Monday 31 October 2016

Bill Calabria’s Three Bridges Durif

ONE TO NOTE:  BILL Calabria has a most more-ish Durif under the 3 Bridges label of his Calabria Family Wines in the NSW Riverina, a wine that's big enough to stand up to the gutsiness of a hearty osso bucco, braised oxtail or a good Rogan Josh (lamb curry.)

This interesting varietal whose quite tiny berries produce a wine almost impenetrably black in the glass, originated in France, but today is found mainly in  only Australia (principally the Riverina and Rutherglen in Victoria,) and in California and Israel.

Bill Calabria's Three Bridges Durif is intensely flavoured with dark plums, Morello cherries, coffee and coconut to the fore, has toasty vanillin oak and a nice little spiciness. At $25 it's a great match with those dining suggestions above.

[] HERE'S a red that's big enough to stand up to the gutsiness of a hearty osso bucco, braised oxtail or a good Rogan Josh (lamb curry.)

McGuigan Bin 9000 Semillon - NSW Hunter Valley


David Ellis

IT doesn't take much to have us singing the praises of Neil McGuigan for what he gets up to at McGuigan Wines in the Hunter Valley, and none more so than after we get down and cosy with one of his Semillons.

For if the Hunter is acknowledged as the world's premier region for the best of Semillons, and the McGuigan Bin Series Semillons renowned globally as the company's most-awarded wine, it must mean Neil is justified in taking a bow for the international recognition these of his are accorded.

And if you've a very special event coming up and are thinking seafood at the heart of it, an ideal wine to match would be the 2013 vintage of the McGuigan Bin 9000 Semillon. For here's a wine from a season that while it saw many a challenge thrown up at the team – from dry and cool, to heatwaves and rain – is fresh and light in its younger years, but then goes on to develop into a classic rich honey and toasty Hunter style Semillon with nice long cellaring potential.

At $30 make it a feature alongside fresh prawn cocktails to kick off special events, and go on to share it with main course platters of grilled seafoods.

[] A RIPPER alongside fresh prawn cocktails to kick off special events, and then with follow-up main course platters of grilled seafoods.

for week beginning 31 October 2016  

2016 NSW Wine Awards Final Results

Best Dry Red of Show
Windowrie Estate 2015 "The Mill" Shiraz

2016 Pier One Sydney Harbour NSW Wine Awards Final Results

The 2016 Pier One Sydney Harbour NSW Wine Awards has just announced the main Trophy winners for this year's Awards and yet again the results have excited judges, industry professional and wine lovers alike. 2016 Chair of Judges PJ Charteris commented on how the overall medal count was up again this year and said, "The most exciting thing was seeing the diversity in region and variety. NSW winemakers are having a red-hot crack at producing high quality wines from old and new varietals and this is a tribute to the passion and strength of the NSW wine industry."

The sold-out Presentation Lunch was held at Pier One Sydney Harbour on Friday 28th October, with quests of honour the Governor of New South Wales, His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret'd), and Minister Niall Blair MLC, Minister for Primary Industries and Minister for Lands and Water, being there to say a few words and be amongst the first to find out which gold medal winning wines would take home the ultimate Trophies. Also in attendance were NSW Wines valued supporters Pier One Sydney Harbour, Wine Australia, NSW Department of Primary Industries, Multi Color, Longfellow's Insurance, Orora Stelvin, Riedel, Australia Post, CCL Label and CiSRA Canon, without whom the event couldn't take place.

During the presentations, President of the NSW Wine Industry Association Tom Ward thanked all involved and commented on the high quality of judges involved in this year's show. He also said, "This year we continued the theme of going to the regions for judging. We were lucky enough to spend time in the Hunter Valley and I think this is an unique way of judging that exposes not only the judges to the region but also allows the region to get engaged with the show – we appreciate all the people that gave their time to assist in the event. I am happy to announce that next year we are looking to host the wine show in Mudgee and working with them to deliver another great experience."

