Spitbucket Sesssions Volume 10: Mornington Peninsula

25 02 2011

Our tenth edition of the Sessions will be a little different. I’m knackered so I’m off on holiday to Perth and Margaret River. But that sort of thing doesn’t wash with spibucketeers so we have press-ganged a guest host in to help out. We didn’t have to twist David’s arm too hard though and he was dead keen to fly up from Mornington and share his time and considerable wisdom with the group.

David Lloyd has been making wine since 1977 (previously in Coonawarra and Yarra Valley) before striking out on his own when he and his wife Wendy bought the Eldridge Estate Vineyard (above) in 1995. Eldridge Estate is an 800 case vineyard and winery at Red Hill on the Mornington Peninsula. Immediately the Lloyds changed the vine canopy system to Scott Henry and started a grafting program to add Gamay to the existing plantings of Pinot and Chardonnay. In subsequent years the grafting program was extended to build a collection of Pinot Noir clones that perform best at the Red Hill site. The current plantings of Chardonnay is a blend of 6 clones and the Pinot Noir 7 clones. The vineyard is mostly 26 year old vines and the main varieties are based around the special clones of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir on a very unique and cool 3 hectare site. Most people are surprised to hear that the wine that he enjoys the most is actually Chardonnay.

David has managed to cajole some of the very best producers on the Peninsula to provide wines for this Spitbucket installment so it should be a real treat.

Pair 1: Pinot Gris
Ocean Eight Pinot Gris 2010
Paradigm Hill Pinot Gris 2010

Pair 2: Chardonnay
Eldridge Estate North Patch Chardonnay 2009
Stonier Chardonnay 2009

Pair 3: Gamay
Eldridge Estate Gamay 2009
Eldridge Estate Gamay 2007

Pair 4: Pinot Noir
Stonier Windmill Pinot Noir 2007
Eldridge Estate Pinot Noir 2007

Pair 5: Shiraz
Foxeys Hangout Shiraz 2009
Paringa Estate Shiraz 2009

As usual, #spitbucket is free to attend and will take place at the Coast Roof Top Bar. It is on Wednesday 2nd March. All you have to do is tweet @coastrestaurant and ask to book a space before they’re all gone. More details here.

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Spitbucket Sessions Vol 9: Kiwi Reds that ain’t Pinot, part 1: Hawkes Bay

16 02 2011

This Spitbucket theme came about after a chat with Monty James – New Zealand wine’s main man in Australia. We’d already decided to focus on non-Pinot Kiwi reds for a change after having successfully covered Pinot before. So that left world-class Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet from the North Island. “How about a two part tasting? Hawkes Bay up first, compared with Waiheke Island which I’ll help to host next time I’m up?”

Sounded like a PLAN to me…so here we are…

Pair 1: Hawke’s Bay Syrah
Villa Maria Private Bin Syrah 2008 (@villamaria_wine)
Elephant Hill Reserve Syrah 2008 (@elephanthill)

Pair 2: Gimblett Gravels Syrah
Mission Estate Reserve Syrah 2009 (@missionestate)
Te Awa Syrah 2009 (@teawawinery)

Pair 3: Merlot
Villa Maria Private Bin Merlot 2009 (@villamaria_wine)
Elephant Hill Merlot 2007 (@elephanthill)

Pair 4: Left Bank Style Bordeaux Blends
Mission Estate Reserve Cabernet Merlot 2009 (@missionestate)
Cornerstone Cabernet Merlot Malbec Blend 2006 (@forestwinesNZ)

Pair 5: Right Bank Style Bordeaux Blends
Wild Rock Gravel Pit Red (Merlot Malbec blend) 2008 (@TheWildRockGuy)
Trinity Hill The Gimblett 2007

(Aerial shot of the Gimblett Gravels, top, with close up below, both courtesy of Trinity Hill)

The tasting is full up now unfortunately, but you can still get your fix of great New Zealand wines and awesome Coast food when the winemakers come to town in a week or two. Chef, Adam Lord, will be matching his dishes to a range of wines from the length and the breadth of the North and South Islands. More details here.





