When this year’s 12 scholars were selected, it was very obvious the field was an exceptionally strong one. The scholars were:
Emma Plumridge, Rockpook, Head Sommelier
Joanna Marsh, (former) Seppelt Wines, Winemaker
Nicholas Spencer, Eden Road Wines, Winemaker
Marcus Satchell, Satch Wines, Winemaker
Courtney Treacher, Houghton Wine Co, Winemaker
David Brookes, Vinosense, Wine Journalist
Anna Pooley, Treasury Wine Estates, Winemaker
Bengt Baumgartner, The European, Sommelier
Mario Vinciguerra, Vintage Cellars, Fine Wine Manager
Daniel Sims, The Wine Guide, Project Manager/Partner
Lisa Jenkins, City Wine Store, Head Sommelier
Paul Gardner, Glass Brasserie, Sommelier
Anna Pooley was stranded by the Qantas strike, but has been given a place in next year’s Tutorial.
Six of the scholars effectively in a dead-heat by the close of business Thursday night. We have had a few clear winners of the Friday morning DRC in full tasting, but, more often than not, little to choose between the scholars. Our prayers were answered this year, when David Brookes was a stand out, correctly identifying four of the six vineyards (switching the other two around) and correctly identifying the vintage. He was the clear winner.
Against the odds, the range of wines presented this year was better than in any prior year, both the judging exercises of the chardonnay, pinot noir, shiraz and cabernet full of high quality wines, and – happily – a few traps for the unwary. Fabulous line-ups of wines for the Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne masterclasses, and the wines presented at the evening sessions generally superb (allowing for the usual cork casualties).