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Five Nations Wine Challenge 2012

By October 31, 2012No Comments

Comparing varieties and styles across countries can be one of the most fun and fascinating ways of looking at wine. Possibly the most in-depth and interesting exercise, taking this concept to an extreme would be the Five Nations Wine Challenge. Conducted in Sydney, wines from five countries – Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Chile and Argentina – are involved in a shootout, across 16 wine categories. To make it a level playing field, five judges are involved, one from each country, and each has the task of selecting 100 wines each from their own country to be put into the judging, no more than 9 wines per category.

The challenge originated in 2003 when it was a three-way affair between Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, but it was expanded to five countries in 2011 when Chile and Argentina were included. The 2012 Five Nations Wine Challenge had Michael Fridjhon of South Africa, Huon Hooke of Australia, Bob Campbell MW of New Zealand, Eduardo Brethauer of Chile and Fabrico Portelli of Argentina as judges. For 2013, things get spiced up with the U.S.A. involved, and Dan Berger as that country’s judge.

The results for the 2012 Five Nations Wine Challenge were announced on 27 October. The Champion Wine of the Show was awarded to the Villiera Monro Cap Classique 2007 sparkling wine from South Africa. The White Wine of the Show was the Xanadu ‘Reserve’ Margaret River Chardonnay 2010 and the Red Wine of the Show was the Akarua Central Otago Pinot Noir 2010. Though South Africa, New Zealand and Argentina each took 4 trophies, with Australia awarded 3 and Chile one, it was Australia that was adjudged Nation of Show.

The full results can be accessed from the Association of Australian Boutique Winemakers website: boutiquewines.com.au It is interesting to see the differentiation of the wines at the very high level of quality, the top wine in each category awarded ‘Trophy’, with a ‘Second Place’, ‘Double Gold’ and ‘Gold’ awards. Here are the top awards and trophy winners:
Nation of Show
Wine of Show
Villiera Monro Cap Classique 2007
White Wine of Show
Xanadu ‘Reserve’ Chardonnay 2010
Red Wine of Show
Akarua Pinot Noir 2010
Sparkling Trophy
Villiera Monro Cap Classique 2007
Aromatic Trophy
Framingham ‘Select’ Riesling 2010
Chardonnay Trophy
Xanadu ‘Reserve’ Chardonnay 2010
Sauvignon Blanc Trophy
Matua Valley ‘Single Vineyard – Wairau’ Sauvignon Blanc 2010
White Varietals Trophy
KWV ‘The Mentors’ Grenache Blanc 2011
White Blends Trophy
Luigi Bosca ‘Gala’ (Viognier.Chardonnay/Riesling) 2010
Rosé Trophy
Domaine Chandon Pinot Noir 2012
Pinot Noir Trophy
Akarua Pinot Noir 2010
Merlot & Carmenere Trophy
Mills Reef ‘Elspeth’ Merlot 2010
Major Reds Trophy
Trapiche ‘Single Vineyard – Miralles’ Malbec 2009
Bordeaux Blends Trophy
Navarro Correas ‘Structura’ (Malbec/Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot) 2006
Red Blends (Non Bordeaux) Trophy
Wolf Blass ‘Black Label’ (Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz/Malbec) 2007
Other Red Varieties Trophy
El Porvenir de Cafayate ‘Laborum’ Tannat 2011
Shiraz/Syrah Trophy
Polkura ‘Block G+I’ Syrah 2009
Cabernet Sauvignon Trophy
Stark-Conde Wines ‘Three Pines’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Dessert (Non Fortified) Trophy
Fleur du Cap Noble Late Harvest (Chenin/Semillon/Muscat) 2010
The Other New Zealand Wine Winners
It is interesting to see the other New Zealand wines that also figured in the results. Here are the ‘Double Gold’ and ‘Gold’ New Zealand wines:
Nautilus ‘Cuvee Marlborough’ Brut NV – Double Gold
Hawkesbridge Marlborough Methode Traditionnelle 2008 – Gold
Aromatic Whites
Forrest ‘John Forrest’ Riesling 2007 – Gold
Framingham ‘Select’ Riesling 2011 – Gold
Clark Estate Riesling 2011 – Gold
Sacred Hill ‘Riflemans’ Chardonnay 2010 – Gold
Sauvignon Blanc
Villa Maria ‘Reserve’ Wairau Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2011 – Double Gold
Villa Maria ‘Single Vineyard – Southern Clays’ Sauvignon Blanc 2011 – Gold
Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc 2011 – Gold
Pinot Noir
Doctor’s Flat Pinot Noir 2010 – Second Place, Double Gold
Craggy Range ‘Te Muna Road’ Pinot Noir 2010 – Double Gold
Two Degrees Pinot Noir 2009 – Gold
Merlot & Carmenere
Matua Valley ‘Single Vineyard – Matheson’ Merlot 2009 – Double Gold
Black Barn ‘Reserve’ Merlot 2009 – Double Gold
Villa Maria ‘Reserve’ Hawke’s Bay Merlot 2010 – Double Gold
Villa Maria ‘Reserve’ Hawke’s Bay Merlot 2009 – Gold
Major Red Varietals
Kidnapper Cliffs Pinotage 2010 – Double Gold
Bordeaux Blends
Church Road ‘Reserve’ Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot 2009 – Gold
Other Red Varieties
Villa Maria ‘Reserve’ Hawke’s Bay Grenache 2007 – Second Place, Double Gold
Villa Maria ‘Reserve’ Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2010 – Double Gold
Passage Rock ‘Reserve’ Syrah 2010 – Gold
Bilancia ‘La Collina’ Syrah 2010 – Gold
Dessert Wines
Giesen ‘The Brothers’ Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc 2011 – Second Place, Double Gold
Mt Difficulty ‘Single Vineyard – Long Gully’ Noble Riesling 2011 – Gold

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