This year, Central Ranges wines (which incorporates the regions of Mudgee, Orange and Cowra) were the big winners, with 9 trophies, followed closely by the Hunter Valley with 8, and then the Southern Highlands and Hilltops also claiming well deserved accolades (please see full list of Trophy winners at end).

The champion of the Awards was Windowrie Estate from the Cowra, who were awarded the ultimate title of 'Pier One Sydney Harbour 2016 NSW Wine of the Year' for their 2015 "The Mill" Shiraz. The Trophy was claimed by winemaker Anthony D'Onise who was representing Windowrie Estate owners the O'Dea family. The O'Dea's started growing grapes in the 1980s and then opened the Cowra region's first ever winery. Their winning Shiraz was described by PJ Charteris as a worthy winner and "a wine that expresses its beautiful fruit first and foremost. It is great to see fruit and distinctive varietal fruit character as the defining features of a wine".

Another great achievement recognised at the Presentation Lunch was the work of Bruce Tyrrell who was awarded with the Graham Gregory Award for services to the NSW wine industry. Minister Niall Blair MLC presented the award to Bruce, commenting on Bruce's many years of hard work within the industry and how he had done so much for our state and country. Bruce very humbly accepted the award explaining, "I have just done what I thought needed to be done … like in football, you are only as good as your weakest player so anything you can do to help, lifts us all up." He then threw down the gauntlet to the other winemakers in the room, expressing his desire for the next generation to continue this work."

Tom Ward concluded by saying, "I look forward to the year ahead and am optimistic that we have an industry that is heading forward. I will leave you with some numbers to support that optimism; shipments from NSW-based wine exporters increased by 8% to $487 million in the 12 months ended September 2016.  This represented additional revenues of $35 million over the year."

List of 2016 NSW Wine Awards Trophies:

Trophy for Best Young Riesling ~ Colmar Estate 2016 Block 6 Riesling (Orange)

Trophy for Best Young Semillon ~ First Creek 2016 SV Murphys Semillon (Hunter)

Trophy for Best Young Sauvignon Blanc ~ Brangayne of Orange 2015 Sauvignon Blanc (Orange)

Trophy for Best Young Chardonnay ~ First Creek 2014 Winemakers Reserve Chardonnay (Hunter)

Trophy for Best Young White Other Varieties ~ Tulloch Wines 2016 Cellar Door Release Pinot Gris (Orange)

Trophy for Best Mature Dry White ~ Tyrrell's 2009 Vat 1 Semillon (Hunter)

Trophy for Best Light Red ~ Tulloch Wines 2016 Cellar Door Release Sangiovese Rose (Orange)

Trophy for Best Young Pinot Noir ~ Rotherwood Estates 2015 Pinot Noir (Southern Highlands)

Trophy for Best Young Shiraz ~ Windowrie Estate 2015 "The Mill" Shiraz (Central Ranges)

Trophy for Best Young Cabernet Sauvignon ~ Ballinaclash 2015 "Joseph" Cabernet (Hilltops)

Trophy for Best Young Other Red Varieties ~ Tamburlaine 2015 Reserve Malbec (Orange)

Trophy for Best Young Red Blend ~ Pokolbin Estate 2014 "Phoenix" Shiraz Tempranillo (Hunter)

Trophy for Best Mature Red ~ George Wyndham 2009 Black Cluster Shiraz (Hunter)

Award for Best Organic Wine ~ Tamburlaine 2015 Reserve Malbec (Orange)

Trophy for Best Sparkling Wine ~ De Iuliis 2011 Sparkling Chardonnay (Hunter)

Trophy for Best Sweet Wine ~ Bunnamagoo 2013 Autumn Semillon (Mudgee)

Trophy Best Dry White of Show ~ Tyrrell's 2009 Vat 1 Semillon (Hunter)

Trophy for Best Dry Red of Show ~ Windowrie Estate 2015 "The Mill" Shiraz (Central Ranges)

Pier One Sydney Harbour 2016 NSW Wine of the Year ~ Windowrie Estate 2015 "The Mill" Shiraz

Thursday 27 October 2016

Blossom Hill’s 2015 Rosé

ONE TO NOTE:  ROSÉ is a wine we more-usually think of for enjoyment in our warmer months, one to put on the table under a summer's sun and share with family and friends over seafoods and salads, or maybe pork sausages off the barbie…

But rosé is equally for enjoying in our colder months as well, and both with main courses and desserts – for mains it's hard to beat a good one with Thai chicken in a coconut curry sauce, and for desserts to share with warm winter fruit tarts and pies.

