A raft of medals has been awarded to wines from Australia and New Zealand today, in the IWSC’s final medal announcement of the year.
One area of great strength for Australia this year was fortified wine. Eight of the 29 gold medals awarded to the country went to wines from this category, two of which – Grant Burge 20 Year Old Tawny NV and Hardys Rare Tawny NV – were awarded 98 points, the highest score for Australian wines this year.
Morris Wines of Rutherglen took three of the gold medals awarded to fortified wines; their highest scoring, Morris Old Premium Rare Muscat, is an “outstandingly well-made example” that received 97 points. The trend of award-winning fortified wines is continued in the silver medals, with a further eight medals awarded to the category.
Semillon was the best performing still wine meanwhile, winning four gold medals, including a unique dry botrytis 2002 Semillon from De Bortoli (pictured above). All Rounder Semillon 2002 from New South Wales was described by IWSC experts as “a very charismatic dry botrytis”.
Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon wines won six gold medals each, mostly from south Australian regions – the most successful region for Australia this year, taking over half of the medals awarded – but also a gold medal-winning Cabernet Sauvignon from Margaret River, Peccavi Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, which is a “fantastically balanced wine”.
“This year’s competition was a resounding success for Australian classics,” noted Alex Hunt MW, the Wine Committee member overseeing the Australian judging.
“Cabernet from Coonawarra and Margaret River plus South Australian Shiraz took a clear lead among the top reds. Chardonnay showed a welcome return to a more generous style. Semillon was the standout dry white style, with excellence and uniqueness appearing at many different stages of maturity. Aged fortified wines also proved their worth, with the best offering complexity and lift rather than simple sweetness.”
New Zealand meanwhile performed immensely well this year, taking ten gold medals for a range of still wines including Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and Riesling.
The top-awarded New Zealand wine is Babich Black Label Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2018 from Marlborough, which received 96 points: “This wine has everything”, IWSC judges said.
Australian and New Zealand trophy winners will be announced later this month in the Worldwide Wine Trophy results on 16 October, while the Australian and New Zealand Wine Producers of the Year will be revealed at the IWSC Awards Banquet in November.