The winners of The Great Australian Red 2017 represent an exciting set of relative newcomers, showcasing a continued and exciting evolution for Australia’s definitive blend of cabernet sauvignon and shiraz.
In a resounding statement of the value of this blend, the winner of The Great Australian Red 2017 was Pepperjack Certified Shiraz Cabernet 2016, a stunning blend with a street price under $30.
Pepperjack winemaker Richard Mattner blended the wine from McLaren Vale, Langhorne Creek and Barossa fruit after judging The Great Australian Red in 2016.
Pepperjack Certified made its debut at The Great Australian Red in 2015, when the inaugural 2013 vintage won the Trophy for the Best Wine $25-$60.
‘It’s a thrill to see exciting new labels emerging in a category that has traditionally been the domain of the longstanding players,’ said Tyson Stelzer, cofounder of the competition alongside Matthew Jukes.
‘It is a great pleasure to judge these wine with such respected wine trade professionals and when it came to the “great reveal”, late in the day, we were all thrilled and surprised to see some newer names coming up trumps,’ noted Matthew.
‘It shows that The Great Australian Red is a dynamic category of wines which attracts some of the finest wine talent in the country from the vines all of the way to the glass.
‘Tyson and I cannot wait to tell the world about this year’s crop of stunning wines and we are in no doubt that consumers will be delighted to see that value and excellence walk hand in hand at The Great Australian Red.’
Pepperjack won medals for all five of its entries in the competition, and was subsequently awarded The Riedel Trophy for the Best Winery of Show, narrowly pipping Jacob’s Creek and past winner Wolf Blass for this hotly-contested Trophy.
The Saverglass Australia Trophy for the Best Wine over $60 and The Quervin Trophy for the Best Cabernet-Dominant Blend were won by Jacob’s Creek Expedition Barossa Valley Cabernet Shiraz 2015, a new premium label from this longstanding champion of Australia’s iconic red blend.
The Kemeny’s Trophy for the Best Wine Under $25 went to Stonyfell The Baton Shiraz Cabernet 2015, a beautifully affordable and delicious blend of Langhorne Creek fruit created by Nigel Dolan at Cellarmasters.
The Great Australian Red 2017 attracted 96 entries, which were judged at the National Wine Centre in Adelaide by Matthew and Tyson alongside PJ Charteris (chair of judges), Tim James, Ian Hongell, Doug Govan, Sam Wigan, Jeremy Maxwell, James Parham, Peta Baverstock, James Hamilton, Nick Knappstein and Anna Hooper.
The Great Australian Red 2017 is grateful to its sponsors Riedel, Kemeny’s, Mycellars.com.au, Saverglass Australia, Orora Stelvin, Quervin, Vinloco and Openbook Howden.