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Mamba Awards 2016: Tasmanian Pinot Noir leads the field

A Burgundian-style Tasmanian Pinot Noir and a Victorian Chardonnay stole the show at annual The Mamba Awards tasting last night - designed to highlight the most interesting Australian wines on offer in the UK. Tina Gellie reports for Decanter, which co-sponsors the tasting alongside glass maker Riedel...

Dalrymple’s 2013 Cottage Block from Pipers River (recommended retail price £39.99) was named the best of 35 Australian Pinot Noirs at the annual Mamba Awards tasting, helping Négociants UK to win the Decanter Perpetual Trophy for best agent/importer.

The Mamba Awards have been co-sponsored by Decanter since they began nine years ago.

The competition is designed to highlight the quality and value of Australian wine in the UK market, judged non-blind and with prices revealed, by about 70 members of the wine trade. Decanter’s consultant editor, Steven Spurrier, was head judge.

The awards 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. Other supporters include glassware maker Riedel (which donates a Mamba decanter to each of the wine category winners), drinks charity The Benevolent, Wine Australia, Jansz sparkling wine and wine trade newsletter The Buyer.

Giaconda’s 2012 Estate Vineyard Chardonnay from Beechworth in Victoria – the most expensive wine of the competition at £95 from importer Fields Morris & Verdin – trumped the other 68 wines in its category, ahead of Tyrrell’s 2007 Vat 47 from Hunter Valley in New South Wales (Fells, £38.49) and Tournon’s Landsborough 2013 from Victoria’s Pyrenees Region (Mentzendorff, £22).

The Tournon Chardonnay, made by celebrated Rhône winemaker Michel Chapoutier, also won the Yvonne May Memorial Decanter for the best-value wine of the evening as chosen by the tasters. Wines ranged from £6.86 to £95.

In the Pinot category, Tapanappa’s Foggy Hill 2010 from South Australia’s Fleurieu Peninsula (Mentzendorff, £30) was runner up, followed by Ten Minutes by Tractor’s Wallis Vineyard 2013 from Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula (Bancroft, £42).

The Harrow’s wine list of 1,100 labels is more than a third Australian.

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