Jimmy Watson Trophy Bleasdale

Red blend wins Jimmy Watson Trophy for first time in 11 years

October 17, 2019
By Alana House

South Australia’s Bleasdale Vineyards’ 2018 The Wild Fig S.G.M was has been awarded the Jimmy Watson Trophy for Best Young Red at the 2019 Royal Melbourne Wine Awards.

The Wild Fig S.G.M is a blend of Shiraz, Grenache and Mourvedre sourced from Langhorne Creek and produced by Bleasdale Vinyards Winemaker Paul Hotker. This is the first time a blend has taken home the Jimmy Watson Trophy since 2008.

The Jimmy Watson Trophy is the Australian wine industry’s most coveted award. The trophy is awarded to the best one or two-year-old red wine and is named after the legendary Jimmy Watson who championed table wine at his Carlton wine bar.

Bleasdale was up against over a thousand ‘young’ red wines at the 2019 Royal Melbourne Wine Awards, and is priced at just $20 a bottle

Bleasdale Jimmy Watson trophy

“Bleasdale continues to evolve in a dynamic environment, and remains as relevant as ever. As the Jimmy Watson Trophy was conceived in 1962, Bleasdale made their first table wine after 100 years of fortified winemaking.” said Hotker.

“People love fresh young wines with varietal character and that’s what Langhorne Creek, Adelaide Hills and Bleasdale do so well.”

Bottle shop favourite Cat Amongst The Pigeons Barossa Grenache Shiraz Mataro, which costs $20 at BWS, was just behind Bleasdale for the coveted trophy.

It scored Gold and earned 96 points out of an overall 100 in the Best Red Blend — Red Blends 2018 and Younger category.

Cat Amongst the Pigeons; Jimmy Watson trophy

Among the wineries taking home other top awards were Shaw + Smith who were awarded the prestigious Francois De Castella trophy for Best Young White Wine for their 2018 vintage Shaw + Smith M3 Chardonnay.

Chardonnay continued to shine with Handpicked Wines awarded the Douglas Seabrook Trophy for Best Single Vineyard Wine, the Kym Ludvigsen Trophy for viticultural excellence and Best Chardonnay for their 2017 Capella Vineyard Chardonnay.

Conducted by The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV) for more than 135 years, the RMWA gives producers the opportunity to benchmark their wines against industry standards, seek advice from an independent panel of experts, and promote and market award winning products using the RMWA’s seal of excellence.

RASV CEO Paul Guerra says the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria has been enabling the wine community to celebrate and showcase their passion for over 135 years.

“The Royal Melbourne Wine Awards provides highly valued recognition for the best Australian wines and wineries each year. The top three awards – Jimmy Watson, Francois De Castella and Trevor Mast – are some of the most respected winemaking awards in the country and are recognised both nationally and internationally,” Guerra said.

This year saw the introduction of the new innovative judging and awarding of Shiraz wines, the Best State Shiraz trophies. The winners of each state trophy were tasted off against each other to award the Trevor Mast Trophy for Best Shiraz. This year’s Trevor Mast Trophy was awarded to Western Australia based Frankland Estate Wines’ Isolation Ridge Vinyard Shiraz 2017 vintage.

The James Halliday Trophy for Best Pinot Noir went to a Tasmanian winery for the fifth consecutive year with Pressing Matters taking home the trophy for their 2017 Pinot Noir.

Reflecting on another big year for the RMWA and the incredible success of so many producers, Paul Guerra said the Awards are a wonderful way to recognise Australia’s leading wine producers.

“With more than 3,050 entries, the producers who took out this year’s major trophies, including Bleasdale Vineyards, Frankland Estate Wines, Shaw + Smith and more should be extremely proud of their achievements,” he noted.

“The Royal Melbourne Wine Awards provide our winemakers with a unique and valuable platform to leverage their success locally and internationally through the Royal Melbourne Wine Awards seal of excellence.”

Discussing the 2019 judging process, Chair of Judges Matt Harrop said: “In the Australian wine industry, the Royal Melbourne Wine Awards is the pinnacle event. The results of this year’s RMWA reflect the dedication, hard work and expertise of winegrowers across this great country,” stated Mr Harrop.

The full list of this year’s trophy winners:

The Jimmy Watson Trophy For Best Young Red – Bleasdale Vineyards The Wild Fig SGM 2018

The Francois De Castella Trophy for Best Young White – Shaw + Smith M3 Chardonnay 2018

The Trevor Mast Trophy for Best Shiraz – Frankland Estate Wines Isolation Ridge Vineyard Shiraz 2017

The James Halliday Trophy for Best Pinot Noir – Pressing Matters 2017

The Douglas Seabrook Trophy for Best Single Vineyard Wine – Handpicked Wines, Capella Vineyard Chardonnay 2017

The Bill Chambers Trophy for Best Fortified Wine – Morris Wines Old Premium Rare Muscat – NV

The Kym Ludvigsen Trophy for Viticultural Excellence – Karl Roberts, Handpicked Wines, Capella Vineyard

The Victorian Trophy for Red Wines of Provenance – Paringa Estate Estate Pinot Noir – 2018, 2013 and 2008

The Victorian Trophy for White Wines of Provenance – Seppelt Drumborg Riesling 2019, 2011 and 2005

Best Semillon – Tyrrell’s Belford Semillon 2014

Best Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Associated Varieties – Xanadu Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

Best Chardonnay – Handpicked Wines, Capella Vineyard Chardonnay 2017

Best Grenache – Geddes Wines, Seldom Inn 2018

Best NSW Shiraz – Robert Oatley Vineyards, Montrose Black Mudgee Shiraz 2018

Best Organic or Biodynamic Wine Trophy – Frankland Estate Wines Isolation Ridge Vineyard Shiraz 2017

Best Pinot Grigio – Tar&Roses Pinot Grigio 2019

Best Red Blend – Bleasdale Vineyards The Wild Fig SGM 2018

Best Riesling – Wirra Wirra The Lost Watch 2019

Best Rosé – Brokenwood Rosato 2019

Best Sauvignon Blanc – Larry Cherubino Wines The Yard Channybearup Sauvignon Blanc 2018

Best Shiraz/Cabernet Sauvignon Blend – Tamburlaine 2018 Marlowe – Act One 2018

Best Single Varietal Red – Seppeltsfield Village Barossa Nero D’Avola 2019

Best Single Varietal White – Hahndorf Hill White Mischief Gruner Veltliner 2019

Best South Australian Shiraz – The Lane Vineyard ‘Block 5’ 2018

Best Sparkling – Brown Brothers Pinot Noir Chardonnay & Pinot Meunier – NV

Best Sweet White Wine – Riversdale Estate Botrytis Riesling 2014

Best Victorian Shiraz – Paringa Estate Peninsula Shiraz 2018

Best Western Australian Shiraz – Frankland Estate Wines Isolation Ridge Vineyard Shiraz 2017

Best White Blend – Houghton Margaret River Sauvignon Blanc Semillon – 2019

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