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2007 Frog­more Creek Ries­ling THE 2007 Frog­more Creek Ries­ling ($24, 96 points) is an ex­cep­tional wine; in its class it was unan­i­mously pre­ferred over the other gold medals and looked even bet­ter in the var­i­ous tro­phy tas­te­offs. It is one of those wines with vi­brancy and thrust that makes the mouth come alive, the af­ter­taste lin­ger­ing (there is a faint touch of CO spritz) and en­cour­ag­ing the next sip. It is, to all in­tents and pur­poses, dry (cer­tainly the bal­ance is per­fect), as the 2008 FGR Ries­ling ($24, 95 points) is no­tice­ably sweet, yet equally well-bal­anced. Two beau­ti­ful styles, im­mac­u­lately crafted. www.frog­ James Hal­l­i­day gold for its 2007 Chardon­nay. Press­ing Mat­ters, a re­cent ar­rival, owned by se­nior coun­sel and fine wine devo­tee Greg Mel­lick, won golds for its 2008 R69 Ries­ling and 2008 R139 Ries­ling, the lat­ter winning tro­phies for best sweet wine and best 2008 vin­tage wine. (R stands for resid­ual su­gar, the num­bers cor­re­spond­ing to the num­ber of grams of that su­gar in the wine.)

Tas­ma­nian chardon­nay mar­ries del­i­cacy with in­ten­sity, a winning com­bi­na­tion for the usu­ally de­spised un­oaked chardon­nays, as the gold medal for the 2008 Bish­ops Vine­yard demon­strated. Shar­mans 2008 oaked chardon­nay won the only gold medal in the 2008 class, the es­tate vine­yard in a sparsely set­tled (viti­cul­tur­ally) district south­west of Launce­s­ton.

Bass Fine Wine Strait, Frog­more Creek Si­napius and Up­land (the lat­ter two new ven­tures) all won gold medals for their 2007 chardon­nays, span­ning del­i­cate, fine ch­ablis-like, through to full, rich white bur­gundy­like styles.

The largest class in the show was for the 2007 pinot noir, two-thirds of the 56 wines winning medals. The top gold of three went to the highly cre­den­tialled Bar­ring­wood Park Mill Block, the oth­ers to Kelve­don Es­tate and Lau­rel Bank. The 37 wines in the 2006 class won 26 medals (70 per cent) with golds to Cle­mens Hill (which ul­ti­mately won the best pinot noir tro­phy), Fr­eycinet and Ob­ser­va­tory Hill.

More than half the wines in the 17-strong 2005 and older class pinots won medals: golds to 2005 Lau­rel Bank (which won my chair­man’s tro­phy), ’ 05 Bream Creek Re­serve and ’ 05 Ta­mar Ridge Re­serve.


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