January (No. 492)
Seppelt wins John Ryan Trophy as “best of the best”
B Seppelt & Son, has taken out the prestigious John Ryan Trophy, presented by the Australian & New Zealand Grapegrower & Winemaker for best dry red table wine at the National Wine Show of Australia. The winning wine was the 2002 St Peters Shiraz from the Grampians region in Western Victoria.
The same wine also won best dry red table wine, Shiraz premium classes, and was awarded the overall honour of the Len Evans Trophy for best table wine of the show. Judges commented the Shiraz premium class was “exceptional”, showing “great depth of awards with few faulty wines”.
This year’s National Wine Show of Australia was conducted under newly-tightened entry criteria. When reviewing the 2003 entries, the show organisers put a strategy in place to ensure judges would only assess a maximum of 150 wines per day, reducing the incidence of palate fatigue.
Tim James, managing director of Wirra Wirra Vineyards, led a team of eight associate, 11 Australian, and one international judge (James Rodewald of New York) in assessing 1763 wines from 272 wineries across Australia and New Zealand.
Seppelt assistant winemaker, Emma Wood, based at the Seppelt Great Western Winery in Victoria, accepted the John Ryan Trophy for winemaker Arthur O’Connor and the Seppelt team. Wood said she was particularly “rapt” with the trophy win.
“We’re pleased because the St Peters Shiraz is quite different from the big, high-alcohol Shiraz styles that traditionally seem to win the show trophies. Ours is deliberately more restrained and elegant. It’s a medium-bodied wine made from fruit sourced from our Great Western Vineyard. The character is unique, lots of pepper, spice and mulberry. We’re really trying to showcase the regional character in our wines so we feel that it’s great recognition for Seppelt but it’s an accolade also for the quality of fruit from the Great Western region,” Wood said.
John Ryan was the founder and publisher of The Australian Grapegrower & Winemaker, from 1963 until the sale of the magazine on his retirement to Provincial Press Group in 1999. Grapegrower & Winemaker managing editor, Justin Brady, said the magazine was proud to continue its sponsorship of the National Wine Show, seen as the “best of the best” of the wine shows, providing the trophy to remember John Ryan’s contribution to the wine industry.
Yalumba Wines won the Vintage Cellars Trophy for best white table wine of the show with its 2000 Pewsey Vale Contours Riesling.