Posts Tagged ‘Australian wine’

How we drank in the ’70s

Posted by Martin Field on 25 September 2011 in Food and Wine

Back in the 1970s, my good friends Geoff and Dot Parker were great diners and entertainers and I dined frequently with them, at home and in many Melbourne restaurants.

Geoff was (and is) an enthusiastic wine collector and, unusually for the times, didn’t only drink fine wine but also kept extensive notes on those he tasted and the various meals they accompanied.

Earlier this year he compiled a selection of these notes (14 November 1974 to 19 July 1977) and was kind enough to send me a copy. I have since told him that he could have had another career as a wine writer.

This excerpt, one of many, is from a meal we shared at Restaurant Chez Bebert on Tuesday 13 January 1976.

With garlic scallops, the McWilliams Mount Pleasant Anne Riesling, 1966. Rich honey-gold colour. The aroma was heavy and musty…good regional character with considerable acidity providing a pleasant balanced feel. Past its peak, but will continue to build great character.

And, Leo Buring Reserve Bin DWC II Barossa Valley Rhine Riesling, 1973. Exceptional quality dry white…delicate varietal expression, balanced, fresh and soft.

With steak, the Leo Buring Claret DR 163, 1964. Soft, broad, slightly earthy nose redolent of Hunter reds. Medium bodied satisfying palate sitting between the lush and the austere. Well balanced with a sharp tannic lift to the finish. Very good wine.

And, the Seppelt Cabernet Sauvignon TTI 47, 1971, Barossa Valley. This won the 1972 Jimmy Watson Trophy for best 1971 dry red. Big cabernet with a great deal of fruit flavor and rather prominent oak on the finish. A low tannin very good, lush wine, but maybe a little soft and fat.

Notes Copyright © 2011 Geoff Parker. 

 

Top Shelf Drinking

Posted by Martin Field on 7 September 2011 in Wine Tasting

Yering Station Cold Pressed Pinot Gris 2010 (375 ml) – $33 – AAA

Yarra Valley, Victoria. Cold Pressed means grapes were frozen and cold pressed at -18C. Light straw. Sweet nose of ripe apricots, pears and Seville marmalade. Palate is light and elegant with sweet fruitiness balanced by lemon zest acidity. Excellent dessert wine. NB I read the back label after tasting this wine and was surprised to find similar comments.

Reillys Riesling 2010 – $18 – AA+

Watervale, Clare Valley, South Australia. Near water pale, light green hue. Fresh sherbert and lime blossom nose. Dry, full, lip smacking, lemon / lime juiciness. Beautifully integrated acidity at the finish.

Thistle Hill Preservative Free Chardonnay 2011 – $22 – AA

Mudgee, New South Wales. No sulphur dioxide added. Very pale in the glass. Nose of white peaches with a hint of lemon zest. Soft rich palate shows dried pears with a hint of tropical fruits. Read the rest of this entry

Star Drinking

Posted by Martin Field on 18 July 2011 in Wine Tasting

Bardinet Rhum Negrita – $30

A French blend of dark rum from the islands of Martinique, Guadeloupe and Réunion. Light tea hues. Aromatic nose, molasses predominant. A smooth, medium-weighted style; not as medicinal as some dark rums. Well suited to mixin’ rather than sippin’ straight.

d’Arenberg The Noble Botrytotinia F*ckeliana 2010 – $20 – ˜˜˜˜****

Adelaide Hills and McLaren Vale, South Australia; Semillon / sauvignon blanc blend; 8% alcohol. Sounds more like something itchy you’d go to the clinic for than a sweet white wine. Bright gold. Nose of passionfruit and zest of Seville oranges. Palate is smooth and viscous, laden with flavours of marmalade and rich apricot sauce. At first it tastes indulgently sweet but any hint of cloying is offset by upfront citric acidity. (Re net censors – insert *U above.) Read the rest of this entry

Star Drinking

Posted by Martin Field on 19 May 2011 in Wine Tasting

Champagne Duperrey Premier Cru Brut NV – up to $50 – ˜˜˜***

A chardonnay and pinot noir blend from the house of Martel. Pale gold in colour with the slightest pink tinge; flowers and subtle notes of brioche on the nose. A fuller style, with apricot and dried apple flavours in the mouth along with a hint of citrus. Opens with fruit sweetness and firms up towards the finish.

