Spitbucket Sessions Vol 12: Hogan’s Heroes

26 03 2011

(Lifesize Hogan action figure available on the night)

The year was 2003 and Tom Hogan was working in several of Adelaide’s finest establishments: Supermild, Rhino Room and B Sharp Records. His life was populated by Too Many DJs, not Too Many Winemakers. Then one day Tom, his girlfriend (now wife) Alice, and I took off to the Barossa and I took them around some of my favourite cellar doors. At Torbreck he had some sort of epiphany. Must have been serious as he and Alice proceeded to snore quietly in the back seat all the way back to Adelaide. Up in the front seat I had an amazing run of green lights along Main North Road…and no one to share this wonder with – but I digress.

Little did I know that just like Usher, I had discovered my Justin Bieber. Ok Bieber has more hair than both of us put together but you get the point. Tom has gone on to put vintage hours in at some of Australia’s top wineries and work the floors of some of Melbourne’s top restaurants. Currently he is Head Sommelier at the Two-Hatted Lake House Daylesford where his wine list is recognised by Australia’s Wine List of the Year Awards as one of the best in the country.

Sadly he now knows much more about wine than me and much more about music than Usher, though if you manage to get a ticket to this Spitbucket tasting this is pretty good news for you. The topic is intriguing and brings together 10 of Victoria’s hottest producers, some established, some up-and-coming, but all doing exciting things. I suggest you get your seat request in early for this one! Those of you on Twitter will know Tom well as @iloveriesling.

To Start
2005 Brown Brothers Patricia Pinot Chardonnay Sparkling (@BrownBrothers)

Pair 1
2010 Crawford River Riesling

2008 Gembrook Hill Sauvignon Blanc (@GembrookWine)

Pair 2
2009 Oakridge Mackay Vineyard Chardonnay (@BicknellFC)

2008 Sutton Grange Viognier

Pair 3
2008 Curly Flat Pinot Noir

2007 Greenstone Sangiovese

Pair 4
2009 Syrahmi Shiraz (@monsieurfoster)

2008 Wantirna Estate Amelia Cabernet Merlot

To Finish
Bress Bon Bon Cider (@bresswinecider)

As usual, #spitbucket is free to attend and will take place at the Coast Roof Top Bar. It is on Wednesday 30th March. 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)





Kiwi Pinot Noir: the verdict

10 10 2010

 

Well it was a joyous evening of fantastic Pinot Noir. Everywhere you looked there was a trophy winning wine or a “Top 10…” in such-and-such magazine. The reality is there there weren’t any stinkers at all, which reflects equally on the quality of Kiwi Pinot now and also the generosity of some great wineries out there. Here are some of my very brief notes. Trying to compere and taste wines and write notes and look cool all at once was almost beyond me… 

Martinborough Vineyard Te Tera Pinot Noir 2009: Gravel and cherries, smoky hint too. Light red fruit is ripe. Very approachable.

Martinborough Vineyard Pinot Noir 2008: A lot more funky and complex on the nose. Mushrooms in amongst the red fruit. Velvety texture and long. Still just a baby.

Trinity Hills High Country Pinot Noir 2007: Intense funky nose with tomato leaf, black olives and ragu! Quite chunky and rich, but not subtle.

Craggy Range Te Muna Road Vineyard Pinot Noir 2008:  A highlight for me. Really fragrant and delicate. Complex, sappy, peppery and raspberry notes. Elegant. Feels complete and beautifully balanced.

Villa Maria Cellar Selection Pinot Noir 2008: Bright red fruit and bags of juiciness with hints of peppery spice. Finish is medium length.

Neudorf Pinot Noir Tommy’s Block Pinot Noir 2008: Subtle, understated and elegant with sappy and earthy characters. Savoury. Lovely mouthfeel and decent length.

Saint Clair Pioneer Block 14 Doctor’s Creek Pinot Noir 2008: Pure Pinot nose, balance of red fruit, raspberry and savoury. Also a creamy element too. Tight with a sour cherry note on finish.

Saint Clair Pioneer Block 16 Awatere Pinot Noir 2008: More open and expansive than the Block 14. Another well ballanced, refreshing Pinot with delicate red fruit and just a hint of funk. 

Wither Hills Wairau Valley Pinot Noir 2008: One of the richer Pinots with dark fruit as well as red. Silky palate wrapped around intense fruit and savoury core. Good, long finish.

Wither Hills Ben Morven Pinot Noir 2007: Some doofus left this sample at home by mistake. He has been severely reprimanded.

Greystone Pinot Noir 2008: Really earthy, interesting nose with ferrous hints (yes I did get pulled up on using such a wanky word!). Complex with tight, cherry fruit on the finish. 

Greystone Pinot Noir 2009: Richer, riper and more open than the 2008. Loads more juice and hold the mineral. Still tasty but preferred the ’08.

Mount Difficulty Roaring Meg Pinot Noir 2009: Great for a long lunch. Sweet red fruit up front and suitably refreshing. Not overly complex.

Mount Difficulty Pinot Noir 2008: As you’d expect feels a more serious proposition. Worlds apart in terms of complexity, class and length. Tonnes going on here, with darker fruit, bitter hints and lots of secondary characters. Deep like @mikerism101.

At the last moment, we were joined by the gang from Misha’s Vineyard, who proffered their approachable Impromptu Pinot and their more serious High Note Pinot, both from Central Otago. I’m afraid my notes had run out of steam by this point, so you can find out more about these wines here – http://www.mishasvineyard.com/

And notes to selves…in future we’re going to limit the tastings to 10 wines. This one went on a leeetle beeet too long. Hasta la proxima folks. Remember if you’d like to attend a Spitbucket Session then you just need to tweet @coastrestaurant.

(The beautiful view from the Coast #rooftopbar)

(The Gang)