When you get up at 5am the next morning after a wine event to write about it – it must be good (wine geek alert!). As most of you know I am a frequent Cellar Door in the City goer, to the point a lot of producers say ‘I’m pretty sure I’ve seen you at a few wine events before’ – what can I say, I’m dedicated. Last night I had an absolute ball and I admit the wine geek in me came out a few times. This edition of Cellar Door in the City was focusing on Margaret River producers. All up there were 10 exhibitors and each of them had something special to offer. There were so many new releases, ‘just been bottled’, ‘not released to the public yet’ wines that I was in my element. Plus I met some AWESOME TC readers who love wine just as much as I do!
Firstly a big thanks to the lovely Maddie from Poppin’ Cork Events for inviting me along. It was the first time the event has been held at Aqua Bar down by the Bell Tower and I must say the venue was perfect. I am glad we arrived early because it was absolutely picturesque with the sun was setting over the river. Team that with a wonderful wine, beautiful acoustic music from James Wilson and nibbles from the Aqua Bar kitchen = perfection.
And I just want to say a huge shout out to all the wonderful people I met last night. Honestly you guys rock and it’s awesome to met so many wine obsessed people just like me! A special shout out to Catriona who literally has the below handbag, your dedication to wine is admirable and yes I am totally ordering one of these!
So what were the wines like? Let’s get stuck in and excuse my very bad photography skills, I definitely need to work on that!
Our first stop for the night and a very good place to start! These guys grow 16 different grape varieties and I was sooo glad they brought some of the lesser known varieties to the tasting. We had a great chat to the 2 guys manning the stall, a Scot and Brit and I was so happy to hear them encouraging everyone to try something new! They had brought 6 of their wines with them on this particular night; a Marsanne, Viognier, Chardonnay, Shiraz, Cab Sauv and Zinfandel. A few, like the Chardonnay were making their debut performance so I was super excited to be one of the first few people to try them. For me the standouts were the Viognier and the Zinfandel – all the wines were absolute palate seducers but these two really made my palate jump for joy!
Happs is one of the exhibitors I was already well familiar with, but hey I needed to taste through the range just to remind my palate. What was cool, was the fact I had a chance to chat with the lovely ladies behind the stall and find out so many interesting bits and pieces about Happs. One of the coolest things I found out is that some of their wine barrels have been ‘steamed’ into shape instead of being done over a fire. I also really enjoyed their 2014 Fushia Rose – the little bit of sweetness and effervescence in the wine was literally screaming out to be teamed with a spicy dish.
It’s awesome to see winemakers on stalls at events like this and the passion Coralie Lewis from Cape Mentelle has about wine was so admiring. Yes I am that person at tasting events who ends up asking a ton of questions, but why not when you have the winemaker right in front of you! Coralie was super insightful and her passion for wine was literally oozing out. It’s probably no surprise that the standout for me was the Cape Mentelle 2014 Chardonnay – this buttery bottle of goodness was made to perfection and it was definitely one of my favourite wines of the night.
A newbie for me and what awesome wines! I actually didn’t catch the name of the guy on the stall, but he was hilarious and I still don’t know if he was the winemaker or what 🙂 It was great to hear the back ground of this label and the story behind their beautiful ‘Four chambers’ labels. The owner, Mr. Thompson is actually a cardiologist in Perth hence the label – you have the four chambers of the heart, the snake which is part of the traditional medical symbol and the butterflies stand for the fluttering of the heart. So cute! But Thompson Estate don’t just have pretty labels, what’s inside was pretty darn good too. For me the standout what the 201 Semillon Sauvignon Blanc – lock me in a room with a case of this and I’ll be one happy lady!
Cape Grace Wines
An old favourite, but it’s always good to remind the palate right? The Chardonnay, Cab Sauv and Malbec were utter brilliance on the palate. I also tried the 2016 dry Rose in the half bottle which went down superbly but I would definitely want a bigger bottle!
Clairault & Streicher Wines
So much enthusiasm! I love meeting wine people who are just so excited about their products. The guy on the Clairault Streicher stall was just so happy and excited to be taking us through the wine selection – his happiness was truly infectious. I haven’t drank a lot from these brands before so it was great to try through the range. The absolute stand out for me was the Streicker Bridgeland Block 2012 Sauvignon Blanc Semillon – delectable!
Howling Wolves Wines
Now these guys really brought the wine geek out in me when they told me about their new release – a 2016 ‘Chenin Fume Blanc’. You guessed it, a Chenin Blanc made with a bit of oak. Definitely something new for me and definitely something I would drink again. It’s awesome to see winemakers trying new things and I’ll be looking forward to trying this one again on a clean palate soon!
It was so awesome to see some of the smaller producers at the event. Brash literally make a few hundred cases a year and that’s it. Their Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Shiraz were all winners in my books. The Shiraz really ticked a lot of boxes for me and was one of my favourite reds of the night.
I do love a bit of Voyager Estate! It was awesome to try more of their ‘project wines’ on this particular night. I had tried their Sparkling Chenin Blanc at a recent tasting at Petition but tonight it was the 2015 Shiraz Rose and 2013 Wilyabrup Cabernet Sauvignon which had me wrapped around my wine glass. Beautiful wines!
As always it’s lovely to bump into Kerfuffle Wines at events like this. The Kerfuffle couple are absolutely lovely and we were so excited to be some of the first people to devour their new Glenarty Road wines! For me, their 2016 Karridale Rose was the stand out Rose of the night, soooo tasty and I can’t wait to revisit this one soon. We also ended the night with a wee nip of their white port with a bit of ice and lime – the perfect end to a great night if you ask me.
I am looking forward to hunting down a number of the wines I tried tonight and it’s also safe to say I’m looking forward to the next Cellar Door in the City! Make sure to follow Poppin’ Cork on Facebook for future event announcements!
PS: Check out my Facebook live video from the event below!