US wine industry

IWSC reveals Australia’s best wines for 2019

October 9, 2019
By Alana House

The 2019 International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC) has revealed Australia’s best wines of the year, with a haul of 29 Gold Medals.

Aussie fortifieds received some of the highest marks ever awarded at the competition and accounted for eight of Australia’s Gold Medals, in addition to the Fortified Wine Trophy.

Grant Burge 20 Year Old Tawny NV and Hardys Rare Tawny NV – were awarded 98 points, the highest score for Australian wines this year.

Morris Wines of Rutherglen took three of the gold medals awarded to fortified wines; their highest scoring, Morris Old Premium Rare Muscat, is an “outstandingly well-made example” that received 97 points. 

Semillon emerged the star white, with four Gold Medals and the Semillon Trophy.

“This year’s competition was a resounding success for Australian classics,” noted Alex Hunt MW, the IWSC Wine Committee member overseeing the Australian judging.

“Cabernet from Coonawarra and Margaret River plus South Australian Shiraz took a clear lead among the top reds. Chardonnay showed a welcome return to a more generous style. Semillon was the standout dry white style, with excellence and uniqueness appearing at many different stages of maturity. Aged fortified wines also proved their worth, with the best offering complexity and lift rather than simple sweetness.”

Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2019, the IWSC is one of the world’s most prestigious and longest running international wine competitions, which this year entered a new era following the modernisation of all aspects of the organisation. This included the recruitment of new high-profile judges, leading industry figures handpicked for their expertise and commercial buying skills across a diverse range of industry backgrounds. A new specialist wine judging committee was also created to lead the tasting days and supervise panel chairs and judges.

With these developments come an openness to embrace the best of Australia’s emerging, as well as established styles, something Hunt is particularly keen to see in the years to come.

“Pinot Noir, new-wave Grenache, peppery ‘Syrah’ expressions, Italian varieties, orange wine… The list is long and diverse, and I know Australia is making world-class examples of all of these,” said Hunt. “This competition will welcome them with open arms, and reward them.”

IWSC Australia's best wines

The trophy winners will be revealed on October 16 and the Producers of the Year winners will be awarded at the IWSC Banquet in London on November 28.

Details of all the award winners, including Australia’s best wines of the year, can be found at:

IWSC best wines

The Gold Medal winners

Treasury Wine Estates’ 2018 Saltram Series 5 Riesling

Treasury Wine Estates’ Devil’s Lair Dance with the Devil Chardonnay 2018

De Bortoli All Rounder Semillon 2002

De Bortoli Black Noble NV

All Saints Estate Rutherglen Muscat NV

Berton Vineyards Reserve Barossa Shiraz 2017

Accolade Wines’ Grant Burge 20yo Tawny NV

Accolade Wines’ Hardys Rare Muscat NV

Accolade Wines’ Hardys Rare Tawny NV

Accolade Wines’ Grant Burge Meshach 2013

Accolade Wines’ Stonier Pinot Noir 2018

Langmeil Hallowed Ground Shiraz 2017

Hutton Vale Farm Shiraz 2014

McGuigan Bin 9000 Semillon 2007

McGuigan Bin 9000 Semillon 2017

Casella’s Morris Cellar Reserve Grand Muscat

Casella’s Morris Cellar Reserve Grand Topaque

Casella’s Morris Old Premium Rare Muscat

McWilliam’s MTP Icons Series Lovedale Semillon 2013

Bird in Hand Nest Egg Chardonnay 2018

Peccavi Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Penny’s Hill Skeleton Key Shiraz 2017

Raidis Estate Billy Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Shottesbrooke Reserve Series ‘The Proprietor’ Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Malbec 2014

St Andrews Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

Taylors St Andrews Shiraz 2017

Pernod Ricard’s St Hugo Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

The Good Luck Club Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

Good luck to the Aussies up for trophies for producing our best wines of the year.

Their triumphs follow Australia’s brilliant results in the Spirits section of the competition earlier this year, which included Kangaroo Island Spirits’ O Gin has been named best contemporary gin in the world. 

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