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episyd

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Posts posted by episyd

  1. In the video, Alain Ducasse is on stage and says that he thinks Rockpool should have 3 hats.

    For me this year as per most years I'm doing a lot of head scratching.

    There are many one hatter's in there that well deserve the rating. But, IMHO considering some on the one hat list, there are some restaurants missing from the list all together that if put side by side against these one hats absolutely trounce them.

    Anyway, not the end of the world. Each individual puts their own amount of faith/stock into these ratings. There are quite a few restaurants not included that are ticking along nicely, serving great food and being profitable, that's the important thing.

    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. I... and, I have to say, the whinging whining sydney quote above about "God it sounds so booooring." (nice pic by the way episyd, that's Britney, isn't it? You really must be an arbiter of all things unboring. Bloody sydney).

    :biggrin::biggrin:

    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. :raz::raz:

    Cheers

    Paul

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Wow.  Thank for all these terrific thoughts.  My friend (and co-founder of the now-monthly wine bar outings club) has picked a place in the 2nd where we'll head on the 26th of April.  Will be sure to get back to you with reviews then and also, bien sur, a request for thoughts about where in the 3rd I can go during the month of May.

    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. :sad:

    Cheers

    Paul

  8. AUSTRALIA V. FRANCE - Tokyo American Club (1/21/2005)

    [*]2003 Paringa Estate Pinot Noir Reserve - Australia, Victoria, Mornington Peninsula

    Rich, red ink, young. Spicy fruit aroma -- major toasty oak (American??). Could be syrah if I didn't know better. Oak on palate with big rich red fruits -- plums and such. Good nose, good taste, but it ain't elegant -- a baby shiraz. After an hour, oak is ahead of the fruit.

    [*]1996 Domaine Daniel Rion et Fils Chambolle-Musigny Les Charmes 1er Cru - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Chambolle-Musigny

    Slightly orangey but still relatively young. Just starting to show age. BURGUNDY NOSE -- sous-bois/animalle/leather. Definitely better right now on nose than palate. New oak oversteps the fruit, but good acidity comes through to make it lively -- with bright cherry fruit. Good while to go -- too much iak, but the fruit and acid hold it up. With time (1 hour) gaminess gone from nose -- relatively shut down -- but with great complex, exploding palate.

    Personal WOTF; Group WOTF

    Flight Four -- Syrah

    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 :biggrin: 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

  9. I am living in Adelaide so much of my perspective is from this city but have also travelled to Melbourne and regions.

    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 :blink:

    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 :biggrin:

    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

  10. Mary, can you please elaborate on the pork on the nose?

    In my post I mentioned petroleum on the nose, but upon reflection, it could also be classified as licorice on the palate.

    Did you have any food with it?

    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 :biggrin:

    Cheers

    paul

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. I don't think you can go past Iceberg in Sydney in January. Lovely warm days with a nice north-easterly to stop you being frazzled.

    You can possibly park down the coast a bit before say a lunch time booking and wander along the superb coastal walk to the restaurant.

    Aria is a bit too formal for summer and Bathers Pavillon is ok but a bit of a drive.

    Enjoy and tell us how it goes.

    Cheers

    Paul

  14. Carolyn

    Just bumping this up - have missed your weekly blog - have you any reports on progress with the vine - has it been pressed, fermented etc?

    Cheers

    Paul

  15. Having a bit of an italian meal so:

    2002 Antinori Campogrande, Orvieto Classico. From Umbria made principally from trebbiano plus other native varieties. Waxy, lemony nose and a midweight palate of honey, lavender and slight maderisation. Not bad but would have been better last year.

    Had it with the asparagus/scallop risotto recipe from last weeks SMH Good Living. Excellent .

    1998 Fontodi Vigna del Sorbo Chianti Classico Riserva Now this was a beautiful classic tuscan sangiovese. A single vineyard red by one of Tuscany's best makers. Rich dark red. Lovely liqueur cherry nose and herby, spicy oak touches. Rich, sexy palate of dark cherries , some earth and a long finish. Beautiful balance between fruit and tannins - not quite at its peak , maybe in another couple of years. Outstanding.

    1998 Fattoria di Petroio Lenzi Chianti Classico Riserva

    Mid to intense blood red. Earthy slightly bretty nose, with some red cherry notes and vanillan oak. Not as big as the fontodi, more rustic and acidic, and the tannins are more resolved. Some savoury, briar, raspberry and smokey flavours. Very nice and honest a slight short finish just robs it of being an excellent chianti.

    Both went very well with an AC Butchery rolled and boned shoulder of veal stuffed with dried tomatoes and pinenuts with a broadbean, pecorino, rocket and mint salad.

    Scanavino? Moscato D'Asti Was in a rush to pick up one of these for desert and the only one available at the local bottle shop was this non-vintage example on special for Aus$10.99 Only 4.5% alcohol , made I think of the frontignac grape. lovely fresh grapey nose, fresh fruity light weight palate but with quite a strong hard phenolic finish. Also lacked enough acid so that the 2nd and 3rd galss started to pall. I'm sure there are much better wexamples. Average.

    Had it with a pancotta, chocolate sauce and strawberries.

