From a challenging 2016 vintage in the Hunter Valley, some standout semillons have emerged, says PJ Charteris, Chairman of the Judges for the 2016 Clear Image Hunter Valley Wine Show.
“On the first morning tasting the 2016 Semillons there were some real highlights from what was a challenging vintage. To look at wines with purity and clarity varietal characteristics was very, very positive for the region,” he said. “So that was neat to see straight off the bat.”
The judges handed out 59 gold, 108 silver and 208 bronze medals at the show, held on Friday 19 August.
“As expected the 2014 shiraz was a highlight. There were also some well-crafted 2015 reds, which again was a challenging vintage," said PJ. "Hunter winemakers are a pretty canny lot. They’re quite good at using the resources they have to bring out a freshness and vibrancy in their wines.
“There were also some really interesting other varieties, away from the traditional semillon, chardonnay, verdelhos that we’re known for – more of a Mediterranean flair which is great to see,” he said.
Read James Halliday's 2016 vintage report, or find his winery reviews and tasting notes below.
2016 Clear Image Hunter Valley Wine Show Trophy Winners
Marshall-Flannery Trophy – Best Current Semillon: First Creek Wines 2016 Single Vineyard Murphy Semillon
George Wyndham Memorial Trophy – Best Current and One-Year-Old Chardonnay: Tyrrell’s Vineyards 2015 Belford Chardonnay
J.Y. (Jay) Tulloch Trophy – Best Verdelho: Hungerford Hill 2016 Hunter Valley Verdelho
Best Other White Trophy: The Little Wine Company Vermentino 2016
Henry John Lindeman Memorial Trophy – Best Two Year-Old and Older Chardonnay - Tyrrell’s Vineyards 2013 Vat 47 Chardonnay
Ed Jouault Memorial Trophy – Best One-Year-Old Dry Semillon: Peter Drayton 2015 Semillon
Elliott Family Trophy – Best Two-Year-Old Shiraz: Silkman Wines 2014 Reserve Shiraz
Best Other Red Trophy: Dimbulla Estate 2014 Tempranillo Shiraz
James Busby Memorial Trophy – Best Mature Three-Year-Old and Older Shiraz: Tyrrell’s Vineyards 2009 Vat 9 Shiraz
McGuigan Family Trophy – Best Mature Two-Year–Old and older Semillon: Tyrrell’s Vineyards 2009 Vat 1 Semillon
Trevor Drayton Memorial Trophy – Best Fortified Wine: Drayton Family Wines Heritage Vines Liqueur
John Lewis Newcastle Herald Trophy – Best Museum Red: Tyrrell’s Vineyards 2007 Vat 8 Shiraz
Graham Gregory Memorial Trophy – Best Museum White: Tyrrell’s Vineyards 2006 Stevens Semillon
Rosé Trophy – Best Rosé: Australian Vintage Limited 2016 Tempus Two Copper Rosé Shiraz
Hector Tulloch Memorial Trophy – Best Shiraz: Silkman Wines 2014 Reserve Shiraz
Innovative Red Wine Trophy: Margan Family Wines 2011 Breaking Ground Ripasso Shiraz
Maurice O’Shea Memorial Trophy – Best Semillon: Tyrrell’s Vineyards 2009 Vat 1 Semillon
Murray Tyrrell Chardonnay Trophy – Best Chardonnay: Tyrrell’s Vineyards 2013 Vat 47 Chardonnay
Drayton Family Trophy – Best Named Vineyard Red Wine: Lucy’s Run 2014 Shiraz
Tyrrell Family Trophy – Best Named Vineyard White Wine: Meerea Park 2009 Alexander Munro Semillon
Len Evans Trophy – Best Named Vineyard Wine: Lucy’s Run 2014 Shiraz
Petrie-Drinan Trophy – Best White Wine of the Show: Tyrrell’s Vineyards 2009 Vat 1 Semillon
Doug Seabrook Memorial Trophy – Best Red Wine of the Show: Dimbulla Estate 2014 Tempranillo Shiraz
Iain Riggs Wine of Provenance: Tyrrell’s Vineyards Belford Semillon – 2005, 2013, 2016
For more from the Hunter Valley, find out why James Halliday named Mount Pleasant Winery of the Year for 2017.