Tuesday, March 16, 2010

NSW Wine Week – Sydney Cellar Door – Belgravia, Capital Wines, Bidgeebong, Thomas Wines, Brokenwood

The Sydney Cellar Door was a wine tasting with wineries from all over NSW, as part of NSW Wine Week. It was held in Hyde Park on a beautiful Autumn afternoon, and it was great to be able to taste numerous wines from the different wine regions. The highlights were -

Orange2008 Belgravia Apex Chardonnay. I’ve been a fan of Orange Chardonnay for a while now, and this wine just reinforced that view. A wine of elegance that still had good power and thrust on the palate. Lovely fruit, some nuttiness, and a judicious use of oak which happily is becoming commonplace in lots of Australian chardonnay.

CanberraCapital Wines – Was very impressed with their entire range of wines with the standouts being the 2009 Riesling, the 2008 Reserve Shiraz, and the 2008 Reserve Merlot. The Merlot was possibly the best Australian Merlot I have had. Merlot is a variety that generally we have done very poorly in Australia, and as such it was a bit of a revelation to taste a Merlot that not only had beautiful plummy fruit flavours, but also lovely tannin and structure (a rare thing in Australian Merlot). A wine to look out for if you’re after a quality Merlot!

Tumbarumba is a region that I think might one day match the Margaret River in producing Australia’s top Chardonnay. A lot of the Chardonnay fruit from the region has historically been blended into many of the top Australian Chardonnays like Hardy’s Eileen with little recognition for the region. More and more Tumbarumba Chardonnays, however, are now being recognised as being from Tumbarumba and I’m loving what I’m tasting from the region.
Bidgeebong – 2006 Icon Series Tumbarumba Chardonnay – I could drink a lot of this Chardonnay. It’s a Chardonnay with a rich, creamy texture, which nevertheless has a leanness and steeliness which points towards it being a Tumbarumba. Lovely citrus and peach flavours. Could be aged for at least another 5 years though its drinking beautifully now. Great drop!

Hunter Valley – I tried to stay away from the Hunter wineries on the day simply because it’s the NSW wine region I am most familiar with, however I couldn’t resist its offerings in the end . .
2009 Thomas Braemore Semillon – Young Semillon often has little appeal, tasting a bit like water with a squeeze of lemon, and you really need to wait 10 years for it to work its magic. This Semillon, however, has some surprisingly tasty, intense fruit at this stage. It also has great length and acidity which points to a long, long future ahead of it.

2007 Thomas Kiss Shiraz – A darker, more full-bodied shiraz than is often the case in the Hunter. Some lovely lush fruit that nevertheless still has some earthy, savoury flavours that are typical of the region. Very good length.

2007 Brokenwood Graveyard Shiraz – this was the final wine of the day that I tried, and it was for me the wine of the day! A wine of great length, lovely tannins, and wonderful savoury flavours that build in intensity along the palate. If only spending $100+ per bottle was no big deal . . .


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