NSW Top 40 2012 – 90 minutes of top notch wines

October 25, 2012

It started as a simple day, with fresh breathe of wind, sun and trip to work. The excited mounted – because I was heading to the NSW Top 40 Trade Tasting. It’s simple – all wineries that produce wine in New South Wales, Australia submit their what they think is a good example of what they do to be JUDGED. Out of all those…only 40 come in the Top 40. (Funny that…)

And the trophy winners are:

2012 Citibank NSW Wine Awards Trophy Winners

Citibank Wine of the Year – Hungerford Hill 2007 Epic Shiraz (Hunter Valley)

Best Sparkling – Courabyra Wines 2001 “805” Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier (Tumbarumba)
Twit: 01 Courabyra Wines 805 Sparkling – my new friend. $55. A steal! Tumbarumba, my xmas drinking 🙂

Best Young Riesling – Nick O’Leary 2012 Riesling (Canberra District) – personally I think Ravensworth is better but then that’s from over 600 Riesling judged from around Australia, and some Internationals at the International Riesling Challenge, held in Canberra. More on THAT trip later.
Twit: 12 Nick O’Leary Riesling – nose doesn’t quite translate to palate, expect month sweet. Good stuff tho. Go ACT Riesling!

NSW Department of Primary Industries Best Young Semillon – Audrey Wilkinson Vineyard 2012 “The Ridge” Semillon

Twit: 10 Audrey Wilkinson Semillon – plenty of develop drink now, not enough on palate to hook me

Best Young Dry White – Other Varieties – Berton Vineyards 2012 “Metal Label” Vermentino (Riverina)

Twit: 12 Berton Vineyards Vermentino – a good version from the main stream. Floral fruit musk sticks

Longfellows Insurance Best Young Chardonnay – Pepper Tree Wines 2011 “Venus Block” Reserve Chardonnay (Orange)

Twit: 11 Pepper Tree Orange Chardonnay – subtle fresh tropics and citrus. Diverting.

Best Mature Dry White – Audrey Wilkinson Vineyard 2006 Museum Reserve Semillon (Hunter Valley)

Twit: 06 Audrey Wilkinson Museum Semillon – so fresh, good develop, depth, and some good secondary characters. Yum!

Wine Odyssey Best Young Pinot Noir – Tertini Wines 2009 Reserve Pinot Noir (Southern Highlands)

Twit: 09 Tertini Res Pinot – game cherry and match!

AMCOR Stelvin Best Young Shiraz – Tallavera Grove 2011 Shiraz (Hunter Valley)

Twit: 11 Talavera Grove Hunter Shiraz – its playing hide and seek with me. Beguiling. Fruity. Explosive mouthfeel – smooth as a baby’s bottom!

Classic Oak Best Young Dry Red – Other Varieties – Skimstone 2011 Barbera (Mudgee)

Twit: 11 Skimstone Mudgee Barbera – sex. Date tonight? Bring this. That’s the nose, palate is more subtle. Find a bottle and claim it.

CCL Labels Best Mature Dry Red – Hungerford Hill 2007 Epic Shiraz (Hunter Valley)

Twit: 07 Hungerford The Epic Shiraz – just like the name says, epic. Only if you dare, I’d like to sit back now 😉

Best Sweet White – De Bortoli 2008 Deen De Bortoli Botrytis Semillon (Riverina) – now I didn’t try it at the show but I have tried this little beauty earlier – impressive.

My raving twits of the day are in their allocated positions, below are the remainder that filled out the Top 40…and tell you what, I have some favourites!

WHITES

11 Artemis Riesling – curious beast, its warming and refreshing in one. Good texture. Can’t wait for the Pinot, good times.

12 Orange Highland Wines Sauvignon Blanc – easy drink style, no cat pee.

12 Toppers Mountain Gerwurz – musky, turkish delight, smooth and just right.

06 Tyrells HVD Semillon – interesting. Bring food. Go picnic. Bring this

12 Tulloch Vineyrd Select Semillon – grassy. Drinks well

12 Thomas Wines Braemore Semillon – subtle, deeper feelings. More for the connoisseur of good young Sems

12! Thomas Wines OC Semillon – yes yes yes – think when Harry Met Sally scene. No faking

