American riesling rises to the Challenge

Canberra International Riesling Challenger

US winery Black Star Farms has won the Canberra International Riesling Challenge’s top award – Best Wine of the Challenge – with its 2017 Black Star Farms Arcturos Dry Riesling.

The wine was also named Best Dry Riesling and Best American Riesling. Black Star Farms is located on Old Mission Peninsula in Michigan, on the same 45th parallel that runs through some of the great wine regions of the world.

A record number of rieslings from six countries – Australia, NZ, the US, Germany, France and the Czech Republic – were judged at Albert Hall during this week. This is the largest collection of riesling ever put together in the southern hemisphere.

Under the guidance of chairman of judges Cameron Douglas, seven judges from Australia, the US and China and three associate judges, have tasted the 567 wines over the last four days to find the best wines across a number of styles. 

The 2018 Challenge had a record total of 567 entries. Judging resulted in 70 gold medals, 104 silver medals and 205 bronze medals.

Mr Douglas, a Master Sommelier, experienced wine writer, commentator, judge, reviewer, presenter and consultant from NZ, said the awards featured wines from a range of countries, and from small, family owned winegrowers to large commercial operators.

“The 2018 Canberra International Riesling Challenge remains the largest and most exacting in the southern hemisphere,” he said.

“Riesling touches our vinous lives in many ways. What sets it apart is not simply complexity – other great varieties possess this. It is the pure essence of soil and climate speaking through the grape. Great riesling can be beguiling with aromas, flavours and textures that resonate seamlessly with the palate. There is a riesling for all occasions and palates.”

Daniel Hetherington from Capel Vale Wines in WA received the Encouragement Award for up and coming riesling winemakers.

The winner of the inaugural Wines of Provenance class was Trevelen Farm Wines from Great Southern Region in WA with its Trevelen Farm Riesling vintages 2016, 2011 and 2005. Entries for this class comprised three vintages of the same wine/label produced from a single vineyard and winery, with 10 or more year’s age range between the most recent and the oldest vintage.

TROPHIES & AWARDS

Best Wine of the 2018 Challenge Canberra International Riesling Challenge Trophy, Black Star Farms – 2017 Black Star Farms Arcturos Dry Riesling (Class 10, Dry, Old Mission Peninsula, US)

Best Dry Riesling Jim Murphy AM Perpetual Trophy, Black Star Farms – 2017 Black Star Farms Arcturos Dry Riesling (Class 10, Dry, Old Mission Peninsula, US)

Best Semi-Dry Riesling Wolf Blass Trophy, Risky Business Wines – 2018 Risky Business Luxe Riesling (Class 2, Semi-dry, Great Southern, Australia)

Best Sweet Riesling Australia Post Trophy, Forrest Wines – 2017 Forrest Botrytised Riesling (Class 6, Sweet including Botrytis & Eiswein, Marlborough, New Zealand)

Best Museum Class ActewAGL Trophy, Poacher’s Ridge – 2016 Poacher’s Ridge Riesling (Class 7, Dry, Great Southern, Australia)

Best Australian Riesling, ACT Government and Hotel Realm Trophy, Risky Business Wines – 2018 Risky Business Luxe Riesling (Class 2, Semi-dry, Great Southern, Australia)

Best New Zealand Riesling New Zealand High Commission Perpetual Trophy, Forrest Wines – 2017 Forrest Botrytised Riesling (Class 6, Sweet including Botrytis & Eiswein, Marlborough, NZ)

Best European Riesling German Ambassador’s Perpetual Trophy, Weingut Georg Müller Stiftung – 2016 Hallgarten Riesling Alte Reben VDP.ORTSWEIN (Class 14, Semi-dry, Rheingau, Germany)

Best American Riesling, US Embassy Perpetual Trophy, Black Star Farms – 2017 Black Star Farms Arcturos Dry Riesling (Class 10, Dry, Old Mission Peninsula, US)

Best Canberra District Riesling ACT Chief Minister’s Trophy, Mount Majura Vineyard -2018 Mount Majura Vineyard Riesling (Class 1, Dry, Canberra District, Australia)

Best Tasmanian Riesling, Tamar Valley Wine Route Trophy Goaty Hill Wines – 2017 Goaty Hill Riesling (Class 4, Dry, Tasmania, Australia)

Wines of Provenance ,Trevelen Farm Riesling – 2016, 2011, 2005 (Great Southern, Australia)

Wolf Blass Award, Neil and Andrew Pike, Pike’s Wines, Australia

Jim Trezise, USA Encouragement Award for up and coming Australian Riesling Winemakers Shaw Vineyard Estate, Daniel Hetherington, Capel Vale Wines

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