Aussie Cabernet Sauvignon crowned world’s best

A South Australian Cabernet Sauvignon from Riddoch Coonawarra has been named the best in the world at the International Wine Challenge (IWC).

The event is considered to be the most influential, impartial and rigorously judged global wine competition, with more than 6000 wine entries from more than 50 countries.

Riddoch Coonawarra, part of Endeavour Group’s premium wine portfolio, Paragon Wine Estates, took out the top prize for its Riddoch The Pastoralist Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2021, defeating wines from 20 other countries in the highly-coveted category.

The award-winning Cabernet Sauvignon was made by Riddoch Coonawarra’s Chief Winemaker Tim Heath and Winemaker Matt Reimann.

Heath said: “John Riddoch started making wine in the Coonawarra in 1890, and in doing so established one of Australia’s greatest wine regions. Today, we’re proud to continue his legacy of crafting expressive wines that are a great representation of the region.

“Back in 2020, Matt and I set ourselves some fairly ambitious targets for the quality of wines we wanted to produce under the Riddoch Coonawarra name. Winemaking is about long-term effort and persistence, and if we’re completely honest, we thought it would take much longer than this to receive these kinds of accolades.

“We were quietly confident about the wines we’d bottled for the 2021 vintage, but it is incredibly special to receive this validation for all the hard work that has happened in the background over the last three years.

“Riddoch has a rich history, and we’re incredibly excited to add these trophies to our cabinet alongside the coveted Jimmy Watson trophy for the 1986 vintage cabernet shiraz, which was awarded back in 1987.”

IWC Judges described the drop as classic in style, with blackcurrant and mint possessing a herbal cassis. They also said it displayed a long fruit flavour and finished fresh.

IWC co-chair Sam Caporn said Australia was continuing to cement its place on the international world stage.

“Australia has a long and distinguished history of making fortified wines, but production declined in the
60s,” Caporn said.

“It is great to see winemakers responding to the growing global demand for fortified wines and drawing on their winemaking heritage to produce some outstanding wines in this category.”

The award-winning wines from Riddoch Coonawarra will be available in Dan Murphy’s and BWS from 29
June. Riddoch ‘The Pastoralist’ Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2021 will be $39.99.

Oakridge named Australia’s top winery

Riddoch’s win follows Oakridge Wines being named 2023 Winery of the Year last month in The Real Review Top Wineries of Australia following a year-long tasting of more than 10,000 wines.

Oakridge shot to the number one position after appearing at no.18 in the Real Review’s rankings in 2022.

Part of Endeavour Group’s fine wine portfolio Paragon Wine Estates, Oakridge Wines is located in Victoria’s oldest wine region, the Yarra Valley.

Endeavour Group also signed an agreement in January 2023 with Moët Hennessy to acquire Cape Mentelle Winery in Western Australia’s Margaret River.

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