On Friday night, after a few rounds of endlessly debating what to do with the evening, a group of five of us found ourselves in my living room, too lazy to join the crowds milling around downtown. It had been raining the entire day, so the toads in my ponds were happily frolicking in the fresh water, and loudly mating. So it seemed fitting to pop open the bottle of Barking Frog Pinot Noir that Jeff brought for me from Oregon, particularly also because I was curious to see how it matched up with the Tasmanian Pinot Noirs were we going to try at DGS the following night. Well, I loved the glass cork – super fun! Other than that, I must admit being a little disappointed with the wine. To be sure, it was very smooth, with just the thinnest layer of tannins coating my tongue. The color was a nice, light red. But there wasn’t much of a nose, and it tasted a little watery without a kick at the end. Still, it was a nice enough wine to drink and we spent a pleasant evening chatting and laughing about movies.
With the taste of Oregon still fresh in my mind, I was excited to re-try the Tasmanian wines we had lugged back. DGS was a cozy affair – about a dozen people, just enough to squeeze around the dining table. For food, we prepared cheese and chocolate fondue, along with chicken and steak, tons of fruits, bread, and mum-made walnut brownies. Very nice (and affordable) spread, if I say so myself. 🙂
We kicked off the evening with the bright and refreshing Riesling from Stefano Lubiana, the Stefano Lubiana Alfresco Riesling 2008. Everyone really enjoyed the slight tinge of sweetness and the fizz on their tongues. Wonderful way to get the taste buds alive.
We opened the Bay of Fires Chardonnay 2008 next. In comparison to the Riesling, this was heavy, but with enough acidity to make it lively and not dumb. Now this is a nicely balanced Chardonnay – just a touch of butter and lemon.
We moved on to the Moorilla Estate Praxis Pinot Noir 2008 from Hobart next, and I was struck by the stark contrast with the Barking Frog. Now this one had a lovely nose – fruity, with some earth, just the way I like my Pinots. It had a thicker body too, more solid, but just as smooth.
Our next wine, the Pipers Brook Tamar 2004, elicited mixed responses. Everyone fervently agreed that it did smell like ketchup, but some, like RX, was not a fan. Where’s the fries, she asked.
We then went back to Stefano Lubiana, for the Stefano Lubiana Merlot 2006. Now, I remember that it wasn’t my favorite wine from the trip; we just felt like we had to buy at least two bottles from that winery, since we were getting Lubiana to help us ship a case of wine back to Singapore. Nonetheless, it was a solid wine, and RX expressed her enthusiasm for it.
At this point, people were starting to flag a little from the hearty food and wine. So I broke out the Delamere Blanc de Blanc 2004, a beautifully made sparkling that had just the right touch of yeast, bubbles, and sweetness. Loved it!
We sat around chatting and laughing for a while more, about all things irreverent, and then I decided to open another bottle, the Frogmore Creek Ruby Pinot Noir Port NV. I loved this port. The Frogmore Creek tasting was our last winery tasting, and I had resolved not to buy any more. However, the port was so delicious I couldn’t help it. So it was a delight to drink it again, and a bonus when RX decided she had had enough and gave me the rest of her glass. 🙂
Fun times, great wines. I didn’t check, but I do hope that everyone went away with similarly favorable impressions of Tasmanian wines.