This year we're proud and delighted to have more than 420 award-winning wines across our portfolio, including over 70 awarded Gold or above. ‘Our Picks’ selection this month highlights a range of our medal winners across all wine style and grape varieties. They include DWWA Best in Show and Platinum recipients, IWC Trophy and Gold winners, SWA Gold medallists and a Matthew Jukes Top 100 winner.
DWWA 2018 Platinum and SWA Gold
From one of the most admired Champagne houses comes this 100% Chardonnay cuvée from the exceptional 2004 vintage, made from grapes from five of the best villages in the Côte des Blancs. After almost 11 years on lees, the wine has unparalleled complexity and structure. Taut yet expressive with an elegant mousse, the wine has lemon, almond and apple blossom alongside toasted buttery notes on the nose. Rich in texture with intense fresh citrus fruits on the palate and a long well-rounded finish, this wine is a worthy successor to its highly lauded predecessor, the 1995 vintage.
IWC 2018 Gold and Trophy
Yet another award for the Brut Réserve from Charles Heidsieck, this wine is a blend of 40% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir and 20% Meunier, with grapes sourced from 60 specific sites. Using 40% reserve wines with an average age of 10 years, the cuvée remains on the lees for at least five years prior to disgorgement. Pale gold in colour with a fine mousse the wine exhibits complex brioche aromas alongside ripe apricot, red plum and nuts on the nose. Fresh yet velvety, the wine has plum and cherry notes on the palate complete with a vanilla praline finish.
DWWA 2018 Platinum Best in Show
This family-run biodynamic producer is one of the very few Vienna-based wineries. Winemaker Fritz Wieninger has crafted a nine-variety field blend that includes Grüner Veltliner, Weissburgunder, Neuburger and Welschriesling, sourced from the 15 hectare Nussberg vineyard. The wine has complex aromas of citrus fruit, pineapple, yellow blossom and sweet herbs. Vibrant acidity lifts the elegant palate which has a touch of minerality alongside subtle spice notes on the finish.
DWWA 2018 Gold
From the hills of theGoriška Brda in Slovenia, the region benefits from both warming sea air and the cooling breezes from the nearby Alps. Winemaker Darinko Ribolica vinified and matured this Pinot Grigio in stainless steel with no malolactic fermentation to ensure maximum freshness and fruit character in the wine. Aromatic, with attractive pear, grapefruit and floral notes, this medium-bodied wine is well balanced with a lively acidity.
IWC 2018 Gold, IWC 2018 Soave Trophy, SWA 2018 Gold
No other Italian white wine has won as many gold medals and trophies as 'La Rocca'. The ‘La Rocca’ vineyard is situated on a limestone outcrop unique to the Soave Classico, and the wine is unusually made solely from Garganega. Winemaker Dario Pieropan uses both stainless steel and 500 litre oak casks during fermentation followed by ageing in a mix of 500 litre cask and 2000 litre ‘botti’ for 12 months prior to four months in bottle. The result is a wine which is golden yellow in appearance with concentrated ripe apricot, exotic fruit, almond and honey notes. It is opulent yet fresh with a hint of minerality on its long dry finish.
SWA 2018 Gold
The Dal Cero family’s Cà dei Frati property is situated on the southern shores of Lake Garda and the Turbiana grapes for this single vineyard Lugana ‘Brolettino’ come from vines that are more than 40 years old. Fermentation was in stainless steel prior to 10 months ageing in 225 litre barriques with partial malolactic fermentation allowed. This concentrated characterful wine is dominated by stone fruit aromas alongside vanilla spice from time spent in barrel. It is creamy and slightly honeyed on the palate with balanced acidity and a stony minerality.
DWWA 2018 Gold
Named after the local black pigs of the region, winemaker Luís Cabral de Almeida's blend of Alicante Bouchet, Touriga Nacional and Arragonez comes from sustainably-farmed vineyards in the Pedrogão region of Vidígueira. Maceration prior to fermentation ensured an aromatic complexity which is very evident in the finished wine. Vibrant red fruit and floral notes on the nose follow through onto the palate, which is well-balanced with smooth tannins and a lively fresh finish.
DWWA 2018 Platinum
The Outer Limits wines are an outlet for the winemakers' creativity. With this wine, they found old Cinsault vines (some up to 100 years old) in the southerly Itata valley. This 2017 Cinsault is highly perfumed with fresh berry notes of blueberries and raspberries alongside aromatic wildflowers and cardamom spice. Concentrated with naturally high acidity, this is a fresh, juicy and expressive wine with smooth rounded tannins.
IWC 2018 Gold
This Syrah comes from a number of vineyard sites within the highly regarded Gimblett Gravels sub-region of Hawkes Bay. Grapes from each site were hand harvested and fermented separately prior to blending, and then aged for 14 months in a mix of old and new oak barriques and 5000 litre casks. Deeply coloured with classic Syrah notes of cracked black pepper alongside raspberry and blueberry fruit, this is a powerful well-structured wine, the intensity of the fruit balancing well with the natural acidity and ripe, well-integrated tannins.
Matthew Jukes 100 Best Australian Wines 2018/19
Made from fruit sourced from a single 9-hectare vineyard, the hand-harvested grapes were left on skins for 10-15 days prior to fermentation to extract colour, and post fermentation underwent 11 months ageing in 2,800 litre oak vats (30% new oak). The resulting wine is expressive and full of flavour. The blackberry fruit is evident alongside violet aromas and spice notes, while the palate is smooth and persistent with well-integrated, supple tannins.
DWWA 2018 Platinum Best in Show, SWA Gold Critics Choice, IWC Gold
Sandeman makes outstanding vintage Port, but its Tawnies are without peer. This wine, with an average age of 40 years, is elegant and hugely expressive with honeyed aromas alongside vanilla spice, dried fruits and roasted nuts. Smooth and well balanced from the long period spent in oak, the wine retains a vibrancy and freshness that defies its age.