Sunday, April 23, 2006

What Joy!

What Joy! What Rapture! No I am not writing a hymn, but it is Sunday morning and, coincidentally, those are the words that come to mind in attempting to describe the wines that we had last night. Have I ever mentioned that I really love wine, and good food?!

It looked like we would have a quiet night however one phone call changed all that. We have been trying to catch up with good friends (Lynton is one of my ‘wine-buddies’ as discussed in 7 Effective Habits of Highly Successful Guzzler locaters) for months but for one reason or another it just wasn’t happening. On a whim I decided to call them at around lunchtime and they were free for dinner and kindly agreed to allow me to experiment on them.

I served eye fillet wrapped in pancetta (roasted) on a parmesan potato cake base with enoki and shitaki mushrooms, a veal jus and a spinach puree. (I forgot to take a photo of the finished item with the mushrooms, but recreated it without - so please forgive this small omission).

As I was cooking Lynton and I polished off (half a glass each) a wine that he did not finish the night before and he had recorked. He brought it over because he knew I would be interested in it. It was a Rockford 2001 Rod & Spur (a blend of 66% cabernet sauvignon and 34% shiraz from the Barossa). It was fantastic! The aromas very much reminded me of a Bordeaux. I looked up Halliday’s 2006 Wine Companion and saw that these wines rarely make it to the East Coast as they are mainly sold via the winery and Adelaide retailers. Halliday rated the 2001 at 92/100 and said “an elegant, understated style; a gently ripe array of red and black berry fruits; fine ripe tannins”. If this retails at $30 per bottle, it is well worth it.

Next up we opened a bottle of Lynton’s 1996 Rosemount Mountain Blue Mudgee Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon blend. I must admit that I was not ready for the wine that I received. Halliday rates the 2001 at a 92/100 and calls it “full bodied”. This wine, although ten years old, had really big fruit flavours but with gentle tannins. It was complex with a long finish. In my opinion, this was the wine of the night and we still had a few good ones to go. You can read about this wine at the Wine House.

We then moved onto my offering of a 2002 Calon Segur. A “third growth” Bordeaux from the Saint Estephe region. After the big fruit driven flavours of the Mountain Blue, the Calon Segur was almost lost. I have one of Robert Parker’s books on the Bordeaux but unfortunately it only covers up to the 2001 vintage. In 2001 Calon Segur rated at 88-91(by Parker) and in looking back over the last 5 years or so has been a little inconsistent. I have tasted the 2001 Calon Segur at a Bordeaux wine evening and I enjoyed it but, to me at least, the 2002 is not quite as good and the 2001’s long finish was definitely not there with the 2002 that we drank. But the Wine Journal had this to say "Very intense sweet black fruits on the nose. Quite masculine for Calon-Segur: very dense. The palate is powerful but very well-balanced with an exotic feel. So rich you could drink this now, but this certainly has the tannins and acidity to last 10+ years." Maybe this is why I am the Wine Amateur?

Our final red with dinner was a 1993 Grant Burge Shadrach Cabernet Sauvignon. It has a fairly impressive pedigree and did not disappoint last night. There were spices and berries on the nose and softened but still ripe berry flavours. What a beautiful wine!

We finished off dessert with a Seppelt Tokay. What a great night!

I am kicking myself for not taking a photograph of Lynton, and his beautiful wife Lisa, however I have dug this one up from somewhere. It was during the Olympics in 2004 and we all got together and had an Olympics party. Lynton and his son Nicholas were modeling the latest range of laurel wreath headgear and gold medals (Sorry buddy)!


Anonymous The Wine Commonsewer said...

I'm inviting myself to your place for dinner next Saturday.

2:30 AM  
Blogger Mal said...

Sorry for the delay in replying - but you are welcome to come for dinner!! If you ever come to Brisbane, just contact me.

6:03 PM  
Anonymous The Wine Commonsewer said...

Just realized that in the photo, you boys were wearing laurel wreaths. At first glance I thought it was Bacchus headgear.

Would love to visit some day. I've seen many photos of Australia, particularly of some of the wineries, and all have been lovely. Just would hate to get eaten or bitten by something while there. :-)

11:56 AM  
Blogger Mal said...

Don't Worry TWC - we are only an hour or so away from Steve Irwin (Crocodile Hunter). Anyway if you get injured (or worse) it won't go to waste, we will just fire up the BBQ, cook some beans and find a cheap Chianti (no placenta though - Yes I read your article)!

2:00 PM  

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