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Mamba Awards 2015: Liberty wins first Decanter trophy

John Duval’s Annexus Grenache and Cullen Mangan Sauvignon Blanc - Semillon have helped UK importer Liberty Wines win the inaugural Decanter Perpetual Trophy at The Mamba Riedel Decanter Awards last night.

The Mamba Awards – now in their eighth year – highlight the quality and value of Australian wine in the UK market, and are judged non-blind, with prices revealed, by members of the wine trade.

They are hosted and sponsored by Roger and Sue Jones, chef/proprietor and front of house respectively of the Michelin-starred The Harrow at Little Bedwyn in Wiltshire. Decanter is a supporter, along with glassware maker Riedel, drinks charity The Benevolent, Wine Australia and Jansz sparkling wine.

This year’s categories were Semillon (10 entries), Sauvignon BlancSemillon (18) and Grenache and blends (42), with wines ranging in price from £9.50 to £43.99. The winner of each category received a Mamba decanter from Riedel.

Duval’s 2013 Grenache – the first vintage of this wine from the former winemaker of Penfolds Grange and also the most expensive wine of the competition – won its category, followed by fellow Barossa Valley stars Teusner’s Joshua Grenache-Mataro-Shiraz 2013 (Hallowed Ground, £26) and Kalleske’s Clarry’s Grenache-Shiraz-Mataro 2014 (New Generation, £19.99).

Of the Semillon-Sauvignon Blanc blends, Margaret River swept the board, with Larry Cherubino’s Pedestal 2013 (Hallgarten, £19) taking the top spot, followed by Fraser Gallop’s 2012 blend (Bibendum, £16.95) and Cullen’s Mangan 2013 (Liberty Wines, £19.99).

The Hunter Valley also stole the show in the Semillon category, with Tyrrell’s Vat 1 2009 (Fells, £25) taking the Mamba from Brokenwood’s ILR Reserve 2007 (Negociants, £33) and Mount Pleasant’s Cellar-Aged Elizabeth 2007 (Majestic, £14.99)

Decanter’s consultant editor Steven Spurrier presented UK importer Negociants with the inaugural Yvonne May Memorial Decanter for the best-value wine of the evening as chosen by the tasters – Yalumba’s Old Bush Vine Grenache 2013 (£14).

The award, sponsored by Wine Australia, is in honour of the generic body’s regional director of the EU, UK and Ireland who lost her battle with cancer last year.

Roger Jones is one of the judges on the Australia panel at the Decanter World Wine Awards and regularly judges Australian wines at Decanter panel tastings. The Harrow’s wine list of 1,000 bins is more than a third Australian.

See Mamba Awards results for 2014 and 2013.

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