07 Pokolbin Estate Riesling – yes, frm the Hunter. And I don’t knw why they dnt do more of it! Beautiful.

07 McLeish Estate Semillon – I’m raving I haven’t found this before. Has everything I’ve ever wanted in a Sem. Personality, zing, love + sun

11 McLeish Estate Semillon – kiwi? A lively one this, there’s a future and its bright as a spark. Keep an eye out.

10 Leogate Semillon – almost reminds me of watermelon on nose! Another one for a hot date, would stand up to wasabi!

09 Gartleman Semillon – good staple to have on hand, zesty! Austerer style

09 First Creek Reserve Semillon – sings to me in frm the glass and on palate. New winemaker doing big moves!

11 Ascella Chardonnay (biodynamic) – complex, funky w personality and all for $20RRP! Gentle French oak, grab it if ur a Charddy lover!!

REDS

11 de iuliis the stephen – more grwn up sweeter fruit. It wants to be mine. Nice choc hit to the back.

11 de iuliis shiraz – oh my. I’m getting happy, just the way I like it and only $25 RRP! Lovely choc fruit silk and balance

11 Pepper Tree Coquun Hunter Shiraz – almost regal,black cherry finish. Good balance. Drink slowly.

11 Tyrells Hunter Shiraz Cab – more. Perfumed. Eucalypt and mint. Tight tannins.

10 Tyrells Vat 8 Hunter Hilltops Shiraz Cab – phew! – subtle minx

10 Grove Estate Nebiolo – subtle, elegant and a mystery that invites you in for starts and seconds.

08 Logan Cab Merlot – dusky sunset in a glass. Bitey tannin sum alco heat but good fruit

10 Tertini Pinot – more subtle, chalky, needs help with food

What I’m reading…

I’ve recently picked up a habit to read books that were mentioned in other books – recent find

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

It’s proving quite interesting… however, as I haven’t got very far yet I have no comments 🙂 Stay tuned.

Maybe don’t stay tuned – it’s been 3 months and I’ve stalled half way through…

Durif

What is it you find yourself asking?

French native crossing of Petit Syrah and Peloursin, propagated by Dr Durif (I would also name a vine after myself!). In it’s native land of France, it was not considered to be a grape of high quality and you’ll be hard pressed to find it these days.

It is found in USA, notably in California and is labelled under Petite Syrah.

In Australia, Durif found a welcome home in the hot land of Rutherglen, in North-Eastern Victoria. Here it makes inky, ballsy, tannic wines of lionesque magnificence. Recently, Riverina and Riverland have jumped onto the band wagon but have yet to produce anything that I have tried that would give Rutherglen Durif a run for the money.

My love for Durif started fairly early, with plenty of stumbling blocks, with a fairly common question of “what is durif?” from everyone else’s lips. Vintage Cellars was the place, during work hours and an article about a maligned grape that is unloved in it’s native land but that has found a very welcome spot in the land of fortifieds – Rutherglen, Victoria. With a bit of hunting down I tried my first sip, and the love was confirmed – Morris Durif. A two week stint at the Sydney Easter Show helping with the Hunter Valley Wines stand, momentous meetings with like minded Durif-iles and The plan was set, and with just over a year after first sight the trip to the heartland was set!

where_is_rutherglen

Boxing Day, December 26, 2007 – my birthday and graduation present to myself – a trip to Rutherglen, Victoria to taste all that is there to taste, hunting down Durif. A memory of a lifetime. Hottest week in years. New car airconditioning didn’t stand a chance. We baked and sampled, and drank. The joy of Rutherglen for a visitor is that majority of the wineries are really close. One was within a 5 minute walk of the our ‘home’ the Victoria Hotel. Anderson Winery are the producers of the magnificent Cellar Block Durif – cemented me on the spot. There’s simply too much to sample from Durif, surprisingly good whites and reds, and all those stunning fortifieds! Three days, four nights of wine and food like never before.Only regret? Not being able to find Buller Wines – three times! Ended up driving off into the country side and found Pfeiffer Wines. Having had some amazing examples from Buller Wines at home, they are still on the To Do list…

Highlights: Morris of Rutherglen, All Saint’s Estate, Anderson Winery, Campbell Wines, Pfeiffer Wines, Mount Prior, Stanton and Killeen, Valhala and Vintara (Tempranillo and beer).

Confessions of a Durif Tragic by Andrew Sutherland Smith, Winemaker and self confessed Durif Tragic @ Warrabilla Wines, Rutherglen.

