By Tracey Whooley
THE 42nd Wine Show of Western Australia at Mount Barker earlier this month attracted more than 850 wines from around the State, from 115 producers.
Chief judge Samantha Connew from Tasmania, a highly experienced and respected winemaker, and 2007 International Red Winemaker of the Year, said it was pleasing to see 65 percent of all entries collect awards.
This was 10-15 percent higher than the national average, and with 4.7 percent of entries achieving gold medal status, which she said, reflected the quality of WA wines.
Ms Connew also noted the Chardonnay and Cabernet styles were very strong.
“It was pleasing to see a depth and diversity in the Riesling and Shiraz classes, with the 2018 Shiraz in particular showing a lovely purity of fruit,” she said.
As well as the classical styles, Malbec and Tempranillo were standouts in the reds, along with some exciting new varieties to watch out for, such as the Touriga Nacional.
Within the whites there was a lovely perfumed Alsatian blend and a textured Fiano.
Ms Connew said that quality within the red-blend classes was extremely high among the Bordeaux blends, but the Rhone blends didn’t reveal highlights they had shown previously.
Many Rosés had sacrificed flavour in pursuit of achieving the ‘right’ colour, so were slightly disappointing, with only two of the 50 entries achieving gold.
Singaporean Master of Wine and international wine judge Ying Hsien Tan was chuffed to be invited, calling it “a voyage of discovery” and noting that many of the less well-known labels deserved recognition, due to their world-class quality.
Mr Ying said he had judged at many wine shows around the world and found this one to be the best organised he had been to.
He complemented wine show chairman Rob Diletti and his team of helpers on their seamless coordination of the event, and encouraged producers to try new varieties in our vast and diverse region.
Mr Diletti said that although the wine industry was forever evolving, with wine producers exploring different techniques and varieties, it was important not to lose focus on the wines that do well here.
With the Great Southern continually producing quality wines from many of the smaller, lesser-known labels, the Mt Barker wine show was great for public relations, by providing a continued awareness of what this region can do.
Beginning in 1978 as part of the Mount Barker and Districts Agricultural Show, the Wine Show of Western Australia has grown to become a separate and distinguished event which annually determines the best of WA wines.
From only six classes in 1978 the show has grown to 39 classes and 23 trophies, including the prestigious Shire of Plantagenet trophy for Best Wine of Show, which this year was awarded to the Margaret River winery Xanadu for its 2017 DJL Cabernet Sauvignon.
Xanadu was also awarded the Olavin trophy for Best Red Wine of Show.
The Portavin Integrated Wine Services trophy for Best White Wine of Show went to the Robert Oatley 2019 Signature Series Great Southern Riesling.
It was also awarded the Strike Point trophy for Best White Wine of the Great Southern.
The Winequip trophy for Most Successful Exhibitor processing under 250 tonnes was awarded to Castle Rock Estate, which also won Best Aged Riesling for its 2017 A&W Reserve Riesling.
The Mount Barker Cooperative trophy for Best Red wine of the Great Southern was awarded to Houghton’s Crofters 2017 Shiraz.
Albany CCI trophy for the Most Successful Exhibitor Overall was won by Larry Cherubino Wines.
All Wine Show of Western Australia 2019 results can be found at www.wineshowwa.com. au/info_trophy.aspx