The second annual James Halliday Grenache Challenge (JHGC) gathered varietal Grenache wines from around Australia for a competitive tasting to celebrate and elevate the variety.
The Challenge invited producers from all Australian wine regions to participate, encouraging an honest gauge of Australia’s winemaking form and to catch the styles and movements developing across the landscape.
Cellarmasters 2017 Blood Brother Republic McLaren Vale Grenache emerged victorious, with Z Wine 2017 Rustica just a single point behind.
2018 James Halliday Grenache Challenge Panel Judges included Julian Langworthy - Deep Woods, Andrew Thomas - Thomas Wines and Fiona Donald - Seppeltsfield.
2018 McLaren Vale Wine Show Chair Liam Van Pelt, was thrilled to receive quality Grenache submissions from all over Australia.
"Once again, the JHGC was supported by many great wine regions around Australia. Entries were scrutinised by some of Australia’s top show judges with the top eight wines creating a lot of conversation around style, winemaking and Grenache’s overall position in Australia," said Mr Van Pelt.
"Judges were impressed with the strength of the entries with eventual winner chosen for showing brightness, balance, varietal definition and complexity.”
James Halliday also noted the standout quality of the final entries.
"The eight grenache that were in contention for the best overall and best regional awards are a brilliant testimony to all that modern day grenache has to offer," said Mr Halliday.
"Lifted, perfumed red fruits and hints of spice of the bouquets were mirrored by vibrant, supple palates with a seamless flow of varietal fruits ranging through red cherry, strawberry and raspberry. The wines achieved these wonderful flavours at moderate alcohol levels, making them a sheer pleasure to drink."
Mark 'Jamo' Jamieson, the winemaker behind the winning wine, is honoured to receive the accolade.
“To get recognition from Australia’s most respected wine critic is a tremendous honour,” Jamieson said.
“Creating a beautiful wine is a team effort, and this win is a true testament to all the hard work the grower, cellar hands and winemaker do together. At the end of the day, it’s all about the vines, the soil, and ability to pick the fruit at optimum ripeness – not to mention a large dash of luck.”