Australian classics shine and new styles encouraged at the IWSC

Results just released from this year’s International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC) reveal a strong performance by Australian wine in its classic categories.

Some of the highest marks ever were awarded to its fortified wines, which accounted for eight of Australia’s 29 gold medals at the competition this year and the winner of the fortified wine trophy. Semillon emerged the star white, with four gold medals and the Semillon trophy.

“This year’s competition was a resounding success for Australian classics,” noted Alex Hunt MW, the IWSC wine committee member overseeing the Australian judging.

“Cabernet from Coonawarra and Margaret River plus South Australian Shiraz took a clear lead among the top reds. Chardonnay showed a welcome return to a more generous style. Semillon was the standout dry white style, with excellence and uniqueness appearing at many different stages of maturity. Aged fortified wines also proved their worth, with the best offering complexity and lift rather than simple sweetness.”


Alex Hunt MW at the IWSC.


Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2019, the IWSC is one of the world’s longest running international wine competitions, which this year entered a new era following the modernisation of all aspects of the organisation. This included the recruitment of new high-profile judges, leading industry figures handpicked for their expertise and commercial buying skills across a diverse range of industry backgrounds. A new specialist wine judging committee was also created to lead the tasting days and supervise panel chairs and judges.

With these developments come an openness to embrace the best of Australia’s emerging, as well as established styles, something Hunt is particularly keen to see in the years to come.

“Pinot Noir, new-wave Grenache, peppery ‘Syrah’ expressions, Italian varieties, orange wine… The list is long and diverse, and I know Australia is making world-class examples of all of these,” said Hunt. “This competition will welcome them with open arms, and reward them.”

The trophy winners will be revealed on 16th October and the Producers of the Year winners will be awarded at the IWSC Banquet in London on 28th November. Details of all the award winning wines can be found at:


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