ALL SWEET AND NO SOUR AT 2012 INTERNATIONAL SWEET WINE CHALLENGE
On Saturday the Griffith Showground in Riverina NSW was full of sweet-talk with the 2012 International Sweet Wine Challenge announcing the winners of this year's competition and shining a light on the variety and quality of sweet and medium-sweet wines from around the world.
A record number of entries to this year's challenge highlighted the diversity of sweet wines available; wines not just for special occasions or to have with desserts but to enjoy at many different times. Riverina Winemakers' Association President Les Worland said, "Australia is the perfect location to host such a showcase of sweet wines as we are known for pushing the boundaries with wine and bending traditional drinking rules. And of course the Riverina is also well-known for its ability to produce world-class sweet wines."
The wine that claimed the ultimate title of the 2012 International Sweet Wine of the Year was the 2011 Forrest Wines Noble Semillon from New Zealand. Judge Ben Edwards (co-contributor to James Halliday's Wine Companion and President of Sommeliers Australia) said, "This year's winner showed amazing purity of expression and is a beautifully balanced wine with a long future. It is exciting to have an international winner this year as it validates the Challenge and provides a benchmark for local wines."
After claiming the top trophy last year, local Riverina winery Lillypilly Estate also gave another strong performance in 2012, taking home two Trophies, 'Best Mature Sweet, Other Varieties & Blends' and 'Best Sweet Wine from the Museum Class'.
FULL LIST OF TROPHY WINNERS:
Best Sweet Moscato styles ~ 2012 Deakin Estate Moscato
Best Medium Sweet ~ 2012 Josef Chromy SGR Riesling
Best Young Sweet, Floral styles ~ 2011 Osawa Wines Noble Gewurztraminer
Best Mature Sweet, Floral styles ~ 2010 Nepenthe Winemakers Selection Riesling
Best Young Sweet, Semillon predominant ~ 2011 Forrest Wines Noble Semillon
Best Mature Sweet, Semillon predominant ~ 2008 De Bortoli Deen Botrytis Semillon
Best Young Sweet, Other Varieties & Blends ~ 2011 The Ned Noble Sauvignon Blanc
Best Mature Sweet, Other Varieties & Blends ~ 2008 Lillypilly Noble Blend
Best Sweet Wine from the Museum Class ~ 2006 Lillypilly Noble Harvest
2012 International Sweet Wine of the Year ~ 2011 Forrest Wines Noble Semillon
The Riverina Winemakers Association created the International Sweet Wine Challenge seven years ago to showcase the quality of sweet wines around the world and allow Australian sweet wines to be judged alongside their international counterparts.
Judging was held at Woodside Hall, Griffith Showgrounds, overseen by Judges Ben Edwards, Jeremy Dineen and Sue Bell, and the winners were announced at the Awards Presentation luncheon on Saturday 8 September 2012.
For information on the Riverina Winemakers' Association: