Penfolds recognised as Australia’s best export wine

Posted by Isobel Drake on 5th December 2008

Penfolds has won the prestigious George Mackey Memorial Trophy for Australia’s export wine of the year with the 2005 Penfolds Yattarna Chardonnay. This is the third consecutive year Penfolds has been recognised, each year with a different variety.

“For a company and country famed for its iconic red wines, this award recognises the exceptionally high standard of one of Australia’s best chardonnays. To be chosen from more than 17,000 entries by an expert panel cements this wines reputation,” said the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation’s (AWBC) acting chief executive, Jock Osborne. “There seems to be a Chardonnay renaissance with some absolutely outstanding Chardonnay being grown in the Adelaide Hills, resulting in some brilliantly crafted wines.”

Penfolds Chief Winemaker, Peter Gago, believes the award cements the wine’s place among the best chardonnays in the world. “The 2005 Yattarna Chardonnay is clearly now
included in the upper echelon of global chardonnay,” he suggested. “Earlier this year at the 2008 Decanter World Wine Awards this wine also received a Trophy for Best Chardonnay over £10.”

Kym Schroeter, Penfolds Senior White Winemaker, reported that the climate in 2005 had been favourable for the Adelaide Hills region, helping produce high quality wine. “Vintage 2005 was a cool year and particularly suited the Adelaide Hills,” he advised. “The wine is normally a multi-regional blend, sourcing the best parcels of fruit available. After a very strict culling of barriques, the resulting blend was exclusively Adelaide Hills, for the first time ever.”

The trophy was established in memory of a former chairman of the AWBC, Mr George Mackey, who died in office in 1990.

The award is presented annually by the AWBC to the most outstanding export wine of the year. Initial nomination is made by AWBC wine inspectors, who set aside the best wines during the routine inspection of every exported Australian wine.

“This win, along with the establishment of the inaugural Landmark Australia Tutorial next year, is another important step towards celebrating Australia’s fine wines. Despite the challenges currently facing the wine sector we have an enduring objective towards encouraging greater recognition of such wines,” Mr Osborne added. “Celebrating the George Mackey Memorial Trophy is an exciting contribution to that objective.”

Previous winners have included Wirra Wirra, Tatachilla, Coldstream Hills, Cape Mentelle and Penley Estate.