Hollick Coonawarra Savagnin 2010 – $21 – ˜˜**

Juicy, fresh nose. Zesty, tangy palate with hints of lime and sherbet. Dryish flavoursome finish. Good entrée style. Read the rest of this entry

Star Drinking

Posted by Martin Field on 17 December 2010 in Wine Tasting

Queen Adelaide Brut NV – under $10 – **  – Pale gold, small bead. Nose of dried apples and pears. Soft and full in the mouth with a hint of lemon acidity. Will please people who don’t enjoy bone dry bubbly.

Yering Station Yarra Valley Fumé Blanc 2010 – $26 – ˜˜***  – Barrel fermented sauvignon blanc. In this wine, barrel-fermentation has softened much of the herbaceous pungency we expect in unwooded versions. Nevertheless there is still a hint of edgy tomato leaf over the faint woody overtones on the nose. The palate is full and rich and interwoven with sherbet-like acidity.

d’Arenberg McLaren Vale The Dry Dam Riesling 2010 – $15 – ˜˜˜*** Ripe lemon, new season pear and some floral notes on the nose. A generous mouth filling style permeated with lemon and lime intensity. There is a hint of apple pie at the finish. Good aperitif or entrée wine.

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Australian Cultural Wine Cringe?

Posted by Martin Field on 26 November 2010 in Wine

Winemaker Stephen Pannell has called upon Oz wine consumers to take the pledge and reject foreign wines this coming January. Pannell reasons that as foreign imports have grown, local winemakers have suffered financially and that wine grapes have been left to rot on the vines.

He suggests we have to get over our cultural cringe and instead support the local industry by drinking more Australian wine.

I don’t see any evidence to support the alleged cultural cringe effect and I can’t see that in the short to medium term a few weeks boycott of imports will have any significant impact on Australian made wine sales. Read the rest of this entry

Star Drinking

Posted by Martin Field on 26 November 2010 in Wine Tasting

Waipara Hills Brut – $22 - ** – Sparkling riesling from Waipara, New Zealand. Light straw, medium bead. Pears, water melon and floral notes on the nose. Smooth texture on the palate shows hints of dried pears, ripe apples and mild acidity. Finishes off-dry.

Nepenthe Pinot Gris 2010 – $19 - **- Adelaide Hills, South Australia. Pale, hint of green. Subdued sherbet-like bouquet. Fruity ripe citrus in the mouth. Soft acidity to finish. Read the rest of this entry

Star Drinking

Posted by Martin Field on 20 October 2010 in Wine Tasting

Moondah Brook Verdelho 2009 – up to $18 – **

Gingin, Swan Valley and Pemberton, Western Australia. Pale straw. Bright aromas of tropical fruit salad. Medium weighted juicy palate continues with young pineapple and paw paw along with soft acidity.

Mount Langhi Ghiran Cliff Edge Riesling 2009 – up to $25 – **

Western Victoria. Pale with light green edge. Lemon zesty nose. Fresh lime, Granny Smith apples and dried pear on the palate lead to a slightly off-dry finish. Read the rest of this entry

A wine dinner in Alice Springs – 1981

Posted by Martin Field on 14 September 2010 in Food and Wine

Alice Springs is situated right in the heart of Australia but when I lived in the Alice thirty years ago it was hardly the centre of Australian haute cuisine. Gerry White, head of hospitality at the local college, was determined to change that. He asked me to run wine courses for the students and at the same time he created a ‘Wine and Dine Group’ for local residents.

An inaugural dinner (modestly priced) took place in the college restaurant on 11 November 1981. Gerry and I concocted the tightly budgeted menu and wine list below. Student chefs and waiters were in charge of the kitchen and service. Note the French influence in the menu items. Note also that the terms “sherry, white burgundy, claret, port” are now no longer legal on Australian wine labels. Read the rest of this entry

Star Drinking

Posted by Martin Field on 18 August 2010 in Wine Tasting

Taltarni ‘T’ NV Sparkling – $15 – ** – A non-vintage blend of chardonnay and pinot noir. Medium bead, with the faintest blush – from the pinot component? Peachy nose has a hint of strawberry fruit. The strawberry is also apparent on the palate and the wine finishes just off-dry.

De Bortoli Windy Peak Pinot Grigio 2009 – $14 – ** – Very pale with a green apple, sherbet-like nose. Clean, fresh, grapey flavours are enhanced by soft citric undertones and a mildly acidic finish. Read the rest of this entry