When JA suggested we revisit The Quarter for our Wednesday Night Wine Club meeting I readily agreed to go as last time we a bottle of Clos Henri and I would like to try it again.
The previous visit to The Quarter was late last year and we had an excellent meal and an exceptional bottle of Clos Henri Pinot Noir 07 from Marlborough New Zealand, a wine I had been wanting to sample for some time, so this was a good chance to do just that. The Clos Henri lived up to expectations, from memory, as I couldn’t find notes, it was more Burgundian in style than the usual Marlborough sweet cherry bomb and for such a young wine it had a taste of age too it.
But, alas no Clos Henri on the wine list, and the Pinot Noir selection had shrunk to four wines, three from Burgundy and one from Central Otago, at four price points from $65.00 up to $220.00. A small but reasonably balanced selection, maybe drop one of the Burgundies and add an Australian Pinot Noir would be a suggestion. We went for the Carrick Excelsior 2006 from Central Otago. The wine was decanted and first impression was it needed a little time in the glass to open up. Ordered a glass of Simonnet-Febvre Petit Chablis 08 to fill in the space. All one would expect from a Petit Chablis, light simple with some acidity and a flinty palate, easy drinking without the need for food.
Food wise, ordered the Confit duck terrine, apricot chutney, toasted brioche to start followed by the Prawn, mussel & red emperor bouillabaisse, with saffron new potatoes, against the advice of the waiter, who recommended the Slow cooked pork belly, apple & sage crumble, potato fondant, cider jus which he said would suit the wine better. JA ordered the Crab & sweet potato cakes, spinach, paprika aioli followed by the Lamb assiette (lamb three ways): lamb rack, slow cooked shoulder, sheperds pie, spinach purée, roasted garlic, white wine & rosemary jus. The terrine was good, lovely texture. The Bouillabaisse had truly fresh ingredients that were cooked lightly, the red emperor looked like it had been pan seared first, which gave it a nice finish and added to the flavour. The mussels were all open, great to see a chef take a bit more care on a busy night. I don’t now how many times I have had seafood marinaras and risottos and nearly always one or two mussels have broken shells or have not opened and they are served up this way, it just says, lazy on the part of the chef. Would recommend the Bouillabaisse best one since The Fishy Affair in its heyday. The Lamb three ways looked spectacular and from the feed back tasted just as good.
Back to the all important wines, had to polish the chablis off quickly to not miss out on the Carrick which was evaporating quickly and what a changed wine it was, in that short period of time the nose had opened up to reveal mature cherry and spice notes with a silky smooth palate (why Pinot Noir can be so good) that was rich with dark berry fruits, and a hint of savory, a muscular but delicate wine, getting close to what I look for in great Pinot Noirs (a Ballerina in work boots dancing across the tongue is how I visualise great Pinot). BTW the waiter even though he is a Dockers supporter was right about the choice of Pork Belly for the main course, it would have suited the wine.
Have since been back and think this is one of Perth’s rising stars.