The 2019 Official Royal Adelaide Wine Show Dozen - Mixed
Five, yes FIVE Trophy winning wines in this dozen. Let’s highlight those first, shall we? Purple Hands Old Vine Grenache from the Barossa has been one of our favourites around the office for years now and we are thrilled that the 2018 vintage has taken the Top Gold and Trophy for Best Grenache or Grenache Blend. Anise, raspberry and baking spices on the nose with some firm tannins and a dry, long finish. From the Frankland River wine region in WA comes the Ferngrove Black Label Malbec 2018, which took out the Top Gold and Trophy for Best Other Varietal Red. Inky black and blue fruits and a lovely purple hue combine blackberry, plum and some lifted spice. Malbec is a favourite in the WD office and this one will make its way onto MANY staff orders! Dowie Doole’s 2019 Rosé from the McLaren Vale took out the Trophy for Best Rosé and of course, the Top Gold along the way. It is a delightfully fresh blend of 87% Grenache and 13% Vermentino. You should expect to see strawberry, pink grapefruit, brine and orange zest. Definitely a favourite for the Summer to come! Another Trophy winner is the stunning Wicks Estate Pamela Sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir 2013 which took the trophy for Best Sparkling Wine in Show, beating out many big names including Arras, Chandon, Taltarni and many more. It spent an impressive four years on lees to develop a rich mouthfeel and texture to show warm brioche and crunchy green apple. The only White trophy in the dozen is from WA’s premier wine region, Margaret River. Deep Woods 'Ivory' Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2019 took out the trophy for Best Dry White Blend this year. This popular White blend shows trademark lemon blossom and passionfruit along with some lovely citrus acidity. While we are at Deep Woods, we had better also highlight their Gold Medal winner, Deep Woods 'Ebony' Cabernet Shiraz 2017. It has some lovely rich black fruit and great depth of flavour and firm acidity. Two winners from the Deep Woods entry level wines is a big tip of the hat indeed!
Moving onto the other Gold Medal winners, we have the plush and polished, Ringbolt Margaret River Cabernet 2018, which took out Top Gold. Trademark Margaret River cassis and blackberry wash over a pleasing dark chocolate palate, with a fine marriage of quality oak and quality fruit. Willow Bridge Dragonfly Shiraz 2018 from Geographe in WA took out a handy Gold Medal and has also scored a Trophy elsewhere. It is deliciously bright and has plenty of sweet berry and plum flavours that nestle amongst some quality French oak. Turkey Flat is an icon of the Barossa Valley and their Butcher’s Block Shiraz 2018 scored Gold Medal too. Red and blue fruit aplenty with some white pepper to round it off. This would pair sensationally with a hearty beef stew or even a vegetable medley. The Pawn Wine Company El Desperado Red Blend 2018 took out a very impressive Top Gold with their blend of Tempranillo, Sangiovese, Shiraz and Montepulciano, which to us, just screamed “PARTY!!!” There is spice, cherry, sarsparilla, red currant and whisper fine tannins. What pack would be complete without a Coonawarra Cabernet? There has been a lot of focus on the wines from the West, but the Berton Vineyard Reserve Coonawarra Cabernet 2017 took out a Gold Medal and is everything you should expect from a Coonawarra Cabernet. Big, rich and full of dark fruit, tobacco and chocolate. There is also some delicious mint on the nose and plenty of chewy tannin. One for a decade in the cellar, but an equal bet now in a decanter. The final wine in the dozen impressed everyone. Henschke Peggy’s Hill Riesling 2019 took out the Top Gold for Riesling and rightfully so! Lime juice, white flower, green apple, citrus blossom and jasmine explodes onto the palate with some pure acidity. The kind of class you would expect from Henschke.
For the eleventh consecutive year, www.winedirect.com.au are delighted to curate the Official Royal Adelaide Wine Show Dozen. This year we have been able to include a record 5 Trophy winners and 8 Top Gold winners. 2019's Wine Show Dozens showcase superb wines… every single wine has at a minimum scored a Gold Medal... this puts them in the top 6% of all wines judged. Trophy winners this year are:
The Tilbrook Rasheed Trophy for Best Grenache and Best Grenache Blend – Purple Hands Wines Old Vine Grenache 2018
The Karl Seppelt AO Trophy for Best Other Varietal Red – Ferngrove Black Label Malbec 2018
The Piper Alderman Trophy for Best Rosé – Dowie Doole Rosé 2019
The BDO Trophy for Best Dry White Blend – Deep Woods 'Ivory' Margaret River Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2019
The Hurtle and Norman Walker Trophy for Best Sparkling Wine in Show – Wicks Estate 'Pamela' Sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir 2013
2019 saw over 2,500 entries at the Royal Adelaide Wine Show. Every wine being judged is tasted blind, that is, none of the judges know what wines they are tasting other than its variety and vintage. In total 5 judges look at each wine in a class, compare notes, argue and work out which deserve a Gold (less than 1 in 14 score Gold), Silver or Bronze medal, and indeed, nothing at all (about two thirds of all entries score nil, nix, nada). Such is the standard of competition that a lot of very good wines do not even score Bronze.
Where the judges can’t agree on a medal, and if the wine is under consideration for a Gold, they are recalled and tasted at greater length, again blind, by the same judges before being considered for a Gold Medal or consigned to Silver or Bronze. At this point, the Deputy and Chair of Judges look at the finalists and give the nod, or otherwise, to those selections.
Our buyer Matt who has judged 5 times at wine shows, (including twice in Adelaide) reckons the process is “fun, rigorous, tooth staining and fair to each of the wines entered and ensures that if a wine scores even a Bronze medal that it is bloody good.”