Sydney International Wine Competition

Good-value and international wines come to the fore in

39th Sydney International Wine Competition

Competition launches comprehensive new consumer-friendly website

 

16 November 2018: While it was “business as usual” with Australian reds and New Zealand whites dominating their respective categories, the results of the 39th Sydney International Wine Competition highlighted the growth in international wineries targeting the Australian market and the increasing diversity of wine styles and grape varieties gaining recognition.

The Competition once again saw a wide range of good-value wines from Australia, New Zealand, South America and Europe winning trophies and medals in this year’s competition, with ALDI’s $6.99 One Road Shiraz 2017 (fruit from Langhorne Creek and Heathcote) winning a trophy for the Best Medium Bodied Dry Red Wine of the Competition, the Peter Yealands Sauvignon Blanc ($17.99) won the Kemenys Perpetual Trophy for Best Value Dry White Table Wine of Competition, and Portugal’s Casa Santos Lima – Companhia das Vinhas S.A – Bons-Ventos, Red 2016 ($9) was awarded the John Marris Perpetual Trophy for a Non-Australian Wine of Outstanding Quality.

The Sydney International Wine Competition is unique in being the only international wine show that judges all its finalists in combination with appropriate food – meaning that consumers can select wines that are best suited to accompany specific meals, from BBQs to formal dinners.

Trophy and medal winners from the Sydney International Wine Competition were announced today, complemented by a totally redesigned Competition website to provide consumers free and comprehensive advice on the wines entered for judging.

An international panel of highly-credentialed judges led by Warren Gibson, and including five Masters of Wine judged the 1800 wines submitted, awarding 241 Top 100, Blue Gold and Gold medals, along with 25 trophies.

Australian wines once again dominated the chardonnay and medium/fuller bodied red wine categories and New Zealand continued to rule the Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir categories, but there were also honours for wineries from a number of other countries.

France, not unexpectedly, was the leading winner of medals in the sparkling wine category, while Portugal achieved their best-ever success with eight medals, and Georgian wineries – considered by many to be the birth-place of wine – won two medals.

In total, entries were received from 11 countries, with eight countries featuring in the medals list: Australia, New Zealand, Portugal, France, Argentina, Italy, Georgia and the United States.

The international nature of the Competition was reflected in the top five most successful wine companies:

  1. Yealands Wine Group (NZ) – 9 medals/trophies
  2. Saint Clair Family Estate (NZ) – 8 medals/trophies
  3. Casa Santos Lima, Companhia das Vinhas (Portugal) – 8 medals/trophies
  4. De Bortoli Wines – (Australia) – 7 medals/trophies
  5. D’Arenberg Wines (Australia) – 6 medals/trophies

 

The most successful individual wines were both from New Zealand, with the Akarua – RUA Pinot Noir 2017 and Brancott Estate Letter Series O Chardonnay 2017 both winning three trophies.

 

The ten most successful wine regions were Marlborough, Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Adelaide Hills, Margaret River, Central Otago, Riverina, Coonawarra, Clare Valley and the Lisboa region of Portugal.

 

Chair of Judges, Warren Gibson, commented on this year’s results: “This year’s competition showed an overall increase in refinement and food-friendliness in the general entries. In the past cooler climate styles have tended to be rewarded and awarded and whilst this appears to still be the case, there is definitely a sense that the warmer climate wines are encroaching into this area. This is seen particularly in the trophy wines but also within the general results.  For example, in the medium and full-bodied red classes this year the warmer South Australian regions of McLaren Vale and Barossa performed extremely well with the food matchings.

“There is also increased focus on “alternative varieties” in both entries and awards. This year a record over fifty different grape varieties were entered. Successes were achieved with other white varieties such as Roussanne, Gruner Veltliner, Fiano and Vermentino. Similarly, relatively unheard of (in Australia) red varieties Saperavi and Castelao were award winners. Grenache showed beautifully in the light and medium bodied classes.

“Major successes this year were wines from countries as diverse as Portugal and Georgia. The Badagoni – Alaverdi Tradition 2015 (Saperavi) from Georgia was awarded The Ted Radke Perpetual Trophy for Best Table Wine made from a Lesser Recognised Grape Variety. The Casa Santos Lima winery from Portugal was particularly successful with eight awards from a range of robust red varieties.”

Emphasising the importance of the food component in judging the finalists, renowned chef Michael Manners, alongside Marcel Kustos from Adelaide University, designed dishes to complement the various wine categories being judged.

A new, upgraded website was launched for the Competition to make the results more easily ‘digestible’ for wine consumers, says the Competition’s Brett Ling: “The world of wine is confusing for many, with so many labels out there to choose from, but we believe that the SIWC website can help consumers select wines that not only suit their preferences and budget, but also match foods they are going to be paired with.

“Consumers will be able to search the results based on style, regions, variety, and price, and find all the details they need to know about the wine, including individual judges’ comments. If interested, they can also use the recipe for the dish that was used in the tasting process.”

Other innovations this year included the use of Plumm glassware, Australian designed and owned, European-made wine glass brand.

