Trophy judging and heading home

On the way home, in transit in Singapore. I love Changi for its relaxed atmosphere, its free, reliable internet and its swimming pool, which I’ll soon be using when it opens at 7 am.

Today (or was it yesterday, now?) was the final day’s judging in the Royal Melbourne Wine Show. Our table had an excellent flight of Semillon, followed by an almost equally good run of 2011 Shiraz/Syrah.

Aussie Semillon has been great for a long time. And Aussie Shiraz/Syrah is getting better fast. Some of the celebrated examples of the past are beginning to look a little clunky and dense compared with the finesse and expressive character of the best wines that are now being made. We had some truly exciting examples. Judging wine is always much more fun when you turn up stars. There is no joy to be had in putting the boot into bad wine.

Then, in the afternoon, it was time for some trophy judging. This is always exciting because you get to see the fruits of the previous few days’ hard work. The panels had turned up some brilliant wines, and it’s actually quite hard to rank them all in order to come up with the winners.

We don’t know which wines won, and I wouldn’t want to break my NDA by giving clues as to the most successful styles. I felt quite humbled though to be judging, along with all the other judges, the Jimmy Watson: it’s such a famous award and part of the tradition of Australian wine.

It has been a brilliant week, being part of a great team, making some new connections, having fun but also working hard – and hopefully when the results are released in a couple of weeks the fruit of this work will be evident.

2 comments to Trophy judging and heading home

  • Hi Jamie,

    It’s wonderful to hear that you had such a positive experience of the entire show. This was my first associate judging gig and I could not have been more impressed. The group of judges were really vibrant and on the ball.
    It was a pleasure meeting you. Great work.
    ‘Til next time ;-)

    Krystina

  • I certainly hope Australian winemakers don’t move en masse away from the “clunky and dense” style…there’s plenty of room in the market for those wines too and they were the wines that established Australian shiraz on the world stage. Perhaps a more deft hand with oak regimes is needed, and the adjustments seems to have been predominantly made, but the dense, very ripe fruit style is a valid style and these wines deserve consideration as much as do elegant wines.

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