Wine(s) of the Week: Another Overdue Collective Wine Post

Hi everyone,

This post is a little collage of the drinks that I have in the few weeks leading up to my prac that I never got around to blogging about.

Wine:

Olive Farm Wines, 2012, Verdehlo.

Olive Farm Wines, 2012, Verdehlo.

I went to the Cheese Barrel in the Swan Valley for a cheese making day course. For lunch as part of the course we were given a few cheese platters and bottles of Olive Farm 2012 Verdelho. The cheese platter went down a treat as did the wine, however I had a cold at the time and could not fully appreciate the wine those on the course with me were quite impressed. The baked camembert with garlic oil on the platter and the fig sticks were the highlight of the tasting platter. I will be back for another platter for sure.

Tasting Platter.

Tasting Platter.

The Cheese Barrel on Urbanspoon

Yellowglen Cremant.

Yellowglen Cremant.

I had a long overdue catch up with my cousin and we celebrated in our traditional way of bubbles and cake. This time around we ended up with a mud cake and a bottle of Yellowglen Cremant. This sparkling wine has a smooth and creamy texture with a hint of sweetness on the palate.

Skuttlebutt Rose.

Skuttlebutt Rose.

While out for lunch in Fremantle at Pizza Bella Roma I chose to try the Skuttlebutt Rose, which is a blend of Shiraz, Merlot and Sangiovese. The wine was refreshing and a lively rose which I would happily try again.

Penfolds, 2011, Bin 2 Shiraz Mourvedre.

Penfolds, 2011, Bin 2 Shiraz Mourvedre.

We had a family friend visit and they brought with them a bottle of Penfolds 2011 Bin 2, a blend of Shiraz Mourvedre. After a little time in the decanter this wine was on full display with a savoury and spicy nose which carried over onto the palate along with some berry fruit flavours and young tannins which the decanter helped to smooth out. I quite enjoyed this wine, especially as Shiraz is not a varietal I tend to gravitate towards.

Villa Maria.

Villa Maria.

BF and I went to see Iron Man 3 at La Premiere. While there I decided to have a glass of wine and choose to have the Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc. I had been eyeing this wine off at work for about a year now, hearing many positive things about it from fellow staff and customers. I really enjoyed this wine and cannot believe I waited this long to try it. This wine was the one which has converted me to a fan of a Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc, lots of passionfruit, melons and zesty lime on the palate.

Cocktails:

Cocktail.

Boo Boo Cocktail.

BF and I had a quiet dinner at Benny’s in Fremantle and I was hanging out to have a cocktail of theirs as it had been far too long since i’d been there. I ended up selecting one of their specials the Boo Boo Cocktail which contained peach schnapps, spiced peach liquier, cranberry juice and a squeeze of lime. A very delicious cocktail, as expected from Benny’s.

Benny's Bar & Cafe on Urbanspoon

Tea:

Melbourne Breakfast.

Melbourne Breakfast.

I visited Wild Poppy Cafe for brunch, while I was under the weather and had my favourite Melbourne Breakfast cuppa tea there. The vanilla and honey flavours in this tea were just what I needed to feel a little better.

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While out at the Cheese Barrel for the cheese making course we were also given free morning and afternoon tea. I chose to have a cup of tea. They only offered traditional black or white tea however their presentation of miss-matched tea cups was adorable.

White Orchard.

White Orchard.

This last cup of tea is made by Mighty Leaf called White Orchard. I tried this tea at Heavenly Plate, my fist visit to a vegan restaurant with some girlfriends. This white tea was bursting with peach and melon flavours and I would love to try this tea cold in the summer months as an iced tea, however it also was actually very nice as a warm tea also.

Until next time!

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Perth Wine Group: Fourth Meet

Hi everyone,

To see what wines we have tried so far you can check out my blog posts on the first (unofficial meet) along with our second and third meets (official meets). A month ago I caught up with some fellow Perth wine lovers and bloggers for the third official Wine Century Challenge Meet. This meet was held at Steve’s Food and Fine Wine. The wines that we tasted this night seemed to have a trend of the nose and palate of the wine being very contradictory and polarised many of us at the tasting. Notes for the wines are under the categories of eye (E), nose (N) and palate (P) as usual for these tastings.

WHITES

2011 Giró Ribot, Muscat de Frontignac. Pendés, Spain (13%) (RRP $20)

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E: clear, pale lemon wine in the glass.

N: very punchy, fruity (sweet pear), nutty, and slightly sticky after notes. This wine was warm and inviting.