“What I really enjoy is the black phase fruit characters that this variety has in abundance. Dark morello cherries, satsuma plum, dark fine chocolate, huge mouthfeel and soft tannins. Trouble is to get those you have to go beyond what is considered normally ripe, 15 Beaume fruit is just the start of these characters..so you’re really looking at wines of 15.5 % alc to be any good…more like 16!”

See full article at http://www.vinodiversity.com/warrabilla-durif.html

Sounds interesting? Think about visiting…I’d take at least a week as 3 days is simply not enough to try it all. Oh, and yeah, bring a driver!
Visitor Info for Rutherglen, Victoria

Cheeky 😉
Rutherglen_has_great_port

2006 Capercaillie The Ghillie, Hunter Valley NSW

14% alc

Grapes: Shiraz/Syrah

Fruit sourced from the exceptional Graham Woodward’s Valley View Vineyard planted in 1972. The wine was bought at the cellar door, which is a must to visit at least once. A combination gallery and cellar door there is a little for everyone. The wines are works of art in the bottle.

The Ghillie is the premium offering from the Capercaillie team. It is a dark, dense red in the glass and incredibly perfumed. There’s the typical Hunter funkiness on the nose, with a promise of richness of dark fruit and maybe even a little spice. Once tasted, the promises were confirmed. This is one consistent beguiling wine that should be enjoyed as slowly as possible over a period of time. Crushed wild cherry stones, cherries, mulberries, with lifted notes of something almost animalistic make this one seductive liquid. Amazing balance, nice tannin and acid integrate well with what would seem high alcohol but that is so well blended one does not notice. (Why did I not get more?!!!!!!)

2005 Kochertalkellerei Ingelfingen

Ingelfingen Kocherberg Schillerwein

QbA Erzeugerabfullung

Wurttemberg

12% alc 250ml

 

Going a little salmon in colour. Lovely and bright. Barnyard and red fruit aromas, that are gentle on the nose. Strawberry concentrate aromas.
Feels almost off dry but still quite dry on the palate. Lovely acidity with relatively intense palate, with the strawberry character following on. A little hint of spice.

2005 Thasos Moscatel de Setubal DOC

Vin doux Naturel

17% alc

Grapes: Moscatel de Setubal

 

Almost amber in colour with orange peel on the nose. This is a light style of dessert wines with pleasantly fresh orange and rancio characters. Reminiscent of fresh Tokay…yummy. This is one fantastic value refreshing dessert wine that should be shared with friends and loved ones.

There’s a certain freshness to it, a sense of fun and carefree lifestyle. Not a typical dessert wine and not a table wine. A wine with personality, verve and style.

2002 Lillypilly Noble Blend

Alc: 12.5%
Grapes: 80% Sauvignon Blanc, 10% Semillon, 5% Muscat of Alexandria, 5% Riesling

I’m not a dessert wine drinker. Rarely would be seen drinking a sticky and it’s a shame as there are some amazing things out there. Topaque (formerly known as tokay), Muscat and Botrytis affected (also Cordon-Cut). It’s a confusing world of techniques that one really doesn’t need to know, just remember your preferred style. Botrytis is more famous style, made popular and mainstream by such heavy weights as Chateau de d’Yquem, France and De Bortoli Noble One, Riverina.
And here comes the age of Lillypilly! (At least I hope so as it so richly deserves the honour!)
Chateau de d’Yquem is a Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc blend affected by the noblest of rots, botrytis cinerea. Noble One is a straight Semillon. Lillypilly is blend of four grapes and for that it does get the extra complexity. It is lusciously sweet, with apricots and lighter honey notes, fresh honeycomb straight from the hive, some citrus notes and amazingly well balanced acidity. Because for me, that’s where the dessert wines fall down hard – too sticky.

I drank a bottle of this without realising. The problem? The bottle ran out.
Do yourself a favour buy some because I definitely will be stocking up on this.

Awards
TROPHY International Sweet Wine Challenge 2011 Griffith
DOUBLE GOLD  5 Nations Wine Challenge 2011 Sydney
GOLD Winewise Small Vigerons Awards 2011 Canberra
GOLD  Mundus Vini, Germany 2011
TOP 100 Sydney International Wine Competition 2011
BLUE GOLD Sydney International Wine Competition 2011
25 Trophies & 28 Gold Medals in all