Thursday 8 November 2012


Media Release

This festive season can be full of sweet-talk, with the results from the 2012 International Sweet Wine Challenge shining a light on the variety and quality of sweet and semi-sweet wines from around the world, and helping you find the best wine to go with your Christmas pudding, ice cream or pavlova.

Not that sweet wines can only be drunk with dessert, as if the 2012 winning wines demonstrate anything it is just how widely diverse sweet wines can be.

A record number of entries to this year's Challenge highlighted the many styles of sweet wines that are now available - wines not just for special occasions or to have with desserts but to enjoy at many different times. Which is just why the Riverina Winemakers Association created the International Sweet Wine Challenge seven years ago; to showcase sweet wines from around the world and allow Australian sweet wines to be judged alongside their international counterparts.

Riverina Winemakers' Association President Les Worland said, "Australia is the perfect location to host such a wine show 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."

  • 2011 Forrest Wines Noble Semillon ~ 2012 International Sweet Wine of the Year and Best Young Sweet, Semillon predominant
  • 2012 Deakin Estate Moscato ~ Best Sweet Moscato styles
  • 2012 Josef Chromy SGR Riesling ~ Best Medium Sweet
  • 2011 Osawa Wines Noble Gewurztraminer ~ Best Young Sweet, Floral styles
  • 2010 Nepenthe Winemakers Selection Riesling ~ Best Mature Sweet, Floral styles
  • 2008 De Bortoli Deen Botrytis Semillon ~ Best Mature Sweet, Semillon predominant
  • 2011 The Ned Noble Sauvignon Blanc ~ Best Young Sweet, Other Varieties & Blends
  • 2008 Lillypilly Noble Blend ~ Best Mature Sweet, Other Varieties & Blends
  • 2006 Lillypilly Noble Harvest ~ Best Sweet Wine from the Museum Class
The Challenge is open to any non-fortified sweet wine that is commercially available in the country of origin, and holds a minimum stock of 50 case lots at the time of entry. There is also a separate Museum Class for wines five years or older, which are not commercially available, with the aim of this class to show unusual or rare styles.

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