By Amy Looker

The winner of the coveted Jimmy Watson Trophy was announced in Melbourne last night, with Victorian wineries the clear standout at this year's Royal Melbourne Wine Show.

The 2011 Best's Great Western Shiraz Bin 1, which has an RRP of $25, was named the winner of the 2012 Jimmy Watson Trophy, and also took home the trophy for Best Victorian Table Wine and the inaugural Trevor Mast Trophy for Best Shiraz in Show.

Located within the foothills of the Great Western Range and the Grampians Range, Best's Great Western is a fifth generation Victorian winery owned by the Thomson family.

Best's winemaker, Justin Purser, said making the winning wine was the ideal way for him to experiment with fruit from the winery's extensive Great Western vineyards. 

"My goal was to make a blend that expresses the spicy, fruit flavours that Shiraz from the area is so renowned for yet also retain the elegance of the wine. 2011 was a cooler and wetter year than average for the area but after six vintages in France, Italy and New Zealand, it felt like a typical cool-climate vintage to me," Purser said. 

"The wine tells the story of the 2011 vintage and delivers elegant flavours and aromas yet it has a backbone of soft fruit, fragrant spices and fine tannins. I am looking forward to seeing how it evolves over the next decade and beyond."

Chairman of judges, David Bicknell, said that 2012 was the first year that a wine could win the particular combination of trophies that Best's walked away with.

"This is a wine with purity, balance, freshness and complexity – a wine that I believe consumers will enjoy," he said.

Other big winners last night included the 2011 Jones Road Nepean Chardonnay from the Mornington Peninsula, which won the Francois De Castella Trophy for Best Young White Wine, while the 2010 Baileys of Glenrowan Vintage Fortified Red won the Bill Chambers Trophy for Best Fortified in Show.

Tasmania's 2011 Pooley Coal River Pinot Noir was also a major winner at this year's awards, taking home the Douglas Seabrook Single Vineyard Trophy and the Dan Murphy's Trophy for Best Pinot Noir in Show.

Conducted in association with the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV), almost 3200 wines were entered into the 2012 Royal Melbourne Wine Show from over 550 exhibitors, while the judging panel consisted of 37 local and international judges.

To see the full list of winners from the 2012 Royal Melbourne Wine Show, click here.

The Shout Team

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

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