Basalt Wines wins GOLD at Royal Melbourne Wine Awards
In what has been a big year for the little guy, Killarney’s Basalt Wines has stamped the Henty wine region on the map and landed yet another accolade; collecting a coveted Gold rating at Australia’s most prestigious wine show.
The medal and trophy winners of the 2016 Royal Melbourne Wine Awards (RMWA) have been announced, with local winery Basalt Wines receiving a Gold medal after judging was completed at the Melbourne Showgrounds last week.
Established in 1884 and conducted by the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria, the Royal Melbourne Wine Awards is Australia’s most respected wine show and home to some of the country’s most coveted wine prizes, including the legendary Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy.
Now running for over 130 years, the RMWA is considered the wine industry’s definitive peer review. A panel of 35 industry experts assessed the thousands of entries over five days, overseen by Chief Winemaker, Yabby Lake Vineyard and previous Jimmy Watson Trophy winner Tom Carson.
The exceptional quality of the show’s judging panel is what gives the results their weight. Made up of some of Australia’s best wine makers, retailers, sommeliers and wine journalists this year’s judging panel included big names such as wine critic James Halliday, journalist Matt Skinner, and winemaker Stephen Pannell.
In the small south-west Victorian estate’s debut outing at the RMWA, the Basalt Wines 2015 Pinot Noir scored an impressive 95.0 points in the ‘Pinot Noir 2015 and Younger (Best Pinot Noir)’ category; placing equal second and earning a Gold award. Judges described the wine as “rich and vibrant with purity and variety definition.”
Competition at the show is notoriously fierce; with hundreds of entries in each category. This year the RMWA attracted over 3,000 entries from more than 500 winemakers.
For Basalt Wines director and vigneron, Shane Clancey the accolade has come as an incredibly pleasant surprise. “This was our first time entering our wines in the RMWA,” Clancey explains. “We really just wanted to use it as a benchmarking exercise” he says. “We figured it would be a good way to gauge where our wines were at from a national perspective.”
“Scoring Gold alongside Australia’s top pinot producers is beyond thrilling. As a small, independent producer it’s very encouraging and really illustrates how strong our wines are in the context of the broader industry” he says. “It’s great news for the Henty wine region too.”
“I see the RMWA as very much a peer review. For winemakers, it’s one of the highest accolades. It’s not just one man’s opinion – the judging panel is made up of Australia’s best wine makers, retailers, sommeliers and wine journalists. They know what they’re talking about.”
Clancey says the 2015 vintage was one of the best he’s had for his pinot. “From a vintner’s perspective, it was an excellent year: moderately warm with perfect dry spring conditions which resulted in excellent quality fruit. The vines weren’t stressed at any stage and we managed to pick at the best possible time” he explains. “The pinot was very much made in the vineyard this year. We didn’t do anything differently in the winery; it all came down to a perfect vintage out in the vineyard.”
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Shane Clancey | Director | Basalt Wines
M +61 429 682 251