Last week I attended the latest Cellar Door in the City by Poppin’ Cork Events and I have to admit I think this was my favourite one so far! I’ve visited a few wineries and tried a number of Geographe wines but I was still surprised and excited to uncover some true gems at this event. I definitely had my proper wine geek on.
The tasting was at The Aviary’s Birdcage in the Perth CBD. The wineries had little stands set up around the room and lovely canapes were coming out from the kitchen alongside a cheese table. You can’t go wrong with cheese and wine. For your information, the cheese platter was a stunner accompaniment to Vineyard 28’s Moscato 😉
A big thanks to Maddie from Poppin’ Cork Events who invited me along to the event – as you can tell I had a great time and I can’t wait till the next one! As we know, there are 9 fine wine regions in WA, so I really hope we get to experience them all via an event like this one.
So what made this Cellar Door in the City so good? Let me introduce you to the wineries I had the pleasure to taste from..
Whicher Ridge Wines
I have met Cathy at a number of wine events alongside visiting Whicher Ridge Wines last year when my parents were over. It was lovely to meet her husband, Neil for the first time at this event. There’s no doubt Whicher produce some amazing top quality drops, I am particularly fond of the sparkling Shiraz (an Aussie wine style I never really thought I’d get in to) which I had to get a bottle to take home to Mr. Spittoon to enjoy with the spaghetti bolognese he was cooking (I am so lucky!). It was also great to try the newly released 2014 Chardonnay which oozes pure elegance. If you get the chance, you must visit Whicher Ridge to try the wines and experience their Wine Sensory Garden – it’s one of a kind in WA and maybe even Australia. Follow Whicher Ridge.
Vineyard 28 is another vineyard I have been lucky enough to visit. When we went on our day trip to the Geographe wine region from Perth, this stop was conveniently along the way. We were actually en-route to another winery and then I spotted that enticing ‘winery’ road sign and we thought we better check the place out. We lovely visited the vineyard to hear about why they call themselves Vineyard 28 and also try their interesting range of Italian varietals. I am a huge fan of their Arneis so it was great to try the recent 2015 release but I also couldn’t get enough of the 2013 Nebbiolo which was tasting absolutely beautiful on this particular night. All I needed was a piece of pizza and cozy blanket to make the Nebbiolo experience complete. Follow Vineyard 28.
St Aidan Estate
Saint Aidan wines are from the heart of the Ferguson Valley. I remember seeing these guys and trying their tipples at UnWined WA last year and loving their Sparkling Chardonnay. This time around it was their still 2012 oaked Chardonnay and the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon that had me weak at the knees. I loved the enthusiasm of the two lovely winos at the Saint Aidan stall, super upbeat and they have a real passion for what they do. Follow St Aidan Estate.
This was the first time I have come across Smallwater Estate and I wish it had been sooner! The Unwooded 2015 Chardonnay was delightful, it packed in a crazy amount of flavour! The 2015 Zinfandel Rose was spot on deliciousness – dry and strawberry-filled. But I think overall it was the 2014 Zinfandel that stole the show for me – I could easily take a truck load of this one. It was great chatting to the lovely couple on the stall, a Brit and owner/operator John Small, a Kiwi from Nelson. Being a New Zealander myself, it’s always great coming across other wine-loving Kiwis abroad. After chatting to these guys, this vineyard is top of my list to visit on my next trip south. The winery is also home to a marron farm and on-site restaurant with the speciality dish of ‘marron pie’ – that’s enough to convince me! Follow Smallwater Estate.
Another hidden gem of the Geographe region! Mazza’s speciality is Spanish and Portuguese grape varieties and wow they had some interesting wines to try. The couple who own and operate Mazza fell in love with the wines of Rioja while travelling in Spain and wanted to have their own little piece of Spain in Donnybrook, WA! I am so glad they did, as these wines are awesome and it’s great to see some alternative varietals around the place. The 6 grapes Mazza grow are; Tempranillo, Touriga Nacional, Graciano, Bastardo, Tinta Cao and Sousao. It was the 2009 Graciano that had me licking every drop out of my glass, however the ‘Cinque’ blend of 5 grapes was also something pretty special. Follow Mazza Wines.
Mandalay Road Wines
I love these guys! The couple behind the Mandalay Road wines are super lovely and I always enjoy chatting to them. I first ran across them at UnWined WA where I couldn’t get enough of their Durif. At this event it was their unique 2015 Chardonnay that caught my taste buds attention. It had an interesting baking spice, nutmeg character to it that kept me going back to the glass for more out of enjoyment and also intrigue. There’s no surprise that the 2014 Durif was drinking beautifully but also the 2015 Zinfandel went down mighty finely! Follow Mandalay Road Wines.
Fifth Estate Wines
Another familiar winery, and another Sparkling Shiraz that has turned me to the dark side. It was great to see daughter Jess on the stand who you’ve probably regularly seen at many of the wine festivals throughout the year and will be at upcoming City Wine next weekend too! The 2013 Chardonnay naturally caught my attention and it was really great to try the 2015 and 2014 Tempranillo’s beside each other. Personally I was leaning towards the 2015 with its savoury smokiness and vibrant blackberry flavours. However I think I’ll definitely need to try these again at City Wine on the weekend, just to make sure 😉 Follow Fifth Estate Wines.
Next year I can definitely feel a Geographe weekend on the cards – such great wine coming out of this region and some awesome wino personalities too!