The British Wine Sommeliers Association have announced the results of their annual tasting of International wines. These are the wines they are recommending to Britain’s top restaurants. Around 100 sommeliers participated on the judging panels with Australian Chardonnays dominating the New World producers, receiving 5 Gold, 7 Silver, 3 Bronze and 8 commendations. (www.sommelierwineawards.com)
The Judges comments on this result included, “interesting to see how Chardonnay styles are evolving. You can still say it’s ‘Australian Chardonnay’, but they are elegant, classy……these wines are genuine alternatives to good Burgundy……
Different to what restaurants expected of this category 20 years ago”.
The Australian Golds went to 2 Tasmanian, 2 Western Australian and I Victorian wines.
Comments about the Nicholson River included, “A unanimous choice for our tasting panel, and ‘a wine of a different level, with great oak use and freshness of fruit, golden apple, pineapple and vanilla notes’, according to team leader Laurent Richet MS, with Tate Catering’s Hamish Anderson noting ‘lemon peel, wax and honey, an old school feel with toast and cream, depth of flavour and generosity’. Agustin Trapero of Avenue found ‘complex ripe mango and mandarins, with white chocolate notes and yoghurt texture’. ‘Huge depth and intensity, such a lovely mouthfiller, fab wine,’ concluded Richard Brooks of Caroline Catering.”
Nicholson River Winery in East Gippsland was established in 1978 has been long known for its Chardonnays and was voted nine times “Victoria’s most popular White Wine” in the 90’s.
Ken Eckersley, the owner/winemaker, said “its always nice to be appreciated for all the hard work that goes into making quality wine. This was a great result for a small winery in a relatively unknown wine region and opens the door into the exclusive restaurant trade in Britain. I’m always telling people that Gippsland produce is World Class. We do rely on outsiders to remind us.
This represents a turn-around for the British, who have seen Australian wine as cheap and inelegant.”