Entries Tagged as 'White Wine'

Wine Tasting at Squitchy Lane

Squitchy Lane Winery

Squitchy Lane Winery – Our host Rob in action.

On a lovely sunny Sunday with nothing but a couple of friends and a well stocked picnic we ventured forth to the perils of the Yarra Valley. The aim of this trip was Squitchy Lane winery.

Squitchy Lane Winery

Squitchy Lane Winery with Mike at the old school cellar door.

The last time we visited the wine tasting room were still under construction and the cellar door was a trestle table out the front.

This time with the tasting room fully completed we ventured inside to the decidedly more solid bar to find a combination of white and red on tasting ranging from a Fume Blanc to a Cabernet Sauvignon. Missing from the tasting was their SQL label which they have retired to focus on a smaller range of wines.

After much deliberation…

  1. Squitchy Lane Fume Blanc, Yarra Valley AUS, 2013, $32, 7/10
  2. Squitchy Lane Chardonnay, Yarra Valley AUS, 2012, $34, 7/10
  3. Squitchy Lane Pinot Noir, Yarra Valley AUS, 2013, $35, 8/10
  4. Squitchy Lane Cabernet Merlot, Yarra Valley AUS, 2010, $26, 7/10
  5. Squitchy Lane Cabernet Sauvignon, Yarra Valley AUS, 2012, $35, 8/10
  6. Squitchy Lane Peter's Block Pinot Noir, Yarra Valley AUS, 2013, $55, 9/10

The award winning wine for the day was the Peter’s Block Pinot Noir which showed excellent Pinosity, which became the word of the day.

The standard Pinot followed us home that night and performed stirling service matched with our homemade tomato chilli cream prawns.

Squitchy Lane Winery Website

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From @Squitchyman Darth Pinot

Mac Forbes tasting at Olinda Cellars

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Friday Night wine tasting at Olinda Cellars, and an offer was a selection of wines from Mac Forbes of the Yarra Valley. Having previously tasted and loved the Mac Forbes Rs 16 Riesling I was very keen to try others in the range.
As an added bonus the wine maker himself, Mac, was there to talk us through his wines, his winemaking and the philosophy behind it.

The wines on offer from Mac Forbes included:

  1. Mac Forbes Rs16 Riesling, Yarra Valley AUS, 2013, $32, 9/10
  2. Mac Forbes Chardonnay, Yarra Valley AUS, 2012, $34, 7/10
  3. Mac Forbes Pinot Noir, Yarra Valley AUS, 2013, $32, 8/10
  4. Mac Forbes Gruyere Syrah, Yarra Valley AUS, 2010, $36, 7/10
  5. Mac Forbes Hugh Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec, Yarra Valley AUS, 2011, $56, 9/10
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Mac, winemaker for Mac Forbes ,is in the foreground. Ross the proprietor of Olinda Cellars is in the background

There were two stand-outs, the Rs16 Rielsing which we both loved, picked early then monitored during fermentation until it hit their desired sugar levels. Just a delightful sweet flavour filled Riesling.
The other was the Hugh, a sophisticated balanced Yarra Valley Cab Sauv, with a nod at the great Bordeaux wines, and with a cellaring time that Mac assured us should be in excess of 20 years.


Tasting Night at Olinda Cellars

Deep in the hills outside Melbourne lies the township of Olinda and there you will find an excellent wineshop by the name of Olinda Cellars. We have been going there for a while now of a Friday Night to purchase from their excellent selection an end of week beer and a Friday Night Pinot to have with dinner. So when I heard they were doing a wine-tasting, and it was Pinot it wasn’t a particularly hard decision. And since it was Friday night after a long week there could only be one response. “What Time?”

olinda 2

So 10 past 5 sees me wandering in the door to be greeted by 6 bottles of Pinot Noir ranging from $20 to $40, and for those not of the red dispensation a range of chardonnay was also on offer.

Our hosts, Ross and Jenny, started us off with a tipple from the Nolan Winery priced at $20 and we continued from there.

Highlights included:

  • 2012 Nolan Pinot Noir,Yarra Valley AUS , $20 7/10
    • A good quaffing Pinot, especially at the price.
  • 2012 Lansdowne Vineyard Pinot Noir, Adelaide Hills AUS, $40 8/10
    • A big Pinot
  • 2012 Brownes Block Pinot Noir, Kilmore AUS, $40 8/10
    • This needs food, specifically a big steak, although duck would work equally well.

After the Pinot’s I decided to try one of the chardonnay’s, specifically the one to which one of our fellow samplers had let out a little ‘wow’. Oh, well that was yummy, one of the tastiest chards I have had. Noting of course that my exposure is limited. However at $60 a bottle I don’t think we will be purchasing a large number of them

  • 2012 Golden Ball La-Vas Chardonnay, Beechworth AUS, $60 8/10
    • Close to the first Chardonnay I would happily drink a bottle of, light and fresh.

Tastings at Olinda Cellars

Tastings are Friday Nights 5-8pm, occasionally a small charge may apply.
Olinda Cellars

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Winetasting at Yering Station

YSCD On a Tuesday in June I was able to escape into the countryside for the day. My partner and I headed out of Melbourne and into the Yarra Valley for a day of wine tasting, lunch and relaxation. We only had one winery we were visiting, Yering Station, and we were aiming to get there before the crowds and so ensure we had a chance for a good chat with the staff.

