Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Strong recent vintages bring great promise for 20th NSW Wine Awards

Since its inception in 1996, the NSW Wine Awards has been highlighting the very best of our local wines and assisting NSW winemakers critique, perfect and promote their wines. This year, talented winemakers from all over the state will enter their new wines into the 2015 NSW Wine Awards, to be judged alongside wines of a similar style, regardless of the size of the producer. This allows large and small wineries to compete against each other, and gives everyone a shot at a gold or silver medal, or one of the eighteen trophies on offer.

To celebrate the wine show's 20th consecutive year and reflect the public's growing interest in the Awards, two new trophies will be presented this year, the 'Best Dry Red Wine of Show' and the 'Best Dry White Wine of Show'. These two wines will join the winners of the 'Best Sparkling Wine' and 'Best Sweet Wine' trophies, to find out who will claim the ultimate title of '2015 NSW Wine of the Year'.

Last year saw a record number of wines entered, with the Hunter Valley, Canberra District, Orange, Tumbarumba, Riverina and the Hilltops wine regions all taking home trophies. Many trophy and medal winners have enjoyed valuable sales opportunities in the marketplace due to their achievements in the Awards and have also benefited from increased brand awareness both with the public and with the hospitality industries. This makes the NSW Wine Awards one of the more successful wine shows at opening the doors to genuine commercial opportunities.

Entries are already streaming in for this year and local winemakers who don't want to miss out need to have their details submitted by Friday 14th August via www.nswwine.com.au

The team of expert judges, led by PJ Charteris as the 2015 Chair of Judges, are excited at the prospect of seeing a wide diversity of wines this year, including early 2015 releases and the eagerly anticipated 2014 reds, heralded by many of the State's 14 wine regions as some of the most interesting wines in many years.

So who will taste success this year?

DATE FOR THE DIARY: be amongst the first to hear the results, meet the winning winemakers and taste the best wines in NSW.                  

Friday October 30 ~            2015 NSW Wine Awards Presentation Lunch
Pier One Sydney Harbour
11 Hickson Rd, Sydney NSW 2000

One to Note: 2014 Fifth Leg Chardonnay


ONE TO NOTE:  A 2014 Chardonnay from Fifth Leg in Western Australia's Margaret River is one of those whites that many consider is best enjoyed when served nicely chilled during Summer time's heat, but in reality is one to savour all year round.


With a lovely crisp palate of crunchy apples that lead to tasty stone-fruit flavours, it has a marvellous lime juice finish and really does reward with being served well chilled. And while a great drop to simply enjoy on its own anytime, it makes an excellent companion with fried whitebait.


The quirky-named Fifth Leg, by the way, got its name from the discovery of a fossilised skeleton of a Tasmanian Devil in a cave in Margaret River a near-half century ago – and with a fifth leg laying nearby.


for week beginning 27 July 2015

[] A SUMMER time's white from Western Australia to savour year-round.


Logan 2013 Shiraz - NSW Central Ranges



David Ellis


IF you're fond of a good Shiraz, grab a bottle of the 2013 Logan from Orange in the NSW Central Ranges – 2013 was a great year for Shiraz out there, and this one from Peter Logan is a particular stand-out.


Medium-bodied and full of cool climate red berry flavours and spice, it's a great example of what can come out of high altitude regions such as Orange, and particularly so in the hands of makers like Peter who is a more than dab hand with the variety.


"It's exactly what I want from our Shiraz," Peter says, adding that at the same time the variety all but makes itself in the vineyard. "It requires minimal intervention in the winery, and is fairly consistent year in and year out," he says. "The optimal result is a wine like this one that's a straight-up delivery of the succulent red fruits and spice of cold climate, high country Shiraz."


And interestingly while it bursts with that juicy, cool climate red fruits and spice, it has a lovely soft mouth-filling texture, and at $28 makes for a great companion at this time of year with a hearty beef pie.


for week beginning 27 July 2015


[] DON'T look beyond matching this one with a hearty Winter's beef pie.

Friday, 17 July 2015

One to Note: 2014 McGuigan Bin Series 9000 Semillon

A GRILLED seafood platter would be an ideal match with
this well-priced $13 drop from the Master of Semillon.
ONE TO NOTE:  WE'VE long sung the praises of Neil McGuigan as the Master of Semillon in the Hunter Valley, a region itself renowned as amongst the world's finest for production of this easy-drinking varietal.

