take any of the recommendations on board how it goes.

And as always, until next time!