Dawson & James wins big at 2015 Tasmanian Wine Show

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Dawson & James (tastings) entered four wines in the 2015 Tasmanian Wine Show and collected three gold medals and three trophies. Not a bad day’s work. Two of the entries were chardonnays, and both scored trophies.

Their 2011 Chardonnay (tasting) scored the trophies for best chardonnay and best wine of show. Their 2013 Chardonnay also won gold and the Chairman’s Trophy, which usually goes to a gold-medal wine that hasn’t otherwise won a trophy. As chairman, I decided this as all wines are judged – blind.

Dawson & James pinot noirs also did well: the 2013 won a gold medal and was pipped for the trophy by the Home Hill Kelly’s Reserve, while the 2011 (tasting) received a bronze medal.

They didn’t enter any 2012s: Dawson & James didn’t have a 2012 vintage, as their grapes come from Gerald Ellis’s Meadowbank vineyard in the Upper Derwent Valley which was damaged by a bushfire just before the 2012 vintage.

The names are those of Peter Dawson and Tim James (pictured above), both former Hardy’s winemakers who have gone on to do other things post-Hardy’s. Although they’re long-time residents of McLaren Vale, they make their wines at the Bay of Fires winery (tastings). Their chardonnays are really paving the way: they’re superbly fresh, technically pristine wines of great character, combining fruit concentration with finesse and restraint. 

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Pressing Matters R9 Riesling 2012 (tasting) has won the trophy for the best riesling of the Tasmanian Wine Show for the third year running. This is an unusual achievement, especially for a small maker in a regional show, and underlines what a great wine this is. R9 indicates nine grams per litre of sweetness – a semi-dry style – whereas Pressing Matters also makes dry (R0 – tastings), medium-sweet (R69 – tastings) and sweet (R139 – tastings) styles of riesling – all off the same vineyard at Tea Tree in the Coal Valley.

Pressing Matters also won the trophy for the best sweet wine of the show, with its R69 Riesling 2009 (tasting). All Pressing Matters wines are contract-made at Winemaking Tasmania (see last week’s item).

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