Gilbert is ‘up and coming’ at the Riesling Challenge

Mudgee’s Gilbert Family Wines has been recognised at the 18th annual Canberra International Riesling Challenge.

Winemaker Will Gilbert received the Shaw Vineyard Estate Encouragement Award for up and coming Riesling Winemakers. 

Rieslings from seven countries – Australia, New Zealand, USA, Germany, France, Hungary and the Czech Republic – were judged at this year’s Challenge which was held at the historic Albert Hall in Canberra during the week.

Winners were announced on Friday night at the Celebration of Riesling and Awards Presentation with the collection of wines in the Challenge recognised for their excellence in Riesling production.

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The prestigious top award – Best Wine of the 2017 Challenge - has been won by the Canberra District Gallagher Wines with its 2017 Gallagher Riesling. The wine was also named Best Dry Riesling, Best in Australia and Best Riesling from the Canberra District. 

Under the guidance of Chairman of Judges John Belsham, seven Judges from Australia, the USA and Germany and three Associate Judges, have tasted more than 500 wines over the last four days to find the best wines across a number of styles.

The 2017 Challenge had a total of 519 entries. Judging resulted in 57 Gold Medals, 100 Silver Medals and 201 Bronze Medals.

Mr Belsham, an international winemaker of Foxes Island Wines NZ, businessman, consultant and critic with 35 years of wine industry experience, said the awards feature wines from a range of countries, and from small family owned winegrowers to large commercial operators.

“Our judging panels, comprised of some of the best wine judges on the planet, have endorsed wines to suit all palates and budgets. From the vibrant fresh and youthful to the seamlessly aged museum wines. Judging these wines has been a sheer delight and now we invite you to share the joy and to use these results to launch or to continue your Riesling adventure,” he said.

The Chair of the Canberra International Riesling Challenge (CIRC), James Service AM, said the results reflect outstanding recent vintages, the versatility and longevity of older Rieslings and the heightened professionalism and attention to detail by winemakers and viticulturists.

2017 Canberra International Riesling Challenge TROPHIES and AWARDS

  • Best Wine of the 2017 Challenge Canberra International Riesling Challenge Trophy Gallagher Wines - 2017 Gallagher Riesling (Class 1, Dry, Canberra District, Australia)
  • Best Dry Riesling Jim Murphy AM Perpetual Trophy Gallagher Wines - 2017 Gallagher Riesling (Class 1, Dry, Canberra District, Australia)
  • Best Semi-Dry Riesling d’Arenberg - 2017 d'Arenberg The Dry Dam Riesling (Class 2, Semi-Dry, McLaren Vale, Australia)
  • Best Sweet Riesling Australia Post Trophy Villa Maria Estate - 2015 Villa Maria Reserve Marlborough Noble Riesling Botrytis Selection (Class 6, Sweet, Marlborough, New Zealand)
  • Best Museum Class ActewAGL Trophy Wolf Blass Wines - 2009 Wolf Blass White Label Riesling (Class 7, Dry, Eden Valley, Australia) Best in Australia ACT Government and Hotel Realm Canberra Trophy Gallagher Wines - 2017 Gallagher Riesling (Class 1, Dry, Canberra District, Australia)
  • Best Riesling from New Zealand New Zealand High Commission Perpetual Trophy Australia Post Trophy Villa Maria Estate - 2015 Villa Maria Reserve Marlborough Noble Riesling Botrytis Selection (Class 6, Sweet, Marlborough, New Zealand)
  • Best European Riesling German Ambassador’s Perpetual Trophy Kloster Eberbach - 2015 Hochheimer Dombdechaney Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese (Class 15, Sweet, Rheingau, Germany)
  • Best American Riesling USA Embassy Perpetual Trophy Chateau Ste Michelle - 2016 Chateau Ste. Michelle Dry Riesling (Class 10, Dry, Columbia Valley USA)
  • Best from the Canberra District ACT Chief Minister’s Trophy Gallagher Wines - 2017 Gallagher Riesling (Class 1, Dry, Canberra District, Australia)
  • Best Riesling from Tasmania Tamar Valley Wine Route Trophy Bream Creek Vineyard - 2016 Bream Creek Riesling (Class 5, Semi-Dry, Tasmania, Australia)
  • Encouragement Award for Up and Coming Australian Riesling Winemakers Shaw Vineyard Estate Will Gilbert, Gilbert Family Wines
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