One that's ideal for such occasions is Blossom Hill's 2015 Rosé that absolutely bursts with juicy fruit flavours – think lush and vibrant fresh-picked strawberries, cherries and watermelon – and which makes it perfect with those wintertime main and dessert suggestions. And the more so with its price tag of just $13.

[] ROSÉ equally enjoyable with wintertime mains like Thai chicken in a coconut curry sauce, or desserts of warm fruit tarts and pies.


St Huberts Wines 2016 The Stag Chardonnay - Yarra Valley

David Ellis

ACCORDING to company history, St Huberts Wines that was one of the first wineries in the Yarra Valley in 1862, was named after the Patron Saint of the Hunt, a 7th century English nobleman who turned a life of pleasures to one of helping the needy after confronting a magnificent stag between whose antlers hung a hauntingly shiny Cross…

And, the company adds, while the winery's founder was a Mr de Castella whose first name also just happened to be Hubert, he chose to name his winery after the Patron Saint and not simply Hubert after himself. By the late 1800s it had grown to be the largest winery in the Yarra Valley, but after WWI and then the Great Depression it was turned to more-profitable dairying, which continued until the Yarra rose to wine prominence once more in the 1960s, with St Huberts again a pioneer.

Today this premium cool-climate maker is hailed world-wide, and a new label it's just released and appropriately named The Stag, is fast winning praise from all quarters. Try in particular the 2016 The Stag Chardonnay that's all wonderfully vibrant citrus and pear flavours, lively acidity and with a mouth-pleasing freshness… at just $20 it's a really great drop to simply enjoy on its own, or to pair-up with salmon fish cakes.

[] NEW label from a Yarra Valley winery whose history goes back to 1862.


Mr Mick 2016 Rosé - Clare Valley

ONE TO NOTE: TIM Adams and Brett Schutz, winemakers at the Clare Valley's Mr Mick Wines, have released a 2016 Rosé that Mr Mick himself (the late and legendary Mick Knappstein who had a great passion for Rosé,) would be more than delighted with.

Because this one's been made in the style Mick Knappstein enthused over – fresh, easy-drinking and in his words "for everyone to enjoy." And particularly so with food, yet at the same time also being a great drop to enjoy on its own as an aperitif.

With subtle apple, raspberry and strawberry fruit flavours and nice fresh acidity, this is a Rosé that will go perfectly with Asian dishes, or any other foods with a little spiciness. Pay $17, and while enjoying this one raise your glass to the late Mr Mick.

[] A ROSÉ made equally for enjoyment with food, or on its own as an aperitif.

Monday 24 October 2016

Pepperjack 2015 Barossa Shiraz

ONE TO NOTE: ALTHOUGH launched only in 1996, the Barossa Valley's Pepperjack Wines have amassed an extraordinary following of devotees to their bold, rich and vibrant reds that are made purely with steak lovers in mind.

And while still young, they've heritage in being part of Saltram Wines that was founded in the Barossa 157 years ago by English immigrant William Salter and his son Edward, with an initial 4ha of Shiraz, and their cellar simply a hole in a hillside.

A just-released Pepperjack 2015 Barossa Shiraz is all concentrated layers of blackberry, blue fruits and oak, nicely balanced with soft tannins for absolute full-on flavour; and at $30 it's made to enjoy with just one thing, your favourite steak.

[] FROM the Barossa Valley, this one's made with just one thing in mind, your favourite steak.


Logan 2015 Chardonnay - Orange NSW

David Ellis

PETER LOGAN has been making Chardonnay at his Logan Wines at Orange in the NSW Central West for some nineteen years now, yet he still muses over whether he's got it as perfect as has been his goal.

