Home' Scoop : Scoop 52 Contents winetasting
This edition, the majority of white wines tasted
were from the sound 2009 vintage. Now with
more than six months bottle age, many of these
are starting to show subdued primary fruit aromas,
although unfortunately some palates looked sour
as opposed to fresh, perhaps due to overzealous
acid additions. On a positive note, very few wines
showed excessive sulphur on the nose, making
them excellent drink-now options.
Dry chenin blanc made from mature vines
often age wonderfully, such as those from Swan
Valley producers, Paul Conti or John Kosovich.
Most in the market today are made as off-dry wines
to drink young. The wines in our bracket were
rather simple, with several spoilt by sulphides.
Sauvignon blanc is hugely popular in the Aus-
tralian market. Given this demand, we expected to
see a strong group from recent vintages, which have
been very favourable for whites in particular. Unfor-
tunately, this was not so. Instead we tasted a group
of mostly sound but simple wines that were often a
bit green and tart or filled out with sugar. The top
wines were flavoursome, enjoyable and delicious to
drink both now and over the next year or two.
In the early 1980s David Hohnen, formerly
of Cape Mentelle, blended some semillon with
sauvignon blanc, and in the process became the
first to create and commercialise Margaret River s
Nowadays you would be hard pushed to find a
cellar door in Margaret River without an SBS blend
in its tasting line-up, and good examples show
vibrant, punchy fruit, often with hints of snap peas
and nettles, and a suppleness on the palate, typically
derived from partial barrel fermentation.
The SBS and SSB classes were a highlight
of this tasting. Of the 19 sauvignon blanc and
semillon blends tasted, just over half came from
Margaret River, with the remaining wines coming
mainly from the Great Southern.
Chardonnay is always an enjoyable group to
taste. With recent white-friendly vintages, and
extra effort being put into viticulture and win-
emaking, there are some ripper examples out there.
The top wines in this bracket are as good as any
made in the country, and even the world, and
represent excellent value for money.
Also uncovered in this tasting are a couple of
smart dessert-style whites.
Last edition, we gave our wine tasting
feature a face-lift. Instead of tasting
by region, as we d traditionally done
for the past few years, we decided to
taste wines by variety, making the
ever-popular section even more user-friendly.
This autumn, we ve given the tasting a final tweak
by opening it to all WA-produced wines released
in the past three months. Now, our wine-loving read-
ers can find an unbiased, professional and compre-
hensive preview of the very best wines about to hit
bottle-shop shelves and restaurant wine lists.
The response this edition from wineries across
the state was evidence that we re on the right
track. We received 175 submissions, ranging from
light summer sparklings to full-bodied cabernet
sauvignons, and there were even a couple of sneaky
Not surprisingly, varieties receiving the most
TOP OF THE TASTING
entries included chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon,
shiraz and blends of sauvignon blanc and semil-
lon. However the mix also included a handful of
less commonly produced wines such as sangiovese,
tempranillo, petit verdot and marsanne rousanne.
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.
Scoop would like to thank Joanne Dipane and
the incredible staff at The Left Bank for gener-
ously hosting this edition's wine tasting.
text Larissa Bray, Alan Dinneen,
Alex Hudak, Max Veenhuyzen,
« images simon furlong
1 Were Estate Single Vineyard
Reserve 2008 Chardonnay, $30
2 Rosabrook 2007 Cabernet
3 Ferngrove Leaping Lizard 2008
Cabernet Merlot, $15
=4 Matilda's 2008 Chardonnay, $35;
Forester Estate 2008 Home Block
=4 Abbey Creek Vineyard 2008
Pinot Noir, $30
6 Cape Mentelle 2009 Sauvignon
Blanc Semillon, $28
202 SCOOP AUTUMN 2010
Links Archive Scoop 50 Summer 2009 Scoop 52 Winter 2010 Navigation Previous Page Next Page