Wynn’s Duo Named 2010 Gourmet Traveller Wine ‘Winemaker of the Year’

Posted by Josette Dunn on 1st October 2010

Senior Winemaker Sue Hodder and Viticulturist Allen Jenkins of Wynns Coonawarra Estate last Friday night took out the top gong at the 13th annual Gourmet Traveller WINE’s Winemaker of the Year Awards 2010 held at Melbourne’s Park Hyatt Hotel in association with Wine Australia and the Škoda Superb. This award celebrates Australia’s most exceptional vinous talent.

The judging panel for Gourmet Traveller WINE’s Winemaker of the Year included Huon Hooke, Peter Bourne, Nick Bulleid MW, Andrew Caillard MW, Sophie Otton and Peter Forrestal (chairman).

The judging process focuses on those whose dedication, hard work, individuality and inspiration has resulted in world-class wines over the recent past, especially those in the past year or so. Caillard said, “Sue Hodder and Allen Jenkins are the leading lights of Coonawarra’s fine wine renaissance”.

This strong symbiotic partnership from the vineyard to the winery has really been the backbone in transforming the quality, and in subtly redefining the style of, these flagship Coonawarra reds. Today Sue spends even more time in the vineyard and tasting classifications are paramount for Allen in collectively identifying the finest fruit composition and ideal tannin structure.

In 2008 Sue and Allen were initially finalists in Gourmet Traveller WINE’s Winemaker of the Year. Since then they continued their impressive work of revitalising the Wynns vineyards – producing some truly outstanding Coonwarra reds and heightening the positioning of Coonawarra and Cabernet. Reiterating the exceptional wines across the Wynns stable, Sue and Allen have played a collective lead in exploring select sites to develop a successful annual single-vineyard release program – with the most recent release being the highly acclaimed Glengyle Cabernet Sauvignon 2007. Two new additions were also added to Wynns recent annual winter release program under V&A Lane – a Shiraz and Cabernet Shiraz, with fruit sourced from the historic V&A (Victoria and Albert) Lane at the heart of Coonawarra’s famous terra rossa strip.

In describing this award Sue comments, “To be the winemaker of a classic Australian label like Wynns is both an enormous privilege and a great responsibility. This is not just an award for what we have done recently, but also what we are attempting for the future and that is to make great wines that reflect Coonawarra in the best possible way”.

For Allen, there is nothing more satisfying for a viticulturist than to share a wine with the winemaker that best expresses the nuances of the vineyard – that true and unique sense of place. “And what a privilege it is to chase the goal toward perfection in a glass”.

Coinciding with the announcement as Gourmet Traveller WINE Winemaker of the Year, Wynns Coonawarra Estate also had three wines listed in Langton’s 2010 Classification of Australian Wine. Wynns John Riddoch Cabernet Sauvignon listed as ‘Outstanding’, Wynns ‘Black Label’ Cabernet Sauvignon as one of Australia’s most collected wines as ‘Excellent’ and Wynns Michael Shiraz as ‘Distinguished’.