Halliday Day: Week 11- Soumah.

Hi everyone,

I was introduced to Soumah’s wines when I met up with a group of Perth food and wine bloggers for the inaugural meet for our attempt of the Wine Century Challenge, you can read my review of that night here. James Halliday rates Soumah as a 4-star winery in the Australian Wine Companion, and also notes that it is a recent addition to the 2012 edition of the book.

Soumah's Logo.

Soumah’s Logo.

Located in the Yarra Valley in Victoria, Soumah was established in 1997 as a collaboration in the Butcher family. Those involved in the winery are clearly lovers of wine and are quite partial to the idea or “terroir” which is a French term that is quite hard to describe as it has no English term. Terroir basically it refers to the effect of the region in which the grapes are grown in particular the climate and soil upon the final taste and texture of the wine. It is a very ‘Old World’ term as it implies that the grape growing rather than the wine making is what is most important for the wine.

Location within the Yarra Valley.

Location within the Yarra Valley.

Soumah has made the decision to limit it’s varietals grown on site to ones that have been specifically selected by them for the Yarra Valley region when comparing its climatic and geographical features to that of Europe. The winery lives by it’s mottos of:

 “We concentrate on single Vineyard Wines | We are in a cool climate location | We target quality over quantity | We research, we plant, we nurture | We narrow our varietal focus to: Burgundy and Northern Rhone, and Northern Italy | We strive for savoury, elegant wines | We are partial to blue”

This motto of theirs is clearly seen in their decisions over what is important enough to be included on the wine’s label. Let me say as a person who is beginning to learn the nitty gritty of wines and their making these labels are quite an exciting sight for me and working in retail in the Liquor Industry something that I would love to see become more common as it would really allow people to become more educated about the wines they are drinking. Below are some pictures I took at Steve’s of the label information for the three wines I tried in their range.

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Chardonnay Label.

Pinot Noir Label.

Pinot Noir Label.

Savarro Label.

Savarro Label.

I am definitely getting excited for my trip to Melbourne in a few weeks time! I do hope to make it to Soumah while I am in the Yarra Valley so that I can try the few wines that  I missed out on trying at Steve’s.

Hope you all are having a wonderful end of the year! Best wishes for your Christmas and New Year festivities!

Until next time!

Perth Wine Group, First Meet

Hi everyone,

As many of you should know I stumbled across the Wine Century Challenge a few weeks ago and over that time there has been a lot of interest from other food and wine bloggers in Perth as well as general people. The founding members of the group consists of The Perth Wine Enthusiast (PWE), Perth Food Journal (PFJ), Travelling Corkscrew (TC) and myself. TC was not able to make it to our first meet at Steve’s Fine Wine and Food in Nedlands.

P

If you want to find people who are passionate about wine then Steve’s is the place to go! Michael who runs the bottle shop brought such great energy to the place and he really loves his wines both to sample them and to talk about them!

We ended up adding sampling two new varietals along with a few well known varietals as it turned out that Wednesday nights is when Steve’s has a winemaker or rep in for tastings. We ended up also sampling most of the range from Soumah winery in the Yarra Valley, which consisted of their Pinot Noir, Wooded Chardonnay and Savarro (their trademarked name for Savagnin, due to their vines being planted as Savagnin intentionally while it was still being mistaken in Australia for Albariño). I adored their Pinot Noir and it made me quite excited for my trip to Melbourne next month! Their labelling was delightful and informative unlike many labels you see out on the shelves these days.

Soumah label.

Soumah label.

Our two new varietals tried were:

Müller-Thurgau

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This wine had some nice acid, minerality and a hint of spiciness that made for an exciting wine to sample.

Savagnin

(aka what was accidentally thought to be Albariño in Australia for quite some time)

The Savarro when first poured was very chilled and as a result there was little to no aroma that BF or I could determine and on the palate it reminded me of Gewürtztraminer and how it had been disappointing for me compared to Rieslings which I love. The wine improves as it warmed in the glass but by then I had moved on to other wines before ending up back with the Müller-Thurgau which had impressed me at the start of the night.

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The picture below is a shot of the sides of the labels on Soumah’s wines and what makes it clear that the wine makers are driving these wines. The detail on the side of the label are like nothing I have ever seen before but something that I truly hope more wineries will adopt as it makes selecting a wine so much easier when you actually know what is in the bottle.

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I adored the first wine (the Müller-Thurgau from northern Italy) from the aroma to the taste of the wine across your palate it continued to surprise me with where it went next. A real treat and one I just barely resisted adding to my collection, but it is on the list along with a few other wines for when I have depleted my stash.

After having a quick sample of the wines we were all quite peckish, especially after PFJ had told us all about her food adventure while she was in New Zealand recently, especially her all-time favourite fish and chips. We ended up grabbing a Fish and Chips and a Pizza to share. The fish and chips batter was a little on the soft side for my liking, however the tartare sauce and chips were delicious. The pizza was however the highlight of the two dishes, the base was delicious and cooked just the way I like it, the toppings worked very well together and overall the pizza was just yum.

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Pizza: prosciutto, fresh tomato, fresh basil and mozzarella.

Fish and chips.

Fish and chips.

We ended the night with one last wine which Michael brought to us as a blind tasting. It was a wine that threw us all. I knew it was a wine varietal I recognised, but could not narrow it down more than that. PWE said it seemed like an ‘Old World’ wine but Michael then went on to tell us he had thought the same but it was an Australian wine. In the end we all quite liked it but had no idea as to what it was, Michael then revealed it to be the 2010

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Torbrek, 2010, Kyloe, Barossa Valley. (Mourvèdre grape varietal)

It was a wonderful night and BF even popped in for a little while and gave both the new varietals a tick of approval. he too was more of a fan of the first wine, his preference being based upon the lack of aroma on the second wine as well as it being quite limiting on the palate until it had had a chance to warm up in the glass.

For anyone interested in attending our next meet and joining us on the Wine Century Challenge please feel free to contact any one of us on our blogs or Facebook pages as we will add you to the list for those to contact for the next meet which will likely not be until late January next year.

Until next time!

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