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Strong vintages drive excellent NSW Small Winemaker Show results
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NSW Small Winemakers Show celebrated its 24th year of competition this year. 568 entries were received from 90 small producers that crush a maximum of 500-tonnes annually. The show is not open to any winery that is owned or part-owned by a large wine producer.
More than 45 per cent of wines entered received a medal, the highest-ever percentage recorded at the show. There was an increase in gold medals awarded with more than seven per cent of all entries – up more than two per cent on the previous year achieving a gold medal standard. Almost 10 per cent of entries earned silver and close to 30 per cent claimed bronze.
Gold medal wines came from a broad spread of regions, including the Hunter Valley, Canberra District, Hilltops, South Coast, Mudgee, Orange, Southern Highlands and Riverina.
Mike De Iuliis was the chairman of judges for the second year and reported that Shiraz, Chardonnay and Semillon classes were strong. But he was particularly impressed with the quality of wines across the board, thanks to a couple of excellent NSW vintages.
“It was great to see the increase of medals across the show, which reflects a couple of strong vintages for NSW, particularly the 2015 whites and 2014 reds,” said De Iuliis. “It was also very pleasing to see a good representation of regions across all trophies with the strength of the regions starting to show, such as Hilltops with Cabernet Sauvignon and obviously the Hunter Valley with Semillon.
“The other great thing to see was the attention to detail of winemakers on their alternate varieties, with gold medals awarded to Arneis, Fiano, Gewürztraminer and Tempranillo.”
Mark Watts, NSW Small Winemakers Show committee chairman, expressed his excitement with the results and the medal strike rate this year.
“We’ve had a successful week for the show, with a good number of exhibits this year resulting in some great wines from some great vintages,” said Watts. “The medal strike rate of 46.8% is very exciting, especially with 42 golds being awarded.
“We had good judges this year and what has come out of it all is that some smaller regions have come to the fore, with the likes of Hilltops and Mudgee doing well. The wines showed good complexity this year and the judges were unanimous that it was a well exhibited show.”
Six of the 19 trophies awarded went to wines made in the Hunter Valley, with Hilltops and Canberra District wines winning four trophies each.
The major trophy winners were:
Clear Image Best White Wine of Show
2014 Silkman Reserve Chardonnay (Hunter Valley)
Vintec-Transtherm Best Red Wine of Show
2014 Lerida Estate Lake George Shiraz Viognier (Canberra District)
Winetitles Media Best Boutique White Wine of Show
2015 McKellar Ridge Riesling (Canberra District)
Winetitles Media Best Boutique Red Wine of Show
2014 Chalkers Crossing CC2 Shiraz (Hilltops)