Australian wines win 43 golds at International Wine Challenge

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Australia has brought home 43 gold medals, coming second in the tally only to France's 49 golds in the 26th International Wine Challenge (IWC) in London.

One of the world’s most prestigious and influential independent wine competitions, the IWC this year had entries from a record 41 countries. The judges awarded 304 Gold medals, up 13% on last year, 1,304 Silvers and 2,154 Bronzes, making a total of 3,458 medals.

France also topped the medal board overall with a total of 729 medals, with Australia taking 591 and Italy commanding third position with 405.

The 304 wines awarded Gold medals will undergo a further rigorous blind tasting and those elevated to trophy status will be announced in June.
The winning wines were each tasted by panels drawn from almost 400 experienced judges including Co-Chairmen Tim Atkin MW, Charles Metcalfe, Sam Harrop MW and Derek Smedley MW. This year Joshua Greene, editor and publisher of the US magazine Wine & Spirits, was a valued addition as the International Guest Co-Chairman.

Australia's Gold Medal wines were:

Ladies Who Shoot Their Lunch Shiraz, 2006
Plunkett Fowles, Strathbogie Ranges, Victoria
Judges said: Cool climate nose of smokey ripe eucalyptus and aromatic berry fruit with some menthol, mint and pepper. Juicy palate, with crunchy fruit and lovely minty freshness and solid spice support.

Heathfield Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon, 2005
Tidswell Wines, Limestone Coast, South Australia
Judges said: Really good length, with an elegant bouquet of cassis and creamy oak. On the palate there's a very nice balance of fruit acidity and silky tannins, plus plenty of floral, cedar nuances.

Angelas Blend Rare Muscat, NV
Buller Wines, Rutherglen, Victoria
Judges said: Chocolate brown colours. Lifted white chocolate and molasses on the nose with coffee and ripe fruits. Vibrant, deep, sophisticated. Fine balance. Great intensity.

Fox Creek Reserve Shiraz
, 2006
Fox Creek Wines, McLaren Vale, South Australia
Judges said: Blueberry and cream bouquet, with an ultra-ripe plummy palate with balancing acidity, supple tannins, and a complex, spicy finish with black olives notes.

Wolf Blass Platinum Label, 2006
Eden and Barossa Valleys, South Australia
Judges said: Intense sweet cassis and blackberry aromas with lots of very spicy oak. Young and concentrated, with ripe but fresh fruit and a huge amount of tasty oak.

Clairault Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
, 2005
Margaret River, Western Australia
Judges said: Very typical Margaret River nose – ripe, maturing aromas of black fruit, and a pencil shaving and bell pepper palate. Very good structure, with ripe tannins, spice. The finish has liquorice notes and is elegant and satisfying.

Penfolds Bin 28 Shiraz, 2006
Barossa Valley, South Australia
Judges said: Fresh red fruit with a firm vanilla note, elegant with a note of balsamic and pepper. This is rounded, with gentle tannins and some smoky depth, leading to a dry finish.

Kilikanoon The Duke Grenache, 2006
Kilikanoon Wines, Clare Valley, South Australia
Judges said: Lovely, restrained, perfumed nose of sweet blackcurrants. Rich fruit on a very voluptuous palate showing balance, finesse and elegance with a delighfully long finish.

Pirathon By Kalleske Shiraz, 2007
Kalleske, Barossa Valley, South Australia
Judges said: Exotic yet elegant blueberry fruit with cocoa, spice and freshness on the nose. Sweet fruit, very creamy oak and a silky texture. Clean, fine and long.

Tahbilk Marsanne, 2007
Nagambie Lakes, Victoria
Judges said: Smoky, buttery nose with some deep peach notes, a toasty caramel honey nose with pronounced oak, and a palate that is clean but relatively simple.

Shaw & Smith Shiraz, 2007
Shaw & Smith, Adelaide Hills, South Australia
Judges said: A very taut and stalky nose, with a fresh, rich, brambly finish over soft and juicy plum and damson flavours, and creamy soft tannins.

Bethany Wines Semillon Barossa, 2007
Bethany wines, Barossa Valley, South Australia
Judges said: Toasty citrus and lemon peel character with mineral and smokey aromas. Intense fruit with delicate flavours. Slightly woody and savoury with bright rich fruits on the palate.

