Late last month, the 2023 Australian Sparkling Wine Show (ASWS) trophy presentation was held at Cumulus Inc in Melbourne.

As the only dedicated sparkling wine show in Australia, the ASWS aims to showcase and provide nationally recognised opportunities for Australia’s sparkling wine producers.

Over two days in August the team of five judges tasted and scored 155 Australian sparkling wines, an increase on the number of exhibitors in previous years. 66 per cent of entrants were awarded a medal with a total of 15 gold medals across the show, representing 10 per cent of entries. Trina Smith, ASWS Committee Chair, commented on the growing number of exhibitors.

“[This] shows the breadth of diversity of Australian sparkling wines, across a number of different styles.

“Originally the Marysville Sparkling Wine Festival, the ASWS began as a seed that grew out of the ashes of a community shattered by the February 2009 Black Saturday bushfires. Since its inaugural year in 2010, the ASWS has evolved and expanded and is now a renowned inclusion on the Australian wine show calendar.”

The Winequip/Lallemond Trophy for Best Wine in Show was awarded to Tasmanian wine producer Pirie for its Sparkling NV, also receiving a Gold Medal and trophies for Best Mature Sparkling Wine and Best Sparkling 24 to 60 months Tirage.

“Producing Pirie is an art in itself. There’s meticulous planning and patience required, and even then it takes crossed fingers in the hope of the ideal conditions,” said Tom Wallace, Brown Family Wine Group’s Senior Winemaker.

Tom Wallace, Senior Winemaker for Brown Family Wine Group, producer of Pirie Sparkling NV
Tom Wallace, Senior Winemaker for Brown Family Wine Group

Receiving the third major trophy, Best Young Sparkling Wine, was Taltarni Vineyards for its Clover Hill NV Cuvee Foudre, which also received the Best Sparkling under 24 months Tirage trophy.

Accolade Wines collected two class trophies, Best Sparkling over 60 months Tirage for its House of Arras Blanc de Blancs 2015, and Best Sparkling Rosé for its House of Arras Brut Elite Rosé C1801 NV.

Pernod Ricard Winemakers collected Best Prosecco for its Jacob’s Creek NV Reserve Sparkling Prosecco, while De Bortoli wines was awarded Best Open Sparkling for its Emeri NV Pink Moscato. The final trophy, Best Sparkling Red, was presented to Mt Camel Winery & Vineyard for its Peregrine Ridge NV Sparkling Shiraz C6.

This year the ASWS welcomed a new Chair of Judges, Jeremy Dineen, Director of Vintegrity Consulting and Co-founder of Haddow + Dineen. Dineen led the panel, including judges Sarah Andrew of WSET and Toni Paterson MW, and associate judges Ella Hoban of Accolade Wines and Romaric Bertholle of Kilchurn Wines. Dineen spoke about the quality of wine on show.

“Entries were received from a wide range of GIs from across the country and medals were awarded to nearly every winemaking state in the country. There are too many GIs to list individually, but there were particularly strong entries from Victoria, across a diverse range of varieties and styles, and from Tasmania, with their focus on bottle fermented traditional varieties.

“There is no better proponent of the diverse assortment of sparkling wines in our country than the Winequip Lallemand ASWS, and I would encourage all lovers of sparkling wines to seek out the award winners from across the styles and classes, as they truly represent the best expressions of their styles in Australia.”

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