Halliday Day: Week 9 – Peel Estate Winery.

Hi everyone,

As part of my Wine Essentials Class with the Wine Education Centre of WA we had the chance to be given a tour of Peel Estate Winery in Baldivis by its owner and senior winemaker Will Nairn. Peel Winery is located in the Peel wine region, which is located at the southern end of Perth; situated roughly between Rockingham and 50km south of Mandurah and runs from the coast to the Darling Scarp.

James Halliday rated the winery 4 stars in the 2012 Australian Wine Companion, and commends them on their “remarkably consistent track record”. Peel Estate is known for it’s unique ‘wooded-Chenin’ which Halliday rates as the best wooded-Chenin in Australia and compares it to that of the Loire Valley in France.

We were taken by Will Nairn for a tour of his vineyard and winery and I managed to grab a few half-decent pictures along the way. Below are some pictures I took while we were given a tour of the winery. Will spent about an hour discussing with us the formation of the winery and where he had sourced the grapes cuttings from, how they had developed and how he had altered the vision of the winery along with their successes and failures and his views on oak and other wine making methods and advances. Climate change was of great importance to Will as it is impacting many aspects of the Wine Industry, regarding irrigation, harvest and the success of certain grape varietals.


Mature Grape Vines.

Recently grafted grape vine.

Recently grafted grape vine.

Newly grafted section of the vineyard along with most of our teacher in the wine class.

Newly grafted section of the vineyard along with most of our wine educator from the Wine Education Centre.

This tour was possibly the highlight of the Wine Essential Course that I have been completing this past month. It was so interesting and exciting to hear from a man who has been in the industry for years as well as to see him in his own environment, that of his winery and vineyard.

Review of wines sampled:

2011 Verdehlo: dry, crisp, fresh, and citrus on the nose. The palate was dominated by apple, floral, and zestyness from the citrus notes in the wine. The Verdelho had been left on lees for a bit which made it different to other Verdelho’s I have tried, but still overall one that I would happily have again.

2012 Oaked Chardonnay: On the nose you could note floral, fruity and a hint of butteriness from the oak. The acid was balanced on the palate and the time on oak led to it having a good texture as well as giving the wine a toasty flavour along with citrus and spiciness from the fruit.

2011 Wood-matured Chenin Blanc: this wine was different to any Chenin I have tried in the past, while at first it seemed unfamiliar and therefore slightly odd tasting I warmed up to it in the end. On the nose the wine was crisp but still nutty and toasty thanks to the time on oak (between 12-18 months for the Chenin). On the palate the wine was fruity, rich, dry and a hint of honey. This is a wine which would do best I believe with food.

2012 Rose: Their rose is a blend consisting of mainly Cabernet Franc with some Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon also. The wine began with strawberries and cream on the nose and was fruity and smooth on the palate. The wine began sweet on the tip of the mouth it’s overall finish was medium-dry. I was a fan of this and think I have have preferred it to the wine’s I sampled at the Rose Revolution earlier.

2006 Cabernet Sauvignon: the bit of age on the wine had done it some good thought it was still a little on the young side. The acid and tannins on the wine were still noticeable but it was still a pleasant drop. Dark plum was present both on the nose and palate and along with vanilla, spiciness, and a slight hint go earthiness or chalky-limestone thanks to the location of the vineyard on the old limestone coastal plain in the region.

2005 Old Vine Shiraz: spice, black olive, vanilla, licorice, chocolate and toasty all came to mind from the nose of this wine. On the palate you could taste berries and chocolate as well and it was quite a smooth wine. Not a bad wine either and it came close to usurping the  Cabernet Sauvignon as my favourite red.

Fortified Shiraz: wow! This is a wine which I am so glad I had the chance to try! It was like liquid gold for me! If you make it to the winery this is one to try and you will likely end up taking a bottle home with you!

They also do a Zinfandel which they were currently out of stock on the previous vintage and a few weeks off having the next vintage available for tasting which was a shame as it came highly recommended. There was also a Shiraz Cabernet which we accidentally passed over during the tasting. All the wines sampled on the day were very reasonably priced, with the aged reds being $30-35 which impressed me greatly, in comparison to what they would have likely cost had they come from a Margaret River winery.

A big thanks to Will for having the class on the tour and for being such an entertaining host! I do hope some of you make it down to the winery as it is the perfect location for a lazy weekend barbecue with their electric barbecue and wine cellar open 10am-5pm 7 days a week.

Until next time!

Wine(s) of the Week: Summer Break (week 3)

Hi everyone,

The review of my last Wine Essential Class and reviews of the wine’s I tried there can be found at this blog post for those of you who missed it. This class was spent comparing two different wines with each course of the meal and comparing and contrasting how different wines paired differently with the meals. This is something that I would love to continue at home to see how my palate deals with and prefers food and wine combinations.


Crush Rose.

Mum was given a bottle of Barwick Estate’s Crush Rose which we opened with dinner one night this past week. The wine had berries and cream on the nose and a slight sweetness on the palate. It was a delicious wine! Tasting notes for the wine can be found here. This is a wine I would happily drink again and a big thanks to the family friends who gave it to mum!

