Victorian winery Yarra Yering’s Underhill Shiraz has won the top award in Australia’s most important wine show, for the second time in four years.
The Yarra Yering 2021 Underhill Shiraz was awarded the Prime Minister’s Trophy for Champion Wine of Show at the National Wine Show of Australia awards ceremony at the National Press Club in Canberra on Friday night.
The 2018 Underhill Shiraz vintage took the top gong in the 2019 National Wine Show.
Yarra Yering winemaker Sarah Crowe was presented with the award by Minister for Trade and Tourism, Senator Don Farrell.
National Wine Show chair of judges Jim Chatto described the winning wine as a perfectly pitched rendition of a great cool-climate shiraz.
“The wine stood out for its sublime fruit purity and wonderful balance. It’s a delicious wine that could come from no other place on earth,” Mr Chatto said.
The Yarra Valley winery also won the Cabernet Blends Trophy for its 2021 Agincourt Cabernet Malbec.
The winning shiraz, which won the James Halliday Red Wine of Show Trophy, narrowly edged out Deep Woods Estate’s 2021 Reserve Chardonnay for the top prize.
The Deep Woods chardonnay won the Len Evans Memorial White Wine of Show Trophy. The Margaret River vineyard also picked up the Sauvignon Blanc Trophy for its Deep Woods Estate 2022 Sauvignon Blanc.
Other wins included Bream Creek Vineyard’s 2019 ‘Old Vine’ Reserve Riesling, which won the Riesling Trophy, and Bleasdale Vineyards’ 2021 Second Innings Malbec, which took the Red Varietal Trophy.
Bleasdale also won the Shiraz Blends Trophy for its 2021 Broad-side Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon Malbec.
Mr Chatto oversaw a team of 16 of the country’s best wine adjudicators in determining the winning entry during three days of blind tastings at Exhibition Park.
“A surprise this year was the red varietal class being the second biggest of the show,” he said. “These newer-to-Australia varieties are fast being embraced by the industry and consumers alike.
“It’s a testament to their suitability to our largely hot and arid climate.
“We’ve seen a move towards lighter, brighter and more versatile wine styles. Not lacking in structure, but focused on intensity of flavour, instead of concentration, aligning strongly with consumer preference these days.
“The quality of Australian wine has never been better. We are truly making wines that stand up on the world stage.”
National Wine Show Platinum Partner, leading drinks retailer Endeavour Group, said consumer demand for lighter, medium-style red wines was increasing.
“Pinot noir is driving this movement and is now comfortably our third-biggest-selling red variety but there’s been a strong demand for grenache, gamay, tempranillo, sangiovese, nero d’Avola and other lighter-style reds,” Endeavour Group head of fine wine Andrew Shedden said.
“These crunchy, accessible red wines offer a lot of versatility, they’re highly palatable and really complement the huge food trend we’re seeing in Australia.
“These styles collectively account for around 20 per cent of red-wine sales and have seen more than a 60 per cent increase in sales in the past five years.”
A special recognition award was made to Australia’s most respected wine critic, wine writer, vigneron and senior wine competition judge, James Halliday, who has been a patron of the National Wine Show of Australia for more than 40 years.
“James has been a driving force behind Australia’s global recognition as a nation to be reckoned with when it comes to producing outstanding wines,” National Wine Show chair Andy Gregory said.
“He has served as chair of judges several times in the show’s 48-year history and has been on our advisory panel since 1995.
“His stewardship has transformed the show into what is now widely recognised as the nation’s most important wine awards, one of few in the world whose federated model means only wines that have already won gold or silver medals in qualifying regional and city shows make it to the judging table.”
The full list of 2023 National Wine Show of Australia trophy winners:
- Prime Minister’s Trophy for Champion Wine of Show: Yarra Yering 2021 Underhill Shiraz
- James Halliday Red Wine of Show: Yarra Yering 2021 Underhill Shiraz
- Len Evans Memorial White Wine of Show: Deep Woods Estate 2021 Reserve Chardonnay
- Sparkling Trophy: House of Arras 2014 Blanc de blancs
- White Varietal Trophy: De Bortoli 2022 Ti Amo Fiano
- Sauvignon Blanc Trophy: Deep Woods Estate 2022 Sauvignon Blanc
- Riesling Trophy: Bream Creek Vineyard 2019 ‘Old Vine’ Reserve Riesling
- Semillon Trophy: Tyrrell’s Vineyards 2019 Pokolbin Hills Semillon
- Chardonnay Trophy: Deep Woods Estate 2021 Reserve Chardonnay
- Rose Trophy: Pernod Ricard Winemakers 2022 Barose
- Red Varietal Trophy: Bleasdale Vineyards 2021 Second Innings Malbec
- Pinot Trophy: Bay of Fires 2021 Pinot Noir
- Grenache Trophy: Willunga 100 2021 Smart Vineyard Clarendon Grenache
- Grenache Blends Trophy: Stage Door Wine Co 2021 GSM
- Shiraz Trophy: Yarra Yering 2021 Underhill Shiraz
- Shiraz Blends Trophy: Bleasdale Vineyards 2021 Broad-side Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon Malbec
- Cabernet Sauvignon Trophy: Xanadu 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon
- Cabernet Blends Trophy: Yarra Yering 2021 Agincourt Cabernet Malbec
- Alternate Red Blends Trophy: Big Easy Radio 2020 Funtime Fountain Sangiovese Montepulciano
- Fortified Trophy: Morris Wines Cellar Reserve Grand Muscat
- Sweet White Trophy: Berton Vineyard 2019 Reserve Botrytis Semillon
Original Article published by Ian Bushnell on Riotact.