Recognising NSW wines

As part of the NSW Wine Awards events this year, a new competition for NSW restaurant wine lists has been debuted. No doubt this was inspired by the shortage of NSW wines offered for sale in restaurants, and the desire of the wine industry to improve the situation.

While secretly cringing when I heard there was to be yet another set of wine list awards (don’t we have enough already?), I’m enthused when I see the list of restaurants which have been awarded this year. Wine Odyssey in The Rocks, for instance, has been plugging away doing an excellent job for some years, and has always been NSW focused. It won the award for ‘best metropolitan wine list featuring NSW wines’. And, although I haven’t been there yet, I know Patrick Haddock and his team from Newcastle’s new wine bar, Reserve Wine Bar, deserve their award of ‘best regional wine list featuring NSW wines’.

Also announced at the awards in Sydney last Thursday were the following: fine dining restaurant wine list (comprehensive): Eschalot, Berrima; informal dining restaurant wine list (comprehensive): Wine Odyssey, The Rocks; informal dining restaurant wine list (limited): Cammeray Craft, Cammeray; restaurant in a hotel/motel/resort wine list: Glass Brasserie, Hilton Sydney; restaurant in a pub/club/tavern wine list: Imperial Hotel, Paddington.

The new awards are a collaboration between the NSW Wine Industry Association and Restaurant & Catering Australia.

And on Friday, the 2014 NSW Wine Awards were announced at a presentation lunch at Simmer on the Bay, Walsh Bay, hosted by special guests from television series ‘Plonk’: Chris Taylor, Nathan Earl and Joshua Tyler.

Nick O’Leary (Pictured above – tastings) is the big winner this year, and – impressively for such a small producer – it’s the second time he’s been on the podium with a Canberra District shiraz, a great effort from a micro boutique winemaker. His 2009 shiraz won best young shiraz in 2010, but this year he’s gone one better and landed the big prize: NSW Wine of the Year, with his 2013 Bolaro Shiraz (to be released later this month at $55), also from the Canberra District. This is a single-vineyard shiraz from the highly rated Fischer vineyard, east of Murrumbateman. O’Leary really creamed the shirazes, also winning gold medals for his regular 2013 and 2012 shirazes. 

Other trophies:

Best Young Semillon: Silkman Wines Semillon 2014, Hunter Valley $25

Best Young Riesling: Mount Majura Vineyard (tastings) Riesling 2014, Canberra District $27

Best Young Sauvignon Blanc: Colmar Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2014, Orange $24

Best Young Chardonnay: Barwang Wines (tastings) 842 Chardonnay 2012, Tumbarumba $35

Best Young White, Other Varieties: Bimbadgen Estate Vermentino 2014 (tasting), Hunter Valley $24

Best Mature Dry White: McGuigan Wines Vineyard Select Semillon 2005, Hunter Valley $65

Best Sweet Wine: Calabria Family Wines (tastings) 3 Bridges Botrytis Semillon 2008, Riverina $25

Best Sparkling Wine: Charles Sturt University (tastings) Reserve Sparkling 2010, Tumbarumba $28

Best Young Cabernet Sauvignon: Moppity Vineyards (tastings) Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Hilltops $30

Best Young Shiraz: Nick O’Leary Wines Bolaro Shiraz 2013, Canberra District $55

Best Young Red, Other Varieties: Calabria Family Wines Private Bin Saint Macaire 2013, Riverina $15

Best Mature Red: Nugan Estate  (tastings) Manuka Grove Vineyard Durif 2010, Riverina $23

And Tamburlaine was recognized for the Best Organic Wine of Show for its Tamburlaine Organic Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2014, Orange $33. 

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