"In fact I'm not sure that gaol will ever be reached," says Peter, "even though every year we continue to evolve this wine towards an even better place." And that includes as a sideline to that continuing evolution, now achieving exceptional sales not just here in Australia, but throughout Asia and in northern Europe as well.

Made from cold climate fruit (his vineyards are some 970m above sea level,) Logan Chardonnay has always been a wine of elegance and sophistication, and with his latest, now- available 2015, Peter strove to create a drop that would be "elegant but not anaemic, savoury with a touch of fruit, and having minerality with texture."

And beautifully balanced, it boasts a nice mix of subtle fruit flavours, plus a touch of almond, on a mineral palate with a gentle smoothness to it. And while it spent some time in oak prior to bottling, this has not overpowered the wine's fruit characters.

Pay $25 and enjoy it with shellfish, a seafood pie or chicken terrine. Is that perfect?


[] PERFECT match, Chardonnay and shellfish, or a chicken terrine if you aren't into seafoods.

for week beginning 24 October 2016 

Monday 17 October 2016

Cape Jaffa Samphire Chardonnay blend - South Australia Limestone Coast

CERTAINLY different and interesting,
it's a white that was made as if it was a red.


David Ellis

IF you've a sense for adventure in your pursuit of wine drinking enjoyment, a particularly intriguing drop to search out was released just recently under a Samphire label by Cape Jaffa Winery on South Australia's Limestone Coast.

Interesting because while predominantly Chardonnay with a little Gewurztraminer and Viognier, this one was made more like it was a red than a white, including not only unusually fermenting the fruit on skins, but doing so for six months… something that its makers Derek and Anna Hooper say "called for courage and patience."

The Hooper's were inspired to create this unique wine after seeing such drops on a visit to Georgia in Europe, and took a largely traditional Eastern European approach to its making on their return home. That effort has rewarded them well, as this is a lovely medium to full bodied wine with lots of mouth-feel and a relatively soft finish.

And with its suggestions of tropical fruit flavours it's also a white you can match up with foods normally paired with reds, Derek and Anna suggesting maybe duck that's not too spicy, a chicken liver parfait, or a rich stock-based lobster bisque. Pay $29, and if you've any problems locating it check out


Monday 10 October 2016

2013 Tim Adams Shiraz - Clare Valley

HERE'S the drop if you like
your reds big and hearty.

ONE TO NOTE: IF you like your reds big and hearty, one to grab (or maybe two or three) is the just-released 2013 Tim Adams Shiraz.

A blend of fruit off three Clare Valley vineyards, this is a gutsy drop that leads on the palate with blackberry and mulberry fruit flavours, some spiciness and hints of mint, and a strong reminder that it spent twenty-four months maturing in American oak.

And surprisingly it's just $25 to enjoy now, or to tuck away in the cellar to around the mid-2020's. If you're going to buy and drink now, match it with a good steak, or with hearty kangaroo or venison dishes.


Wolf Blass 2015 Yellow Label Chardonnay

FROM South Australia and consistently
fruit driven and full-on in flavour.


David Ellis

IT'S over forty years now that Yellow Label has been at the heart of winemaking at Wolf Blass wines, delivering to buyers a range of wines from South Australia that are consistently fruit driven and full-on in flavour.

And amongst latest releases is a 2015 Chardonnay out of a vintage that started warm and dry, and was followed by much-needed rain and ultimately warm days and relatively cool nights. Then a final burst of heat in late January saw an early and condensed harvest, and as a result more of those wonderfully full on flavour wines.

The 2015 Yellow Label Chardonnay particularly benefited from all this, with loads of stone fruits to the fore and nicely integrated oak, and whilst made with food predominantly in mind, it can be equally enjoyed as a glass or three on its own.

And as well, although best enjoyed young and fresh, some short-term cellaring will see it develop further complexity.

