By Andrew Starke and Aditi Bhonagiri

A little known cool climate shiraz has taken out the Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy at the 2011 Royal Melbourne Wine Show.

The award acknowledges the region’s emergence as one of Australia’s most important cool climate terroirs and is an exciting first for the state.

In a win described by Melbourne Wine Show judging panel chairman, David Bignell, as akin to a hand-grenade being lobbed into the local wine industry, Glaetzer-Dixon Mon Pere Shiraz 2010 took home the prize for best young Australian red wine.

Colin Glaetzer, Nick Glaetzer and Alan Watson

The Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy is named after the legendary Jimmy Watson and the trophy has been presented every year since 1962 at the Royal Melbourne Wine Show for the best one or two year old red wine.

Winemaker Nick Glaetzer moved from the Barossa to Tasmania in 2005, where he has pursued his passion for experimentation and challenging wine convention.

“This is yet another outstanding achievement for Nick as a young, innovative Tasmanian winemaker,” said Wine Tasmania CEO, Sheralee Davies.

“It also highlights the potential of Tasmania to not only produce world class Pinot Noir and sparkling wines, but create its own unique style with other cool climate varieties.

“Considering the island's wine production represents less than 0.5% of the country's total, this is a particularly remarkable result.”

Over four days of judging, 3298 wines from 538 exhibitors were tasted by the 36-strong judging panel, led by Bicknell.

The judging panel awarded 19 trophies to the best-of-the-best in Australian wine.

Judging alongside national wine experts were international judges, Tim Wildman MW and Fongyee Walker, providing a global perspective.

“The top wines showed impressive sophistication and elegance; I’m continually astounded by the great leaps made in quality Australian wine,” said Wildman.

To watch an interview with Chairman of Judges, David Bicknell, click on the video clip below.

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The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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