It was a toss-up between coffee and wine for a leisurely afternoon drink. We were stuck between Coffee Bean and Bottles & Bottles at Parkway Parade. Two of us were on the fence about it but the third person unequivocally texted “Wine!” and that was that. It helped that the staff at Bottles & Bottles were helpful and smiley, letting us browse freely without being too intrusive. It was cheap to open a bottle and drink at the back of the shop. Ours only cost $35 flat.
We had this Cape Mentelle Sauvignon Blanc Semillon (2008) from the Margaret River area in Australia. Typical of sauvignon blancs, it was pale straw. The nose was an alluring blend of guava, lychee and white flowers (honeysuckle? lilac?). Thankfully, there was no nasty asparagus smell usually associated with New Zealand sauv blancs. In the mouth, it was crisp, munchy (!) and flinty with lots of green and grapefruity notes. The dry wine ended with a nice mineral finish. Nice…
This season is somehow marked by lots of whites. It’s probably because I’ve been staying away from red meat in my cooking and I’ve been choosing whites by the glass when out at bars and such. I think whites are lighter than reds and are easier to parse while on a night out. Better to taste quickly, put the notes away and get on with the socialising at hand than to take my time and look like a pretentious twit. Here are some that escaped this blog till now, in order of increasing sweetness.
A bottle of Pike’s Creek Riesling (2005) from Victoria, Australia was sitting in my store room for too long. Of course I had to do it justice and it didn’t disappoint. It was pale straw with a floral and sweet honey nose. Mid-dry, it was crisp and had a whiff of asparagus to it. That was surprising as I associate asparagus with New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs. I liked the smooth, slightly mineral finish with a tinge of acid. Rating: 4/5
At a friend’s house, I had a Flonheimer Klostergarten Huxelrebe Spätlese (2007) from the Rheinhessen region in Germany. It was very similar to the Kabinett I had at an earlier gathering. Pale yellow, it was medium sweet with similar honeysuckle, peach and apricot bouquet. It had a touch of mineral to the finish and was pleasing but forgettable. Rating: 3/5
There was also a Trimbach Riesling (2006) AOC Reserve from (where else?) Alsace, France. It was fresh green-tinged yellow and had a floral honeysuckle nose. It had a lovely flinty finish, well-balanced by acid. Rating: 4/5
Rounding off the lot was a Brockland Valley Noble Semillon (2003) from Margaret River, Australia. Deep amber, the dessert wine had a lime, citrus and honey nose. It was, of course, sweet and had a syrupy finish replete with toffee. Good for having instead of dessert. Rating: 3.5/5
Key to ratings:
0 Wouldn’t touch it with a 10 foot pole
1 I’d rather drink beer
2 If there’s nothing better
3 Just one glass is fine
4 More, please!
5 Where can I get a case?