On a warm July evening at The Harrow at Little Bedwyn, chef and wine critic Roger Jones and his wife Sue held their annual celebration of Australian wines, the Mamba Riedel Decanter Awards (named after the Riedel decanter given as a prize to winning wines).
Each year features different red and white varieties that Australia is famous for and suppliers are invited to submit examples for guests on the night to taste and score (non-blind). This year, a mix of trade and press faced a line up of 10 Semillon, 20 Semillon/Sauvignon blends and 45 Grenache blends, with their scores and top recommendations collated to decide the winners on the night.
We submitted a great selection of wines which were well received by the judges. In the whites, the Peter Lehmann Margaret Semillon 2009 stood out in its category, as did the Grosset Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2014, and the Cullen Mangan Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2013 was placed a close-run third in theirs.
The Grenache blends category was both larger and more competitive so it was really good to see how well the three Willunga 100 Grenache wines stood out for their quality/value ratio. Stephen Pannell’s The Vale Shiraz Grenache 2012 was also a highlight for many on the night. However, it was the new John Duval Annexus Grenache 2013 which came out on top, taking the Best Grenache title!
This was followed by Liberty Wines being named the Best Overall Importer and taking home the inaugural Decanter Perpetual Trophy! A really fantastic achievement given the strong competition across all the categories.
Many thanks to Roger and Sue for hosting such a wonderful celebration of Australian wine.
(Pictured, left to right, Sue Jones of The Harrow, Tina Gellie of Decanter magazine and Verity Milns of Liberty Wines accepting the Best Overall Importer trophy)