Pay $18 and enjoy this one with what its makers suggest – creamy veal Stroganoff with mushrooms and parsley, or pumpkin ravioli with sage butter sauce.

for week beginning 10 October 2016

Thursday 6 October 2016

Boutique cider producers show off their wares in Melbourne

No fewer than 28 craft cider producers will showcase 112 different ciders at the 2016 Australian Cider Festival to be held in Melbourne on Saturday.

2016 NSW Wine Awards Gold Medals Announced

The finalists of the 2016 Pier One Sydney Harbour NSW Wine Awards have just been revealed, with the talented winemakers of the gold medal winning wines being informed over the long weekend.

This year, (the 21st annual NSW Wine Awards) sees 10 of the State's wine regions raising a glass in celebration of gold medals; with the following breakdown of top scoring wines…

Canberra District – 3, Central Ranges – 1, Cowra – 1, Hilltops – 3, Hunter Valley – 14, Mudgee – 1, Orange – 8, Riverina – 3, Southern Highlands – 1, Tumbarumba – 1

President of the NSW Wine Industry Association and Awards judge Tom Ward said, "The wines vying for top honours are as diverse as we have ever seen, not just by region but by grape variety and style too. It is really exciting to see wines made to the highest standards from varietals such as Montepulciano, Tempranillo, Pinot Gris and Malbec, as well as the more traditional NSW varieties. We also some outstanding examples in the sparkling and sweet wines."

Please see a full list of the wines competing for trophies below. Preliminary results for all entries can also be accessed at .

The producers of these wines have a lot to be happy about. As well as receiving a 2016 gold medal and now being in the running to receive one of the 19 coveted Trophies - including the ultimate title of '2016 Pier One Sydney Harbour NSW Wine of the Year' - they will also be honoured at a reception at Government House. This event will be hosted by His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret'd).

Earlier this year the Governor of New South Wales made his first purchase of NSW Wine Awards winning wines (from the 2015 Awards), in keeping with his commitment that only wines made in NSW will be served at events held at Government House.

Announcement of the top 2016 Trophy winners will take place on Friday 28 October at the NSW Wine Awards Presentation Lunch at Pier One Sydney Harbour's newly hatted Gantry Restaurant. His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret'd) will also be attending the Presentation Lunch as a guest of the NSW Wine Industry Association.

List of gold-medal-winning Finalists  ~   in alphabetical order only …

Angullong 2016 Pinot Grigio, Orange
Ballinaclash 2015 "Joseph" Cabernet Sauvignon, Hilltops
Cellarmasters 2013 Bin Maturation Bennetts Bonanza Semillon, Hunter Valley
Brangayne of Orange 2015 Sauvignon Blanc, Orange
Bunnamagoo 2013 Autumn Semillon, Mudgee
Burnbrae 2015 Sauvignon Blanc, Orange
Calabria 2015 Private Bin Montepulciano, Riverina
Colmar Estate 2016 Block 6 Riesling, Orange
De Bortoli 2016 Sacred Hill Moscato, Riverina
De Bortoli 2014 Noble One Semillon, Riverina
De Iuliis 2016 Semillon Single Vineyard Love in the Dale, Hunter Valley
De Iuliis 2011 Sparkling Chardonnay, Hunter Valley
Eden Road 2014 'Tumbarumba' Chardonnay, Tumbarumba
First Creek Wines 2014 Winemakers Reserve Chardonnay, Hunter Valley
First Creek Wines 2010 Winemakers Reserve Semillon, Hunter Valley
First Creek Wines 2016 SV Murphys Semillon, Hunter Valley
First Creek Wines 2011 Winemakers Reserve Semillon, Hunter Valley
Four Winds Vineyard 2015 Shiraz, Canberra District
Logan 2014 Cabernet Merlot, Orange
Moppity Vineyards 2015 Escallier Shiraz, Hilltops
Moppity Vineyards 2015 Lock & Key Reserve Tempranillo, Hilltops
Mount Majura Vineyard 2015 Tempranillo, Canberra District
Mount Pleasant 2014 Wines 8 Acres Semillon, Hunter Valley
Nick O'Leary 2015 'Bolaro' Shiraz, Canberra District
Pinnaroo 2014 Vintage Cuvee, Cowra
Pokolbin Estate 2014 "Phoenix" Shiraz Tempranillo, Hunter Valley
Rotherwood 2015 Pinot Noir, Southern Highlands
Silkman Wines 2014 Reserve Shiraz Pinot Noir, Hunter Valley
Tamburlaine Wines 2015 Reserve Malbec, Orange
Tulloch 2016 Cellar Door Release Rose Sangiovese, Orange
Tulloch Wines 2016 Cellar Door Release Pinot Gris, Orange
Tyrrell's 2009 Vat 1 Semillon, Hunter Valley
Tyrrell's 2005 Vat 1 Semillon, Hunter Valley
Tyrrell's 2012 Vat 47 Chardonnay, Hunter Valley
Windowrie 2015 The Mill Shiraz, Central Ranges
Wyndham 2009 Black Cluster Hunter Valley Shiraz, Hunter Valley