P: zingy/zesty, fresh, young, clean and a good crisp finish.

2011 Sepp Moser, Gruner Veltliner, von den Terrassen. Krenstal, Austria. (12.5%) (RRP $26)

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E: clear, pale lemon wine in the glass.

N: heavier nose than the first wine, toasty, savoury, ginger.

P: mineral spritzy, zesty, crisp, acidic, ginger, lacked fruit and floral flavours, and was a slightly flat wine.

There was a lot of discussion around the table as to this wine transitioning from it’s primary to secondary characteristics.

2010 Phinca Durmiente, Rufete Blanco. Hormilla, Spain. (13%) (RRP $55)

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E: clear deep yellow wine in the glass.

N: sticky sweet, mandarin, honey, stewed fruit, toasty.

P: criso, very dry, acidic with some fruit sweetness.

2012 Michael Hall, Roussanne. Barossa Valley, Australia. (13.5%) (RRP $43)

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E: clear, pale lemon wine in the glass.

N: nutty, toasty and earthy.

P: smooth, fresh, lacking (likely due to its age), oak and vanilla.

This wine was one which I and many others felt needed a little more time in the bottle before it would be at it’s best for drinking. Those who had tried older vintages of this wine raved about those so I do hope this wine follows in the footsteps of its older vintages as it did show the potential to be a great wine.

REDS

2010 Phinca Encanto, Rufete. Hormilla, Spain. (13%) (RRP$55)

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E: brick red, still slightly youthful wine in the glass.

N: spice, light oak, alcohol, warmth and berries.

P: vinegar, cleansing, acidic, sour cherries, ‘grippy’ wine with no tannins.

This wine was quite disappointing for me as I quite liked the nose of this wine but the palate was such a disappointment. I much preferred the white we tried from Phinca (Durmiente).

2010 Castel Firmian, Lagrein. Trentino DOC, Italy. (13%) (RRP $26)

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E: brick/ruby red, tired wine in the glass.

N: berries, oak. Spice, warm and inviting wine.

P: tannins, tired fruit (perhaps giving the wine a little longer to breathe may have helped overcome this), herby and a smooth wine.

2010 Castel Firmian, Marzemino. Trentino DOC, Italy (13%) (RRP $26)

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E: ruby/plum red, clear wine in the glass.

N: spice, oak, earthy and quite an enveloping nose.

P: rougher, grippier, lots of tannins and acid.

I personally preferred this wine to the one above and felt this would have gone very nicely with a very meaty dish.

2010 Zuccolo, Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso. DOC of Grave del Friuli, Italy. (12.5%) (RRP $24)

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E: clear ruby red wine in the glass.

N: spice, oak, a vibrant and earthy wine.

P: bitter, spritzy, acid, little tannins, savoury and tired fruit.

I could see this wine being pared with a cheese platter to bring the best of this wine out.

2009 Agricola Querciabella, 100% Sangiovese, Chianti Classico DOCG, Italy. (13.5%) (RRP $52)

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E: clear brick red wine in the glass.

N: berries, spice and oak.

P: tannins, berries, spice and a good finish.

I adored this wine and it was my favourite red for the night.

2004 Salvatore Molettieri Vigna Cinque Quercie Ruserva, 100% Aglianico. Taurasi DOCG, Campania, Italy. (14%) (RRP 480)

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We had to open 2 bottles of this wine as the first one we tried was corked and very disappointing. Thankfully Steve’s had another bottle of this vintage on the shelf, which we were able to open up.

E: deep ruby red wine in the glass.

N: berries, leafy, herby, stewed fruit, and aniseed.

P: very dry, tannic, acid and berries.

This wine is a drink now, rather than a store for a later date and would go very well with a nice hearty wintery meal.

2008 Chalmers, Sagrantino. Heathcote, Italy. (14.5%) (RRP $32)

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E: clear, brick red wine in the glass.

N: spice, tobacco, and oak.

P: warm, dry, tannins, and lots of stewed dark fruits.

Until next time!

Yarra Valley, 2013

Hi everyone,

While I was in Melbourne last week I was granted half a day in the Yarra Valley to unleash the wine lover in me. Unfortunately this half-day was the same day that I had hopped off the plane after only 2 hours sleep so in the end I was quite exhausted after the few wineries I got to. I ended up sticking to the three major wineries in the region that were wanted to be seen by myself and my travelling companions as well as a cidery and chocolate/ice-creamery which caught our attention as we drove throughout the region.

