By Amelia Ball
A Western Australian winery has taken out the Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy, as announced at the Royal Melbourne Wine Show last night (November 14).
Recognised as one of the most sought-after wine awards in the country, the Jimmy Watson this year went to Flametree Wines for its Flametree Cabernet Merlot 2007.
The Margaret River winery’s young red was one of 15 to be selected by judges to go into the running for the coveted — and sometimes contentious — trophy out of more than 660 entries at the show.
The win also broke South Australia’s recent run of collecting the gong, which is awarded each year to the producer of the best one year-old dry red wine in memory of an industry pioneer.
Flametree Wines owners Jeremy and Daniella Gordon were presented with the trophy by Jimmy Watson’s grandsons, Simon and Nigel Watson, at a gala dinner at Hilton on the Park in Melbourne.
Hosted by the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV), the show saw South Australia again dominate the trophy winners, taking out 11 of the 21 total trophies, with five winners hailing from Victoria, three from NSW and two from WA.
Celebrating the State Government’s 11th anniversary of involvement with the awards, the Premier’s Gold Trophy for the best Victorian white wine in show was presented by the Hon. Jacinta Allan, Minister for Regional and Rural Development, to the Seppelt Jaluka Chardonnay 2006.
Also presented on the night was The National Liquor News Trophy for Semillon, which went to Tyrrell’s Wines for its HVD Semillon 2005 and the Single Vineyard Trophy went to Swinging Bridge Estate in NSW for its Swinging Bridge Cowra Chardonnay 2007, among others.
A new class was also introduced this year — Wines with Character, Charm and Interest in the $15 to $25 class — and the inaugural winners were Tyrrell’s Stevens Semillon 2004 and the Brackenwood MC Syrah 2007.
As one of the biggest shows on the national circuit, this year drawing almost 3500 entries in total, industry members and guests turned out for the evening, which included entertainment, and some of last year’s medal-winning wines matched with a three-course meal.