Australia has scored its highest-ever medal counts in the Best in Show and Gold categories at the 2023 Decanter World Wine Awards.
Just 50 wines across the entire competition were awarded Best in Show, with Australia winning a record 10 – more than any other country.
Australia also won 17 Platinum medals (out of just 125 globally) and 66 Gold.
A record number of 18,250 wines were judged from 57 countries – up from 54 countries in 2022.
The judging panel’s 236 experts (including 53 Masters of Wine and 16 Master Sommeliers) represent 30 different nations.
Australia’s top 10 were awarded to five reds, four single varietal whites and a white fortified wine – Morris Cellar Reserve Grand Muscat Rutherglen Victoria NV.
The judges said, “The small town of Rutherglen in inland Victoria is home to some of the world’s most extraordinary fortified wines.”
South Australia won 35 top medals (95+ points) including half of Australia’s Best in Show medals.
“The judges said, “Two Best in Show appearances for McLaren Vale this year underscore the enduring potential of this South Australian region.”
Three more top category awards went to wines from Eden Valley, Adelaide Hills and Barossa.
Margaret River stood out as a star region with the most 97-point wines including three Best in Show (for two reds and one white wine) and three Platinum (for two whites and one red wine).
While the majority of Western Australia’s 23 top medals (Gold, Platinum and Best in Show) went to Margaret River wines, Frankland River’s first-ever Platinum was bestowed upon Amelia Park Reserve Shiraz 2021.
Beechworth triumphed with its second-ever Platinum, awarded to Brokenwood Indigo Vineyard Chardonnay 2021. Other diverse sub-regions of Victoria including the Macedon Ranges, Pyrenees, Grampians, Rutherglen and Yarra Valley saw success with a total of 18 top medals awarded between them, four medals up from 2022 and 2021 results.
Tasmania showed the clear strength of its Chardonnay and Pinot Noir with 10 95-97 point wines awarded, including seven still and three sparkling wines.
New South Wales recorded one Best in Show, one Platinum and three Gold medals for its top-quality Shiraz and world-renowned aged Sémillons, 2017 being the standout vintage.
This year saw the launch of an Alternative Packaging category and of the 31 wines awarded medals, South Australia received three Bronze medals. Showing improvements in quality wine in different formats, these were for two bag-in-box wines (one red and one white) and a red wine in carton.
Co-chair Michael Hill Smith MW said, “Decanter World Wine Awards has evolved through time, but it’s still kept to its core principle of regions being judged by regional specialists… I think what I’ve really enjoyed is that nice mixture of the old and the bold.”
Australia’s Best in Show medals
Brokenwood Wines ILR Reserve Semillon Hunter Valley 2017
Domaine Naturaliste Rebus Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River 2020
Evans & Tate Redbrook Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River 2018
Gatt Wines Riesling High Eden (Eden Valley) 2017
Heirloom Vineyards Alcalá Grenache McLaren Vale 2022
House of Cards Ace of Spades Chardonnay Margaret River 2022
Jacob’s Creek Johann Shiraz-Cabernet Barossa Valley 2013
Morris Cellar Reserve Grand Muscat Rutherglen NV
Penfolds Reserve Bin 21 A Chardonnay Adelaide Hills 2021
Wirra Wirra Chook Block McLaren Vale 2019
Photo: MJK Creative.