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JOHN ROZENTALS reports that Zonte’s Footstep, Henschke and Serafino Wines were awarded trophies at the Winepilot Grenache Shootout.

November 21, 2020 Beverage No Comments Email Email

Zonte’s Footstep Love Symbol Grenache 2019 has been named the The Grenache Shootout Wine of the Show and Grenache of the Show at the inaugural 2020 Grenache Shootout.

52 Grenache and Grenache-dominant blends were selected to compete in a search for the best Australian Grenache, with a specific focus by the judges on consumer appeal.

Trophies were also awarded to the Henschke Johann’s Garden 2017 for Best Blend of Show and Serafino Wines Family Vineyards GSM 2019 for Best Value Grenache of Show.

Wines were judged blind in three rounds with the top 12 wines from the First Round moving into the Semi-Final. The top 4 wines from the Semi-Final were then judged head-to-head in a Grand Final. Other Grand Finalists included Bondar Wines Rayner Vineyard Grenache 2019 and Hentley Farm The Stray Mongrel 2019.

Eight Gold Medals, 10 Silver Medals and 24 Bronze Medals were awarded, a higher rate than usual due to all entries being handpicked by the Winepilot team.

The judging panel, chaired by Mike DeGaris, included a diverse range of wine professionals to provide a strong consumer focus. Included were top current and former sommeliers Matt Dunne, Melissa Moore and Simon Curkovic, retailer Jason Bower plus wine educator and corporate speaker Andrea Pritzker MW. Judges tasted a total of 70 wines over four sessions and six hours with the aim to eliminate palate fatigue and foster high quality judging.

Chairman of Judges Mike DeGaris gave the following summary of the show, “Being in the show system for quite some time we taste a range of Grenaches, but there is often not a whole lot of variability. I came into the shootout not sure where it was going to go but I was pleasantly surprised.

“There were lots of delicious wines. There were technical, structural wines. There were wines with flavour. There were some nice commercial entrants that the normal drinker could get their head around and there were the high level wines. The trophy wines nail everything.”

Winepilot Founder Angus Hughson commented: “The Grenache Shootout was about bringing together some of the best Grenache and blends in the country, with a distinct focus on consumer rather than trade tastes.

“I could not be happier with what Mike DeGaris and the judges have pulled out from the 52 wines that were hand-chosen by our team to compete in this event; from juicy, early-drinking styles to more serious and savoury wines. This is the first of many Winepilot Shootouts that focus on finding the best and most delicious wines for the Australian wine drinking consumer.”

WINE REVIEWS

Robert Mondavi 2018 Bourbon-Barrel-Aged Cabernet Sauvignon ($25): This dry red blends the craftsmanship of Californian winemaking with the tradition of bourbon aging, resulting in a bold sensory expression. It opens with concentrated aromas of ripe dark berries, vanilla and toasty oak with notes of coffee and smoke. Soft, chewy tannins and toasty oak round the wine out with a long, lush finish. A superb accompaniment to a charcuterie board, hearty pasta dishes and strong cheeses.

Robert Mondavi 2018 Rum-Barrel-Aged Merlot ($25): This dry red blends Californian winemaking with the tradition of dark-rum-barrel aging. It opens with rich, sweet aromas of blackstrap molasses and dark plum. These flavours carry through to a long, lush and sweet finish. It will match pasta bolognese or a meat curry.

WINE OF THE WEEK

Robert Mondavi 2018 Bourbon-Barrel-Aged Chardonnay ($25): This dry white is golden straw in colour and opens with aromas of pineapples, with hints of vanilla. It is rich, creamy, and concentrated with toasty oak leading to a balanced acidity and lingering finish. Enjoy with grilled fish with lemony butter, roasted pork tenderloin or garden salad. Or sip the wine on its own as an aperitif.

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