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The Hunter’s best on show

While last month saw our athletes competing for medals in Rio, it also saw the wineries of the Hunter Valley going for gold at the Hunter Valley Wine Show. A huge success, the show saw 644 entries from 70 local producers. Of those entries, 59 won gold, 108 silver and 208 bronze.

Among the judges at this prestigious event were Tasting Panellist Nicole Gow and Selector magazine publisher, Paul Diamond, who were both thrilled to have the opportunity to judge alongside local winemakers and others from key interstate regions.

For Nicole, one of the highlights of the show was the fact that it reinforced her long-held belief that alternative varieties have a strong future in the Hunter Valley. “It was great to see the varieties we all know the region does very well like Semillon, Shiraz and Chardonnay, but it was also wonderful to see varieties like Vermentino, Fiano, Barbera and Tempranillo doing well.”

“Wine Selectors has been championing alternative wines from producers like The Little Wine Co, David Hook and Margan for some time now, and they’re finally getting the recognition that their lesser known varieties deserve.”

Paul added that he was also impressed with the rise of the categories outside of the traditional varieties and he also enjoyed how some producers were combining the traditional with the new with blends like Shiraz Tempranillo.

Nicole was also excited to see the Hunter’s first ever trophy for a Rosé. “Overall, it was a really strong class”, she says. “The winning Rosé was made with Shiraz, but there was a mixture of varieties among the wines including Merlot and Sangiovese.”

While the Wine Selectors team has worked hard over the years to build relationships with a huge number of Hunter Valley wineries, there is always someone new to meet. So for Nicole, judging at the show is a fantastic opportunity to discover some fresh faces to add to the Wine Selectors family.

When all the awards had been given out, though, it was one of Australia’s favourite wineries that shone the brightest. The Tyrrell family proved that their passion and dedication never wanes with another 17 gold medals and 10 trophies added to their collection!

The Clear Image Hunter Valley Wine Show 2016 trophy winners were:

Marshall Flannery Trophy for Best Current Semillon: First Creek Wines 2016 Single Vineyard Murphy Semillon

George Wyndham Memorial Trophy for Best Current and One-Year-Old Chardonnay: Tyrrell’s Vineyards 2015 Belford Chardonnay

J.Y. (Jay) Tulloch Trophy for Best Verdelho: Hungerford Hill 2016 Hunter Valley Verdelho

Best Other White Trophy: The Little Wine Company Vermentino 2016

Henry John Lindeman Memorial Trophy for Best Two–Year-Old and Older Chardonnay: Tyrrell’s Vineyards 2013 Vat 47 Chardonnay

Ed Jouault Memorial Trophy for Best One-Year-Old Dry Semillon: Peter Drayton 2015 Semillon

Elliott Family Trophy for Best Two-Year-Old Shiraz: Silkman Wines 2014 Reserve Shiraz

Best Other Red Trophy: Dimbulla Estate 2014 Tempranillo Shiraz

James Busby Memorial Trophy for Best Mature Three-Year-Old and Older Shiraz: Tyrrell’s Vineyards 2013 Vat 9 Shiraz

McGuigan Family Trophy for Best Mature Two-Year–Old and older Semillon: Tyrrell’s Vineyards 2009 Vat 1 Semillon

Trevor Drayton Memorial Trophy for Best Fortified Wine: Drayton Family Wines Heritage Vines Liqueur Verdelho

John Lewis Newcastle Herald Trophy for Best Museum Red Wine: Tyrrell’s Vineyards 2007 Vat 8 Shiraz

Graham Gregory Memorial Trophy for Best Museum White: Tyrrell’s Vineyards 2006 Stevens Semillon

Rosé Trophy for Best Rosé: Australian Vintage Limited – 2016 Tempus Two Copper Series Shiraz Rosé

Hector Tulloch Memorial Trophy for Best Shiraz: Silkman Wines 2014 Reserve Shiraz

Innovative Red Wine Trophy: Margan Family Wines 2011 Breaking Ground Ripasso Shiraz

Maurice O’Shea Memorial Trophy for Best Semillon: Tyrrell’s Vineyards 2009 Vat 1 Semillon

Murray Tyrrell Chardonnay Trophy for Best Chardonnay: Tyrrell’s Vineyards 2013 Vat 47 Chardonnay

Drayton Family Trophy for Best Named Vineyard Red Wine: Lucy’s Run Wines 2014 Shiraz

Tyrrell Family Trophy for Best Named Vineyard White Wine: Meerea Park 2009 Alexander Munro Semillon

Len Evans Trophy for Best Named Vineyard Wine: Lucy’s Run Wines 2014 Shiraz

Petrie-Drinan Trophy for Best White Wine of the Show: Tyrrell’s Vineyards 2009 Vat 1 Semillon

Doug Seabrook Memorial Trophy for Best Red Wine of the Show: Dimbulla Estate 2014 Tempranillo Shiraz

Iain Riggs Wine of Provenance: Tyrrell’s Vineyards Belford Semillon –¬ 2005, 2013, 2016

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Intellectual property
Words by Mark Hughes on 8 Apr 2016
There’s something remarkably special in the hills outside of Canberra. With a truly unique heritage, this ‘thinking person’s wine region’ has taken just four decades to emerge as one of Australia’s premium wine areas. What do you get when two etymologists meet with a biochemist to talk about wine? It almost sounds like the opening line to a joke, but it is in fact a crucial moment in the birth of the Canberra District wine region. In 1970 CSIRO etymologists Dr Edgar Riek and Ken Helm found they had a mutual interest in wine and started up a wine club. Biochemist Dr John Kirk came along to the first meeting. Within a couple of years the three of them had started their own vineyards, and in so doing, began what is recognised today as one of Australia’s most exciting wine regions. In 1971 John planted in Murrumbateman, founding Clonakilla, while Edgar planted on the shore of Lake George for Lake George Winery. Ken set vines not far from John in a tranquil setting now referred to as Helm’s Valley in 1973. Other wine interested folk followed suit, setting up vineyards, including more scientists, helping the Canberra wine region to blossom. These include Lark Hill Winery’s Sue and John Carpenter who have doctorates in statistics and applied mathematics respectively, Dr Roger Harris, who founded Brindabella Hills Winery, and Lerida Estate’s Jim Lumbers, both CSIRO alumni. With so much collective brain power, the Canberra District really is the thinking person’s wine region. It is a unique history and something that truly sets Canberra apart from any other wine region in Australia, perhaps the world. But as Ken, who still mans the cellar door located in a former 19th century schoolhouse at Helm Wines, says, it has been a both a blessing and a hindrance. “Many other wine regions are started by medicos and barristers with high disposal incomes. 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Ken started turning heads with numerous awards for his Riesling, Edgar earned rave reviews for his Pinot Noir, while John won awards for his Clonakilla Shiraz. His son, Tim, who took over as chief winemaker in 1996, made the wine world stand to attention when his Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier won Wine of the Year Award at the New South Wales Wine Awards.Canberra’s Eden Road Winery did likewise when they won the 2009 Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy for best red in the country with their Shiraz. Nowadays, the Canberra District is regarded as one of the best in the country, confirmed by the fact that 75 per cent of the region’s 40 or so wineries have a four star or more rating by esteemed wine critic James Halliday. The lay of the land It is a curious feature of the Canberra wine region that only one winery, Mount Majura, is actually located within the Australian Capital Territory, the others are located north of the city in NSW. 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What's in a label?
Words by Mark Hughes on 19 Aug 2017
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