Monday 3 October 2016

Squealing Pig 2015 Syrah - Hawke's Bay New Zealand

GREAT match alongside lamb loin
chops topped with a fennel relish.

ONE TO NOTE:  NEW ZEALAND's quirky-named Squealing Pig has released its first ever Syrah, from the 2015 vintage in Hawke's Bay on the east coast of the country's North Island.

The country's oldest wine region dating back to 1851, Hawke's Bay enjoys plenty of sunny days, and a particularly warm 2015 vintage resulted in fruit that year with great concentrations of flavour and ripeness, and resultant wines of wonderful elegance.

Red berries and dark cherry fruit flavours, coupled with dusty tannins in this 2015 Squealing Pig Syrah, make for it being a great match alongside lamb loin chops topped with a fennel relish. Pay $26 at Vintage Cellars.


Logan 2016 Celementine Pinot Gris - NSW Central West

HERE'S a great drop to go with a
charcuterie board or cheese platter.


David Ellis

TO mark the company's 20th vintage, winemaker Peter Logan has released a very special 2016 Pinot Gris from his Logan Wines at Orange in NSW's Central West.

Very special because firstly this wine has an unusual orange hue to it from including the grape skins in the ferment, something that is normally done only with red wines not with whites, and secondly because he's named it Clementine – after little daughter of he and wife Hannah (who is also Logan Wines' General Manager.)

"We named it Clementine because like its namesake this wine has a vibrant spark to it, is a little unorthodox, makes an impression, demands your attention, is pretty, plus it's also complex and it puts a smile on your face," Peter says.

And he says that including the skins in the ferment has given this Pinot Gris a fuller range of complex flavours than normal, a tang on the palate, and a crunchy finish from the tannins released into the wine from the skins.

"The flavours are more savoury than traditional Pinot Gris, and with the tannin cleaning the palate it makes for a great drop with a charcuterie board or cheese platter," Peter adds. And we like it too for its good-value price tag of $23.

 for week beginning 03 October 2016

Saturday 1 October 2016

Australian Sweet Wine Challenge 2016 Results

Saddler’s Creek Wines
2013 Botrytis Semillon


Top Sweet Wines up a Creek with a Trophy for a paddle!

The 11th annual Australian Sweet Wine Challenge (ASWC) presentation dinner was held in Griffith NSW tonight (Friday 30 September) to unveil this year’s top sweet and semi-sweet wines.

As in previous years, the wines competing to get crowned the best within their style came from all over the country and were crafted from a wide range of grape varieties, including Semillon, Sauvignon, Pinot Gris, Viognier, Muscadelle, Taminga, Moscato, Verdelho, Gewurztraminer, Riesling and blends of the former varietals.

The expert panel of judges - led by Chair of Judges, wine journalist, sommelier and consultant, Sophie Otton – agreed that the quality across the board was very high, with 83% of ASWC entrants receiving a medal. Sophie Otton commented, “As ever, there were some superb examples of sweet and semi-sweet wines entered; culminating with an exemplary Museum Wine Class that always serves as a reminder of how glorious these wines can be.”

