Taste away

There is always some excitement to be felt when turning an unknown corner only to discover a hidden gem, and that’s exactly what I felt tonight when I ventured into the Brisbane Supper Club Wine Boutique for the K1 by Geoff Hardy and Pertaringa wine tasting event.

I’d heard quite a lot about the Brisbane Supper Club, especially their wine tasting events, but this was the first opportunity I’d had to visit the venue which is tucked away on the corner of Macrossan and Adelaide Streets in the CBD. It is a secluded boutique wine cellar offering an almost homely experience when it comes to wine tasting. Easing into one of their soft leather Chesterfield lounge chairs with the sounds of smooth guitar in the background was definitely a fitting way to end an otherwise hectic day.

BSC claims to specialise in boutique wines and beers from Australia, New Zealand and further afield, and their monthly wine tastings are renowned for bringing well-known (and some not so well-known) wine makers to Brisbane to share their latest offerings and to guide enthusiasts, like me, through it all. In a stroke of genius, guests are also supplied with cheese platters and tapas to balance things out.

Geoff Hardy would be well-known in wine circles as a member of the family’s 125 year old wine business, Thomas Hardy and Sons. But in 1980, Hardy and fellow winemaker Ian Leask joined forces to purchase the Pertaringa vineyard in South Australia’s McLaren Vale region and in 1987, Geoff and his family had commenced planting around 30 hectares of vines at a site in Kuitpo (pronounced ‘ky-po’ – I had to look it up) along the Mount Lofty Ranges, for what they believed would produce some incredibly premium wines. Representing the Hardy family – and therefore Pertaringa and K1 – was Bec Hardy, who had an enthusiasm for and knowledge of wine that gave value and meaning to the drinking experience.

Starting with the 2010 Pertaringa ‘Scarecrow’ Sauvignon Blanc, we were treated to a wonderfully perfumed drop with citrus flavours permeating the glass. The taste was just as good, with crisp fruity tones filling up the mouth for a long-lasting finish. According to Bec, this wine is ready for drinking and would do well with just about anything. I thought it would go really well with any type of seafood, or a creamy pasta dish.

Next was a bit of a surprise, as the 2010 K1 Arneis was not on our list. This is a rare variety – because it’s also really hard to grown – coming from Piedmont in north-west Italy, so I had high hopes. Bec informed us that the conditions had been almost perfect this year, which allowed Hardy to yield early. I’m not familiar with the Arneis variety and was both surprised and pleased with the aroma and taste – hints of pear and savoury flairs of almond. It was so easy to drink that with or without food, in my opinion, it would be a goer. I was reminded of sunny summers, the beach, friends all around. This drop is a winner.

I must admit that I am not the biggest Chardonnay fan; I’ve always found them a bit dry, acidic and heavy, so it was with much trepidation that I threw out my glass for a taste of the K1 Chardonnay 2008. Now, I’m not going to tell you that I’m a convert and will be ordering a case as a result of tasting this wine, but I can say that I didn’t want to spit it into the nearest pot plant – the effect Chardonnay usually has on me. The acidity I have come to expect with Chardonnay was definitely there, but there was this sort of nutty undertone that made the experience a little pleasant. According to Bec, this wine will get better with age and will go really with chicken, especially if it comes with some roasted vegetables.

Finally we moved into the reds. This is more my territory. After rinsing the palate, and our glasses, we got underway with a K1 Pinot Noir 2009. The first thing we noticed with the light colour of the wine; it was this gorgeous almost Cardinal red. Beautiful. The cherry and spice are unmistakable and will dance across your tongue in a disorderly fashion. It brought a smile to my face, and I was immediately glad of being in good company because I think this is exactly how this Pinot is to be enjoyed. Another bonus – it’ll cellar for another 5-10 years, so potentially this wine will be a fire cracker in your hands.

Following the Pinot was the K1 Merlot 2007. This was another surprise package, but largely because I was expecting a full bodied red and only got half. That’s not to say I was disappointed though. The Merlot was really very smooth and I could definitely see myself taking a bottle to be enjoyed at the end of a meal with good friends. It went very nicely with the cheddar provided by BSC for the evening.

Our final two drops were the 2008 Pertaringa Undercover Shiraz and the K1 Cabernet Sauvignon 2007. I like the story about the Undercover Shiraz; made from old vine Shiraz fruit hand selected from the vineyard by the winemaker. The ‘undercover’ refers to the position of the grape on the vine. There is a tremendous mix of fruity flavours here, most noticeably cherries, and an earthiness that lingers. I loved it! Which is probably why I didn’t enjoy the Cab Sauv all that much, and a shame considering it was the last drop of the night too.  The Cabernet Sauvignon had a strong flavour of vanilla and what to me was a bouquet of flowers, and while it was smooth at the start, there didn’t seem to be any sort of lingering finish.

If I had to pick a favourite from each category (white, red) it would definitely be the Arneis for the white and the Shiraz for the red. But here’s the beautiful thing about wine. What I like, you might not like, and so I would recommend you try each of the above for yourself and come to your own conclusions. I can honestly say it was a wonderful experience, and will be throwing my hand up and saying ‘Tickets please!’ the next time the Brisbane Supper Club is offering a wine tasting event.

Overall:

(out of 5)

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