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10/11/2014

Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show results announced

The fourteenth annual Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show (AAVWS) results are in and chief judge Jane Faulkner has declared them “the best to date”.

She says the results show how Australia’s winemaking regions have embraced the alternative winegrape varieties.

The trophies were handed out Saturday at a lunch prepared by chefs Frank Cammora and Stefano di Pieri.

Wines from 24 different regions were awarded gold medals at this year’s Show with S.C. Pannell taking 'best wine of show' for a fifth time with his McLaren Vale 2013 Tempranillo Touriga blend.

Winemaker Corrina Wright is reported to have cried tears of joy when told of her trophy win for 'best white wine of the show' for the Oliver’s Taranga 2013 Fiano.

The inaugural 'best New Zealand wine trophy' was awarded to Waimea Estates Gruner Veltliner, a new Albarino class was created and entries to many existing classes doubled in numbers.

“It was great to see twice the number of Nero d’Avola entries this year. Producers are really getting into the variety — being true to it rather than trying to make Shiraz — celebrating what they are but in an Aussie context,” Jane Faulkner says.

The show also welcomed new fortified categories and a new trophy for best fortified, awarded to Rutherglen’s Stanton and Killeen for its rare Topaque.

Louisa Rose, president of the show, says the results reflect a “coming of age” for alternative wines and vines.

“The vines are getting older. The winemakers are more assured. We are fourteen years into this show and the results reflect increasing confidence, attention and experience in the vineyard and in the cellar,” she says.

International judge Walter Speller, who is a writer for jancisrobinson.com and Italian wine specialist, said Australia “can be a real second home for Italian varieties”.

“I was not versed in Australian expression of Italian grapes until this week,” he says.

“I had no idea what to expect but I have been so impressed by the quality of the wines and the service the Show does for the Australian wine community.

“The AAVWS is a fantastic instrument to attract attention to current issues in Australian wine but also to identify potential in Australian wines like no other Show can.

“It’s about an exchange of thought, shared experience, paying attention to the wines. I think Australia can actually give an impetus back to Italy because some of the Italian varieties made here are more convincing than what the natives are producing, Sagrantino for example."

Speaking from strict bed rest with a broken foot, 'best wine of show' trophy winner Stephen Pannell said his Tempranillo Touriga blend is a wine that “responded to our Australian climate.”

“I have always been interested in moving away from dominance of French wines – moving towards Mediterranean varieties,” he says. “But I never intended to make a dry red from Touriga.”

Pannell planted the Touriga back in the late '90s when working for Hardy’s to make Port.

“I was sick of making Port from Shiraz. Then in 2008 we had the huge heat wave in South Australia. It was 37 degrees and the Shiraz was coming in at 20 Baume but not the Tempranillo and Touriga. I knew then there was a new way with these varieties as the climate changed.”

TROPHY RESULTS:

The Dr. Rod Bonfiglioli best wine of show: S.C. Pannell Wines 2013 S.C. Pannell Tempranillo Touriga

Sponsored by Chalmers Wines Australia

Trans Tasman award for best New Zealand wine: Waimea Estates 2014 Waimea Gruner Veltliner

Sponsored by Riversun Nursery

Best red wine: S.C. Pannell Wines 2013 S.C. Pannell Tempranillo Touriga

Sponsored by Mildura Brewery

Best white wine: Oliver’s Taranga 2014 Oliver's Taranga Fiano

Sponsored by Jamesprint

Best red Italian varietal: Hither & Yon 2014 Nero d'Avola

Sponsored by Orlando Wines

Best white Italian varietal: Oliver’s Taranga 2014 Oliver's Taranga Fiano

Sponsored by One Idea

Best Spanish varietal: S.C. Pannell Wines 2013 S.C. Pannell Tempranillo Touriga

Sponsored by MoVida

Chief judge’s wine to watch: Davis Premium Vineyards 2013 Rogue Series Hunter Valley Vermentino

Sponsored by Yalumba Nursery

Best blend: S.C. Pannell Wines 2013 S.C. Pannell Tempranillo Touriga

Sponsored by Casella Wines

Best commercial volume wine: Yalumba Wine Company 2013 Yalumba Y Series Tempranillo

Sponsored by Morellofert

Best Rosé: Nova Vita Wines 2014 Firebird

Sponsored by Tasco Inland

Best Nebbiolo: 2012 T'Gallant Odysseus (Mornington Peninsula)

Sponsored by Riedel Glassware

Best Murray Darling region wine: 2013 Calabria Private Bin Vermentino

Sponsored by Sunraysia Cellar Door

Steward's choice award: Beach Road Wines 2013 Fiano

Sponsored by Macquarie Agricultural

Best organic wine: 2013 Whistling Kite Biodynamic Montepulciano

Sponsored by Mangan Group

Best fortified: Stanton & Killeen Rare Topaque

Sponsored by Paul Danenberg Dental

The complete results and medals are available online at aavws.com

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