As we drove in the morning group of balloonists were just packing up, and dodging the enormous basket we headed into the cellar door. The cellar door is set in the middle of the original old brick winery built circa 1859 and is a tranquil setting for a wine tasting especially as it also serves as an art gallery.

The Yering Station wine list has over 30 wines, red & white, with vintages from 2004 to 2012. Not all of these are on offer for tastings, with the reserve labels being set aside for tasting packages. Nonetheless we roamed far and wide across the list.

Our ratings ranged from 6/10 for some of the ‘Village’ label to 9/10 for the 2007 Inverness Ridge Pinot Noir fresh off the reserve list.

While enjoying the wine we wandered around the gallery admiring the artwork returning to chat with the tasting staff over our next vintage. The staff themselves were were full of knowledge and great to banter with.

Overall a lovely morning well spent, and we are looking forward to the next visit.

Yering Station Winery Website

For the full wine list.

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Breakfast at Giant Steps

Giant Steps Cellar DoorAs a birthday treat we headed up to Healesville in Victoria to spend the morning at the cellar door for Giant Steps Winery. The cellar door is a restaurant with its own bakery, with a section set aside for wine tasting. The bakery is hard to resist so we opened with a relaxing coffee and cake before wandering over to peruse the wine selection.
They have two brands , Innocent Bystander, their drink now label, and Giant Steps itself, the supremo label. Between the two labels there is a large list to go through, but the necessity of finding something to go with lunch spurred us on.

The difference between the two labels was noticeable, with the Giant Steps list proving better on average to the Innocent Bystanders (then again sangiovese and I have never gotten along). Having said that the standout of the lot was the Innocent Bystanders Cordon Cut Voignier, a sweetly delicious dessert wine, that disappeared all to quickly.
The Giant Steps single vineyard Pinot Noir’s were also delicious and extraordinary in the amount of difference that could be found given that they were at most 30km’s apart. They will benefit from some cellaring leaving the Innocent Bystander Syrah free to be plundered straight away.

For Lunch?
freshly shucked oysters with seaweed dressing
sashimi of kingfish with white miso sauce
Pizza: italian buffalo mozzarella, san marzano tomato, basil & olive oil


2010 Moscato
2010 pinot gris

Weekend Menu
Giant Steps & Innocent Bystanders Winery

Tasting at Two Hands

Two Hands Winery

Two Hands Winery

We were over in Adelaide for the Australia Day Weekend and as always we headed off to the Barossa to try out some wines. On the advice of a friend we ended up at Two hands Winery on Friday afternoon ready for our final tastings of the day.

A large selection of wines were on offer, so while the kids explored the back of the winery we set down to work.
We sampled from the all their ranges: The Flagships, Single Vineyard series, The Garden and the Picture series generally trying their red wines. The only off note of the tasting was the Bad Impersonator, which none of us took a shine to.
We eventually gathered the children and headed home with a small box filled with Gnarly Dudes and Yesterday’s Hero’s.


  • Flagship Range:
    • Ares Shiraz, 8
  • Single Vineyard Series:
    • Barney’s Block Shiraz McLaren Vale, 8 with 15+yrs cellaring
  • The Garden Series:
    • Bella’s Garden Shiraz Barossa Valley, 7 needs age.
    • Harry and Edward’s Garden Shiraz Langhorne Creek, 7.
    • Max’s Garden Shiraz Heathcote, 7
  • The Picture Series:
    • Gnarly Dudes Shiraz Barossa Valley, 8.
    • Brave Faces Shiraz Grenache Mataro Barossa Valley, 8
    • Yesterday’s Hero Grenache Barossa Valley, 8
    • For Love or Money Cane Cut Semillon Barossa Valley, 8 with extra rahs
    • Bad Impersonator Shiraz Barossa Valley, 4.


Riesling and Sardines

Christman qba 2008 Riesling – Marinated Sardines

City Wine shop

City Wine shop

We visited the city Wine Shop for our anniversary, and finally managed to move past the pickled onions and cheese as an accompaniment for our wine. Instead we chose the marinated sardines, recommended to us by many officianados, and selected a 2008 German Riesling from Christman as well as a 2007 French Sancerre from Champault to go with it. [Read more →]

Sauv Blanc with Tapas

Chalkers Crossing 2008 Sauvignon Blanc – Tapas

We ended up at Station St Café in Nunnawading for dinner only to find some hard choices needed to be made. Which Tapas selection would we have? While deciding upon the correct nibbles we sampled  Sauvignon Blanc’s from  Chalkers Crossing, Tumbarumba NSW, and Branken Hill Marlborough NZ. Too help the decision a Jazz duo, King and Lily, played in the background easing the choice of Tapas to the Chef’s Selection.

Highlights of the 12 tapas were

Katafi Pastry wrapped prawns with seafood aoli.

Labna balls with Station st taboulis.

Lamb Kofta balls with minted apple yoghurt.

The two sauv blanc’s were quite different, one a quite typical Marlborough Sauv Blanc, fresh and crisp – 7/10, while the Tumbarumba wine was  softer and smoother across the tongue – 8/10.

Sauv Blanc and Ragu

Woollaston NZ 2008 Sauvignon Blanc. – Lamb ragu with potato gnocchi.

Spent the evening in Degraves St at a lovely cafe “La Citta” watching the rain and passers by. We tried a few different wines but finally settled on the Woollaston Sauvignon Blanc from Nelson Bay NZ. Combining that with the lamb ragu was inspired.

I gave the wine an 8, light fresh and definitely morish.

We also tried an italian pinot grigio from Due Monde – 7.