Another g’day for Australian Wines
Under embargo until 11am 10.05.18
The Australian wine industry is celebrating once again today as the International Wine Challenge announce its 2018 results. Following two weeks of blind tasting an array of wines from 52 countries, Australia has picked up an impressive 769 medals, second only to France in its attainment of awards.
In total Australia has been awarded 73 Gold medals with a fairly even split of 37 Gold-awarded whites and 35 for the reds. It also received 340 Silver medals and 355 Bronze.
A spotlight on the classics
This year the big classics and familiar grapes held centre stage. Shiraz led the way with 18 Gold medals, followed by 15 Golds for Chardonnay, 12 for Riesling and 10 for Cabernet Sauvignon.
Two Gold medal white wines stood out for judges, both attaining distinguished scores of 97 points: Domaine Naturaliste, Artus Chardonnay 2016 and Penfolds, Bin 16A Chardonnay 2016.
South Australia dominates again
South Australia dominated with 35 Golds and particular success for producers Wolf Blass who received four and Shingleback Wine with three. The Eden Valley tied with McLaren Vale as the most successful regions with eight Gold medals apiece.
Australia’s other Regions
Western Australia produced 13 Golds with producer Domaine Naturaliste picking up three Gold medals for both its Chardonnay, as mentioned, along with two reds: Discovery Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 and Domaine Naturaliste Morus Cabernet Sauvignon 2015.
Meanwhile, the cooler climates of Tasmania and Victoria did well with six and eleven Gold medals respectively. Stefano Lubiana picked up a Gold for their Pinot and their Chardonnay. The other Tasmanian Golds were for two more Chardonnays and a Riesling. There were nine Golds in total for the state of Victoria, three Gold medal red wines: Levantine Hill Estate Syrah 2015, Levantine Hill Estate Colleen’s Paddock Pinot Noir 2015 and the Taltarni Estate Shiraz 2015 along with a Gold for a white the Stonier Reserve Chardonnay 2016.
Canberra won two Golds, both from Shaw Vineyard Estate, one for their Riesling 2017 and one for their Reserve Merriman Cabernet Sauvignon 2015.
The Tempus Two Pewter Chardonnay 2015 picked up a Gold for New South Wales.
Tasmania was the only region to be awarded a Gold for a sparkling wine and the House of Arras, Rosé 2007 comprising a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Indeed, Tasmania’s cooler climate positions it perfectly for sparkling wine producers.
Once again, Australia showed that its fortified wines are world class with 11 Gold medals. Morris Wines did particularly well securing five, and leading the pack were its Old Premium Rare Liqueur Topaque along with Old Premium Rare Liqueur Muscat, both from Rutherglen, All Saints Estate were awarded Golds for their Rutherglen Muscat and their Rare Rutherglen Muscat. Hardys also did well with Golds for its Hardys Rare Muscat and the Rare Show Sweet White. Penfolds Grandfather Rare Tawny was awarded a Gold as was De Bortoli for its Show Liqueur Muscat.
Whilst Australia still makes plenty of bold Chardonnay along with its classic ripe Shiraz it’s also becoming known for a wider breadth of styles.
Viognier, for example, is becoming an increasingly popular grape down under, having travelled from its home in the northern Rhône. At IWC 2018 Yalumba enjoyed Gold medal success for this varietal with its Yalumba Y Series Viognier 2017.
Overall, while the quality of wines coming out of Australia remains on the ascent, many price points retain the accessibility that has become synonymous with Aussie wines. Gold medal winner O’Leary Walker, Polish Hill River Riesling 2012 for example currently retails in the U.K. at £12.99.
Charles Metcalfe, Co-chair at the International Wine Challenge commented:
“The Aussies have come up with another brilliant set of results in the IWC 2018! The wines get better every year, with new winemakers coming to the fore, and reliable performances from our old favourites. And some of the best Australian wines still manage to keep a lid on prices. Bravo, Australia, for quality and affordability.”