Wild about the west
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 winemaker Ross Pamment.