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Clare Valley Young Gun Damon Koerner ‘doing it right on every level’

By Monday 3 June 2019No Comments

Damon Koerner from Koerner Wine in the Clare Valley has won the Riedel Young Gun of Wine Award. He was lauded for his 2018 Grace Riesling and 2018 La Corse Red Wine.

“The La Corse is a blend of varieties which includes Sciacarello – a grape native to the French island of Corsica,” YGOW founder Rory Kent says.

“This wine is the epitome of what today’s customer wants: a light, bright, easy-drinking red, with layers of interest in the glass – it’s awesome, and all with the aesthetic appeal of Koerner’s preppy packaging.

“From a family of grapegrowers, Damon Koerner started the eponymous wine label in 2014 and is doing it right on every level. From sourcing emerging varieties, to a sense of adventure in the winery with use of large ceramic eggs for fermentation, to a product mix that includes various shades and textures of single varieties, to the packaging that is instantly iconic.

“They’ve become an emerging force and beacon for future creativity in the Clare Valley, a region perhaps somewhat isolated and traditional. What they’re doing, and how they’re doing it, makes them the poster child for new wine labels today.”

As prize for the big win, Koerner will be offered a contract from TAP. Wines to have their wine pouring at an iconic wine bar of Melbourne.

The First Drop Danger Zone award was won by 2018 Dirt Candy Wine The Little Circus from the Hunter Valley.

“The threading together of no less than six different red grapes and glazing them with the skins of the white Traminer grape is brave, evocative and just the right kind of crazy,” Nick Stock says.

“And to do all this in the Hunter Valley, Australian wine’s poster child of conservative, stoic and traditional winemaking is straight-up nuts. Then again the wine is so freakin’ delicious, the back label probably won’t even get a look. So they won’t notice – genius!”


Young Gun of Wine
Damon Koerne

The People’s Choice
Liv Maiorana and Mijan Patterson of South by South West.

The Winemaker’s Choice
Remi Guise of tripe.Iscariot.

The Best New Act
Rhys Parker and Paul Hoffman from Vallée du Venom, who make wines in the Margaret River and Swan Valley.

The First Drop Danger Zone
2018 Dirt Candy Wine The Little Circus from the Hunter Valley.

The judging panel included Rory Kent, Nick Stock, Mike Bennie, Pip Anderson, Josephine Perry, Rob Mack, Penny Grant and Leah Rinaldi.

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