ONE of the Hunter’s smallest producers, Colvin vineyard in Ekerts Rd, Pokolbin, last week made a great big impact at the 2018 Hunter Valley Boutique Wine Show at Maitland.
With 6ha of vines and sales of up to 2500 cases a year, the Colvin brand won three trophies, including best white of the show and three gold medals.
It was a haul bettered only by ace winemaker Andrew Thomas, with five gold medals and four trophies, three of which went to his 2017 Elenay Shiraz, judged the show’s best red, the best 2017 shiraz and winning the Dr Ray Healey Trophy awarded by the now-retired veteran show judge.
The show attracted 298 entries from 49 producers and was judged by a panel headed by winemaker Keith Tulloch.
Show awards were presented last Thursday night at a dinner attended by 146 guests at Crown Plaza Hunter Valley.
All the winning Colvin wines, the $45 Colvin 2009 Semillon (best white of show and best open vintage semillon), $30 Colvin 2017 Semillon (best 2017 semillon trophy) and $60 Colvin 2014 Sangiovese (open vintage other red varieties gold), are available on colvinwines.com.au.
The vineyard was established in 1967 by a group that included Frank Margan, a pioneer wine writer and restaurateur and father of top vigneron Andrew Margan. It has been owned since 1993 and upgraded by Sydney lawyer and formerCEO of the Institute of Company Directors John Colvin and his wife Robyn.
The vineyard is managed by Tyrrell’s, which uses the grapes in its own brands. The expert hands of Andrew Spinaze and Mark Richardson, make the Colvin wines at Tyrrell’s winery.
John Colvin is the brother of high-profile Sydney PR consultant Deeta Colvin, who owns the De Beyers Rd, Pokolbin, Mistress vineyard with her husband lawyer, businessman and 2000 Sydney Olympics bid chief Rod McGeoch.
The Thomas 2016 Elenay Shiraz, which is sells at $55 a bottle atthomaswines.com.au and the Mistletoe Lane, Pokolbin, cellar door, won the best 2016 shiraz trophy.
The triple-trophy 2017 Elenay scored a 97-point gold medal in the 2017 shiraz class and the Thomas 2017 Belford Shiraz and 2017 Dam Block Shiraz also won gold in the same class, but the three won’t be released until May 2019.
Andrew’s fifth gold medal came in the open vintage semillon class with the 2013 Cellar Reserve Braemore Semillon, not being released until next September.
Tranquil Vale vineyard won two trophies with its $27 2018 Semillon, taking the best 2018 semillon and Stockhausen Trophy awarded by Hunter legend and show judge Karl. It’s at tranquilvale.com.au and the Pywells Rd, Luskintyre, cellar door.
Founded in 1997 by Phil and Lucy Griffiths, the 8ha Tranquil Vale vineyard and accommodation is run by their budding winemaker daughter Connie and husband Randeep.
Husband and wife winemaking team Susan Frazier and Adam Bell brought an interesting new aspect to the prize list when their $45 Whispering Brook 2017 Basket Pressed Touriga Nacional won the trophy for the best open vintage other red varietal. Susan and Adam took a shine to the Portuguese variety during a visit to Portugal and on their return grafted touriga nacional cuttings onto some of the shiraz vines in their 7.5ha Broke vineyard. The trophy-winning wine is available on whisperingbrook.com and the 165 Rodd St, Broke, cellar door.
Two other husband and wife teams, Denman-based Brett and Linda Keeping, and Hart and Hunter winemakers Damien Stevens and Jodie Belleville, were among the major show winners.
The Keepings continued their run of show successes with a Hunter Boutique trophy and two gold medals for the $26 Two Rivers 2017 Vigneron’s Reserve Chardonnay (best 2017 chardonnay and 96-point gold) and $20 2017 Stones Throw Semillon (2017 semillon gold medal) both on tworivers.com.au and at the Yarrawa Rd, Denman cellar door.
Jodie and Damien claimed two trophies and two gold medals with their $30 Hart and Hunter 2017 Oakey Creek Semillon (best 2017 semillon) and $35 2017 Black Series Shiraz-Pinot Noir (best open vintage red blend), both of which areat the 463 Deasys Rd, Pokolbin, cellar door and on hartandhunter.com.au.
