WINE: Agnew win at Sydney Wine Show  

SWEET SUCCESS: NSW Minister for Primary Industries, Katrina Hodgkinson, presents Brian Agnew with the James Busby Trophy for the best wine from NSW.
Nanjing Night Net

BEING presented with two 2013 Sydney Wine Show trophies on Thursday night was part of a highly emotional week for Brian Agnew, chairman of the Hunter’s Agnew Wines company.

Brian took to the stage at the presentation dinner to collect the Dr H.J. Lindeman Trophy for the best aged-vintage white and the James Busby Trophy for the best NSW wine of the show, won by the Audrey Wilkinson 2006 Museum Reserve Semillon.

The Sydney judging brought the wine’s show tally during the past seven years to 12 trophies and 19 gold medals.

Brian and his family had other reasons to be elated last week because he had received an encouraging doctor’s report in the aftermath of a tumour operation.

On top of that on Friday night daughter Jessica had given Brian and his wife Valerie their seventh grandchild, a little girl, and the Hunter vintage had wound up promisingly for the Agnew group’s Audrey Wilkinson, Poole’s Rock, Cockfighter’s Ghost and Firestick brands.

Valerie and Brian, a past chairman of the Moray and Agnew specialist insurance law firm, have owned the Wakefield Thoroughbred Stud at Scone for more than 30years and took the plunge into Hunter wine by buying the beautiful, historic Audrey Wilkinson property in 2004.

In 2011 they boosted their investment by buying the late David Clarke’s Poole’s Rock De Beyers Road, Pokolbin, vineyard and winery, the Cockfighter’s Ghost vineyard at Broke and the Poole’s Rock, Cockfighter’s Ghost and Firestick wine brands.

The Audrey Wilkinson awards were among six trophies and 13 gold medals won by Hunter wines at the Sydney judging, conducted by a panel chaired by Iain Riggs, managing director and chief winemaker at Pokolbin-based Brokenwood Wines. Wines made by gifted boutique winemaker Andrew ‘‘Thommo’’ Thomas won two trophies and five gold medals.

The Andrew Thomas 2007 Cellar Reserve Braemore Semillon won a gold medal in the any vintage named vineyard semillon class and the Len Evans Trophy for the best named vineyard wine and the Restaurant and Catering Industry Trophy for the best small producer’s wine in named vineyard classes.

Winning wines ready to buy

HERE are the 2013 Sydney Wine Show trophy and gold medal wines that can be bought now from Hunter producers:

❏ Audrey Wilkinson 2006 Museum Reserve Semillon, limited stocks at $100 a bottle at the De Beyers Road, Pokolbin, cellar door, by mail order on 49987411 or at audreywilkinson南京夜网.au.

❏ Andrew Thomas 2007 Cellar Reserve Braemore Semillon, $45, and Andrew Thomas 2012 Cellar Reserve Braemore Semillon, $28, both available at thomaswine南京夜网.au and at the Small Winemakers’ Centre, in McDonalds Road, Pokolbin, and at the Hunter Resort in Hermitage Road, Pokolbin.

❏ The Wine Society 2012 Tyrrell’s Hunter Valley Semillon, $14 (to members), at winesociety南京夜网.au or 1300723723.

❏ First Creek 2011 Winemaker’s Reserve Semillon, $40, at the McDonalds Road, Pokolbin, winery or at firstcreekwines南京夜网.au.

❏ Two Rivers 2011 Stones Throw Semillon, $16, at the 2 Yarrawa Road, Denman, cellar door, at tworivers南京夜网.au and in shops and restaurants.

❏ Pepper Tree 2011 Tallavera Limited Release Hunter Valley Shiraz, $45, at the Pepper Tree cellar door at 86 Halls Road, Pokolbin, or at peppertreewines南京夜网.au.

❏ McLeish 2007 Semillon, $65, at the McLeish cellar door in De Beyers Road, Pokolbin, or at mcleashhunterwines南京夜网.au.

❏ McGuigan 2005 Vineyard Select Semillon, $50, at the McGuigan cellar door in McDonalds Road, Pokolbin.

❏ Bimbadgen 2012 Estate Semillon, $22, at the McDonalds Road, Pokolbin, winery and at bimbadgen南京夜网.au.

SWEET SUCCESS: NSW Minister for Primary Industries, Katrina Hodgkinson, presents Brian Agnew with the James Busby Trophy for the best wine from NSW.

Wine list

Frankland Estate 2010

Olmo’s Reward,

$40

HERE’S a fitting tribute to celebrated Californian viticulturist Professor Harold Olmo, who in 1955 was commissioned by the Western Australian government to recommend new winegrowing areas and came out in favour of Frankland River and Mount Barker. It is fruit-driven and multifaceted, featuring an interesting varietal make-up. It is ruby red and has berry pastille aromas. Plush blackcurrant flavour rolls onto the front palate and briar, licorice and clove fruit characters integrate with vanillin oak on the middle palate. Smooth minty tannins display at the finish.

DRINK WITH: roast beef with a minted bearnaise sauce

AGEING: eight years

RATING: 4 and a half stars

De Bortoli 2008

Deen Vat 5 Botrytis Semillon,

$13.90 (375ml bottle)

THIS luscious stickie won the trophy for the best sweet white at the 2012 NSW Wine Awards and is terrific value at $14. It is gold with amber tints and has scents of quince jelly and pecan nuts. Lush lychee flavour glides onto the front of the palate and apricot, treacle and orange peel characters combine on the middle palate. Nutty oak and a touch of flinty acid show at the finish.

DRINK WITH: soft-set vanilla bean creme brulee

AGEING: seven years

RATING:4 and a half stars

Pokolbin Estate 2012

Hunter Valley Riesling, $28

LAST week, he won 2013 Sydney Wine Show trophies and gold medals with his semillon and shiraz wines, but Andrew Thomas is also a dab hand with riesling from the only Hunter planting of this classic variety. He made this wine and the other Pokolbin Estate rieslings that have brought owners Richard Friend and John Hindman such against-the-odds success in wine competitions. This fresh, crisp 2012 is green-tinted straw and has passionfruit aromas. Vibrant lime flavour zips onto the front of the palate and nashi pear, sherbet and mineral characters chime in on the middle palate. Steely acid comes through at the finish.

DRINK WITH: salt and pepper squid

AGEING: 10 years

RATING: Five stars