And while he's done it again with his 2014 McGuigan Bin Series 9000 Semillon, it wasn't all plain-sailing: dry and cool conditions began the growing season, followed by an extreme heatwave as harvest started, and then regular rain. Despite it all, Neil came through with a great Semillon suitable for drinking now or for longer cellaring

If you can't wait, pull the cork at just $13 and enjoy with a grilled seafood platter.

for week beginning 20 July 2015


Katnook Prodigy Shiraz 2010

IT'S $100 a bottle and recommended
best for drinking in 2055 – whether you
can wait 40 years is up to you.


David Ellis

ITS $100 a bottle now, best recommended drinking time is 40 years away in 2055 – yet already it's garnered enough local and international awards and accolades to fill all of this column, leaving us no space to talk about the wine itself.

We're writing of the Katnook Prodigy Shiraz 2010 from a vintage lauded as one of the finest on record in Coonawarra, and with the wine made from small selections of vines renowned for consistently producing fruit of outstanding depth of flavour, exceptional colour and firm tannin structures.

Senior Viticulturist, Chris Brodie used hand-pruning, bunch-thinning and shoot-removal techniques to get the very best fruit off these already low-yielding vines, with Winemaker, Wayne Stehbens then employing small-batch vinification in open fermenters, basket-pressing, and maturation in French and American oak barriques for just over two years.

All this resulted in a wine of intense raspberry and plum aromas, marvellous pure-fruit flavours, and with underlying licorice spice and finely-grained tannins. There's no way we could hold off for 40 years, and reckon any time will be right to enjoy this one simply on its own with close family or good friends – in front of a winter's fire now, or maybe in the sun on the balcony come Spring.

 for week beginning 20 July 2015

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

The Dressmaker Literary Event at Fowles Wine

Set to Be a Stylish Affair

On Sunday 23 August Fowles Wine will host a literary lunch featuring the author and producer of best selling Australian novel and upcoming film The Dressmaker.

Due to be released as a major motion picture on 22 October staring Kate Winslet, Judy Davis, Liam Hemsworth and Hugo Weaving, The Dressmaker is a bittersweet comedy about love, hate and haute couture in country Australia.

Set in the 1950s, The Dressmaker tells the story of Tilly Dunnage (a Paris based fashion designer) who has returned to her small home town in rural Australia to right some wrongs from the past. When Tilly comes home, she not only reconciles with her ailing mother but, with her sewing machine and haute couture style, she transforms the women of the town in such a way that she gets revenge on those who persecuted her. She also falls unexpectedly in love which leads to her greatest loss and most destructive deed...

The Fowles Wine literary event will feature author of the book Rosalie Ham and film producer Sue Maslin and see them discuss the inspiration, characters, cast, costumes and locations that brought The Dressmaker to life on the page and screen. Avenel local Merrill Boyd will compère the event before guests are invited to take part in a question and answer session and book signing.

Having worked up an appetite, guests will be treated to a lunch featuring the favourite meals of the main characters in The Dressmaker - the Dunnages and McSwineys - using the finest produce from the Goulburn River Valley region.

Fowles Wine Customer Services Manager Ian Firth said: "It's not every day that you get access to a bestselling author or get to hear the behind the scenes stories about some of Hollywood's biggest stars so we're pretty excited!

The Dressmaker is a wonderful Australian story that was filmed entirely in Victoria so we feel very proud to be representing the State on the tourism and hospitality front. We reckon our award winning food and wine and newly refurbished rustic event space 'The Wine Shed' will provide the perfect stage for what's set to be a blockbuster event"

More information:

Leichhardt Long Lunch Food and Wine Festival - August 2015

Sydney's Inner West Launching Inaugural Food and Wine Long Lunch Series on 22 August 2015

Good food and wine and a special location in the Leichhardt Town Hall and adjoining outdoor area. What more could a great food and wine festival need. But there is more - long communal tables, stalls with great food and wine choices - and artisan merchandise. All this topped off by entertainers and cooking demonstrations by 'chefs with taste'!

Local artisans and businesses in the Leichhardt, Annandale, Balmain, Rozelle, Lilyfield and Birchgrove area will showcase their local produce that marks the Inner West as a premier Sydney food destination.

In 2015, the inaugural event on 22 August will be the lead-up to a 'long-long' lunch at the Norton Street Italian Festa on 25 October. Now in its 29th year, Festa is Australia's largest street festival regularly attended by over 130,000 visitors.

From 2016 there will be three annual Leichhardt Long Lunch Food and Wine Festivals. Each year the Series will close as a highlight of the popular Norton Street Italian Festa.

The new Series is an initiative of the Leichhardt and Annandale Business Chamber, sponsored by Leichhardt Council and organised by Impact Exhibitions and Events – the team behind Festa.



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