Today was the tasting of the Young Gun of Wine Awards (YGOW) finalists for 2022, with 31 ‘young’ producers opening their wares for the trade.
YGOW is a an initiative spearheaded by Rory Kent that celebrates ‘the most exciting new projects and winemakers on the rise’. While the focus is on winemakers, there is also a Vineyard of the Year Awards & the Wineslinger Awards for venues.
31 of the Young Gun producers were on hand to pour today, typically with 2-3 wines open. I didn’t get around to everyone, but from what I did taste these ten things deserve a shoutout:
- Both the 2021 Entropy Wines had uncommon complexity, with the Entropy Wines Warragul Vineyard Sauv Sem a textural delight and the tannic Willow Grove Vineyard Pinot Noir impressive. Such depth and expression here – I want to drink them. My wines of the tasting (I’ve nabbed a stylised picture of the bottle from the Entropy Wines website as the feature image).
- The affable and affordable Site Wine Benalla Single Site Syrah 2021 was a winner, although the Site Wine Duke Single Site Mornington Pinot Noir 2021 was even better.
- Marco Lubiana’s just-bottled 2021 Marco Lubiana ‘Huon & Derwent’ Pinot Noir was a welcome Tassie interlude too. Serious, but lovely red fruit in that wine too. I didn’t warm to the muted 2021 Chardonnay as much.
- Another Pinot – the 2021 Mulline Sutherlands Creek Pinot Noir – captured a sense of contained power that the best Geelong Pinot showcases. The Portarlington Chardonnay was v.good too in a sort of modern, nutty-yet-tight style with a suggestion of sea spray that I kept thinking about given the vines are seaside.
- Saltfleet’s new 2021 Touriga really captured the vibrancy that this Portuguese grape can deliver. Their 2021 Grenache was impressive too. Young blokes making vibrant Vale wines.
- Finding well-balanced pet nats can be a challenge, but the 2021 Cavedon Pet Nat Prosecco from the King Valley had texture without being a froth monster. I liked.
- The new 2021 Rivulet Verdure was a cleverly defined outlier. A fumé style Tassie Sauv that looked varietal and snappy without the sharp edges. Keira’s 2021 Burnside Pinot Noir was a success story too.
- The Weathercraft wines went super quick, but the passing taste of the 2019 (I think) Weathercraft Beechworth Shiraz had real regional charisma.
- Some of the sponsor wines were also on pour, including a quartet of new Cullen releases. They were uniformly good, but the new 2020 Cullen Diana Madeline was so so good. Tannin, bright fruit, mediumness yet powerful. It screams Margaret River too. I’m buying.
- The price is now madness (in ten years it has gone from $85 to $225) but I enjoyed the new 2017 Henschke Mt Edelstone. All the olive tapenade regionality, carefully judged oak, velvet glove texture.
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