Although most sweet wines come in half-sized bottles, they still offer exceptional value-for-money when you take into account the considerable resources, time and effort which goes into creating these little bottles of liquid gold. This year’s 2011 International Sweet Wine Challenge has just announced its results, shining a light on which are the best quality and value sweet and medium-sweet wines currently available...
|International Sweet Wine of the Year
Lillypilly 2008 Noble Blend
Best Medium Sweet ~ Delatite Winery 2010 Catherine Gewurztraminer
Best Young Sweet, Floral styles ~ Seifried Estate 2011 Winemakers Collection “Sweet Agnes” Riesling
Best Mature Sweet, Floral styles ~ Forrest Wines 2009 Forrest Botrytised Riesling
Best Mature Sweet, Semillon predominant ~ Berton Vineyards 2009 Botrytis Semillon
Best Young Sweet, Other Varieties and Blends ~ D’Arenberg 2010 The Noble Botryotinia
Best Mature Sweet, Other Varieties and Blends ~ Lillypilly 2008 Noble Blend
Best Sweet Wine from the Museum Class ~ Lillypilly 2002 Noble Blend
International Sweet Wine of the Year ~ Lillypilly 2008 Noble Blend
Highlighting the Riverina’s credentials to host the International Sweet Wine Challenge, it was a local wine which claimed the ultimate prize of the International Sweet Wine of the Year, the Lillypilly 2008 Noble Blend. The boutique Riverina producer, owned and run by the Fiumara family, impressively also claimed the trophy for the separate Museum Class, a class created to showcase rarer more unusual older styles of wines, with its 2002 Noble Blend.
Judge Ben Edwards (co-contributor to James Halliday’s Wine Companion and President of Sommeliers Australia) said, “This year’s winner showed beautiful purity and concentration, demonstrating why the Riverina is still a powerhouse when it comes to wines of this style."
Nearly 100 sweet wines were entered this year, and judged by some of Australia’s most talented palates, including Ben Edwards and chaired by Lester Jesberg (a prolific wine show judge and author of Winewise). They were also joined by International guest judge Simon Nunns (Coopers Creek Vineyards, New Zealand) who was thrilled to see a higher number of New Zealand wines entered this year; two of which, from Forrest Wines and Seifried Estate, collected Trophies.
The Riverina Winemakers Association created the International Sweet Wine Challenge six years ago to highlight the quality of sweet wines around the world and allow Australian sweet wines to be judged alongside their international counterparts. The Challenge has grown in strength each year, along with the international interest and demand for sweet and medium-sweet wine styles.
Riverina Winemakers’ Association president Les Worland said, “The aim of the International Sweet Wine Challenge is to bring all the various styles together, to allow us to compare and contrast, and then help promote greater understanding and awareness of these delicious wines.”