Have you been to wine and food heaven? I went on Saturday..

“Distinct wines, that’s what we’re all about”
– Evans & Tate Winemaker, Matt Byrne

Evans & Tate 2011 Redbrook Shiraz

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.

Evans & Tate and Muster lunch menu
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!

Evans & Tate Redbrook Room
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.

Evans & Tate glass of Taittinger Champagne
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).

Evans & Tate and Muster confit duck
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.

Evans & Tate and Muster braised beef cheek ragout
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.

Evans & Tate and Muster Gabriel's Chocolate Plate
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!

Evans & Tate Winemaker Matt Byrne
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.

Muster's Sean Carter and Rowan Southwell

WIN 2 tickets to an exclusive Evans & Tate winemaker lunch!

The oh so lovely Cellar Door Manager, Rich at Evans & Tate in the Margaret River has given me 2 tickets (valued at $85 a pop!) to giveaway to their upcoming Winemaker Lunch for the launch of the new release Redbrook Reds from the legendary 2011 vintage. The lunch  is on Saturday May 24th at 12:30pm at the Wilyabrup winery in the Margaret River.

This exclusive event is one not to be missed as it’ll be the first appearance of the 2011 Redbrook Shiraz since it won the Best Wine of the Show, Best Red Wine and Best Shiraz at the WA Qantas Wine Show in 2013. Having tried it at the show, I have to admit it’s truly delightful and I can’t wait to taste it again!

But that’s not all folks! Alongside this, Chief Winemaker Matt Byrne will be bringing along a few barrel samples and popping a cap on some back vintages. It’ll be the first time these wines will be tasted in public! Are you licking your lips yet?

Well… again, that’s not all! The shared table style lunch will be created and prepared by the wonderful and extremely talented Sean Carter, Head Chef & General Manager of Muster, Margaret River. If the delicious Muster breakfasts are anything to go by, then this lunch is going to be AMAZING! For further details on the event please click here.

How to win:

Places are strictly limited however I have a spot for a special TC reader + a friend! Simply leave a comment below letting me know why you should win such an awesome prize and Mr. Spittoon and myself will decide the winner by who has the most thoughtful and/or entertaining answer.

Goodluck! Competition closes Wednesday 21st May at 1pm WST.


Terms & Conditions: 1. Competition is open to all Travelling Corkscrew readers who can attend the event on the 24th of May 2014 at Evans & Tate, Corner Caves and Metricup Roads, Wilyabrup, Margaret River, Western Australia 6280. 2. One Travelling Corkscrew reader who comments here with why they should win such an awesome prize will win two tickets to the lunch valued at $170. 3. Maximum of 1 entry per person. 4. The winner will be chosen by the TC team. 5.Competition runs from Thursday 15th May – Wednesday 21st of May 2014 and closes at 12:00hrs WST Wednesday 21-05-2014. 6. The winner will be notified by email on Wednesday 21st May 2014. If the winning reader does not respond within 12 hours, Travelling Corkscrew will redraw the competition and notify the new winner.
Evans & Tate Redbrook Launch

Margaret River Wineries: Evans & Tate Wines

Having meet the Evans & Tate team at the WA Qantas Wine Awards 2013 and tasting their Chardonnay’s I just HAD to stop in on my recent trip to the Margaret River wineries.

The cellar door is beautiful, as you drive up the long driveway pass the vines you see the long out-stretched cellar door with floor to ceiling slightly aqua coloured glass windows. Through the glass you can see all those lovely bottles of wine literally screaming for you to come in.

The cellar door is large enough and fully equipped to deal with various groups at one time. Tour groups are taken off to another room, which is a fantastic idea in my books! Out the front of the cellar door overlooking the vineyard is a lovely  deck with sail shades and even an area for pétanque – the French style boules game or giant jenga! Aka – something to keep the kids amused while you sit back with a vino or two in this lovely Margaret River spot!

