The medal winning wines of the 2020 ICC Sydney NSW Wine Awards have been revealed, raising the anticipation of who will be awarded the top trophies and named the best wine in NSW at the 25th annual NSW Wine Awards Presentation Luncheon on October 23.
Three days of judging took place at the International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) on September 29 to October 1 and saw 16 expert wine judges taste a record 904 entrants, awarding 65 of these wines with gold medals.
Talking about the 2020 judging process, chair of judges Dave Brookes said, “The calibre of our judges and the rigorous procedures means that each awarded wine really is worth the medal it receives”.
“One of the great pleasures of chairing the NSW Wine Awards is the robust discussions that surround the call-backs and taste-offs and this year, the Shiraz and Semillon classes, two of the great noble grape varieties of our state, were very strong, highlighting the diversity of style and the great vineyard sites of our famous wine regions.
“The Current Vintage Shiraz class was particularly impressive; out of the 184 Shiraz wines judged, 112 received a medal, 17 of which were gold medals! The recent run of outstanding red vintages in NSW was really highlighted in this class. The final line-up of gold medal winners was uniformly outstanding, showcasing the regional and stylistic diversity NSW is rightly famous for.”
The Semillon classes – both current and mature vintages – were also a pleasure to judge, according to Brookes, again proving that “no one does this variety better than NSW”.
“Fifty-five wines merited a medal and the best wines showed real purity and very detailed winemaking.
“As with the last few years, the Current Alternative Red Varieties category was also a highlight for judges, with a very high medal strike rate; of the 97 wines judged, 64 won medals. The medals these wines collected shine a light on varieties that probably need to be retitled ‘appropriate’ varieties rather than ‘alternative’, as they are well suited to their climate and region and are very much the future of NSW wine. Corvina, Sangiovese, Mourvèdre, Cabernet Franc, Montepulciano and Nero d’Avola are all bringing home gold medals.
“Current Vintage Pinot Noir was a surprise this year, with 47 wines entered. The number and quality of pinot noir wines has steadily increased over my 4 years of chairing these awards, and this year was the best yet with plenty of bright, varietal wines showing real promise for this variety in NSW.
“The Current Vintage Red Blends class was also a hidden gem. Whilst not a massive class, it was filled with wines that showed vibrancy, clever winemaking and high drinkability. Wines to look out for this party season!”
The 65 gold medal finalists will move on to the next stage of the awards, the 2020 ICC Sydney NSW Wine Awards Presentation Luncheon, where the top 2020 trophy winners will be announced on October 23 at ICC Sydney.
Mark Bourne, president of NSW Wine said, “We are so lucky to have ICC Sydney as a partner for these Awards. Not only do they support our industry 365 days a year, with a commitment to a 100% NSW wine list, but with their hard work, detailed EventSafe Operating Framework and stunning, spacious venue, our judging and awards presentation have been able to take place in this challenging year for all.”
Geoff Donaghy, CEO of the ICC Sydney commented, “We are delighted to host the 2020 ICC Sydney NSW Wine Award for a second year in a row, supporting our state’s exceptional winemakers during a very difficult year. As a result of the impact of COVID-19, we have sadly not been able to purchase from our local producers this year however, we remain committed to carrying on our legacy of working with the NSW Wine Association to continue our support of both the industry and our winemaker partners.”
Guests at the 2020 ICC Sydney NSW Wine Awards Presentation Luncheon will get to taste a large range of this year’s award-winning wines, accompanied by a delicious lunch. They will hear details of the judging process from the judges themselves and of course the presentation of which wines have won the 2020 trophies, including the ultimate NSW Governor’s Trophy for Best Wine in Show and title of ‘2020 NSW Wine of the Year’.
The gold medal-winning finalists in alphabetical order by region:
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