Chair of Judges, Warren Gibson, commented: “Use of the Plumm red or white mini glassware provided enhanced visual and sensory benefits, and on on the odd occasion when old glassware was used, the contrast was quite noticeable. I believe that use of high-quality glassware like Plumm can add considerably to ensuring more reliable results at intensive wine-tasting events like the Sydney International Wine Competition.”

Complementing the introduction of new glassware has been the use of Winterhalter glass washers, which offer purpose-built solutions for intensive professional events such as wine tasting.  Used extensively in the catering industry, the Winterhalter system was ideal for the high volume of tasting glasses that needed to be cleaned throughout the five days of tasting.

 

Winners of the 39th Sydney International Wine Competition

 

Major Category Winners:

The Wine Society (Australia) Perpetual Trophy for Most Successful Winery of Competition
Yealands Wine Group

 

Joy Lake Memorial Championship Perpetual Trophy for Best Wine of Competition
Akarua – RUA Pinot Noir 2017

 

The Wine Society (Australia) Perpetual Trophy for Best White Table Wine of Competition
Brancott Estate – Brancott Estate Letter Series O Chardonnay 2017

 

Mark De Havilland Memorial Trophy for Best Red Table Wine of Competition 
Akarua – RUA Pinot Noir 2017

 

SIWC Perpetual Trophy for Runner up to Best Wine of Competition 
Brancott Estate – Brancott Estate Letter Series O Chardonnay 2017

 

Style Category Trophies:

Lanson International Diffusion Perpetual Trophy for Best Sparkling Wine of Competition
Champagne Collet – Blanc de Blancs Premier Cru NV

 

John Ryan Memorial Perpetual Trophy for Best Aromatic Wine of Competition
Patrick of Coonawarra – Patrick of Coonawarra Aged Riesling 2012

 

SIWC Perpetual Trophy for Best Semi Sweet White Wine of Competition
d’Arenberg – The Dry Dam 2011

 

Perpetual Trophy for Best Sauvignon Blanc Wine 
Marlborough Wine Ltd/Toi Toi Wines – Toi Toi Marlborough Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2018

 

Ernie Hunter Memorial Trophy for Best Lighter Bodied Dry White Table Wine of Competition
Two Rivers Wines – Stones Throw Semillon 2013

 

Schenker Australia Pty Ltd Perpetual Trophy for Best Medium Bodied Dry White Table Wine of Competition
Peter Lehmann Wines – Margaret Semillon 2012

 

SIWC Perpetual Trophy for Best Fuller Bodied Dry White Table Wine of Competition
Brancott Estate – Brancott Estate Letter Series O Chardonnay 2017

 

SIWC Perpetual Trophy for Best Still Rose Wine of Competition
Waipara Hills – Waipara Hills Waipara Valley Pinot Noir Rose 2018

 

J F Hillebrand (New Zealand) Ltd Perpetual Trophy for Best Pinot Noir of Competition
Akarua – RUA Pinot Noir 2017

 

SIWC Perpetual Trophy for Best Lighter Bodied Dry Red Table Wine of Competition 
Robert Oatley Vineyards – Montrose Mudgee Black Shiraz 2017

 

The Fesq & Company Perpetual Trophy for Best Medium Bodied Dry Red Table Wine of Competition 
ALDI Stores – One Road South Australia & Heathcote Shiraz 2017

 

Kemeny’s Perpetual Trophy for Best Fuller Bodied Dry Red Table Wine of Competition
Dandelion Vineyards – Lionheart of the Barossa Shiraz 2017

 

Myra Lehmann Perpetual Trophy for Best Dessert Wine (Unfortified) of Competition
Lillypilly Estate Wines – Lillypilly Noble Blend 2017

 

R L Buller & Son Perpetual Trophy for Best Fortified Wine of Competition
Morris Wines – Old Premium Rare Liqueur Muscat NV

 

Special Category Trophy Winners:

Kemenys Perpetual Trophy for Best Value Dry White Table Wine of Competition
Yealands Wine Group – Peter Yealands Sauvignon Blanc 2018

 

Kemenys Perpetual Trophy for Best Value Dry Red Table Wine of Competition
Peter Lehmann Wines – The Barossan Shiraz 2016

 

SIWC Perpetual Trophy for Best Australian Sparkling Wine – Aperitif Style
Taltarni Vineyards – Taltarni Cuvee Rose 2013

 

The John Marris Perpetual Trophy for a Non-Australian Wine of Outstanding Quality (other than Best Wine of Competition/Runner up)
Casa Santos Lima – Companhia das Vinhas S.A – Bons-Ventos, Red 2016

 

The Ted Radke Perpetual Trophy for Best Table Wine made from a Lesser Recognised Grape Variety
Badagoni – Alaverdi Tradition 2015

 

Exhibitions of the Sydney International Wine Competition trophy and medal winners will be held on Saturday 9 February 2019 at the Novotel Sydney Central.

 

Full details about the 39th Sydney International Wine Competition:   https://sydneywinecomp.com/

 

Further information:

Brett & Michaela Ling, Sydney International Wine Competition
E: info@top100wines.com
T: +61 (0)2 4757 4400

 

Press release issued by:

Peter Hook
E: peter@hookcommunications.com.au
T:  +61 (0)407 462213