Thursday, December 30, 2010

Cidre Breton Brut Traditionnel from Guenrouët, Brittany

The sun is setting in lovely down-town Belmont in sunny Perth, and as another domestic carrier flies overhead delivering more intrepid tan chasers, I have debunked to the ‘family room’ of this cheery rental to sit down and talk about my 2010/11 summer love – Cider. More importantly the Cidre Breton Brut Traditionnel from Guenrouët in Brittany France.

But first I need to ask the question: why have I taken so long to board the Cider train? It’s got me buggered I tell you. But anyway I love it and it is here to stay, at least in my fridge, be it in Brunswick or this rather charming rental house in Belmont.

It’s pretty basic this one; yellow in colour, ripe apples on the nose but when you get it in the mouth it all starts to get funky – in a good way of course. Dry, tart, fragrant with a real feel of phenolics about it; I reckon it’s got the palate style of an Amontillado Sherry where the flavour is there, then it’s not and then it comes back. All a nice surprise really.

All in all a great drop and a perfect foil for forgetting about the sunburn you just got at the beach!

Drink with grilled whiting and Neil Young’s ‘Harvest’ playing in the background
Drink now
Crown seal 5%v/v $3.19 at Dan Murphy’s Morley

Friday, December 24, 2010

Pinga Bridgewater on Loddon/Bendigo Nebbiolo 2007

Seeing that I am still on Melbourne time and that it is 6.20am in Perth and I have been wide awake since 5am, I thought I’d fill in some time while the kids watch ‘The Flintstones’ with a post on possibly the finds of the year – for me anyway. The Pinga Bridgewater on Loddon/Bendigo Nebbiolo 2007. From my understanding this is a second label from the Pondalowie folk in Bendigo, with Bridgewater on Loddon being found midway between Kyneton and Daylesford in Victoria’s Spa country.

Dark and brooding in the glass with an almost endless deep set tawny colour with purple hue, the aroma is straight out of the Piedmontese – a tight bouquet of lavender and violet with that evolving to black olive tapenade over the following two days. The palate displays tight and fine tannins and acid combined with effortless apricot, dark chocolate and after two days the trademark tar. All in all a super wine and priced in the mid 20’s is a dead-set bargain – simple!

Drink with slow cooked beef daube
Drink till 2016
Screwcap 13.5%v/v $25 from Red, White and Amber in Kew

Monday, December 20, 2010

A real Summer warmer - Romate Don José Oloroso Sherry Jerez Spain

What else would you want to be drinking while we freeze through another December week in Melbourne – Romate Don José Oloroso Sherry from Jerez Spain. Sinister and dark looking in the glass this little beauty is all seduction and is quite possibly on level terms with champagne as a no-brainer as an aperitif. Almost peanut brittle like on the nose, the palate jumps from earthiness, mushroom, almonds, and then truffles and so much other stuff that escapes me. Quite simply gorgeous!

Drink with truffle risotto
Drink now
Quality cork 18%v/v $38-$42 at all god wine stores

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Barratt Piccadilly Valley Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 2009

I like being surprised. I was at St Judes Cellars a few weeks ago having a chat to Sean behind the jump, and we were talking about the resurgence of chardonnay. Did you know that for the first time in yonks, chardonnay has eclipsed sales of savvy b in Australia (going off first half of the year sales from Vintage Cellars); that’s pretty huge!

Now I’ve always been a chardonnay fan; never understood the ABC set – anything but chardonnay. All you need to do is go through my blog and seethe praise I fork out to such players like Bindi, Giaconda, By Farr and Oakridge to name a few.

So, like I said, I was having a wee chat with Sean at St Judes about chardonnay and he asked me if I had had the Barratt Piccadilly Valley lately. No was my reply. Is it any good asked? It most certainly is was his reply. Long story short I gave him some money and took a bottle home.

In the glass the wine almost has a Riesling like clarity. We let the wine sit for about 25 minutes just to get it closer to room temp. After that there was an abundance of grapefruit zest and just a little bit of locut in there too – haven’t seen that in chardonnay for yonks. Gorgeous acid was accompanied by more grapefruit, slight toast and licorice powder; a super chardonnay indeed.

Wonderful balance and length, with complexity and weight evenly balanced. A no-brainer for the XMAS stocking this year.

Drink with scallop ceveche
Drink till 2014
Screwcap 13.5%v/v from St Judes Cellars and

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Clos Guirouilh Jurançon Sec 2007 Pyréneés-Atlantiques

Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability." - Sam Keen

We are not exactly in deep summer just yet, but what the hell is deep summer anyway? I guess it is the second part of the quote that rings true – “...laziness finds respectability”. And it was this laziness that I shared with a bottle of Clos Guirouilh Jurançon Sec 2007 Pyréneés-Atlantiques in South West France (Gros Manseng and Courbu varieties).

Sitting yellow white in the glass, the aroma has an instant hit of wax and honeysuckle wafting up the olfactory. Another thing that is quite noticeable is the viscosity in the glass – subtle hint on the sec I’d say. In the mouth it is rich and textured with just a touch of crème brulée about. The acid is not sharp, as expected, but nevertheless clean and pronounced.

A seriously good wine and such a great companion this summer.

Drink with salmon gravlax
Drink till 2012
Quality cork 13.5%v/v $26 Blackhearts and Sparrows Fitzroy North

Monday, December 13, 2010

Delamere Tasmanian Blanc de Blanc 2005

Sometimes when you pick something up from the wine shop, you just simply want what you pay for with no little surprises; a bit of common garden-variety I'd call it. So when I happened across the Delamere Tasmanian Blanc de Blanc 2005 I was hoping for a little bit of toasted nut and brioche to wash down some oysters and smoked salmon (just another day in down-town Brunswickistan).

Now lets get the checklist out; toasted nuts - check, brioche - check, fine bead - sort of check, brine - check. This is where Play School comes in to it. Which one does not fit! If you chose brine you'd be right. If you chose brioche you are probably wanting the Brunswick Sardine's webpage

Call me crazy, but the sexxy taste of brine from the Canadian coast is something I really wasn't expecting. And if you did check out the Brunswick Sardines web page, doesn't that Canadian family look so happy jogging along what is probably a freezing beach in Newfounland.

But back to the wine. Brine. Thats all I've got really.

Drink with Brunswick Sardine's
Drink now
Quality cork 13%v/v $30 Blackheart and Sparrows Brunswick

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Seppelt Great Western Original Sparkling Shiraz 2006

Seriously, this is a no-brainer when it comes to XMAS day celerbrations this year, or any year for that matter; the Seppelt Great Western Sparkling Shiraz 2006 I couldn't wait two weeks so I guess I'll be grabbing some when I touch down in Perth in 10 days.

Drink with XMAS pud
Drink now-2016
Quality cork 13.5%v/v $22 Dan Murphy's Hawthorn East