Richard Hilton Vineyards benchmark tasting

September 15, 2017
by Christian
in What I Drank Last Night
with 0 Comments
Hilton The Emperor Probus Viognier 2015

Dream big.

Boutique winemaker Richard Hilton recently hosted a benchmarking exercise for nine Cape Town sommeliers and me featuring his two favoured varieties, namely Viognier and Syrah. Two flights of eight, these as follows:

Flight One: Viognier
1. Y. Cuilleron Condrieu Les Chaillets 2014 (France)
2. Andre Perret Condrieu 2014 (France)
3. Yalumba Virgilius 2012 (Australia)
4. Hilton The Emperor Probus 2015
5. Te Mata 2014 (New Zealand)
6. Ktima Gerovassiliou 2015 (Greece)
7. Guigal Condrieu 2014 (France)
8. Guigal Condrieu La Doriane 2015 (France)

My top three wines in flight one were as follows:
1. Guigal Condrieu 2014 – 92 points
2.= Andre Perret Condrieu 2014 – 90 points
2.= Ktima Gerovassiliou 2015 – 90 points

The overall top three were:
1. Yalumba Virgilius 2012
2. Guigal Condrieu 2014
3. Guigal Condrieu La Doriane 2015

The Hilton wine came fourth overall.

Flight Two: Syrah
1. Y. Cuilleron Côte-Rôtie Terres Sombres 2013 (France)
2. Yalumba Hand Picked Shiraz Viognier 2012 (Australia)
3. Qupé Syrah 2013 (USA)
4. Hilton The Dalmatian Syrah 2013
5. Trinity Hills Gimblett Gravels Syrah 2014 (New Zealand)
6. Clonakilla Hilltops Syrah 2014 (Australia)
7. Henschke Mt.Edelstone Shiraz 2012 (Australia)
8. Vignobles Verzier Côte-Rôtie Indiscrete 2014

My top three wines in flight two were as follows:
1. Trinity Hills Gimblett Gravels Syrah 2014 – 96 points
2. Vignobles Verzier Côte-Rôtie Indiscrete 2014 – 95 points
3. Yalumba Hand Picked Shiraz Viognier 2012 – 91 points

The overall top three were:
1. Clonakilla Hilltops Syrah 2014
2. Vignobles Verzier Côte-Rôtie Indiscrete 2014
3. Qupé Syrah 2013

The Hilton wine came last overall.

A general observation: It was great to debate the wines with the somms, some notable divergence between what I was rewarding versus what they felt would find favour with their guests and as a result were inclined to score highly. For instance, I thought the Guigal Condrieu La Doriane 2015 (with an alcohol of 14.91%, matured in 100% new oak and the most expensive of the line-up at  R1 595 a bottle locally) was clumsy and my worst wine of the flight on 85 points while it ended up third overall among the somms.

Similarly, I didn’t particularly care for the Henschke Mt.Edelstone Shiraz 2012. With its alcohol of 14.5% and maturation involving 13% American oak, I thought it overdone (score: 87 points) but many of the somms felt that this would be an easy sell. The Vignobles Verzier Côte-Rôtie Indiscrete 2014 which everybody as wine professionals generally liked was nevertheless considered too fringe in style for the average punter.

Tagged

Share this post

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

SHOP ONLINE
winemag-storm
ADVERTISING
ADVERTISING
HOT AND HAPPENING
AEC v1.0.4
  • No upcoming events
AEC v1.0.4
ADVERTISING
newlstter2 Get the biggest stories of the past fortnight sent directly to your inbox. subscribe
FACEBOOK
TWITTER
ADVERTISING
BE SAFE

Wine magazine was published from October 1993 until September 2011 & now lives on in digital form as Winemag.co.za. We cover everything to do with SA fine wine.

XSLT Plugin by Leo Jiang