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WINNERS ARE GRINNERS at The Hunter Valley Wine Show

The Hunter Valley Wine Show, one of the country's leading wine shows, attracts the highest calibre of Australian and International judges and celebrates the region's great wines and wine producers. Now in its 49th year, judges announced the 2021 winners via an online awards ceremony earlier this month.


Delayed from the initial run in August and with COVID restrictions once again challenging proceedings, the prestigious show has triumphed in the face of adversity. Of the 645 wines and 4000 bottles entered, there were more gold medals awarded per class than previous years, and in a nod to the quality of this year's entries, 25 of the 26 trophies were also


Highly acclaimed wine judge, PJ Charteris, presided over this year's panel of nine judges. As an experienced winemaker with more than 25 years of winemaking experience, PJ is one of the country's top Wine Show Judges, has judged at many regional wine shows and is currently the Chairman of Judges for the Royal Sydney Wine Show. A Kiwi native, PJ has spent much of his professional career working in the Australian wine industry spending time at Penfolds and Lindemans before being appointed Chief Winemaker at Brokenwood, where he remained for twelve years.

Despite the 2020 vintage conditions, PJ commended the strength of the 2021 Semillon classes. The judges were spoilt for choice in the red classes, with 2017, 2018 and 2019 all performing strongly. PJ highlighted the 2018 wines with a deep core of fruit that will see them mature exceptionally well, whilst the 2019 wines show a freshness and purity giving them instant appeal.

The Iain Riggs Wine of Provenance was awarded to Mount Pleasant for its Lovedale Semillon 2009, 2014 and 2019. The provenance classes produced three very good brackets of wines which, according to PJ, were very difficult to split, demonstrating "why the Hunter is a unique and special wine region".

"As this is a regional show, the judging team are focused on the unique expression that the Hunter Valley is capable of producing, and this year's entries did not disappoint," said PJ.

"It should come as no surprise that Semillon performed incredibly well. Considering the recent run of great vintages in the red classes, the strength of the 17, 18 and 19 reds is worth highlighting. Whilst the 2020 harvest produced challenges for winemakers, Hunter Valley winemakers have responded with careful and considered winemaking to give wines that belied the conditions."

First Creek Wines took out a trifecta for its 2014 Single Vineyard Blackcluster Semillon, winning the Petrie-Drinan Trophy Best White Wine of the Show, as well as the Tyrrell Family Trophy for Best Single Vineyard White and Len Evans Trophy for Best Single Vineyard Wine. The Doug Seabrook Memorial Trophy for Best Red Wine of the Show was awarded to De Iuliis for its 2019 Limited Release Shiraz, which also won the Hector Tulloch Memorial Trophy Best Shiraz. It was a day of hard-earned celebrations for both First Creek Wines and De Iuliis, who took home 12 of the trophies between them.

The judges also made particular mention of the Chardonnay entries. "In this exceptionally competitive space, it is really impressive to see the Hunter Valley developing its own Chardonnay style". Verdelho, Vermentino and Fiano also continued to perform well and improve year on year," noted PJ.


Best Current Semillon

Brokenwood 2021 Tallawanta Vineyard Semillon

Best One-Year-Old Semillon

Brokenwood 2020 Tallawanta Vineyard Semillon

Best Mature Two-Year-Old and Older Semillon

First Creek Wines 2014 Single Vineyard Blackcluster Semillon

Best Current and One-Year-Old Chardonnay

Keith Tulloch Wine 2021 Chardonnay Estate Chardonnay

Best Two-Year-Old and Older Chardonnay

Silkman Wines 2017 SILK Chardonnay

Best "Other White Varietals and White Blends" Trophy

Tempus Two 2021 Copper Vermentino

Best Verdelho

Two Rivers 2021 Hidden Hive Verdelho

Best Chardonnay

Silkman Wines 2017 SILK Chardonnay

Best Off-Dry or Sweet White Wine

RidgeView 2018 "Tipple's Gold" Late Harvest Viognier

Best Fortified Wine or Vermouth

Mount Pleasant Wines NV 25 Year Old Fortified Verdelho

Best Museum Red Wine

De Iuliis Wines 2007 Limited Release Shiraz

Best Museum White Wine

Tyrrell's Vineyards Pty Ltd 2006 Vat 1 Semillon

Best Single Vineyard White

First Creek Wines 2014 Single Vineyard Blackcluster Semillon

Best Single Vineyard Red

De Iuliis 2019 LDR Vineyard Shiraz Touriga Nacional

Best Rosé

First Creek Wines 2021 FCR Merlot

The Royal Australian Infantry Corps Officers Mess Silver Bullet

Margan Family Wines 2019 White Label Ceres Hill Barbera

Best Current Vintage and One-Year-Old Shiraz

Mercer Wines 2021 Shiraz Nouveau

Best Two-Year-Old Shiraz

De Iuliis Wines 2019 Limited Release Shiraz

Best Three-Year-Old and Older Shiraz

Tyrrell's Vineyards Pty Ltd 2018 Old Hillside Shiraz

Best "Other Red Varietal and Red Blends"

De Iuliis Wines 2019 LDR Vineyard Shiraz Touriga Nacional

Best Semillon

First Creek Wines 2019 Single Vineyard Blackcluster Semillon

Best Shiraz

De Iuliis 2019 Limited Release Shiraz

Best Single Vineyard Wine

First Creek Wines 2014 Single Vineyard Blackcluster Semillon

Best White Wine of the Show

First Creek Wines 2014 Single Vineyard Blackcluster Semillon

Best Red Wine of the Show

De Iuliis 2019 Limited Release Shiraz

Wine of Provenance

Mount Pleasant Lovedale Semillon 2009, 2014, 2019