800kms. 130+ Wines. 2 x 10km Runs, 7 Cellar Doors. 2 Large Bondi Meals. 1 White Chocolate Magnum. 1 Wine Competition Tasting. 1 Harvest Festival.
Welcome to my weekend.
A weekend where I attempted to jam as many activities as is humanly possible into 48 hours of freedom. A weekend where the entertainment was varied, but with much of it wine centred (except for the chicken burgers).
From Alsatian whites with Japanese Tapas on Friday night (detailed here), to the Sydney International Wine Competition tasting on Saturday (tasting notes to come), to watching the Swans smash the Hawks at the pub on Saturday night (accompanied by tasty Barons Lagers). To a marathon drive from Sydney to Canberra, around and around Canberra's wine regions (notes to come), then back to Sydney again...
It was awesome.
On the wine side of things, I came to a couple of broad, subjective & probably inadequate/inaccurate conclusions:
1. Good: 2007 will go down as a watershed vintage in Central Otago and Southern NZ. The quality of the 07 Pinots are uniformly excellent, especially when placed next to the 06 wines.
2. Bad: 2007 in South Australia, however, reminds me alot of the 1997 vintage. Simple, upfront wines lacking depth that need to be drunk young.
3. Bad: Few wineries are heeding the message to go green and move wines into lighter bottles. The amount of 'Reserve' labels in heavyweight glass seems to be increasing.
4. Good: Very few overtly oaky wines tasted over the weekend. Hooray!
5. Bad: Ignore what you hear in the commercial press. 2009 is a challenging vintage in Canberra, facing the same problems with heat and drought experienced throughout Vic & SA.
6. Bad: Pinot has little future in most Canberra vineyards. One winery won't even pick theirs this year. Graft it over to Shiraz, or Tempranillo, or Touriga etc. Cabernet is also mercurial here.
7. Good: 2008 Canberra Rieslings really are that good.
8. Tiresome: The Canberra 'District' is enormous. Second only to Tasmania or Great Southern in how geographically diffuse the wineries are. Lots of time for me to listen to songs from the Triple J feature album yet again.