Wild about the west

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Wine -

THE Houghton Wine Com­pany re­mains the al­most anony­mous cham­pion of both wine qual­ity and value in the Aus­tralian wine industry.

To my sur­prise, I re­cently noted a na­tional wine col­umn by a re­spected Mel­bourne based show judge, re­tailer, jour­nal­ist, and yes, friend, who stated the Yarra Val­ley (just 50 km north­east of him – a bit fur­ther than the Swan Val­ley is for us) is “Aus­tralia’s pre­mier wine re­gion of the mo­ment”.

It must have been a short mo­ment, as he had just re­turned from three se­ri­ous wine events up there. Let us look at the facts. The re­sults are avail­able for five of our seven 2015 na­tional cap­i­tal city wine shows where the judges do not know the wine’s re­gional back­grounds.

WA’s con­tin­u­ing ex­tra­or­di­nary Best of Va­ri­ety tro­phy re­sults, from just 4 per cent of Aus­tralia’s grape crush, are split al­most evenly be­tween the Great South­ern and Mar­garet River.

The west has four of the five best SBS tro­phies: Franklin Tate 2014 (Perth), Bar­wick Es­tate 2014 (Syd­ney), Howard Park Mi­amup 2015 (Ade­laide) and Do­maine Nat­u­ral­iste Vint­ners 2014 (Mel­bourne).

WA gained the Best White Ta­ble Wine, Blends, Houghton Her­itage Blend 2011 (Perth) plus two of the five best SB tro­phies, Brash Vine­yards 2014 (Perth) and Mill­brook 2014(Syd­ney) and two of the five Best Chardon­nay tro­phies Castelli Il Liris 2013 (Perth) and Evans & Tate Red­brook Re­serve 2013 (Ade­laide).

The west coast also gained two of the five Best Shi­raz tro­phies with Houghton Crofters Shi­raz 2013 (Ade­laide) and Houghton’s The Ban­dit Shi­raz 2014 (Bris­bane) and two tro­phies for Best Red Blend in Houghton’s CW Fer­gu­son Caber­net Mer­lot 2013 (Perth) and Houghton’s Red Clas­sic 2013 (Bris­bane).

Added to this is the Best Red Bordeaux Va­ri­etal, again made by Houghton’s, Brook­land Val­ley Caber­net Mer­lot 2012 (Bris­bane) and the Best Dry Red Va­ri­etal tro­phy, Vi­na­ceous Mal­bec 2014 (Perth).

The suc­cess fin­ishes with three of the five Best Caber­net tro­phies awarded to Xanadu Black La­bel 2012 (Syd­ney), Houghton The Ban­dit 2013 (Ade­laide) and the Deep Woods Re­serve 2013 (Mel­bourne).

Against this mass of ev­i­dence “Aus­tralia’s pre­mier wine re­gion of the mo­ment” was awarded just three tro­phies for spe­cific wines – The Best Shi­raz (In­no­cent By­stander) and Chardon­nay (Oakridge) tro­phies in Mel­bourne and Best Other White Va­ri­etal tro­phy (Le­van­tine Hill) in Ade­laide.

The Houghton Ban­dit, Crofters and Clas­sic Ranges are avail­able at be­low $15 and let’s see the Yarra Val­ley match that sort of value.

Houghton vine­yard.

Houghton wine­maker Ross Pam­ment.

With John Jens

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