It wasn't your average wine show, not by a long way, but it was a golden afternoon nonetheless for Briar Ridge winery.
Fresh from winning the NSW wine of the year at the NSW Wine Awards for its stunning 2018 Dairy Hill Single Vineyard Semillon, the Mount View winery cashed in again at Friday's Hunter Valley Wine Show, collecting a swag of trophies, this time with its 2013 vintage semillons.
Both the Stockhausen and Dairy Hill grabbed trophies, with the Dairy Hill named Best White Wine of Show.
On the red side, De Iuliis Wines that was awarded the equally prestigiousBest Red of Showfor its 2018 Talga Road Shiraz.
Despite the challenges of even putting on a wine show in COVID times, 635 wines were sniffed, sipped and swirled. They donned their masks and gloves and with army-like precision got it done, with more than 3000 wine glasses and washed and polished over three days of tasting.
Numbers were restricted at the presentation, but excitement - and wine quality - remained high with 47 gold medals awarded as the results were streamed live on Facebook.
Veteran judge Iain Riggs made a guest appearance as he stepped in as Chair of Judges for reigning Chair from south of the border, Sarah Crowe.
He spoke of the trials and tribulations of judging a wine show in COVID times and how, despite the challenges in 2020 of drought, bushfire and smoke, some "really outstanding wines from the 2020 vintage" were produced.
He admitted that judging wines from the trifecta of outstanding vintages 2017, 2018 and 2019 was far from being an arduous task, and that consumers will be spoiled for choice when it comes to buying Hunter Valley wines over the next couple of years.
Proof that the Hunter isn't only about Semillon and Shiraz, trophies were awarded to Bimbadgen Hunter Valley Vermentino 2019 for Best Other White Wine and De Iuliis Wines LDR Shiraz Touriga Nacional 2019 for Best Other Red Wine.
Riggs also noted that the Hunter was making some world class Chardonnay and it was great to see the Murray Tyrrell Chardonnay Trophy for the Best Chardonnay go to Tyrrell's Belford Chardonnay 2018.
The Iain Riggs Wine of Provenance was awarded to Tyrrell's for its historical Four Acres Shiraz from the vintages 2007, 2014 and 2018.
Trophy winners were:
Marshall-Flannery Trophy Best Current Semillon: Brokenwood Wines 2020 Hunter Valley Semillon.
Ed Jouault Memorial Trophy Best One-Year-Old Dry Semillon : Audrey Wilkinson 2019 Marsh Vineyard Semillon.
McGuigan Family Trophy Best Mature Two-Year-Old and Older Semillon: Briar Ridge 2013 Stockhausen Signature Hunter Valley Semillon.
George Wyndham Memorial Trophy Best Current and One-Year-Old Chardonnay: Tinklers 2019 Hill Chardonnay
Henry John Lindeman Memorial Trophy Best Two-Year-Old and Older Chardonnay: Tyrrell's 2018 Belford Chardonnay.
Best 'Other White' Trophy: Bimbadgen 2019 Hunter Valley Vermentino
Murray Tyrrell Chardonnay Trophy Best Chardonnay: Tyrrell's 2018 Belford Chardonnay
Doug Galbraith Memorial Trophy Best Sweet White: Margan Family Wines 2018 Botrytis Semillon
Trevor Drayton Memorial Trophy Best Fortified Wine: Mount Pleasant NV 30 Year Old Tawny Syrah
John Lewis Newcastle Herald Trophy Best Museum Red Wine: Tyrrell's 2007 Vat 8 Shiraz
Graham Gregory Memorial Trophy Best Museum White: Tyrrell's 2006 Vat 1 Semillon
Tyrrell Family Trophy Best Named Vineyard White Wine: Briar Ridge 2013 Dairy Hill Single Vineyard Hunter Valley Semillon
Drayton Family Trophy Best Named Vineyard Red Wine: De Iuliis Wines 2018 Talga Road Vineyard Shiraz
Alexander Munro Memorial Trophy Best Current and One-Year-Old Shiraz: Thomas Wines 2019 Elenay Shiraz.
Elliott Family Trophy Best Two-Year-Old Shiraz: De Iuliis Wines 2018 Talga Road Vineyard Shiraz
James Busby Memorial Trophy Best Three-Year-Old and Older Shiraz: Margan 2017 Aged Release Timbervines Shiraz
Best 'Other Red' Trophy: De Iuliis Wines 2019 LDR Shiraz Touriga Nacional
Maurice O'Shea Memorial Trophy Best Semillon: Briar Ridge 2013 Stockhausen Signature Hunter Valley Semillon.
Hector Tulloch Memorial Trophy Best Shiraz: De Iuliis Wines 2018 Talga Road Vineyard Shiraz
Len Evans Trophy Best Named Vineyard Wine: Briar Ridge 2013 Dairy Hill Semillon
Petrie-Drinan Trophy Best White Wine of the Show: Briar Ridge 2013 Stockhausen Semillon
Doug Seabrook Memorial Trophy Best Red Wine of the Show De Iuliis Talga Road Shiraz 2018
Iain Riggs Wine of Provenance: Tyrrell's Four Acres Shiraz 2007, 2014 and 2018