Australian winemakers picked up 393 medals in the latest round of the International Wine Challenge (IWC).
Last year the country brought home 256 in total – making this year’s haul a 54% increase from last year.
Of these, 22 were gold medals. Only one country, France, collected more golds this year, with 23.
The McGuigan Shortlist Chardonnay 2015 from Adelaide Hills was the joint highest scoring wine in the competition, with 97 points. The other 97-pointer, also made from Chardonnay, was William Fèvre’s Chablis Grand Cru Vaudésir 2016 from France’s Burgundy region, demonstrating that Australia is now producing wine that comfortably rivals the traditional home of fine wine.
Eight of Australia’s gold medals went to wines made from Chardonnay of which the judges “found some truly delicious, savoury, balanced examples”, explained IWC co-chair, Oz Clarke.
Another eight gold medals went to Shiraz wines. Charles Metcalfe, another IWC co-chair, commented that many of the new Shiraz and Grenache reds coming through the competition were “much fresher and more elegant than the traditional styles”.
South Australia came out as the dominant region with 11 gold medals. New South Wales, Tasmania and Western Australia also faired comparatively well with three apiece. Two Victoria producers were awarded gold medals.
Australian Vintage, owner of the McGuigan and Tempus Two brands, was the most highly celebrated with five gold medals. Taylors Wines, which trades as Wakefield Wines in the Northern Hemisphere, took home two golds.
The full list of gold medal-winners from Australia is below:
McGuigan Cellar Select Chardonnay 2017
Tempus Two Uno Semillon 2014
McGuigan Personal Reserve Vanessa Vale Shiraz 2017
McGuigan Shortlist Chardonnay 2015
McGuigan Shortlist Riesling 2013
Hills Are Alive 2017
Hahndorf Hill Shiraz 2016
Tenafeate Creek One Tree Hill Basket Press Shiraz 2016
Shingleback D Block Reserve Shiraz 2015
St Andrews Riesling 2018
St Andrews Chardonnay 2017
St Hugo Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
The McRae Wood Shiraz 2013
Sidewood Mappinga Shiraz 2015
Tolpuddle Vineyard Chardonnay 2017
Artisan Tasmanian Chardonnay 2016
The Society’s Exhibition Tasmanian Chardonnay 2017
Athena’s Vineyard Chardonnay 2017
Trentham Family Reserve Heathcote Shiraz 2015
Domaine Naturaliste Sauvage 2017
Victory Point Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
Flametree S.R.S. Wallcliffe Chardonnay 2017
The first part of the 2019 International Wine Challenge – Tranche 1 – saw 212 wine experts from 23 countries judging the wines over four days in London. Tranche 2 judging will take place from April 1-11, 2019, with the results announced on May 8.