Denmark Western Australia
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Poachers Ridge Winery and Cafe

Poachers Ridge

Poachers Ridge is a winery and restaurant that is actually closer to the town of Mount Barker than Denmark. It sits on top of a hill and has some very nice panoramic views of the surrounding valleys. There is seating both in and outside however when we were there is was quite a windy and overcast day so sitting outside wasn’t an option. Still, the place has nice big windows so we could still enjoy the view.

Once seated, we were asked if we would like to start by heading up to taste the wine before choosing which to have with lunch. We dutifully went up to the tasting bar and went through the list.

The vineyard produces six different varieties of wine, three red and three white, several of which seemed to have won medals at various shows. However, I usually don’t give this much credence as I’ve seen that many different wineries all purporting to have won gold at such and such show that they have entirely lost all meaning to me.

The reds consist of a Shiraz, a Merlot and a Cabernet Sauvignon while in the whites there was a Riesling, a Marsanne and a Late Harvest Riesling.

Starting with the whites, the Riesling and Marsanne were both of a good standard. The flavours were crisp, generally very enjoyable and together are a reasonably good example of what the region has to offer in these styles. The Late Harvest Riesling, by virtue of the extended ripening period is significantly sweeter than the other white wines. The flavours were good but I'm not really a huge fan of the sweet wines so it wasn't for me.

Wine Tasting

Moving onto the reds, I would have to say that the Shiraz was probably above average in the sample we had tasted from the region. The flavour was nicely balanced and strong and the colour was good. The Cabernet Sauvignon was another story though. While it’s colour was also good, it lacked any depth of flavour at all. The marketing speak we herd to describe it was that it was a very delicate and subtle flavour, my opinion however is that it was just plain bland.

Next we move onto the highlight of the day. The Merlot, it honestly had to be one of the best examples of the variety that I’ve ever tasted. The flavour was big and gutsy and the colour was beautiful. On talking to the owner, because the quality of this wine was so high and the fact that they estimate that the wine will keep improving with age for at least another ten years, the bulk of the vintage had been picked up by a series of quality restaurants.

The restaurant
Tapas Plate

From past experience, what normally happens when a winery produces such a wine, the first thing that happens  is that the wine maker gets greedy and ups the price. Fortunately, in this case this has not happened here, the only change is in the fact that they do not give out free tastings, the price has remained reasonable.

All up, for the meal we ended up choosing one each of the Riesling, Marsanne and Shiraz and two bottles of the Merlot. We also bought another bottle of both the Marsanne and Merlot to take home.

On to the food, the menu, like a lot of these owner operated cafes doesn’t offer too many choices but I must say that there was plenty of variety in the choices that were available.

To start, I had the Tapas tasting plate. It came with three different items on it being some pickled octopus, some spiced meatballs and some cooked chorizo sausage. To sum it up, the flavours were fine but the presentation left something to be desired. The three different Tapas choices were just plonked around a small bowl of dipping sauce.

Moving on to the main course, I chose the Beef Pie. This was the highlight of the meal for me. The pie was full of nice big chunks of meat and the red wine sauce was rich and flavoursome. The only comment I would have is that the pie was topped with a layer of puff pastry and I’d have preferred it if they had used a short crust pastry instead.

Beef Pie
Chocolate Pudding

For dessert, I chose a chocolate pudding that came garnished with whipped cream and a strawberry. The pudding was beautifully moist, very chocolaty and went down well with a coffee and the last of the Merlot.

Telephone: +61 (08) 9857 6066
Address: 1630 Spencer Rd, Mount Barker, Western Australia

Have you been to Poachers Ridge? Tell us what you think.

Current Comments

1 comments so far (post your own)

My husband and I recently visited Poachers Ridge and I must say our experience exceeded our expectations. The food, atmosphere, and importantly, thewine was excellent. The staff were very knowlegeable and welcoming. We would recommend this vineyard.

Posted by Anne Collins on Sunday, 24.03.13 @ 22:50pm

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