A prominent South Australian winery has won back-to-back trophies at the 20th Anniversary Limestone Coast Wine Show (LCWS). The St Hugo 2019 Private Collection Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon was awarded the Bill Redman Trophy for Best Wine of Show at Thursday night’s celebration dinner held at The Barn near Mount Gambier, after earlier collecting the HR (Ron) Haselgrove Trophy for Best Cabernet Sauvignon and the David Wynn Trophy for Best Red Wine of Show.

A total of 38 gold medals were awarded after two days of judging at Penola’s Rymill Hall. Chief of Judges, Corrina Wright, described the winning red as a stand-out among 455 entries. “Judges were unanimous – it’s just a delicious style with lovely lift on the nose, really perfumed, lots of drive; it’s a super-balanced and really together wine,” she said.

Incredibly, the result saw St Hugo viticulturist Tim McCarthy collect the Arthur Hoffmann Trophy for Viticulturist of the Year for the third year in a row, after previously winning the award for the 2016 St Hugo Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon and the 2016 George Wyndham ‘I Am George’ Shiraz Cabernet.

Wrattonbully’s Eight at the Gate Wines was runner up for Best Wine of Show. The family-owned winery’s 2019 Family Selection Chardonnay won The Colin Kidd Trophy for Best White Wine of Show and the Pam Dunsford Trophy for Best Chardonnay. First-time LCWS judging panel chair Corey Ryan described it as a beautiful example of modern-style Australian Chardonnay. “It was tight and steely, with lovely intensity of flavour,” he said.

Meanwhile, it was a triple trophy treat for Coonawarra’s DiGiorgio Family Wines across a range of varieties. The DiGiorgio Family Wines 2021 Kongorong Riesling won the Karl Seppelt Trophy for Best White (excluding Chardonnay), the DiGiorgio Family Wines 2018 Botrytis Semillon was named Best Sweet Wine, and the DiGiorgio Family Wines 2021 Dolcetto Rosé attracted strong praise for its “pitch-perfect ballet slipper-pink tone and ethereal balance”, winning the trophy for Best Rosé.

The Eric Brand Trophy for Best Shiraz went to the Rymill Coonawarra 2019 Classic Release Shiraz, with judges applauding its “juiciness on the palate and delicious drinkability”. Shiraz also outperformed the traditional Cabernet for The Red Wine of Provenance Trophy, which went to Orlando Wines’ Lawson’s Padthaway Shiraz (2016, 2010, 2005).

Consistent performers Wynns Coonawarra Estate and Majella Wines again starred in 2021. The Wynns Coonawarra Estate 2016 O’Deas Single Vineyard Dry Red won Best Blended Red and the Wynns Coonawarra Estate 2018 Johnsons Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon was named Best Individual Vineyard Wine. The Majella Wines 2010 Cabernet won the Ewen Fergusson McBain Trophy for Best Museum Wine, with Majella also named Most Successful Exhibitor.

Coonawarra’s Nightfall Wines Aquila Cabernet Franc won the Small Batch and Experimental Wines Award. The Wangolina 2021 A Series Mencia was declared Best Alternative Red Variety, and the 2018 Eliza Blanc de Blancs from Padthaway Estate won Best Sparkling Wine, with the judging panel’s Paul Kernich praising its “great complexity and lemony freshness”.

Finally, the Chief of Judges ‘Wine to Watch’ went to Taschini’s debut release; the 2020 Pinot Gris, Graciano, Sangiovese blend: “It’s just a really juicy and modern style that the next gen are all drinking at the city bars – super fresh, bright, easy drinking, likeable; go to it,” said Corrina Wright.

CLICK HERE for the complete list of trophy winners + digital photographs by Adrian Gale. Video interviews with selected trophy winners are also in production. For further information, please contact LCWS publicity officer Gretel Sneath on 0417 382 035 or Lauren Hansen from the LCWS Committee on 0409 090 598.