For 22 years the French-Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has run the Concours des Vins du Victoria.
They gather together a panel of French wine experts – wine and food writers with regular wine columns in French newspapers, and winemakers and sommeliers working here in Victoria – to assess a range of Victorian red, white and sparkling wines.
It is a great opportunity for smaller players to put their different varietals forward and rub shoulders with larger and better known wine producers and companies.
And it is great to see how these wines shape up in front of European palates, who are looking for complete wines – deep varietal flavour, balance, depth and of course good compatability to food., not the ripe, sweet fruit, strong oak and high alcohol that seems to catch the eye of American wine writers and and judges in many wine shows.
The wide variety of classes in the show - sparkling , riesling, sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, pinot noir, shiraz and cabernet – are a real celebration of the diversity and quality of wines made in our State.
There were not a many classes I could enter wines in to. There was no Roussanne class! And Vermentino is Italian…. But I could enter my 2010 Shiraz Roussanne in the Shiraz class, as the Roussanne component of the blend is just 3%.
So I was naturally thrilled to hear that my 2010 Shiraz Roussanne was judged to be in the top 10 of the 120 entered in the Shiraz Class! It was certainly rubbing shoulders with some well known wines and big name!
It has always been my aim to make this wine a complete and balanced red wine. The tiny portion of Roussanne adds a silky texture to the palate and a perfume to the nose. And as the blend is done in the vineyard and the varieties fermented together, the flavours meld together seamlessly. It makes a great partner to food.
Above all, this wine t is a great reflection of the mild ripening conditions we enjoyed leading up to the 2010 vintage. After the extreme heat and dry of the year before, it was almost text book perfect with cool nights and warm sunny Autumn days.
As we are nearly at the end of our stock of the 2009 Shiraz Roussanne, this recognition seems like a great excuse to release the 2010 Shiraz Roussanne. We hope you enjoy it as much as the judges on the French-Australia Chamber of Commerce panel.