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Six Nations Wine Challenge 2014 Results

By October 18, 2014No Comments

One of the most fun wine tastings is when similar styles of wines from different counties are compared, and we choose the wines we like the most. It’s one of the best paths to experiencing wines from around the world and learning about each of those countries as well as understanding your own palate and tastes. Invariably we come to realise that our preferences and assessments are culturally derived; we learn from the environment we’ve been brought up in and live in.

The Six Nations Wine Challenge is essentially this comparison of different countries taken to extreme. What started out as the classic Kiwi vs Aussie clash has grown into a shootout between six countries: New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Chile, Argentina and the U.S.A. It involves a serious wine man from each country: Bob Campbell MW, Huon Hooke, Michael Fridjohn, Eduardo Brethauer, Fabricio Portelli and Dan Berger, from the aforementioned countries respectively. Each of these highly respected industry people invite and select 100 wines from their home country to put up against each other across 17 different wine style categories. They then judge the wines blind. The judges, being highly experienced, do so objectively, more than most of us could ever do, to come up with the ‘New World Champion’ – well, at least for that year.

The results are absolutely fascinating and can be shocking, breaking down the conceptions we may have about the performance of each country in different varieties and styles. For the 2014 Challenge, the Wine of Show was awarded jointly to South Africa’s Silverthorn ‘The Green Man’ Blanc de Blanc 2011 and New Zealand’s Dog Point Marlborough Pinot Noir 2012. And surprisingly, the Malbec trophy went to Australia, the Sauvignon Blanc to South Africa, Riesling to Chile, Shiraz to Argentina, Bordeaux-Blend to the U.S.A., and Chardonnay to New Zealand. For 2014, New Zealand won Nation of Show. The results are clearly impartial, and being somewhat parochial, I’m very pleased!

The Six Nations Challenge is run by the Australian Boutique Winemakers Inc. and the judging is run in Sydney in August each year. I know the wine selections are made with a great deal of thought, and I can’t think of anyone better than our Bob Campbell MW choosing our country’s best. Oddly, Bob tells me, some wine producers decline the invitation to participate; I can’t even think why, as I see it as an opportunity not to be missed, akin being asked to represent your country at the Olympics! The trophy results were announced on 8 October. I list the major results and class category winners here, with the ‘Trophy’ winner, the runner-up (called ‘Double Gold’) and winning nation. The full list of medals and background to the show, process and judges can be seen on the www.boutiquewines.com.au

Nation of Show: New Zealand
Red Wine of Show: Dog Point Pinot Noir 2012 (NZ)
White Wine of Show: Silverthorn ‘The Green Man’ Blanc de Blancs 2011 (SA)
Wine of Show: Jointly between Silverthorn and Dog Point

Class 1: Sparkling Wine
Winning Country: New Zealand
Trophy: Silverthorn ‘The Green Man’ Blanc de Blancs 2011 (SA)
Double Gold: Quartz Reef Methode Traditionnelle Chardonnay 2009 (NZ)

Class 2: Riesling
Winning Country: Australia
Trophy: Concha y Toro ‘Terrunyo Block 6’ Riesling 2013 (CHI)
Double Gold: Leo Buring ‘Leonay’ Watervale Riesling 2013 (AUS)

Class 3: Aromatic
Winning Country: New Zealand
Trophy: Waimea Estate Gewurztraminer 2013 (NZ)
Double Gold: Johanneshof Cellars Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2013 (NZ)

Class 4: Other White Wine Varieties
Winning Country: South Africa
Trophy: Peter Lehmann ‘Margaret’ Semillon 2006 (AUS)
Double Gold: The Foundry Roussanne 2013 (SA)

Class 5: Sauvignon Blanc
Winning Country: New Zealand
Trophy: Tokara ‘Reserve Collection’ Elgin Sauvignon Blanc 2014 (SA)
Double Gold: Palliser Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (NZ)

Class 6: Chardonnay
Winning Country: U.S.A.
Trophy: Villa Maria ‘Single Vineyard – Keltern’ Chardonnay 2012 (NZ)
Double Gold: Beringer ‘Luminus’ Chardonnay 2012 (USA)

Class 7: White Blends
Winning Country: South Africa
Trophy: Rutherglen Estates ‘Renaissance’ Viognier, Roussanne, Marsanne 2012 (AUS)
Double Gold: Chateau Tanunda ‘The Three Graces’ Marsanne, Viognier, Roussanne 2013 (AUS)

Class 8: Pinot Noir
Winning Country: New Zealand
Trophy: Dog Point Vineyards Pinot Noir 2012 (NZ)
Double Gold: Baileyana Winery Pinot Noir 2012 (USA)

Class 9: Merlot & Carmenere
Winning Country: Chile
Trophy: Concha y Toro ‘Terrunyo’ Carmenere 2011 (CHI)
Double Gold: Mission Estate Winery ‘Reserve’ Merlot 2013 (NZ)

Class 10: Malbec
Winning Country: Argentina
Trophy: Bleasdale ‘Double Take’ Malbec 2012 (AUS)
Double Gold: Dona Paula ‘Estate’ Malbec 2012 (ARG)

Class 11: Shiraz
Winning Country: South Africa
Trophy: Las Mora ‘Gran’ Syrah 2011 (ARG)
Double Gold: Alpha Domus ‘The Barnstormer’ Syrah 2013 (NZ)

Class 12: Cabernet Sauvignon
Winning Country: U.S.A.
Trophy: Stark-Conde Wines ‘Three Pines Reserve’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 (SA)
Double Gold: Etude Wines Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 (USA)

(There was no Class 13 this year)

Class 14: Other Red Varieties
Winning Country: Argentina
Trophy: KWV ‘Mentors’ Petit Verdot 2012 (SA)
Double Gold: Odjfell ‘Orzada’ Carignan 2011 (CHI)

Class 15: Bordeaux Blends
Winning Country: South Africa and Chile jointly
Trophy: Chateau St Jean ‘Cinq Cepages’ Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot 2010 (USA)
Double Gold: La Rosa ‘Don Reca’ Carmenere, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc 2012 (CHI)

Class 16: Red Blends Non Bordeaux
Winning Country: Australia
Trophy: Rosemount ‘Nursery Project’ Graciano, Mataro, Grenache 2012 (AUS)
Double Gold: Rosemount Grenache, Shiraz, Mourvedre 2012 (AUS)

Class 17: Dessert Wines
Winning Country: New Zealand
Trophy: Giesen Wines ‘The Brothers’ Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (NZ)
Double Gold: Forrest Wines Botrytised Riesling 2012 (NZ)

 

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