Continental Drift

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It’s actually been a couple of weeks since the last wine night and I suddenly realised that I hadn’t got around to posting about it! Mummy duties have been keeping me very busy but I’ve finally got some time to dedicate to this post.

Catherine hosted the last wine night, probably the largest we’ve had for a while. Mel surprised us the day before by saying she would be joining us. It’s a long way from Brisbane for a wine night so we don’t see Mel anywhere near as much as we would like to. Mel’s sister was also there and got to see what our wine night was all about.

Catherine chose two grapes and the vintages for the night, and between us we were to find a bottle from Australia, Europe and America to compare. The grapes were Chardonnay (2014/2015) and Zinfandel (2012/2013).

Mel bought a Heidsieck Monopole Blue Top Brut to start the night as all the wines had already been sourced. This is the primary house champagne for French champagne house Heidsieck & Co. Comprising of 70% Pinot Noir, 20% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Meunier, it had a pale, straw yellow colour and bold, round palate. On the drier side but definitely enjoyable and a pleasant way to start the night. While we all enjoyed it, at $45 a bottle it was a drop we’d prefer to keep for special occasions.

Starters of garlic butter mushrooms and avocado & prawn on baguette, along with the first chardonnay for the night which was Lynsey’s William Fevre Petit Chablis 2014 ($35). This unoaked wine had a light, floral nose. The palate was subtle in flavour with a hint of lemon but not overly acidic. Had we not seen the label, we would have thought it was a Riesling, not a chardonnay.

Eve’s American Chardonnay from Kendall Jackson in California ($25) was up next. Full of tropical fruits such as pineapple, mango, nectarine and honey this one received mixed reviews. Hints of oak and a lingering finish but missing the buttery texture we all love in a chardonnay.

Next course, sushi and salsa with corn chips, and Catherine’s Australian Chardonnay from Upper Reach in the Swan Valley. This $35 2015 reserve chardonnay is worth the money. Buttery with hints of nectarine, peach and honey and a lingering finish. Just gorgeous.

A few of us did a bit of research on Zinfandel in the lead up to the night. We had 3 red wines, yet only one of them actually said ‘Zinfandel”. I found the history really interesting and am glad we managed to end up with the different ‘grapes’.

Paula’s $35 Dell’uva Primitivo (2013) was up first, served with mains of chilli con carne stuffed capsicum. This is actually an Australian wine from the Barossa Valley (Dell’uva have one of the largest collections of European varieties in Australia). With a fruity nose and hints of blackberries, olives, spices and chocolate on the palate, this had quite a short, dry finish. Most of us picked this one as our preferred red of the night.

My pick for the night was a Croatian Plavac which unfortunately failed to impress. It definitely needed to be served with food because it had no body, to the point of being watery. The palate was dry and leathery, and the nose was undeniably awful. Don’t waste your $26!

Cheese and Amanda’s Murphy-Goode Liar’s Dice Zinfandel ($33). This Zin was full of berries, cherries and currants, with a sweet finish. An okay wine but not a winner.

We were also thrilled to have Caroll join us for this wine night too. She bought along two dessert wines to finish the night off. The Harewood Cleanskin Semillon ($20) and the Singlefile Sweet Tily Run Free ($25). I haven’t been able to find any information on these wines, so Caroll must have had them tucked away for a while! They were both beautiful dessert wines though. The Singlefile was my personal favourite and at $25 a bottle, if I ever saw it, I’d grab it.

Another wine night over and what a great one it was! It’s always so wonderful to see these ladies, but all the more special when Mel and Caroll get to join us too.

As usual after tasting the wines we scored them and said if we would buy them again or not… results are below.

Overall scores and feedback for the night:

Wine Score Would We Buy Again?
Heidsieck Monopole Blue Top Brut 71% No
William Fevre Petit Chablis 2014 85% No
Kendall Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay 2014 58% No
Upper Reach Reserve Chardonnay 2015 78% Yes
Dell’uva Primitivo 2013 70% No
Croatian Plavac 37% No
Murphy-Goode Liar’s Dice Zinfandel 62% No
Harewood Cleanskin Semillon 66% Yes
Singlefile Sweet Tily Run Free 49% No

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