Despite the diversity on offer at the 2016 ASWC, when push came to shove (by some very narrow margins) it was the Riverina and Semillon which shone on the night, collecting the majority of the Trophies. Sophie said, “This result endorses one of the local strengths, something for which the Riverina region can feel extremely proud: producing Australian benchmarks of a wine style that is not only a labour of love, but extremely difficult to execute well."

The Trophy for Best Sweet Wine with a Fruity Style was won by Saddler’s Creek Wines 2013 Botrytis Semillon from the Riverina. Another local winery, Lillypilly Estate Wines,

claimed the title of Best Sweet Wine from Other Varieties & Blends with their Lillypilly Estate Wines 2015 Noble Blend and the Trophy for Best Mature Sweet Wine went to the

De Bortoli Wines 2008 Noble One.

And the ultimate title of 2016 Australian Sweet Wine of the Year went to … Saddler’s Creek Wines 2013 Botrytis Semillon, Riverina

Sophie Otton said of the winning wine, “A deserving winner. This wine showed all the attributes one hopes to find in these wines and here every element was on song; freshness, complexity, richness and intensity.”

So experience the sweeter side of life this year with wines from the 2016 Australian Sweet Wine Challenge. Beautiful things really do come in little packages!

  • Best Sweet, Floral Style ~ Brown Brothers 2013 Patricia Noble Riesling, King Valley
  • Best Sweet, Fruity Style ~ Saddler’s Creek Wines 2013 Botrytis Semillon, Riverina
  • Best Sweet, Other Varieties & Blends ~ Lillypilly Estate Wines 2015 Noble Blend, Riverina
  • Best Museum Wine ~ De Bortoli Wines 2008 Noble One, Riverina
  • 2016 Australian Sweet Wine of the Year ~ Saddler’s Creek Wines 2013 Botrytis Semillon

The 2016 Riverina Wine Show results

Best Still Wine of Show
- the Ian Bicego Trophy
Tempus Two 2015 Pewter Poppy’s Block
Chardonnay (Hunter Valley)
The 2016 Riverina Wine Show results were announced tonight at a gala dinner in Griffith NSW (Friday 30th September). This is the 42nd time this annual wine show has been successfully held in the Riverina but this year saw a first with the presentation of two shows within one: the inaugural Riverina GI Wine Show - with entries limited to wines from the Riverina Geographical Indication (GI), and the Riverina Wine Show Open Classes - open to wines from all across Australia.

The new Riverina GI Wine Show was designed to throw the spotlight on the provenance of wine produced in the Riverina and give the local wine industry a new forum where they can celebrate the diversity of the Riverina and highlight the specific character and qualities of the wines produced there. And this first year seems to have fulfilled all those aims with a panel of judges - headed by wine journalist, sommelier and consultant Sophie Otton – expertly critiquing their way through strong entry numbers spread across 11 different wine classes of wines made from Riverina fruit.

The Durif class was as hotly contested as ever, with judges commenting on it being an “excellent class – good fruit, good colour and good concentration. Good winemaking, full stop!” In the end theMcWilliam's Wines Hanwood ‘1913’ Durif narrowly won top marks to claim the Best Durif Trophy for the 3rd year in a row.

The judges were also delighted to see such diversity and high-quality amongst the Riverina GI ‘Dry Red, Other Varieties & Blends’ class, with expressive and skilfully crafted examples of Touriga, Montepulciano, Petit Verdot and Lagrein all made locally.

Chair of Judges Sophie Otton said, “Each and every wine skilfully expressed its individuality and varietal character. It was difficult to choose between them.” And it was a wine within this class that ultimately won the title of Best Still Wine from Riverina Fruit – the McWilliam's Wines 2015 Hanwood ‘1913’ Touriga.

Unsurprisingly, McWilliam’s Wines also then went on to claim the Trophy for Most Successful Exhibitor of Riverina Still Wines.

