Last week I was dropping hints about some of the wines that were winners at the 2022 Winewise Championships. It’s a pleasure now to spill the results, featuring a whole smorgasbord full of wines that I’m proud to say that I’d happily drink.
Why is that important? Because wine shows can throw up typecast wine show winners. When you have a class of 60 young Cabernets (one of the hardest classes to judge FWIW, along with young Semillon), the wines that often win are the ones that stick out. Not the best, or indeed the most drinkable, but the most notable.
But I can proudly say that the Xanadu Reserve Cabernet below (as one example) is an absolute super wine that I’d want to own (and drink).
Oh and the Chardonnay I was talking about in this post? That would be the 2020 Penfolds Reserve Bin 20A Chardonnay. I had the pleasure of having another look over lunch and it’s a powerhouse of an Adelaide Hills Chardonnay that I openly admire. Penfolds regularly loses me with its reds, but I gravitate towards the Bin A Chardonnay every year, blind or not. You can certainly keep Yattarna, by comparison.
A few other notes:
- Xanadu deserves its multiple trophies. Across the board, the quality is definitive, the styles deftly regional, with an emphasis on flavour intensity and clever style. I like them very much.
- There were no fewer than three vintages of Vat 1 in the taste off for best Semillon. Believe the hype (and buy the 2021 and 2013).
- That Bream Creek Reserve Pinot Noir is also a super wine. Power, pinosity, length, style. A full kitchen sink wine.
- In an incredibly strong bracket, the Yarra Yering Underhill was a picture of modern, mid-weight sophistication and deliciousness.
- Welcome back Lerida. There was a smattering of new Lerida Estate reds in the Shiraz classes, and all looked the best I’ve seen in years.
- I didn’t judge some of the other red classes (or Sauvignon Blanc for that matter) & Grenache, which was a miss given the Grenache and blends field in particular.
More information about how the judging works and how the Winewise Championships here.
The champions of the 2022 Winewise Championship
Best Riesling – 2020 Pressing Matters Riesling R9
Best pre-2020 Riesling – 2016 Peter Lehmann Wigan Riesling
Best 2020 or 2021 Semillon – 2021 Tyrrell’s Vat 1 Semillon
Best Semillon – 2013 Tyrrell’s Vat 1 Semillon
Best Chardonnay – 2020 Penfolds Reserve Bin 20A Chardonnay
Best pre-2020 Chardonnay – 2019 Xanadu Reserve Chardonnay
Best Sauvignon Blanc or blend – 2021 Riposte The Foil Sauvignon Blanc
Best other white variety or blend – 2021 Riverbank Estate Rebellious Vermentino
Best sparkling wine – 2011 Swift Blanc de Blancs
Best sweet white – 2002 Lillypilly Noble Sauvignon Blanc
Best Pinot Noir – 2019 Bream Creek Vineyard Reserve Pinot Noir
Best Shiraz – 2020 Yarra Yering Underhill Shiraz
Best 2019 Shiraz – 2019 Lerida Estate Single Vineyard Murrumbateman Shiraz
Best pre-2019 Shiraz – 2018 Shingleback Unedited McLaren Vale Shiraz
Best 2019 or 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon – 2019 Xanadu Cabernet Sauvignon
Best Cabernet Sauvignon – 2018 Xanadu Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Best Grenache – 2020 Orlando Cellar 13 Grenache
Best Italian red variety – 2020 Handpicked Wines Trial Batch Heathcote Nero D’Avola
Best Tempranillo – 2020 Nikola Estate Tempranillo
Best other red variety 2020 – Bleasdale Generations Malbec
Best Cabernet Sauvignon blend – 2018 Tamburlaine Marlowe – Act One
Best other red blend – 2021 Z Wine Roman Old Vine Basket Pressed GSM