Buongiorno, bonjour and “g’day”! (don't you like how they're all the same thing? ~ who knew Australian vernacular was so cosmopolitan???).

Also, "a good day to you, sir/maam" for our American pals, "Ni Hao" to China, and "Здравствуй" to our Russian comrades, "etcetera etcetera and so forth"... (for Yul Brynner).

It’s your old pal Kit (Christof) Fennessy here. I've been writing this blog with your help for ten years, and there's over a hundred and fifty recipes, restaurant reviews of Australia and around the world, and general gourmet articles in these pages for you to fritter away your idle hours on.

Want to know more about me? Friend me on facebook, follow me on twitter, or even look up my New Yorker cartoons on instagram! NB; different platforms not all food related)

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Now, what's on the bill of fare today?

Thursday, October 18, 2018

2018 Royal Melbourne Wine Awards

Tasting Friday 19th October

I was fortunate enough to gain access to this industry event this morning, which features Australian wines exclusively, awards the Jimmy Watson trophy for best overall wine, and include in this review my pick of the bunch.

Wine maker Frank Butera was my host.  His family run winery Bass River Wineries were skillful enough to garner a silver medal in the Pinot Noir Category.

The wine notes/guide at the door lists 68 pages of wine with up to 49 bottles/types/vintages per page, so there's around 3,200 bottles of wine to try.  Sorry I couldn't cover them all, but the morning was only so long.

Find out the winners and grinners below...

The wines are not listed alphabetically, but by their blind tasting number allocation, and often only the winery is listed... not the actual "brand" of wine that winery might produce.  So forgive me if I get the brand wrong, but the winery will be correct.

Key to the following notes: asterisks (**) and italics mean they got my personal approval.  The first number is the wine's "catalogue" number for the blind tasters, the next title is the exhibitor/winery, then I mention what medal category they won if any, and finally is the judges' tasting score.

Top tasting notes

Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
**5332  Xanadu Wines  Gold  97.0
The overall winner (the Jimmy Watson trophy) was Xanadu wines, with their offering of this Cabernet Sauvignon 2016.  If you like cab sav's, you'll like this; with plenty of soil on the nose and profile, it's meaty and would go with a steak, roast or capricciosa pizza.  I'm more of a pinot guy myself, so I only tried one Cabernet Sauvignon, and this was it.

I visited Xanadu, in Margaret River some years ago.  You can check that visit here... in writing, or see the movie!!

Sparkling, Traditional/Classic Method 9 + months Tirage Age
**1682  House of Arras  Gold  96.0
4621  Domain Chandon Australia   Gold  96.0

Riesling 2018
**9646  Eddystone Point  Gold  96.0  (my pick of the Rieslings)
3556  Peter Lehmann Wines (Wigan Riesling)  Gold  96.0
5179  Caslte Rock Wine trust  Gold  95.0
5641  3drops  Gold  95.0

Pinot Gris/Grigio 2018
** 4287 Raidis Estate  Gold  96.0  (a winner, and an unusual rosé tone for a Pinot Gris, left on the skins and then squashed out the colour... novelty value?)
** 7727  Bay of Fires Gold 95.0 (these guys also killed it, again check out the pinots)
9163  Kirrihill Wines  Gold  95.0

Chardonnay 2017
**8300 Tolpuddle Vineyard  Gold  97.0  (class category winner)
**9559  Shottesbrooke Vineyards    Gold  95.0 (my ABOSLUTE favourite of the day - my hairs stood up on my neck when I smelt it, that good)
**8838  Strategic Link (trading as Montalto Vineyard & Olive Grove)  Gold  95.0  (these guys cleaned up, a new wine maker, check out the pinot section... they get about tewnty mentions)
1542  Giant Steps  Bronze 85.0
5009  Dominique Portet Winery  Gold  95.0
5254  De Bortoli Wines (Riorret... "Terroir backwards, a French joke, and the label's kinda French too)  Gold  95.0
6080  Yabby Lake International  Silver  92.0
6112  Jacob's Creek Wines  Gold 95.0
7766  The Jack Russell Wine Company  Silver  93.0
7870  Brookland Valley  Gold  95.0
7955  Giant Steps  Gold  95.0
9274  Brokenwood Wines  Silver  93.0
9430  Whimwood Estate Wines (Frank's mate)  Silver  91.0

Pinot Noir 2017 & Younger (now we're in my country!!)
**5098  Bay of Fires  Gold  96.0  (again!! – and this one the category winner)
**3445  Strategic Link (again)  Gold  95.0  (a goody)
1632 Paringa Estate  Bronze 89.0
4263  Boomer Creek  Silver 90.0
4435  Frogmore Creek  Gold  95.0
6999  Home Hill  Bronze  89.0  (I liked it... they were ptretty tough judges!)
7388  Oakridge Wines  Gold  95.0
7724 Spring Vale Vineyards  Gold  95.0
78.45  Coldstream Hills  Silver  90.0
8374  Greenstone Vineyards  Gold  96.0 (very trendy)
8726  Gypsy Brewing  Gold  96.0
9367  Frogmore Crekk  Silver  90.0
9425  B Seppelt & Sons  Gold 95.0
9730  Frogmore Creek (again)  Gold  95.0

So there you have it!  Soz I haven't included more on Italy, Rome tasting and the Umbria region and truffles, but they are coming.  This article just seemed more timely/pertinent.  From now, it's me your pal Kit, saying go get 'e.  Avanti!!