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“World Class Chardy” In Them Thar Hills

By Thursday 2 December 2021September 29th, 2023No Comments

The Adelaide Hills is Chardonnay’s happy place – among others – and that reputation was enhanced today when Penfolds 2020 Bin A Chardonnay was named Best Wine of Show at the 2021 Solitaire Adelaide Hills Wine Show.

The annual awards were handed out at a luncheon at the National Wine Centre.

Chair of judges Toby Barlow says, “Chardonnay often takes home the top trophy, and this wine is a great example of Adelaide Hills regional strength in this varietal.

“A world class wine of great complexity and texture.”

Best Red Wine went to an Italian alternative varietal for the first time ever – Protero 2019 Nebbiolo.

The Protero vineyard was acquired by Steve and Fiona Pannell of SC Pannell in December 2019.

Barlow says, “In select vineyard sites and climates the Adelaide Hills can undoubtedly make great Nebbiolo, but to date it hasn’t received the attention it deserves.

“It’s exciting to see more producers planting Nebbiolo, which hasn’t always been appreciated in shows given its lack of bright red colour, savoury flavour profile and robust tannins.”

Best Producer (fewer than 100 tonnes) went to Golding Wines. Having put their first vintage in bottle with grapes from the family vineyard back in 2002, nearly two decades on, they are producing a portfolio of cool climate traditional Hills varieties, as well as those less typical in Australia, such as Gamay and Savagnin.

Best Producer (over 100 tonnes) went to Paracombe, which was launched in 1983 when Kathy and Paul Drogemuller bought an old dairy farm following the Ash Wednesday bushfires, and now produces a broad portfolio of wines from aromatic whites through to rich, well- balanced reds.

Barlow says, “Judging the Adelaide Hills Wine Show is always a pleasure. It was great to have a diverse judging team comprising experts from different fields, such as hospitality, which brings the food environment perspective.

“As expected, the classics of Chardonnay, Shiraz and Sauvignon Blanc impressed, as well as some stylish Hills sparkling wines.”

Other notable wins include Best Other White going to Golding Wines 2021 Single Vineyard Series La Francesa Savagnin.

The show also saw some of the less familiar producers receive recognition, with Q1908 2021 The Clubhouse Sauvignon Blanc taking home the trophy for Best Sauvignon Blanc and Small Victories Wine Co 2021 Pinot Gris winning the best Pinot Grigio/Gris category.

Best Sparkling went to Mordrelle Wines for its 2015 Blanc de Blancs Chardonnay, which also won Best Single Vineyard wine.

“This year Sauvignon Blanc really shone, as foreseen by the fantastic conditions of the 2021 vintage,” Barlow says.

“It’s great to see so many producers investing significant resources in the grape and upping their game.

“There’s been some clever, intricate winemaking which results in Sauvignon Blancs that are layered, and show how good this variety can be, going above and beyond a commercially appealing fruit-forward wine.

“I was also really impressed with the ‘other white’ class, seeing great examples of wines such as Pecorino, Arneis and Savagnin farmed and made skilfully with respect for expression.

“The Hills is also a regional front-runner in Australian Grüner Veltliner with a stand-alone varietal class in 2021.

“Pleasingly we are also seeing different styles of wine gaining prominence, such as 2021 young drinkable reds.

“The continuation of the Hills pioneering wine movement has led to the emergence of new styles in the show, such as a number of younger, approachable red wines that are great served chilled and offer a totally different drinking experience.”

Barlow says, “The Adelaide Hills has a pioneering history, winemakers and viticulturists that are open to being that little bit more courageous and push boundaries in pursuit of beautiful wine are now seeing the fruits of their labour. It’s a super exciting time for the region, which has had a tough few years, but it is coming out stronger, producing some phenomenal wines that hold the Hills in good stead for the future.”

The Adelaide Hills Wine Show first took place in 1997.

The judging team of 16 industry experts reviewed about 630 wines.

Full trophy list

Vinpac Best Sparkling
Mordrelle Wines 2015 Blanc de Blancs Chardonnay

Prowine Best Riesling
The Lost Watch 2021 Riesling

National Wine Centre Best Sauvignon Blanc
Q1908 2021 The Clubhouse Sauvignon Blanc

Hahn Corporation Best Pinot Gris/Grigio
Small Victories Wine Co 2021 Pinot Gris

The Haus Best Grüner Veltliner
Hahndorf Hill 2021 Gru Grüner Veltliner

Saint Martin Best Chardonnay
Penfolds 2020 Bin A Chardonnay

Lallemand Best Other White
Golding 2021 Single Vineyard Series La Francesa Savagnin

Glass Print Solutions Best Rosé
Wicks Estate 2021 Pinot Rosé

F Miller & Co Best Pinot Noir
Sidewood Estate 2020 Pinot Noir

The Edinburgh Cellars Best Shiraz
The Lane Vineyard 2019 Heritage Shiraz Viognier

Culture Crop Best Other Red
Protero 2019 Nebbiolo

TK Print Best Tempranillo
Mt Bera 2018 Running with the Cows Tempranillo

Tremeaux Cooperage Best Cabernet or Blend
Bendbrook Wines 2018 SL Cabernet Sauvignon

AIG Solutions Best Museum Wine
Pike and Joyce 2016 MT Sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir

Duxton Best Producer <100T
Golding Wines

Hughes Construction Best Producer >100T
Paracombe Wines

Clemens/GJ East Best Single Vineyard
Mordrelle Wines 2015 Blanc de Blancs Chardonnay

Multi Color Corporation Best Wine of Provenance
Deviation Road 2018, 2015, 2011 Loftia Vintage Brut

Langley & Co Best White Wine
Penfolds 2020 Bin A Chardonnay

Orora Beverages Best Red Wine
Protero 2019 Nebbiolo

Solitaire Automotive Group Best Wine of Show
Penfolds 2020 Bin A Chardonnay

AWAC Scholarship
Chris Parsons, Revenir

AWAC Scholarship
Turon White, The Lane Vineyard

Negociants Committee Award
Kate Laurie, Deviation Road

Chanticleer Award for Best Cellar Door Person
Agnes Wyszomirska, The Lane Vineyard

Chanticleer Award for Best Cellar Door
Simon Tolley Wines

Wine Show Judges
Toby Barlow (chair of judges), Treasury Wines
Kerri Thompson, Wines by KT
Glenn Barry, Tonic Wines
Marie Clay, Treasury Wine Estates
Nic Bowen, Howard Park
Andre Bondar, Bondar Wines
Greer Carland, Quiet Mutiny
Trina Smith, Pernod Ricard
Louis Schofield, Hellbound
Sarah Pigeon, Wynns

Associate Judges
Mick Sandercock, Pernod Ricard
Sam Milne, Accolade Wines
Patrick Madden, Mezzanine
Vaite Teriierooitera, David Ridge Wines
Hanying (Violet) Wang, Parade Cellars
Justine Prior, Doreau Australia

Photo: Adelaide Hills Wine Region Facebook page.

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