Bubbles & Barossa Wine Event
Wednesday 25th of October
Accolade Wines invited me to their event ‘Bubbles & Barossa’ held at Brisbane’s Blackbird Bar & Grill where I had the opportunity to mingle with winemaker legends, Ed Carr from House of Arras and with Stuart Blackwell from St. Hallet.
In between laughs and spontaneous interactions amongst attendees, we were set for a real treat on a multi-course lunch with wines to match from these distinguished producers.
The acclaimed Blackbird Bar & Grill has recently maintained its one hat rating awarded by the Good Food Guide, which they have upheld since 2015. In addition, this year Gourmet Traveller Wine Magazine awarded them as Queensland Best wine list with a three-glass rating. With over 500 wines and premium range of spirits, they also have a private dining room, so for me, this was as great opportunity to benchmark our offering in Balthazar Wine & Dining and find inspiration from their excellent work.
The reception started at the bar of the restaurant overlooking the Brisbane River, where the bubbles were from Bay of Fires, the second label from House of Arras, a crisp and refreshing sparkling wine that over delivers every time.
House of Arras is an outstanding sparkling wine producer. Ed Carr is Australia’s most awarded sparkling winemaker with 34 years’ experience in the Australian wine industry – 27 of these involved with sparkling wine production. He was the driving force behind the company’s 1995 decision to produce a Tasmanian prestige cuvée, evolving into the House of Arras range. Renowned the world over with his deep global knowledge, Carr built his reputation around the magnificent range of sparkling he produces.
We enjoyed over lunch the 2008 Blanc de Blancs, 2008 Grand Vintage, NV Brut elite, 2003 Late disgorged, NV Bay of Fires Rose, 2006 Rose.
Dark, charming and rich. Probably a few words that summarized what the wines from this region are about. St. Hallet has a large presence in the Australian market and overseas, the reason you find this producer represented in Australia’s best wine lists. Chief Winemaker Stuart Blackwell has a great personality, always bright and lively; his words are always fun, a great storyteller who has travelled the world spreading the message of the wines of St. Hallet with a Nikon camera under his arm, he has one of the most amazing Instagram accounts in Australian winemaking (click here). Over lunch, we enjoyed their 2017 Rosé, 2017 Riesling, 2015 Butchers Cart Shiraz, 2014 Blackwell Shiraz, Mattschoos Shiraz and the rare 2002 Old Block Shiraz out of Magnum.
After attending this magnificent wine event, I have no doubt that these wines are within the best in the world, their ageing capability as well as the balanced fine flavours, makes them worthy additions to wine lists, cellars and private collections.
Balthazar Wine & Dining, located at Crowne Plaza Surfers Paradise offers some of their range so you can share in the experience:
NV Bay of Fires Rose
NV House of Arras ‘Brut Elite’
2017 St. Hallet ‘Dry’ Riesling
2016 St. Hallet ‘Garden of Eden’ Shiraz
2013 St. Hallet ‘Old Block’ Shiraz
2012 St. Hallet ‘Reward’ Cabernet Sauvignon
Until the next wine adventure,
David Stevens – Castro
Wine & Beverage Manager