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Behind the scenes at the Great Victorian Wine Tasting: The Melbourne Food & Wine Festival 2012

To coincide with 20 years of the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival the wine committee of the festival which includes Simon Napthine, Gordon Gebbie, Max Allen, Jeremy Oliver, Kate McIntyre MW, Patrick Walsh and yours truly Ben Edwards, thought it a damn good idea and opportunity to put Great Victorian wine in front of the trade on the Monday after the Masterclass weekend. On paper this sounds like a fairly straight forward proposition, but far be it from the committee to make this simple. Really, why would you, when you can push the boundaries of speed tasting to the very limit. And they were, thanks in no small part to the voluntary work of members of Sommeliers Australia.

So what was the tasting all about? The first step was for the committee to put a wish list together of the best wine producers in Victoria and then ask them to put forward a new release and an older wine from their private cellars. This was to be put in front of a group of wine buyers and Sommeliers who rarely get the opportunity to look at wine with any sort of age. The sad truth here, is that despite the best efforts of the committee, for every wine that was included in the line-up, there were omissions that had every right to be there. This point aside a simply stellar line-up of wines was put together and then the real challenge presented itself; how was everyone that came to the tasting going to be able to sample over 90 wines in 2 hours?

Getting stuck in ...

The answer was to dabble in to a little 'speed tasting', not unlike the speed dating concept. The premise was simple; attendees were ushered to a table where around four to five wines were placed according to their style, and then were given 8 minutes to taste all of the wines on the table before being asked to move on to the next table. Great in theory, but bloody hard to police and enforce. This being said, given it was the first time this had been tried in Victoria (if not the world), most people managed to see just about every wine in the room. Hard work, but good work if you can get it.

Of course the video really gives you a sense of what this tasting was all about and trying to achieve, so if you missed the tasting, watch all the way to the end, and then drool over the list of producers on show. If you are a Sommeliers Australia member though, you may get the opportunity to try these wines sooner than you might expect. Seems like a pretty good reason to join up if you are not already. Roll the tape!

Brilliant Mt Langi ...

