Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Wine, Red Wine, My Favourites

I have been thinking about writing this post for some time. I have wanted to write about wine but I am really unqualified to do so.
Love this image of the fish painted on the wall of Old Bridge Cellars by Herbert Marshall
Many (many, many) years ago, I was privileged enough to be lunching with a table of relaxed wine makers, at a pub, enjoying a steak and a few glasses of red. I naively asked 'what makes a good wine'? They actually took me seriously (as now I look back and think 'what a stupid question!') and with thought, answered.... "a good wine is, a wine that you like"!
PuddyTat, (otherwise known as Mdm Lash) taken today, she is still growing.......
Simple enough you think. But, those words have swum around my head for over 30 years. What do I like? Why do I like it? What would you like? Why would you like it? Those questions then become endless. And, that is why I don't write about food or wine from a critics point of view, because, I believe it is totally subjective. I only write about my own personal experience and my particular tastes.
Camellias at the Shackette in Margs
Saying that, I do have a few favourites which I want to share with you.

Now, analysing my 'why's and wherefore's', I have a love for red wine. My palate is very particular and I can't drink wine that has even a hint of what is called 'sweaty saddle'(Brettanomyces). Im not a big fan of too much 'wood', and it being too dry..... 'yes, I know I'm a Princess'!

I love wine that displays the essence of the grape, fruity, not sweet. It can be mellow, it can be young. It can be floral, chocolatey, a little oaky, dried fruity.
New Holland Honeyeaters in the Acanthus @ the Shackette
And, yes, I can always appreciate a well aged, mature and mellow, expensive wine, except, my budget does not allow for that. I tend to look out for wines around the $20'ish mark and have made an exception for a wine that retails for about $52.
Wallace by Ben Glaetzer
Sorry Margaret River, before my education in the wines of the South West of Western Australia, I found that the wines of the Mclaren Vale  in South Australia, were producing the wines that I refer to above, and have worked my way through their vineyards in my quest for the wines of my palate. They do indeed produce a large range of wines of that calibre, I have enjoyed many. But, I came across, and I can't remember where or when, a wine called Wallace, by Ben Glaetzer, Glaetzer Wines from the Barossa Valley, it is a Shiraz Grenache. I come back to this wine, time and time again, as, over the years it is so consistently good (tasting notes for 2010 here...)
Girt By Sea, Voyager Estate
I have had the pleasure of living in Margaret River and educating myself on the incredible variety of wonderful wines that are produced. My favourite here is a Voyager Estate, Girt By Sea and is a Cabernet Merlot (tasting notes here...). Margaret River memories of reclining on my Lloyd Loom verandah chairs and watching the little New Holland Honeyeaters learning to swim in the shallow birdbath, relaxing with a glass of 'Girt By Sea' and nibbling on a piece of Pecorino.
Cassio Dorus by M&C Beeson
Now, the exception to my $20'ish rule... is a $52'ish wine, called Cassio Dorus, it is produced by Mark and Cassandra Beeson, in Marybrook, Margaret River, the winemaker being Mark Warren. It can only be purchased through their bottle shop in North Fremantle, Old Bridge Cellars or through quality restaurants and hotels. The vineyard is small and the grapes are cane cut to produce a sweeter fruitier wine. I love it. I enjoy this wine as a special treat.
Cassio Dorus @ Old Bridge Cellars
I buy all the products I write about as I feel that it makes for a more honest review. But recently in conversation to Cassandra about their wine, she gave me a bottle, which I received graciously. But, I spent (no joke) a couple of months looking at this bottle wondering what I should do as I didn't feel right drinking it. I mulled over the idea of a competition to give away the wine. But, looking at where the majority of my readers come from, mostly international, just under half from Australia, I realised that it would cost a fortune for me to send the bottle to the winner and with no guarantee of the wine surviving! So, in the end, I decided to 'award' the wine and gift it to someone who has given me support through the Foot Surgery recovery, and also has a love of wine similar to my own, and, hence would appreciate the wine. This didn't seem right either as so many people fit that criteria. Most of those beautiful people who have given me support, I will (& have) give/n hugs and kisses to, as that is appropriate, but I decided it wasn't appropriate to give my Chiropractor hugs and kisses, so I awarded the wine to him. Thank you Cassandra. Thank you Kevin, that's Kevin Carlson from Gentle Chiropractic.
My Chiropractor, Kevin Carlson, Gentle Chirpractic
A fabulous way to pursue your own wine quest is to do as I have done and gone to the Margaret River Regional Wine Centre, in Cowaramup and buy one of their mixed dozen cases. Last year I bought a case of the 'M R Wines Margaret River Wine Show Dozen Red - A Selection Of The Top Performing Red Wines In This Year's (2012) Show Mixed'. (This link will take you to their mixed dozen page.....)
Inside Old Bridge Cellars, does make you feel like hunting down something different and yummy
Old Bridge Cellars also have a fabulous array of wines and I know of certain wine connoisseurs from Margaret River visiting OBC to explore the shelves on their own quest. They really should have a website. Their phone number can be found on their Facebook page or here... 08 9335 2702. Email oldbridge@iinet.net.au
That fish looks fabulous, Artist, Herbert Marshall painting of a juvenile WA Dhufish
Feel free to leave a comment and tell my what your favourite/s are and PS.. Happy Dry July!
Hint: if you are interested in the photos, just click on a photo once and it will enlarge it so can see more detail and also scroll through the others. You have just got to see Herbert's beautiful fish in more detail.

Herbert Marshall, Artist:

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