Spitbucket: The Best of 2010, some of Jo Taylor’s favourites

19 01 2011

2010 was a momentous year for The Spitbucket Sessions. After travelling from Adelaide to London, then back to Sydney over the course of seven years, they found the perfect, permanent home at Coast’s Roof Top Bar. Through Twitter, Spitbucket also found a seemingly endless supply of people passionate about tasting and enjoying wine, and wineries generous enough to support the events. Along the way we all needed a bit of sustenance too and we thank Coast’s top-notch chef, Adam, and our resident meat man, Tim, for their tasty contributions too. 

We all made new friends through Spitbucket and so it is with great sadness that we said goodbye to Jo Taylor, one of the most passionate wine lovers you’re ever likely to find. Jo, there will always be a seat at the Roof Top Bar and at Spitbucket for you.

In our first session of 2011 we take a look back at some of the wines that made our 2010 sessions special.

To Start: Stonier Sparkling Pinot Noir Chardonnay 2006

Pair 1:
Vinteloper Watervale Riesling 2010 (@Vinteloper)
Lark Hill Gruner Veltliner 2009 (@LarkHillWine)

Pair 2:
Golding La Francesa Savagnin 2010 (@GoldingWines)
Philip Shaw The Dreamer Viognier 2009 (@philipshawwines)

Pair 3:
Saint Clair Block 14 Doctor’s Creek Pinot Noir 2008 (@saintclairwine)
Craggy Range Te Muna Road Vineyard Pinot Noir 2008

Pair 4:
Teusner Albert Shiraz 2008 (@Teusnerwine)
Petaluma Shiraz 2007 (@Petalumawine)

To Finish: #Giantbeers aka. Mac’s Hop Rocker





Spitbucket Sessions Vol. 5: Outstanding Adelaide Hills

12 11 2010

 

(Petaluma’s Mount Barker Shiraz Vineyard)

I was in the Adelaide Hills last week and it is looking stunning. When you wake up to a frosty, clear morning you are reminded that it’s a pretty cool climate vine growing area, so wine-wise as a (very general) rule you might expect to see more spicy, peppery characters rather than lush, luxurious fruit.

Let’s put it to the test then shall we? I’ve plumped for a pretty mixed bag, including a couple of white wine wildcards, and two red varieties that do very well up there…Pinot Noir and Shiraz.

Riesling
Petaluma Project Company Dry Riesling 2009
Petaluma Project Company 30g/l Residual Sugar Riesling 2009

Chardonnay
Bird in Hand Chardonnay 2009
Golding Chardonnay 2008

Weird and Wonderful
K1 Arneis 2010
Golding La Francesa Savagnin 2010

Pinot Noir
K1 Pinot Noir 2008
Pike & Joyce Pinot Noir 2008

Shiraz
Bird in Hand Shiraz 2008
Petaluma Shiraz 2007

We hope to get some good input on the night from @birdinhandwine, @petalumawine, @goldingwines and @K1byTheHardys.

As usual, #spitbucket is free to attend and will take place at the Coast Rooftop Bar. It is on Wednesday 17th November. All you have to do is tweet @coastrestaurant and ask to book a space before they’re all gone. More details here.





Shiraz round-up

28 10 2010

Forgive the tardiness of my Shiraz scribbles. Just my personal thoughts. Here we go…

Western Australia
The Collection Shiraz 2008 (Margaret River) – spicy and peppery with medium intensity and blackberry and minerals. A good one to start with.

Capel Vale Whispering Hill Shiraz 2007 (Mount Barker) – less up front fruit, more dried herbs on the nose, but palate has pure fruit drive. Angular and precise with the black fruit dominating the finish.

Canberra District
Lark Hill Shiraz Viognier 2009 – lifted apricot and blackcurrant nose. Really fresh, yet pretty luxurious on the palate. Felt a touch sweet for my personal taste.

