In these times of lockdown, lockout and occasional lunacy, the axe fell on our scheduled tasting event at our regular haunt, Vantage Wine. We took the sensible step of gathering a few essential items, and hunkered down for our own lockdown wine tasting event.

Some interesting wines were gathered, and none wasted.

We started with a couple of whites …

Pazo Barrantes Albarino

This was a great start; unctuous but with some backbone, rich with pear and savoury notes.

Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc

Needs no introduction, and delivered in its usual style; crisp, tropical with some cut grass, good balance with fruit and acid, and very gluggable.

And then some reds …

2009 Alkoomi Blackbutt

A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Malbec, from Frankland River in Western Australia; you’d wonder how they could fit all those in. No guarantee of provenance here (bought on a whim), and it did seem a bit heat affected, being screwcap likely saved its life. it was enjoyable but just a tiny bit cooked, though agreed a lovely wine in its day.

2014 Rockliffe Single Site Shiraz

Also from Frankland River with some help from Great Southern.

This is full bodied, rich, ripe and luscious, with ripe plums, chocolate and soft tannins. Everyone loves this wine, and it treads a fine line between over ripe and  just plain delicious. it gets saved by a fine acid line running right through its core. Coming from cool climate Frankland River, it is amazing they can produce full bodied wines like this, the backbone of acid a southern signature. A long and velvety finish just adds to the intrigue.

BTW, along with Margaret River, this is one of the most beautiful wine regions in Australia; not too many wineries to confuse you, and nearly all producing outstanding wines.

2014 Kilikanoon Oracle Shiraz, Clare Valley South Australia

Well, I didn’t know this – winner of the Shiraz Trophy 2018 International Wine and Spirit Competition.

A hedonistic wine, replete with layers of rich ripe (and possibly stewed) plums. Dark chocolate, Christmas pudding, spicy oak and a very long finish. The retailer reduced the price for me as it seemed to be very high – I have just found out that it wasn’t, and I’ll be looking for more.

Well understandably, palates around the table were getting a bit jaded; what could we do? What COULD we do? We interrupted the red tsunami with this…

Champagne Frederic Savart L’Ouviture 1er Cru. 100 % Pinot Noir

Though no one could tell.

This has become our favourite Champagne, and this is the Savart 1er Cru entry point! Every mouthful reveals a new point of excitement; how can it possibly be 100% Pinot Noir?

The Savart wines come from a tiny 4 hectares, book your tickets as I’ve just gained access to another few.

Palates cleansed, we finished the soiree with a refreshing …

2016 Barton and Guestier Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Light bodied and a relief after what we’d been through, this bright and refreshing wine was appreciated, and quickly dealt with.

BUT, no one got up to leave, so …

We finished the night (and ourselves) off with a classic Mudslide, or as one who had just finished one called it – ‘a Mudslinger’.
It’s a simple mix, but beware – it is contagious.

30 ml Vodka
30 ml Kahlua
45 ml Baileys Irish cream

Pour over a glass full of ice and go to heaven. You can add ice cream and ditch the dessert menu.

Until the next Soiree, stay safe and winedrated.