So as you all know I spent Saturday evening at the Blackwood Valley Wine Show awards ceremony and tasting function. There was quite the selection of wines involved in this year’s show, which was also their 10th year of running the wine show. Judged this year by Tony Devitt from Ashbrook Winery as chief judge, along with Di Miller and Peter Stanlake as the other judges, and David Johnson and Nigel Ludlow as assistant judges. There were 255 different wines entered into this show from 55 different producers, with over 55% of the wines at the show receiving a medal.
Due to having to drive back to Busselton that same night I stuck to sampling only those which won a gold medal along with a few others that caught my eye. From those I tasted the standout wines for me were:
Rockcliffe’s “Third Reef” 2011 Chardonnay (gold)
It was a smooth and pleasant chardonnay which took home the Best Boutique Wine and Best WA White Wine trophies at the show.
Mandoon’s 2012 Sauvignon Blanc (gold)
Had an interesting bouquet which I could not place at the night – I guess I will just have to try and get my hands on a bottle of it in the near future to have another taste!
Harewood Estate’s 2012 Mount Barker Reisling (gold)
It was a dry Reisling which wasn’t too dry for my personal taste and had a lovely refreshing apple bouquet! Will happily try this one again!
Bulter Crest’s 2011 Sauvignon Blanc (gold)
Had elements of limes and passionfruit in both the bouquet and on the palate and was smooth overall!
Firetail’s 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon (gold)
The Cab Sav was oaky and smooth. However there was a slight roughness on the palate which a little maturing/ageing of the wine should do away with hopefully!
Mandoon’s Research Station Reserve 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon (gold)
Again another oaky Cab Sav, which was well balanced and lacking the roughness that the 2011 Cab Sav’s seemed to have. Still was however lacking, a little breathing would have definitely helped this wine along.
Overall the Harewood Reisling and the Mandoon Cab Sav were my favourites of the night, but there was plenty of excellent wines there that I didn’t have the chance to try! The night also gave me the chance to get to know the community and people behind some of these wineries and it was truly an eye opening experience! To realise that the region is still suffering from the GFC and they are predicting to suffer for many more years to come with some wineries not having produced any wine in the last three years due to the lack of exportation opportunities. It was also interesting to discover that many of these wines survive from private sales and the exportation of their products into countries such as Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, and the UK were the more commonly mentioned. This was a point raised by Tony Devitt when he spoke to those attending the event and the uncertainty that the 2013 vintage faces.
Tony Devitt spoke briefly about the wine region of South Western Australia, he spoke of the quality of the grapes being exceptional and that the winemaking techniques needed to be on par with the grapes’ quality to extract the true potential of the region. He also touched upon the need for the boutique wineries in the region to collectively communicate between each other and to the national and global community the high quality and regional variance that Western Australian and in particular South Western Australian wines have to offer, for recognition and success to be achieved.
Overall the night was an interesting introduction into the South Western wine industry and to many new wineries which I hope to get more intimately acquainted with over the summer months! For those who want to see the full list of wines and those who won awards it is published on the Blackwood Valley’s website or can be found by following the links.
Until next time!