So, what does the 2011 Canberra Regional Wine Show results have to say about Italian grapes in the Canberra District and surrounds? Surrounds includes Tumbarumba, Hilltops, Gundagai, Southern Highlands and the South Coast of NSW, give or take.
Class 4 covers 'other' white varieties and blends, from the 2011 vintage. Pinot gris and grigio took the top gongs: gold for the Mount Majura Pinot Gris; silver for Lerida Estate's pinot grigio; and silver for Southern Highland Wines'gris. The Mount Majura is my pick: tight, expressive, fragrant with green pear.
Three of the 14 wines entered in Class 17 (2010 other varieties or blends) were sangiovese. Both Ravensworth and Pankhurst Wines entered a straight sangiovese, with a shiraz sangiovese blend from Little Bridge Wines. Both the Little Bridge and Ravensworth wines picked up silver medals, with the Ravensworth being my pick of the bunch.
In the next class (#18, 2009 and older other reds or blends), the 2009 Ravensworth sangiovese picked up a bronze. The other Italians (A.Retief's shiraz, sangiovese, malbec from 2008 and Grove Estate's 2009 Sommita Nebbiolo) in this class didn't grab a medal. For what it's worth, I preferred the 2009 Ravensworth sangiovese over the 2010 version - both wines crying out for food and a bit of time.
And that was it. Given the small number of Italians or blends of Italian and other varieties entered, the hit rate was not too bad, but none of these wines really took the event by the scruff. Out of what I tasted, the Mount Majura pinot gris and the Ravensworth sangiovese wines are what I would recommend and buy.