Left Bank, Fremantle

Hi everyone,

BF and I went and had lunch at the Left Bank just before the New Year when we had that heat wave. Having lunch overlooking the river made for a much cooler meal that we would have likely felt had we eaten in Fremantle like we had originally planned to.

I haven’t been to the Left Bank in over a few years since I last went for breakfast and found the spinach in my Eggs Florentine had not only not been washed but they also failed to take out a 2inch root before serving it to me. I decided to give The Left Bank a second chance.

BF had a pint of Bulmers cider, while I opted for a glass of West Cape Howe’s Riesling ($10.5) over cider at the last minute as it had been too long since my last Mount Barker Riesling.I ordered the Margarita Pizza ($17.5), BF ordered the Chicken Parmigiana ($23) and we also got a small side of chips with aioli sauce ($5.5).

Neopolitana Pizza.

Neopolitana Pizza.

The pizza was not bad, the base was done well for my liking, the tomato sauce was watery and the cheese felt a little too tough for my liking making me feel it was sort of plastic-ish cheese.

Chicken Parmigiana.

Chicken Parmigiana.

The potatoes that came with the parmigiana were delicious and creamy! Only downside was that the potatoes were cold from the dish being brought out to the table. BF enjoyed the parmigiana however the service was seriously large and he didn’t get through it all in the end.

Chips with Aioli Sauce.

Chips with Aioli Sauce.

Chips were alright, Aioli needed more garlic for my liking.

The wine was nice as satisfied my longing for a Riesling. Still would have to say I was spoilt being given the chance to sample Plantagenet’s 2012 Riesling last year, which made the West Cape Howe’s Riesling not bad, but still not the best I feel I’ve had.

Overall the meal was ok, better than my last time at the Left Bank but not enough to inspire me to return to the Left Bank for more than a drink with friends for a ‘Sunday Sesh’ in the future and possibly a snack to accompany our drinks.

Until Next time!

The Left Bank Cafe Bar Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Wine(s) of the Week: Summer Break (week 6)

Hi everyone,

Last Sunday I only posted up my drinks from Christmas Day, which can be read here. With the heatwave that has struck Perth the last week or so, drinking anything other than water has been not a significant priority for me last week so this blog post and this Sunday’s blog post will likely be quite small. I will be heading off to Melbourne on Sunday so I’m hoping there will be less humidity and heat over east so I can really delve into and enjoy some Victorian wines while I am there.

Last week I also opened up a bottle of Banrock Station’s Moscato so I could tell customers what I thought of it when they ask. This moscato reminded me of Brown Brother’s especially the almost syrupy finish of the wine. For a $5-9 bottle of wine it isn’t bad if you’re in the mood for something sweet however you may feel a little sick by the end of the bottle due to the after taste, not enough acid in the wine to cleanse the palate. Tropical fruit on the palate and served chilled made it a nice wine to have a glass of after getting home from work during the heatwave.

Banrock Station Moscato.

Banrock Station Moscato.

BF and I decided to head out for lunch late last week and opted for the Left Bank outside Fremantle for lunch overlooking the river. The location seemed to attract the breeze which helped fight off the horrid heatwave heat. While we had lunch I opted to try West Cape Howe’s Mount Barker Riesling ($10.5 a glass) for some refreshment. The crisp dry Riesling was a good pick for the weather.

West Cape Howe Riesling.

West Cape Howe Riesling.

I ended the week by heading down south to see some family before heading to Melbourne, where the temperature and humidity were lower and a little more pleasant. While I was there we opened and shared a bottle that Mum and I had picked out for them for Christmas when we went on a tour of Peel Estate Winery last year as part of my Wine Essential’s Class (write up of the winery tour can be found here) a 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon. For a mere $30 if you buy the bottle individually you receive a bottle of wine which in my opinion stands in the same league (possibly even better) as wines from Margaret River which attract prices over $60. The wine had body, and was showing balance on the palate as well as the potential to have cellared for a few more years. Thinking I need to head back to the Cellar Door at Peel Estate sooner than later to not only try their famous Zinfandel but also to stock up on some more of their value-for-money reds!

2006 Cabernet Sauvignon.

2006 Cabernet Sauvignon.

Until next time!

Halliday Day: Week 10 – Hay Shed Hill Wines

Hi everyone,

Hay Shed Hill Winery is located in Margaret River near the Chocolate Factory. Rated a solid 5 starts by James Halliday, and owned by wine maker Michael Kerrigan since 2006 (in a co-ownership with West Cape Howe Wines) who previously worked for Howard Park Winery.

