I love these tastings,
The Young Guns of Wine (YGOW) is an annual awards program designed to celebrate new/young wine producers. But YGOW has now expanded beyond the awards to a calendar of tasting events highlighting contemporary wines (beyond the winners).
They’re quality events too, featuring a smorgasbord of below-the-radar discoveries to be had (plus a few old favourites). And yesterday the YGOW train stopped by Sydney with the top wines from the organisation’s Young Guns of Wine Deep Dive series.
I managed a lightning fast hour to get around this tasting and deliberately went looking for something different.
Here are quick impressions on 17 highlights:
Lethbridge Dr Nadeson Riesling 2022
Off-dry Henty Riesling and nails the brief. Freshness. Juicy energy, well balanced sweetness. Kabinett style and v. drinkable.
Hahndorf Hill GRU Gruner Veltliner 2022
I’ve had this twice now, blind and not, and it’s impressed both times. So varietal! White pepper, celery, grapefruit and a palate that tips from spring water vitality to citrus fruit with ease. Top shelf Aussie Gruner.
La Prova Fiano 2022
I could skip most local Fiano, but this has the pear volume and the right amount of freshness. Nice.
Express Winemakers L’Orange 2021
Kapow! Fanta hints on the nose, but it’s really just a crunchy orange juicy wine. It’s fresh and layers of phenolics to detail it.
Unico Zelo Esoterico Amber Blend 2021
This wasn’t quite as instantly tangy as the Express but it did have a lovely orange juice roundness and flavour to it.
De Bortoli Vinoque Nebbiolo Rosato 2021
The kings of Australian rosé do it again. There’s all the Neb aromatic highlights, with a palate of proper intensity. Grownup pink wine.
Collector Landfall Pinot Meunier 2021
Moody, stemmy serious Meunier. You’ve got to like some stalky wafts, but man this has flavour and conviction. Deep and meaty too. In the mode of the bigger side of Beaujolais, if you’re looking for a benchmark.
Medhurst YRB Pinot Noir Shiraz 2021
A bit of ying/yang in this Yarra red with prettier aromatics and the palate width of riper Shiraz. Great mouthfeel.
Hughes & Hughes Syrah 2021
Nothing but greatness under the Hughes & Hughes label lately, and this Tassie Syrah is just lovely. Lithe, silken but not underpowered Apple Isle juice here. Great.
Wines of Merritt Wilyabrup Syrah 2020
This is what Margaret River Shiraz can taste like. Has a chunky blackness with lines of the green peppercorn Margs Shiraz character (and none of the unripe tannins). Impressive.
Marq Cabernet Franq 2021
A new name to me and this was quality mid weight Margaret River Franc in the Right Bank Bordeaux mode. Varietal, layered, the whole kit.
Thistledown Sands of Time Grenache 2021
Detailed McLaren Vale Grenache with some complexity. This cascades beyond red fruit into layers of fine tannins and more.
Turkey Flat Grenache 2021
Buy with confidence. It feels bright and lively yet with an old vine depth to it. I wrote it off as a bit simple at first, but there is lots here.
Alkina Kin Grenache 2021
I went looking for complexity and this wine delivered. A bit of x-factor in this Barossan Grenache.
Lark Hill Dark Horse Sangiovese 2022
Bright, light juicy and oh so drinkable young Sangio. Doesn’t try too hard, just showcases the forest berries with some leather at the edge. Easy.
Thick as Thieves Levings Nebbiolo 2021
In amongst a bracket of older (and not better) Nebbiolo this had it made. Glossy red fruit, prettiness and fine tannins. It’s more Nebbiolo d’Alba than Cru Barolo but really nice wine.
Cullen Diana Madeline 2020
Perhaps the best wine in the room (again). Just perfect tannins, ripeness, Cabernet character. The lot. Why haven’t I bought some yet?