The Royal Queensland Wine Show (RQWS) dates back to 1876, and forms part of the Royal Queensland Food and Wine Show which includes categories in beef, lamb, dairy, ice-cream, smallgoods, beer and cider, and student-made cheeses as well as wine. The wine category allows winemakers to showcase their skills and attract interest in their products, as well as providing them the opportunity to have their wines judged by professionals in the industry.
This year, the wine show received more than 2,000 entries from nearly 300 wineries, including Penfolds, Yabby Lake, DeBortoli, Eden Road and many others. Wines are judged within their category (such as red table, white table, and sparkling), subcategory (for example Riesling, Pinot Noir, Moscato, and Rosé), and class (for example vintage).
Judging is done according to a 100-point system, with Gold winners achieving 95 to 100 points, Silver 90 to 94 points, and Bronze 85 to 89 points. As you might imagine, competition is pretty fierce and judging is tough, with only the best of the best winning a prize in the show!
The results of this year’s show
This year, the judging took place during the third week of June. Quite a number of wines won medals, with some also being awarded trophies for the best in the show in a particular category. The results included the following:
- Gold – Orlando St. Helga Eden Valley, Jim Barry Watervale, and Pewsey Vale Vineyard Rieslings.
- Silver – Jim Barry Lodge Hill, Penfolds Bin 51 Eden Valley, and Leo Buring Clare Valley Rieslings.
- Bronze – won by Heirloom Vineyard, Dandelion Vineyard, Stone Bridge Wines and others.
- Gold – Robert Oatley Wild Oats Sangiovese Rosé.
- Silver – Shingleback Haycutters Salmon Rosé.
- Bronze – Angove Family Nine Vines Rosé.
- Gold – DeBortoli Sacred Hill Moscato.
- Silver – DeBortoli La Bossa Moscato.
- Bronze – Jacobs Creek Moscato, Grant Burge Moscato and several others.
- Gold – Six winners, including Willowbridge Estate G1-10, Grant Burge The Vigneron Nonpareil, and First Creek Wines Winemaker’s Reserve Chardonnay.
- Silver – Fifteen winners including Innocent Bystander Giant Steps Tarraford, Wolf Blass White Label Piccadilly, and Juniper Estate Chardonnay.
- Bronze – There were many Bronze winners, including Penfolds Bin 311, Innocent Bystander, and Heirloom Vineyards Chardonnay.
- Gold – d’Arenberg Pollyanna Polly.
- Silver – Brown Brothers Devil’s Corner NV Cuvee and Tahbilk Coueslant Chardonnay Pinot Noir.
- Bronze – Hardys St James Brut, Brown Brothers Prosecco, Cumulus Wines Sparkling and others.
- Gold – Yabby Lake Single Vineyard, Innocent Bystander Giant Steps Sexton and Eddystone Point Pinot Noir.
- Silver – Innocent Bystander Giant Steps Applejack, Punt Road Pinot Noir, Brown Brothers Devil’s Corner Pinot Noir and others.
- Bronze – Heirloom Vineyards Adelaide Hills, Trentham Estate, Bay of Fires and others.
When it comes to the best Pinot Noir in Australia, it certainly seems that the Yabby Lake winery is a contender. Yabby Lake not only won Gold at the show, but also the trophy for the Best Pinot Noir for its Single Vineyard 2014 Pinot Noir. The winery also won a trophy for the Best Single Vineyard Red. Other quality wines produced by Yabby Lake are available through Veno and include the Red Claw Pinot Noir, a wine with cherry and dark berry flavours with a touch of spice from the oak, and the 2004 Roc Shiraz with its spicy oak, plum and dark berry flavours.
Innocent Bystander winery also performed well in the Pinot Noir class, with its Giant Steps and Applejack wines winning medals. It seems that along with Yabby Lake, this is another winery that produces some great quality Australian Pinot Noir wines.