WineMudgee’s great bunchJohn Lewis

SUCCESS: Veteran vigneron Malcolm Roth, whose Westcourt 2016 Riesling was champion wine of the 2017 Mudgee Wine Show, with Mudgee Winemaker of the Year award-winner Jacob Stein of Robert Stein Wines.MUDGEEhas had more than its share of booms and busts since the first wine grapes were planted 160 years ago, but today there’s a spirit of optimism, excitement and innovation abroad.

That spirit evidenced in the wake of the 2017 Mudgee Wine Show, as Mudgee Wine Association showed great initiative by sending wine writers samples of the trophy winners.

In tasting the wines and I’ve been impressed how makers large and small are pushing boundaries. Boutique brands are adding panache and they won seven of the 17 show trophies – with the Westcourt 2016 Mudgee Riesling being crowned show champion, best white and best other than chardonnay and semillon white.

Westcourt is owned by 79-year-old Malcolm Roth, the great grandson of Mudgee winemaking founder Adam Roth and the triple-trophy riesling sells for $25 onvisitmudgeeregion老域名出售.au/wineries-cellardoors.

Another fine boutique wine is the Naked Lady 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, judged the best cabernet sauvignon and reviewed below. The vineyard at Bylong Valley Way, Rylstone, gets its name from the naked lady lily, the South African-origin amaryllis belladonna bulb, that grows abundantly on the land.

The vineyard was planted in 2000 and bought in 2013 by wine enthusiasts and former Sydney optical business owners Mike and Diane Quaife.

A lone oak tree and plans for a relaxing country lifestyle led Paula Hanson and David Riley to pick the name Lazy Oak for the 10-hectare Sills Lane, Eurunderee, vineyard they bought in 2015.The pair, a Mudgee diesel mechanical supervisor and a former grief education officer, shed ideas of lazy days in the face of a growing fascination with winegrowing, now rewarded by the bestrosétrophy to the$24Lazy Oak 2017 MerlotRosé, selling onlazyoak老域名出售.au.

With ace young winemaker Jacob Stein at the helm, the Stein label has become an area flagship – a status bolstered at Mudgee judging when Jacob was declared winemaker of the year and the company won trophies for most successful exhibitor, best semillon and best museum white. The semillon was the Robert Stein 2017 Aged Release Semillon, reviewed below, and limited stocks of the best museum white 2009 Riesling ($80) are atrobertstein老域名出售.authe Mudgee cellar door.

Bunnamagoo Estate, owned by the Paspaley family of pearling fame, won the best museum red trophy with its 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot and the best sweet white trophy with the $25 2016 Autumn Semillon.

The latter is atbunnamagoowines老域名出售.auand the Henry Lawson Drive, Mudgee, cellar.

Bunnamagoo has vineyards at Mudgee and at the historic 2000-hectare spread at the Central Tablelands village of Rockley.

Wine reviewsTOP MUDGEE SEMILLONTHISRobert Stein 2017 Aqed Release Semillonwon’t be officially released until 2019, but is available now on requestatrobertstein老域名出售.auand the Pipeclay Lane, Mudgee, winery.It is pale straw and has honeysuckle scents and crisp lemon front-palate flavour. The middle palate has green apple, sherbet and gunmetal and a slatey acid finish. PRICE: $30. DRINK WITH: oysters. AGEING: 10 years.

RATING: 5 stars

A SPICY NAKED LADYWITH 14% alcohol, theNaked Lady 2015 Cabernet Sauvignonshines bright garnet in the glass, has bouquet garni scents and spicy blackberry front-palate flavour. Maraschino cherry, licorice, mint and mocha oak marry on the middle palate and chalky tannins play at the finish. Get it onnakedladywines老域名出售.auand the Rylstone cellar door.PRICE: $45. DRINK WITH: lamb koftas. AGEING: six years.

RATING: 4.5 stars

OATLEY DOUBLE ACTFITTINGLY this Oatley group’sMontrose 2015 Stony Creek Chardonnaywon the Bob Oatley trophy as Mudgee’s top chardonnay.It’s green-tinted straw and has almond scents and ripe peach on the front palate. The middle palate has fig, citrus, mineral and cashew oak and a flinty acid finish. Atrobertoatley老域名出售.au, shops and Craigmoor winery.PRICE: $22.95. DRINK WITH: paella. AGEING: five years.

RATING: 4.5 stars

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