Best White and Best Red from the Australian Smallmakers’ Show have been announced with a Margaret River Chardonnay and a Hunter River Shiraz trumping the field of over a thousand entries.

Forester Estate Chardonnay 2007 (about $30) from Yallingup in the northern tip of Margaret River took the trophy for National Champion White while one the company’s owners and viticulturist Michael Langridge has won the Travel Award for being responsible for the Forester Estate grape growing. Part owner Ken McKay says “This wine is due for further accolades as it has won high silver in previous shows. The current release from the property is 2006 and this award shows how our wines track as 3 year release propositions. This 2007 will be released in a month.” Forester chardonnays are consistent winners in Best of the West awards in Scoop Magazine and I guess this is good reinforcement.

Wines which Forester Estate Chardonnay surpassed included 2009s from Swings and Roundabouts (Margaret River, WA) and Windrush (Mount Barker WA), 2008s from Heafod Glen (Perth Hills, WA), Seville Estate (Yarra, Vic) and Tassell Park (Margaret River, WA), and 2007s from Mount Cathedral (Central Vic) and Rockfield (Margaret River, WA). This is an interesting result given all the hype of how good the 2008 Margaret River whites are-maybe they need another year to star.

Hunter producer Briar Ridge won national Champion Red with its single vineyard Daisy Hill Shiraz 2007 ($48, 15%) so that winemaker Mark Wood collected the Travel Prize. Brian Ridge have grown shiraz in the Mount View area for over forty years since the property was established by the feisty Murray Robson, and had previous luminaries Karl Stockhausen and Neil McGuigan (encumbent International White Winemaker of the Year-International Wine Challenge UK) as past winemakers.

Most successful National Exhibitor goes to Harewood Wines (Great Southern, WA), Most successful Queensland Exhibitor goes to Robert Channon Wines (Granite Belt) and National Champion Fortified Trophy goes to Rutherglen producer Stanton and Killeen for Grand Muscat.

The Dick DeLuca Trophy for best Queensland Shiraz is awarded to Lucas Estate’s Estate Shiraz 2008 ($25) made by the all girl crew headed by Louise Samuel from Severnlea. Louise says “I was simply stunned by this award and dedicate it to my late husband Colin Sellers who passed on in June 2008, and from whom I have now taken winemaking responsibilities. Sounds like Col is having a toast up there.

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