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Organic winner’s ‘wild streak’

By Friday 8 September 2023One Comment

Ngeringa Vineyard’s Iluma Syrah from the Adelaide Hills has once again won the Cullen Wines Trophy for Wine of Show at the 2023 Australian Organic Wine Awards.

The 2021 vintage of the wine also won Red of Show. The 2019 vintage won the award in 2021.

Led by respected wine expert, Mike Bennie, the esteemed panel of judges included: Negociants Key Account Manager, Ramon Arnavas; Group Beverage Director at STK Group, Alexandra McPherson; and Australian Organic Wine Awards Associate Scholarship recipient, Sophia Gannon.

Mr Bennie said the quality of wines this year was impressive, with the Iluma Syrah boasting “a wild streak, making it interesting, character-filled, complex and appealing.”

“The Iluma Syrah reflects the new wave of Australian Shiraz making, with a svelte, medium weight, red fruited, spicy and silky-textured red emerging, in superb balance with a great extension of flavour and very high drinkability,” he says.

“All judges were impressed by its elegance and yet great energy.

“It’s a beautiful wine reflecting the exacting viticulture and cooler climate place from which it has come.”

White of Show went to Yangarra Estate Vineyard Blanc 2022, produced from primarily French white varieties including Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, Bourboulenc, Clairette, Grenache Gris and Piquepoul.

Mr Bennie described the wine as textural, intriguing and delicious.

“This is a white that is vibrant, has excellent length with nutty notes, yet encapsulates sweet and savoury fruit,” he says.

Hosted by Australian Organic Limited (AOL), the Awards, now in their third year, celebrate the unique wines and talented winemakers in Australia’s certified organic wine industry.

In total, 45 certified organic and biodynamic wine producers from 32 regions across the country submitted 211 bottles of the nation’s finest organic wines for judging.

Red wines proved the most popular entrants with 138 bottles judged, followed by 60 whites and 13 rosés, with 70 varieties of grapes showcased across the Awards reflecting the diversity of Australia’s certified organic wine industry.

AOL CEO Niki Ford congratulated the 2023 Australian Organic Wine Award winners for their outstanding results.

“Once again it is impressive to see the high quality of wines produced across the certified organic and biodynamic wine sector and I congratulate this year’s winners for their contribution to the industry,” Ms Ford says.

“Without a doubt, producing wine is a labour of love. We know how hard these winemakers work to maintain organic certification and to allow consumers to experience exceptional wines, with the highest standards of sustainability.

“It’s these wines that are gaining an enviable reputation here at home and overseas, with certified organic wines popular in Sweden, Canada and the United States.”

The Cullen Wines Trophy is named in honour of Vanya Cullen OAM who transformed the family vineyard into one of Australia’s most successful certified organic and biodynamic wineries, and the first in the country to be certified 100 percent carbon neutral.

Cullen Wines Trophy Wine of Show, Red of Show and Gold Medal
2021 Ngeringa Iluma Syrah, Ngeringa Vineyards, Adelaide Hills

White of Show and Gold Medal
2022 Yangarra Estate Vineyard Blanc, Jackson Wine Estates, McLaren Vale

Best New Entrant, Gold Medal
2020 Carlei Estate Fruit Day Shiraz, Carlei Wines, Heathcote

Best Park Wine, Gold Medal
2022 Yalumba Gen Viognier, Hill-Smith Family Estates, South Australia

Best Left of Centre Wine, Silver Medal
2022 Stormflower Pet Nat, Stormflower Vineyards, Margaret River

Best Chillable Red, Gold Medal
2021 A thing of beauty Grenache, Tscharke, Barossa Valley

Photo: The judging panel Mike Bennie, Alexandra McPherson, Ramon Arnavas and Sophia Gannon.

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