The 2017 chardonnay from the Charles Sturt University (CSU) boutique winery has recently won gold and was named best from the Tumbarumba region at the prestigious James Halliday Chardonnay Challenge.
The James Halliday Chardonnay Challenge is judged by five of Australia’s most respected wine experts including renowned wine critic Mr James Halliday, and has a reputation for finding the country’s best chardonnay. In 2018 the challenge attracted 544 wines from across 36 regions.
Mr Campbell Meeks, CSU wine maker at the National Wine and Grape Industry Centre said the profile of the competition and the judges made it a significant achievement for the University.
“The University’s boutique winery only produced two barrels from grapes sourced from the cool climate of Tumbarumba. This is quite a small batch compared to the likes of larger wineries who produce 20 to 30 barrels, giving them more available selection and blending options.
Describing the chardonnay, Mr Meeks said it is a wine “you’d be happy to take home to mum” suitable for just about any occasion.
“From day one we were happy with this wine,” Mr Meeks said. “It’s an interesting wine with many aromas that change each time you come back to the glass. But always focussed, finely structured, with intense citrus and white stone fruit flavours.”
Mr Meeks added the wine is at its best now having matured a year in the bottle.
Since 2016 the jointly managed research, education and industry partnership facility at the University has produced boutique wines for the commercial market.
“We have been experimenting with wine making techniques to show students the impact they have on the wine in terms of flavour and style.
“It’s good to be able to show students the techniques used to make the latest trends in wines and to be able to connect with the industry,” Mr Meeks said.
Mr Meeks also said the 2017 Tumbarumba chardonnay has also won gold at the International Cool Climate Wine Show.
The National Wine and Grape Industry Centre is located at CSU in Wagga Wagga is jointly managed by the University and NSW Department of Primary Industries.