Sitella Sparkling Pinot Chardonnay.

Sittella’s Sparkling Pinot Chardonnay.

To welcome the overseas family to Perth we began the night with Sittella’s Sparkling Pinot Chardonnay. This was not a bad drop, definitely one to make me curious to try the rest of their range.

Kerrigan & Berry Cabernet Sauvignon decanting.

Kerrigan & Berry Cabernet Sauvignon decanting.

Along with the bubbly I also dove into my small collection of Margaret River red wines, the family was given the choice of a 2007 Leeuwin Estate Arts Series Cabernet Sauvignon or a 2008 Kerrigan and Berry Cabernet Sauvignon. The Kerrigan and Berry was selected and was then decanted into my recently acquired decanter which BF spoilt me with for my birthday. The Cabernet Sauvignon spent roughly 2 hours in the decanter and what came out was a smooth and fruity but still young wine. Tasting note for the 2009 vintage can be found here, while it is the wrong vintage you can get an idea of what the winemakers were looking for.

Kerrigan & Berry Cabernet Sauvignon.

Kerrigan & Berry Cabernet Sauvignon.

Last new wine try of the week was Leaping Lizard‘s Semillon Sauvignon Blanc. This wine surprised me as I was expecting quite a mellow SSB but instead this wine packed a punch on the palate as if you had just bitten into a ripe lychee. Not a bad wine, and I personally think this one would go perfectly with seafood over the summer months! Tasting notes for the 2009 vintage (I tried a much more recent vintage) can be found here.


Leaping Lizard Semillon Sauvignon Blanc.

I will be in the Swan Valley today with the family so expect to see a review of my wine and food discoveries next week! Hope you all have a wonderful Sunday and enjoy what is left of your weekend!

Until next time!

Wine Essential Course: Week 4.

Hi everyone,

The final class in the Wine Essential Course provided by the Wine Education Centre of Western Australia consisted of blind tastings of two different wines with each course of our meal. We began each course by determine what we thought the wine’s varietal, where it was from and what wine making processes had been applied to it, before moving on to compare and determine which wine we felt went better with the dish.

We had our meal at George Street Bistro, on George street in East Fremantle.

We started with a glass of bubbly on arrival.

1. creamy and rich on the palate. A delightful bubbly.

The Entrée consisted of a ‘Stilton, Pear and Walnut Tart, Rocket Salad and Balsamic Dressing’.



Paired with the Entrée was two white wines.

2. Golden clear coloured wine in the glass, it looked like an aged wine. On the nose we could detect oak, pear, apple and citrus. On the palate it provided a smooth, rich, full feeling in the mouth, had a nice amount of acid and dry finish to balance out the slight residual sweetness the wine had. One of the class members sitting near me suggested this wine was a Riesling.

3. the wine appeared youthful, fresh, clear and bring in the glass. On the nose it was fresh, vibrant, unoaked and primary fruits. On the palate the wine was acidic and fruity with a dry finish. Another fellow class member suggested this wine was a Pinot Grigio.

Favourite wine for the dish: Wine number 2 was preferred due to the pear in the tart and wine paring well, and the wine complementing the butteriness of the pastry with the oak in the wine. Wine 3 was too acidic for me personally when compared with the food.

The main meal consisted of ‘Grilled Chicken Brest with Potato Rosti, Spring Vegetables, Chestnut Sauce’.

Main meal.

Main meal.

4. White wine: the wine was clear and had a slight golden tinge to it. We noted oak and pineapple on the palate made me believe this wine was a Chardonnay considering we were pairing it with chicken.

5. Red Wine: clear ruby red wine in the glass. There was cherries, and other berries on the palate and light oak. The class mate who thought wine 2 was a Riesling believed that this wine was a Pinot Noir, and I agreed with him, I thought this Pinot noir was not from Denmark due to the earthiness and palate weight as I felt Denmark would have made a more acidic and cooler Pinot Noir.

Favourite wine for the dish: I kept tossing up between the two wines, for me personally I would have been happy with either wine, I think by the end I preferred the white slightly more but barely. Overall the class preferred the red wine to the white with the main dish.

Desert consisted of a ‘Chocolate and Kahlua Cheesecake with Mulberry Ice-cream’.



6. White sweet wine: Golden yellow coloured wine. Aroma was sweet and a hint of marmalade was also present. The wine on the palate was sweet, honey and tropical fruit (pineapple). There was consensus that the wine was likely to be a Botrytis Semillon.

7. Red sweet wine: ruby red wine in the glass. On the nose I smelt ethanol suggesting the wine was fortified and had quite a high alcohol content. On the palate the wine had a rich mouth feel.

Favourite wine for the dish: The white wine paired better with the desert. The red being fortified was too alcoholic and rich, but on it’s own I would have been quite content with either of the wines.

