Sunday, August 29, 2010

A certified dozen: some highlights of the 2010 Organic Wine Show

Autumn 2009 in Tamburlaine's biodynamic vineyard 
This is a list of some of the wines I thought were particularly delicious as my fellow judges and I sipped and sniffed and slurped our way through this year’s Australia/New Zealand Organic Wine Show in mid-August in Sydney ...

2006 Temple Bruer Chenin Blanc, Langhorne Creek, SA (certified organic) - This beautiful chenin picked up the trophies for Best White and Wine of Show for its very fine, complex aromas of apple and honey, lovely balance of lively acidity and the beginnings of bottle-aged richness creeping onto the tongue.

2009 Kalleske Clarry's Red, Barossa Valley, SA (certified biodynamic) - As it did a couple of years ago, this grenache shiraz mataro blend picked up the trophy for Best Red in 2010: oodles of glossy black fruit ripeness and dark composty richness, held in check by a tight, tangy, tannic finish.

2010 Thistle Hill Riesling, Mudgee, NSW (certified organic) - The 2009 vintage from this vineyard was last year’s big trophy winner; most judges thought the 2010 was a sensational, precise, slatey, Granny-Smith-like riesling - perhaps a little more tart and tight than the 09.

2007 Settlers Ridge Organic Wines Malbec Merlot, Margaret River, WA (certified organic) - A brilliant combo of grapes and place and vintage: lovely balance of gently herbal, dense black fruit and dusty grippy tannin.

2009 Battle of Bosworth Chardonnay Viognier, McLaren Vale, SA (certified organic, some biodynamic practice) - From another previous trophy winning vineyard (for the shiraz viognier): vibrant, full-bodied, full of life and bright fruit.
2009 Hochkirch Riesling, Henty, Vic (certified biodynamic) - A savoury, herbal-tinged riesling with unusual talc-like aromas and a tangy, lean taste of sliced green apples and fennel seeds. Really fascinating.

2010 Krinklewood Vineyard Semillon, Hunter, NSW (certified biodynamic) - This vineyard was a really strong performer at the show: here’s a cracking example of bright young Hunter semillon with great precision and life that needs a few years to fill out and show its best.

2009 Krinklewood Chardonnay, Hunter, NSW (certified biodynamic) - Outstanding: lots of oak and some well-worked winemaking influence, but also has wonderful intense nectarine fruit, purity and line that brightens up the mouth.

2010 Krinklewood Francesca Rose, Hunter, NSW (certified biodynamic)  - An unusual but very effective blend of mourvedre, tempranillo, shiraz and chardonnay, this has lovely brightness, bouncy, vibrant fruit, and good acid tingle.

2010 Tamburlaine Riesling, Orange, NSW (certified biodynamic) - Wines from Tamburlaine’s biodynamic vineyard at Orange were the most consistent medal winners at the show: this is wonderfully vibrant, super-aromatic zesty riesling with plenty of citrus and lime blossom character.

2009 Tamburlaine Syrah, Orange, NSW (certified biodynamic) - A very attractive, bright and lively, white-pepper-spicy syrah with medium body and good persistence.

2008 Tamburlaine Winelovers Grenache, Orange, NSW (in 2008 the vineyard was certified in-conversion biodynamic) - A delicious grenache from a mountainside vineyard in Orange? This was a revelation: very peppery, earthy spice character, medium-weight, properly savoury expression of the grape.

For a full list of results, go to


  1. Thanks for this informative post. Great to see such a spread of organically grown wines and also that Margaret River got a look in on your list with "2007 Settlers Ridge Organic Wines Malbec Merlot, Margaret River". I look forward to trying this along with hot off the press, the world's best chardonnay - Cullen Wines 2007 Chardonnay (which is biodynamic as well), which just won the The Decanter World Wine Awards 2010 International Trophy for Chardonnay over $18 for their 2007 Kevin John Chardonnay.
    Have you tried this yet because I know what I want to try next?

  2. Yes, I have tried the 07 Kevin John chardonnay: it's amazingly complex, with layers and layers of nutty flavour and creamy texture. I'm not surprised it won this trophy.