For the first time in its history a pinot noir has been awarded Australian wine’s top gong as Wine of the Show at the 2011 Dan Murphy’s National Wine Show of Australia, announced in Canberra.
The single vineyard 2010 PHI Pinot Noir from Victoria’s Yarra Valley won the Holy Grail of wine awards taking out ‘The Len Evans Memorial Trophy’ for ‘Best Table Wine of the Show’, as well as ‘Best Dry Red Wine’ and the inaugural award for ‘Best Single Vineyard Dry Red’.
To have a pinot noir win Australian wine’s most prestigious trophy clearly shows the development of Australia’s premium red wines beyond the traditional shiraz and cabernet sauvignon.
Western Australian producer Vasse Felix also shone at the Show, winning ‘Best Dry White Wine’ and ‘Best Chardonnay, Premium Classes’ for the second year running with the 2010 Heytesbury Chardonnay. In 2010 it was the same winery’s 2009 Heytesbury Chardonnay that won the most prestigious trophy, ‘The Len Evans Memorial Trophy’ for ‘Best Table Wine of the Show’.
The Heytesbury Chardonnay can now be considered at the pinnacle of Australian white wine.
International judge Neal Martin from the UK said the chardonnays and semillons exhibited at the show were “world class”.
Of the 1444 wines entered there were 24 trophies awarded and 144 gold medals – almost 10% of entries – a record achievement.
Western Australian wineries won eight of the trophies, followed by Victoria with seven, South Australia and New South Wales with four and Tasmania with one.
Judging took place over four days with a panel of 10 top Australian judges joined by two international judges. This year’s show was chaired for the final time by Yabby Lake Winemaker Tom Carson who will be replaced by S.C. Pannell Winemaker Stephen Pannell in 2012.
The Dan Murphy’s National Wine Show of Australia is widely recognised as the nation’s winemaking “grand final” as wines in the premium classes are only entitled to enter if they have previously won a medal at a capital city or approved regional show.