Restaurante ConTenedor – Seville, Spain

While in Seville over my Christmas break with my family we went to  Restaurante ConTenedor (Facebook link here). The restaurant came highly recommended from the lady running reception where we were staying while in Seville. We arrived ‘early’ by Spanish standards to an empty restaurant, by the time we left a few hours later after 9pm the place was packed and it was quite clearly a favourite with the locals.

We started with a mixed meat, cheese and bread platter along with a local wine while we decided what to order from the daily menu. The wine we selected came at the recommendation of the waitress. We ordered a Spanish red, it was a light to medium bodied red that was a little young but still held it’s own. It paired well across all of our dishes being just rich enough to pair with my ragu while not too heavy for the other lighter dishes.

I ended up selecting the fresh pasta with beef ragu, which was a very rich and tasty dish that I struggled to finish but did so in the end as I did not want to waste a single bite. My sister the Lamb with peaches and a pumpkin puree, by the end of the meal the plate was almost clean and receiving rave reviews of how the flavours worked perfectly together given the interesting combination. Mum ordered the Duck dish and enjoyed it, initially the duck was a little too rare for her liking but the kitchen was happy to cook it for a little longer to bring it to medium-well for her and with that sorted she had no complaints. Dad order the Calimari and black rice dish, he too enjoyed it but preferred some of our dishes more having ordered this dish out of curiosity and intrigue rather than a great love of the ingredients and combination of them.

For desert I bowed out feeling quite full from the starter and the very rich pasta dish. My sister ordered the apple cheesecake, which I sampled a bite and wished I had enough space to order myself a slice as it was heavenly! Mum had the chocolate fondant which was recommended to us by the lady at reception, and with good reason as the bite of it that I had made me even more envious that I had filled up so much with the previous course. Dad went for a light yoghurt to end the meal as he was feeling quite full himself. The restaurant was also lovely in that they comp all tea and coffee ordered with desert, a nice touch that we appreciated as this can often lead to an expensive final course if you order a few with desert and chatting after the meal.

Further reviews of Restaurante ConTenedor can be found on trip advisor here.

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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!

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

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: Summer Break (week 5).

Hi everyone,

I caught up with some old work friends for a pub meal at the Sail and Anchor in Fremantle this week and had a few glasses of wine while I was there. I Unfortunately did not get any pictures or names of the wines I tried but I do know that I had an Australian Cabernet Sauvignon and a New Zealand Pinot Noir, both of which were quite nice. I was impressed with the food, drinks and the atmosphere of the Sail and Anchor. I have eaten here on a few different occasions it has impressed me each time, however be warned the portion sizes can get a little on the larger side so perhaps wait before ordering extra chips!

When my cousin came over this week so I pulled out a bottle of Brown Brothers Zibibbo which I had received at my 21st as she had not tried it before and I have and knew she would like it. The wine is a sweet sparkling with passionfruit really coming through on the palate for me. My cousin was a big fan of the Zibibbo. if you’re looking for a sweet wine you really cannot go wrong with anything by Brown Brothers.

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I also caught up with my Subiaco lunching friend for dinner to celebrate the end of the year and my degree and to also just have a catch-up. We ended up going to Fantastico in Subiaco as I was craving pasta. With my pasta I also tried Cape Mentelle Sauvignon Blanc Semillon with my dish and it was a nice chilled wine that relieved me a little after the hot and slightly humid weather that Perth had that day.

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Finally, BF and I went out for dinner on Friday night to The Quarter on Hay in the city to use a gift voucher that I had won when I purchased tickets to Unwined WA earlier this year. We sampled 2 wines from their impressive wine list with our meal. Below are the two wines we sampled (with images from the internet as we didn’t have the bottles of wine at the table with us).

Eidosela Albarino ’11, Rias Baixas, Spain.

Having enjoyed the Albarino I had at my Wine Essential Class when I saw this varietal on the list I really wanted BF to try it and let me know what he thought. Our first sips of this wine had it coming across unbalanced and slightly too acidic, once the wine had warmed a little from it’s overly chilled state the wine balanced out and was a delightful drop to enjoy, with a hint of fleshy peach fruit on the palate and a good touch of oak and acidity.

