Vic100: Festival of Victorian Wine

Taste Victoria’s 100 best wines? That’s a challenge if ever I’ve heard one, but restraint and journalistic integrity forbade completely embracing temptation. However, getting to spend a sunny Saturday afternoon sipping award winning wine in the dappled light of Federation Square’s Atrium is pretty much living life like it’s golden.

The annual VIC100 identifies the top 100 wines of the year, as well as regional winners and the coveted VIC ONE – the absolute standout Victorian wine of the year.

Nick Stock, wine expert and the VIC100 Curator, returned this year to oversee the judging of all wines entered, and narrowed it down to the top 100 over two days of committed tasting; 550 wines from 22 regions within Victoria, from Heathcote to the King Valley, Rutherglen to the Yarra Valley, and Mornington Peninsula to the Pyrenees.

The VIC 100 is different to other wine competitions in that the emphasis and attention here is on what Nick referred to as ‘regionality’. He and his team concentrate on what each region does well, create benchmarks and then award the wines accordingly; they have to produce an excellent wine, but also one that the region can consistently produce.

Getting to chat to the makers themselves is always a highlight and trying to detect the tobacco, sultanas, raspberries, cut grass or vegemite on toast is part of the tasting game.

And the winner? The 2015 Dominique Portet Origine Chardonnay from a beautiful, mature volcanic red soil vineyard in the Upper Yarra Valley. A fine, fragrant and structured Chardonnay, with a lovely, lively flow across the palate and a lingering finish. Vibrant yellow-green in colour, with a fragrant nose of citrus blossom, lime pith, white peach and cinnamon and natural acidity this lovely wine had many facets that gave it the leading edge this year.

– Jo Rittey
Jo is a French teacher, a freelance writer and loves cooking lamb shanks. Armed with a PhD in Medieval French Literature, an exotic New Zealand accent and a winning (hopefully) smile, she likes nothing better than sharing a meal and good conversation with friends.

Disclosure: The Plus Ones were invited guests of VIC100.