THE Wimmera has one of Australia’s best winemakers in our midst.
Justin Purser, of Best’s Great Western, is one of 50 winemakers who have earned a nomination in the national young gun of wine competition.
He earned the recognition for two of the winery’s rieslings.
He is one of only 12 Victorians among the 50 shortlisted winemakers for the award.
Mr Purser originally studied wine-making in Adelaide.
He has worked in many countries before joining the team at Great Western.
“We’re trying to make Great Western riesling well-known and appreciated,” Mr Purser said.
He said both of the wines he has been recognised for – the 2017 Best’s Great Western riesling and the 2017 Best’s Great Western foudre ferment riesling – were made using non-traditional methods.
He said the latter had no yeast added to it.
Mr Purser said he allowed the grapes to naturally ferment so it developed their own wild yeast.
He describes the wine as having texture, and a honey and complex taste.
“This wine is good to have with cheeses after dinner,” he said.
He said the 2017 riesling, ideally a before-dinner wine, had an elegance and purity to it that captured natural acidity but was balanced with sugar.
Mr Purser is no stranger to the wine-making profession and has gained many influences.
He has worked for wineries located in parts of Italy, France and New Zealand.
He said his goal was to create styles that told wine-drinkers clearly that “this is from the Great Western region”.
“I want our styles to be a good example of this region,” Mr Purser said.
So what is that makes the region one of the best for wine-making?
Mr Purser, who enjoys both ‘textual and aromatic’ red and whites, said the soil was “gravelly”.
That meant, therefore, it added a complexity and spice to the wine, he said.
He said there was also granite in the soil, which made for good riesling and shiraz.
The Young Gun of Wine competition winner will be announced at Hobart’s Dark Mofo winter festival on June 18.