The results are in and apparently local winemakers are a “pretty canny lot”.
This is the opinion of Chairman of the Judges for the 2016 Clear Image Hunter Valley Wine Show, PJ Charteris.
“On the first morning tasting the 2016 Semillons there were some real highlights from what was a challenging vintage. To look at wines with purity and clarity varietal characteristics was very, very positive for the region,” he said.
“So that was neat to see straight off the bat.”
In total 59 gold, 108 silver and 208 bronze medals were awarded as well as 24 trophies as part of the celebrations luncheon that took place at the Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley on Friday, August 19.
Show President David Flynn said it was a fantastic result for the Hunter.
“Once again we’ve seen the longevity and quality of our Semillons demonstrated with a 2009 vintage taking out the Best White of Show trophy,” he said.
Mr Flynn also declared the online judging system, a pilot program developed in partnership with the Australian Wine Research Institute, a real success.
“We sought a solution for front end entries through to the database and also online judging through to producing the results. We wanted a system that was integrated and efficient,” he explained.
“Not only did we produce a wine show that was rigorous and meticulous, but having the judges’ scores coming through live to the heads of the panels added another dynamic level to the judging.”
International judge Matt Walls was impressed after his first visit to Australia.
“We do see some Hunter Valley wines in the UK, but not as much as I’d like. “I’ve seen quite a few Semillons and Shiraz, which were very good. It was good to see a few Mediterranean varieties to see what else the Hunter is about.”
Mr Charteris agreed.
“As expected the 2014 Shiraz was a highlight. There were also some well-crafted 2015 reds which again was a challenging vintage,” he said.
“Hunter winemakers are a pretty canny lot. They’re quite good at using the resources they have to bring out a freshness and vibrancy in their wines. “
“There were also some really interesting other varieties, away from the traditional Semillon, Chardonnay, Verdelhos that we’re known for – more of a Mediterranean flair which is great to see,” he said.
Chairman of Hunter Valley Wine and Tourism Association (HVWTA)George Souris said the outstanding results of the show is a great opportunity for the region to showcase itself as a premier wine producing area and promote the Hunter Valley as a dynamic tourism destination.