Langhorne Creek Wine Show April 2015
I must start this blog by saying it was so good to be back in Langhorne Creek. It was almost a year on since I visited as a guest of Wine Australia on a trade immersion trip. I really resonate with the land and size of the region but more importantly I love the wineries and people behind them. To me this region is quintessentially Australian with huge gum trees and reserves alongside the main road. There is one pub, a shop, a beautiful old town hall and not much more. But with a scattering of cellar doors and Wine House (the cellar door for five wineries) what more could you want?
My reason for visiting on this occassion was to be an associate wine judge for the annual Langhorne Creek Wine Show. I arrived in the afternoon of Monday 27th April with the sun shining and preparations for the show held in the town hall under way. It was a quiet night for me before an early start the next day with the judges briefing at 8:30am coffee in hand! I had the pleasure of working alongside some great figures in the industry including Iain Riggs (Chair of the show), Nick Ryan, Margot Muir (Judges) and Riley Harrison (my co Associate Judge).
We began the day promptly at 9am with a bracket of 39 Shiraz, and by the time we had completed this class the chill in my bones from a cool start to the day had disappeared. The rest of the judging over this day and the next rolled on seamlessly thanks to the efficient, friendly and good humoured show committee, all of whom donated their time to ensure the best outcome was achieved from the show.
Without spending too much time on the task required of us, it would be fair to say the two days of judging unveiled many strong classes and some classic varieties and styles of wine synonymous with the region (Shiraz Cabernet blends, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz come to mind). The surprise was Lagrein, and this got several of us talking over the few days we were in the region.
So without further ado, announcing the top performers at the show for Trophies and Awards:
- Best Sparkling Wine, White Wine or Rose - Lake Breeze 2014 Reserve Chardonnay
- Best Blended Red Wine - Lake Breeze 2012 Arthur’s Reserve (Cabernet / Petit Verdot / Malbec)
- Best Cabernet Sauvignon - Karrawatta 2013 Christo’s Paddock
- Best Shiraz - Gypsy Jack 2013
- Best Malbec - Bleasdale 2013 Second Innings
- Best Red or White made from Alternative or Other Variety(s) - Bremerton 2013 Special Release Lagrein
- Best Museum or Fortified Wine - Bleasdale NV Fortis et Astutus
- Best Wine from a Multi-Regional Blend - Wolf Blass Wines 2012 Black Label Cabernet Shiraz
- Champion Wine of the Show - Gypsy Jack Shiraz 2013
- Producer of the Year - Bleasdale Vineyards
- Vigneron of the Year - Brad Case
Like many wine shows a gala luncheon was arranged for the end of the week and Friday 1st May saw several hundred locals and visitors gathering under a marquee behind Wine House, surrounded by gums and under the warm rays of the sun on what was a picture perfect day. The wine flowed, food was served and the award winning wines were announced. Much banter was seen between wineries, guests and speakers at the luncheon adding to the jovial energy of the day.
The annual auction in support of the local Country Fire Service saw fierce bidding for some great wine parcels including an Imperial (6L) Bremerton 2000 Walter’s Cabernet Sauvignon and Bleasdale 2009 Frank Potts Blend, Lake Breeze six pack of Cabernet Sauvignon (various vintages) and Double Magnum (3L) Wolf Blass 2001 Black Label Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon to list a few of the lots on auction. A most entertaining end to a brilliant day it must be said.
Whether I return on an official capacity next year is yet to be determined, but if not I will be purchasing a ticket to attend this great day, which is a precursor to the public showing of all wine entered in the show that takes place over the weekend. So if you are at all tempted to join me make a note in your diary now as tickets sell out well ahead of the event each year.