“Distinct wines, that’s what we’re all about”
– Evans & Tate Winemaker, Matt Byrne
Disclosure: I was invited by the Evans & Tate team to attend this event.
The lovely team at Evans & Tate invited Mr. Spittoon and myself down to their Margaret River cellar door to attend a special Winemaker Lunch to launch the new release Redbrook wines last Saturday. I actually think I’m still in the wine and food daze.
This exclusive lunch was a chance to dine with Senior Winemaker, Matt Byrne, as he lead us through a tasting of the new releases, some back vintages and a couple of barrel samples. Totally spoilt, I know! As we were enjoying the wines we were brought 4 delectable courses made by the fabulous team of Muster Bar & Grill in the Margaret River to top off the experience.
The lunch was held in the Redbrook Room. As you enter the room there are two glass ‘Vintage Rooms’ to either side full of wine as old as the Margaret River wine industry with bottles dating back to the early 1970’s! I made a joke to the Cellar Door Manager, Rich, that he should accidentally lock me in one of the rooms. Either room, I’m not fussy!
The Redbrook Room was set up with two long tables which looked out to the beautiful Evans & Tate vineyard. You’ve got to love those floor to ceiling windows! To begin the afternoon we were given a lovely glass of Taittinger Champagne (Evans & Tate are part of the McWilliams Wines Group who are the Australian distributors) which went down an absolute treat. Especially when Matt Byrne came around topping everyone’s glasses up! What a lovely way to start a long lunch I say. Please note all my tasting notes are at the bottom of this post and each note is max 5 words long, short & sweet.
Up next was our first flight of wines which included the Redbrook Chardonnay 2010, 2011 and 2012. The 2010 Redbrook Chardonnay won Best White Wine and Best Chardonnay at the WA Qantas Wine Awards 2013 (read more about it here). Being a Chardy fan, I was in ABSOLUTE heaven! As we sipped on these we dined on Chardonnay Oysters and Tempura Barramundi. The oysters were literally to die for. Mr. Spittoon doesn’t eat oysters, however I made sure he grabbed one every time the lovely waiter came around so I think I ended up eating at least half a dozen! To finish off the first course we sipped on a wee barrel sample of the 2013 Redbrook Chardonnay.
The next flight of wines consisted of the Redbrook Shiraz 2010 and 2011 with a barrel sample of the 2012 Redbrook Shiraz.The wines went beautifully with the wonderfully presented course two of confit duck on parsnip puree and mouth-watering braised red cabbage. The 2011 Redbrook Shiraz won Best Wine of the Show, Best Red Wine and Best Shiraz at the WA Qantas Wine Awards 2013 (read more about it here).
And the wine kept flowing with the third flight consisting of the Redbrook Cabernet Sauvignon 2002, 2010, 2011 and a barrel sample of the 2013 Redbrook Cabernet Sauvignon. Whilst sipping through the Cabs we dined on an absolutely awesome dish, a braised beef cheek ragout with hand rolled pasta and grana padano. I loved it! I’m so close to saying it was my favourite but those oysters and the dessert were to die for as well.
By this time I was pretty stuffed, but as every girl knows – there’s always room for dessert! Dessert was a decadent Gabriel’s Chocolate plate with vanilla bean ice cream, matched with the 2002 McWilliams Vintage Tyrian Port. Tyrian is the grape variety by the way, you learn something new everyday! We finished off with a coffee to help bring us all down from wino and foodie heaven and back to reality.
The wine, the food and the company were all amazing. What I have always loved about visiting Evans & Tate and hanging out with the E&T team is their passion for the wine industry and life itself. They are such a super friendly bunch, without all that snobbery that can come with the world of wine. Thank goodness for that fact as I had a rather awkward high heel drama at the lunch which turned into a running joke throughout the day instead of me sitting there thinking the world was over. I couldn’t be a wine snob even if I tried!
For more information on the wide range of E&T wines on offer, please check out the Evans & Tate website or connect with them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. And please check out my short & sweet tasting notes below!
Evans & Tate Redbrook Short & Sweet Tasting Notes
Taittinger Brut Réserve Champagne: Smooth, subtle, toasty, perfect aperitif!
2010 Redbrook Chardonnay: Shiny, butterscotch, lemon rind, LOVE!
2011 Redbrook Chardonnay: Honeydew melon, struck matches, peach.
2012 Redbrook Chardonnay: French oak, textual, dried herbs.
2013 Redbrook Chardonnay barrel sample: Lemon, lime, creamy, shortbread, malt.
2010 Redbrook Shiraz: Purple, red licorice, spices, length.
2011 Redbrook Shiraz: Vibrant, pepper, cherry, texture, mouthwatering.
2012 Redbrook Shiraz barrel sample: Plum, berry sweetness, vibrancy, peppery.
2002 Redbrook Cabernet Sauvignon: Bricky, forest, wood, balanced, savoury.
2010 Redbrook Cabernet Sauvignon: Cedar, tannins, blackcurrant, depth, length.
2011 Redbrook Cabernet Sauvignon: Depth, redcurrant, menthol, balance, leafy.
2013 Redbrook Cabernet Sauvignon barrel sample: Purple, spearmint, cedar, redcurrant.
2002 McWilliams Vintage Tyrian Port: Mauve, blackcurrant, vanilla, approachable, elegant.
Check out Matt’s report on the 2014 vintage here.