Now in its 41st year, the annual Riverina Wine Show was held in Griffith, NSW on Thursday night.

Designed to celebrate the depth of quality and diversity in the Australian wine industry, the panel of judges was headed up by former wine director of Rockpool restaurants Sophie Otton. The judges made their way through 56 different wine classes and awarding 10 individual varietal/style Trophies to a total of eight different wine regions.

The big winner of the night was the 2007 McGuigan Bin 9000 Semillon (Hunter Valley), which was awarded the ‘Ian Bicego Best Still Wine of Show’ Trophy. 

“The McGuigan Bin 9000 showed the variety’s slow, controlled development; the kind that tantalises the senses with its lemony fragrance and glimpses of melted butter and toast complexity,” commented Otton. “This year’s winner absolutely embodied the exhilarating effortlessness and featherweight grace that is Semillon at its best.”

Although the more traditional varietals such as Semillon, Shiraz and Cabernet achieved some great results in the competition, the judges also noted the high caliber of entries in the ‘Other Red Varieties’ class highlighting Durif, Montepulciano, and Petit Verdot in particular.

Otton however believes that the 2014 Pinot and 2014 Chardonnay varietals are the ones to look for.

“The ‘2014 Pinot’ Class was an unexpected surprise. On the table, the wines awarded silvers and golds demonstrated a superb graduation, from fruit driven freshness and balance, building to increasing dimensions and layers of flavour, with the top gold showing superb multifaceted complexity. 

“The ‘2014 Chardonnay’ Class were also outstanding, garnering a stunning cache of silver and gold medals. This demonstrates that Australian Chardonnay has come of age, offering refined and sophisticated styles that sit well above their price point. The class showed remarkable freshness, balance and purity with the best examples revealing a touch of struck match complexity.

“Finally, but not surprisingly, the ‘Fortified Classes’ were exquisite, and it was a privilege to see them in their chameleon-like incarnations.”

Trophy winning wines at the 2015 Riverina Wine Show:

  1. Best Semillon – sponsored by Braid Logistics Australia: McGuigan 2007 Bin 9000 Semillon (Hunter Valley)
  2. Best Chardonnay 1yo – sponsored by Orora: McWilliam's Wines 2014 Appellation Chardonnay (Tumbarumba)
  3. Best Chardonnay over 1 yo: McWilliam's Wines 2013 Single Vineyard Chardonnay (Tumbarumba)
  4. Best Shiraz: Blue Pyrenees Estate 2013 Reserve Shiraz (Pyrenees)
  5. Best Cabernet Sauvignon – sponsored by Patrick Portlink: Jacob's Creek 2013 Bungalow Lane Cabernet Sauvignon (Barossa)
  6. Best Dry Red, other varieties: Santolin Wines 2014 Individual Vineyard Pinot Noir (Yarra Valley)
  7. Best Dry Red Blend – sponsored by Classic Oak Cellarmasters: 2013 Langhorne Creek Area Red Blend (Langhorne Creek)
  8. Best Durif – sponsored by the AEB Group: McWilliam's Wines 2013 Hanwood ‘1914’ Durif (Riverina)
  9. Best Fortified, Sweet Style – sponsored by Tarac Technologies: Morris Wines Cellar Reserve Grand Tokay (Rutherglen)
  10. Best Fortified, Australian Fortified Red Style – sponsored by Collotype Labels: Pfeiffer Wines 2013 Christopher's VP (Rutherglen)

Best of Trophies

  • Best Still Wine from Riverina Fruit – sponsored by the Wine Grapes Marketing Board: McWilliam's Wines 2013 Hanwood ‘1914’ Durif (Riverina)
  • Best Popular Premium red wine: Casella Family Brands 2013 Beyond Horizons Cabernet Sauvignon (SE Australia)
  • Best Dry Red: Blue Pyrenees Estate 2013 Reserve Shiraz (Pyrenees)
  • Best Dry White: McGuigan 2007 Bin 9000 Semillon (Hunter Valley)
  • Best Still Wine of Show – the Ian Bicego Trophy: McGuigan 2007 Bin 9000 Semillon (Hunter Valley)

Special Award

  • The Sean Hampel Award for Best Shiraz from Riverina Fruit: Nugan Estate 2014 3rd Generation Shiraz (Riverina)
  • Most Successful Exhibitor of Still Wines made from Local Fruit – sponsored by A & G: Calabria Family Wines (Riverina)
  • Most Successful Exhibitor – sponsored by the Port of Melbourne: Moppity Vineyards (Hilltops)


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