Most days you’ll find the Gnarabar team serving up food from 12-3pm – the sound of those mini-burgers are truly divine. I was sadly disappointed to find out that on that day we went the Gnarabar team were on a well deserved holiday so I missed out. A good reason to go back for another visit I think!!!

However luck was on our side as the Cellar Door Manager, Rich, conducted our tasting and he truly is a very funny and overwhelmingly knowledgeable wino. The list of wines on offer to try (for free) is extensive, the team will help you find the right wines to steer you in the direction to deliciousness so that you can still walk out the door straight. There truly is something for everyone at this winery in the Margaret River! To see a full list of the Evans & Tate wine range click here.

So what were my favourites?? Here they are:

  • 2012 Frankland River Riesling (read my tasting note here)
  • 2012 Metricup Road Chardonnay
  • 2012 Margaret River Sauvignon Blanc
  • 2010 Redbrook Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 2010 Redbrook Shiraz
  • 2010 Frankland River Shiraz

Oh and if you do visit the winery in the Margaret River, make sure to mention to the cellar door staff about it being so bright and check out their super cool James Bond gadget to help get that sun out of your eyes! Plus while you’re visiting you may even get the chance to taste the James Bond Champagne, Taittinger seeing as the mother brand of Evans & Tate, McWilliams Wines Group are the Australian distributor for the Champas!

If you pop in to the Evans & Tate cellar door in the Margaret River, make sure to mention this blog post and I’m sure, Rich and the team will take very good care of you! For more details please check out the Evans & Tate website, or follow them on Facebook, Twiiter and Instagram.

WA Qantas Wine Awards 2013

The Qantas Wine Awards are Western Australia’s most prestigious wine show which has been running since 1978. I was completely blown away to be invited along by the lovely team at Evans & Tate to the Awards Dinner at the Hyatt Regency in Perth.

The night was full of glitter and glam as the winners of the each categoray were announced. In between the announcements and entertainment we were served up some absolutely delectable morsels of food, which were paired with the top wine of each category.

It was an amazing experience for both Mr. Spittoon and myself to attend as guests and mingle with WA’s elite winemakers and sip on the best drops in the state. Plus I have to admit it was pretty cool to be sitting at the table of the winery that won 7 out of the 19 awards. The 7 awards won by Evans & Tate (E&T) included the prestigious trophy for Most Successful Exhibitor as well as the Highest Aggregate for a Winery. Well-done Matt Byrne and the E&T winemaking team.

It’s safe to say I will be stashing away a few bottles of the E&T 2010 Redbrook Chardonnay (which won Best White Wine and Best Chardonnay) and the 2011 Redbrook Shiraz (which won the Best Wine of the Show, Best Red Wine and Best Shiraz) when it is released in April 2014. Check out Evans & Tate blog post on the awards night here.

Another fantastic result was seeing Mandoon Estate from the Swan Valley pick up three trophies for; Most Successful Exhibitor Processing under 250 Tonnes, Best & Most Distinctive Character for their 2012 Cabernet Merlot and Best Red Blend also for their 2012 Cab Merlot. Well-done Mandoon!!

Click here for a full list of the 2013 trophy winners.

IMG_4180_2The food was definitely worthy of the award winning wines with the main dish being slow-roasted Liveringa Beef rib, white soft polenta, Manjimup truffle oil, braised leeks, sautéed cavolo nero, vine ripened tomato, glazed baby carrot and red wine jus and dessert was a rhubarb and Valrhona chocolate delice, hazelnut biscotti, symphony of tomato and raspberry. Click the image on the right to see a larger version of the menu.

It was an amazing night and it was so great to get to known the E&T team who are just so much fun and down to earth. Definitely no wine snobbery there, they simply love to make great wine and share it with everyone.

Well done to all the award winners and wines entered. I feel truly lucky to be living in a state with so many fantastic wines and wino people! For more photos from the night, check out my WA Qantas Wine Awards Facebook album here.

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