More bizarre results at wine shows
The 2017 Melbourne International Wine Competition was apparently judged by a gaggle of monkeys. How else to explain the bizarre results?
The St Andrews Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 (AUD $6 at Coles) won a double gold medal. I tasted the wine and frankly, I would not have awarded it a bronze medal. I scored it 83 (bronze is 85-89 in most shows).
In the same competition, which I note is judged by retailers, The Fabulist Pinot Noir 2016 (entered by James Busby Wines and hence a Coles exclusive, selling for AUD $13) also won a double gold in the AUD $30-and-under category. As a lighter-bodied red wine it is quite pleasant, a strong bronze medal from me, but it doesn’t even taste like pinot noir. I scored it 88.
Aldi’s 2015 One Road Shiraz also won a double gold. I tasted it (blind) in May and scored it 88, which is a strong bronze medal. I noted that it was simple but good quality wine and remarkable value for the price (AUD $7). But a double gold medal? Seriously!
Several other winners are names I’d never heard, so I suspect some of them are also retailers’ own-label bottlings. Nothing wrong with that, but it is odd that retailers are judging their own wines in this show, and giving them inflated awards.
Silly awards have cropped up elsewhere recently, too. The Sydney Royal Wine Show 2017, whose results were announced two weeks ago, managed to award its trophy for the best cabernet sauvignon in the entire show to a baby cabernet that sells for AUD $10.40 at Dan Murphy’s. It is 2016 Hardy’s The Chronicle 7th Green Cabernet Sauvignon. It is fetchingly fresh and fruity, with lifted cabernet aromatics somewhat in the greener spectrum, but is a nice little wine and good value at the price, but the best cabernet in the show? Crazy, especially when the field also included, among other fine wines, the 2015 Xanadu Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, a deserving gold medal winner in a different class.
Yes, it’s an aberration: Sydney is normally a very well-judged show – one of the best.
A few people were upset at my recent criticism of the 2017 Langhorne Creek wine show results, but more were supportive. I’ll continue to expose flaky results when I see them. Our wine show system’s credibility is jeopardized by results like these.