Taking advantage of the recent autumn weather (although as I write, how things have changed) we set out on a sunny day and ended up in Cottesloe. In the street one back from the main Napoleon Street drag we came upon Lamont’s Wine Store.
Not all that prepossessing from outside with the large Pilates sign on the upper floor – exercise scares us but we bravely went in. Inside the most noticeable feature is the racks of wine dominating one wall – opposite the counters have open shelves stacked with cans of tomatoes and the like, and under the racks sit tables and chairs, with benches at the front near the windows. Styled on a European enoteca all wines are available for purchase to takeaway but can also be served in house for an additional corkage charge.
We sat at a small table beneath the wine racks, and looked over the menu. There is a small, interesting wine list, which changes frequently, as well as the larger racked range to choose from.
We were after a couple of small snacks and opted for tomato tart tatin and a salad of trout with seasonal vegetables.
The tart was bursting with sweet earthy flavours from the tomato, balanced by sharp, acidic crème fraiche, all nestling on a moist, crumbling base of buttery pastry; it was a well put together dish.
Our second dish – moist, salty fish sitting atop crunchy, just cooked brussels sprouts providing a contrast of texture and robust vegetal taste was another beautifully presented meal. Both of our choices were examples of fresh ingredients cooked simply supplying flavour and textural contrast to produce excellent dishes.
A glass of 2013 Rimauresq rose for Lady FWO (pale salmon, strawberry aromas, with well balanced acid, lifted citrus and red berries on the palate, long dry finish), while I decided on an old favourite, Swinney’s Ingénue Riesling – this blend of Riesling, Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer has a bright, light colour with some green tints; the latter two grapes provide banana, pear and floral spicy notes on the nose, together with apple tones from the Riesling; the palate has excellent acidity, some distinct peppery notes, floral spices, but with underlying crunchy green apple flavours.
We followed our first drink with a glass of Lamont’s Family Reserve for Lady FWO. Made from Malbec, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon this is deep red, blackberry and pepper notes on the nose, with sweet fruit, good use of oak and well integrated tannin on the palate. It should age well over the next few years, I settled on a glass of Lamonts shiraz. Again dark red, almost black in colour, it showed black plum and white pepper spice on the nose, followed by a palate exhibiting cherry and chocolate, with a hint of liquorice on the mid palate. It has a long, sustained finish.
As we got up to leave we couldn’t help but notice one of the kitchen hands who had been busy peeling a mountain of beetroot – now completed the dish was overflowing with these earthy delights.
We came away from the Wine Store very satisfied indeed. Professional, helpful waiters, welcoming front of house – even John Jens got in the act hurrying to open the door for Lady FWO; excellent innovative food, great range of wines, comfortable room – on a sunny day in Cottesloe it was close to perfect and another wonderful component of the impressive Lamonts stable. Recommended.