Dorrien Margaret River Cab Sauv Merlot, 2007
Margaret River, Western Australia
Judges said: Very complex fruits and a really lovely elegance. Perfumed. Smooth brambles with soft tannins and a rich, deep and exceedingly long finish.

Shotfire Shiraz, 2007
Thorn-clarke Wines, Barossa Valley, South Australia
Judges said: An intense black cherries nose, with lots of berries and fresh plum. Black fruit, leather and tobacco on a highly extracted palate, with a good texture and jammy fruit with chocolate, elegant aromas and tannins.

7th Continent Hunter Valley Semillion, 2006
Hunter Valley, New South Wales
Judges said: Waxy minerally lemon curd. Lovely palate with backbone of citrus and mineral acidity. Just starting to get into its stride.

Tomich Hill Riesling, 2008
Tomich Hill Wines, Adelaide Hills, South Australia
Judges said: Lime and citrus nose. Hints of kerosene on the palate. Young and fresh acidity. Beautiful floral Riesling. Complex. Tasty. Needs time to bring out the delicacy, but has a good future ahead of it.

Margaret Semillon, 2003
Peter Lehmann, Barossa Valley, South Australia
Judges said: Very delicate aromas of flowers with toasty citrus notes. Elegant bright lemon flavours with soft toasty character. Clean and fresh acidity leading to a long finish.

Margaret Semillon, 2004
Peter Lehmann, Barossa Valley, South Australia
Judges said: Restrained nose of broad coconut with flowers and delicate notes of toast, straw and lemon. Well balanced fresh acidity with a broad structure and good length.

Mentor, 2004
Peter Lehmann, Barossa Valley, South Australia
Judges said: The nose shows deep Ribena with peppery spice leading to a dense, rich smoky character. Full, rounded cherry and very ripe palate. Great typicity.

Evans & Tate Margaret River Shiraz, 2005
McWilliams Wines, Margaret River, Western Australia
Judges said: A clean, quite savoury nose, with quiet, silky, spicy fruit. This is juicy, with good structure, nice acidity, good length, and an attractive refreshing style.

Evans & Tate The Reserve Chardonnay, 2005
McWilliams Wines, Margaret River, Western Australia
Judges said: Clean, punchy and really nicely aged mix of pear, musk, nutty maturity and toast. Flinty, zesty, fresh on the palate. Really super complexity and elegance. Great wine!

Tim Adams Riesling, 2008
Tim Adams Wines, Clare Valley, South Australia
Judges said: Clean, green and complex. Limes, tropical fruit, dry, apple core and oatmeal. Lots of fresh acidity. Palate has a nice pleasing roundness with quite a long finish.

Tim Adams Semillon, 2008
Tim Adams Wines, Clare Valley, South Australia
Judges said: Honeyed, citrus floral and waxy aromas. Mandarin and ginger character on the palate. Mineral acidity, structured for ageing. Full, tremendous depth. Very long, lingering flavour.

Primo Estate Joseph Angel Gully Shiraz
, 2007
Primo Estate, McLaren Vale
Judges said: Lovely complex nose of black fruit, basil and tobacco. Dense, chewy, rich and fruit-driven palate. Good structure, sweet tannins and long finish.

Eldredge Vineyards Sangiovese,
Eldredge Vineyards, Clare Valley
Judges said: Very minty, rich, creamy and raisined. A nice even mineral note and rich firm tannins. Very powerful and ripe but really well-made. A lovely wine.

McGuigan Shortlist Chardonnay, 2007
McGuigan Wines, Adelaide Hills, South Australia
Judges said: Fresh, clean complex nose, with nutty aspect, citrus aroma, mineral chemical, oily, rare and astringent.

McGuigan Earth's Portrait Riesling, 2004
McGuigan Wines, Eden Valley, South Australia
Judges said: Medium lime yellow in colour with a limey nose, and spicy salt attack. Complex lime flavours, depth and fine acidity coming up from the back. Exceptional length.

