Huon Hooke was one of the Judges at our 2015 Chardonnay and Pinot Noir Masterclass event held in July 2015.
He has written some interesting observations about the two Masterclasses benchmarking Yarra Valley wines with the best of the world.
"The chardonnaypinotnoir15 event held in the Yarra Valley last weekend was a lot of fun, and highlighted just how the gap between the best of Burgundy and the rest of the world has narrowed. It’s not long ago that in such blind comparative tastings, experienced tasters had little difficulty identifying the French wines from those of Australia, New Zealand and other places. These days, it is quite difficult. As well, experienced tasters are increasingly likely to favour Aussie and Kiwi wines over the Burgundy benchmarks, it seems to me." Read more here
"One of the lessons from last weekend’s chardonnaypinotnoir15 event in the Yarra Valley was the different approach of Burgundy winemakers compared to Australians and New Zealanders. Our winemakers seek to highlight fruit in their wine whereas the Burgundians de-emphasise fruit and varietal character, seeking instead structure and aging ability." Read more here
Prior to the event the Panel members gathered for a special dinner at the Healesville Hotel with Andrew Fleming from Coldstream Hills, and Julie and Garry from Toolangi Vineyards.
"At the beginning of the recent Chardonnaypinotnoir2015 that I wrote about two weeks ago, hosted in the Yarra Valley by Toolangi and Coldstream Hills, a very special dinner was given for the members of the ‘expert panel’. The hosts were Toolangi owners Garry and Julie Hounsell, and Garry dipped into his private cellar for some astonishing bottles, mostly – no surprise here – red and white Burgundies. The dinner was held at the Healesville Hotel in a cosy private room and the food did the wines proud." Read more about the dinner here