SILKMAN Wines, the small-batch wine venture launched only this year by husband and wife team Shaun Silkman and Liz Jackson, made a brilliant debut in last Friday’s 2014 NSW Wine Awards.
The $35 Silkman 2014 Reserve Semillon won a gold medal and the trophy for the best young semillon, while the Silkman 2013 Semillon won a gold medal.
The annual awards, judged by a panel headed by Hunter-based winemaker PJ Charteris, attracted a record 828 entries from throughout NSW.
The Silkman 2014 semillon’s trophy was one of four claimed by Hunter Valley-based producers.
The other three trophy winners were the $65 McGuigan 2005 Vineyard Select Semillon (best mature dry white), the $24 Bimbadgen Estate 2014 Vermentino (best young other varieties white) and the $33 Orange-sourced Tamburlaine 2014 Organic Reserve Sauvignon Blanc (best organic wine of show).
The pair are key personnel in First Creek Wines, the McDonalds Road, Pokolbin-based company headed by Shaun’s father Greg Silkman. Liz, 36, is chief winemaker at First Creek and Shaun is the head of production and bottling at First Creek.
This year has given the couple more than wine awards – it also brought the birth of a second baby daughter.
HUNTER wines won 16 of the 41 NSW Wine Awards gold medals, with Australian Vintage Ltd claiming four with its best mature dry white trophy-winning McGuigan 2005 Vineyard Select Semillon, McGuigan 2013 and 2014 Bin 9000 semillons and McGuigan 2013 Personal Reserve Chardonnay.
Bimbadgen Estate, in McDonalds Road, Pokolbin, won gold with its best young other varieties white trophy 2014 Hunter Valley Vermentino and its 2013 Signature Semillon.
Other Hunter gold medal wines were: Audrey Wilkinson 2013 Winemaker’s Shiraz; Brokenwood 2009 Latara Vineyard Semillon; De Iuliis 2013 Shiraz; McLeish Estate 2013 Chardonnay; Meerea Park 2005 Alexander Munro Semillon; Andrew Thomas 2014 The OC Semillon; Tinkler’s 2013 School Block Semillon; Tyrrell’s 2014 HVD Semillon.
The NSW Wine of the Year and best shiraz was the $55 Nick O’Leary 2013 Bolaro Shiraz, due for release this month. It is a single-vineyard wine from the Fischer vineyard, east of Murrumbateman.
The O’Leary winery is on the southern escarpment of Lake George near Bungendore and in the 2009 NSW Wine Awards the Nick O’Leary 2009 Shiraz won the best young shiraz trophy.
Other trophy winners were: Mount Majura Vineyard 2014 Canberra Riesling – $27 (best young riesling); Colmar Estate 2014 Orange Sauvignon Blanc – $24 (best young sauvignon blanc); Barwang Wines 2012 1842 Tumbarumba Chardonnay – $35 (best young chardonnay); Calabria Family Wines 2008 Three Bridges Riverina Botrytis Semillon – $25 (best sweet wine); Charles Sturt University 2010 Reserve Tumbarumba Sparkling – $28 (best sparkling wine); Moppity Vineyards Estate 2013 Hilltops Cabernet Sauvignon – $30 (best young cabernet sauvignon); Calabria Family Wines 2013 Riverina Private Bin Saint Macaire – $15 (best young other varieties red); and Nugan Estate 2010 Manuka Grove Vineyard Riverina Durif – $23 (best mature red).
HUNTER Valley Living Legend of Wine Chris Barnes was presented with the Graham Gregory Award for his outstanding commitment and contribution to the NSW wine industry. The award is given annually at the NSW Wine Awards dinner.