Highlights from this year's wine competitions
With another year of competitions completed, yet again we are very proud to have won some fantastic awards for our wines. This year, we have more than 424 award-winning wines across our portfolio, including over 80 awarded Gold or above. Here are a few highlights of our medal winners across all wine styles and grape varieties. They include DWWA Best in Show and Platinum recipients, IWC Trophy and Gold winners, SWA Gold medallists and one of our many Matthew Jukes' 100 Best Australian Wines winners:
Willunga 100, `The Tithing` McLaren Vale Grenache 2016 – Gold SWA 2019, Matthew Jukes 100 Best Australian Wines
Only made in the best years, it was great to see the 2016 vintage recognised with a gold medal at the Sommelier Wine Awards in 2019, in addition to its place in Matthew Jukes’ 100 Best Australian Wines 2018/2019. Willunga's flagship, this single-vineyard wine is from small parcels of 60-year-old bush vine Grenache grown on the sandy soils of Blewitt Springs in McLaren Vale. Matured in old French oak hogsheads to add complexity and richness to the intense fruit character, this is a wine of great balance and length.
Tinpot Hut Sauvignon Blanc 2018 – Gold SWA 2019
Tinpot Hut’s Sauvignon Blanc not only scooped one of just four gold medals in its category at the Sommelier Wine Awards, it also received a silver medal at the recently announced Decanter World Wine Awards. Praised for its ‘savoury edge’ which gives it ‘more character than just fruit’, this is an elegant Sauvignon Blanc made primarily with fruit from winemaker Fiona Turner’s own vineyard in Blind River.
Quinta dos Carvalhais, Dão Branco Especial NV – Gold SWA 2019
This multi-vintage Dão white is made from a blend of Encruzado, Semillon, Verdelho and a multitude of other varieties. It is a blend of three vintages – 2004, 2005 and 2006 – which was aged in large old barrels for up to eight years. It is complex, intriguing and unique.
Herdade do Peso, Alentejo Reserva 2015 – Gold SWA 2019
A blend of Alicante Bouschet, Syrah, Touriga Nacional and Aragonez aged for one year in oak, this wine has delicious notes of ripe red fruits complemented by spicy complexity. Described by judge Dave Cushley of Prestonfield House as “savoury, balanced and elegant”.
Alpha Zeta `Terrapieno` Pinot Grigio 2018 – Gold & By the Glass Trophy SWA 2019
New Zealand winemaker Matt Thomson had been working closely with the Valpantena growers when he decided to make a separate wine from the Pinot Grigio grapes from a prime single vineyard that stood out every year for their intensity of flavour. True to its origin, this Pinot Grigio is intense and balanced, with the classic lifted aromas of pear and bread crust of Pinot Grigio from this area.
Capezzana Vin Santo di Carmignano 2011 – Gold SWA 2019, Italian Sweet Trophy IWC 2019 & Platinum Decanter World Wine Awards 2019
With the careful vinification of Capezzana’s Vin Santo, it’s no surprise that it has been awarded the highest accolades at the SWA, IWC and Decanter awards. The grapes are dried for several months before they are pressed, yielding a very concentrated must which is fermented and aged for more than five years in wooden casks made of chestnut, oak, cherry and mulberry. The finished wine is rich and intensely sweet on the palate, with dried apricot and fig flavours perfectly balanced by a lovely touch of freshness.
Pieropan `La Rocca` Soave Classico 2016 – Gold SWA 2019
La Rocca is a single vineyard in Soave Classico that sits on a limestone outcrop above the castle of Soave. The stunning quality of this wine is reflected in the awards it receives every year. Team leader at the SWA, Hamish Anderson, described La Rocca as “toasty and young, leading to a warm, savoury and complex palate, with nuts, lemon and beeswax”.
M/S Sangiovese Rosé 2018 – Gold SWA 2019
We’re delighted that this Indian wine has received the recognition it deserves. Made solely from Sangiovese, the SWA praised the wine for its ‘lovely lifted nose of honeysuckle and cherries, leading to a softly approachable redcurrant and raspberry palate’, making it a worthy gold medallist.
Cà dei Frati, Brolettino, Lugana 2017 – Gold SWA 2019
The secret to the success of the Cà dei Frati wines is their outstanding vineyards. They train their vines low, plant at high density and reduce yields. This results in concentrated wines, a fact not lost on the judges at the SWA who commended the wine for its “green apple and light camomile aromas, leading to some ripe mango notes and a long finish”.
Piper-Heidsieck, Essentiel Cuvée Réservée Extra Brut NV - Trophy Classic Blend NV Champagne & Gold IWC 2019
The newest additions to our Champagne portfolio, Piper-Heidsieck and Rare Champagne, took home a number of awards at the IWC. Judges noted the “discreet apple, nutty bouquet with honeysuckle and brioche on the palate” of the Essentiel Cuvée Réservée Extra Brut.
Piper-Heidsieck, Essentiel Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut NV - Gold IWC 2019
Piper’s Blanc de Blancs impressed judges at the IWC with its “gunpowder and briny notes with ripe green apple, chalky, blossom, sleek flavours, balanced by yeasty richness”.
Rare Champagne, Rosé Millésime 2008 - Rosé Champagne Trophy & Gold IWC 2019 & Best in Show Decanter World Wine Awards 2019 (available in July)
As well as scooping awards at the IWC, Rare’s Rosé Millésime 2008 was also awarded Best in Show at the Decanter awards. The judges awarded Rare their first ever Best in Show for a Rosé Champagne. They noted from the blind tasting that “on the palate, this is a Champagne first and foremost, a fine and complex Pinot-Chardonnay blend, yet the fruit core has a burnished quality and a glowing autumnal hint that marks it out as rosé and not white Champagne.”