Posts from the ‘Sauternes’ Category

1999 château d’yquem– What I’m Drinking At The Time 18.11.13

Man, let me tell you. Whatever you THINK you know about château d’yquem, believe me, nothing will prepare you for the awesomeness of actually tasting this wine…ever.

Chateau d'yquem

1999 château d’yquem

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est. – what i’m eating at the time 18.11.13

est,est.
Peter Doyle

Last week, I had an indulgent weekend. Yup, pretty indulgent. I’m pretty sure the culinary part of my tummy got sick of the amount of butter, wine, foam, deconstructed powder, smears and  reductions one can have in three days, needless to say I needed to cap it off with some pizza from the hut itself just to balance it out. I was lucky enough to score tables at Sepia, Quay and, as you may have guessed, est.

Now if you haven’t been to est., let me tell you that compared to the caliber of restaurants I just laid out, this was certainly the best of the bunch. Yup, we talking top shelf here, far far better than pizza hut and just as satisfying (i’m sure a little special wine may be making me biased but we shall get to that in a second). Est. restaurant is found on level 1 in the Establishment Hotel and headed by Peter Doyle who specialises in modern Australian cuisine currently holding 3 hats and 3 GT stars, sweet looking wine selection and a beautiful room to boot. Wait staff was very patient  and courteous and we were lucky enough to get an extra little bit of desert! Apologies for the lack of note taking today, I’ve been a bit lax in that department so please enjoy the lovey photos of the 4 course lunch with possibly the most kick ass wine matched dessert I have had the pleasure to experience. Please enjoy.

est. Menu

the menu
salad of spanner crab, green mango, cucumber, heart of palm, lime and lemongrass
sashimi of tuna, tapioca, ocean trout roe, puffed quinoa, white soy, lime
spinach ricotta tortellini, snap peas, shimeji mushrooms, green shallots
moreton bay bug, prawn, clams, squid, fregola, jamon, broad beans, chives
john dory, grilled scallop, spinach, sauternes- carrot juice emulsion
murray cod, abalone, snow peas, black fungi, ginger – green shallot vinaigrette
passionfruit souffle, passionfruit sorbet

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Rice wines, Sauternes and Barbera – What i’m drinking in China and yesterday 07.01.2012

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Hope you all have a great 2012 with many wine filled memories. Excuse me for my lack of activity, I’ve been in China and just came back, Many thanks to everyone who has been checking out my blog since my last post.

I was looking forward to trying some Chinese wines especially since there were reports of highly rated Bordeaux blends from China. Alas I found Chinese wines difficult to source and wine bars stocked more European and Australian wines, particularly Penfolds and Jacobs Creek. Sigh. Australian wines seems to also have a serious markup over there so if you’re looking to go, be sure to try something local.

I did get lucky though and stayed in a hotel (the Dragon) which happened to have China’s largest wine cellar! Presenting, the Cantina Wine Bar.

Cantina Wine Cellar 

The wine cellar is in the basement of a restaurant and I was lucky to bump into the drinks manager who gave us access. There is a large room where you a chill out, sip some wine and eat some food on comfy couches. Beyond locked glass doors is the cellar. The cellar was a long series of concrete squares filled with bottles of wines from all over the globe based on grape varieties. On the walls hung wooden boxes with wine labels. In the middle of the room was a wine fridge with the bad ass wines, rows of champagne buckets and a bench with the glassware. To be honest, I thought it would be bigger. I had loads of fun scouring the pages of the wine menus and the rows of wine. If you get a chance, check it out.

Some of the Bad Ass Wines

Among my travels, we ate at many restaurants and tried two kinds of wines:

Yellow Wine and Mao Tai

The first wine is Yellow Wine made from glutinous rice and dates back before christ. We had this wine most of the time because the foods we had were very “cooling” to the system. Yellow wine is very “heaty” which would balance things out. The wine was served warm and the bottle would be immersed in a bucket of how water. It was very addictive, sweet but not sugary sweet and low in alcohol. definitely check this out.

