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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Event @ Church Street Enoteca

Receiving an invitation to attend Bass Phillip's launch at Church Street Enoteca was an offer to good to refuse.

bass phillip dinner menu© by Haalo

On tasting tonight, 17 wines over 5 courses which include Pinot Rosé, Chardonnay, Gamay and Pinot Noir.

church street enoteca© by Haalo

bass phillip wine© by Haalo bass phillip wine© by Haalo

bass phillip boxes© by Haalo

Before dinner we mingled with glasses of 2004 and 2007 Pinot Rosé

bass phillip pinot rosé© by Haalo

and enjoyed spoon starters of Bultarra saltbush lamb tartare with wild mushrooms

bultarra lamb tartare© by Haalo

Before long it was time to take our seats in the dining room

tabletop© by Haalo

Wines for the first course - left to right - 2001 Estate Chardonnay, 2004 Estate Chardonnay, 2007 Estate Chardonnay, 2007 Premium Chardonnay

2001/2004 had full malolactic fermentation (MLF) while the 2007 had inhibited MLF. The 2007 Premium was bottled 4 weeks ago while the 2007 Estate was bottled in (I think) May.

Tasting as is without food, we would both pick the 2001 simply because it had all those wonderful rich, buttery and creamy characteristics that we like to see in Chardonnay. The 2007 Premium had a richness of fruit but with a mineral bite to it.

It is interesting, in the course of tasting through the night, to observe the effects of the vineyards movement into bio-dynamic viticulture on the wines in the 2007 vintage. As Philip Jones puts it, the wines are much more vibrant in the bottle.

Roasted quail and shiitake mushroom terrine, duck foie gras, roasted scallop, cauliflower puree

While we loved the 2001 to drink by itself, it didn't seem to work when combined with the flavours of this particular dish and we both found that the 2007 a much better match.

Wines for the second course - left to right - 2004 Gamay, 2007 Gamay, 2007 Crown Prince Pinot Noir

All three of these wines were rich in fruit flavours with the 2004 also showing mineral elements.

Hand prepared guanciale and prosciutto, Joselito Jamon Iberico Gran Riserva, house made rye, Manjimup truffle

With these richly flavoured reds, no better match is found then in the company of cured meats - meltingly soft guanciale, supple prosciutto and a sweet nutty jamon. The toasted slices of rye were daubed in manjimup truffle butter.

Wines for the third Course - left to right - 2004 Estate Pinot Noir, 2005 Estate Pinot Noir, 2006 Estate Pinot Noir, 2007 Estate Pinot Noir

The 2004 is described as having subtle feminine flavours while the 2005 has higher tannins and minerals. 2006 is combination of intense fruit and long tannins while once again, the 2007 has a vibrancy to its fruit.

Roasted duck breast, confit duck shank, celeriac puree, porcini, orange

Wines for the Cheese Course - left to right - 2003 Premium Pinot Noir, 2004 Premium Pinot Noir, 2007 Premium Pinot Noir, "Mystery Wine"

2003 had ripe plum flavours while the 2004 exhibited a gentler and more subtle palette but with more lingering flavours. The 2007 was bottled only 10 days ago but like the rest of the 2007 vintage was very much showing good fruit flavours.

Touree de l'Aubier, apple jelly, rosemary lavosh

The final course of the evening is cheese - Touree de l'Aubier - a surface-ripened washed rind cheese made with pasteurised cows milk from the Normandy region of France. An absolutely spectacular cheese.

If you are reading this and thinking phooey I missed out, well don't despair - this dinner is being repeated on Monday 4th August so contact the restaurant and make a booking.

The details:
Church Street Enoteca
527 Church Street, Richmond

Phone: 9428 7898

Restaurant Open:
Lunch: Monday-Friday 12-3pm
Dinner: Monday-Saturday 6pm to late



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