Last month we entered a couple of our wines in the Hunter Valley Wine Show and we are absolutely thrilled to announce that our 2015 Estate Chardonnay won Gold against some pretty big names. Priced at just $29, our Estate Chardonnay went toe-to-toe with Winemakers Reserve's from the likes of Tyrrell's, Brokenwood and First Creek and came out on top. To celebrate we're making the Chardonnay our featured Wine of the Month this September and available for purchase on our website for just $20.
2015 Eagles Rest 'Estate' Chardonnay
Before we decided what wines wanted to enter in the HVWS, we sat down with our winemaker to taste through some candidates. Key here is to judge the wine not only by its character, but on how it might perform in a particular category. But to do this you must first understand what the judges will be looking for. When tasting a wine, judges will usually assess quality of fruit first. They will reward ripeness and freshness, and penalise wines with 'greener' characteristics. Next they will look for evidence of winemaking skill in things like use of oak. Judges will reward wines with layers of complexity and penalise wines that are either to forward (at the front the palate) or plain. Lastly judges will factor in a wines ageing potential before making their final verdict.
One of the best things about Wine Shows is the learning experience that comes with it. Every producer that enters the event is invited to attend an exhibitor tasting. It was great to get a chance to taste the very best of what the Hunter can produce. It was also fascinating to chat with winemakers about the wines they produced and entered into the competition. For a competition that focuses on only one region, I was definitely surprised to find such a diverse variety styles in each of the categories.
After the tasting is the annual Luncheon where all the producers come together to celebrate the achievements of the region and to award the medals and trophies. The food was great but the wine was better. Each table had a complete selection of all the Gold medal winning wines. It was fantastic to see our humble Estate Chardonnay getting some of the recognition it deserved, sitting next to the likes of Tyrrell's, First Creek and Brokenwood. All in all the HVWS 2018 was an amazing experience and I already can't wait until next year!