Even if you view golf with my jaundiced eye, asserting as Mark Twain is alleged to have said, “a good walk ruined”, the clubs and surrounding grounds can certainly be classed as attractive and restful.
Mt Lawley is to my eye one of the prettiest around Perth; the buildings architecturally appealing and the dining room looking out over the fairways is particularly enticing. Sitting back in comfort watching the hackers and the hopefuls, the ambitious and the accomplished is always pleasurable.
Anyway, at various times during the year a group of likeminded wine drinkers gather at the behest of the Immediate Past President of the club, pay our hard earned at the door, settle down to lunch and drink wines we bring along. Last week was one of these enjoyable occasions.
The day was made even more enjoyable by the quality of the food served – it really is outstanding fare. The members should be very happy that they have snared a chef of such skill. The food almost tempts me to join. Fifteen drinkers turned up, divided among two tables.
A set menu was developed for us, with confit duck pancake or roasted cauliflower and chick pea salad to kick off; followed by seared tuna marinated in miso and served with pickled ginger and sushi rice salad for our second course.
Third saw a choice of roasted fillet of beef with braised ox cheek and parmesan ravioli or grilled barramundi with blue swimmer crab and leek croquette. Each of the dishes was very well presented, and more importantly tasted as good as they looked.
For me the standout was the tuna, beautifully tender, well seasoned, full of fresh flavours and complemented splendidly by the pickles. But now to the wine…..
On my table a number of excellent wines appeared and these comprise my wines of the week. Four very good Rieslings, an aged cabernet of note, a couple of shiraz of some quality, a cabernet from Mt Barker and an interesting blend from the USA; all were sampled prior to Lady FWO arriving to tear me away, so perhaps I missed out on others – but all to the good.
2013 Gilberts Riesling
Gilberts produce some very good wines, and this Riesling is one of them. A ripe aromatic nose with lemon and apple predominant, it is a crisp, dry wine with lemon and grapefruit tones on the palate, and good length of flavour. (92)
2013 Abbey Creek Riesling
Winner of a number of trophies, this pale straw wine has lifted lemon notes, with some floral undertones on the nose. On the palate it has beautifully balanced acid, intense lime flavours, minerally backbone and a long, sustained finish. This is another outstanding wine from this small producer with excellent cellaring potential. (95)
2013 Jacob’s Creek Steingarten Riesling
From the Eden Valley, straw green, it has a floral nose, with lifted lime notes. It has dry mineral notes on the mid palate, with lime, grapefruit and spice flavours moving to a long, balanced finish. As with all vintages of this wine it will age gracefully for many years. (94)
2008 O’Leary Walker Riesling
Which leads nicely into this wine; quite a developed yellow colour, it has apple, spice and lime notes on the nose and, for its age, an unexpected vibrancy on the palate. It is zesty, lemony, with a chalky mineral undertone. This has years to go. (93)
2010 Sandalford Margaret River Estate Shiraz
Cherry red it has sweet mulberry aromas, with some white pepper elements. On the palate sweet fruit dominates. It is medium bodied, with silky tannins, and has a lingering, smooth finish. It should cellar well over the next 7 or so years. (92)
2011 West Cape Howe Bookends Cabernet Sauvignon
From Mt Barker grapes, it is deep red with aromas of plums and blackberries and hints of chocolate. A smooth elegant wine, it has blackberry and cassis on the palate and a persistent and lingering finish. (92)
2007 Ridge Vineyards Lytton Springs
From a vineyard near Sonoma in California, this is a blend of Zinfandel, Petite Syrah, Carignane and Mataro. It has lifted aromas of black cherry and vanilla while on the palate shows red berries, olives pepper and liquorice elements. Strong tannins lead it to a long, lingering finish. This is a big wine which should age well for more years yet. (93)
2000 Kilikanoon Oracle Shiraz
Deep red, almost purple, peppery spice and dark plums on the nose; despite its age it retains big flavours on the palate, but is beautifully balanced and smooth. (91)
1994 Moss Wood Cabernet Sauvignon
This wine continued as it left off in my recent magnum tasting, but if anything impressed more. Crimson, with good clarity, it has a very aromatic nose with notes of pepper, blackberries, dark cherries, seaweed and tobacco. Smooth silky tannins produced a long finish, and flavours of blackberries and plums shone through on the palate. It scored more highly than at the previous tasting, indicating something I guess – bottle variability? (93)
You can view the wine rating system at http://perthcafeculture.com.au/about/