Sunday, February 27, 2011

NSW Wine Festival, part 1

I am not a big fan when it comes to public wine festivals where you taste wine from different wine company booths. The glasses are bad and the pricing is a rip-off, but it has the advantage of not having to travel across a pretty large area, in this case NSW.

The tasting this weekend was quite interesting, actually. On the plus side, there is an enormous range of wines in NSW, and there is new energy to produce good wine. On the minus side, the tasting experiences are still hit and miss and while some wineries produce good individual wines, they have not yet managed to carry this across the range.

Following are my notes from quite selective tastings. First up was First Creek from the Hunter Valley. This new winery is one to watch. The 2009 First Creek Reserve Semillon is very good. It has an excellent lemon fruit and acidity balance and a very linear finish (91 points). On the other hand, I found the 09 Chardonnay too broad (88 points).

Then came Brangayne from Orange. The 2009 Brangayne Reserve Chardonnay was to my liking. The flavour is an attractive mix of stone fruit, mainly apple and peach. The wine is well balanced with a satisfying finish (91 points). The Pinot Noir was not as good. Its red and black cherry fruit was a little thin and the finish not too smooth (87 points).

Eden Road from the Canberra District has had plenty of attention since it won the Jimmy Watson Trophy last year. The 2009 Long Road Chardonnay from Tumbarumba, a well established Chardonnay area, is a cracker. There is concentrated lemon fruit in this wine, balanced by moderate acidity and a fresh finish (92 points). The 2009 Long Road Shiraz is disappointing. This wine is light to medium bodied with broad raspberry flavours, not a typical Australian Shiraz, and probably tasted too warm (86 points).

to be continued...

1 comment:

Sean Mitchell said...

Agree with your thought that it's hard to taste properly at very large events with bad (ie small) glasses, and the general chaos they can bring. I would usually add "small pours" to that list to, though my other bugbear of long opened bottles hopefully wouldn't apply to a special event like this. That all said, I would have liked to have been there :)