Dan Murphy’s National Wine Show of Australia took place last night in Canberra (Thurs 24), with a surprise winner taking top gong for the first time in the show’s history.

A single vineyard 2010 PHI Pinot Noir from Victoria’s Yarra Valley won the Holy Grail of wine awards, taking out The Len Evans Memorial Trophy for Best Table Wine of the Show, as well as Best Dry Red Wine and the inaugural award for Best Single Vineyard Dry Red.

The first-time win for a Pinot Noir of one of Australian wine’s most prestigious trophies speaks to the development of the country’s premium red wines beyond the traditional Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon.

The wine is a joint venture between the De Bortoli and Shelmerdine families, with De Bortoli chief winemaker and manager, Steve Webber, using Pinot Noir grapes grown on the Shelmerdine-owned Lusatia Park Vineyard at the cool southern end of the Yarra Valley.

International judge from the UK, Neal Martin, said he was extremely impressed with the overall quality and calibre of this year’s entries.

“Since my last Australian wine show two years ago, there has been vast improvement, in particular with the Chardonnays and Semillons, which I think are truly world class. It is quite amazing how few of those adhere to the thick buttery style of the past and now you are achieving far more terroir expression,” said Martin.

Of the 1444 wines entered there were 24 trophies and 144 gold medals awarded.

Western Australian wineries won eight of the trophies, followed by Victoria with seven, South Australia and New South Wales with four and one for Tasmania.

Judging took place over four days with a panel of 10 top Australian judges joined by two international judges, and chaired for the fourth and final time by Yabby Lake winemaker, Tom Carson.

The Dan Murphy’s National Wine Show of Australia is widely recognised as the ‘grand final’ of Australian winemaking, as wines can only enter the premium classes if previously awarded a medal at a capital city or approved regional show.


The Shout Team

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