Sunday, February 14, 2010

Royal Sydney Wine Show

It is not surprising that the judges get it wrong when they need to taste 2300 wines (well, individually they only taste a few hundred). A pleasant enough wine, the 2008 Collector Reserve Shiraz picked up a couple of trophies. It won its class, which had 3 wines in total, and then had to win a taste off against other gold medal winners. This contrasted with other gold medal winners who may have had to compete against 40 other wines in their class and have only come second. No chance for a trophy here. - This is the Australian Show system for you.

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.

Enough said.

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