WGA Sunshine Coast Group Symphony Hill Tasting

Hello Members
The WGA group on the Sunshine Coast held another great night when Ewen Macpherson from Symphony Hill Wines hosted the April meeting.

John Fidler has written a comprehensive report to recap the evening.

Here is the Symphony Hill Tasting Report


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Taste of Ruthglen March 2015 Report

Tastes of Rutherglen is Rutherglen’s premiere wine and gourmet food event with award-winning wineries partnering with leading regional chefs and producers. WGA (Qld Inc) selected this event as the perfect way to sample the best of what the region had to offer. This event not only showcased Rutherglen’s outstanding wines and food, it also gave us the chance to get behind the scenes at many of our wineries to learn about the history and hard work that goes into making world class wines in Ruthglen. Read more in the WGA Taste of Rutherglen trip report with photo page March 2015 prepared by Bruce Hateley.

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WGA Sunshine Coast Club night report April 2014

It was the Anzac Day weekend, but even the exceptional public holiday break delivered by the Easter and Anzac Day observances on consecutive weekends didn’t discourage our enthusiastic members from turning out to taste what we termed the “Best of the West”.

Nineteen members tasted a sparkling white, three selected white wines and four reds from eight different Margaret River producers. The Margaret River is home to around 215 grape growers and wine producers – with around 5,000 hectares under vine. With such a variety, the challenge was to select offerings which would reflect the variety and quality of wine produced in the region, without breaking the bank.

The wines tasted, in order of tasting, were:Franklin Tate alex-chard Forester SSB-13
• Evans & Tate Classic Sparkling NV Chardonnay Pinot Noir
• Leeuwin Estate 2013 Art Reisling
• Forester Estate 2013 Semillon Sauvignon Blanc
• Franklin Tate 2012 Alexander’s Vineyard Chardonnay
• Vasse Felix 2011 Cabernet Merlot
• Xanadu 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon
• Alkoomi Frankland River 2010 Shiraz Viognier
• Watershed 2011 Senses Shiraz

Hosts Paul Speedy and John Fidler produced a scoring sheet and tasting notes. When the scores were tallied, top points went to (1st place) the Semillon Sauvignon Blanc, followed by the Chardonnay in second. The sparkling and the shiraz shared the honours for third place, with the sparkling attracting universal favourable comments – particularly in light of its price point of under $14.00 per bottle.

Good wine requires good food for accompaniment, and our thanks to Cherie Speedy and Diane Wallace for a selection of cheeses, sandwiches and other assorted snacks which were well thought out to complement the wines.
A regular feature of Sunshine Coast Guild meetings is the wine options game. Everyone got the first question correct – yes, the mystery wine was red – but from there the choices were more difficult until only one participant was left standing. John Gribble took home the prize. When the plain brown paper bags were removed, the mystery offering was revealed to have come from nowhere near Margaret River. Instead, we tasted a straight Shiraz from a boutique Eden Valley producer, Fernfield Wines. The particular wine was the 2009 Footstompers Shiraz, a basket pressed wine named, allegedly, for the traditional approach taken to releasing the juice from the berries.
Once again, our thanks to the body corporate of Melrose on Fifth for the use of their splendid community room for our meeting.

Fernfield  Wines Fernfiled label

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Sunshine Coast Group May 2013 Club Night

The Presenters

It was supposed to be a celebration of all things Queensland, but the Blues spoiled that with a win in the first State of Origin game.

However a dedicated but subdued crowd of Sunny Coast members put their blues behind them and proceeded to taste local produce and wines. To lighten the mood, we tasted the Queensland selection in the following order.

2012 Golden Grove Vermentino : This was a lively aromatic wine of character, amply awarded on the Show circuit. In its traditional Sardinia, this grape is deliberated picked early to retain its acid. However this sample was full flavoured with a slight sweet fruitiness on the finish.

2011 Sirromet Chardonnay:  A well-made wine.  Green/pale yellow in the glass, with stone fruit and melon on the palate.  Nice easy drinking.

2012 Ocean View Viognier : This Estate grown wine lacked the high colour and apricot flavours normally associated with this variety but still presented well.

2012 Chardonnay: This wine from a little known producer surprised me with typical peach /melon characters and a hint of oak. It is a well-balanced wine and probably my pick of the whites on the night.

2012 Clovely Verdelho: This grape produces a highly fruity aromatic style and this sample was true to its pedigree.

2012 Robert Channon Verdelho: This winery has earned high scores for this variety from notable wine critics including James Halliday. On the night this wine was remarkably inconsistent in its rating from members, showing the broad variety of palates present. A lemony, fruit salad, full-bodied wine.

At this stage Kevin & Rosemary Gillman presented the mystery wine in a highly competitive options format.  Local member Linda Watts pipped Brisbane member Michael Hocking in correctly identifying a Barossa Merlot. The 2011 Rohrlach Family Reserve Merlot is an astounding wine at its price point. A medium red-purple, a complex bouquet with a mix of berry and spice aromatics, soft and gently sweet, finishing with good tannin structure. $17.00 from Cellarmasters .

The Gillmans with options winner Lindy Watts


2010 Clovely Cabernet Merlot: Burnett fruit showing characteristic Cabernet and tannins softened by the Merlot.

2010 Sirromet Cabernet Sauvignon: Red berry fruit mingles with more cedary, spicy aromas flowing into a medium-bodied palate, offering redcurrant fruit, soft tannins and a clever touch of oak.

2010 Golden Grove Nero D’Avola: This little known Sicilian variety is grown sparingly in Australia, and produces full-bodied tannic wines with a propensity to age.

Robert Channon Pinot Noir: Medium to light-bodied, berry flavours with a savoury background.  One of the highest scorers on the night.

2008 Ocean View Cabinet Sauvignon: A touch out of balance with the tannins somewhat overpowering the fruit and acid, but still a quaffable wine.

2008 Golden Grove Barbera: A deep ruby colour, a hint of spice on the nose with raspberry/blueberry palate, smooth tannins and well balanced oak finished off with crisp acidity.

That completed our tasting for the evening and the consensus was that if our football team performed as well as our wines then an eighth straight result is on the way.

Kudos to John Bourke for putting the program together, sourcing the wines and presenting the whites. To Ross and Sue Roberts for the catering, and for keeping their smugness restrained (C’mon the Maroons ).  And to Kevin and Rosemary Gillman for the mystery wine.

As always, thanks to the residents of Melrose on Fifth.

And last but not least to the following wineries:

Clovely Estate

Robert Channon Wines

Golden Grove Estate

Sirromet Wines

Ocean View Estates

You support is very welcome.

Happy Options Group

Our next function is the French Tasting on 20th July Hosted by John Fidler, Diane Wallace, and Paul and Cherie Speedy. Notice to be sent shortly .

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