I like the whole package. The complete food, wine and good company package. If you can manage to get these 3 together in a room then you’re onto a good thing.
On a recent trip out to Jarrah Ridge Wines in the Swan Valley I found that they too liked the whole package. Our commonality meant I came away with not only an ear-to-ear grin but also an extra package (half a case of wine in fact!).
Jarrah Ridge Winery is located on the Great Northern Highway, a mere 25-minute drive from the centre of Perth. The vineyard was established in 1992 and has an ever-so-cute cellar door.
You can spot Jarrah easily when coming down the highway with the old horse and cart (minus the horse of course) on their front lawn full of old barrels and an old-school grape press. As we were walking into the cellar door, one of the local tour buses turned up in the driveway. After contemplating for a second to jump back in the car and head up the road, we mustered the courage to fight through the masses and I’m so glad we did!
The cellar door staff were well organised. The tour group was taken care of and another member of staff looked after us and a few other random couples. After we established the fact that we were interested in more than just drinking free wine he turned out to be very knowledgeable and friendly.
The tasting experience started off with being served up 4 little dishes. In these dishes were: cubes of creamy cheddar, cubes of parmesan and oregano cheese and green and black olives marinated by the winery themselves. It looked so good but I held myself back so I could try the wines on a clean palate.
Here is what I tried:
Marginata Classic White 2009: This is a Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Viognier and Verdelho 4-way The nose and palate alike have a strong herby, grassy tone yet an amazing burst of sweetly pickled lemons. For AU$13 a bottle you really get your bang for your buck and it will satisfy both dry and sweet palates.
Bud Series Viognier 2009: This is your typical Viognier – it covers every inch of your mouth with an oily texture and a kick of spice kick mixed with stone fruits.
Rose 2010: This rose is made from Zinfandel – it is strawberry sweet yet incredibly delicate which for me (not a sweet-tooth) makes it a lot more appealing.
Virginia Cabernet Merlot 2010: One whiff and I had wings. The nose is so intoxicating on this Cab. It is full of fresh berries, black olives and a touch of homemade spice.
Broken Window Cabernet Merlot Shiraz 2006: Again another intense nose on this one however this one has a touch of sweetness, almost port like. It is full of ripe fruits yet earthy at the same time. Sweetly inviting.
Reserve Shiraz Viognier 2009: Intensely deep colour and again another winner on the nose. It is a full-bodied beauty full of sticky candied plums and liquorice. It runs down the throat like pure silk.
Tawny Port: Technically they and I shouldn’t be calling it this as that right is reserved for Porto tipples only however we will let it slip this time. The blend is made up of Shiraz and Grenache. The palate is full of simmering raisins and vanilla beans. It’s not sickly sweet for a port and the finish is on the short side, which I found I quite enjoyed and it made me want to drink more. It went extremely well with the dark chocolate covered coffee beans the cellar door staff served up with it.
I think so far Jarrah Ridge is my one stop shop in the Swan Valley for romancing my palate. The whites have enough intensity to occupy my attention-seeking taste buds, the reds have magnificent noses and the port even had me licking my lips. You can buy the olives and cheeses from the cellar door as well, so then you can repeat the experience all over again when you get home that day!
For more information on Jarrah Ridge Wines, please click here.