Image: Willunga Wino
In a world first, the McLaren Vale Wine Show in 2014 included judging with food to decide on the trophy winning wines.
The winners were announced at the annual "Bushing Lunch" featuring the crowing of the annual "Bushing King or Queen" - selected from the winemakers receiving trophies in the various regional categories of the McLaren Vale Wine Show.
Bushing Lunch menu 2014. Photo: Willunga Wino
Serafino hosted a trade tasting of the McLaren Vale Wine Show winning wines.
All the wines were set out in their classes on long, numbered trestle tables. Results books and tasting glasses were handed out at the door, then were set loose with the cream of the South Australian crop.
Trade tasting layout. Photo: Willunga Wino
In case you forget which wine show you are at, there is a stunning reminder. Fringed by the sea, across the Willunga plains, undulating up into the Mt Lofty ranges, McLaren Vale is a unique place creating unique and world class wine.
Just in case you forgot where you are... Photo: Willunga Wino
Within it's registered area, there are thirty six distinct soil types in the region, captured in the most complete soil map created in Australia.
Unique geology, unique wines. Photo: Willunga Wino
And so to the wines judged in the 2014 show.
1. Angove Waterboys Vineyard 2013 Grenache is herbaceous & sweet fruit on the nose, then on the palate shows strappy acid & soft tongue tingling tannin.
2. Rich Hamilton Centurion Shiraz 2013 has a sweet nose and nice acid light on the tip of tongue at the finish.
Trophy winners. Photo: Willunga Wino
3. Jericho Shiraz 2013 is a lovely medium bodied wine with cherries on the nose.
4. Reynella Basket Pressed Shiraz 2012 is rich, spicy, and sweet plummy on the nose. Fresh & dry on the palate, with a soft tannin at the finish.
Tasty trophy winners. Photo: Willunga Wino
5. Tatachilla Foundation Shiraz 2005 is savoury, with grippy tannin.
6. Tatachilla Foundation Shiraz 2012 has a delectable blackcurrant aroma with a hint of mint.
The old and the new of it. Photo: Willunga Wino
7. Happy Days Shiraz Cabernet 2013 would be fabulous with pizza (no wonder - it's made by the owners of GoodLife Modern Organic Pizza). It's grippy, savoury, and smells of rose petals.
8. Rosemount Traditional GSM 2011 has redskins & eucalyptus on the nose, and a really juicy palate.
Happy Days meets Rosemount. Photo: Willunga Wino
Wolf Blass. Photo: Willunga Wino
10. Alpha Crucis Total Shiraz 2012 has a sweet cherry and red fruit nose with a soft finish.
Alpha Crucis. Photo: Willunga Wino
11. Kay Brothers Amery Block 6 Shiraz 2012 is delicious with juicy sweet red fruit nose and soft integrated tannin.
Kay Brothers. Photo: Willunga Wino
12. Wirra Wirra RSW Shiraz 2012 has a spicy licorice nose and full palate.
RSW. Photo: Willunga Wino
13. D'Arenberg "Cenosilicaphobic Cat" Sagrantino Cinsault has a blueberry hint on the nose and rich, plush fruit on the palate.
Just some of the d'Arenberg's line up. Photo: Willunga Wino
14. Serafino Fiano has a distinct aroma of bannana flowers.
Fiano the jewel of the Vale. Photo: Willunga Wino
15. Willunga 100 Grenache Rose 2014 has a hint of tomato bush on the nose and a fruit sweet palate - good for spicy food.
16. Paxton Shiraz Rose is mouth coating goodness with a strawberries & cream finish.
17. La Curio "The Selfie" Aglianico Rose has a gorgeous nose and on the palate is crisp & delicious.
Pretty in pink - the Rose class. Photo: Willunga Wino
18. The Headonist Sangiovese Rose had a fresh lemony nose, fruit sweetness and soft acid.
Many grapes used, grenache, shiraz, aglianico...Photo: Willunga Wino
19. Tir na Nog Old Vine Grenache 2008 had sultanas on the nose, followed through on the palate, with a juicy finish.
Tir na Nog being the island of Irish folklore where people "never grow old".
Showing it's age, drinking well now. Photo: Willunga Wino
Like the Adelaide Wine Show, the McLaren Vale Wine show has special classes for provenance, where multiple vintages of the same wine are shown together. A great opportunity to compare vintages past and more recent.
20. Chapel Hill The Vicar Shiraz 2008 still has fresh acid.
21. Chapel Hill The Vicar Shiraz 2012 has a dark chocolate nose, fine acid & grip.
The 08 still lives vicariously on! Photo: Willunga Wino
22. Woodstock "The Stocks" Shiraz 2002 had a distinctive coffee nose and nice balanced acid.
23. Woodstock "The Stocks" Shiraz 2012 had a sweet chocolate nose.
Coffee & chocolate a decade apart. Photo: Willunga Wino
24. Serafino Teremoto Syrah 2009 was still very fresh, with balanced acid and tannin on the palate.
25. Paxton AAA 2008 Shiraz Grenache has a dark nose, and developed secondary characters, drink any bottles left that you have - now!
Serafino twins. Photo: Willunga Wino
26. Wirra Wirra The Angelus Cabernet Sauvingnon 2004 has the varietal capsicum on the nose, as well as leather & coffee.
27. Joseph Moda Cabernet Sauvingnon Merlot 2012 has the aroma of sultanas & Xmas cake with a juicy palate.
Cab rank. Photo: Willunga Wino
28. Shottesbrooke The Proproetor Reserve Series Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot/Malbec 1996 has a deep port, leather armchair, nose, still with some fruit stewed with nutmeg and spiced plum. On the palate it is a bit unbalanced though, with very sharp acid.
29. Lino Ramble Treadlie GSM 2013 was delish with a hint of marzipan on the nose.
Likely lads. Photo: Willunga Wino
The trade tasting coincided with Melbourne Cup day, so on exiting the tasting hall we were greeted by a pony, there to welcome guests to Serafino's Melbourne Cup Lunch function.
Cute she was too.
Cutie. Photo: Willunga Wino
A pleasure to sample the Vale's finest. The show shines a light on the diversity and quality of wines produced in the area, and their potential for aging as well as enjoying fresh as a daisy.
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Have you got a McLaren Vale favourite? Comment with your answer below!