A South Australian winery can claim to make the best cabernet sauvingnon in the world after taking home gold in the International Wine Challenge 2023.
A glass or several of Riddoch Coonawarra’s The Pastoralist Cabernet Sauvignon 2021 won’t break the bank, either. They will be selling for $40 at Dan Murphy’s and BWS from June 29.
The full-bodied red wine competed against 20 other countries in the varietal’s category to win the trophy on Tuesday.
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With dark berries on the nose and hints of cedar from a year spent ageing in new and seasoned French barrels, tasting notes describe silky, balanced tannins on the palate for their take on the region’s “keynote grape variety”.
IWC Judges described the drop as classic in style, with blackcurrant and mint possessing a herbal cassis, and a long fruit flavour.
Rigorous blind tastings are held by a panel of wine experts who give each wine a score out of 100 points — to score a gold trophy, the wine needs to score at least 95 points.
More than 6000 wines from 50 countries were assessed for their faithfulness to style, region and vintage.
Grapes for The Pastoralist are picked from a 25-year-old family-owned vineyard in Northern Coonawarra, at the warmer end of the region, and are influenced by soils of red loam over limestone and ironstone.
Chief winemaker Tim Health and winemaker Matthew Reimann are the duo behind the winning wine.
“Back in 2020, Matt and I set ourselves some fairly ambitious targets for the quality of wines we wanted to produce under the Riddoch Coonawarra name,” Heath said.
“Winemaking is about long-term effort and persistence, and if we’re completely honest, we thought it would take much longer than this to receive these kinds of accolades.”
“We were quietly confident about the wines we’d bottled for the 2021 vintage, but it is incredibly special to receive this validation for all the hard work that has happened in the background over the last three years.”
Riddoch Coonawarra is part of Paragon Wine Estates, within the large wine portfolio owned by Endeavour Drinks Group — a Woolworths Group spin off.
Overall, Australia won 62 gold medals in the Challenge, as well as 250 silver, and 199 bronze, in the 40th running year of the British-based competition.
The nation was beat only by France, which took home 70 gold, 321 silver and 446 bronze.
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