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    Sydney, Australia
  1. As a Sydneysider with a limited ability to go out interesting restaurants too often (kids, mortgage etc.) I would be interested in the names of some of the other restaurants that you believe produce food and a restaurant environment of a one hat standard at least. Earlier this year we had a great meal at the Forbes and Burton you mentioned prior to it gaining a hat. So much appreciate you advice. Cheers paul
  2. Actually it's Angela lindvall, Vogue Fashion model of the year 2000, model for Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Prada, Valentino etc. Lot's of class. Hope you liked your onion soup. Cheers Paul
  3. Friends of mine who's palate I respect had a great meal at Silks in Leura on the week-end. Their website is: http://www.silksleura.com/ Cheers Paul
  4. Last night had a 1998 Brands Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon. What an enigmatic wine. Started out your archetypical Coonawarra with mint and black berries, though with quite a bit of coconut oak still overlaying the fruit - not offensive but a bit obtrusive. Rich middle palate but a slightly shortish finish. An hour later this wine had fallen apart. Rather than a nicely balanced wine we now had all three components - very spiky acid, thinning fruit and coarse american oak- all competing with each other. The worst was the hard biting acidity - must have had a heap of tartaric acid added during the winemaking. Not a good sign. By the morning an absolute mess. Major disappointment. Have a couple more so will see how they turn out. Noticed this wine won a gold at this year''s National wine show. A 2004 Clonakilla riesling from the Canberra district [bloody cool climate] was also nothing above average - lacked intensity and any minerality - maybe going into its dumb phase. Haven't been that impressed with the 2004. Must try some of the superb , from whati've read 2005 rieslings from Clare and Eden Valleys. Cheers Paul
  5. My god the food sounds so '70's and boring.
  6. Some nice gear over the week-end: 1994 Tyrrells Vat 1 Semillon Mid yellow. Nice rich straw nose but not nuts or lime etc. Quite a rich palate and just tending to broadness. if you have some I would drink over the next couple of years. Very nice for a hottish year hunter. 1998 Franco Martinetti Minaia, Gavi [Piedmonte] Superb green/pale gold colour. Lifted french oak nose with some fruit hints (cross between chardonnay and semillon - although the actual grape is cortese). Fresh fairly full palate with very good length and richness. Nice acid. needs a couple of years for the oak to fully integrate. Very good today, possibly excellent in future. 1996 Wynns Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep rich red colour. Big wine and for the first hour lacked both variety and any regionality. Just a big oz red. The fruit richness seemd to have smothered any typicity. Thankfully with more airing some cassis and blaclberry fruits. Lacked though any Coonawarra minitness or minerality. For my palate too big for a Coonawarra. Nice as an oz red. Disappointing for a Coonawarra. 1998 Felton Road Pinot Noir Very lifted nose. Lots of crushed geranium leaves and red berries. Some foresty noted but no earth. Palate not the fireworks of the nose. A bit short intially, but lengthened somewhat with air. Fruit was waning and just lacked a bit of silkiness and complexity. Excellent for nose but justgood for palate. proabably atits peak a couple of years ago. Oh well. 1997 Produttori Del Barbaresco Riserva Rio Sordo, Barbaresco [Piedmont] My first from a recent auction buy. Mid red . Much more ethereal nose than the Felton Road. Lots of soft rose perfume with hints of black cherry. Lovely just mid weight palate. Very linear palate with great length and persistence. Still some tannins and nice fruit to ensure it will be hitting its straps in 2007 and beyond. Lovely with a mushroom rissotto. Excellent. 2003 Nugan Estate KLN Vineyard Botrytis Semillon [Riverina] Palish to mid yellow. Heaps of apricot on the nose and palate. Lots oflength and thankfully no VA burn on either the nose ofr palate. Yummy now and for a couple of years -- but drink before the fruit flattens. Not thatcomplex but lots of fun. Very good to excellent. Cheers Paul
  7. Zoe Just wondering how the wedding and the food went? Cheers Paul