THE FULL LIST OF WINES - In alphabetical order

A Rodda Chardonnay, 2010
All Saints Estate 'Family Cellar' Durif, 2008
Baileys Glenrowan '1920s Block' Shiraz, 1998
Baileys Glenrowan '1920s Block' Shiraz, 2010
Balgownie Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, 2002
Balgownie Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, 2010
Bannockburn 'Stuart' Pinot Noir, 2010
Bannockburn Chardonnay '3 Years on Lees', 2008
Bannockburn Sauvignon Blanc, 2011
Best's Great Western 'Concongella' Riesling, 1996
Best's Great Western Bin0 Hermitage, 1988
Best's Great Western Riesling, 2011
Best's Great Western Shiraz, 2008
Best's Great Western Pinot Meunier 'Old Vine', 1980
Best's Great Western Pinot Meunier ' Old Vine', 2010
Bindi 'Block 5' Pinot Noir, 2010
Bindi Quartz Chardonnay, 2010
Brown Brothers 'Patricia' Pinot Noir Chardonnay Brut, 2006
Campbells Bobbie Burns Shiraz, 1996
Castagna 'La Chaive' Sangiovese, 2009
Chambers Rosewood Old Vine Muscadelle & Grand Muscat
Cobaw Ridge Lagrein, 2008
Coldstream Hills Reserve Pinot Noir, 2005
Coldstream Hills Reserve Pinot Noir, 2010
Craiglee Shiraz, 1996
Craiglee Shiraz, 2009
Crawford River Riesling, 2005
Crawford River Riesling, 2011
Crittenden Estate 'Los Hermanos - Homenaje', 2010 (Tempranillo, Mataro, Garnacha)
Crittenden Estate 'Los Hermanos Tributo', 2011
Crittenden Estate 'Saludo al Txakoli', 2011
Dal Zotto Arneis, 2010
Dalwhinnie Shiraz, 2000
Dalwhinnie Shiraz, 2009
Delatite Riesling 'VS', 1999
Delatite Riesling, 2006
Eldridge Estate Gamay, 2010
Farr Rising Geelong Pinot Noir, 2010
Pinot Noir By Farr, 2006
Gembrook Pinot Noir, 2010
Giaconda 'Warner Vineyard' Shiraz, 2008
Giaconda Chardonnay, 2000
Greenstone Sangiovese, 2010
Hanging Rock Macedon Brut 'Cuvée XII'
Heathcote Estate Shiraz, 2008
Hoddles Creek '1ER' Pinot Blanc, 2010
Jamsheed 'Silvan' Shiraz, 2010
Kooyong Single Vineyard 'Haven' Pinot Noir, 2006
Kooyong Single Vineyard 'Haven' Pinot Noir, 2009
Lethbridge 'Mietta' Pinot Noir, 2008
Luke Lambert 'Heathcote' Nebbiolo, 2010
Mac Forbes 'High' Cabernet, 2010
Mayford Tempranillo, 2010
Moorooduc Estate 'The Moorooduc' Chardonnay, 2005
Moorooduc Estate 'The Moorooduc' Chardonnay, 2008
Morris 'CHM' Durif, 2007
Morris Old Premium Rare Liqueur Muscat
Mount Langi Ghiran Shiraz, 1998
Mount Langi Ghiran Shiraz, 2008
Mount Mary 'Quintet', 2008
Oakridge '864' Chardonnay, 2010
Ocean Eight Pinot Gris, 2011
Paradigm Hill Riesling, 2010
Paradise IV 'The Dardel' Shiraz, 2010
Paringa Estate Pinot Noir, 2009
PHI 'Lusatia Park' Pinot Noir, 2010
Pizzini Nebbiolo, 2002
Pizzini Nebbiolo, 2008
Prentice 'Ramato', 2011
Redbank 'Sally's Paddock', 1992
Redbank 'Sally's Paddock', 2002
Scorpo Estate Pinot Gris, 2010
Scorpo Estate Pinot Noir, 2010
Seppelt 'Drumborg' Riesling, 2005
Seppelt 'Drumborg' Riesling, 2011
Seppelt Great Western Show Sparkling Burgundy, 2004
Seville Estate Chardonnay 'Van der Meulen', 2010
Seville Estate Shiraz, 2004
Seville Estate Shiraz, 2010
Sorrenberg Gamay, 2010
Stanton & Killeen Vintage Port, 1992
Sutton Grange Fiano, 2010
Tahbilk '1860 vines' Shiraz, 1992
Tahbilk '1860 vines' Shiraz, 2002
Tahbilk 'ESP' Cabernet Sauvignon, 1980
Tahbilk 'ESP' Cabernet Sauvignon, 2006
Tahbilk Marsanne, 1993
Tahbilk Marsanne, 2011
TarraWarra 'Reserve' Pinot Noir, 1998
TarraWarra 'Reserve' Pinot Noir, 2010
TarraWarra Chardonnay, 2005
TarraWarra Chardonnay, 2010
Timo Mayer 'Big Betty' Shiraz, 2011
Timo Mayer 'CP' Pinot Noir, 2010
Wantirna Estate Amelia Cabernet Merlot, 2006
Wantirna Estate Amelia Cabernet Merlot, 2009
William Downie 'Gippsland' Pinot Noir, 2010
Yabby Lake Single Vineyard Chardonnay, 2010
Yarra Yering Dry Red No. 1, 1996
Yarra Yering Dry Red No. 1, 2004
Yarrabank Cuvee, 2008
Yarrabank Late Disgorged Cuvee Brut, 1999 (en Magnum0
Yarraloch Arneis, 2010
Yering Station 'Reserve' Chardonnay, 2005
Yering Station 'Reserve' Chardonnay, 2010
Yering Station 'Reserve' Shiraz/Viognier, 2001
Yering Station 'Reserve' Shiraz/Viognier, 2010
Yeringberg Cabernet, 2008
Yeringberg Marsanne Roussanne, 2009

Impressive, huh!

Good Old Bests

Melbourne Food & Wine Festival, Victoria, Sommeliers Australia


La Donna May 3, 2012

A big thankyou to the wine committee. It was a wicked tasting and we devoted boozehounds could not have been more grateful to every producer that donated such amazing Australian wines.

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