Home' Scoop : Scoop 50 Summer 2009 Contents 202 SCOOP SUMMER 2009
With Arch Kosovich in the judging panel, we were
bound to look for classic chenin blanc fruit and
potential this edition.
One of the style's biggest advocates, winemaker
Arch knows how to make a classic chenin.
The panel was instructed to look for fresh fla-
vours with a possible touch of honey, a dry palate
and length with the cleansing acid for which the
variety is renowned, and which enables good
examples to age for up to 20 years as seen in the
past by examples from Kosovich (Westfield),
Moondah Brook and Houghton.
The top wine of both the bracket and the tast-
ing showed why chenin blanc is so highly regarded
by experienced wine lovers.
It has a full, "true to variety" bouquet and its
fruit flavours showed the benefit of warmer area
fruit. It won all the panellists over with its style,
elegance and balance.
Capel Vale 2009 "Debut" Chenin Blanc, $18
This is a great young wine and an example of just
how good chenin blanc can be. The warm area fruit
shows in the lovely rich, refined and fruity bouquet.
The palate is equally forthcoming. It has elegant and
stylish middle palate flavour, lovely mouthfeel and
balance, subtle and juicy fruit, and long and delicious
cleansing acid. This is a really excellent example of
a young chenin and one that should repay lovers of
bottle development. It's under screw cap so it should
have a long and graceful life if you can keep your
hands off it.
Tassell Park 2009 Chenin Blanc (Margaret River
north), 16.5, $18
Swings and Roundabouts 2009 Chenin Blanc
(Margaret River north), 15.5, $17
Treeton Estate 2009 Chenin Blanc (Margaret River
north), 15.5, $18
Voyager Estate 2009 Chenin Blanc (Margaret River
south), 15.5, $20
Windance 2009 Chenin Blanc (Margaret River
north), 15.5, $17
Ask the staff at your local "bottle-
o" what wine-buyers are looking
for and most will tell you that,
at the very least, customers know
what variety they're interested in
purchasing. So in the name of making our tastings
more user-friendly to our wine-loving readers,
we decided to do away with our regional tasting
format and, for the first time, we looked at new
release West Australian white wines by variety.
Judging wines by variety allows our experienced
panel members to compare "apples with apples"
and removes any bias that could potentially creep
into a tasting when wines are looked at by region.
As we often do in summer, we tasted varieties
that are less commonly grown in WA and received
a strong response from producers making riesling,
chenin blanc, viognier and verdelho.
A smattering of marsanne roussanne and spar-
klings were submitted, and we also judged roses.
We received 109 submissions this edition -- the
most ever for our summer wine tasting -- with
riesling and rose leading the pack.
TOP of the
1. Capel Vale 2009 "Debut"
Chenin Blanc, $18
2. Mount Trio 2009 Gravel Pit
3. James Talijancich 2003
Reserve Verdelho, $29 &
Darlington Estate 2008
4. Wills Domain 2009 Rose, $22
Despite these larger numbers, only five were
awarded gold medals and 11 received silver, prov-
ing that when it comes to these less frequently
produced varieties more time needs to be spent
in the winery and in many cases, vines need just a
little more age.
In previous tastings powerhouse regions such as
Margaret River and the Great Southern received
the bulk of the accolades.
Refreshingly, this time it was Geographe, the
Perth Hills and Swan Valley that sparkled, with
Capel Vale the undisputed star.
Its 2009 Debut Chenin Blanc was judged best
wine of the tasting and the winery also won gold for its
2007 Cellar Exclusive Viognier and 2009 Verdelho.
Wines were evaluated under show conditions and
panel members scored them out of 20 (bronze
15.5-16.9; silver 17-18.4; gold 18.5-20) before
discussing their findings. In the event of significant
dissent, the panel leader's evaluation held sway.
text alan dinneen, alex hudak, max veenhuyzen, david watson, jessica zoiti « images alana blowfield
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