David Morris, of Morris Wines, Rutherglen, again acted as Chairman of Judges. David has been Chief Judge for 19 years and often takes this opportunity to enjoy the treasures of the South Coast and Southern Highlands with his family each year. He has become quite the wine ambassador for the region. David acknowledged major show sponsors, Hazcorp and Bawley Liquor Barn, and the generosity of the other sponsors for their support of the Show over many years.
While entries remained similar to last year, it was pleasing to see several new wineries entering the Show.
The venue at the Mollymook Beach Side Golf Club has to be the most spectacular venue for any wine show worldwide, especially this year, with a wild surf pounding the shore in the background as judges concentrated on the wines.
The judging team, David Morris, Deb Pearce-Pratt, Wine Writer & Editor, and Nick O’Leary, of O’Leary Wines, Canberra gave high praise for the overall quality of the wines which were accordingly rewarded with a high strike rate of medals. There were:
- 9 Gold,
- 12 Silver, and
- 36 Bronze.
A success rate of 60% medals across a wide range: Sparkling wines, Pinot Gris, Semillon, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Rosé, Shiraz, Tannat and Nebbiolo were all recognised with awards.
Judging at the Show demonstrated that buyers can confidently purchase and recommend wines from the Shoalhaven Coast and Southern Highlands regions.
This year judges decided to use a 20/60 point system, where each wine is individually judged out of 20 points; medals were awarded from a potential 60 points. That is, the agreed and much discussed “totalled score” of the three judges’ individual points.
While standout wines are awarded medals within the judging system, most judges and wine reviewers hold the view that a point score of 40 and above for a wine shows that it is without significant faults and a 40 point wine is likely to be a drinkable wine; perhaps demonstrating a “dip” in bottle development at the time of tasting.
This year the winemakers entering the show were able to enter wines made from grapes grown outside the area and were acknowledged for their winemaking skills.
In summary: the dry white classes were the strongest section of the show with nine gold medals awarded.
The Sauvignon Blanc, Verdelho and Chardonnay Classes were well made, good commercial easy drinking style wines.
Semillon and Riesling wines were the highlights of the Show, stunning wines of fruit freshness, flavour and balance. The judges were unanimous in their request to wine makers to keep up the good work. The Semillons in particular are of international gold medal standard demonstrating the quality of wine that can be produced from grapes grown in the region.
The Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc classes were generally strong with good examples rewarded with silver medals.
Rosé was a strong class with two Silver medals awarded to very different styles of wine showing the diversity of wine that is possible in this category of wine. The judges were enthusiastic about both styles being excellent drinking in different settings.
The Dry Red classes of Cabernet Sauvignon, Chambourcin and Pinot Noir with some quality commercial wines being awarded medals with non-medal wines being well made simply needing more fruit freshness, perhaps representing a seasonal influence.
The Shiraz Class was a strong class with nearly 70% of wines in the class awarded medals. All wines were fruit driven styles of wine that the South Coast Region does particularly well.
The “Other Dry Red Varieties” Class was a highlight of the Show with different grape varieties being awarded medals, a gold medal to a Cabernet Franc (which one usually sees blended with other varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon) and strong Silvers awarded to Shiraz, Nebbiolo, Merlot and Tannat varieties.
The Chief Judge and his panel of judges were enthusiastic in congratulating the makers of the award winning wines for their fruit freshness and flavour profile in achieving medal status.
Judges and subcommittee members enjoyed a well-earned dinner at Cupitt’s Winery, admirably hosted by Wally Cupitt, after judging all day. This is an important part of the Show as judges and subcommittee have an opportunity to review winning wines from the previous year while enjoying a relaxed atmosphere.
David Morris also thanked Milton Show Society’s Wine Show subcommittee, of Tim Gregory, Adrian and Rona Farrant, Alan Foreman, John Coburn, Barry Penfold, Peter Owen, John Goggins and John Payne for their effort and support.
Trophies awarded were:
Best Red Wine of Show
18:2 TILBA VALLEY WINES
CABERNET FRANC – ORANGE 2016
Best White wine of Show
5:8 COOLANGATTA ESTATE
SEMILLON – 2017
Best Wine of Show
5:8 COOLANGATTA ESTATE
SEMILLON – 2017
On the Friday evening the Milton Show Society invited the public to come along and try the wines the judges had previously judged.
With background music by Dave Nolan the evening was a stunning success with around 100 people taking the opportunity to enjoy a night of fine wine, local Unicorn cheese with beach and sunset views through the hospitality of the Golf Club. Many compliments were received by the Committee on the high quality of the wines made within the South Coast Region.
- Press release prepared by John Payne and SCWS subcommittee
- Milton, NSW
- 14 February 2018