……… the cone of tranquility
It has been one of THOSE sodding weeks. You know … Read More
A light in the dark, dark desert that is the north of Chatswood nightlife scene, is Blackout. Lindfield in the leafy area that is the North Shore of Sydney is livening up with the addition of this bar and the anticipated woodfired pizza and bar in the same block along the Pacific Highway, right across from the train station.
Blackout brings with it a vibrant music culture. The Monday night I visited had an open mic session and I would have happily listened to any of the acts that night. I have been on other occasions with DJ’s doing their thing keeping the mood light and bright.
This small bar has an intimate feel with a funky pared down décor in the theme of World War II blackout conditions. There is a good selection of spirits, wines by the bottle and food chosen by Mal and Jase, with inclusion of the likes of Hendrick’s Gin and Patrón XO Café. There are a few classic style cocktails on offer as well.
The wines on offer will certainly please pinotphiles with seven listed, and there is a good selection of tasty pinot grigios, rieslings and Australia’s favourite red grape, shiraz. While the wines-by-the-glass menu is smaller, the range is wide enough to please most tastes.
While I did not get to try the eclectic menu, I have been assured by some local foodies that the food makes this an easy choice destination for a great night out. The only fly in the ointment is that you really need to book if you want to be guaranteed at table. When I say that this bar has an intimate feel, I mean that there are limited tables and a lot of nightlife starved locals who often travel in packs.
To book call: 02 94169172
Blackout | 304 Pacific Highway, Lindfield 2070
I’m talking about 1997 that is. Ooh yeah! It has some great memories for me and I got to relive them recently in the guise of these old timers. So 16 years is not so old really, but to a grape it certainly is, even though 1997 was a great vintage for both of these regions. And while the fruit is long gone, what is left is the essence of that great vintage and the echoes of vintages past.
Both of these wines have rather uncommon qualities when compared to the easier to understand Aussie Shiraz. The Amarone is made from grapes that are dried for three months throughout the winter before the usual wine process even starts. Incidentally, the same blend of grape varieties, corvina, rondinella and molinara, are used in the early drinking style from the region, the fruity Valpolicellas.
The Gattinara is a fine wine made from the Nebbiolo grape, sometimes recalcitrant when away from home, coming from a region whose limelight is often overshadowed by the more popular regions – Barolo and Barbaresco. Nebbiolo is a grape that produces greatness in its Piedmonte home territory, but is more often lacklustre and awkward when grown elsewhere. This particular Gattinara also sports a very unique bottle so it is certainly memorable.
I am pleased to report that both of these wines were drinking well but I would be hesitant to keep either of them for much longer than a few more years unless you have optimal cellaring conditions – something that I do not.
And while the fruit is long gone, what is left is the essence of that great vintage and the echoes of vintages past.
Travaglini Gattinara DOCG Tre Vigne 1997
Although the colour is solid, it is showing its age. Still fragrant with warm spices and earth and nuances of dried roses – more tertiary with little of the fruit spectrum in evidence. The silkily fine tannins are powdery and mouthcoating and the flavours are lengthy and moreish.
I was a little sad that I do not have another bottle to look forward to as it could have had just a little longer in the horizontal position. I gave the decanter a work out for this one to remove the sediment of its long cellaring.
Tinazzi CA’ de’ Rochhi La Bastia Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG 1997
The aromas are lush of raisins, earthy chocolate and dried herbs – a just reward for all that patient waiting. Smooth warm tannins are soft and fine filling the mouth with a wash of flavours of lavender and dark chocolate opening up to smoke on the finish. Long, generous and gorgeous.
There is so much good Australian Chardonnay around and this is one that you should try. Ripe stonefruit, soft oak and spice meld together with a pleasing intensity and richness. There is a lovely balance to this wine that walks a fine line and not afraid to show its more savoury side ending with a hint of toast. Enjoy with a fluffy cheese roulade wrapped around a smoky chorizo filling.
Date: March 2013 Price: $25 Value: $$$ Drink: Now – 3 years
From the producers of maybe the only Saint Macaire bottled in Australia comes this juicy red from a grape variety that is usually found in Southern Italy but is beginning to make its mark in Australian vineyards.
Rich with toasty oak, cherry and fresh raspberry fruit. This wine is so densely packed with fresh fruit with sticky, lip licking tannins that it is hard to resist, easy to drink- especially at this price. Enjoy with home made pizza or moussaka.
Date: March 2013 Price: $15 Value: $$$$ Drink: Now