Hay Shed Hill Winery has 3 different labels. Their basic range is called Pitchfork and their Semillon Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Merlot is available at Liquorland but the range also includes a Rose, Chardonnay, Late Harvest White, and Shiraz. Their Premium line consists of a ‘Block Series’ which consists of ‘Block 1’ Semillon Sauvignon Blanc, ‘Block 6’ Chardonnay, ‘Block 2’ Cabernet Sauvignon, ‘Block 8’ Cabernet Franc and ‘Block 10’ Petit Verdot. The last label is one which is a collaboration with West Cape Howe wine maker Gavin Berry which consists of a Great Southern Riesling and a Cabernet Sauvignon which is a combination of Margaret River and Great Southern grapes.

hay_shed_hill_wines_header

I’ve had a meal at the onsite cafe at Hay Shed Hill Winery last summer and it made for such a relaxing afternoon! I ended up sharing their venison chorizo pizza, 4 cheeses pizza, beer batter chips, and a green salad with two others along with a bottle of Kerrigan and Berry’s 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon. It was this meal which made me end up leaving Hay Shed Hill Wines with a box of wines including some of the 2008 Kerrigan and Berry Cabernet Sauvignon, which I have unfortunately already consumed.

I also had the chance while at the cafe to visit their cellar door and this winery was the first time I was exposed to some uncommon grape varietals. I sampled Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc for the first time. The staff who ran the cellar door at this time were inviting and friendly to talk to, it was a pleasure to have met them.

If you’re in the area I highly recommend this winery not only for their wines but also for their uncomplicated but delicious food!

Until next time!

Wine Essentials Course: Week 2

This week the Wine Essential Course focused on white wines including their production as well as a tasting of some common varietals along with samples of different white wine varietals which were brought in by members of the class at the request of .

1. Kilikonoon, 2011, Mort’s Block Riesling, Clare Valley ($36): pale lemony clear wine with crisp citrus and green fruit (pear and apple) on the nose, pronounced fruit on the palate balanced well with the acid and a long finish.

2. Redgate, 2011, Sauvignon Blanc Semillon, Margaret River ($19): bight and clear pale yellow wine with waxy, grassy and tropical fruit (pineapple) on the nose. This wine was quite disappointing when tasted, while the wine was smooth and balanced it was weak on fruit, acidity and overall not an impressive SBS for me personally.

3. Upper Reach, 2010, Verdelho, Swan Valley ($20): this wine surprised many of us in the class. Clear pale yellow in the glass, pronounced stone and melon fruit on the nose and ripe fruit was balanced on the palate well however the wine lacked persistence of the fruit flavour and developed at the back of the mouth into what one lady described on the night as a ‘sherberty’ texture. This wine would do well with a chicken salad this summer and was personally preferred to the SBS.

4. West Cape Howe, 2011, Unwooded Chardonnay, Margaret River ($17, $19 at Liquorland): clear and bring yellow wine in the glass with tropical, melon and cucumber on the nose. The wine was dry and fruity with ‘structural richness’ on the palate. This wine is one of the few Unwooded Chardonnays, which I have enjoyed and is making me rethink this wine style. This wine is great value for money and another excellent wine from West Cape Howe.

5. Rosabrook, 2010, Chardonnay, Margaret River ($22 at Liquorland): Clear and pale golden wine with a vanilla and charred oak notes on the nose combined with zingy tropical fruits (pineapple) making for an interesting bouquet. The wine was well rounded between the fruit, oak, acid and alcohol with fruit such as grapefruit and nectarines coming through on palate. This wine while not being overly complex also endeared me to the more fruiter styled Chardonnays which Australian wine makers and drinkers tend to favour.

6. De Bortoli, 2008, ‘Nobel 1’ Botrytis Semillon, Billal ($60 for a 700mL bottle, $36 at Liquorland for a 375mL bottle): dark orange in colour and smells devine! Think marmalade and honey notes on the nose. Sweet and fruity on the palate with enough acid to allow the palate to not feel gluggy from the sweetness of the wine, this wine would be perfect for Christmas desert or cheese platter!

The favourites of the night, not including De Bortoli’s ‘Nobel 1’ was the Rosabrook Chardonnay and the Kilikonoon Riesling, both of which I highly enjoyed and ended up being the swing vote to make the Riesling the overall favourite wine of the night.

I also had the chance to sample 2 new wine varietals from samples, which people brought into the class. I had the chance to try an Italian Verdecchio and a Spanish Albariño. Both were new varietals for me as part of my Wine Century Challenge and I enjoyed trying both varietals and would happily try them again. The Verdecchio was brought to the class warm and was quite watery on the palate; it would be interesting to try this varietal again but chilled. The Albariño was delightful with white peach coming across on the palate.

Albariño.

Verdecchio.

This weeks course definitely opened my eyes up to the numerous white wine varietals as well as how even a well known wine varietal can still surprise me in how varying the textures, bouquets and tastes different wineries can produce with the same grape varietals.

For those of you who missed my post for the first week’s class you can follow the link here to it.

Currently down in Margaret River for the Gourmet Escape event which is occurring this weekend. Tomorrow’s post will be late as I am driving back that afternoon. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! And come say hi if you are at the Gourmet Escape today (Saturday) and see me!

Until next time!