Our gold-star chenin blanc!

Last week, our 2016 Tuart Block Chenin Blanc was awarded a gold medal at the Perth Royal Wine Show; a result that I was extremely proud of and which justifies the decision made many years ago to plant this variety at our family vineyard.

Chenin Blanc was first planted on the Tuart soils at our Carabooda vineyard in the 1980s. A second planting was made 12 years ago after we pulled out a block of pinot noir that was not suited to our warm Mediterranean climate.

In the same week, I was lucky enough to try a variety of wines in a national and international contest at two different events. I was soon tasting wines at a trade event where a blend of Riesling, pinot gris and gewürztraminer caught my eye. All three varieties are well-suited to the cool climate and gravelly soils of the Great Southern region in WA. The wine was rich in flavour, but the fruit was crisp and lingering – you could almost taste the flinty, gravelly soil in the wine.

I also attended a shiraz tasting of national and international wines where our 2010 Mariginiup Shiraz was also being tasted alongside some of the world’s best. It performed well, but my pick in the blend- bracket was the 2010 Peel Estate from Baldivis – which surprisingly, is not exactly a world-renowned grape growing region.

It had a beautiful richness and ripeness but again a refined long finish. The Peel Estate shows the same limestone soil as the Conti shiraz and I believe it is the reason that both stood out from the crowd.

It also gives me hope that if you grow the right varieties in the correct environments, you should get the best results.