The continuation of the Riverina Wine Show Open Classes recognises the broader national interests of Riverina’s winemakers who draw grapes from every State, except Queensland, and produce one in every four glasses of Australian wine! President of the RWS Les Worland explains, “The Riverina Wine Show has been supporting Australian winemakers for the last 42 years and will continue to do so. Not only does it accommodate the fact that many of our local wineries draw fruit from outside the Riverina but it also provides a forum for other blends and non-regional wines. It is also unique in that it is the only wine show to showcase ‘popular premium wines’; those wines which have a large production run and are therefore widely available to the general public.”

In this part of the awards presentation, the big winners of the night were the Pfeiffer Wines NV Grand Rutherglen Muscat that won the Best Fortified Wine Trophy, the Mount Pleasant Wines 2009 Elizabeth Semillon that claimed the Best Popular Premium White Wine Trophy, the Casella Family Brands 2015 Young Brute Shiraz that was awarded the Best Popular Premium Red Wine Trophy and the Tempus Two 2015 Pewter Poppy’s Block Chardonnay that won the ultimate title of Best Still Wine of Show.

Sophie Otton said, “The Tempus Two exemplifies the state of play with Australian chardonnay; refined, gently complex, with balance and finesse.”

Commenting on other wine styles to look out for in 2016/2017, Sophie commented, “While the strength of the traditional varieties was impressive, it was so good to see our winemakers’ excel with the utterly engaging lesser-known varieties.”

For a full list of all Trophy winners please see below.

The results have been announced just in time for the unWINEd in the Riverina festival, which will be held around the towns of Griffith, Leeton, Yenda, Bilbul, Hanwood and Tharbogang over the October long weekend; celebrate what the Riverina wine region has to offer with plenty of delicious wine tastings and cuisine, live music and plenty of other events.

Trophy winning wines at the 2016 Riverina Wine Show:

1] Best Riverina Shiraz – The Sean Hampel Award
Nugan Estate 2015 3rd Generation Shiraz (Riverina)
2] Best Riverina Durif
McWilliam’s Wines 2014 Hanwood ‘1913’ Durif (Riverina)
3] Best Semillon (open class) - sponsored by Braid Logistics Australia
Coolangatta Estate 2009 Wollstonecraft Semillon (Shoalhaven)
4] Best Chardonnay (open class) – sponsored by Orora
Tempus Two 2015 Pewter Poppy’s Block Chardonnay (Hunter Valley)
5] Best Dry White, other varieties & blends (open class)
McGuigan 2015 Shortlist Riesling (Eden Valley)
6] Best Shiraz (open class) – sponsored by Multicolour Labels
Moppity Vineyards 2015 Reserve Shiraz (Hilltops)
7] Best Cabernet Sauvignon (open class) - sponsored by Patrick Portlink
Calabria Family Wines 2015 The Seafarer Cabernet Sauvignon (SE Australia)
8] Best Dry Red, other varieties & blends (open class)
Santolin Wines 2015 Syme on Yarra Vineyard Pinot Noir (Yarra Valley)
9] Best Fortified (open class) – sponsored by Tarac Technologies
Pfeiffer Wines NV Grand Rutherglen Muscat (Rutherglen)

And the “Best of…” Trophies went to:

10] Best Still Wine from Riverina Fruit - sponsored by the Wine Grapes Marketing Board
McWilliam's Wines 2015 Hanwood ‘1913’ Touriga (Riverina)
11] Best Still Wine of Show - the Ian Bicego Trophy
Tempus Two 2015 Pewter Poppy’s Block Chardonnay (Hunter Valley)
12] Best Popular Premium White Wine
Mount Pleasant Wines 2009 Elizabeth Semillon (Hunter Valley)
13] Best Popular Premium Red Wine – sponsored by Oak Solutions Group
Casella Family Brands 2015 Young Brute Shiraz Cabernet (Limestone Coast)

Special Awards:

Most Successful Exhibitor of Riverina Still Wines - sponsored by A & G McWilliam’s Wines

Most Successful Exhibitor - sponsored by the Port of Melbourne

Jointly awarded to: McWilliam’s Wines and Australian Vintage Ltd

Growers Excellence Award – sponsored by Wine grapes marketing Board

Ruth Sutherland