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Australian Riesling named best in world

Judges at the 10th annual Canberra International Riesling Challenge have named an Australian wine, the 2003 Cardinham Estate Riesling, winner of best Riesling in the world.

The Clare Valley Riesling outpointed 550 wines from 10 countries in a field Judging Panel chair David O’Leary described as “top-class”.

“The 2009 vintage in the Southern Hemisphere proved to be one of the better vintages for some time and will no doubt advance the popularity of this great variety,” he said.

“The top wines all showed wonderful varietal character and expressions of regionality.”

Riesling Challenge chair Ken Helm says the fact an Australian Riesling won the top prize demonstrates that Australian wine can match anything else produced anywhere in the world.

“For an Australian wine to beat the best of the best, and from Germany, the home of Riesling in particular, will probably raise a few eyebrows in Europe,” he said.

“But it’s fair to say our judges were knocked out by the sheer class of the Cardinham Estate Riesling.”

The trophies for best current vintage Riesling in Australia and the Southern Hemisphere were awarded to the 2009 Jacob’s Creek Reserve Riesling.

The Australian Capital Territory Chief Minister’s award for best Riesling from the Canberra District was presented to the 2009 Helm Premium Riesling.

Tasmanian winemaker Andrew Hood was presented with the Wolf Blass Award in recognition of his outstanding winemaking contribution and setting the highest standards in the development of Riesling, particularly in Tasmania.

Judges included John Belsham from Foxes Island New Zealand, Steffen Schindler from the German Wine School, Ian Hongell from Peter Lehmann Wines, leading wine writer Ken Gargett and Sally Harper, Sommelier from the Bathers Pavilion in Sydney.

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WID 2017