Yabby Lake Vineyard has been awarded the highest honour at the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW’s 2019 KPMG Sydney Royal Wine Show, with its 2017 Heathcote Estate Single Vineyard Shiraz winning the coveted KPMG Perpetual Trophy for Best Wine of Show and the Tucker Seabrook Perpetual Trophy for Best State Show Wine
This marks four years since a beloved Australian Shiraz has taken out the top prize at the prestigious Show; with the 2017 Heathcote Estate Single Vineyard Shiraz from Central Victoria surviving six rounds of judging from a capped pool of 2,145 entries to claim the trophy.
Sydney Royal Chair of Judges, P-J Charteris said this wine shows the level of purity and distinction Shiraz can achieve in Australia.
“Perfectly poised fruit showing a sense of place while flavour and structure show the generosity of this variety with complementary elegance,” Mr Charteris said.
“I was extremely impressed by the high standard of entries from across Australia, indicating the Australian wine industry is in great shape.
“In this year’s medal tally we see not only strength of the mainstay varieties in Shiraz, Riesling, Semillon and Chardonnay, but the continued emergence of non-traditional red and white varieties such as Tempranillo, Grenache, Fiano and Arneis.
“While the wine industry faces headwinds in both domestic and export markets for geo-political reasons, consumers globally can take an extremely positive view based purely on quality and this is reflected in the results from this year’s show.”
"It's about 20 years of hard work and we have finally cracked it. For Heathcote Estate this is a major turning point for not only the vineyard but the region," said Yabby Lake General Manager and Head Winemaker, Tom Carson.
"For an emerging Shiraz region to gain such recognition from a renowned show like Sydney Royal is truly humbling. It is a great honour."
Also celebrated was the 2017 Shottesbrooke Single Vineyard Series Chardonnay which took home The Albert Chan Memorial Prize for Best White Wine, while Best NSW Wine went to McGuigan Hunter for its 2013 McGuigan BIN 9000 Semillon. Chateau Yaldara was awarded Best Sparkling for its 2015 Chateau Yaldara Vintage Sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir.
The growing popularity of Grenache was reflected in its inclusion this year as a stand-alone Class. The elegance of a well-balanced Grenache was certainly appreciated by judges, with Hentley Farm’s 2018 Villain & Vixen Grenache from the Barossa claiming the International Guest Judge Annual Prize as well as The Stewards’ Annual Prize.
Wine Consultant and Sydney Royal International guest Judge, Rod Smith MW, said Hentley Farm’s 2018 Villain & Vixen was a standout for a Grenache style.
“I chose this wine because of its elegance and sense of space – not easy things to achieve with Grenache. It fully and wholly achieved the two most important criteria of all for me: balance and deliciousness,” Mr Smith said.