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WA wines shine at International Wine Challenge 2009

The world’s most prestigious and influential independent wine competition, the International Wine Challenge, has revealed a total of 306 Western Australian wines that received the honour of a commendation or higher, with two wines awarded a coveted regional trophy.

The breakdown of results for Western Australia are as follows: 34 ‘Commended’; 52 ‘Bronze’; 26 ‘Silver’; 9 ‘Gold’; and 3 ‘Trophy’. WA winners of gold medals included Vasse Felix, Evans & Tate, Houghton Wines, Palandri Wines and Clairault.

David Ellement, chief executive officer of the Wine Industry Association of WA, commented that the results reflect the quality of winegrapes grown on Western Australian soil.

“It’s great to see first-rate representatives of the WA wine industry that continue to be recognised on the international stage,” Ellement said. “In wine challenges such as these, when old and new world wine countries come together, WA consistently punches above it’s weight in regards to the number of commendations and medals we manage to achieve.”

The two wines awarded trophies were the Clairault Estate 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon and the Evans & Tate The Reserve 2005 Chardonnay. The Clairault Cabernet won the ‘Australian Cabernet Sauvignon Trophy’ and the ‘Western Australian Red Trophy’; and the Evans & Tate Chardonnay won the ‘Western Australian White Trophy’.

Conor Martin, general manager of Clairault Wines, said the winery was still buzzing after receiving the news of their double trophy win.

“We have been inundated with enquiries from our trade partners and customers from around the world once word got out,” Martin said.

Will Shield, winemaker at Clairault, is similarly excited.

“This is a superb result and we are all very proud to receive the trophy for Australia’s best Cabernet Sauvignon,” Shield said. “This, alongside the trophy for the Best Western Australian Red wine for the second consecutive year is recognition of the importance of Cabernet Sauvignon to the Margaret River region and particularly to the quality of our site.

“It is also reward for our ongoing focus on the production of wines of integrity and longevity, our traditional winemaking practices and our sustainable viticultural practices,” he said.

Evans & Tate winemaker Matt Byrne said he was thrilled with the win and pleased wine drinkers would be able to enjoy the currently available wines.

“It is Evans & Tate’s aim to create benchmark Margaret River wines; and to have them recognised on the world stage is really pleasing,” Byrne said.

Entries came from a record 41 countries, with 304 gold medals awarded. Retaining the top gold medal nation status was France with 49 medals, closely followed by Australia and then Portugal.

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