Winners of the Hunter Valley Wine Show

PEPPER Tree, Tyrrell’s and Audrey Wilkinson were the stars of the 2013 Hunter Valley Wine Show as trophies and gold medal awards were presented on Friday at the presentation luncheon at Pokolbin.

Pepper Tree, the centrepiece of millionaire geologist and oil exploration company director John Davis’s wine empire, won four trophies, including the Doug Seabrook Trophy for the best dry red of the show.

The Seabrook prize was one of the four trophies claimed by the Pepper Tree 2011 Limited Release Shiraz, which also won the Hector Tulloch Trophy for the best currently available dry red, the James Busby Trophy for the best premium-vintage red and the Elliott Family Trophy for the best two-year-old red.

The Davis family also owns the Hunter’s Briar Ridge and Tallavera Grove operations and vineyards in Wrattonbully, Orange and Coonawarra and notched three gold medals with Pepper Tree wines and one from Briar Ridge.

The Petrie-Drinan Trophy for the best white wine of the show was won by the Audrey Wilkinson 2006 Museum Reserve Semillon, which also collected the Maurice O’Shea Trophy for the best currently available dry white and the McGuigan Family Trophy for the best premium vintage dry white.

Audrey Wilkinson is part of the Agnew wine group, which includes the Poole’s Rock, Cockfighter’s Ghost and Firestick brands, and is headed by Brian Agnew -  a past chairman of the big Moray and Agnew specialist insurance law firm.

Audrey Wilkinson’s three trophies were accompanied by two gold medals and Poole’s Rock took gold with a 2009 semillon.

The Tyrrell’s family wine company won the Singleton Council Trophy for the most successful exhibitor in young wine classes and notched three other trophies and seven gold medals.

The Tyrrell’s Old Vines Chardonnay won the Ed Jouault Trophy for the best one-year-old dry white and the Murray Tyrrell Trophy for the best any-vintage chardonnay.

The Tyrrell’s 2007 HVD Vineyard Semillon won the Tyrrell Family Trophy for the best named vineyard dry white. 

Ace winemaker Andrew Thomas was again among the major winners with his semillons from the veteran viticulturist Ken Braye’s Braemore vineyard in Hermitage Rd, Pokolbin.

The Thomas 2013 Braemore Semillon won the H.J. Lindeman Trophy for the best current-vintage dry white and the Marshall-Flannery Trophy for the best current-vintage semillon.

The 2007 Braemore Semillon and the 2011 Elanay Shiraz brought the Thomas gold tally to three.

  U and I Tinkler won the John Lewis-Newcastle Herald Trophy for the best museum vintage dry red with the Tinkler 2005 U and I Shiraz.

 The Tinkler wine operation is headed by Usher William (Bill) and Kathie Tinkler and brother and sister-in-law Ian and Leonie Tinkler. 

The wine was made by Bill and Kathie Tinkler’s son Usher, who is the sixth generation of his family to be involved in the Hunter wine industry. 

The Tempus Two 2003 Copper Zenith Semillon won the Graham Gregory Trophy for best museum vintage dry white.

Tulloch Wines claimed the Iain Riggs Wines of Provenance Award, which requires entrants to submit three different vintages of the same labelled wine, covering a vintage spread of at least 10 years with one wine being 2009 vintage or younger.

Bill and Vicki Widin’s 1693 Broke Rd, Pokolbin, Leogate winery had dual trophy success with the Leogate Estate 2011 Western Slopes Shiraz.

 The wine won the Len Evans Trophy for the best named vineyard wine of the show and the Drayton Family Trophy for the best named vineyard dry red.

The Windins, long-time wine enthusiasts who own the 5870-hectare Middlebrook Park Black Angus cattle stud at South Tamworth, took the plunge into Hunter winemaking in 2007 and 2008 when they bought the two sections of what was the former Rothbury Estate Brokenback vineyard, at Broke Rd, Pokolbin.

Other trophy winners were:

Two Rivers 2013 Hidden Hive Verdelho (Jay Tulloch Trophy)

Mount Eyre 2013 Three Ponds Fiano (best any-vintage alternate white varieties trophy)

Margan 2011 Limited Release Barbera (best any-vintage alternate red varieties trophy)

Margan 2011 Botrytis Semillon (Doug Galbraith Trophy for premium vintage sweet white)

Drayton’s Non-Vintage Heritage Vines Verdelho (Trevor Drayton Trophy for best premium vintage fortified

The show, which was judged this week at Singleton Army Infantry Centre attracted 730 entries from 78 large and small Hunter producers.

Find out the prices and where to buy 2013 Hunter Valley Wine Show trophy and gold medal wines in next Wednesday’s Good Taste Wine column.

Pepper Tree owner John Davis after winning The Hector Tulloch Trophy for best dry red wine. Picture: Peter Stoop

Pepper Tree owner John Davis after winning The Hector Tulloch Trophy for best dry red wine. Picture: Peter Stoop