Wine of the Show was the 2008 Eileen Hardy Chardonnay, a good wine, but with its oak influence and creamy taste hardly typical for recent improvements in Australia.
Some general observations:
-I liked only very few wines, which demonstrated more than anything else the difficulty with the 2007 and 2008 vintages
-Most of Victoria and Tasmania was absent (as usual)
-85% of the wines were left unopened on the tables. Unless you won a gold medal or had a big brand name you did not stand a chance - shows the reality of wine competition today.
The Chardonnays were the most exciting wines by far. My favorite was the 2008 Bay of Fires Chardonnay. Very fresh, beautiful fruit and long finish. It picked up a Gold. I also liked the 2008 Shadowfax Chardonnay.
The Semillons were mostly dull and had too much sweetness, as did the Rieslings. Shirazes and Cabernets lacked individual character, with the Cabernets often green (even 2007 Margaret Rivers disappointed) and the Shirazes cooked.