Yarra Glen Bakery.

Yarra Glen Bakery.

We began our day with breakfast at a bakery in Yarra Glen. I had a definitely homemade Chicken Pastie, which while being stuffed full or chicken, feta, spinach and nuts was too rich for my stomach to handle so early in the morning.

Chicken Pastie.

Chicken Pastie.

De Bortoli

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We arrived at De Bortoli and were greeted by their resident dogs Millie and Harry. Before entering the cellar door the same time as a tour bus. While the ladies running the cellar door were busy dealing with two large groups they still made time to make me feel more than welcome at the cellar door as I tasted my way through a selection of their wines. We ended up leaving with 3 wines some for our stay in Melbourne and some to take home back to Perth.

Harry and Millie at De Bortoli.

Harry and Millie at De Bortoli.

Este Sparkling ($34)

Sparkling Pinot Noir and Chardonnay blend made from cool climate grapes in the traditional method. This wine had a nutty and creamy palate and was a delicious wine. We were quite intent on picking up a bottle of this before we remembered that we would be heading to Chandon later that day, After having visited Chandon this still wasn’t a bad drop in my opinion.

La Boheme Act 3 – Pinot Gris and Friends 2011  ($20)

Pinot Gris with a “splash” of Riesling and Gewürztraminer. This wine was zesty, fresh and light on the palate with a hint of minerality on the nose. For not being a fan of Pinot Gris or Gewürztraminer I was a fan of this wine.

Yarra Valley Sauvignon 2010  ($20)

Oaked (french) Sauvignon Blanc, from which I felt like I could taste a hint of lychee on the palate. The oak made for a different and unusual wine. I wasn’t the biggest fan of it but

Yarra Valley Off-Dry Riesling 2011  ($20)

Still quite a dry Riesling, no hint of lychee as the tasting notes implied. Refreshing wine.

La Boheme Act 2 Pinot Noir Rose 2011  ($20)

Musky, fruity nose. Light palate which had and acidic and dry finish. Lacking palate which disappointed me.

Bellariva Moscato del Re 2012  ($18)

Delightful drink with a low 5.5% alcoholic content. Delicious, musky sherbet nose paired with tropical fruit and a refreshing finish which makes it possible to have a glass or two and now feel slickly after it. We ended up taking a bottle of this pack to Perth and it was enjoyed all round.

Yarra Valley Pinot Noir 2011  ($32)

Deemed a “bonza vintage” in the tasting notes. Earthy Pinot Noir with a fantastic colour in the glass. For my first Yarra Valley Pinot Noir of the day, it did well.

La Boheme Act 4 Syrah Gamay 2011  ($20)

Presently the style being served in “the cool bars of Paris”. The wine was different to anything I had tried before, light bodied but delicious. This was the bottle of wine that I selected to bring back to Perth.

Yarra Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2010  ($28)

This wine with balanced oak but still showing that it was young, light bodied wine but it showed some promise. Give it a few more years.

Yarra Valley Chocolatier

I wandered around this place looking more with my eyes than my stomach but I did have some of their ice-cream and sorbet curtosy of my mum and cousin who were quite in awe of their VERY generous servings!

Berry Sorbet Waffle Cone.

Berry Sorbet Waffle Cone.

Rocky Road and *.

Rocky Road and Cookie Dough.

While wandering around the store I came across some novel chocolate carrying devices as well as some interesting sweets that I wished would have survived my stay in Melbourne and the flight home so I could have purchased them!

Tasty Insulation in the wine glass for travelling.

Tasty Insulation in the wine glass for travelling.

Desert Topping Syrups.

Desert Topping Syrups.

Domaine Chandon

This winery offered guided and unguided tours of their winery along with tastings of a selection of their wines. We opted to do the self guided tour and got a chance to glimpse at their crushing, cellaring and cellaring rooms.

Old press on display.

Old press on display.

Oak barrels on display.

Oak barrels on display.

Cellaring room.

Cellaring room.

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Riddling process.

After the self guided tour I was most keen to sample the wines on offer. To my surprise after having worked in a bottle shop for the past two years I learnt that Chandon produces still wines as well as sparkling wines, and that their standards are quite high. We tasted our way through the wines on offer and the highlights for myself was the Curvee Riche, 2009 Vintage Brut and the 2008 Barrel Selection Shiraz (which we were offered as a one off sample as we had quite enjoyed their shiraz on the tasting menu and was considering it for a gift, however the 2008 Barrel Selection Shiraz for $18 more was well worth the money. Big thank you to the gentleman who walked us through the tasting for giving us the opportunity to taste this wine, I know it will be well enjoyed when it makes it to its intended owner!)

