Decanter World Wine Awards: Australia sits 3rd on the global leader board

The 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards, the world’s largest wine competition, sampled and judged close to 17,000 wines, entered from 57 different countries. More medals have been awarded this year, continuing the trend of improving wine quality and the broader range of regions now producing wine.

During the week-long event, more than 280 of the world’s top wine experts tasted and debated the merits of each bottle entered. Only the top 50 were awarded the accolade of “Best in Show” of which Australian wines collected six of these placing them 3rd on the global leaderboard behind France and Spain.

From Australia’s unsung hero, Hunter Valley Semillon to the fortified Muscat from Rutherglen, Australia showcased the significant diversity of the country’s regions throughout the awards. The Best in Show wines hailed from a range of distinct regions; Clare Valley, Tasmania, Hunter Valley, McLaren Vale, and Rutherglen.

The Kilikanoon Attunga 1865 Shiraz 2014 from the Clare Valley, Dawson James Chardonnay 2015 from Derwent Valley in Tasmania, Brokenwood Graveyard Vineyard Shiraz 2017 from the Hunter Valley, Shingleback “The Gate” Shiraz 2017 from the McLaren Vale, McGuigan Bin 9000 Semillon 2007 from the Hunter Valley, and Campbells Rare Merchant Prince NV Rutherglen Muscat were the winners of the Best in Show.

Of its 930 entries and in addition to its six Best in Show accolades, Australia was awarded a massive 16 platinum medals, 52 gold medals and 289 silver medals.

Western Australia’s Margaret River was the top performing region, taking the most medals in Australia of which the Vasse Felix Heytesbury Chardonnay was awarded a platinum medal, scoring 98 points.

Australian Michael Hill Smith co-chaired the awards. Hill Smith became the first Australian to pass the Master of Wine examination winning the inaugural Madame Bollinger Tasting Medal the same year. Hill Smith oversees the competition alongside co-chairs Andrew Jefford and Sarah Jane Evans MW, while Australia is chaired by Australian wine critic and writer Huon Hook as well as UK wine critic Anthony Rose.

Hill Smith comments, “2019 has yet again seen some exciting wines with revelations coming out of Greece, Madeira and China. The Decanter World Wine Awards really helps producers to raise their profile internationally and for consumers faced with the prospect of such choice; choosing a bottle with a DWWA sticker on it, particularly a gold or platinum should reassure them that the wine has been through a rigorous judging process, against much competition and you can trust the quality. With more education on wine so widely available nowadays, and plenty more opportunities to travel, now really is the time to have an interest in wine.”