FROM THE REGION
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.frogmorecreek.com.au. 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.