Tuesday 27 July 2010

Clearview Estate Reserve Chardonnay 2007, Hawke’s Bay

With a lovely light golden hue, this wine from the coastal Te Awanga sub-region of the Hawke’s Bay has strong french oak to the nose.  To taste it is a beautifully soft nicely balanced wine with sweet citrus characteristics and light oak shining through.

It has a lovely warm all of mouth feel with a long tail.  It is a delight to drink and right up there as one of New Zealand’s best Chardonnay’s in my view.

Drinking well now but should easily be fine for another year.

Sunday 18 July 2010

Brunch at Mello Cafe, Grey Lynn

I'm feeling a little guilty about calling this 'our' blog when I have only written 2 out of 25 posts in the last 3 months!  Hopefully this is my first of several in the near future!

This morning we headed to Mello Cafe in Grey Lynn for brunch - apparently because Simon had seen a couple of people sign-in here on Foursquare and one of them had recommended the coffee. I asked him who, he said it was no-one he knew. My how times have changed.

Well, regardless of how we got on to Mello, we're both really pleased we did!  The staff were friendly and helpful, the coffees were great (long black for me, trim latte for Simon) and it was so nice to look at a brunch menu and see a raft of items we'd never seen before - such as small veal sausages with white beans, mustard and crumbed smoked fish ball....

...and Potato Roesti with bacon and aged cheddar and sour-cream....

...along with items like Coddled eggs with a salad of salmon, and ciabatta (I think, sketchy memory kicking in at this point). I can't remember any more specifics, but we did both have a hard job choosing and had to ask for more time - and then we found out about the specials!!!  The cabinet food also looked really good, and we noticed a sign advertising a Ginger Latte as we left, one of us will try it next time.

Mello is on a stretch of Richmond Road that is endowed with a generously wide footpath, so there are several tables out the front, and they also have seating inside out the back, with a little terrace that was closed today, but I expect is open in summer.

Pop next door and enjoy the beautiful old memory-rich items at Flotsam and Jetsam while you're in the area.  What a delightful little place!

In Summary:
Yes, we will absolutely return to Mello and we're more than happy recommending them to friends, family and faithful readers alike. (And unfaithful for that matter, we don't discriminate.) Enjoy!

Friday 16 July 2010

Coldstream Hills Cabernet Sauvignon 2004, Yarra Valley. Should possibly have drunk earlier.

We purchased this when at the vineyard about four years ago, and presumably we bought it since we liked it.

Deep purple in colour, the Coldstream Hills Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 has a fruity and earthy aroma.  To taste I initially thought it was a bit too acidic but after a couple of mouthfuls the acidity subsided and there isn’t much there is terms of flavour.  Eaten with salami the flavours do lift slightly.  Jane thinks it taste like an over-ripe Brie.  It has medium tannins but I’m thinking we should have drunk this a few years ago.  It’s definitely not doing anything for me now.

Tuesday 13 July 2010

Notes from tasting 8 wines from Aurum Wines, Central Otago

aurum wines kylixAurum Wines is a small vineyard located in the Central Otago region of the South Island of New Zealand and we enjoyed a large number of their wines this evening at the North Shore Wine & Food Society.

2007 Riesling

Light kerosene to the nose, pale yellow, thin smell, very strong big citrus flavour, honey notes with an off-dry sweetness, very thin, long tail, crisp.  Will keep for many years.  A very nice wine.

2008 Riesling

Slightly dryer in style than the 2007 Riesling although otherwise very similar.  My preference was the 2007 although both were good.

2008 Pinot Gris

Medium to sweet citrus grip, a little powdery.  (This is Jane’s descriptor)

2009 Pinot Gris

Less powdery with a bit of quince flavour.  The preference of the two with a little more sweetness, much softer, and a hint of rose on the nose.

2008 Pinot Noir

Plum to the nose, dry, light plum red, a little bit of toastiness, quite a bit of body although quite thin.

2009 Pinot Noir

Deep ruby red in colour this wine had more acid and tannins than the 2008, medium length and thicker with a bit more body although it was still quite light.  This was my preference of these two Pinot Noirs.

2007 Madeline Pinot Noir

This is Aurum’s flagship Pinot Noir with a price to match.  It is a deep ruby red, smooth wine with a huge body with a hint of game and green, complemented with a bit of acid.  It is a magnificent wine.

2009  18 carat Pinot Gris

With a lovely Manuka Honey nose this botrytised Pinot Gris is thin (not clogging or syrupy), soft and very nice.  It has a nice fruit balance.

Philippe's Chocolate & French Pastries (Auckland) have some decadent products

To our delight we discovered Philippe's Chocolate & French Pastries over the weekend.  We went to their store in Great North Road where they had a number of tasty delights that were begging for us to try.

We bought several cakes and a selection of chocolates and enjoyed them all (except for the chilli chocolate but I suspect we may have had a dud batch of them). The chocolates were flavoursome and they had a few different flavours (such as Earl Grey and Mint & Rosemary that were good for the novelty factor).

In terms of the cakes, the Maharaja was a silky smooth subtle white chocolate delectable finished with a dusting of chocolate powder. This was topped with a white chocolate cigar encased within a russian scroll.

The pear tartlet was packed with flavour and beautifully finished with almonds and a light glaze. We also accompanied this with a praline slice.

As for their packaging it is in alignment with their cost.

Saturday 10 July 2010

Unison Syrah 2006, Hawke’s Bay: It starts with a great nose

Unison is one of my favourite vineyards in the Gimblett Gravels region of Hawke’s Bay and we had a magnificent cellar door experience when we visited there at New Years 2009.

This Syrah is very deep plum in colour with a magnificent light leather and dark berry nose. It has a nice silky smooth full-bodied light leather/berry/pepper flavour complemented by some lovely soft tannins to provide some complexity.  Jane wasn’t as convinced about it being silky smooth, and describes it as sharp and tannic.  It has a long tail and is a delight to drink.

It is drinking well now but will last for many more years.

Friday 9 July 2010

Two Fifteen Bistro and Wine bar, Mt Eden

On the back of being Runner-up for the best local restaurant from Metro 2010 we decided to try out Two Fifteen last night.

We had a group of six and the restaurant was busy with a really nice vibe in a classy bistro setting.  The wait staff were all very professional, knew the menu and wines and were very attentive.

I had the “confit duck leg | kumara mash | spinach | spiced apple compote | jus” and thought this was lovely and a suitable portion size.  The duck was very moist and the accompaniments worked well.  Jane had the “free range chicken schnitzel | coleslaw | fresh lemon | aioli” and thoroughly enjoyed it.

The “sticky date pudding | vanilla ice cream | toffee sauce” for dessert was excellent as were the “Italian fritoles | lemon curd | vanilla ice cream”.

We will happily return.