Thursday, July 15, 2010

Otto Ristorante, a Mornington Peninsula Chardonnay, and a Yarra Valley Syrah

I had a work lunch at Otto in Woolloomooloo, Sydney last week. Otto is a One Chef’s Hat restaurant at the beautiful location of Woolloomooloo Wharf. It’s an area and a restaurant where you can see some of the “beautiful’ people on a Friday afternoon. Given all this, I feared this might be the type of restaurant that rests a bit on its reputation and location. Happily I can say it exceeded my expectations. The food was superb, with everyone at the lunch commenting on how wonderful their respective dishes were. My highlight was an entree of twice baked pecorino and truffle soufflĂ© with hazelnut and eschalot sauce. In fact it’s the best dish I’ve had at a restaurant all year. It sounds amazing when you read it on the menu, and it was even better to eat. Make sure you order it if you happen to go there.

Anyway, along with the food we had some pretty smart wine . . .

2008 Ocean Eight Verve Chardonnay (Mornington Peninsula, RRP: $35)

This is a tasty chardonnay. It’s in a leaner, almost Chablis style, and has great intensity and acidity. Aged all in old oak.

It has an understated, yet varietal nose, but it’s on the palate that this wine shines. With flavours of lemon and grapefruit it has great drive through the mid-palate, and has a long, somewhat nutty finish. A nice hint of spicy oak. Fruit purity and intensity, lovely texture, and great acidity. Should age very well.

2008 Jamsheed Gruyere Syrah (Yarra Valley, RRP: $40)

I’ve read a lot of great stuff about Jamsheed’s Syrahs, so when i saw it on the wine list it was an easy choice. Interestingly if RedtoBrown employed a scoring system this is the kind of wine I would give a high score to and yet would not be raving about. It’s a quality wine, and I can see why plenty of people have talked it up, but it’s in a cool-climate Syrah style that’s not always my thing.

It has a lifted, fragrant nose, with aromas of cherry pie and pepper, along with some gamey notes. On the palate there is some lovely ripe berry fruit, along with pepper, spice, and some stalkiness. Balanced with excellent length. Very good wine it its style, and if you like this type of Syrah then buy up.


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