Chardonnay shines as the pick of the crop

2010 Sydney Royal Wine Show

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Xanadu Wines Limited, Margaret River

Xanadu Wines Limited, Margaret River

Vasse Felix Winery, Cowaramup
Yalumba Winery, Barossa, South Australia
Penfolds Magill Estate Winery, Magill, Adelaide, South Australia,
Tempus Two in the Hunter Valley in New South Wales


After sniffing and swilling their way through 2323 entries, the judges at the 2010 Macquarie Group Sydney Royal Wine Show have now awarded top honours to the best varietals on offer from the Australian wine industry, with chardonnay the stand out favourite.

This year, 34 Trophies and 932 Medals were awarded to entries representing Australia’s top wine regions. Hardy’s Wine Company from South Australia took out the coveted Macquarie Group Perpetual Trophy.

The winning entry from Hardy’s Wine Company greatly impressed the expert panel of judges led by Chairman of Judges Iain Riggs.

“The Macquarie Group Perpetual Trophy is awarded to the exhibitor of the best wine in show, and Hardy’s have done a superb job with their 2008 Eileen Hardy Chardonnay. In general, the 2008 vintage chardonnays were outstanding at this year’s Show, with 14 out of the 24 chardonnay Gold Medal winners falling into this category. This win really represents the resurgence in popularity seen by some of the white varietals this year”, Mr Riggs said.

McWilliam’s Wines from Hanwood, NSW also fared well in this year’s Show, taking home four of the coveted Trophies, and nine Gold Medals.

The 2323 entries from 396 exhibitors judged at this year’s Show covered red and white table wines, fortified wines and brandy, with an impressive 43% of entries receiving a medal.

Western Australian varietals were excellent performers again this year. “As we have come to expect in both quality and results, Western Australia stood out from the crowd and produced 25 Gold Medals, with a staggering 22 Gold Medals awarded to Margaret River wines alone,” Mr Riggs said.

“The other pleasing aspect was that the 122 Gold Medals were shared across 77 different wineries from the very small to the largest of our multinationals and across the length and breadth of Australia. This broad cross section was also seen in the Trophy winning wines, with 19 different wineries awarded Trophies this year, ranging from long term exhibitors to first timers,” Mr Riggs said.

Wine Show Committee Chairman David Clarke said the exhibitors are to be congratulated for their involvement in the Show, and their commitment to raising the standards and reputation of the Australian wine industry.

“The Show aims to provide producers with the opportunity to benchmark themselves within the industry, and our rigorous judging process ensures that the very best wines in Australia are selected and recognised each year,” said Mr Clarke.

“Significantly 159 first time exhibitors entered the Show this year, which I believe is an acknowledgment of the Sydney Royal Wine Show’s prestige, and a reflection of their confidence in our judges’ expertise,” he said.

“This year we witnessed an extremely diverse and impressive list of entries, and the results are indeed reflective of the industry’s creativity and dedication to making Australian wines of exceptional quality,” Mr Clarke said.

The 2010 Show saw the introduction of two new Trophies. The Len Evans Perpetual Trophy for the best exhibit in the Named Vineyard classes was awarded to Castle Rock Estate for their Castle Rock Diletti Chardonnay (2008), and the James Busby Annual Prize awarded to the maker of the best wine or brandy exhibited by a NSW winery went to Pinhooker’s Collector Reserve Shiraz (2008).

The Fine Wine Partners Perpetual Trophy for Best Show Wine exhibited at major capital city Wine Shows in the last 12 months was awarded to Penfolds Wines for their 2007 Penfolds Bin 07A Chardonnay.

McWilliam’s Wines has retained the McCarthy Shield for the Most Successful Exhibitor in the wines and brandy section for the third year in a row, after taking home the award in 2008 and 2009.