2009 Vintage Brut

This was a good sparkling wine. Smooth on the palate, with a dry finish. Definitely will be recommending this wine at work from now on havint tried it, it exceeds the NV Brut, which I have tried in the past.

NV Curvee Riche

The guy who took us through the tasting said that this one was a favourite of his and it is clear to see why. For those who love a sweeter sparkling without going to a Sparkling Moscato should keep an eye out for this one. It was a tough decision deciding between a bottle of this and the 2009 Vintage to take with us, in the end we decided upon the Curvee Riche.

2008 Vintage Brut Rose

Personally could not stand up to the 2008 Vintage Brut and

NV Sparkling Pinot Shiraz

This wine was interesting to try, having only tried a few sparkling red wines but didn’t impress me the way I hoped it would.

2012 Sauvignon Blanc

Crisp and vibrant youthful wine, which was the favourite for the white wine drinker in the group. I myself was also quite impressed with this wine.

2012 Pinot Noir Rose

Average on the palate and nose for me personally, there was strawberries and cream on the nose and palate however I felt that it did not follow pack the punch that I look for in a Rose.

2011 Pinot Noir

Luscious berries on the palate are balanced out by the wine’s tannins. Not a bad wine but it could not compare to Pinot Noir’s from Yerling Station.

2010 Heathcote Shiraz

Not a bad Shiraz for those that I have tried. Berries and spice on the palate with it’s youth also still showing. Not a bad wine but could still do with a few more years in the bottle.

2008 Barrel Selection Shiraz

This was a delightful wine that you could taste the love that had gone into it. Fruit driven with oak that was well integrated into the wine. You could note pepper and luscious berries on the palate but it was not overly peppery, which gave it extra brownie points in my opinion!

For anyone looking for a good cellar door experience, Chandon did it well and I was very impressed by their knowledge as well as charisma with us. The wines as well are delightful! I must however make time for a cheese platter and a glass of bubbles at Chandon, next time I am in the Yarra Valley.

Punt Road Cidery

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We made a quick stop here on the way to Yerling Station to try their ciders. The had an apple and pear varietal which they had been producing since 2008 when they came to the realisation that wine production occurs for 3 months of the year and that he stainless steel tanks that would have otherwise remained idle for the remaining 9 could be used for cider.

The apple cider was crisp and refreshing however I was slightly more partial to the pear cider, which had a hint of sweetness about it. Their cider can be found in bars, shops and on tap in various locations in Perth, including Subiaco Hotel and selected Liquor Barons across the city.

Yering Station

Last stop of the day as my lack of sleep and jet lag was catching up with my travel companions and I was at Yering Station. Here I went through and did a brief sampling of their extensive wine list.

2008 Yarrabank Curvee

This wine was quite average for the sparkling wines I had tried while in the Yarra Valley. Not a bad wine but not one that impressed me.

2004 Yarrabank, Late Disgorged

It was tough to not buy a bottle of the wine also. It was a delightful bubbly which I do hope to find in Perth. The sparkling wine’s palate and bouquet were dominated by fresh ripe fruit and was a delight to drink.

2010 Yering ‘Village’ Pinot Noir

This is a wine more suited for those who like light bodied reds or are not even big fans of red wine. The wine’s palate reminded me of a Rose with lighter summer berries on the palate and nose. Not a bad wine and different to the other Pinot Noir’s I have tried from the Yarra Valley.

2010 Yering Station Pinot Noir

I preferred this to their Village Pinot Noir as there was more body and it was a more ‘earthier’ wine in comparison. Dark berries on the palate in comparison. Loved this wine, I will have to keep an eye out for this one in bottle shops in Perth!

2010 Yering ‘Muir’ Sangiovese

This was the second bottle of wine I brought back with me from the Yarra Valley. For my first time trying Sangiovese on it’s own, I was impressed. The wine bad body and flavour and while it can be drunk now I do hope to cellar it for a while before opening it.

2010 Yering ‘Muir’ Nebbiolo

My first time trying the Nebbiolo grape. It was quite average and not for me personally. Not enough luscious berry flavours on the palate to balance out the harshness of the tannins in the wine. It did however make for another notch towards my Wine Century Challenge.

Until next time!

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!