Spitbucket Sessions Vol 13: Western Australian Wunderkinds with Mark Gifford

13 04 2011

 

(The man himself, sharing typical Western Australian hospitality at Prevelly Beach)

The picture above serves several purposes. First of all it shows just how stunning the Western Australian coastline is. It was taken at Prevelly Beach, just a stone’s throw from the Margaret River township and dozens of top wineries. What it also does is illustrate the generosity of Mark Gifford, who with his mate Brad Wehr (of Wine by Brad and Mantra Wines fame), hosted an impromptu beach-side tasting for my wife and I on a recent trip there. Cracking wines and fantastically friendly people. The third thing it does is show you what Mark looks like, so that when you pass him on a Sydney street this week, you’ll be able to grab him by the arm and take him to the nearest watering hole.

Mark has rounded up a special selection of top WA wines for this lucky 13th installment of the Spitbucket series. He has modestly only included one wine from his own estate, so I suggest you get online sharpish and check out the others from the fantastic Blue Poles range.

Bracket 1:
Mantra SSB 2010 [@mantrawines]
Moss Brothers Moses Rock SSB 2009 [@Moss_Brothers]

Bracket 2:
Howard Park Chardonnay 2008 [@HowardParkWines]
Fraser Gallop Estate Chardonnay 2009 [@FraserGallopEst & @kate_morgan]

Bracket 3:
Mantra Shiraz 2008 [@mantrawines]
The Collection Shiraz 2008 [@vinedrops]

Bracket 4:
Blue Poles Reserve Merlot 2008 [@BluePoles]
Greedy Sheep GA HANNETT Premium Reserve Malbec 2009 [@GreedySheep]

Bracket 5 :
Fraser Gallop Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 [@FraserGallopEst & @kate_morgan]
Cape Mentelle Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 [@Mentelle]

As usual, #spitbucket is free to attend and will take place at the Coast Roof Top Bar. It is on Wednesday 13th April from 6.30pm sharp. I’m a bit late with the wine posting this week so it is now sold out – sorry! In future just tweet @coastrestaurant and ask to book a space before they’re all gone. More details here.


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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!