McLaren Vale’s 2021 Best Wine of Show and prestigious ‘Bushing Monarch’ title awarded

Image: Elena Brookes with her trophy. Photo John Kruger

Dandelion Vineyards winemakers Elena Brookes and Zar Brookes were crowned the 2021 Bushing Monarchs for their 2020 Lion’s Tooth McLaren Vale Shiraz Riesling.

From almost 800 exhibits, the 2020 Lion’s Tooth McLaren Vale Shiraz Riesling was the highest scoring wine of the 2021 McLaren Vale Wine Show as judged by a panel of South Australian judges including Kate Laurie (Deviation Road) and Tim Dolan (Peter Lehmann Wines).

The winners were recognised in front of fellow winemaking peers and trophy winners, sponsors of the McLaren Vale Wine Show and invited guests.

Chef Todd Steele curated a menu with a regional focus, which was complemented by the trophy winning wines of the Show.

“It was a privilege to judge at the McLaren Vale Wine Show and witness the breadth of excellent wines representative of one of the most progressive regions in the country”, said chair of judges, Tony Love.

“It was most encouraging to see the first ever separate Fiano class trophy awarded, indicative of the region’s celebration of the ‘new’.

“Nero d’Avola also is standing up as a variety to further embrace. Grenache continues to grow in stature and it’s always a joy to see contemporary styles surfacing out of the more traditional Shiraz and Cabernet classes”.

Love noted the focus towards evolving wine varieties and styles suited to the district, from Grenache to other Mediterranean reds and whites, was exciting. Mr Love was also pleased the attention still given to traditional styles remained respectful and critical to the region’s reputation and economic well-being.

“To see such diversity and quality across all four days of the show judging suggests McLaren Vale is in a very good place in its winemaking journey,” he said.

“I hope we have been able to bring to the forefront the best wines of the year for all to enjoy, knowing they have managed to impress all the judges and rise to the trophy podium on their individual merits.

McLaren Vale Grape Wine & Tourism Association General Manager, Jennifer Lynch was thrilled the Best Wine in Show celebrated the region’s most notable variety and awarded a female winemaker for a second year in a row.

“Shiraz is our region’s most predominant grape variety and our region’s most historical – more than fifty percent of McLaren Vale is planted with Shiraz, and our oldest producing vines are Shiraz which date back to 1887,” said Lynch.

“Suffice to say, we have a long-term love affair and reputation for producing exceptional Shiraz wines, globally.

“Congratulations to Dandelion Wines and winemaker Elena Brookes – in 2020, we celebrated Chalk Hill Wines and winemaker Renee Hirsh with her 2019 Alpha Crucis Old Vine Grenache.

“It is thrilling to witness the celebration of another of our region’s phenomenal female winemaking talent as the Best of Show for a second year in a row.”

Full results here.


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