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With the crusher cleaned, David Pike looks forward to the quiet of Easter and some of the delights April has in store for lovers of the grape.

THE Easter period will be a particularly enjoyable time for me this year, primarily due to the fact that most of the cleaning in the winery will be done.

The past week or so has been a particularly visionary time with most of it spent cleaning the inside of the press and crusher with my torch as the reds are back on track and everyone knows night shift are the cleaners.

Granted the luxury of a day off last week, it was time to celebrate.

We had finally finished processing all the white varieties. A couple of 1993 Vintage Pol Roger Champagnes was certainly a pleasant way to relax into the afternoon.

Looking ahead towards the rest of April the Wine Education Centre has a number of interesting tastings lined up.

Those of us who enjoy the odd riesling or two will not want to miss the ‘Riesling Renaissance’ on April 15, at a cost of $55. The 1999 Bordeaux vintage will be explored on April 30. That costs $135.

The ever-popular Wine Education Classes are currently taking enrolments for term two.  For more details contact Blair Hill at the Wine Education Centre at blair@winewa.asn.au or on 9385 1699.

Another important date to put into your diary is the forthcoming Western Australian Fine Wine event. Last year the event was held in Forrest Chase and attracted more than 80 WA wineries that displayed more wine than most could get around to taste. I did note a number of punters there on more than one day.

This year the event has moved to the Silver Jubilee Pavilion at the Royal Show Grounds in Claremont. Currently the Wine Industry Association CEO Sarah Dent tells me that nearly 100 WA wineries have taken stands at this year’s event.

For those of you planning to head along, it gives you a chance to sample more than 600 wines. One of the points of interest to me last year was the opportunity to discover a number of new wineries from all parts of WA and the chance to have a talk with winemakers as they explained their wines.

The three-day event is a very good way to explore just how good the wines of WA can be.

This year the WA Fine Wine exhibition opening times are as follows:

p Friday May 16, 5pm to 9pm  Entry fee $15.

p Saturday May 17, 12noon to 8pm  Entry fee $25.

p Sunday May 18, 12 noon to 6pm  Entry fee $25.

Tickets can be obtained from WIAWA through their website at www.winewa.asn.au or by phoning them on 9385 1699. 

Something new

Woody Nook Sauvignon Blanc 2002 rrp $ 22 18.75/20

You will find an amazing intensity to both the aromas and palate flavours in this wine.

Quite striking herbaceous aromas with a nettle influence and grassy undertones.

These are some of Margaret Rivers’s oldest sauvignon blanc vines and the palate weight displays a viscous character that entwines with ripe gooseberry, citrus, and a lemon grass character.

Powerful and lengthy finish to the wine. 

Something old

Seppelt Chalambar Shiraz 1998 rrp $23 18.5/20

I picked up a healthy stash of this wine on its release a few years back.

I thought this weekend offered a perfect opportunity to pull out a bottle and see how it was fairing.

Decanted the wine is starting to get those enticing leathery characters together with a delightful spice and ripe black cherry and briary notes.

The palate is still full of the succulent fruit it started out with, yet has softened and with integrated dusty tannins plenty of blackberry and plum fruits that seem to linger long into the night.

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