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Royal Adelaide Wine Show winners represent best of Aussie wine

Food & Wine

Judges in the Royal Adelaide Wine Show had their work cut out for them this year after wineries across Australia entered more than 2800 wines despite the impact on the industry of fires, drought, and COVID-19.

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South Australian and Western Australian wine producers have dominated this year’s Royal Adelaide Wine Show, taking out 17 of the 23 top honours between them.

South Australian labels were awarded 10 trophies in total, including the coveted Outstanding Wine of Provenance prize, which went to Clare Valley’s Leo Buring for their Leonay Riesling (2020, 2015, 2005).

Another Riesling – Henschke’s Julius Riesling 2017 – took out the Best South Australian White Wine trophy, as well as the trophy for the Best Riesling In Show.

Producers from Margaret River in Western Australia were honoured with the awards for both the best red and white wines overall.

Flametree’s SRS Wallcliffe Chardonnay 2019 won the George Fairbrother trophy for Most Outstanding White Wine In Show, and Blackstone’s Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 took out the Max Schubert trophy for Most Outstanding Red Wine In Show.

Another Margaret River winery, Deep Woods Estate, won two trophies, for Best Dry White Blend and Best Other Red Blend, backing up their four trophy haul at last year’s Royal Adelaide Wine Show.

The Adelaide Hills were also strongly represented, with Riposte Wines winning the Sauvignon Blanc class with The Foil 2020, Wines by Geoff Hardy taking out Best Other Varietal White with their Gruner Veltliner 2019, and Deviation Road securing the trophy for Best Sparkling with their Beltana Blanc de Blancs 2013 – a bottle of which will set you back about $95.

There are winners at all price points, however, including the Signature Series McLaren Vale G-19 Grenache 2019 from Robert Oatley, which won the Best Grenache and Best South Australian Red Wine trophies and costs about $23 per bottle.

Other South Australian red wines to win trophies included Generations Malbec 2019 from Bleasdale, which won the Best Other Varietal Red class, and the Cabernet Shiraz 2018 from St Hugo, which took out the Best Traditional Australian Red Blend prize.

Trophy winners beat a total field of more than 2800 entries in this year’s Royal Adelaide Wine Show – the highest number of entries since 2012.

There are plenty of other winners too, with 179 entries taking out gold medals, 330 winning silver and 880 awarded bronze.

Judging took place over five days, with 30 judges across six panels sampling all wines “blind”, and re-tasting the very best wines to determine the gold medallists and trophy winners.

The increase in entries, and new precautions imposed to keep judges and staff safe from COVID-19, presented unique challenges.

Judging in the time of COVID-19 added some challenges to tasting more than 2800 wines.

A fifth day of judging was added so that the 30 judges across six panels could manage the increased volume, with each judge sampling about 120 wines a day for four days to determine the gold, silver and bronze medal winners.

To minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission, stewards and anyone handling wine wore masks and gloves, and a new machine was installed to dry the more than 5000 glasses washed each day so that they did not have to be dried by hand.

Organisers also utilised the expansive pavilions at the Adelaide Showgrounds to space judges further apart, and thorough wash-downs were performed between the judging of each class and at the end of the day.

Committee Chair Greg Follett said the judging process was rigorous and trophy winners should be proud of their achievement.

“For a wine to get up for a trophy one of the judges had to really like it in the beginning,” said Follett.

“Then when it is called back it has to be liked by a lot of judges and brought forward… and then it has to get ahead of the other wines that have made it into that gold medal range, and then all the judges have to run through it again to pull it up for a trophy, so there’s a lot of checks and balances for a wine to get up to that level.

“However any medal in a show is a good achievement.

“(For those) who haven’t won a medal, that doesn’t mean it’s a bad wine… it’s a huge process… and it’s subjective and everyone’s palette is a little bit different.”