Wine’s revealed:

1. Grant Burge NV Chardonnay Pinot Noir, Barossa Valley ($26.95).

2. Heymann-Lowenstein, 2009, ‘Schieferterrassen’ Riesling, Germany ($45).

3. Faber Vineyard, 2010, Verdehlo, Swan Valley ($21).

4. Plantagenet, 2010, Pinot Noir, Great Southern ($45).

5. Moss Wood, 2009, Chardonnay, Margaret River ($62).

6. Penfolds, 2011, ‘Cellar Reserve’ Viogner (Late Harvest), Barossa Valley ($45).

7.Happs, 2008, ‘Fortis;, Margaret River ($25).

I was a little concerned about this restaurant as the review online had turned negative since the change of ownership and it was not only online where I was hearing disappointment with towards the food since the change of management. George Street Bistro however was a well laid out restaurant. The restaurant felt modern, fresh and simplistic with it’s design. My only complaint for the design of the restaurant was that the lighting was not enough and the room felt a little too dim for my personal liking.

The food being the major complaint of the restaurant since the change of ownership, impressed me on this occasion. The food was delicious and the portions were perfectly sized. I cannot compare to the standards under the previous owner but under the new owners I was impressed. This is a restaurant I will happily return to and will be watching their menu as it changes with the seasons.

I am quickly becoming fond of George Street in East Fremantle. The selection of stores along this street showcase high quality products and a wide selection. I do plan to wander around the street in the near future and wish dearly that I could have gone to their street fair last weekend.

Until next time!

George Street Bistro on Urbanspoon

Wine(s) of the Week: Summer Break (week 2)

Hi everyone,

This week has been quite uneventful on the wine tasting after last weekend. I did also come down with a 24ish hour virus which didn’t make me all that inspired to have any wine so unfortunately this post will be rather short and sweet. For those of you who missed my review of the red wines I tried at this week’s Wine Essential’s Class you had see my review of them at this blog.

I did make my first purchase for my future wine cellar this week. I went in the shop to browse and ended up coming out with a bottle of 2003 vintage Dom Pérignon. While it was quite a splurge I must resist this little gem for a few years. Any suggestions on what I should save this little gem for?

Dom Pérignon 2003 vintage.

I also went to Peel Estate Winery yesterday as part of my Wine Essential Course. We had the chance to walk through the vineyard, speak with their senior wine maker Will Nairn, see the winery and finally have a tasting guided by Will of most of their range. There will be a post up on this tour the following Monday.

Hope everyone has had a good weekend! Feel free to leave me recommendations of things you think I should try or potential additions to keep my Dom Pérignon company. Also if anyone is interested I will be meeting with a group of Perth wine bloggers on December 12th to begin our Wine Century Challenge and it is not too late to join us! (Note: we are not attempting to do all 100 wines in a single sitting.)

Until next time!

Wine Essentials Course: Week 1

Hi everyone,

This week I went to my first class in the Wine Essentials Course run by the Wine Education Centre a subsidy of the Wine of Western Australia. This course runs over 5 sessions of two hours. Session 1 focuses on the basics of wine appreciation with Sessions 2 and 3 expanding upon the first session with the focus on tasting and evaluating white and then red wine varietals. Session 4 consists of a meal and George Street Bistro in East Fremantle. The final session is an excursion to a winery, this course the Winery that we will get to visit is the Peel Estate Winery.

The first session saw us do a tasting of 6 different reds and whites from around Australia to get a grasp of how wines are tasted and judged in wine shows.

1. Plantagenet 2011 Riesling, Great Southern, $20.99 – a dry-Riesling which covered all the bases, lacked some fruit on the palate.

2. Tower Estate 2011 Off-Dry Riesling, Tasmania, $28 – a sweet-Riesling which had its sweetness well balanced out with it’s acidity, and more pronounced fruit flavours. I personally preferred this to the first Riesling.

3. Ferngrove 2010 Sauvignon Blanc, Great Southern, $19.99 – the age of the Sauvignon Blanc was quite obvious and the wine lacked the usual ‘punch’ of ripeness that a younger version of this wine would likely have. Not a fan.

4. Pinelli Estate 2011 ‘Breanna’ Rose, Swan Valley, $16 – disappointing and uninteresting Rose definitely in the palate and the bouquet was also lacking in intensity. Not a fan.

5. Turkey Flat 2010 Grenache Shiraz Mourvedre, Barossa Valley, $28 – Inviting bouquet, well balanced on the palate. This wine was a delight and I was excited to finally try a wine from this winery of which I have heard many good things about! This wine was a tie with the second Riesling for favourite wine of the night.

6. Leogate Estate 2009 ‘Broken Back’ Shiraz, Hunter Valley, $26 – this wine was disappointing as the oak overpowered both the bouquet and the palate of the wine, leaving it smelling like damp dirt and tasting very harsh. Not a fan.

Overall the Rieslings and the Turkey Flat Red were the standout wines for the group as a whole. For those of you who have enjoyed my ‘How to Taste like a Pro’ series, this course is a more in-depth look at this topic as well as a brief look at how to pair food and wine. The class is well run, informative and the people partaking in the course come from many varied walks of life and are a pleasure to get to know!

Until next time!