It was bottoms-up for the Hunter Valley’s Semillon this year after beating Shiraz on a total medal count to be the most successful variety exhibited at the CCL Label Hunter Valley Wine Show, held at Oaks Cypress Lakes Resort in August.
Over the three days of judging, the panel judged 722 wines, with 50 gold, 75 silver, 225 bronze and 21 trophies being awarded to the winning wine producers.
With the Hunter Valley experiencing one of the best vintages on record in 2017, followed by an exceptional 2018 vintage, the week’s judging was a special experience for the panel throughout the tasting, including this year’s international judge, America’s foremost expert on Australian and New Zealand wines, Chuck Hayward.
Chuck said it was fantastic to be invited to judge at this year’s Hunter Valley Wine Show.
“This show is very special as it affords judges the opportunity to taste through many vintages of Semillon, the region’s signature varietal,” Chuck said.
“Once again, it was amazing to witness the grapes ability to maintain such freshness as it ages. It is truly unique in the world of wine.
“Nevertheless, it was Shiraz, Australia’s most popular grape, that shone. The backstory was the great weather conditions in 2017 and 2018 that saw the grapes mature perfectly. The wines showed very well, and it was rewarding to see so many gold medals awarded to these tasty wines.”
The Chair of Judges, Sarah Crowe, said it had been an extremely rewarding week, with gold medals awarded to nineteen different exhibitors, an indication of how strong the competition was at the top end.
She said the 2019 Semillon class showed much promise, despite it still being early in the life of these wines.
“The two-year and older Semillon class (Vintage 2017 to 2009) were stunning, the wines showing great purity of fruit and a youthfulness that seems to defy their age,” she said.
“The museum Semillon class is what every judge wishes for when they come to the Hunter Valley Wine Show and it didn’t disappoint. The intensity of fruit coupled with bottle aged development was rewarded. There were also stunning examples of 2009, 2006 and 2005 showing how remarkable a wine style Hunter Semillon is.”
Hunter Valley Wine Show President, David Flynn, said the show not only displayed the quality of the Hunter region’s wines, but was also a valuable tool for winemakers to gain a valuable industry benchmark.
“Our winemakers have once again demonstrated the excellence the Hunter Valley is so highly regarded for,” David said.
The Hunter Valley Wine Show is considered one of Australia’s oldest wine shows and has been held continuously since 1974.
The annual regional wine show aims to assess and display the quality of wines being produced by the Hunter Valley, with medallists selected through a rigorous testing process.
IMAGE | Hunter Valley Wine Show Lunch 2019 – Photo by Chris Elfes
The Hunter Valley Wine and Tourism Association (HVWTA) is a not-for-profit membership based incorporated body, responsible for destination and wine marketing, advocacy as well as technical and business support for all facets of the Hunter Valley wine and tourism industries from viticulture through to winemaking and tourism/wine promotion.