Tasmanian sparkling wine producer The House of Arras was the clear winner at the 13th Mamba Riedel Decanter Awards in the UK.
The awards, hosted and sponsored by Roger and Sue Jones of the Michelin-starred The Harrow at Little Bedwyn in Wiltshire, champion the value and quality of Australian wine in the UK.
Two annually changing wine categories are judged – non-blind, with prices revealed – by more than 100 members of the wine trade. Glassware maker Riedel hands out its iconic Mamba decanters to the winners of each.
Tasmania rises to the top
In this year’s sparkling wine category, The House of Arras took the first three places out of 32 wines entered: the Late-Disgorged 2003 (£99.99) triumphing over the Grand Vintage 2007 (£34.99) and Rosé 2005 (£39.99).
Arras’ UK importer, Fine Wine Partners – the premium Australian wine arm of Accolade Wines – won the Decanter-sponsored perpetual trophy, given to the most successful importer on the evening.
Head judge, Decanter’s Steven Spurrier, presented the Yvonne May Memorial Trophy for the best-value wine of the evening as chosen by the tasters – Joseph Chromy’s Pepik Sekt NV from Tasmania (£19.99, Bibendum). The award, sponsored by Wine Australia, is in honour of the generic body’s former regional director, who died in 2014.
Battle of the Cabernets
In the 76-strong Cabernet Sauvignon category, Henschke’s Cyril 2002 from South Australia’s Eden Valley (£99, Enotria) took the crown ahead of Penfolds’ Bin 169 2013 from Coonawarra (£198, Treasury Wine Estates) and Cullen’s Diana Madeleine 2016 from Margaret River in Western Australia (£88, Liberty Wines)
Money raised from donations and a charity raffle goes to the drinks trade charity The Benevolent. This year’s event raised £750.
Roger Jones judges wines for Decanter both at panel tastings and at the Decanter World Wine Awards. The Harrow’s wine list of more than 1,000 bins has one of the country’s best selections of Australian wine.
Our latest Australian panel tasting results: