Wine of the Year 2016: 2014 Serrat Yarra Valley Shiraz Viognier

 

As the ten-month gestation of the Wine Companion progresses, with a four-month daily grind of tasting 80 wines day in, day out, I become totally immersed in the fabric of current Australian wines and winemaking.

Obviously enough, somewhere in the back of my mind is the task of choosing one wine out of a starting field of the 6283 wines I will have personally tasted at the end of the process, and another 2497 tasted by Campbell Mattinson.

The field auto-selects the slice of 29 table wines scoring 98 points and above. I can’t include fortified wines of Seppeltsfield, Rutherglen and Glenrowan, simply because they would monopolise the award year in, year out.

Last year and this year, a wine jumped out near the end of the tasting schedule with an x-factor that took hold of all my olfactory and cerebral senses. There was no expectation this would happen – indeed it is of the essence that I have no preconceived idea if this mode of selection is used.

Taking this rationale one step further, it’s more likely that sooner or later Campbell and I will somehow come up with a shortlist, taste the wines together, and agree on one wine. Without boring you, the logistics of achieving this in the frantic weeks at the end of the Wine Companion tasting schedule is challenging.

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