Trophy winners were:

  • Best Commercial White Wine - Penfolds Wines, Penfolds Thomas Hyland Chardonnay (2008)
  • Best Sweet Wine - Brown Brothers Milawa, Brown Brothers Patricia Noble Riesling (2008)
  • Best White Wine Previous Vintage - McWilliam's Wines Group, Eden Valley Riesling (2009)
  • Best White Wine Premium Classes - Hardys, Hardys Eileen Hardy Chardonnay (2008)
  • Best Riesling - Peter Lehmann Wines, Wigan Eden Valley Riesling (2006)
  • Best Semillon - Tyrrell's Vineyards, Tyrrell's VAT 1 Semillon (2005)
  • Best Chardonnay - Stella Bella Wines, Stella Bella Chardonnay (2007)
  • Best Sauvignon Blanc - Stella Bella Wines, Stella Bella Sauvignon Blanc (2009)
  • Best White Wine under $20 - Crabtree Watervale Wines, Crabtree Hilltop Riesling (2009)
  • Best White Wine in the Show - Hardy's, Hardy's Eileen Hardy Chardonnay (2008)
  • Best White Wine Premium and Aged Vintage - Tempus Two Wines, Tempus Two Copper Zenith Semillon (2004)
  • Best Dry Red Wine - Blue Pyrenees Estate, Blue Pyrenees Cabernet Sauvignon (2008)
  • Best Dry Red Wine (2 years and older) - Pinhooker, Collector Reserve Shiraz (2008)
  • Best Red Wine Previous Vintage - Pinhooker, Collector Reserve Shiraz (2008)
  • Best Shiraz/Viognier - The Yalumba Wine Company, Yalumba Hand Picked Shiraz Viognier (2008)
  • Best Pinot Noir - Wolf Blass Wines, Wolf Blass Gold Label Pinot Noir (2008)
  • Best Cabernet Sauvignon - Vasse Felix, Vasse Felix Cabernet Sauvignon (2007)
  • Best Shiraz - Best's Wines, Best's Great Western Shiraz Bin 0 (2008)
  • Best Merlot - Not awarded
  • Best Red Wine in the Show - Pinhooker, Collector Reserve Shiraz (2008)
  • Best Red Wine Aged Vintages - Hardys, Hardys Thomas Hardy Cabernet Sauvignon (2004)
  • Best Red Wine under $20 - Xanadu Wines, Next of Kin Xanadu Cabernet Sauvignon (2007)
  • Best Wine Small Producer - Castle Rock Estate, Castle Rock Diletti Chardonnay (2008)
  • Best Wine Named Vineyard - Castle Rock Estate, Castle Rock Diletti Chardonnay (2008)
  • Best Sparkling White Wine - Yarra Burn, Yarra Burn Blanc de Blancs (2005)
  • Best Sparkling Red Wine - Not awarded
  • Best Sherry, Fino Style, Commercial - Bidgeebong Wines Australia, Bidgeebong Fino Chip Dry (NV)
  • Best Port, Commercial and Premium - McWilliam's Wines Group, Show Tawny Port (NV)
  • Best Brandy - McWilliam's Wines Group, Chairmans Reserve Brandy (NV)
  • Highest number of points in Varietal White Wine (The Yalumba Wine Company), Premium White Wine, Current Vintage (McWilliam's Wines Group) and Aged Vintage Wine (Hardys)
  • Most Successful Exhibitor, Wines and Brandy - McWilliam's Wines Group
  • Best NSW Wine - Pinhooker, Collector Reserve Shiraz (2008)
  • Best Show Wine exhibited at major State Wine Shows in the 12 months preceding judging - The Fine Wine Partners Perpetual Trophy - Penfolds Wines Pty Ltd, Penfolds Bin 07A Chardonnay (2007) from the 2008 Wrest Point Royal Hobart International Wine Show
  • Best Wine of the Show - Macquarie Group Perpetual Trophy -  Hardys, Hardys Eileen Hardy Chardonnay (2008)

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March 27th, 2010
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