    As I have often fouind with Italian wines the reds are far superior to the whites - though these 2 whites are from the commercial and lower end of the market unlike the 2 reds.

    Am interested in looking around for some well made and interesting italian whites - from fruili, soave etc. Any ideas - remember the selection available down in Oz is pretty limited

    Cheers

    Paul

    Cheers

    Paul

  16. Tyrrell's 1991 Vat 1 Semillon [Hunter valley]Cork broke on extracting, with the bottom half absolutey saturated. Oxidised, maderised, no fruit. Grrrrrrrrr. Glad they are moving to stelvin. This happens so often with Tyrrel's whites that I always now have a second on stand by.

    Tyrrell's 1993 Vat 1 Semillon. beautiful fully dry cork, hooray! And the wine was excellent. Still pale yellow green colour. Nice lemony, straw and hay, even some wet slate. Palate was fresh and complex with lots of depth and nice long finish - good acid cut. ill last another 5 years and improve as long as the cork holds!

    Chapoutier 1999 Chateauneuf Du Pape "La Bernadine" [sthn Rhone] Mid red with some bricking - quite translucent. On the nose roasted coffee, cinnamon, cherry, morello cherry and roses. Mid weight palate with lots of depth - some earth and arabian spices. Excellent structure with some tannins still to resolve which just shortens the palate at the moment . Will be excellent in a couple of years.

    Mt Difficulty 1998 Pinot Noir [Central Otago] Excellent ruby red colour. Nose has a lot of lifted vanillan and plums and red cherries with a hint of barnyard. Soft fruity palate without the complexity of the nose and just starting to fade at the end. Not a bad effort.

    1996 Chateau Climens [barsac] beautiful dessert wine. : Lovely light yellow gold. Rich nose with hints of nuts, honey and a touch of apricot. The palate displays a good deal of botrytis as well as honey and vanillin. Good acidity. A sumptuous, feminine wine but with a great deal of strength. Will live for a long time. excellent

    Cheers

    Paul

  17. Manse Restaurant in North Adelaide is outstanding for fine dining...pop into the Oxford Hotel for cleansing Coopers Pale Ale before and afterwards.

    Gauchos on Gouger St if you a carnivore and like eating Goats Leg etc...they let you BYO.

    Universal Wine Bar on Rundle St has good wines and nice food. If not eating pop in and have some snacks and wine by the glass.

    Perhaps pop down to Glenelg to Holdfast Shores development for lunch. There are some nice outdoorish seafood restaurants there. Sammys on the Marina is quite good.

    Eros in Rundle St has good Greek food and (spot the theme) Rockford BP on the winelist for a fair price.

    The Grange, Melting Pot and Magill Cellars are all great but expensive

    If you want somwhere more affordable go for Nu's Thai [Gouger St] or Urban [Fullarton Rd

    Hope this is of use

    Cheers

    Paul

  18. The SMH's Good Food Guide 2005 has kept the same 5, 3 hat restaurants, namely:

    Est

    Marque

    Quay

    Rockpool

    Tetsuya's

    Claude's which is/was a 3 hat was not ranked due to a change in owner and head chef.

    Only one moving up from 1 hat to 2 hats - Aria

    Lots of new hatted entries.

    Restaurant of the Year Quay

    Chef of the Year Brent Savage, Moog Wine + Food

    Best New restaurant Omega

    Cheers

    Paul

  19. Yep sparkling shiraz has been a unique style developed in Australia in the late 20's by Seppelts - a major player in both Victoria (dessert wines like Tokay and Muscat - Parker and straight and sparkling shiraz from Great Western in coolish climate cental Victoria) and in the Barossa. Used to be a family concern but about 20 years ago taken over by Penfolds.

    I know it sounds a bit weird but as you know shiraz is the staple grape in oz and on hot summer days the big shiraz reds just were a turn off. While there are many commercial overly sweet sparkling shiraz made, if you can please get a hold of a vintage Seppelts show sparkling shiraz- you will be amazed at the complexity and subtlety. About 5 years ago I had a 1943 Seppelts Sp Shiraz that was in perfect condition - still a slight mousse but what mushroomy complexity.

    Here in Sydney this type of wine is often drunk on chistmas day with turkey - when it s 90 - 100F outside or on picnics in summer etc. For the top quality sp shiraz please don't overchill as you will lose all the aromatic complexity and the red tannins will poke out and unbalance the wine. It's also nice with chinese food , particulalrly duck which needs something rich and fairly full -bodied.

    Hard's haven't a bad reputation with sp. shiraz although can be a bit sweet.

    Here I think is a review of the wine and what to have it with.

    http://www.wineloverspage.com/wines/wt080998.shtml

    Please have read here of some of the better quality Seppelt Sp Shiraz, I have been told they are available in the US.

    http://www.seppelt.com.au/wines/shiraz.html

    Cheers

    Paul

  20. I've quite a collection of beautiful scarves, most bought at Paris consignment shops; buying retail is prohibitive, especially with the dollar being so weak.  Simple but elegant jewelry will 'make' the outfit. "

    John

    This might seem like a dumb question but what and where does one find a "consignment" shop in Paris.

    Cheers

    Paul

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