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Eidosela Albarino ’11, ($62 a bottle at The Quarter on Hay).

Chateau d’Yquem “Les Tertre Du Lys D’or”, Sauternes, France.

This wine was a slightly impulsive decision and one i did not regret! The wine had oak present on the nose and palate, with the wine being sweet and syrupy on the palate with a refreshing aftertaste that cleansed the palate quite well. A good wine to finish the meal off!

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Chateau d’Yquem “Les Tertre Du Lys D’or” ($14 a glass at Quarter on Hay).

Full reviews of my meals and the wines will be up over the next few weeks. Hope you all are having a wonderful weekend! Best of luck with any last minute shopping and hope you all enjoy a few days of quality time with loved ones this Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Wine Essentials Course: Week 3

Hi everyone,

This week’s class focused on red wines. The class went through the production process of red wines as well as discussing the impact that oak has upon wines as it is more commonly seen in red than white wine. We also had the chance to smell French and American oak chips to get a sense of the two different commonly used oak.

Tasting notes:

1. Estate 807, 2010, Pinot Noir, Great Southern ($39.95): a clear and bright ruby red which had luscious red berries, spices (cinnamon and cloves), chocolate and vanilla (oak) making for a lifted nose that saw the vanilla and fruit transfer to the palate with medium tannins

2. Churchview, 2011, ‘Silverleaf’ Merlot, Margaret River ($13): a clear deep violet in the glass that produced darker berries, vanilla (oak), savour spice and a hint of candied apple on the nose. The wine was dry with medium acid and finish, with cherries and toffee on the palate.

3. Kalleske, 2009, ‘Old Vine’ Grenache, Barossa Valley ($45): A clear dark ruby wine with a herbaceous nose including plum, spice, blackberry and liquorice notes. The wine was medium-dry on the palate with low acid and high tannins with classic ripe fruit and a hint of sweetness from glycerol in the wine. The high alcohol content of the wine (15%) made for a medium to long finish as the wine warmed your mouth.

4. Sitella, 2008, Cabernet Sauvignon, Margaret River ($25): My favourite of the wine’s tasted tonight. A deep plummy red wine in the glass. Eucalyptus/Minty, rhubarb, pencil shavings (oak), beetroot, bay leaves, blackcurrant, plum and toffee/chocolate sweetness on the nose. Dry red wine with high tannins, ripe stewed fruit and a hint of chocolate mint on the palate with a medium finish. Not a bad drink now but I would love to see this wine in a few years time!

5. Xanadu, 2010, Shiraz, Margaret River ($29): The wine was double decanted before serving (poured out of and back into the wine bottle). A deep and vibrant plum wine in the glass. On the nose it is clear that this is a young wine with black forest fruit and spicy notes on the nose. Harsh high tannins on the palate, a sign of the wine’s youth. Short to medium finish with vanilla, cherry and toasty notes from the oak and fruit coming through on the palate. This wine needs time in the bottle to age.

6. Freshy Bay, 2004, Shiraz, Geographe ($15): medium to deep brick red garnet wine. Personally this wine was disappointing for me, little to no fruit or oak on the nose or palate and smooth tannins and a medium finish.

We also had a few bottles of wine passed around at the start of the class that people had brought in. We had a Spanish and Adelaide Hills Tempranillo’s to compare, the Spanish Tempranillo was oaky and had body, while the Adelaide Hills Tempranillo was much lighter and fruit driven. There was also a Shiraz Viognier from Fire Gully from Margaret River, the Viognier really added a smoothness to the wine that helped balance out the youth of the Shiraz. Also had the chance to try a 2002 shiraz, there was quite a bit of sediment in the glass but it was not a bad drop still more partial to a Cabernet Sauvignon to a Shiraz however. Some interesting wine’s to have had the chance to try and ones which I would have likely never tried otherwise!

The Grenache was the favourite of the night with the Cabernet Sauvignon (and my pick) coming a close second.

Until next time!