The coveted Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy has been awarded tonight to the S.C. Pannell Adelaide Hills Syrah 2013, as part of the 2014 Royal Melbourne Wine Awards (RMWA) conducted by the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV).

Seven finalists vied for the prestigious honour, which recognises the best young red wine of the 2012 and 2013 vintage, and is named after the legendary Jimmy Watson, who championed table wine at his Carlton Bar.

The award’s winning producer, S.C. Pannell Wines, is a small, family owned winery founded in McLaren Vale, South Australia in 2004 by Stephen Pannell and his wife Fiona Lindquist (pictured).

This year marks the second time Pannell has taken home the Jimmy Watson Trophy after also winning in 1996 for the Eileen Hardy Shiraz 1995, during his tenure as chief red winemaker at Hardy’s.

The Jimmy Watson was the second trophy of the night won by the 2013 Syrah, which was also awarded the Trevor Mast Trophy for Best Shiraz, earlier in the evening.

With the expert panel of judges awarding the wine a total of 98 points, chair of judges, Tom Carson described the Watson winner as: “A seductive and thoroughly modern expression of Australian Shiraz, dark fruits, spice and a wonderfully textured mouth feel with fine grained earthy tannins. The wine effortlessly flows across the palate, plush with vibrancy, authenticity and a powerful and longly flavoured finish that ensures this wine will be enjoyed over many years to come.”

With a strong calibre of exemplary wines in the final line up for the Jimmy Watson, Carson said deciding between the seven finalists was a difficult task for the panel of local and international judges.

Other wine finalists vying for the Watson Trophy this year were Coldstream Hills Deer Farm Pinot Noir 2013, Deep Wood Estate ‘Reserve’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, Partisan Black Label Grenache 2012, The Barry Brothers Shiraz/Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Morris Wines The Criollo, Malbec 2012 and Gamekeeper’s Shiraz/Grenache/Touriga 2013.

The Royal Melbourne Wine Awards this year attracted 3183 entrants from across the country with 8 major trophies, 15 trophies and gold medals across 77 classes handed out to recipients from South Australia (7 trophies), Victoria (6), New South Wales (4), Western Australia (3) and Tasmania (3).

Consumers will have a chance to taste the award-winning wines at next week’s ‘Uncorked’ event to be held at Collins Place in Melbourne’s CBD on the evening of Friday 24th October with tickets available online at

The Shout Team

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

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *