Myattsfield is a small producer in the warm Perth Hills region. This is their first attempt at making a pinot noir, though wisely the grapes have been sourced from the cooler climes of Pemberton. It's a worthy effort, and only $24.

It's small and supple, meek and slightly squeaky. My brother in law was blinded and thought it might be a gamay. You can see his point - strawberry, raspberry and Turkish delight on the nose and in the mouth, a hint of confection and bright acidity. Quiet and self contained it may not appeal to most, but I liked it. Drink soon. A small yes.

One of the benefits of being a parent is being exposed to the randomness of your child's education. . . today we found ourselves thirty kilometres north of home in the coastal suburb of Mullaloo. While my child pondered his lesson I looked for food and coffee and found the small and sweet Sista Barista Cafe. It's located at the mostly deserted Mullaloo Plaza shopping centre, a few kilometres back from the water.

Gold and seemingly mature, it smoulders and smells ripe, lush and curiously like newly washed woollens. Almond meal and marzipan. Amygdala. A passing moment of zip and pace, mostly it is nutty, bitter, fleshy and warm. An Italian accent, if I were blind I would utter the word Arneis, though in unblinded reality it is too diffuse and big boned.

I thought the wine would be a match for apricot chicken. It was not. . . The parts were greater than the sum. . .

A recipe.

The chosen wine to match the slow cooked beef rib at Restaurant Amuse. This dish comes with beetroot jewels and flavour bomb buttons (BBQ, spicy plum and pea). A wonderful balance of flavours and textures and I thought the prettiest of many beautiful plates.

The book tells me that Saperavi means dye in Georgian, the skins are deep and the juice is curiously pink. The wines sells for $25 which seems like a steal.

I purchased this from Lavinia in Paris, it's a phenomenal though soulless store (and you can get a tax refund if you spend enough and have a foreign passport). Enomatic machines on the ground floor dispense First growths; and in the basement seemingly all of France. There are thousand and thousands of bottles, the good and all of the acknowledged. I had blinkers on, time (15 minutes) and volumetric (2.25L) limitations, and looked longingly at only a very narrow selection of wines.

Like a game of Chinese whispers, I found I kept getting further and further from the original recipe. I had a picture and a list of odd ingredients, but some were just too hard to locate and improvisation and approximation was required.

A 1.5kg shoulder of lamb, scapula and four ribs in situ. Rubbed with two tablespoons of crushed black pepper and the same of amount of salt. After an hour, the meat was browned in a iron pot splashed with olive oil.
3

A brief pause before the craziness. All of my siblings and parents are here together, it happens so infrequently, perhaps once every two or three years, and so a celebration is in order. I've been preparing  dinner in expectation. . . Morocco will be the destination.

A blood orange salad with pickled olives from my tree. The blood oranges are so intense and well balanced, they make the sweet navels I've been eating seem even more insipid than usual.

A curious combination that I came across in this book. I found the rhubarb a little too tart and the vermicelli distractingly crunchy.

I've adapted the recipe for a thermomix.

500g of trimmed rhubarb stalks, cut into 5cm pieces / 50mls of water / 330g of white sugar. Process at Speed 1 @100 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and let this cool fractionally before adding 15g of rose water and 45g of lime juice (approx 3 limes) and process at speed 9 for 30 seconds.

A heavy bottle with a deep punt. 14.5%. Diam. Approx $A110.

I remember the last bottle of la collina very clearly. Someone else was paying for the meal and I spent the night sniffing and luxuriating in the wine while my work companions talked shop. The talking came to nought, but the memory of the wine has remained. . . I remember the scent being impossibly beautiful. . . I was not particularly keen to revisit  the wine for fear of disappointment.

The last two bottles I tried were from a warm cellar, in contrast this bottle has been in my wine fridge since purchase. The cork was crusted with tartrate crystals and mostly I thought the shape was better, though in the end my opinion was unchanged. The opening few minutes the most convincing. The nose in particular is deep and satisfying, layered and not immediately cliched. Spice, rosewood, menthol, Margaret river, bramble and boot. Much later it is the rosewood and boot that linger.
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