Zonte’s Footstep Love Symbol Grenache 2019 has been named the The Grenache Shootout Wine of the Show and Grenache of the Show at the inaugural 2020 Grenache Shootout.
Trophies were also awarded to the Henschke Johann’s Garden 2017 for Best Blend of Show and Serafino Wines Family Vineyards GSM 2019 for Best Value Grenache of Show.
Fifty-two Grenache and Grenache-dominant blends were selected to compete in a search for the best Australian Grenache, with a specific focus by the judges on consumer appeal.
Eight Gold Medals, 10 Silver Medals and 24 Bronze Medals were awarded, a higher rate than usual due to all entries being handpicked by the Winepilot team.
Wines were judged blind in three rounds with the top 12 wines from the First Round moving into the Semi-Final. The top 4 wines from the Semi-Final were then judged head-to-head in a Grand Final. Other grand finalists included Bondar Wines Rayner Vineyard Grenache 2019 and Hentley Farm The Stray Mongrel 2019.
The judging panel, chaired by Mike DeGaris, included a diverse range of wine professionals to provide a strong consumer focus. Included were top current and former sommeliers Matt Dunne, Melissa Moore and Simon Curkovic, retailer Jason Bowyer plus wine educator and corporate speaker Andrea Pritzker MW. Judges tasted a total of 70 wines over four sessions of six hours, with the schedule designed to eliminate palate fatigue and foster high quality judging.
Chairman of Judges, Mike DeGaris, said: “Being in the show system for quite some time we taste a range of Grenaches, but there is often not a whole lot of variability. I came into the Shootout not sure where it was going to go but I was pleasantly surprised.
“There were lots of delicious wines. There were technical, structural wines. There were wines with flavour. There were some nice commercial entrants that the normal drinker could get their head around and there were the high level wines. The trophy wines nail everything.”
Winepilot Founder Angus Hughson commented, “The Grenache Shootout was about bringing together some of the best Grenache and blends in the country, with a distinct focus on consumer rather than trade tastes.
“I could not be happier with what Mike DeGaris and the judges have pulled out from the 52 wines that were hand-chosen by our team to compete in this event; from juicy, early-drinking styles to more serious and savoury wines. This is the first of many Winepilot Shootouts that focus on finding the best and most delicious wines for the Australian wine drinking consumer.”
The Winepilot Grenache Shootout 2020 was held thanks to generous sponsorship by Wine-Ark and Plumm.