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!

Bad Apples Bar on Urbanspoon

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Perth Wine Group: Second Meet

Hi everyone,

We had our second meet for a group of Perth wine lovers and bloggers attempting the Wine Century Challenge. We met at Steve’s in Nedlands like our first meet, the blog post for our first meet can be found here. While we sampled our way through the wines I adopted the method of nothing down what I saw (1), smelt (2) and tasted (3) in the wine.

WHITES

Marq, 2011, Vermentino, Margaret River, Australia (RRP $27) – 11.5%

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1. Clear and vibrant pale lemon coloured wine.

2. Crisp citrus, stone-fruits and sherbert.

3. Clean and refreshing on the palate with balanced acidity, dry medium finish.

Pere Ventura, 2011, Xael.lo, Penedes, Spain (RRP $20) – 12%

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1. Clear and vibrant lemon coloured wine in the glass.

2. Slight sweetness (fruity), aromatic and stone-fruit (pears and apples).

3. Crisp acidity, sherberty palate (at the front of the mouth), melon, honey, flabby, medium very dry finish at the end.

First Drop, 2010, Arneis, Barossa Valley, Australia. (RRP $26) – 13.5%

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1. Clear wine in the glass with no colour.

2. Musky, citrus, Nashi pears, slight sweetness (fruity).

3. Musk, crisp, residual sugar was possibly present, cleansing medium dry finish.

This wine showed great potential for the grape varietal however the wine was a little too old and had turned a little flat and tired. I would love to get my hands on a younger vintage of this wine as it was my favourite white wine of the night for the potential it showed.

Cour-Cheverny, 2011, Roantin, Cour-Cheverny, South West Loire (RRP $43) – 12% (no added preservatives)

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1. Clear, dull yellow coloured wine in the glass.

2.Sweetness (fortified),  stewed fruit (pear, apple), hint of oak – smelt more like a red wine than a white wine.

3. Dry, warm big mouth feel, nutty, lees, long finish on the wine – a perfect wine for the winter months.

REDS

Arancio, 2010, Nero d’Avola, Sicily, Italy (RRP $25) – 13.5%

this is a wine I had tried the previous week, and while I had been slightly impressed with it at home I think it impressed me more at the tasting. Perhaps it was the use of better glassware or being able to isolate the flavours that I hadn’t been able to place last time a little better being at a tasting.

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1. Plum red coloured wine in the glass.

2. Berry fruits, vanilla, oak, spice, ash/smoke.

3.Tannins, vanilla (brought a softness to the wine), rich and dense wine, hint of raspberries and strawberries on the palate, warm short to medium finish, rounded finish (lack of acid in the wine).

Diemersfontien, 2011, Pinotage, Wellington, South Africa (RRP $35) – 14%

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1.Brick red coloured wine in the glass.

2. Rubber, coffee, dusty, chocolate, oak, vanilla.

3. Tannins, meaty/gritty feel to the wine, very dry finish.

King River, 2011, Saperavi, King Valley, Australia (RRP $55) – 14.4%

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1. I didn’t actually record anything for this I was too focused on the nose of the wine.

2. Floral (Violet and Rose), hint of spice, stewed sour red fruits (red apples and rhubarb), hint of sweetness, pomegranate, apple.

3. Stewed sour red fruits (red apple and rhubarb), a good amount of tannins present, refreshing, possibility of residual sugar, cleansing, medium to long dry finish.

Massena, 2010, Tannat, Barossa Valley, Australia (RRP $28) – 14.5%

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1. Plum coloured wine in the glass.

2. Plums, oak, spice, ripe blackcurrant, tobacco, hint of sweetness.

3. Lots of fruit, tannins, smooth, warm, dry finish.

For those who want to see a different view on the challenge feel free to check out what Perth Wine Enthusiast thought of the wines. You can find the post on his blog here.

Anyone interested in joining us is more than welcome to! Our next meet will likely be in the next 4-5 weeks and will be occurring south of the river this time at Bad Apples Wine Bar in Applecross. Feel free to contact myself or Perth Wine Enthusiast if you wish to join us!

Until next time!

Wine(s) of the Week: University (week 5)

Hi everyone,

For Valentine’s Day I ended up leaving First Choice with a new red wine varietal from Sicily for myself along with some beer for BF. The grape varietal I ended up selecting 2011 Nero D’Avola from Feudo Arancio. I had no prior knowledge of the wine and ended up selecting it as I did not recognise the varietal and the fact that it came from Sicily intrigued me. This wine was quite a treat for me also as it was my first non-sparkling wine that used a cork rather than a screw-cap that I had bought in Australia. Once I had reacquainted myself with the bottle opener and a bit of muscle from BF I set about trying this new varietal. On first sips the wine had a lot of fruit flavour and some oak with a medium body. After breathing for a few minutes the wine opened up in spiciness and body and really impressed me overall.

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I caught up with some girlfriends from school at Perth Print Hall’s Fine Dining Restaurant. One of my friends had previously been to the restaurant and said I would enjoy their wine list, she was not wrong in that statement. I was seriously impressed with their wine list and cellar however the standout of the night was the sommelier who recommended a delightful bottle of wine for us. From our request of a medium bodied red wine with cherry flavours and some oak he recommended the 2010 Sorrenberg Gamay ($95 at the restaurant). For all the wine lovers in Perth this place is a must for the experience of trying something new as the range of wines they stock is extensive and impressive to say the least. The wine from the first sniff to the last sip had enough body to keep me (a medium to full bodied red wine lover) content to my friend who enjoys her lighter bodied red wines and my other dining companion who wasn’t all that bothered. The fruit flavour was filled with luscious cherries, with enough tannins at the end of the palate to pair with our meals. I will have to get my hands on a few bottles of this for sure! If anyone has seen it in a bottle shop in Perth do let me know!

Sorrenberg-Gamay-generic

My last wine for the week was one which was had with a barbecue lunch with some old family friends. They brought over a bottle of Vasse Felix Classic Dry White. This wine was well balanced between the juicy apple and citrus flavours in the wine and the zesty to dry refreshing finish. Vasse Felix has consistently impressed me every time I have tried it and this time was no different.

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Until next time!