  8. Have to agree with Fifi. Went to Marque's in late June and had the degustation menu ($125). No doubt it was the best constructed, best balanced meal I have had in Sydney for many a year.Incredible intensity of flavours with many contrasting flavours which in lesser hands could turn out to be an abomination. One thing about Marque's is that it is a more modest-scaled place (ground floor of a block of flats) still fairly intimate but thankfully friendly and very knowledgable staff. As you say one of the best sommeliers in Oz plus a wonderfuland eclectic wine list. It is also BYO which is wonderful. More a fodd buffs place than the big night out experience which I think Tet's does better. Cheers Paul
  9. Although from Sydney I often think early January is oneof the worst timesto visit this fair city - very humid, most good restaurants closed and half the city gone on holidayson beaches upand down the coast. I would recommend either Mornington peninsular just south of Melbourne - great restaurants and vineyards specialising in coolclimate pinots and chardonnay. You are alsoclose to the Bay for swims and seafood - can be a bit crammed atthis time but heh any greatplace atthis time in Oz is going to have a lot of holiday makers. Another option and probably where i would go is Margaret River region south of Perth. Absolutely stunning scenery - huge eucalypt forests , some of the bestsurfing beaches in Australia and superb wines -arguably our best cabernet/bordeaux blends and world class chardonnay. Excellent restaurants and accommodation. happy to provide more info or other options or ideas once you have narrowed the field. Cheers Paul
  10. Well we are nearly thru May and still wondering which wine bar you went to in April and your choice for May. As someone who enjoys the whole gammut of french wines I find this thread very helpful - just wish i could be doing it as well. Cheers Paul
  11. episyd

    Australia v. France

    Disregarding putting a 2003 oz pinot against a 1996 burgundy, would have liked to have seen a NZ pinot up against the CM - as you know NZ is really the 8th state of Australia plus they know how to make excellent red burgundies. Nice set of wines nevertheless - the leuwin estate chard will be a beautiful wine in 5 years. Cheers Paul
  12. No need to say anymore. Poor old Adelaide has been going backwards gastronomically like its economy, since Don Dunstan left as premier. Even hobart is more a gourmet's mecca Regarding availability of overseas wines and Aust. parochialism I think it is more a demand and supply issue. There is of course huge amounts of New Zealand wine coming into oz, principally savignon blanc and pinot but may be you see NZ as our 8 th state In Sydney there are a large number of wine shops selling extensive French, and Italian wines and not just generic champagne, cheap chianti etc. In the last couple of months I have received over a dozen offers for indent 2002 burgundies, 2003 bordeaux, lots of chablis and barolo/nebbiolo etc. Because oz wine is such very good value for dollar up to around $20 a bottle it is very hard for imports to compete at this level with the onerous 50% wine tax plus duties. Cheers Paul
  13. PCL I agree with your licorice descriptor. I often find it in Barossa shiraz but interesting never in McLaren Vale or Margaret River/Mt Barker. In a blind tasting of oz shiraz, the smell of licorice and my guess at Barossa, often than not makes me look a hero and super wine geek Cheers paul
  14. Agree wholeheartedly with Melkor regarding Becasse. Justin North is a brilliant chef and it fully deserves its 2 hats - it's a must go. Forget about Wolfies - I think your concierge must get a huge commission - couldn't think of a more touristy ripp-off joint in the Rocks. Go to Cafe Sydney - lovely view over circular quay to the sydney Opera House and the Bridge. Rockpool has improved out of sight and is now once again a sydney icon. if you like super fresh seafood can't beat Greg Doyle's cooking at The Pier at Rose Bay. I also like Peter Doyle's (no relation) Est which is in the city and although often rated as one of the top 3 restaurants in sydney it is particularly good value for money. Cheers Paul
  15. 2002 Peter Lehmann Shiraz Barossa, $16.99 AUS, 14% alc Similar tasting note to geo. From an excellent year down here Peter Lehmann has produced a beautifully balanced red that is just so drinkable. Lots of xmas pudding, spicy blackberry notes and thankfully the american oak is kept in check and actually complements and provides some structure to the wine. Nice acid and quite a long finish - not the greatest complexity, but heh it's hardly that expensive. Cheers Paul
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