The list of winners:

THE HURTLE AND NORMAN WALKER TROPHY for BEST SPARKLING WINE IN SHOW

Sponsored by Vinocor

Beltana Blanc de Blancs 2013

Deviation Road (SA)

THE JOHN FORNACHON MEMORIAL TROPHY for BEST APERA, TOPAQUE, MUSCAT OR SWEET WHITE IN SHOW

Sponsored by Orora Closures

Old Premium Rare Muscat

Morris (VIC)

THE INDAILY TROPHY for BEST AUSTRALIAN VINTAGE, TAWNY OR RUBY IN SHOW

Sponsored by InDaily

Old Premium Rare Tawny

Morris (VIC)

THE BRAUD AUSTRALIA TROPHY BEST SWEET WHITE TABLE WINE

Sponsored by Braud Australia

Deen De Bortoli Botrytis Semillon 2017

De Bortoli (NSW)

THE AUSTRALIAN WINE RESEARCH INSTITUTE COMMERCIAL SERVICES TROPHY for BEST RIESLING IN SHOW

Sponsored by AWRI Commercial Services

Julius Riesling 2017

Henschke (SA)

THE ARKABA CELLARS TROPHY BEST SAUVIGNON BLANC IN SHOW

Sponsored by Arkaba Hotel

The Foil Sauvignon Blanc 2020

Riposte Wines (SA)

THE FINLAYSONS TROPHY BEST SEMILLON IN SHOW

Sponsored by Finlaysons

Lovedale Semillon 2014

Mount Pleasant (NSW)

THE SEGUIN MOREAU TROPHY BEST CHARDONNAY IN SHOW

Sponsored by Seguin Moreau Australasia

SRS Wallcliffe Chardonnay 2019

Flametree (WA)

THE BDO TROPHY BEST DRY WHITE BLEND

Sponsored by BDO

Ivory Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2020

Deep Woods Estate (WA)

THE PROGRAMMED PROPERTY SERVICES TROPHY BEST OTHER VARIETAL WHITE

Sponsored by Programmed Property Services Limited

Gruner Veltliner 2019

Wines by Geoff Hardy (SA)

THE PIPER ALDERMAN TROPHY for BEST ROSÉ

Sponsored by Piper Alderman

DJL Rosé 2020

Xanadu (WA)

THE LALLEMAND AUSTRALIA TROPHY BEST PINOT NOIR IN SHOW

Sponsored by Lallemand Australia Pty Ltd

Estate Pinot Noir 2019

Pipers Brook (TAS)

THE TILBROOK RASHEED TROPHY BEST GRENACHE

Sponsored by Tilbrook Rasheed

Signature Series McLaren Vale G-19 Grenache 2019

Robert Oatley (SA)

THE RADOUX AUSTRALIA TROPHY BEST OTHER RED BLEND

Sponsored by Radoux Australia

Shiraz Et Al 2019

Deep Woods Estate (WA)

THE KARL SEPPELT AO TROPHY BEST OTHER VARIETAL RED

Sponsored by Mr David C Dridan OAM and Integrated Precision Viticulture

Generations Malbec 2019

Bleasdale (SA)

PROFESSOR AJ PERKINS TROPHY BEST CABERNET SAUVIGNON IN SHOW

Sponsored by Vili’s

Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Blackstone Paddock (WA)

THE DR RAY BECKWITH OAM MEMORIAL TROPHY BEST TRADITIONAL AUSTRALIAN RED BLEND

Sponsored by Fassina Liquor

Cabernet Shiraz 2018

St Hugo (SA)

THE WINE COMMUNICATORS OF AUSTRALIA, SA CHAPTER TROPHY BEST SHIRAZ IN SHOW

Sponsored by Wine Communicators of Australia, SA Chapter

Shiraz 2018

Montrose (NSW)

THE GRAMP, HARDY, HILL SMITH PRIZE for OUTSTANDING WINE OF PROVENANCE

Sponsored by F. Miller & Co.

Leonay Riesling (2020, 2015, 2005)

Leo Buring (SA)

THE GOVERNOR’S TROPHY for BEST SOUTH AUSTRALIAN WHITE WINE IN SHOW

Julius Riesling 2017

Henschke (SA)

THE GOVERNOR’S TROPHY for BEST SOUTH AUSTRALIAN RED WINE IN SHOW

Signature Series McLaren Vale G-19 Grenache 2019

Robert Oatley (SA)

THE MAX SCHUBERT AM TROPHY for MOST OUTSTANDING RED WINE IN SHOW

Sponsored by the CCL Label

Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Blackstone Paddock (WA)

THE GEORGE FAIRBROTHER MEMORIAL TROPHY for MOST OUTSTANDING WHITE WINE IN SHOW

Sponsored by Duxton Capital Australia

SRS Wallcliffe Chardonnay 2019

Flametree (WA)

 

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