The second guy is Mao Tai, made from Sorghum (a kind of plant). This guy was lot more heavy hitting than yellow wine. The guest we had dinner with loves Mao Tai so that’s what we drank (and also some beer). Mao Tai is so so fragrant and flowery, bit like shoving your face in a bunch of flowers. It goes down like a smooth vodka without the alcohol burn and warms your belly. It also has some kind of yo-yo effect and you feel the wine traveling down your body then up and then down again. Very different and very strong but also very nice.

I did get to sample some other reds whist I was in China but wasn’t planning on making any notes on the trip. The above stuff was very different to me so I thought to share it with you guys. Be sure to check it out if your ever I China!

Ok so were back in Melbourne now. Setting the scene, we just came back from our annual ritual of crab fishing with our friends Sriyan, Cathie and Eugene. As it is also customary, we sat down to enjoy our haul of crabs in curry with potatoes, beans, papadums and other tasty condiments. Bobby (Sriyan’s nickname) broke out a Petit Manseng from Chrismont in the King Valley. Being both lazy and polite, I decided to just enjoy the wine and company so no notes on this one guys! After dinner, we broke out a sticky to go with a cheesecake and then broke out another wine just for kicks! We got talking about the wines which prompted me to take down a few notes. Enter some eye candy:

Chateau de Myrat Sauternes 2006 and La Cantina Barbera 2008

Chateau de Myrat Sauternes 2006

Label deciphering time. This guy is a Bordeaux second class (Deuxième Crus) growth in the 1855 classification located in Barsac (Grionde). Brasac lies within Sauterne meaning its a sweet wine made from Sav Blanc, Semillion and Muscadelle and sits as 13.5%. Preeetty. Smells of SPC canned peaches and a thick sweet creamy nose. Palate was not too sweet, extremely pleasant to taste and a great mouth feel. Tasted like poached pears with some of that fruit cheese with apricots and walnuts. Finished off short with peach syrup and passionfruit zing. Super sick wine, will be difficult to keep for long! Checks in at $38. I can’t help comparing this to the De Bortoli Noble One which comes it at $28. It would be very interesting to try these side by side and off the top, I think that the Sauterne is lighter and has more finesse whist the Noble One is more punchy and fuller in flavours. what to do what to do…anyone for a tasting night?

La Cantina Barbera 2008

When I first saw this I was thinking that this was a Barolo (i.e. Nebbiolo) but after some help from Google, I found that Barbera is actually Italy’s third most planted red grape! Well well well….Ok so this guy is from the King Valley and is family owned family grown by Gino and Peter Corsini (check out their site). It’s unfiltered, no added preservatives, 14.5% alcohol and uses very traditional wine making techniques. Lets see how this goes.

Smokey nose, reminds me of the bacon bits you get from old school all you can eat Pizza Huts. It also has some ripe yellow fleshed plums and some earthy dusty bits in the background. Attack starts off a bit tart (lemon curd?) and it continue into the mid palate, settles down a bit but still in the forefront. There is some vanilla essence in the background and in the finish with a touch of heat. The mid palate also has some cauliflower and kale (Tuscan cabbage) flavours and evokes holly and spiked leaf images. Finishes is a bit like balsamic vinegar balanced with cream brule and caramel. Quite nice! Very interesting wine and surprisingly nice on its own for an Italian wine, probably matches well with some Italian sausages? Hungery now…

Some other remarks on the wine, Bobby says it’s very meaty on the nose and gets some bitterness in the wine, something akin to witlof and Eugene says it’s a very easy drinking wine with alot of up front fruit flavours.

At $15, I think it’s a steal. To be honest, I’ve never been that big on Italian wines (besides Sangiovese) but this is slowly turning me around. Another one to put on your shopping list.

It’s good to be back, thanks for reading!

Kenny