‘It tastes like country’ Shiraz brings out the best gong at the National Wine Show

Andy Gregory, chairman of the National Wine Show committee, at the National Press Club. Pictured: Samantha Taylor.

A Bendigo shiraz hailed as Australia’s unmistakable taste has won the country’s best wine award at the National Wine Show of Australia.

The show has been a highlight of the Australian wine industry calendar since its inception in 1975. Only the top award-winning wines at qualifying Australian wine shows make it to the judging table, National Wine Show winners represent the best of the best Australian wines.

This year, an even more rigorous pre-qualification program has been introduced. Only wines that had won gold or silver at one of the 32 qualifying shows were accepted for judging, making for a more competitive and higher quality show.

After a two-year hiatus due to COVID, the winning wines of the delayed 2021 National Wine Show were announced in Canberra on Friday May 20.

Sutton Grange Winery’s 2019 Fairbank Syrah won the Premier’s Trophy for Exhibition Champion Wine at the awards dinner at the National Press Club, after also taking home the trophies for Best Shiraz and Red Wine in the Show. James Halliday exhibit at the National Awards. .

National Wine Show judging chairman David Bicknell described Sutton Grange’s entry, which won the trifecta, as a wine that could not be mistaken for a provenance other than Australia.

“It tastes home-grown – like it’s grown and made in Australia,” Mr Bicknell said.

“It has depth of flavor, real aromatic qualities, complexity, length, and it’s beautifully balanced too – all attributes we look for in a good wine. This requires a skilled hand and a good vineyard.

Chris Smales and Steve Donohue

Champion wine from show trophy winner Chris Smales of Sutton Grange with Steve Donohue, CEO of Endeavor Group. Pictured: Samantha Taylor.

The Len Evans Memorial White Wine of Show was awarded to Cherubino’s 2020 Margaret River Chardonnay, described by Mr Bicknell as “the spirit of modern Australian chardonnay”.

“The Chardonnay and Riesling classes were very competitive and there was palpable enthusiasm among the judges about the quality of the wines being evaluated,” Bicknell said.

Among the surprises of this year’s awards, Mudgee’s Robert Stein Winery 2021 Reserve Riesling took home the trophy for Best Riesling.

“The Riesling category has traditionally been dominated by the Clare and Eden Valleys,” he said. “When we got to the half-dozen best Rieslings, there were six different regions on the table – very fine wines – but the Robert Stein won the trophy. Most people don’t see Mudgee as a great estate to Riesling, so I think this win is great.

The Red Varietal Trophy was won by the 2021 Cabernet Franc Provenance from The Lane Vineyard of South Australia. Mr Bicknell said Australian winemakers are becoming more sophisticated in producing wines from hardier European-style varieties adapted to Australia’s changing climate.

“In the past, there weren’t enough grape varieties to have their own class, but we’ve seen some really good wines this year – a whole host of different varieties. There was the beautiful Cabernet Franc from The Lane, Sangiovese, Tempranillo and a very good Nebbiolo among them. Five gold medals ended up coming out of the red grape class.

Steve Donohue and Matt Buckham

Matt Buckham of Cherubino (right), show white wine, with Steve Donohue, CEO of Endeavor Group. Pictured: Samantha Taylor.

Despite the significant challenges faced by Australian winemakers in recent years, Mr Bicknell said the results of the National Wine Show were proof of the resilience of the industry.

“The list of winners includes winemakers from all corners of the country, who have done well with all kinds of varieties. Australian wine is in a good place and despite what the industry has faced, you could say it is improving. We adapt and we do it intelligently.

For a full list of winners, visit the National Wine Show of Australia.

Original article published by Karyn Starmer on Riotact.

Toya J. Bell