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Grant Burge Riesling announced top white wine
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Barossa Valley winemaker Grant Burge thinks last night’s win for best white wine at the Royal Melbourne Wine Show for his 2008 Thorn Riesling is a sign of things to come, saying Riesling and Pinot Gris will be the champion wines of the future.
“The win backs up what I have always believed — Riesling is Australia’s best white variety,” Grant said after hearing the announcement.
“I’m very excited about our peers selecting it as not only an outstanding Eden Valley Riesling, but as the show’s best white wine. To be judged as one of the few top wines of the show from hundreds of other wines including Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and all other white varieties — it is a fantastic honour.”
“Sauvignon Blanc has been taken over by New Zealand and Chardonnay has been very popular in the past 15 years and is still the biggest selling category, but it is not as ‘faddish’ as it once was. While fads come and go, quality always rises to the top.”
“What’s fantastic is that I have always believed Riesling is the best variety in Australia. And we have been working hard for a number of years to achieve this result.”
“I think it is a sign of things to come – I believe Riesling and Pinot Gris will be the champion wines in the future.”
Success in Melbourne is further acclaim for the 2008 Thorn Riesling, which has been rated in the top four or five wines in every show it has been entered into. It has been shown three times for two golds, a trophy and also silver in Adelaide.
“It is fantastic for our company and for South Australia’s Eden Valley, which has produced some of the great award winning Rieslings,” said Grant.
“We are incredibly lucky in South Australia to have the country’s two best Riesling producing regions – with Eden Valley in the Barossa and Watervale in the Clare Valley both considered world class.”
The annual Royal Melbourne competition is considered one of the top State shows, alongside Adelaide, Sydney and Canberra and has the best of Australia’s judges, who assessed 3300 wines this year.
The Thorn Riesling is named after the 30 year-old Thorn family vineyard that forms the backbone of this wine and Grant has been buying fruit from the family for three decades.
The 2008 vintage was very early with just below average rainfall throughout the year. The quality produced from the cooler climate vineyards was exceptional with fresh varietal characters very prominent.
Grant says the 2008 Thorn is a delicate wine with aromas of brown lime and subtle lemon and typical Eden Valley floral, spice and mineral characters, showing excellent balance, integration and length.
“It is drinking exceptionally well now and it will also develop further in the cellar for five to ten years. I’d say it’s a perfect choice with fresh natural oysters topped with freshly squeezed lime and lemon juice,” added Grant.
“This success is also a great tribute to our white winemaker David Horne and chief winemaker Craig Stansborough.”
The Royal Melbourne Wine show is recognised within the industry and by the general public as one of Australia’s most prestigious wine shows. It brings together the very best Australian wine makers and producers and is renowned as a benchmark of excellence in wine production.
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