Baldivis Estate Shiraz
, 2007
Palandri Wines, Perth
Judges said: Very dark, thick, blackberry fruit with just a glimpse of something violetty and floral and notes of sandalwood oak. Rich and concentrated fruit palate.

Dead Ringer Cabernet Sauvignon, 2007
Wirra Wirra Vineyards, McLaren Vale, South Australia
Judges said: A very rich dark red colour, this has sweet red and black fruit, with a cassis nose and lovely, well-balanced, crisp acidity. There's spice oak, mint and eucalyptus on the finish.

Palandri Vita Novus Riesling, 2007
Palandri Wines, Perth
Judges said: Thick oily nose. Mineral, steely character with lovely weight of fruit, with tropical mango and papaya in abundance. Good vibrancy and length. Very stylish.

Palandri Vita Novus Shiraz,
Palandri Wines, Perth
Judges said: Cedary, rich, with lots of clove spice and creamy raspberries. Quite tight and focused with lovely curranty finish of power and length.

Vasse Felix Semillon/sauvignon Blanc,
Vasse Felix, Margaret River
Judges said: Lemon fresh with melon, balanced by white porcelain notes. The freshness on the palate is refreshed by citrus and mineral. Rich feel with vigour on the back palate.

Old Boys, NV
De Bortoli, New South Wales
Judges said: Very old, rich and complex. Good acidity, fresh and round with huge concentration of raisin, honey and toffee. Great length and structure.

O'Leary Walker Claire Clare Reserve Shiraz,
O'Leary Walker Wines, Clare Valley
Judges said: Intense red orange colour, hot fruit and very fresh, intense leather, good structure and grip on a fresh, fruity mouth finish. Delicious.

Tyrrell's Winemakers Selection Vat 1 Hunter Valley Semillon, 1998
Tyrell's, Hunter Valley
Judges said: Lime and mandarin, leesy creamy notes and masses of butter croissant. This has a fresh lively palate with smoky - toasty elements, exceptional balance and length. Wow.

The Bandit Shiraz Tempranillo, 2007
Houghton Wine Company, Perth
Judges said: Sweet ripe fruit with coffee and toffee oak support. buttery and minty with broad ripe tannins and integrated oak.

Jim Barry Mcrae Wood Shiraz, 2005
Jim Barry, Clare Valley
Judges said: Very deep purple black colour. Succulent, blackcurrant nose. rich concentrated with spicy fresh cassis and well integrated oak. Velvety, supple but supportive tannins. Rich textured, long fresh finish.

Yalumba Eden Valley Viognier, 2008
Yalumba Estate, Eden Valley
Judges said: Very fresh, clean white peach and viognier character, with alluring aromas. Some very soft and fresh citrus fruit flavours, and a finish that's clean and slightly oily with purity.

Yalumba The Signature Barossa Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz, 2005
Yalumba Estate, Barossa Valley
Judges said: Attractive warming black fruit and spice. Pleasing palate of fine cherry and blackberry. Balanced and fresh with an enduring finish. Good overall harmony. Mature. An excellent wine.

Yalumba The Octavius Barossa Shiraz, 2005
Yalumba Estate, Barossa Valley
Judges said: Aromatic blackberry aromas. Chocolate and raisin fruit that is really velvety and with fresh acidity. Supple, silky texture, stylish and fragrant with a sustaining finish.

Pewsey Vale Eden Valley Riesling, 2008
Pewsey Vale, Eden Valley
Judges said: Lime citrus and clean fruit with some floral honeysuckle on the nose. Zingy citrus fruit on the palate, a good deal of crisp acidity and a lovely zesty finish.

Wolf Blass Gold Label Riesling, 2005
Wolf Blass, Barossa Valley
Judges said: Pronounced kerosene on the nose. Really good lift. Very good varietal character. Delicate palate of fresh apple, lime and kiwi. Good persistence. Excellent wine.



  • Hunter Valley (NSW)
  • Adelaide Hills (SA)
  • Barossa (including Eden Valley) (SA)
  • Barossa Valley (SA)
  • Clare Valley (SA)
  • McLaren Vale (SA)
  • Rutherglen (VIC)
  • Strathbogie Ranges (VIC)
  • Margaret River (WA)
  • Perth (WA)

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May 13th, 2009
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