Chambers’ tables earn respect
Usually known for its fortified wines, it was Chambers’ table wine section that had judges licking their lips.
The biggest coup was winning the Best Dry White Table Wine trophy – of which truly needs to be earned, indicated by some years not having any winners engraved due to no wine warranting the award.
“Traditionally we’re able to pick up bronze and silvers in the open section table wines, but this is the first time we’ve been able to achieve gold,” Chambers Rosewood Winery winemaker Stephen Chambers told The Free Press.
Chambers Rosewood officially won the trophy for the best Rutherglen white wine in the recent Rutherglen Wine Show at the awards dinner – one of the Australia’s most heavily supported wine shows in the country that allows local growers the opportunity to be compared with wines from across the country.
“It’s a big result because we’re not just up against locals. When you can get yourself in a position where you can be judged and compared unbiasedly it’s really good,” Mr Chambers said.
Mr Chambers used to handle both the fortified and table wines at the Barkly Street winery, before handing over table duties to Andrew McLeod in 2017.
Mr Chambers said he is looking forward to gaining feedback for his wines that were entered.
“It doesn’t matter what awards you get, it’s just handy to know why you got what you got because it gives you something to go from and improve,” he said.
“These shows are always effectively about benchmarking against what else is out there.”
World-class wine judges spent hours on-end from September 18-20 smelling and tasting over 1000 different entries from across Australia.
Each wine is known only by a number – with its region, label and grower completely unknown – and was given a total score out of 60.
Between 46.5 and 50.5 would result in bronze, 51-55 silver and 55.5 and above gold.
Chambers Rosewood ended up receiving three golds overall. They won Bronze for its 2018 Roussanne in Class 107, Top Gold in Class 127(g) for its 2015 Roussanne, Bronze in Class 216(g) for its 2017 Cinsault, Silver in Class 233 for its 2016 Shiraz, Top Gold in Class 237(d) for its 2016 Anton Ruch Shiraz Mondeuse Noire, both Silver and Bronze in Class 431 for two of its 2018 Muscadelle, Silver in Class 432 for its 2017 Muscadelle, Gold in Class 436 for its NV Rare Muscadelle, Bronze in Class 443 for its NV Rutherglen Muscat and Bronze in Class 445 for its NV Grand Muscat.
“We didn’t expect the results,” Mr Chambers admitted.
“We only entered fortified wines originally which is where we usually do well, and not until getting a phone call asking us to enter table wines did we decide to do so.
“Doing really well in the table wines section shows we have a level of consistency and a good standard to now build on, we want to replicate that going forward.
“The fact that we got a medal in the younger red and table wine gives us confidence that other wines we have out there can produce similar qualities if not even better.”
Chambers Rosewood Winery arrived at Rutherglen in 1868 and has been kicking goals ever since, this year celebrating its 160th.
“One of my aims was to improve the quality and consistency of table wines, it’s taken almost 20 years to get it to a standard where people can say ‘yep, these are good wines’.
“It’s the first time we’ve cracked gold, it’s hard like anything else. When running a race you only have to be a fraction off and you’re either first or nothing.
“It’s good to see the work we put in place is pays off.”
Mr Chambers said there were many local wineries that did quite well in the show which “bodes well for the region in the future”.
He also thanked and praised the whole Chambers Rosewood crew, saying it was a massive team effort to be recognised at this year’s show. .
“Everyone plays a different role, there are all sorts of pieces and being a small business it really is a team effort, with everyone having to pull in the same direction. Wine is so reliant on what happens on the outside.”
Campbells Wines from Rutherglen also did well, earning six Bronze wines, one Silver and five Gold.
Chambers Rosewood Winery came away from the 130th wine show with several awards, in its 160th year as one of Rutherglen’s finest wineries.
Andrew McLeod pours Stephen Chambers a glass of wine at the victorious Chambers Rosewood Winery.