Sunday drive

2 04 2007

The weather fined up yesterday so we decided to go find a winery! We’d seen an unusual sight at the Blackwood River Tavern in Balingup a few weeks ago – a bottle of Zinfandel! The reason it was unusual is that zin is not well known in Australia, which is surprising as we have a VERY healthy wine industry and make some terrific reds.

Having travelled extensively in the US, and having friends in the wine industry in the Paso Robles region of mid-state California, we’re very familiar with zins. But only a few wineries in Australia make it. A few years back our Californian wine friends asked us to find some Australian zins and bring them over with us on the next visit so they could do a comparison. At the time I found that only about seven wineries in the entire continent produced zins! Three were in Western Australia (Cape Mentelle, Peel Estate, and Lilac Hill) so we hunted them out. Our friends loved the Cape Mentelle – no surprises there!

Anyhow, this was a local wine from Mandalay Estate near Donnybrook. So off we went, taking the back road through Boyup Brook to Mumbellup and then on to Mandalay Rd. (“Where’s Mumbellup? Between Yabberup and Noggerup!” So says a bumper sticker we saw.)

They had ONE bottle of 2004 vintage zin left! So we tasted it and bought it. There’s a new release in a few weeks and we’ll be back to get some more. The zin was lovely – nice and rich and quite peppery (to my palate, anyway). We also purchased some nice shiraz from Mandalay.

On the way back we stopped in at Thomson Brook winery close to Donnybrook, but weren’t as impressed with their wines.

And our last stop was the bottle shop at the Blackwood River Tavern in Balingup where they still had two bottles of the zin left! (well, three actually as we stayed on for a lovely meal and had their absolute last bottle with dinner).


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