Last weekend I had the delight of attending a very special Blue Poles wine tasting event being held at Moretons Brasserie in Carlton's north. I use the term delight as it involved beautiful wines, delicious food and lovely company - everything you want on a cold, lazy Sunday afternoon (especially when it precedes a public holiday Monday).
An added bonus was the discovery of yet another sneakily tucked away, humble and gracious French restaurant, as we are fortunate to have dotted all across Melbourne. I just love the subtle French connection undertones we have running through this city.
The wine connection with Blue Poles Vineyard, on the other hand, has been much more virtual having been nattering away with them over Twitter for what would probably be years by now. However, with Blue Poles actually located in the sunny West region of Margaret River, visiting the cellar door is somewhat more than just an hour's drive out of Melbourne CBD. Thus, sadly, I hadn't yet had the pleasure of trying their wines. And now I'm glad that I have.
Over the span of an afternoon a variety of reds were sampled with a generous three course meal from Moreton's Brasserie and a choice of dishes for each course. Naturally, I opted for the house made duck liver pate followed by duck confit, and lastly, CHEESE!
Paired with the pate I sampled the 2011 Teroldego ($30/btl), apparently one of the rarest wines in Australia. Lucky us. Now, I am but a mere novice in comparison to some, but I do like my reds and the "terrr-ol-dego" was deep in colour with a rich flavour of cherries and berries and full of life. I would most definitely drink it again :)
For main, I couldn't resist the duck confit which was perfectly cooked and tasted even more sensational with a 2010 Blue Poles Reserve Merlot. Hands down my favourite wine of the day but oh-so-sadly now sold out so I'm pleased to have had the chance. Rich and full bodied, it complemented the game flavour and crispy skin of the duck nicely. The 2011 Reserve Merlot was slightly spicier with more oak than the 2010 and a dryer finish (2011 was a much hotter vintage season than the previous year). While I didn't feel the desire to entirely guzzle this one quite as quickly as the 2010, it was still very tasty and unlike the 2010, is still available for purchase ($40bt).
We wrapped up the afternoon with our Plateau de Fromage, of what we could fit in after the previous courses, and the Allouran - a Merlot and Cabinet Franc blend mostly of a 70/30% weighting, respectfully. A fairly elegant wine with plenty of personality, my fave was the 2007 for smoother drinking and less of the rich chocolate flavours found in the 2008.
Slowly, casually, lazily, the afternoon went by and we eventually departed Moretons, no doubt to retreat to a couch somewhere for a bit of a doze. That's what I did anyway. What a truly splendid way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
You can find Moretons on Rathdowne Street on the cusp of Carlton and Carlton North. Thank you also to Tim and Mark, owners of Blue Poles Vineyard, for being our wonderful hosts for the afternoon. If you'd like to join their mailing list to hear of specials and other events, do so here and you'll find them on Twitter as @bluepoles.