Capital Wines Kyeema Vineyard Reserve Shiraz 2006 – Restrained with savoury nose. Showing a fair bit of development. Medium bodied, beautiful balance and elegance.

Hunter Valley
Brokenwood Shiraz 2009 – Seems so young, recently released actually, with fresh, primal red and black fruit assault. A baby but lots of promise.

Glenguin Stonybroke Shiraz 2007 – Rich and warm Hunter nose with stewed plums, mulberry and spicy notes. Savoury with great body and a long, silky tannin finish.

McLaren Vale
Madeleines McLaren Vale Shiraz 2008 – chunks of black fruit and vanilla on nose. Tannin hit, but that chocolate and black fruit pushes on through.

Coriole Lloyd Reserve Shiraz 2006 – probably the standout wine of the night. Deep, rich and complex. Funky hints, BFG, charcoal and super fine tannins. Long, long finish.

Barossa Valley
Teusner Albert Shiraz 2008 – another youngster with bright, fresh plums and minty eucalyptus notes. Palate shows fresh raisin (if such a thing exists!?). Acid and tannin will ensure long life

St Hallett Old Block Shiraz 2007 – bigger and richer, with a bit more oak apparent. Just at start of developing its classic savoury complexity. Plenty to work with there, though felt super young again.

Thank you as always to the wineries for supplying a sample bottle and for their magnificent tweeting on the night.

(Thanks again to @urbanfoodmarket and @lordie82 for the best ever ever ever combination of two of my favourite things…wagyu beef and croquettes)





Spitbucket Sessions Vol. 3: Shiraz from around Australia

13 10 2010

 

(Toby Barlow and Stuart Blackwell of St Hallett tussle over Barossa Valley Shiraz)

Wednesday 20th October, 6.30pm start at the Coast Roof Top Bar 

We’re desperate to fit some more red wine in before Sydney gets too warm and we’re all begging for Riesling, bubbles and paddle pops. And while we’re at it, let’s not mess around. We head straight into Shiraz, the grape that arguably made Australia famous on a global stage and my namesake in a strange sort of way. On twitter I go by the name @up_shiraz and people ask me if it’s my favourite grape. Well it’s not really, probably squeaks into the top 10 but that’s about it. So why the name? Well I have to admit that I borrowed it from my group of friends, who used it as a raucous, rambunctious toasting cry. Imagine a stinking, soiled tavern in Black Death plagued London as 4 portly gents thrust their flagons of foaming ale outwards and upwards into a beer splashing “cheers!!!” Now spin on a few hundred years to a group of Adelaide wine students slamming their ISOs together with a hearty “Up Shiraz!!!” We definitely channeled their mirth, if not their smells and open sores. It might even sound a bit like another phrase too (think about it…) though that is just scurrilous rumour.

Anyway, I digress. Shiraz comes in many guises, from the rich, intense and inky to the spicy and peppery, to the light, simple and fruity. That doesn’t even come close to describing the amazing variety this grape achieves in the many growing regions of Australia. At this tasting we’ll be checking out 5 different regions and how Shiraz differs acorss them.

Canberra District
Lark Hill Shiraz Viognier 2009
Capital Wines Kyeema Vineyard Reserve Shiraz 2006

WA
The Collection Shiraz 2008 (Margaret River)
Capel Vale Whispering Hill Shiraz 2007 (Mount Barker)

Hunter Valley
Brokenwood Shiraz 2009
Tower Estate TBC / Glenguin Stonybroke Shiraz 2007 (or maybe all 3!)

McLaren Vale
Madeleines McLaren Vale Shiraz 2008
Coriole Lloyd Reserve Shiraz 2006

Barossa Valley
Teusner Albert Shiraz 2008
St Hallett Old Block Shiraz 2007

Couple more still to get sorted but should be a really diverse and interesting line-up. Tweet @coastrestaurant for a place in the usual way and check out the Sessions page for more event details.

We’re very lucky too that @urbanfoodmarket is coming back to the party and will be dreaming up some cracking canapes with Coast head chef, Adam Lord. YUM!