Wednesday 19 December 2018

Here’s to you, Charlotte Dalton Hardy, star of the Adelaide Hills Wine Show

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When Adelaide Hills winemaker Charlotte Dalton Hardy was a small child, her mother used to tuck her and her three brothers into bed and say, “Love you, love me – love me, love you.”

The memory was so sweet, when she turned her hand to crafting a range of highly regarded wines out of her trendy Basket Range location, she named one of her favourite reds Love Me Love You Shiraz.

Now the 2017 vintage of Charlotte Dalton Wines Love Me Love You Shiraz has caused the judges of the Adelaide Hills Wine Show to name it their favourite as well, bestowing on it the Best Shiraz, Best Single Vineyard Wine and finally the Best Wine of the show.

The joy of winemaking has always driven Charlotte Hardy.

“I firmly believe that a wine must be made with a happy heart and a content soul,” she says.

“And that is, simply, why I make the Charlotte Dalton Wines – to bring me joy, happiness and contentedness and to share and hopefully pass those feelings on.”

Adelaide Hills chair of judges Nick Stock recognised the excellence of the wine the moment he tasted it at the show judging this week at the Hahndorf Resort Adelaide Hills Convention Centre.

“When the judges saw that wine, it was clear then that it was a stunningly strong wine,” Nick said.

Shiraz in the Adelaide Hills has come of age, he said, and is now one of the four pillars of strength in the region, along with sparkling wines, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

“Shiraz and Chardonnay, in particular, are the two varieties that consistently deliver here,” he said.

“The natural imprimatur of Shiraz and Chardonnay in this region is undeniable.”

There were seven gold medals awarded to Shiraz this year compared to three last year.

Nick put the variety’s strong showing down to a shift in style towards wines that are deeply flavoursome, as well as elegantly structured.

“Winemakers are figuring out what great cool climate Shiraz/Syrah tastes like, and the market has figured that out as well, so there’s definitely a lot of momentum in the region for that style of Shiraz,” Mr Stock says.

“There’s a generational change as well – with many younger winemakers whose wines are really vibrant and very exciting.”

In his last of three years as chair of judges, though being involved in the region’s shows for more than 10 years, Nick has been impressed by the growing quality in its wines across all varieties and styles.

“The diversity of excellence you see in the Adelaide Hills show wines is something you don’t see in other places,” he said.

Out of 592 entries this year, a vast majority from small and family producers, 315 were awarded medals, 56 of them gold.

Trophy winners

Vinpac trophy for Best Sparkling Wine of Show
Mt Lofty Ranges Vineyard 2015 Pinot Noir, Chardonnay

Atlas Event & Party Hire Best Riesling of Show
Ashton Hills Vineyard 2018 Estate Riesling

National Wine Centre Best Sauvignon Blanc of Show
K1 by Geoff Hardy 2018 Sauvignon Blanc

Prowine Best Chardonnay of Show
Shaw + Smith 2017 M3 Chardonnay

Hahn Corporation Best Pinot Gris or Grigio of Show
La Prova 2018 Pinot Grigio

Glass Print Solutions Best Gruner Veltliner of Show
Pike and Joyce Wines 2018 Separe Gruner Veltliner

APAL Best White Wine Other of Show
Fox Gordon 2017 Princess Fiano

Langley & Co Best Rose of Show
Howard Vineyard 2018 Clover Rosé

F Miller & Co Best Pinot Noir of Show
Sidewood Estate 2017 777 Pinot Noir

Laffort Best Shiraz of Show
Charlotte Dalton Wines 2017 Love Me Love You Shiraz

RSN Australia Best Cabernet family or Blend of Show
Bendbrook Wines 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon SL

Frame Creative Best Red Wine Other of Show
S.C. Pannell 2016 Nebbiolo

TK Print Best Sweet Wine of Show
d’Arenberg 2017 The Nobel Botryotinia Fuckeliana

Udder Delights Best Museum Wine of Show
La Linea 2011 Vertigo TRKN Riesling

Multi-Colour Corporation Best Wine of Provenance
Bird in Hand Nest Egg Chardonnay

Clemens Technology Australia Best Single Vineyard Wine
Charlotte Dalton Wines 2017 Love Me Love You Shiraz

Saint Martin Best Wine of Show
Charlotte Dalton Wines 2017 Love Me Love You Shiraz

Adelaide Hills Convention Centre Best Producer <100 tonnes
Murdoch Hill

Lexus of Adelaide – Best Producer >100 tonnes
Pike and Joyce Wines

Avant Garde Award
Murdoch Hill 2018 Happy Pinot Gris

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