Here are the prices and where to buy the show’s currently available trophy-winning wines:
Andrew Thomas 2016 Elenay Shiraz (best 2016 shiraz trophy) - $55 a bottle at thomaswines.com.au and the Hermitage Rd-Mistletoe Lane, Pokolbin, cellar door, won the trophy for the best 2016 shiraz
Colvin 2009 Semillon - $45 (best white of shoe and best open vintage semillon); Colvin 2017 Semillon (best 2017 semillon trophy) - $30 Colvin 2014 Sangiovese - $60 (open vintage other varieties red gold medal) all available on colvinwines.com.au
Tinklers 2017 Poppys Chardonnay - $35 (best 2017 chardonnay); 2017 Old Vines 1948 Shiraz – $35 and 2017 U and I Shiraz - $45 (gold medals in 2017 shiraz class); 2017 Reserve Semillon - $35 (gold in 2017 semillon class). All at tinklers.com.au and the Pokolbin Mountains Rd cellar door
Tranquil Vale 2018 Semillon -$27 (best 2018 semillon and Karl Stockhausen Trophy awarded by Hunter wine legend and veteran wine judge) at the Pywells Rd, Luskintyre, cellar door and on tranquilvale.com.au
Hart and Hunter 2017 Oakey Creek Semillon - $30 (best 2017 semillon); 2017 Black Series Shiraz-Pinot Noir - $35 (best open vintage red blend) at the 463 Deasys Rd, Pokolbin, cellar door and on hartandhunter.com.au
Saltire Estate 2009 Semillon - $20 (Karl Stockhausen Trophy awarded by Hunter wine legend and veteran wine judge and best open vintage semillon) at saltireestate.com.au
Kelman Vineyard 2017 Chairman’s Reserve Shiraz - $29 (best 2017 shiraz and 97-point gold)
Pokolbin Estate 2011 Reserve Shiraz - $45 (best open vintage shiraz) at the McDonalds Rd, Pokolbin, cellar door and pokolbinestate.com.au
Three Ponds 2018 Semillon - $20 (best 2018 semillon) at mounteyre.com and The Garden Cellars at Hunter Valley Gardens
Two Rivers 2017 Vigneron’s Reserve Chardonnay - $26 (best 2017 chardonnay) and 2017 Stones Throw Semillon $20 (2017 semillon gold medal) both on tworivers.com.au and at the Yarrawa Rd, Denman cellar door and 2018 Stones Throw Semillon (2018 semillon gold medal) for release in the new year
Tintilla Estate 2016 Pebbles Brief Chardonnay - $30 (best open vintage chardonnay) at the 725 Hermitage Rd, Pokolbin, cellar door and tintilla.com.au
Whispering Brook 2017 Basket Pressed Touriga Nacional - $45 (best open vintage other red varietal) on whisperingbrook.com and the 165 Rodd St, Broke, cellar door
RidgeView 2006 Tipple’s Gold Botrytis Semillon - $36.36 (best sweet white wine) and 2009 Generations Reserve Semillon - $36.36 (open vintage semillon gold medal) and 2017 Generations Reserve Semillon - $22.73 (2017 semillon gold medal) at the 273 Sweetwater Rd, Rothbury, cellar door and on ridgeview.com.au
Blueberry Hill 2018 Pinot Noir-Merlot Rosé - $35 (best open vintage rosé) and 2017 Connoisseur Chardonnay - $45 (2017 chardonnay gold medal) both at blueberryhillwines.com and the 999 McDonalds Rd, Pokolbin, cellar door.
MAITLAND SHOW TROPHY
THIS Two Rivers 2017 Vigneron’s Reserve Chardonnay won the boutique show’s best 2017 chardonnay trophy. It’s light gold and has orange blossom scents and elegant white peach front-palate flavour. The middle palate has kiwifruit, pear, mineral and cashew oak and the finish flinty acid. It’s at tworivers.com.au and the Denman cellar door.
DRINK WITH: calamari.
AGEING: eight years.
RATING: 5 stars
A GREAT DROP
EXPENSIVE, but what a superb drop this Katnook 2013 Odyssey Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon is. It has 14.5% alcohol, deep garnet hues, fruitcake aromas and intense, ripe blackberry front-palate flavour. Bramble jelly, licorice, mint chocolate and vanillin oak integrate on the middle palate and the finish shows savoury tannins.
DRINK WITH: beef fillet tornedos.
AGEING: 15 years.
RATING: 5.5 stars (out of 6)
BIG MUDGEE FLAGSHIP
WITH 14.8% alcohol, the Huntington Estate 2016 Tim Stevens Signature Shiraz is owner Tim Stevens’s big Mudgee flagship red - inky purple in the glass, bouquet garni-scented and packed with rich plum front-palate flavour. Morello cherry, briar, dark chocolate and cedary oak display on the middle palate and ferric tannins at the finish.
DRINK WITH: rack of lamb.
AGEING: 12 years.
RATING: 5 stars