A year ago Mr. Spittoon and I made our first trip down to the Great Southern wine region. We spent a long weekend in Denmark and loved it! To us the region reminded us of New Zealand with the rolling hills, coastline and of course because of all the green. If we could we’d be down there every other weekend soaking up the beauty (and wine!) but alas the 4-5 hour drive makes it a bit tough after a long week at work. Which is why events like this one is perfect! The Great Southern cellar doors came to us last night in the heart of the Perth CBD and boy did I uncover some tasty gems!
Firstly a big thanks to Maddie from Poppin Cork Events for inviting me and my tasting team along (haha a lovely workmate of mine who I’m proud to say realised not all Rieslings are sweet after introducing her to the Castelli Riesling at Decanter in Vic Park a few months ago). This was my first Cellar Door in the City and I have to admit that I can’t think of a better way to spend a Thursday night than enjoying good wines with lovely music (Ruby May set the perfect tone for the evening) in a relaxed setting.
The event was held at Rigby’s Bar & Bistro which is a laid back venue off St Georges Terrace. They have a sort of atrium out the back or as someone commented it’s like a greenhouse for people to grow (and the funny thing is the guy who said this wasn’t even drinking!). It was rather warm but nothing a nice chilled bottle of Riesling couldn’t fix.
There were 11 exhibitors in total with numerous reds, whites and sparklings to taste. Upon entry you’re given a tasting glass and order form listing all the wines so you can make notes and place orders through Wine Pulse. The form also came in handy for writing down notes which many people were doing. I really liked how the list of wineries on the form was pretty much the same order as the actual stalls.
The excellent thing about this event is that there was the perfect amount of exhibitors to get around them all and try one or two from each and have a quick chat within the 3 hour timeframe. Due to the heat I stuck (mostly!) to bubbles and the whites. So what was good?
Rockcliffe Chardonnay and I have a long relationship, so I’ll never turn down the opportunity to remind my palate of its greatness. They had both their normal and Third Reef Chardy there last night. I also was quite partial to the Third Reef 2015 Riesling.
I’ve been a big fan of the Howard Park Riesling since it was one of the Aussie wines we stocked in Le Clos in Dubai when I worked there. My workmate really enjoyed the 2015 Manjimup SBS for its passionfruit notes and surprise surprise the 2014 Flint Rock Chardonnay tickled my taste buds.
Two of the ‘3 Devils’ from Gilberts Wines were arming the stall on the night, which provided us with a good laugh. The 2015 Rose was a delight on the palate (very pretty labels too Mrs Gilbert!) as well as the medium sweet Riesling called Alira which was just shouting out to be teamed up with a spicy Thai dish.
I love the Muller Thurgau by Galafrey and I couldn’t resist the urge to try it again. The 2014 Reserve Chardonnay was also scrumptious. Galafrey makes dry grown wines which means they use no irrigation so it’s really interesting to taste these wines and see how they differ to irrigated vinos.
I haven’t tried a lot from Frankland Estate and I must say I was absolutely head over heels for their 2015 Frankland Estate Riesling – an absolute beauty! It’s a pity I didn’t get back to try the reds. Haha and I had to include this picture as just as I was taking the photo the dude noticed my phone cover.
As a lot of people were saying, gorgeous labels! And the story behind each label is pretty special too – all the wines are named after members of the family, the below label ‘Chell’ is named after one of the sisters who is a naturopath, hence the cool design on the label. The 2015 Sauvignon Blanc had a gorgeous nose on it!
An old favourite and I must admit the work girls and I have shared numerous bottles of the Checkmate Bubbles and Riesling over lunches in the past 12 months! It was exciting to try the new 2015 Chardonnay which was bottled about 3 weeks ago – it’s showing good signs of turning into one stunning Chardonnay.
Ferngrove are another old favourite of mine and I’ll never pass an opportunity to sip on that gorgeous Sparkling Malbec of theirs. The 2015 Orchid Cossach Riesling with its refreshing limey notes also went down an absolute treat.
I haven’t had a lot of the Alkoomi Wines, but I’ll definitely be having more now! From the 2015 Black Label Sauvignon Blanc which is slightly oaked to the French Provence style 2015 White Label Rose made from Grenache and the 2007 Semillon, my taste buds were in heaven. The Bordeaux blend 2009 Blackbutt was a fabulous red to sip on with so much flavour and oomph and of course I did have to try my luck with the Mystery Bottle! I’m pretty sure my guess was well off, but you have to be in to win right.
Abbey Creek Vineyard
What an absolutely lovely couple! I remembered these two from Raising Riesling and it’s safe to say that 2011 Riesling is still tasting mighty fine.
3 Drops Wines & Olive Oil
I’m starting to sound like a broken record here but honestly these guys make awesome Rieslings too and I’m very partial to their Chardonnay as well. It was nice to try the 2015 Riesling up against the 2012 and of course it’s always enjoyable to taste their olive oil – it reminds me of tasting freshly made olive oil in Italy, plenty of flavour that keeps you going back for more.
All up it was a fabulous event. There are so many talented winemakers and producers down in the Great Southern and it was great to have them on our door step for the night. Keep up to date with other events and more Cellar Door in the City’s on the Poppin Cork Events website and Facebook page.