AUSTRALIAN wine producer McGuigan Wines is to be reckoned with, especially if you are talking about Semillion.
Having secured the World Best Semillion award in the International Wine Challenge 2013, McGuigan’s hold on this particular white seems unshakeable, having coveted the title for the past three years.
McGuigan’s Bin 9000 Hunter Valley Semillion 2005 not only picked up the International Semillion Trophy, making it the only Australian wine to win international recognition, it also went on to receive the Australian White Wine Trophy.
In total, the company bagged four trophies at the IWC and Decanter World Wine Awards.
For McGuigan’s winemakers, this was the well deserved pat-on-the-back for their hardwork, team effort, foresight and creativity.
“To have Hunter Valley Semillion crowned world’s best is a great testament to the uniqueness of the region, and ageing charactristic of the variety.
“Winning the ‘World’s Best Semillion’ for a third time is a remarkable achievement,” said McGuigan chief winemaker Neil McGuigan.
Wine-drinking, he observed, is an evolution, with more young people venturing into floral flavours as they begin a journey of discovery into the various tastes of wines.
“Young consumers are getting off colas and venturing into floral wines.
“And we are building blocks for them to progress, in appreciating wines.
He said that floral notes in whites and rich robust varieties in reds, are important factors in appealing to wine drinkers.
“We believe that we have an obligation to release Australian wines at their best and show what Australia can do.
“We need to be competitive at an international level, and innovation is important for us to actively participate in competitions,” said the charming winemaker at a vertical tasting prior to a wine dinner at Cantaloupe, The Troika.
Neil added that the family business spanning four generations, had established a stable of innovative wines.
“We used to make Semillion in the Burgundy style but to take the wine into another spectrum, we used clever yeasting and did some other techniques.
“We marketed our wines in the United Kingdom and Canada, and received good response.
“We think there is great opportunity for our innovative style of wines.
“The Bin 9000 Semillion have had a stellar performance with vintages from 2004 to 2007, all winning trophies over the past four years.
“We believe the variety definitely has a role to play within our portfolio in the UK and beyond,” said the winemaker who has more than 30 years experience in the wine industry.
To celebrate their win and promote their outstanding flavours, McGuigan welcomed guests from the hospitality industry including chefs, Food and Beverage managers and restaurant owners to the dinner.
As an introduction, guests savoured McGuigan Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc 2012 and McGuigan Black Label Sparkling Chardonnay NV, while relishing Lightly Smoked Salmon Tartare with Beetroot Pickled Shallots and Feta Cheese Foam with Micro Croutons.
Following cocktails at the Claret Wine Bar, guests were then ushered to the French restaurant for a taste of McGuigan’s innovative wines and inventive dishes from chef Christian Bauer.
First impressions make or break the date, and the impressionable Oscietra Caviar, Soy Panna Cotta, Lemon Tapioca, Soy Cured Salmon Carpaccio and Hendricks Jelly did not disappoint.
This luxurious and light appetiser with silky savoury panna cotta, sago beads and delectable salmon carpaccio and a taste of Hendricks gin, got us off to a roaring start between sips of McGuigan Expressions Pinot Grigio 2012.
The Pinot Grigio’s delicate floral hints on the nose is an invitation to enjoy its rich fruit flavours, that has a refreshing citrus finish.
For a look at how corn can be transformed to excite the palate, we were introduced to the Pan Seared Parrot Fish, Sweet Corn Puree, Pimento Popcorn, Charred Baby Corn and Hibiscus Konbu Sauce.
In this dish where corn is done in three ways, we sipped the modern styled McGuigan Shortlist Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 2011.
The Chardonnay’s fresh and zippy taste, offers delightful complexity and a lingering finish.
“The Chardonnay is everything Australian Chardonnay used to be but with finesse, as it is generous, soft and robust in flavour,” said Neil who is also Australian Vintage chief executive officer.
A strong show of reds promptly entered the scene as the Pan Roasted Wagyu Sirloin, Cured Chopped Beef Fat, Air Dried Beef Lomo, Truffle Potato Mousseline and Brussels Sprout Leaves was served.
Here, we tasted the McGuigan Shortlist Barossa Valley GSM 2011 and McGuigan Handmade Langhorne Creek Shiraz 2009.
The bright fruit flavour of the dark ruby Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre 2011 from the Barossa Valley, showed off its lovely blend and was an excellent red with the wagyu’s delicate marbling and melt-in-the-mouth texture.
“The GSM from Barossa is a lovely fleshy blend that shows off texture, it is not oakey and has some amount of tannin,” Neil said.
The Langhorne Creek Shiraz delights the eye with its deep crimson shade and the tastebuds with its fruit driven style.
“It is black currant in character and the intensity of Langhorne Creek grapes produces intense wines that are big, flavoursome and show off lots of tannin,” he said.
Its savoury accent is obvious, influenced by the sodium content from the river flats that gives off a salty edge in the drink.
“You need to enjoy the Langhorne Creek Shiraz with food as its saltiness adds an overall rich robust taste when paired together,” Neil elaborated.
For dessert, the impressive flavours of the McGuigan Black Label Moscato 2012 danced along to the Pineapple, Poached Sous-Vide with Madagascar Vanilla, Coconut Sorbet, Macadamia Nut Brittle, Hot Buttered Rum Sphere and Sichuan Pepper Foam.
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